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Farmer accused of killing wife with rake googled 'what happened to cheating spouses in Aztec tribes' before murder

Todd Mullis was charged with first-degree murder after his wife Amy was discovered by their 13-year-old son "lying in a crouched position" in the doorway of a shed on the farm they owned in rural Iowa
UPDATED MAR 25, 2020
(Police Department)
(Police Department)

An Iowa man who is currently on trial for the death of his wife who was found with a rake sticking out of her back is said to have Googled "what happened to cheating spouses in Aztec tribes" in the months leading up to her murder. 

Todd Mullis was charged with first-degree murder after his wife Amy was discovered by their 13-year-old son "lying in a crouched position" in the doorway of a shed on the hog farm they lived in rural Iowa last November, according to Oxygen.

Amy was found with a pitchfork-shaped rake sticking out of her back. When questioned, Todd claimed it was a "freak accident." He said they had been carrying out daily chores on their farm that day when he noticed his wife was experiencing dizzy spells, possibly because of a surgery she had had a few days earlier.

He told investigators he asked her to go lie down and that, not long after, their son found her impaled on the rake. He suggested that she had accidentally fallen backward onto the rake and impaled herself.

However, the evidence did not add up. For one, an autopsy revealed that Amy's body had six puncture wounds, while the rake that killed her had only four tines. The medical examiner ruled that her injuries were not consistent with falling onto a rake.

Investigators also heard from Amy's friends that their marriage was doomed and that she told them she was genuinely scared that he would kill her at any given moment. They said they had jokingly called her 'POT wife'—short for Prisoner of Todd. In August 2018, she reportedly told one friend that if she ever turned up missing, they should look for "her body in a wooded area" she and Todd had purchased.

Todd admitted that he was "devastated" after he found out that she had had an affair in 2013, but insisted that they had worked through their troubles, describing the infidelity as a one-time occurrence. He claimed his relationship with Amy was "good" at the time of her death.

But authorities learned that Amy was engaged in a secretive affair with a man just a week before her death and that she and Todd had not slept in the same bed for close to half a year. The man confirmed Amy had long wanted to leave Todd but said she was "scared to death" of him. He said she told him, "If he catches me, he might make me disappear." Amy's friend similarly said that if Todd learned of the infidelity, he'd "kill her and throw her to the pigs."

Todd had allegedly questioned his wife and the man about their relationship and is said to have become more obsessive and paranoid after they denied it. Prosecutors said he would monitor Amy's cell phone bills, endlessly text her, and demand to know her whereabouts.

They also brought up the Google searches he made in the days and months before Amy's death which included phrases such as "organs in the body," "killing unfaithful women," "what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes," and "once you hunt man you will always feel the thirst."

The jury went home last week without a verdict. They are expected to reconvene on Monday, September 23.