15 Years Later, Shocking Markle Murder-Suicide Case Fades From View

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 12:00 am  

The letter is sprinkled with Hollywood characters: “We [were]living in the Judy Garland House on Glenroy in WLA …” “You and Joan Crawford were both drinking and fighting like hell …” “You were filming something with Elizabeth Taylor in London …”

He pointed out that he had called her daily for 26 years and had used even his boyhood earnings to buy her gifts. “What was I trying to buy?” he wrote.

He accused her of ruining innumerable family gatherings through selfishness and impatience and of being no help in times of family crisis. Many of the sections ended with the underlined words, “Thanks for all your help.”

Since Then ...

2014: The Markle murder-suicide had long since faded into obscurity when Arkansas Business used both the Little Rock Police Department’s case files and contemporary news reports to compile what was, incredibly, the first comprehensive article recounting the story from start to finish.

The article was a part of a series of business history features called “Fifth Monday” that continues to this day. It was timed to appear shortly before the 15th anniversary of the grisly crime.

John Markle’s mother, actress Mercedes McCambridge, died in 2004. She was either 85 or 87, as sources disagree on her year of birth. By then, the historic house on Main Street in Little Rock where her son had killed his familiy and himself had, at least briefly, been turned into a party venue.

In November 2012, on the 25th anniversary of the Markle murders, ArkansasBusiness.com republished this story online with an updated slideshow of photographs (which also accompanies this story.) It became the most-read story on the website that week. At Halloween in 2013, the online story again received a rush of pageviews, with no prompting, suggesting that one of the strangest and most tragic Arkansas business stories of the past 30 years continues to intrigue readers.



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