In Aurora, Colorado, James Craig was a well-known dentist. He and his wife Angela Craig were raising six children. On March 6, 2023, Angela Craig reported feeling sick and her husband took her to a hospital.

There would be two hectic weeks and three hospital visits. On March 15, Angela Craig was put on life support; three days later, she was dead. Within hours, James Craig would be charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Angela Craig’s autopsy revealed she had been poisoned. And police claim the evidence points to her husband —  alleging he searched online videos about poison and then purchased potassium cyanide and arsenic.

Podcaster Steffan Tubbs, who covered the case, says police allege in the arrest warrant that James Craig had made a Google search for “How many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human?” Authorities believe he went further, lacing his wife’s drinks with poison. “He administered, allegedly the poison via her protein shakes,” said Tubbs.

Skye Lazaro, an attorney familiar with cases involving poison, tells “48 Hours” contributor Natalie Morales that James Craig’s defense might argue that police rushed to arrest him. “It’s essentially a three-day investigation,” she said of the time it took police to charge him with his wife’s murder.

James Craig’s defense has said he has a history of depression and had sought counseling in the past. Lazaro says they might argue he bought poison not to use on Angela Craig — but on himself.

As for those allegedly poisoned protein shakes, Lazaro says that from what she’s seen of the evidence made public so far, “The state hasn’t presented you any evidence that the poison was actually in the drink,” she said.

ANGELA CRAIG TEXTS HER HUSBAND “I FEEL DRUGGED”

On March 18, 2023, in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Angela Craig died. Just days later, former radio personality Steffan Tubbs began his podcast about the sensational case and the unimaginable news.

STEFFAN TUBBS (“Arsenic, DDS” podcast): I want to personally send our condolences to the friends and family of Angela Craig, just 43 years old. She passed away, declared brain dead … And not lost on me … is the fact that this family has been temporarily … destroyed.

James Craig had been almost immediately charged with the first-degree murder of his wife Angela. He has pleaded not guilty. The story of the dentist, his wife and the allegedly poisoned shakes would be told around the world.

Steffan Tubbs: Come on. A dentist. Allegedly ordering potassium cyanide and arsenic. Really?

But it was all as painfully real as a dentist’s drill.

Chelsea Otoya: Dr. Craig and Angela Craig were just like two peas in a pod.

Chelsea Otoya: The two of them in the office was cute cause they would play pranks on each other all day long.

Chelsea Otoya got to know James and Angela Craig when she worked for Dr. Craig at Summerbrook Dental.

Chelsea Otoya: They seemed like the perfect couple.

Until, according to Colorado police, James took his shot at the perfect crime.

CBS NEWS STREAMING NETWORK: Investigators say he researched poisons in the days leading up to his wife’s death.

Angela and James Craig
Angela and James Craig were married for 23 years and shared six children.  Their lives were steeped in their Aurora, Colorado, community—their church, their children and James Craig’s dental practice, Summerbrook Dental.

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The idea that the dentist stood accused of murdering Angela, his wife of 23 years, seemed incomprehensible because the Craigs seemed so close. 

Chelsea Otoya: It just was heartbreaking for everyone, and I felt bad. 

Steffan Tubbs (driving): Coming up on our left, the former home of Summerbrook Dental.

For Tubbs, the office building once home to Summerbrook, has become a tragic touchstone. 

Steffan Tubbs (driving): The last time that I had eye contact with Dr. Jim Craig, he gave me a root canal. 

Steffan Tubbs: I thought he was a great guy. I got incredibly competent friendly care. … He was a family man. We talked about his family, his kids … I — I met his wife. 

Angela Craig was the heart and soul of that family — mother to their six children and a hands-on partner in what seemed like a thriving business. 

Steffan Tubbs: She was not somebody just sit there and stay quiet. She was engaged in the dental practice. … She was somebody who was talking about ideas, and their marketing, their message. 

Tubbs helped refine that message, working on some of Summerbrook’s advertising. He witnessed how those two peas in a pod worked side by side, with Angela pitching in as one of Jim’s office managers.

Steffan Tubbs: I thought it was kind of cool. You know, you’ve got a husband and wife, huge family. I thought it was — it was great to see a small Colorado business operated by, you know, husband and wife. 

Tubbs’ podcast would delve into the disturbing details of Angela’s medical journey: how and why she was allegedly murdered. That account from police is contained in a 52-page arrest warrant.

Steffan Tubbs: In nearly 34 years of being a newsman, the most unbelievable and seemingly thorough arrest affidavit I have ever read.

The warrant alleges that “James has shown the planning and intent to end his wife’s life by searching for ways to kill someone undetected.”

Steffan Tubbs: This was not the James Craig that I knew. 

The James Craig Aurora knew was on display that March 6, 2023, the day Angela’s odyssey began. James was at Summerbrook Dental when Angela texted from home: “My eyes don’t want to focus.” She texted “I feel drugged.”

James Craig headed right home.

He picked up Angela and drove to the ER at Parker Adventist Hospital. She reported feeling dizzy and weak. Doctors fast went to work. 

Natalie Morales: She ends up going into the hospital, first time was March 6th, is that correct? 

George Brauchler: That’s right. March 6th was her first time into the hospital. 

At the time, George Brauchler was another force in Colorado talk radio.

He is also the former elected district attorney for Arapahoe County, where Angela Craig lived and would die, rattling this community.

George Brauchler: This is a huge story.

Like Tubbs, Brauchler has immersed himself in the details of Angela’s final days—a desperate two-week ordeal. But on that March 6, as the hours passed in the ER, there were lots of questions, but few answers.

George Brauchler: They really didn’t have a good answer for what she was going through and … they end up releasing her and sending her home.

Home — where Angela Craig appeared to think she was safe in her marriage. At least that’s how she sounded in messages the couple sent each other, with Angela now home, recuperating from her ER visit.

George Brauchler: There were texts … that would suggest a very supportive loving relationship.

James Craig texts, “I love you. It was so nice hanging out with you and just watching a show and snuggling.” Angela Craig texts James: “Hi Baby! I love your face.” 

Back home, the busy couple picked up the daily routine that sustained them.

George Brauchler: Jim and Angela apparently worked out in the morning. They worked out together. And one of the things that Jim did for his wife was to prepare her a protein shake … It was an absolute routine. 

George Brauchler: This was just part of the normal day.

James Craig texts: “I’ll need to ask what you’re hungry for and bring it to you. I’m kinda feeling just a smoothie or something.”

“I’m not feeling anything.” Angela Craig replies. “Don’t bring anything, I’ll eat something here.”

Within 24 hours, Angela Craig’s symptoms came back fast and strong. She headed back to Parker Adventist. This time she would be admitted. 

Steffan Tubbs: The doctors and nurses are trying. They’re conducting tests. … They just cannot figure out what is ailing this relatively normal and healthy 43-year-old woman.

George Brauchler: All the steps that the doctors and medical staff had taken seemed to not be working. … it was a real mystery.

UNRAVELING A MEDICAL MYSTERY

Steffan Tubbs: There was nothing that would be even remotely a red flag, or this is a rocky, troubled marriage. None of that at all.

With Angela Craig still terribly sick, in March 2023 she was back at Parker Adventist a second time, now as an admitted patient. According to the warrant during her stay, Angela Craig texted her husband James Craig to say, “Now I’m hungry” and he texted back later that was bringing food, writing “Ok I gotchu.”

George Brauchler: The loving husband who wants to see his wife remain healthy.

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Aurora police documented evidence in a 52-page arrest warrant when they charged James Craig with murder. Podcaster Steffan Tubbs said of that warrant, “In nearly 34 years of being a newsman, the most unbelievable and seemingly thorough arrest affidavit I have ever read.”

Aurora Police Department

That arrest warrant contains numerous texts detailing how as Angela Craig was hospitalized, James Craig went back and forth from their home to her bedside to Summerbrook — a husband seemingly supporting his wife and caring for their kids.

Steffan Tubbs: He’s continuing to go to work, and I don’t begrudge him for that. He’s got a family of six kids.

And the warrant would show that apparent trust that Angela Craig placed in James, how she reached out to him to share her symptoms, texting, “I’m cold, super tired, weak, shaky and dizzy”

And James Craig sent compassionate texts to Angela Craig: “I love you and miss you and I’m so worried. I wish you were healthy enough to come home tonight and snuggle me.” 

Steffan Tubbs: Angela Craig was so sick.

It seemed that all her symptoms had returned.

Steffan Tubbs: She had horrible headaches. Horrible nausea … She was dizzy. … And doctors were at a loss.

George Brauchler: Struggling to figure out what in the hell is causing this. What is making her sick?

Steffan Tubbs: And they just could not get an answer.

As Angela Craig stayed in the hospital without a diagnosis, James Craig was in touch with his friends Michelle and Ryan Redfearn.. Ryan Redfearn, a fellow dentist, had recently become business partners with James Craig, he would later tell police.

George Brauchler: Ryan Redfearn went to dental school with Jim Craig all those 20-plus years ago. He’d known him all that time. … He was a close confidant.

And with Angela Craig so sick, according to the warrant, James Craig also texted with Ryan’s wife, Michelle Redfearn, trained as a nurse.

Natalie Morales: What were they texting about?

George Brauchler: The texts were really the kinds of things you would exchange with someone who’s another medical professional. I mean, he was talking about blood pressure. He was talking about concerns the doctors had expressed about symptomology … that should have resolved by now.

But one of James Craig’s texts, in retrospect, seemed odd, as it appeared he was making light of Angela’s mysterious illness.

Steffan Tubbs: Jim Craig texts Michelle Redfearn, quote, “If it wasn’t my wife, this would be kind of a fun puzzle to try to work out, exclamation point.” Who says that?

Still, a bad joke in times of crisis isn’t unusual, says  former DA  Brauchler.

George Brauchler: Everybody reacts to trauma differently.

And James Craig seemed worried. It had been four hectic days since Angela was admitted. Police say Jim told others he was sleeping on a stool next to Angela that night when her vital signs crashed. Doctors responded through the night.

Steffan Tubbs: I have thought about every agonizing minute that Angela Craig was in.

Angela and James Craig
Angela and James Craig

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But over the next day Angela Craig seemed to stabilize. And on March 14,  still with no answers as to why she was sick, Angela was released from Parker Adventist. Once again, Angela Craig came home to her husband of 23 years. But she wouldn’t be home for long. Within a day she started feeling sick again.

On March 15, she was admitted to nearby University Hospital. There would be more tubes, tests and monitors. James Craig was soon by her side.

Steffan Tubbs: They had no idea what was wrong with her.

Police say James Craig didn’t stay long at first. Within half an hour, he drove home from the hospital. Then about an hour-and-a-half later, he returned, carrying food. Police say he then went into Angela Craig’s room, alone. Soon after, Angela Craig had a seizure and once again her vital signs crashed.

George Brauchler: It was critical.

James Craig took photos of his wife as hospital staff tried to save her.

George Brauchler: She is getting into dire, dire medical consequences.

Angela Craig, once so full of life, was put on life support.

George Brauchler: Doctors are struggling to figure out what in the hell is causing this? What is making her sick?

What medical staff didn’t know at the time was that days earlier, according to police, a package had arrived at James Craig’s office. Authorities say what was in that package, ordered by James Craig himself, would become key evidence in this case. James Craig allegedly told a staff member “that he would be receiving a personal package” and “not to open it.” 

Steffan Tubbs: Jim Craig had said don’t open this package. Somebody did. She sees the words “potassium cyanide.”

Steffan Tubbs: Why are we getting potassium cyanide to a Colorado dentist’s office?

A PACKAGE MARKED POISON

Angela Craig was on life support and fighting to survive. James Craig texted the photos he took to Michelle Redfearn, writing “crash” “intubated” and “doc says she’s ‘very very worried’.” The couple raced to the hospital.

Ryan Redfearn would later tell police he watched as James Craig broke down.

Natalie Morales: He saw Craig crying after speaking to doctors about Angela’s prognosis.

George Brauchler: Yep. He did say he saw him crying afterwards.

But according to police, Ryan Redfearn was far from convinced those tears were real. That’s because, on his way to the hospital, he had gotten a call from a staff member at the office. The call was to alert Ryan Redfearn about that package marked potassium cyanide that had arrived at Summerbrook Dental — allegedly addressed and later given to James Craig.

Steffan Tubbs: And there’s the dominoes that are now falling one after the other.

Ryan Redfearn led the way.

George Brauchler: He does what any other normal person would do.

According to police, while Angela Craig was on life support, Ryan Redfearn tells a nurse that James Craig “recently ordered Potassium Cyanide,” adding that there was no medical reason or purpose to order Potassium Cyanide for a dental practice.”

Steffan Tubbs: The nurse, being a mandatory reporter, calls Aurora police, and I mean it’s like that. Within five hours, probably even less, there is a member of the homicide unit with Aurora P.D. is at University Hospital.

Police started asking questions. Then, according to the warrant, “Ryan received a call from James’s personal cell phone.” 

Natalie Morales: Tell me about that phone call.

George Brauchler: I think Ryan and his wife are in the parking lot of the hospital when Jim calls them.

According to police, James Craig asked Ryan Redfearn “if he had said anything to the hospital staff.” Ryan Redfearn confirmed that he had and told James Craig that he knew what James Craig had ordered. And James Craig replied that the “package was a ring for Angela and that he wanted to surprise her.”

George Brauchler: And Ryan … says, “… it’s not a ring, we know what was in there.” I mean this is a testament to Ryan Redfearn.

A decades-long friendship was about to be tested, then shattered. This tale was once again told in a text, revealed in that warrant, as the next morning James Craig pleaded with his pal and partner, texting in part: “I want to make an urgent plea to you. … please don’t talk to anyone … including any law enforcement officers. You are under no obligation to answer their questions unless you are served a subpoena and you will do more damage than good to my family by continuing to insert yourself into this.”

Natalie Morales: How damning is that text in itself?

George Brauchler: I’m trying to think of all the innocent applications of the phrase, please don’t talk to the police. I can’t come up with any. 

George Brauchler: It’s a desperate effort to try to keep Ryan from cooperating any farther with law enforcement.

But if that’s what he was trying to do, it was too late. Police had already launched their investigation.

On March 18, 2023, Angela Craig was taken off life support. A friend, wife, and mother of six was dead.

Chelsea Otoya: I was in complete shock, in complete disbelief. … In my head, I’m like, this is crazy, it’s not true.

Chelsea Otoya: I thought maybe it was an accident.

James Toliver Craig
James Toliver Craig was charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Aurora Police

But investigators didn’t think so. Just hours after Angela Craig died, Dr. James Craig would be arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of his wife.

Steffan Tubbs: There’s my dentist, a mugshot.

James Craig would plead not guilty. Months later, Angela Craig’s autopsy would be released. That autopsy states Angela Craig died from “lethal concentrations of cyanide” and “a lethal concentration” of tetrahydrozoline, the chemical found in some eye drops. And it says that Angela Craig had “toxic concentrations” of arsenic in her blood in those two earlier hospital visits.

Steffan Tubbs: To think about what Angela Craig endured. … This woman was in agony, dying, for so long.

Just a week before Angela Craig got sick, according to the warrant, James Craig set up a new email account using the alias “Jim and Waffles” and used it to research multiple poisons — all part of his plan, according to investigators, to murder Angela Craig.

Steffan Tubbs: One particular Google search, “how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human?”

James Craig, investigators say, also found videos online with titles like “Top 5 Undetectable Poisons That Show No Sign Of Foul Play.”

And police say on the same day he did that online research, James Craig made a purchase — arsenic — and had it delivered straight to his family’s mailbox.

George Brauchler: I think he legitimately believed that he would be able to poison his wife, she would die, he would have her cremated. And then they’d … move on.

Poison. Some call it the recipe for the perfect crime. A silent, invisible killer — no blood, no gun, no fingerprints. Even doctors can have a hard time spotting it.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: It’s a pretty rare medical subspecialty.

Doctor Jeff LaPoint is the director of the division of medical toxicology at San Diego’s Kaiser Permanente Hospital.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: If it’s a poison or a venom … that’s what we specialize in.

Natalie Morales: You’re that guy?

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Yeah.

So “48 Hours” asked him, and Dr. LaPoint focused in on the alleged actions of James Craig  and the final days of Angela Craig’s life.

He reviewed the arrest warrant for us, and some of the deadly drugs it lists.

Natalie Morales: Let’s start with arsenic.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: OK … yeah, arsenic is a very famous poison. It’s … not detectable by taste or odor.

LaPoint says Angela Craig’s symptoms in those first two hospital visits are consistent with arsenic poisoning.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Nausea and vomiting.

Natalie Morales: Lower blood pressure, higher blood pressure? 

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Generally lower. 

Natalie Morales: How much would kill a person? 

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: It does not take very much. 

But police say there was more. A week after he purchased that arsenic, they allege James Craig — as “Jim and Waffles”— went back online. He ordered a second poison.

Natalie Morales: Oleandrin, what is that?

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: So, oleandrin is a toxin found in oleander.

Natalie Morales: I’m thinking of those white flowers.

Jeff LaPoint: Yeah, they’re really beautiful.

As lovely as a rose. Only deadly.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: It prevents the heart from beating very efficiently.

But after three days, the oleandrin hadn’t been delivered. That’s when investigators say James Craig upped the ante. Police say he placed an order with a medical supply company for his strongest toxin yet: potassium cyanide.

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Cyanide is one of the most effective poisons that exist.

Natalie Morales: Just a microdose could kill you then?

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Yeah, a very small amount per kilogram and you’re not gonna live. … When you are poisoned with cyanide, you’re being suffocated on a cellular level. … It’s a very potent poison. … Your victim would die very rapidly. 

Cyanide is so deadly that you need a medical license to buy it. And police say that when Dr. James Craig placed his order from a medical supply company, he stated he needed it for a complex dental procedure. 

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: There’s no use for potassium cyanide in my practice or I can’t think of many medical practices. 

Natalie Morales: So, a dentist ordering arsenic, potassium cyanide and oleandrin … What does that suggest to you?

Dr. Jeff LaPoint: Someone is trying to collect poison. 

But this father and husband would offer a very different story about why he wanted those deadly poisons.

WAS INTEREST IN ANOTHER WOMAN A MOTIVE FOR MURDER? 

Detectives suspected James Craig had bought all those poisons to kill his wife, but they wanted to know why. They would find a lead miles away from Aurora on a trip James Craig made — and a woman he met — just before Angela Craig got sick.

Steffan Tubbs: Doesn’t it just always seem like there’s another woman involved? Always, almost always. 

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It’s a rule of the road there, but investigators allege it is yet one more rule James Craig didn’t think he had to play by, when he met Karin Cain.

Steffan Tubbs: Karin Cain, an orthodontist from Austin, Texas … She meets James Craig at a dental conference in Las Vegas.

It was Feb. 23, a week-and-a-half before Angela Craig first went to the hospital. The doctor was traveling alone. And he rolled the dice.

George Brauchler: They strike up a relationship.

Steffan Tubbs: They hit it off … it’s a whirlwind.

A few weeks later, according to the warrant, Cain would fly to Colorado and rendezvous at a hotel with James Craig. He would use that newly created email, “Jim and Waffles,” to flirt with her. 

Skye Lazaro: It’s not illegal to have affairs.

Skye Lazaro is an experienced defense attorney familiar with cases involving poison. James Craig and his attorney declined our request for an interview. Lazaro reviewed the case against James Craig for “48 Hours.” And she identified potential weaknesses.

Skye Lazaro: Is it reasonable that you would kill your wife to be with someone that you had had a 10-day relationship with?

Natalie Morales: The common defense strategy is affairs do not make a murderer.

Skye Lazaro: Right. … One doesn’t automatically mean you did the other.

At the time she visited James Craig in Colorado, Cain did seem to know Angela Craig was very sick and in the hospital. In fact, she had sent a concerned e-mail to James Craig. It read in part: “Hi honey, I am so sorry for what has transpired this week in your world. … I am praying for you and seeking God’s wisdom for this time. I love you.”

But there is no evidence to suggest Cain knew anything more.

George Brauchler:  Nothing that I have seen … gives any indication that she knew that Jim was trying to kill his wife.

And according to investigators, James Craig lied to Cain, telling her that he “filed for divorce and was living separate in an apartment.”

Steffan Tubbs: He gives the standard male, typical, “I’m going through a divorce.” No, he’s not.

And a detective said she told them her relationship with James Craig was “intimate but not sexual.” Cain sent “48 Hours” an email, writing: “I had absolutely nothing to do with this horrific ‘crime’ and ‘my heart is absolutely broken for Angela Craig and her family.’” And she says she is “cooperating fully with the police and prosecution.”

Steffan Tubbs: Karin Cain … met the wrong guy at the wrong time. … She didn’t know anything.

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Dr. James Craig is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife after he allegedly poisoned her protein shakes.

CBS News

Tubbs and Brauchler imply maybe no one knew anything about who James Craig really was. His pristine image — loving parent, church member, dedicated husband—now all being questioned. And as cops continued to investigate, another possible motive emerged.

Steffan Tubbs: One of the things that surprised me in this story … is the financial duress that Summerbrook Dental was under.

In fact, James Craig’s business had filed for bankruptcy in 2020, and shortly after, his then-friend Ryan Redfearn signed on as a partner.

Natalie Morales: Financial problems?

George Brauchler: Financial problems.

Natalie Morales: He was way in over his head then, in debt?

George Brauchler: Way in over his head.

And at a preliminary hearing in 2023, prosecutors argued that James Craig had “about 3.4 million reasons to kill his wife”the value of Angela Craig’s life insurance.

George Brauchler: Jim had liabilities in excess of $2 million and we know that from some of the bankruptcy filings.

But Lazaro says she’s not convinced those financial problems give James Craig a motive for murder.

Natalie Morales: Is this sort of the portrait of a desperate man?

Skye Lazaro: Not necessarily.

Skye Lazaro: We see businesses go through bankruptcy all the time and come out the other side.

And, as for any poisons he may have ordered, Lazaro states those purchases may not even be illegal.

Skye Lazaro: He can legitimately purchase it because he has a DEA number.

Natalie Morales: As a doctor. As a dentist, right.

Skye Lazaro: Right.

Skye Lazaro: Just having it isn’t murder.

Natalie Morales: Mm-hmm. Administering it. Right.

But according to the arrest paperwork, James Craig might have thought he had that figured out, too. Authorities say he could have slipped the poison into one of those protein shakes he so often made.

Natalie Morales: A morning routine at home for example.

George Brauchler: Yeah.

On that morning of March  15 — the day Angela Craig would finally crash before she was taken to the hospital, she was home with James Craig. Investigators say that’s when he may have made her one of those protein shakes and laced it with potassium cyanide.

George Brauchler: It is tasteless. It is odorless. It is colorless. It is really hidable inside something like a shake.

Natalie Morales: And highly lethal.

George Brauchler: Highly lethal.

But attorney Lazaro counters the evidence may not be there. She has reviewed the transcripts from that July 2023 preliminary hearing and says there’s nothing there that shows James Craig put poison in Angela Craig’s shakes.

Skye Lazaro: They went and tested everything in the house and didn’t find any trace evidence of there being arsenic or cyanide or anything in the protein powder, in the protein bottles.

Skye Lazaro: The state hasn’t presented you any evidence that the poison was actually in the drinks.

And Lazaro says the defense can paint a picture of James Craig as a kind and attentive partner.

Skye Lazaro: Jim’s text messages to Angela are extremely loving and extremely caring. He repeatedly asks her how she’s doing. He tells her he loves her.

So if James Craig didn’t poison his wife, who did? He had a story to tell about that.

WHAT ANGELA CRAIG’S AUTOPSY SHOWED

As Steffan Tubbs reported on his podcast, there may be another story to tell about James Craig and what happened to Angela Craig. The story wasn’t about murder; it was about suicide.

STEFFAN TUBBS (podcast): Craig says to the business partner on the phone … she was just playing chicken.

According to the warrant, when Ryan Redfearn confronted James Craig about the cyanide, James Craig allegedly said that Angela Craig asked him to order it for her. That it was all a dare—kind of a deadly game of “chicken.”

Steffan Tubbs: According to Jim Craig … She’s been threatening suicide. And this game of chicken is … Now … are you gonna take it?

But according to that 52-page warrant, none of Angela Craig’s family members told police she was suicidal. A more likely argument for the defense, says Lazaro, is that James Craig had been looking for cyanide not to kill Angela — but to kill himself.

Skye Lazaro: There was some statements that he, in fact, was suicidal, not her.

At that preliminary hearing in 2023, James Craig’s defense team said he had spoken to a friend about his own past plans to die by suicide, and that “Dr. Craig had made a statement” to that friend that he was going to die by “suicide with something that was not traceable.” The defense pointed out that James Craig “suffered from depression” and went to counseling in the past.

And, the defense indicated, James Craig told Angela Craig at one point that he had actually drugged her years earlier, when he had tried to kill himself — hoping that while she was drugged, she wouldn’t be able stop him.

Natalie Morales: It sounds like there had been something that he had tried before with her.

Skye Lazaro: Mm-hmm. … That he had drugged her, so that she would fall asleep, so that he could go … essentially kill himself. And she wouldn’t be there to render any aid or call for help.

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According to the arrest warrant, James Craig wrote: “Given our history I know that must be triggering. Just for the record, I didn’t drug you. I am super worried though.”

Aurora Police

And remember when Angela Craig first started feeling sick, and she texted James Craig: “I feel drugged”? James Craig’s defense points out that he texted back, “Given our history, I know that must be triggering. Just for the record, I didn’t drug you.” The defense said this text supports the story of James Craig’s past depression and suicide attempts.

But Lazaro says it’s unlikely the defense would try to tell a jury that Jim and Angela Craig were both trying to die by suicide.

Skye Lazaro: You have to pick one at some point.

Natalie Morales: Mm-hmm.

Skye Lazaro: And it’s either she’s suicidal or that he’s suicidal … and this is why he bought the drugs.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence authorities say they have is what Angela Craig left behind in her own blood. That autopsy revealed something investigators find remarkable—the levels of cyanide in Angela Craig’s body actually increased while she was in the hospital on that final day. The possible implication?

Tubbs wonders if prosecutors will contend James Craig gave his wife more poison in the hospital.

Steffan Tubbs: If the allegations are true, this is about as cruel as it gets. Period.

James Craig’s defense has hired its own toxicologist. And, come his trial for murder, Lazaro says James Craig, innocent until proven guilty, may himself be portrayed as a victim — of cops too eager to make a fast arrest.

Skye Lazaro: It’s essentially a three-day investigation.

James Craig’s quick arrest, she says, could be a weakness for the state.

Skye Lazaro: You decided from the get-go that this had to be poisoning … This was the foregone conclusion. … So you never went and looked for anything else.

And as for that idea that poison might be the key to someone trying to commit the perfect crime, toxicologist Dr. Jeff LaPoint says that is just plain wrong.

Jeff LaPoint: You’re going to get caught.

Natalie Morales: That’s an important message.

Jeff LaPoint: Yeah, very.

Natalie Morales: There are ways that these will be traced, and you will be found.

Jeff LaPoint: You’ll be found.

Angela Craig
Angela Craig

Facebook

And while Angela Craig’s friends and family are waiting for their day in court, they are left with photographs and their memories.

Three of Jim and Angela Craig’s six children are living with James Craig’s brother. The other three are now adults living on their own, including their daughter Mira. On Mother’s Day 2023, Mira wrote this message on social media: “as of tomorrow my mom will be two months gone. I haven’t the words to express the heartache my siblings and I feel every day.”

Chelsea Otoya:  There’s no words, you know? … the whole situation is just traumatic.

Steffan Tubbs: This will all end, the lights will come down, the cameras leave. Thirty years from now, those kids who are in their teens right now still will be without a mom.

Mira’s last words in that post: “I love you so much mama” … “we miss you.”

Jim Craig’s trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 8, 2024.


Produced by Jamie Stolz and Sarah Prior. Elena DiFiore, David Dow and Michelle Sigona are the development producers. Doreen Schechter is the producer-editor. Gary Winter and Gregory Kaplan  are the editors. Michael Loftus is the associate producer. Patti Aronofsky is the senior producer. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.

 

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