Art can do many things for people, but normally isn’t used as a murder weapon. For those who don’t know, a totem pole is a piece of artwork. They are large sculptures carved out of tree trunks and are a traditional part of the North American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast. A couple, Carl and Linda Muggli, worked together carving totem poles in Minnesota that they sold to Six Flags Theme Park, Warner Brother’s Television and the Princess Diana Memorial Children’s Park (London).
In late 2010, Linda Muggli was killed when a 700 pound Totem pole supposedly fell out of the cradle it was in and onto her. Her husband was later charged with first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder, although earlier this week when his trial began, he pled guilty to second-degree unintentional murder. They had been married for 24 years.
Initially, it seems, the husband wasn’t suspected. But following the wife’s death, some suspicious Facebook messages were revealed between Carl Muggli and another woman who was from Alabama that were reportedly “intimate in nature.” The messages dated from more than a month before to a few days after the wife’s death. One of the messages sent shortly before her death read: “I love you with all my being…I want us together to live our lives as we seek. For I am yours. I am yours. We are one!” Sounds very romantic. If only he would have found a better way to resolve his 24 year marriage without murdering his wife. Although who really knows what was going on behind the scenes. He was also apparently looking for places to live in Texas and was communicating with his mystery lover about this.
However, his plans to escape with her didn’t work out very well. After some more investigation into the wife’s death, about a month later, investigators tried to re-create the death-by-totem pole but apparently in no scenario was this possible. The husband, Carl Muggli, is now facing 12.5 to 15 years in prison.
One lesson here, Facebook is not exactly private, especially after a suspicious death. In this case, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension got involved and found the Facebook messages. Clearly a tragic story. Who knows what really happened, but it does seem that the evidence points to the husband, especially with no reported witnesses. This goes hand in hand with social media and employment screening. Almost ALL employers use social media for checking out job applicants and even those already hired.