Murder of Lori Hacking
|Lori Soares Hacking|
|Born||December 31, 1976|
|Died||July 19, 2004 (age 27)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mark Hacking (Fall 1999 – her death in 2004)|
Lori Kay Soares Hacking (December 31, 1976 – July 19, 2004) was a Salt Lake City, Utah, woman who was killed by her husband, Mark Hacking, in 2004. She was reported missing by her husband, and the search earned 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.
On July 19, 2004 Mark Hacking called 9-1-1 to report his wife Lori Hacking missing at 10:49 a.m. She was 27 years old when she disappeared. Mark Hacking 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, 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.
According to some family members, Hacking was about five weeks pregnant when she vanished. She had planned to move to North Carolina, where her husband had said he was to study at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill medical school, having recently graduated from college. However, police say Mark had never completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Utah as he led family and friends to believe, and the medical school had no record of him having ever applied.
Shortly after his wife's disappearance, Mark Hacking 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.
Mark Hacking arrested
On August 2, 2004, Mark Hacking 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, claim that he confessed to them on July 24, 2004 of having murdered Lori. First-degree murder charges were filed against Mark Hacking on August 9, 2004.
On October 1, 2004 at approximately 8:20 a.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) searchers found human remains in the Salt Lake County landfill. By that afternoon, police had confirmed that the remains were those of Lori Hacking.
On October 29, 2004, Mark Hacking pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, despite the victim's brother, Paul Soares, begging Mark in a letter earlier in the day to "save your family the grief and cost [and] plead guilty to murder."
On April 15, 2005, Mark Hacking pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for prosecutors dropping other charges. Because there was a firearm involved, the statutory sentence is six years to life. Some additional hearings had been scheduled before actual sentencing.
On June 6, 2005, Mark Hacking was sentenced 6 years to life in prison, the maximum the judge could give under Utah law. Under Utah's system of indeterminate criminal sentences, first-degree felony murder brings a mandatory five years to life, but Hacking's minimum is increased to six years because he used a firearm.
In July 2005, the Utah Board of Pardons decided that Mark Hacking's first parole hearing would come in August 2034. Upon hearing this news, Thelma Soares made 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 has removed the name "Hacking" from Lori's headstone. "We just felt that Mark obviously didn't want her anymore", said mother Thelma Soares. Where Lori's married name once was on the headstone is now engraved the Portuguese word "Filhinha", which translates to "little daughter."
On March 20, 2006, Utah House Bill 102, also known as "Lori's Law", was signed into law. It increases the minimum penalty for a person convicted of first degree murder in Utah to fifteen years to life.
In June 2006, prison officials in Utah discovered that personal items related to Hacking's conviction, including autographs, a hand tracing, various prison forms, and magazines, were on sale at an on-line site called "Murder Auction". After speaking with Hacking, the prison officials announced that he had agreed to voluntarily discontinue selling anything online.
Final statement from the Hacking family and Mark Hacking
On June 6, 2005, the father of Mark Hacking read a statement from his family that he said would be their final statement to the press about Mark killing Lori. The statement clarified several events leading up to Mark's confession and conviction. The statement ended by quoting Mark, who said the following:
"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." 
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- KSL News
- "Lies Catch Up to Mark Hacking"
- "Hacking retains lawyer"
- KSL News
- KSL News
- ABC 4
- "Lori Soares’ family removes married name from headstone"
- "Mark Hacking Agrees to Quit Selling Murder Memorabilia" Associated Press as quoted by foxnews.com, June 18, 2006.
- Deseret Morning News | Hacking family statement