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Until Death, Not Divorce: 5 True Stories of Cheating Men Who Murdered Their Wives
It’s all too common in America today: the cheating spouse who murders their wife or husband to be with their new lover.
Although the percentages of men and women who cheat are becoming almost equal, for now the men are still the majority of those practicing infidelity. Men also outnumber women in committing spousal homicide. Whether it’s because they actually commit more of this type crime or are not as skilled at getting away with it as their female counterparts, we may never know.
The following five stories are those of men who contributed to the foregoing statistics; men who were cheaters and saw murder as the only way out of a marriage they no longer desired.
1. Roger Thomas Scaggs
Roger and Penny Scaggs appeared to be the perfect couple. He was a successful businessman in the world of technology and Penny was, for all intents and purposes, a homemaker but she spent the vast majority of her days entertaining the elderly at Austin, Texas, nursing homes. Penny also enjoyed teaching classes in her home to young brides on how to be the perfect wife based on Biblical teachings.
In 1996, the couple celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. It was quite an accomplishment, especially in light of Roger’s recent struggle with what could only be described as a mid-life crisis. Withdrawing from his wife and adult daughter, Roger took up flying and sail boating. He also began a torrid affair with Vanessa Ann Ferguson, a young woman not much older than his daughter.
On March 6, 1996, as Penny played joyfully at her baby grand piano, she was bludgeoned to death before her killer slashed the woman viciously with a knife from her own kitchen. Hours later, Roger called police and claimed to have returned home from work to discover his murdered wife.
Spouses are always a prime suspect at the beginning of an investigation, and it didn’t take investigators long to learn about the young girlfriend; making Roger an even more likely candidate to be accused. When the murder weapons were discovered in a dumpster at the rear of Roger’s office sporting his fingerprints, police knew they had the evidence needed to charge Roger Scaggs with his wife’s murder.
In the meantime, Roger attended his wife funeral and shocked several in attendance with his attire: a red, white, and blue leather jacket with an eagle spread across the back. He would provide more fodder for gossip when, following the service, he told friends he would no doubt be remarried within less than a year.
It took two and a half years for Roger to stand trial for Penny’s death. After eight hours of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men found him guilty of murder. The same jury took only two and a half hours of deliberations to sentence Roger to 32 years in prison and impose a $10,000 fine.
Rogers Scaggs is currently incarcerated at the Duncan Prison Unit in Diboll, Texas. He first became eligible for parole in 2014, however his application was denied. The next date he is eligible is unknown.
2. Michael Alan Roseboro
Michael Alan Roseboro was well known in his hometown of Denver, Pennsylvania. He was a third generation mortician and majority owner of the Roseboro Funeral Home, a family business founded by his great-grandfather.
But Mike’s dark side had nothing to with the dead. Well, not initially anyway. Mike’s dark secrets were his addiction to extramarital affairs and one of those flings would have deadly consequences for his wife.
Mike and Jan Roseboro had been married for 19 years in July 2008. They had acquired their dream home and were constantly building additions to accommodate the family of six. It appeared, to outsiders and family, to be a perfect life.
Then one night Jan is discovered at the bottom of the home’s swimming pool. Neighbors were shocked at the funeral director’s wife’s death. Things such as this didn’t occur in Pennsylvania Dutch country.
They were even more of a shocked after Mike was arrested, just eleven days following his wife’s death, when the autopsy showed Jan had been bludgeoned, punched, kicked, and strangled before being tossed into the pool.
While giving an official statement, police revealed Mike claimed to have went to bed at 10 p.m. leaving her poolside only to discover her at 11 p.m. at the bottom of the pool. They had noted he had fresh scratches on his hands and face. They also told of finding evidence the killer had attempted to conceal by cleaning the scene before the arrival of emergency personnel.
Close neighbors of the Roseboro’s had been suspicious of Mike’s story from the beginning. On the night of Jan’s death, the Roseboro estate was pitch dark. They told detectives on any other night, the estate was lit up like a runway – excessively, in some of their opinions.
Many of townspeople, however, refused to believe Mike capable of such a horrible crime. Their opinions would suddenly shift, however, when it was learned the new widower been carrying on an elicit affair with a married woman. The girlfriend,Angela Funk, then made a public announcement: she was pregnant with Mike’s baby.
After his arrest, Mike was held without bail until his day in Court. At trial, jurors heard the somber, unemotional call Mike made to 911 and the giddy, upbeat new father talking with his mistress about their baby. Evidence of the affair also included Mike and Angela’s email exchanges wherein they discussed afternoon rendezvous, getting married, and honeymoon plans - but never about about divorcing their spouses, were also presented.
Following a three week trial by jury, Mike was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. He is presently housed at Pennsylvania’s Mahanoy Prison.
3. Rabbi Fred J. Neulander
In 1974, Rabbi Fred Neulander founded the M’Kor Shalom Reform Temple in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He was a much loved and well respected leader to his synagogue members. Twenty years later, however, he would take a tumble from grace when he charged with soliciting the murder of his wife.
On November 1, 1994, Fred walked into his home to find his wife, Carol beaten to death on the couple’s living room floor. Fred immediately called 911. The Neulanders' oldest son, Matthew heard the distress call and recognized the address as his parents’ home and immediately rushed to the scene.
Carol’s death would spawn a criminal investigation which uncovered adulterous sex, con men, murder for hire, and a Clergyman who couldn’t practice what he preached.
Shortly after their investigation began, police learned the Rabbi loved to dabble in sins of the flesh – those of the womanly sort. He was said to have engaged in several extramarital affairs within the last several years. Investigators learned the Rabbi’s current mistress was Elaine Soncini, a fiery red-head and well-known Philadelphia radio personality. This affair had been ongoing for the last two years.
Unfortunately, Carol's case seemed to lay dormant but detectives never gave up trying to solve Carol's murder. Sure, her husband was an adulterer but a cheater does not make one a murderer. Seemingly out of nowhere, however, the last piece of the puzzle landed in the investigators’ laps: Leonard Jenoff confessed to police he and another man, Paul Daniels, had been paid $18,000 by the Rabbi to kill his wife.
There was a problem, however: Len had a reputation as a liar. At various times, he’d claimed to be in the CIA, a former FBI agent, a police officer, a “comrade in arms” of President Ronald Reagan, and a player in the Iran-Contra Affair. His story of the murder fit with the evidence held by police, but could a pathological liar like Jen convince a jury?
Len’s story claimed the Rabbi, who had known Len from his attendance at the Synagogue, had approached him and asked if he would be willing to kill an enemy of Israel and hater of Jews. Len agreed he would be willing.
On the day of the murder, the Rabbi made plans to be at the Synagogue so as to have an alibi. While Carol was alone at home, Len and sidekick Paul visited the Neulander home and asked to see the Rabbi. When Carol told them he was not home, Len asked to use the restroom before departing. Whether Carol felt comfortable possibly having recognized Len from the Synagogue or just extended hospitality to a stranger will never be known, but she allowed Len to enter the home. Once inside, Len and Paul bludgeoned Carol to death and attempted to make it look like a botched robbery, as instructed by Fred.
In 1998, on what was purely circumstantial evidence relying heavily on the testimony of Len Jenoff, the statements made by Fred’s mistress about their affair and Fred’s “dreams” in the summer of 1994 wherein he claimed to see violence to soon befall Carol, and Fred’s official statement to police which emphatically denied any adulterous relationship, prosecutors secured an indictment against the Rabbi for murder.
The first trial ended in a hung jury. No doubt Fred Neulander believed God had answered his prayers but he couldn’t have been more wrong. During a second trial, Matthew, now referring to his father as “Fred,” recounted some of his memories of that evening to the jury, who quickly found Fred responsible for his wife’s death.
During his sentence, the fallen Rabbi showed a lot of chutzpah when he asked for mercy in sentencing. The judge wasn’t swayed and sentenced Fred to life in prison, of which he must serve a minimum of 30 years with the New Jersey Department of Corrections before he is eligible for parole. He is currently housed in the state prison in Trenton, New Jersey.
Len Jenoff received a 23 year prison sentence. It comes no real surprise he attempted to recant his statement in 2009, claiming the Rabbi had not hired him to kill Carol. No one was listening. He was released on parole in 2014.
Paul Daniels was also sentenced to 23 years and first became eligible for parole in June 2010, but was denied release. Due to his mental health issues, he remained a guest of medical unit at Northern State Prison in Newark, New Jersey until his parole in January 2015.
4. David Mark Temple
Football is a big deal in Texas. A very big deal. The adrenaline from those Friday night lights are needed as much as oxygen in The Lone Star state.
In the late 1980s, David Temple was a Katy, Texas, hometown hero being the star of the high school football team and it wasn’t much of a surprise when he received a scholarship to play at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
It was at SFA Mark met the very intelligent, beautiful, and athletic Belinda Lucas.
David had come from a financially comfortable family and wherein he had only one sibling; meaning, his schooling was paid for. Belinda, however, came from a middle class working family with five children, including Belinda’s twin sister Brenda, and was working three jobs to pay her way through college.
David and Belinda were both Kinesiology (human kinetics) majors with plans to teach and coach after graduation. Before they realized those dreams, however, David proposed in a way befitting royalty: during a football game, the football star dropped to one knee, in front of his parents and a stadium full of fans, and asked Belinda to marry him.
The Temples' marriage was the kind of which most only dream. After they’d began their ideal careers, the birth of their son Evan brought a sense of completeness to their lives; that is, until Belinda learned she was pregnant again, this time with a daughter. This tiny new blessing was scheduled to arrive in February 1990.
It was, sadly, never meant to be.
On a January 1999 afternoon, David called 911 and said he’d just returned from an outing with his son to find his wife dead in the couples’ home master bedroom closet. When police and emergency medical technicians arrived, they observed the broken glass in the backdoor and it appeared Belinda had been murdered with a 12 gauge shotgun blast to her head. Her eighth-month gestation baby, Erin, had died as well.
Spouses are always the first suspect and David was no exception. What police weren’t saying out loud (just yet), was the staged robbery scene and the pattern of glass shards indicated the door had already been open when broken, causing David to be an even greater person of interest from the beginning. And when investigators confirmed the rumor David had been carrying on an elicit affair with fellow teacher Heather Scott, it was a struggle within themselves to continue to investigate other possible angles.
There was that pesky alibi of David's, though. An alibi difficult to dispute. David was on a Home Depot surveillance video, shopping with his son Evan, at same time Belinda was believed to have been murdered. Hell would freeze over, however, before police let the murderer of a woman and her unborn infant go unsolved and they continued to doggedly work the case.
Friends and family continued to tell police of David’s cold demeanor toward Belinda and her family, his financial irresponsibility, and the verbal and signs of physical abuse they had observed on Belinda. David did nothing to help matters when he married his mistress and fought Belinda’s family in a child custody dispute, insisting the new Mrs. Temple was a capable and worthy “mother” to Evan.
For eight years, David carried on with his life. Both he and Heather continued their teaching careers and most every Sunday morning they could be found in a church pew.
Then the walls came crumbling down.
In 2004, new forensic evidence suggested Belinda had died at least 30 minutes earlier than originally believed – which then made Mark’s video “alibi” worthless.
While it may have been a collection of circumstantial evidence -including an instance of David backing his brother, Darren Temple, into a corner and threatening to kill him, presented to a Harris County, Texas, jury, but apparently it was enough. After only one hour and twenty minutes of deliberation, they returned with a verdict of guilty.
David Temple was sentenced to life in prison. In 2015, he was reversed and in December 2016, he was released on bond pending the new trial. David and Heather remain married at the time of this writing.
5. Edward Glen Wolsieffer
The last of the five cheating, murderous husbands is the ultimate Mr. Duplicity; meet Glen Wolsieffer of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Glen married his high school sweetheart Betty Tasker while still in college. As he studied to earn a degree in dentistry, Betty was the breadwinner. Her support, both financially and emotionally, allowed Glen to finish school and establish a strong practice.
When their daughter Dannielle was born, Betty gave up her career and became a full time Mom, leaving her fully dependent on Glen.
Having a beautiful, dedicated wife such as Betty wasn’t enough for Glen. He wanted to burn both ends of the candle. And the middle, and the middles on each side of that middle. So on and so forth.
His first extramarital affair would be with Deborah “Debbie” Shipp, a dental hygienist at one of his offices. Seeing her every opportunity he could afford - including during his weekly Friday “boys night out,” he professed his love for her and an intent to marry her someday. As a naive 22-year-old, she believed him, and even when Betty discovered the affair and Glen fired Debbie at Betty's insistence, she still believed.
Although the affair with Debbie may have fizzled a little by the discovery, it wasn’t by much. Nor did it stop Glen from taking a second lover; a married woman from his aerobics class: Carol Kopicki – also a friend of Betty’s.
There was even a third woman, the wife of one of Glen’s few friends, but in an ironic twist, she ditched the loser Glen when she learned of his philandering ways.
Then on an August morning in 1986, a 911 call came into Wilkes-Barre police from 75 Birch Street by Neil Wolsieffer, brother of the Casanova wannabe. Neil told them he had received a call for help from his brother and immediately rushed over (he and wife Nancy lived just across the street) and found his brother on the floor, rambling about a home intruder.
Police rushed to the scene. They first observed Glen’s wounds were only superficial. When Nancy rushed in, frantically asking about Betty and Danielle, police - who were not told anyone else could possibly be in the home, rushed upstairs to search. There they found Betty laying in the master bedroom floor, beaten and bloody; and dead. Danielle lay soundly sleeping in the next room, unaware of her mother's demise in the next room.
Police never believed Glen Wolsieffer. His claims of having slept on the couch after coming in late and chasing a mystery man through the house - whom he insisted must have entered via a ladder leaning against the rear of the home leading to a second story window, until being knocked unconscious didn't sit well. When they learned about his extramarital activities, the stink factor doubled.
Investigators hounded Glen, his mistresses, and his brother Neil and sister-in-law Nancy. The latter two individuals found their lives crumbling because of the town rumors and their support of Glen. Police insisted Neil was covering for his brother. Eventually Neil demanded they stop hassling him and refused to give any more statements.
Something somewhere changed, however. No one will every know what, if Neil had figured out his brother was a liar and a cheater and could very well be a murderer, or if he was going to tell investigators to get off his case (again), but as he headed toward the Police precinct for a scheduled meeting, he was killed in a car accident. It would come to be of great debate as to whether Neil’s death was an “accident” or the work of his brother. After a thorough investigation, it was reluctantly declared an accident.
Three years would pass before prosecutors believed they finally had the evidence needed to convict Glen of the murder of his wife. The final piece coming from Nancy Wolsieffer, who had finally seen through the facade of her brother-in-law and going against the wishes of her mother-in-law, told police what they needed to know: Glen was a lying philanderer who treated his wife and daughter badly and would use anyone, including his own brother and mother, to get away with the horrible things he did – including murder.
In the meantime, Debbie was also willing to speak up about her lover. Unfortunately, much of her testimony was seen as that of a woman scorned because, by the time Glen was arrested, he’d ditched Debbie and was living with Carole, who was also newly pregnant with their love child.
On June 6, 1992, a jury of Glen’s peers found him guilty of murder and he was sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison. In 2005, he came up for parole. He had been denied on another occasion, so this time he tried something different: he confessed to the murder of his wife. Sincere or just following prison protocol, who knows? But apparently it worked and Glen was released to a halfway house in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After a short time there, he moved to Virginia to try and start over, but soon found his way back to the Wilkes-Barre area.
Debbie Shipp moved on with her life following Glen’s conviction. She is now married and living in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.
Glen and Carol tried to maintain a relationship even with him behind bars but Carol was no more settled than he and she, like Debbie, also moved on. She too remarried and is now a Zumba fitness instructor at Odyssey Fitness in Wilkes-Barre. Her daughter fathered by Glen graduated high school earlier this year and is now attending college.
Many, especially in the Wilkes-Barre area, still debate Glen Wolsieffer’s guilt or innocence? Some argue he was the target of police needing to make an arrest in a high profile murder case while others say it took police to catch a killer who was obviously lying from the beginning.
You're the 13th juror. Is Edward Glen Wolsieffer guilty or not guilty?
© 2016 Kim Bryan