Murder of Lori Hacking

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Lori Soares Hacking
BornDecember 31, 1976
DiedJuly 19, 2004 (age 27)
Spouse(s)Mark Hacking (1999-2004, her death)

Lori Kay Soares Hacking (December 31, 1976 – July 19, 2004) was a Salt Lake City, Utah, woman who was murdered by her husband, Mark Douglas Hacking, in 2004. She was reported missing by her husband, and the search gained national attention before her husband confessed to the crime.


Lori was the adopted daughter of Thelma and Herald Soares, formerly of Fullerton, California. Herald Soares was a Spanish and Portuguese teacher for Sunny Hills High School and was also a native of Piracicaba, Brazil. He met Thelma when they both served as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Rio de Janeiro. Lori's parents divorced in 1987 and Thelma and Lori relocated to Orem, Utah the following year. Lori and Mark both attended Orem High School, about 40 miles (about 64 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.


At 10:49 a.m. on July 19, 2004, Mark Hacking called 9-1-1 to report his wife Lori missing. She was 27 years old at the time. Mark told police she had left home early for a customary jog in the Memory Grove and City Creek Canyon area northeast of downtown Salt Lake City, but had not returned home or arrived at work. A woman who said she had seen Lori near the grove that day later withdrew her claim.[1]

According to some family members, Hacking had told them she was about five weeks pregnant when she vanished. She was planning a move to North Carolina, where her husband had said he was about to start medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, police say Mark had never completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah as he led family and friends to believe, and that the medical school had no record of him having ever applied.[2]

Shortly after his wife's disappearance, Mark was reportedly found running naked through the streets, and was admitted to hospital for mental evaluation. While in the hospital, Mark engaged a locally prominent defense attorney, D. Gilbert Athay.[3]

Mark Hacking arrested[edit]

On August 2, 2004, Mark was arrested on suspicion of the aggravated murder of his wife. Police believed that he acted alone, killing Lori in their apartment with a .22-caliber rifle while she was asleep and disposing of her body in a dumpster. They found blood in several places in the couple's apartment, including on a knife located in the bedroom and on the headboard of the bed, as well as in Lori's car. In addition, Scott and Lance Hacking, Mark's brothers, claimed that Mark confessed to murdering his wife after they confronted him on July 24, 2004.[4][5] First-degree murder charges were filed against Mark Hacking on August 9, 2004.

On October 1, 2004 at approximately 8:20 a.m. searchers found human remains in the Salt Lake County landfill. By that afternoon, police had confirmed that the remains were those of Lori Hacking.

According to an interview with the CSI division in Salt Lake City, the sum total of Lori's remains were two teeth and a piece of bone the size of a quarter, which is believed to have come from her shoulder blade.[citation needed]. Searchers also found the carpet that Mark admitted to rolling her body into, before placing it in the dumpster.[citation needed]

On October 29, 2004, Mark pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, despite pleas from the victim's brother, Paul Soares, to "save your family the grief and cost [and] plead guilty to murder."[6]

According to investigators, on the night of July 18, Lori wrote Mark a note telling him that she planned to leave him after discovering that virtually everything Mark had told her about his background was false. She had learned that he had never graduated from the U of U, and had never applied to medical school. Rather than risk a divorce, Hacking killed her.[5]

Guilty plea[edit]

Mark Douglas Hacking
Born (1976-04-24) April 24, 1976 (age 45)
Criminal statusUtah Department of Corrections number 167809, incarcerated at Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah; earliest possible release 2035
Spouse(s)Lori Soares (1999-2004, her death)
Conviction(s)April 15, 2005 (pleaded guilty)
Criminal chargeFirst-degree murder
PenaltyLife with 30 years minimum

On April 15, 2005, Hacking pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for prosecutors dropping other charges. On June 6, 2005, Hacking was sentenced six years to life in prison, the maximum possible sentence under Utah law at the time. In Utah, prison sentences are indeterminate, with a minimum and maximum time frame. The offender must serve the entire sentence unless the Utah Board of Pardons releases him sooner. Normally, those convicted of first-degree murder must serve a minimum of five years before they can even be considered for parole. However, since Hacking killed Lori with a firearm, the minimum was increased by a year.

In July 2005, the Utah Board of Pardons declared that Mark Hacking would not be considered for parole until at least 2035, meaning that Hacking will have to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison. Board chairman Mike Sibbett stressed that a hearing was not a guarantee of a release date. He stated that there were a number of aggravating factors in Hacking's case, including the fact he covered up Lori's murder by disposing of her body and falsely claiming she was missing.[7] Upon hearing this news, Lori's mother Thelma Soares issued this statement: "While it is a terrible waste of his life, [the decision] lifts a great burden from my mind and heart. The six-year minimum imposed by law is an insult not only to Lori and the baby, but to me and my family as well. I thank the members of the State Board of Pardons and Parole for their diligence and sense of justice in dealing with this tragic case. My faith in our justice system has been upheld."


The Soares family removed the name "Hacking" from Lori's headstone. "We just felt that Mark obviously didn't want her anymore", said her mother. Lori's married name was replaced with the Portuguese word "Filhinha", which translates to "little daughter."[8]

The initial sentence caused a widespread public outcry, with many expressing alarm at the possibility Hacking could be released after six years. Paul Boyden, the executive director of the Utah Statewide Association of Prosecutors, urged the Utah Sentencing Commission to raise the minimum sentence for first-degree murder to 15 years. Boyden said most people didn't understand Utah's system of indeterminate sentences, and added that it caused "a public perception problem" for the state. Sibbett noted that most inmates convicted of murder have to wait between 18 and 35 years for a parole hearing, and Hacking's actions pushed it to "the higher level" of the spectrum.[7] On March 20, 2006, Utah House Bill 102, also known as "Lori's Law", was signed into law. It stipulates that people convicted of first-degree murder in Utah must serve at least 15 years before they can even be considered for parole.

On June 6, 2005, Mark Hacking's father read a statement from his family that he said would be their final statement to the press about the murder. The statement clarified several events leading up to Mark's confession and conviction. The statement ended by quoting Mark:

"I know prison is where I need to be. I will spend my time there doing all I can to right the many wrongs I have done, though I realize complete atonement is impossible in this life. I have a lot of healing and changing to do, but I hope that some day I can become the man Lori always thought I was. To the many people I have hurt, I am more sorry than you could ever know. Every day my soul burns in torment when I think of what you must be going through. I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could take back all the lies I have told and replace them with the truth. I wish I could put Lori back into your arms. My pain is deserved; yours is not. From the bottom of my heart, I beg for your forgiveness. There is no such thing as a harmless lie no matter how small it is. You may think a lie only hurts the liar, but this is far from the truth. If you are traveling a path of lies, please stop now and face the consequences. Whatever those consequences, they will be better than the pain you are causing yourself and others."[9]

In June 2006, prison officials in Utah discovered that Hacking was selling personal items, including autographs, a hand tracing, various prison forms, and magazines, on an online site called "Murder Auction". Officials later announced that Hacking had agreed to discontinue selling anything online.[10]

Hacking, Utah Department of Corrections offender number 167089, is incarcerated at Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.


A dramatization of the murder of Lori Hacking was televised by an Escape series, produced by Bellum Entertainment Group,[11] true crime episode of Corrupt Crimes: "Deadly Rampage at Fort Hood", S1 E104, aired: 12 July 2016.[12][13][14] The story was featured as the first episode in the television series A Lie to Die For, on Oxygen.[5]

The true crime podcast Sword and Scale details Lori's story in its 29th episode.[15]

In 2014 season 2 of My Dirty Little Secret aired an episode about the murder of Lori Hacking.

See also[edit]

  • Susan Powell - a woman from a Salt Lake City suburb who disappeared in 2009, and is believed to have been murdered. Her husband and presumed killer, Joshua Powell, would later murder their sons in 2012. Incidentally, both Susan Powell and Lori Hacking had been employed by Wells Fargo Investments at the time of their respective disappearances, with some colleagues knowing both women.[16]
  • Laci and Conner Peterson - Laci went missing while pregnant in 2002. Her husband Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering Laci and their unborn child, Conner, and sentenced to death.
  • Drew Peterson - convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and is suspected of killing his fourth, Stacy Ann Peterson.
  • Charles Stuart - killed his wife and unborn son, Carol and Christopher DiMaiti, and shot himself, but blamed the assault on an African-American assailant. Both victims are buried under Carol's maiden name.
  • John Sharpe - killed his pregnant wife Anna Kemp, daughter Gracie, and unborn son. He was given three life sentences while his victims were buried under Anna's maiden name.


  1. ^ KSL News
  2. ^ "Lies Catch Up to Mark Hacking"
  3. ^ "Hacking retains lawyer"
  4. ^ KSL News
  5. ^ a b c A Lie To Die For: A Marriage Bed of Lies (Television Production). United States: Oxygen. 2019.
  6. ^ KSL News
  7. ^ a b Angie Welling; Pat Reavy (July 7, 2005). "No hearing for Hacking until 2035". Deseret Morning News.
  8. ^ "Lori Soares’ family removes married name from headstone"
  9. ^ Deseret Morning News | Hacking family statement
  10. ^ "Mark Hacking Agrees to Quit Selling Murder Memorabilia" Associated Press as quoted by, June 18, 2006.
  11. ^ "Bellum Entertainment | Corrupt Crimes". Bellum Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  12. ^ ""Corrupt Crimes" Deadly Rampage at Fort Hood (TV Episode 2016)". Escape TV Network. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Corrupt Crimes - S1.E104 - Deadly Rampage at Fort Hood". GoWatchIt. Escape TV Network. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Corrupt Crimes: S1 E104 - Deadly Rampage at Fort Hood | Full Episode". Escape TV Network. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  15. ^ SwordAndScale: Sword and Scale Episode 29, retrieved 2019-09-26
  16. ^ Cawley, Dave. "Cold Ep 8: Wearing a Wire". Retrieved 17 June 2021.

External links[edit]