Jobless Man Brutally Murdered Wife and Daughter With Ax Because He Didn’t Want Them To Be Homeless

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According to a report published by Law and Crime on Sunday, June 30, 2024, in Englewood, Colorado, an 83 year old man has been convicted of the gruesome murders of his wife and disabled daughter.

The jury found Reginald MacLaren guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body, and false reporting.

The victims, Bethany MacLaren, 70, and Ruth Jennifer MacLaren, 35, were brutally murdered with an ax.

After killing them, Reginald MacLaren dismembered their bodies with a hand saw and placed the remains in trash cans he had purchased from Home Depot.

This horrific crime unfolded on March 25, 2023, when MacLaren called the Englewood Police Department to report that his wife and daughter had been murdered.

When police arrived at the scene, they were met with a nightmarish sight. Two large trash cans were positioned in the living room, each containing the severed remains of Bethany and Ruth.

A large ax was found in a closet, and the saw used to dismember the bodies was placed next to the trash cans. The apartment was covered in blood.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jake Adkins stated, “Mr. MacLaren betrayed his family in a gruesome and senseless ambush that he planned for weeks. He violently murdered his wife and daughter and planned to dispose of their bodies like trash.”

The court documents revealed chilling details of MacLaren’s premeditation. Approximately ten days before the murders, he began planning to kill his family to prevent them from becoming homeless.

Recently terminated from his job and out of money, MacLaren saw no other solution. He purchased an ax, two ‘Totter’ style trash cans, and a hand saw from Home Depot, fully intending to use these items in the commission of the murders.

On the morning of March 25, MacLaren carried out his plan. According to his confession, he attacked his wife and daughter while they were sitting on the couch, striking them each in the head with the ax multiple times until he was sure they were dead.

Knowing their bodies would not fit into the trash cans, he dismembered them with the saw.

MacLaren’s justification for his actions was disturbingly detached. “[MacLaren] does not regret killing his family as he ‘knows they are in a better place,’” police wrote in the affidavit.

Englewood Police Division Chief Tracy Jones noted that some detectives, even those with over 20 years of experience, described the scene as one of the most gruesome they had ever encountered.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Corrie Caler reflected on the emotional toll of the crime, stating,

“It is difficult to imagine the fear and confusion that these two women endured in their final moments. Ruth and Bethany MacLaren’s lives were needlessly cut short, and we are thankful for the jury in returning a just verdict.”

MacLaren’s conviction ensures that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11, where he faces a mandatory life sentence.

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