Newly released recordings shed light on the manipulative behavior of a Utah father who tragically killed his wife, five children, and mother-in-law before taking his own life in January. The Deseret News conducted a detailed analysis of approximately 72 minutes of home videos filmed by Michael Haight, who carried out the heinous act two weeks after his wife, Tausha, filed for divorce.
The night before the incident, 42-year-old Haight appeared jovial with his children, promising them a day of sledding. However, tensions within the family had been escalating for months.
In one video, Tausha, 40, expressed her desire for Michael to move out, but he refused, prompting her to pursue legal action. She expressed concerns about the tense atmosphere in the house, with the children feeling uneasy whenever he was present.
The recordings depict Michael as seemingly disconnected from the reality of their crumbling marriage. Despite being served divorce papers, he appeared oblivious to Tausha’s intention to separate.
At times, Michael displayed emotions, pleading for a second chance and expressing his remorse for hurting his family. However, he accused Tausha of exploiting him through child support payments and claimed she was safeguarding her rights or trying to gain more financial advantage.
Tausha explained that she had reached her breaking point due to Michael’s mistreatment. She expressed her decision to pursue divorce because she could no longer tolerate his behavior.
The Deseret News reported that Michael had conducted internet searches regarding gunshots and their audibility, indicating premeditation. The outlet had previously covered police reports that detailed instances of child abuse, including an incident in which he allegedly choked their eldest child.
Many of the videos Michael recorded were done secretly, and they included moments when Tausha described instances where she felt unsafe with him, such as his refusal to allow her to drive a separate car to a Thanksgiving gathering.
The recordings provide insight into the deteriorating dynamics within the family and the manipulative tactics employed by Michael. They shed light on the disturbing events leading up to the tragic loss of innocent lives.