Pathological Liars: An Example of a “Shattered Lives Landscape”



Mark Hacking, (murderer of his wife, Lori) did not have the courage to give his final statement to the press in the aftermath of Lori’s death and his subsequent trial. His father read the following statement on June 6, 2005:

“I know prison is where I need to be. I will spend my time there doing all I can to right the many wrongs I have done, though I realize complete atonement is impossible in this life. I have a lot of healing and changing to do, but I hope that some day I can become the man Lori always thought I was.

To the many people I have hurt, I am more sorry than you could ever know. Every day my soul burns in torment when I think of what you must be going through. I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could take back all the lies I have told and replace them with the truth. I wish I could put Lori back into your arms. My pain is deserved; yours is not. From the bottom of my heart, I beg for your forgiveness.

There is no such thing as a harmless lie no matter how small it is. You may think a lie only hurts the liar, but this is far from the truth. If you are traveling a path of lies, please stop now and face the consequences. Whatever those consequences, they will be better than the pain you are causing yourself and others.”

How does one ever understand or put the pieces together of such pervasive damage affecting all kinds of people when the lies “just keep coming and take on a life of their own?” A murderer can express remorse till the cows come home… but do we really know if it is sincere? Does it matter? A life was taken, after all! No matter what excuse, what defense is offered, it will never be enough to justify a killing.  No matter what one’s medical history is…or one’s childhood consisted of… there needs to be zero tolerance for intentional, pre-meditated murder!

Regarding a full scenario of the pattern of conduct and sequence of events, the reader is referred to:

The focus of this story is to illuminate other elements, such as questions  (in the case of the pre-mediated murder of Lori Hacking), are mental  illness claims, feigned bizarre behaviors such as running naked in public with shoes on…) or a previous head injury, sufficient to explain away an obsessive liar’s killing?

In a detailed expose by People Magazine in August, 2004, entitled “Bloody Lies” two psychotherapists/expert witnesses and criminologist David Camp clarify the issues in the following ways:

Experts distinguish between those who know they are lying and those who don’t. “People with dissociative disorders, sometimes in a manic state, really believe they are different people in different contexts,” says Dr. Robert Galatzer-Levy, a psychoanalyst, who often serves as an expert witness. “Psychopaths, or con artists, are extremely good at convincing others. They aren’t worried about anything.” When a person lies deliberately, the range of motives includes “a desire to stand out, to be interesting and noticed, to receive the respect and adoration of others,” says psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, a Court TV commentator. “Sometimes that person feels he can’t live up to everybody’s expectations.”

Could the seizure that attended Hacking’s 1997 head injury account for his alleged violence?

“It is rare for brain injury to cause psychiatric issues,” says Galatzer-Levy. But “head injuries that create organic damage to the brain can cause dramatic personality changes,” says David Camp, a criminologist. “Normally, the people around the injured identify these changes quite quickly.”

Does Hacking have a good shot at an insanity defense?

An insanity plea in this case would depend on whether the prosecution can prove that Hacking knew what he was doing. “If he had a psychotic break, it happened quickly, without an escape plan,” says Camp. “This seems as if he set it up, planned it ahead.” Galatzer-Levy counters, “It’s hard to feign psychiatric illness,” but cautions that insanity pleas rarely work.

Given the above information, it is indeed remarkable that his family turned a blind eye to the personality changes, the partings from Mormon teaching.  It’s difficult to know exactly when the lies began.  However, we do know for certain that Mark was arrested on Aug. 2nd by the Salt Lake police. He was charged with aggravated murder, which carries with it a possible death sentence.  Hacking admitted to killing Lori while she slept and then throwing her body in a trash bin, just like so much garbage!

On April 15, 2005, Mark Hacking pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for prosecutors dropping other charges. Because there was a firearm involved, the statutory sentence was six years to life. On June 6, 2005, Mark Hacking was sentenced 6 years to life in prison, the maximum the judge could give under Utah law of indeterminate criminal sentences.  First-degree felony murder brings a mandatory five years to life, but Hacking’s minimum is increased to six years because he used a firearm.

A Five Year Laundry List of Lies (Some Examples)

  • Ø  Hacking pretended to take a trip to Manhattan to interview at Columbia University-ultimately staying with a cousin;
  • Ø  In fact, Mark never graduated college.  He stopped attending classes after three years;
  • Ø  He made his public thank yous for search efforts when he actually went mattress shopping when he was supposed to be searching for his wife;
  • Mark carried textbooks and even “wrote term papers” at his night job, but wasn’t enrolled in college.
  • He sent out invitations to his graduation from the University of Utah;
  • However, on the day of the ceremony, Hacking claimed to be too sick to attend.
  • In violation of Mormon doctrine, he drank alcohol and smoked—but did not do so around Lori.
  • He claimed he had gotten into medical school at both George Washington University and the University of North Carolina—but he had never applied to either school;
  • On the morning he reported Lori missing, he was supposedly out looking for her. Rather, he had gone to a retail store to buy a new mattress to cover his tracks….
  • Hacking, “the actor,” bought the correct “props” like a new stethoscope and paraded around with it in front of family, bragging that he would be neding it after graduation.
  •  Hacking’s close friend, Ross Williams, said “I’ve been a cop for seven years, and he didn’t arouse a single suspicion in me,” Ross had known Hacking  since preschool and is now a state probation and parole officer. “He had me 100 percent.”

Lori’s Law- A Proud Moment in Utah

Lori Hacking’s father, Eraldo Soares, spent much of 2005 urging state prosecutors to change the minimum-sentencing law.

The state of Utah has “indeterminate sentencing,” meaning that judges sentence within a range of time to be served, but the State Board of Pardons and Parole ultimately has the final say about how long a convicted felon stays behind bars.

It was the perception that there was a possibility someone convicted of murder could be released in five years that Fowlke wanted changed. Under the new law, the board won’t grant parole hearings to convicted murderers for at least 15 years.

On March 20, 2006, Lori’s law came to fruition . Bill sponsor Rep. Lorie Fowlke, R-Orem, has said the state’s sentencing laws worked in the past, because few convicted killers are released from prison in fewer than 20 years.

However, in 2005, the parole board said Mark Hacking, wouldn’t get a hearing until 2034, some 29 years after his sentence of six years-to-life was imposed. He was sentenced to an additional year for use of a firearm in a crime.

The new law also allows judges and the State Board of Pardons and Parole to consider a trust-based relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, such as a marriage, as an aggravating factor in sentencing or when considering parole.


Lori was no Fool… but she was Duped

Love with Mark was an off again, on again relationship.  Lori put off marriage and children with Mark …until they were financially secure which made sense…. She had a very responsible job….  And then it all unraveled with a phone call…

2004 – JULY 16 – FRIDAY – Lori Hacking calls the University of North Carolina to check on student housing. Her phone rings in her office at Wells Fargo Securities Services where she works as an assistant trading broker. She answers and listens to the administrator on the other end. There must be some mistake – but there isn’t. There is no application or registration by a Mark Hacking to their University and is not enrolled there.
Lori hangs up the phone and is clearly stunned. She begins sobbing and leaves work early.

From Lori’s Mother:

In July 2005, the Utah Board of Pardons decided that Mark Hacking’s first parole hearing would come in August 2034.[6] Upon hearing this news, Thelma Soares made this statement:

“While it is a terrible waste of his life, [the decision] lifts a great burden from my mind and heart. The six-year minimum imposed by law is an insult not only to Lori and the baby, but to me and my family as well. I thank the members of the State Board of Pardons and Parole for their diligence and sense of justice in dealing with this tragic case. My faith in our justice system has been upheld.”

Parting Words:

The Soares family removed the name “Hacking” from Lori’s headstone. “We just felt that Mark obviously didn’t want her anymore,” said Thelma Soares. Where Lori’s married name once was on the headstone is now engraved the Portuguese word “Filhinha,” which translates to “little daughter.”

Ladyjustice – Enough said… May she rest in peace!

Sources:; The Daily Herald, People Magazine,

CMM- Crime, Mystery & Mayhem:





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