Ron Alba called me in June, claiming the woman accused of killing his brother had been involved in one or two other men's deaths. "Black Widow" rumors were circulating in the small town of Lamar, and strange details were emerging about the woman at the center of the speculation, Marla Abling.
Ron's brother, Rory Alba, was killed on Jan. 23, 2013. According to the police report, Abling admitted to investigators that she strangled Rory in her bedroom, and she indicated that she had been a victim of domestic violence and that she couldn't take it anymore. Abling tried unsuccessfully to get immunity from prosecution under Colorado's "Make My Day" law. During the immunity hearings, police raised questions based on evidence at the crime scene. Did Marla feed
Rory chicken and doughnuts that morning? Did they have sex? Did Marla knock out Rory with a wrench before the strangulation? Why had he paid for her manicure the day before? Was the killing premeditated?
Ron also gave me two names of other men and asked me to find out what really happened.
It took a few days to find out what happened to "Chip" Abling, Marla's former common-law husband. He did die an untimely death - a fatal shot on New Year's Day 1995 in Ohio. I asked a sheriff and coroner there for help. They searched file rooms, and they returned answers for me. Chip died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death was a suicide, and Marla Abling was not present when he died.
It took more time to track down information on the other man, Mike McGee. After a few weeks, I was able to get a police report from the City of Lamar, an autopsy report, and an obituary. This time, it was clear Marla Abling was present where he died because he died in her bed. The creepiest part was how long Abling waited until she told anyone about the body. She waited nearly two full days. Why? I don't know. But I do know there were strange circumstances. Take a look at this timeline based on Lamar police reports:
Saturday: McGee and another man came over to Abling's apartment to cook steak. She told police she thought McGee had gotten upset about something and left the apartment. She seemed confused about who was really dead in her bed, although she was pretty sure they had sex.
Sunday: Abling admitted she smelled something foul by the early morning hours. She does not say she did anything to check on the man. She does say she later cleaned her entire apartment.
Monday: Abling called her daughter to say the man in her bed had not woken up in 24 hours and he was sick. When police arrived around 4:30 p.m., they found McGee. It was clear he had been dead for a while because his body was cold. Officers find what appears to be needle marks in several places on his body and speculate he probably died of an overdose.
Mike McGee's family speak for the first time publicly about his death in an exclusive 9Wants to Know report Halloween night at 9 and 10 p.m.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)