A Colorado dentist accused of fatally poisoning his wife had been exchanging "intimate" and "sexually explicit" emails with an orthodontist in Austin, Texas, who had flown into town to see him while his spouse was sick in the hospital.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, James Toliver Craig intended "to end his wife's life by searching for ways to kill someone undetected, providing her poisons that align with her hospitalized symptoms, and working on starting a new life with [his lover]," the affidavit states.
Craig Laced Wife's Protein Shakes with Cyanide, Googled 'How Many Grams Will Kill a Human'
Craig, 45, had a canister of deadly potassium cyanide delivered to his office two days before 43-year-old Angela Craig was admitted to the hospital after she complained about headaches and dizziness, according to the affidavit. Angela, who shared six children with James, was taken off life support on Sunday, as previously reported.
On the day of her hospitalization, Craig had prepared a protein shake for Angela before they worked out together. "James gave her extra protein because she was feeling sluggish," the affidavit states. "After the workout, Angela became faint and dizzy, and ultimately James took Angela to the hospital."
Days before the hospitalization Craig had searched online for "buy Oleander," a poisonous plant, "how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human," and "Is Arsenic Detectable in Autopsy?" and accessed an article titled: "6 Deadly 'Undetectable' Poisons (and How to Detect Them),"
At one point, a sales rep at the scientific supply company told Craig they would need a "usage statement" before they could send him the cyanide potassium, the affidavit states. Craig, using his personal Gmail account, said he was "a surgeon performing a craniofacial reconstruction," and would be using the chemical to "check and see if it will help with the layering of alternative metals," it goes on. If it worked, the affidavit says, Craig claimed the technique would be "published as a paper in the National Institutes of Health."
Craig's Business Partner Told Cops Angela May Have Been Poisoned After Manager Found Cyanide Package
Days after Craig drove Angels to the hospital, her health deteriorated and was declared medically brain dead on Sunday afternoon. The two had discussed her symptoms previously, with Craig playing the part of a concerned husband, according to text messages included in the affidavit.
After Angela's sudden death, a longtime friend and business partner of Craig's told investigators he thought Angela had been poisoned, according to the affidavit.
On March 6, Craig told the practice's office manager that he would be receiving a package and told her not to open it, the affidavit states. A week later, a package arrived. Another employee had opened it, and the office manager decided to take a peek. Inside, she found "a bio-hazard sticker and what said 'Potassium Cyanide' on a circular canister," the affidavit continues.
The office manager sealed up the package, and googled "potassium cyanide." She then realized that Angela's symptoms seemed to match those of cyanide poisoning.
On March 15, when the office manager heard that Angela was in the hospital, she called a colleague, who notified Craig's business partnerâwho was on the way to the hospital to lend moral support to Craigâabout the package. When he arrived, Craig's business partner "spoke with one of the attending nurses regarding his suspicion that Angela was the possible victim of poisoning," the affidavit goes on.
He told the nurse that Craig had recently ordered potassium cyanide for their dental practice, but that "there was no medical reason or purpose" to do so. "As a mandatory reporter, the nurse called the police, and an investigation ensued," the affidavit states.
Craig Told His Business Partner Angela Ordered the Cyanide Because She was Suicidal
A short time later, Craig called his business partner and said he had "heard some disturbing information," asking if the other man "had said anything to the hospital staff."
He said he knew about the package, to which Craig replied it was "a ring for Angela and that he wanted to surprise her." The business partner told Craig he knew it wasn't a ring, and asked why he would buy potassium cyanide, according to the affidavit.
"James eventually recanted and admitted the package contained Potassium Cyanide but claimed that Angela asked him to order it," the affidavit continues, stating that Craig claimed to his business partner that Angela had been suicidal.
"James claimed that Angela couldn't order the Potassium Cyanide because she didn't have the proper credentials. James told [his business partner] he ordered the Potassium Cyanide, but he 'didn't think she [Angela] would actually take it.' James described the situation as being similar to a game of 'chicken.' At that point, [Craig's business partner] told James to stop talking and get a lawyer."
Craig Booked Flights for Mistress to Visit Him While Angels was in the Hospital
In a series of emails viewed by investigators, Craig allegedly made travel plans for his mistress to visit him on dates that lined up almost precisely with Angela's various hospitalizations.
The woman was scheduled to visit Denver from March 8-10, which corresponded with Angela's previous hospital stay from March 9-14, according to the affidavit. The second flight itinerary was for March 16-20, beginning the day Angela went to the hospital and later died. The flight was purchased on March 4, the same date that the poison was delivered to Craig's home, the affidavit states.
A March 16 email to Craig from his alleged mistress "suggested that James had told her something had happened to Angela," according to the affidavit.
It says she told Craig "how sorry she was for him and that she wished she was helping him, not pulling him away. She stated she knew it had to be so hard what he was going through and that she wanted to be there for him but did not want to mix in with his family and friends and pretend to be only a friend when there was something more."
Craig Disallowed an 'Autopsy' Claiming He Didn't want to 'Poke Her When She was Dead'
Craig told Angela's sister that he would "not allow" an autopsy, according to the affidavit. She pleaded with him to change his mind, it says, arguing that if it was genetic, knowing now could prevent one of their kids from suffering later.
"James said he felt if they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her when she was alive he wouldn't let them poke her more when she was dead," the affidavit states.
In a statement, Aurora PD Division Chief Mark Hildebrand said: "When the suspicious details of this case came to light, our team of officers and homicide detectives tirelessly worked to uncover the truth behind the victim's sudden illness and death. It was quickly discovered this was in fact a heinous, complex and calculated murder. I am very proud of our Major Crimes Homicide Unit's hard work in solving this case and pursuing justice for the victim."