In April 2012, The Staudte family seemed to be having a run of terrible luck, with deaths and hospitalizations of beloved family members. Mark and Diane Staudte had a son and three daughters, but by June 2013, Mark and their son had died, with one of their daughters in the hospital. All the while, Mark’s brother, Michael Staudte, wondered what went wrong.
ABC News’ ‘20/20: Home Sweet Murder’ focuses on that very question. As the authorities dug deeper, they learned that Mark’s wife, Diane, and another daughter, Rachel, were responsible for the spate of deaths, leaving Michael devastated. So, if you’re curious to find out more about Michael Staudte, here’s what we know.
Who is Michael Staudte?
Michael Staudte was one of Mark’s three siblings, and he lived in Austin, Texas, at the time of his brother’s death. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science in 1984, Michael went on to work as a Project Manager for a telecom company. At the time of the incident, Diane was the breadwinner in the family and worked as a nurse, while Mark stayed home with the kids apart from performing gigs with his blues band.
In April 2012, Mark, then 61, died suddenly at the family home in Springfield, Missouri. The authorities didn’t think much of it back then, believing he died of natural causes. Although Michael was initially shocked, he then considered his brother’s lifestyle regarding exercising and cooking and didn’t think it was too surprising. However, just months later, Mark and Diane’s only son, Shaun, died as well. Like Mark, even Shaun had flu-like symptoms leading up to his death.
However, since there was no memorial service after Shaun’s passing, Michael didn’t even know about his nephew’s death until another relative told him. The family was struck by tragedy yet again in June 2013 when one of Mark and Diane’s daughters, Sarah, was hospitalized with similar symptoms. At the time, Michael recalled thinking, “It’s like a lot of bad luck here in this family. What’s going on?”
The family pastor was suspicious of the sudden deaths happening under similar circumstances by then. With Sarah presenting the same symptoms, he called the police and told them Diane might be involved. Friends and family then talked about how Diane wasn’t sad about Mark’s death during his memorial service, with one friend saying, “It was like she was hosting a party. There was no sadness. I thought it was just her way of grieving.”
Where is Michael Staudte Now?
The authorities eventually found out that Diane and Rachel had poisoned their family members, killing two and leaving another fighting for her life in the hospital. The disturbing revelation left everyone, including Michael, stunned. Eventually, both of them were sent to prison for their crimes. As for Michael, he worked in Texas and New York in various roles and companies before settling in Hollywood, Florida. Today, he is employed by an IT company as a Talent Acquisition Director.
Read More: How Did Mark and Shaun Staudte Die?