In our previous case Eugene “Cotton” Thompson hired a hitman to kill his wife, St. Paul housewife Carol Thompson. This week, we stay in the Midwest, Michigan this time, for another domestic murder. In 1984, Carol Ege brutally murdered Cindy Thompson, jealous over Cindy’s involvement with Carol’s boyfriend, Mark Davis.
Carol Ege, Mark Davis, and Cindy Thompson
Cindy Thompson and Mark Davis dated in high school but broke up before graduation. Both moved on. Mark got a new girlfriend, Carol Sanders (as Carol Ege was known at the time). Cindy married Ken Woodward and together they had a son and daughter. After six years, though, the marriage fell apart. So, in 1982, Cindy found herself a single mother with uncertain prospects. She moved in with her friend Cheryl in her hometown of Lake Orion, Michigan and let the children go with their father.
Cindy happened to run into Mark and their old romance rekindled. Supposedly, Mark told Cindy that he and Carol had split up. However, he continued to live with Carol and pursued relationships with both women. That should have been drama enough but, of course, it wasn’t. In October 1982, Cindy and her friend Barb came home to find two women in her apartment. She caught Carol and another woman ripping up T-shirts and a watch case Cindy had bought for Mark.
Carol Ege Takes Action
In the summer of 1983, Cindy learned she was pregnant with Mark’s child. It would be her third but his first, and he was excited about the prospect of fatherhood. Mark’s mother, on the other hand, disliked Cindy and was unhappy about the pregnancy.
Carol, as one might imagine, was furious. She wanted Mark to convince Cindy to abort the pregnancy. Failing that, she insisted that she and Mark should adopt the baby.
In December 1983, Cindy was at her sister’s house. A man and woman forced their way in. Cindy and the woman fought while the man kept Cindy’s sister and her fourteen-year-old niece from intervening. But Cindy happened to be on the phone with a friend. She shouted for the friend to call the police and the man and woman fled. The woman was Carol Sanders (Carol Ege).
Carol Ege Murders Cindy Thompson
In February 1984, Cindy, seven months pregnant, moved into a house her friend Barb owned in Pontiac, Michigan. Mark had begun moving some of his things into the house as well. People who knew the couple believed he planned to commit to Cindy and raise their child together. What happened next destroyed that chance forever.
In the early morning hours of February 22, 1984, Mark went to Cindy’s house and discovered she’d been brutally slain. She had severe blunt force trauma to her head from a ball peen hammer and had suffered multiple stab wounds. And if that wasn’t enough, her killer had disemboweled her, ripping out the fetus and some of her organs.
Not surprisingly, Mark was initially the prime suspect, but no physical evidence pointed to him. His alibi was strange, though: he had been at Carol’s drinking heavily and smoking weed. Police investigated Carol as well since her hatred for Cindy was no secret. They also considered Cindy’s ex-husband, Cindy’s friend Barb’s boyfriend (he disliked Cindy), and Mark’s mother. After the initial investigative flurry, Cindy’s case went cold.
New Evidence Points to Carol
In the early 1990s, investigators took another look at the now cold case. In the autopsy photos, they noticed a pattern of bruising on Cindy’s cheek they hadn’t made note of before. Forensic odontologist Dr. Allan Warnick determined that this was a bite mark. Comparing the mark with potential suspects, Dr. Warnick identified Carol Sanders (now Carol Ege) as the person who made the mark.
Based on the bite mark and other evidence, a jury convicted Carol of murder. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 2005, an appeals court overturned Carol’s conviction based on unreliable evidence. Bite mark evidence in general has fallen out of favor with forensic scientists. But in this case, Dr. Warnick has seen his expert opinion successfully refuted and even proven wrong. In this instance, a pathologist testified that the bruising was not a bite mark at all. Instead, it was livor mortis, the natural settling and pooling of blood in a body after death.
The State of Michigan retried Carol in 2007 using the same evidence minus the bite mark. The result was the same: guilty and life without parole. She is currently (March 2022) incarcerated in the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Investigation Discovery produced an episode in Season 4 about the Cindy Thompson murder. Kiss of Death first aired on April 6, 2020.
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