Husband Found Guilty After Confessing to Killing and Chopping Up Wife and Daughter

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — An 83-year-old man has been found guilty of brutally murdering his wife and disabled daughter and then dismembering their bodies, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Reginald MacLaren was convicted on two counts each of first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased body, as well as false reporting.

Prosecutors revealed that MacLaren used an ax to kill his wife, 70-year-old Bethany MacLaren, and his daughter, 35-year-old Ruth Jennifer MacLaren, before chopping up their bodies with a saw and stuffing them in trash cans he had purchased from Home Depot over a week before the murders.

Authorities were alerted to the crimes when MacLaren called the Englewood Police Department on March 25, 2023, claiming that his wife and daughter had been murdered. Upon arriving at the scene, police found the dismembered bodies of the victims in two large trash cans in the living room. An ax and the saw were discovered nearby.

Chief Deputy DA Jake Adkins expressed his shock at the horrific nature of the crime, stating, “Mr. MacLaren betrayed his family in a gruesome and senseless ambush that he planned for weeks. He violently murdered his wife and daughter and planned to dispose of their bodies like trash.”

MacLaren is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11 and faces a mandatory life sentence. The jury’s verdict was praised by Senior Deputy DA Corrie Caler, who said, “Ruth and Bethany MacLaren’s lives were needlessly cut short, and we are thankful for the jury in returning a just verdict.”

Detectives investigating the crime scene found a Stanley brand hand saw near the garbage cans and noted the presence of large amounts of blood throughout the apartment. MacLaren confessed to the murders approximately three hours after the initial call to the police, stating that he planned to kill his family to prevent them from becoming homeless, as he had recently lost his job and had no money left.

According to the affidavit, MacLaren provided explicit details of the killings, recounting that he struck his wife and daughter in the head with the ax multiple times, causing their deaths. He admitted to using the saw he had purchased to dismember their bodies before attempting to place them in the trash cans.

The Englewood Police Division Chief, Tracy Jones, described the crime scene as “one of the most gruesome” that some of the experienced detectives had ever encountered in their more than 20 years of service.

As the trial comes to a close, the community remains shocked by the brutality of the crime committed by an elderly man against his own family. The sentencing hearing on July 11 will bring some closure to the case, but the tragic loss of Bethany and Ruth Jennifer MacLaren will leave a lasting impact on their loved ones and the Englewood community.