In February 2003, what initially seemed like a robbery gone wrong led to hardworking miner Michael Willard’s murder in his house in Muswellbrook, Australia. But the authorities quickly realized there was more to the case since the evidence didn’t add up. This led them to look into Michael’s wife, Michelle Willard. The last of the three cases featured on Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Love of Money’ focuses on what led to Michael’s murder and how Michelle was involved. So, if let’s find out more about this case, then, shall we?
Who is Michelle Willard?
Michelle Willard lived with her husband, Michael Willard, and their children in Muswellbrook, a rural area about three hours from Sydney, Australia. By all accounts, she was the typical country mother involved in the community and the local church. Michael worked as a miner, providing for the family, while Michelle took care of the finances in the house. At the time, she was also friends with her neighbor, Danielle Wilkinson. As per the show, Michelle helped Danielle out financially from time to time.
It was further mentioned that Michelle had a spending problem, and as it would turn out, not all the bills were being paid. Michael knew nothing about it, and things got complicated when he had to take a pay cut at his job. Around this time, Michelle took out a life insurance policy on her husband. It later became apparent why. On the night of February 21, 2003, Michael, Michelle, and the kids went out to dinner. After coming home, Michelle and the kids slept while Michael watched TV, eventually falling asleep on the couch.
Sometime during the night, Michelle called the authorities after hearing gunshots and finding Michael dead from a gunshot wound to the head. She told the officers that someone had broken in and killed her husband while trying to rob their home. However, what they saw at the crime scene didn’t align with what she said. While the room seemed in disarray, no valuables were missing, leading to the belief that the crime scene was staged.
The authorities eventually questioned Danielle and her then-teenage boyfriend, TJ. As per the show, the police learned that Michelle offered Danielle and TJ $20,000 each if they killed Michael. The two were drug addicts and agreed to the deal. After Michelle texted Danielle on the night of February 21, she drove to the Williard home with her boyfriend. TJ then fired a .22-caliber bullet into Michael’s head, killing him. After that, the investigators believed Michelle had tried to stage a break-in.
Where is Michelle Willard Today?
Furthermore, Michelle Willard’s conversations with others aroused more suspicion. According to the show, when Michelle inquired about the insurance policy, she asked if she would get the money if Michael were shot to death. Then, the police learned that Michelle had put in an offer for a house. She told the real estate agent that a psychic mentioned her husband dying the following week.
In April 2005, Michelle, then 38, was found guilty of conspiring to kill her husband. She was sentenced to serve 36 years in prison and would only be eligible for parole after serving 26 years. Michael’s father, Robert, said, “It’s a big relief off our minds. We can get on with our lives and help look after our three granddaughters. They’re fine. We’ve got to move on now.” From what we can tell, Michelle is serving her sentence at a correctional facility in Australia.
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