Carl Muggli, alleged totem pole killer, faces new murder charge in connection with wife's death
The Mugglis during happier times.
A Koochiching County grand jury believes there's enough evidence to charge Carl Muggli with first-degree murder in connection with his wife's mysterious death.
Muggli, 50, was already facing a second-degree murder charge and the possibility of 40 degree in the slammer; now he faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Muggli and his wife, Linda Muggli, 61, jointly owned a successful totem pole carving business. Their totem company's website is actually still up; be warned, creepy, shrill music plays as you attempt to browse it.
In November 2010, Linda was found dead in the couple's Ray garage, apparently crushed by a log. Her death seemed to be an accident -- Carl said a nearly 3,000-pound totem pole fell on her while his back was turned -- but a week later, an anonymous source came forward and told deputies Carl was having an affair with a woman in Alabama at the time of his wife's death. The tip prompted authorities to obtain a warrant and search Carl's computer.
From our June 2011 coverage:
According to the criminal complaint, deputies dumped Muggli's computer and found love letters on Facebook as well as emails to various real estate agents in Texas.
"I well Marry you I just do not want problems," he wrote to the unnamed woman a month before Linda's death. "We can handle this all but we will do it right for all parties."
The day before Linda died, he wrote to a real estate agent in Texas inquiring about a two-bedroom rental.
"I am looking for a country home on 5 or more acres to rent or lease with option to buy. (my current situation--divorce--will not allow buying)," he wrote.
The same day, he wrote to his girlfriend, "Eveningstar-Bunny-MyWife . . . I want us together to live our lives as we seek."
During the course of a six-month investigation spanning November 2010 to late spring 2011, investigators repeatedly tried to recreate the accident as Carl had described. They were unable to do so. Muggli also allegedly changed his story, telling police his wife was killed when an under-construction totem fell from its supports, but telling Linda's sister that she was in fact killed when a fresh, uncut piece of wood fell out of a Bobcat.
Muggli was charged with second-degree murder in June 2011 and arrested in Stockdale, Texas, where he had moved after his wife's death. It's unclear whether he was living with his "Eveningstar-Bunny-Wife." He bailed himself out of jail, and though he was subject to GPS monitoring and couldn't leave St. Louis or Koochiching Counties, remained free until the first-degree murder indictment was returned last week.
Muggli was rearrested last Thursday and was scheduled to make a court appearance yesterday.
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