Today Marks 30th Anniversary of Markle Murders


After being caught embezzling from Stephens Inc., futures trader John Markle killed his family and himself in November 1987.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
After being caught embezzling from Stephens Inc., futures trader John Markle killed his family and himself in November 1987.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
The house at 1820 S. Main Street in Little Rock where John Markle murdered his wife and two daughters before killing himself, Nov. 16, 1987.
The house at 1820 S. Main Street in Little Rock where John Markle murdered his wife and two daughters before killing himself, Nov. 16, 1987.
John Markle left behind a bitter, accusatory letter for his mother, Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge, shown here in an undated video with granddaughters Suzanne, left, and Amy Markle.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
John Markle left behind a bitter, accusatory letter for his mother, Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge, shown here in an undated video with granddaughters Suzanne, left, and Amy Markle.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
Amy Michelle Markle was 13 when she was murdered by her father.
Amy Michelle Markle was 13 when she was murdered by her father.
Suzanne Marie Markle was 9 on the night her father shot her five times, killing her.
Suzanne Marie Markle was 9 on the night her father shot her five times, killing her.
The Little Rock Police Department displayed the Halloween mask that John Markle apparently wore while he shot his wife and children to death, as well as the three handguns he used.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
The Little Rock Police Department displayed the Halloween mask that John Markle apparently wore while he shot his wife and children to death, as well as the three handguns he used.  (Photo courtesy KATV-TV, Channel 7)
A closer look at the mask Markle wore as he shot and killed his wife and two daughters.
A closer look at the mask Markle wore as he shot and killed his wife and two daughters.
A plaque at Gibbs International Magnet School in Little Rock in memory of Suzanne Markle, who was murdered by her father, along with her mother and sister, in November 1987.
A plaque at Gibbs International Magnet School in Little Rock in memory of Suzanne Markle, who was murdered by her father, along with her mother and sister, in November 1987. (Tre Baker)

Today is the 30th anniversary of one of the strangest business-related crimes in Arkansas history: the Markle murders.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 1987, an oddball futures trader at Stephens Inc. named John Markle shot to death his wife and two young daughters as they slept in their home on Main Street in Little Rock's historic Quapaw Quarter. Then he turned two weapons on himself, shooting himself in both temples simultaneously.

In short order, the Little Rock Police Department would discover that Markle had been fired the previous Friday (the 13th) for a sophisticated embezzlement scheme that benefitted Markle's mother, Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge.

In 2002, Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz wrote a "Fifth Monday" feature recounting the case as its 15th anniversary approached. Below, a free link to that story and its related sidebars.

15 Years Later, John Markle Murder-Suicide Fades From View

Markle Home Becomes Party Venue (Nov. 17, 2003)