They met at an auto repair shop where Ellen Snyder was a service manager and her husband Michael was a mechanic. He swept her off her feet by leaving flowers on the windshield of her car. Their marriage would last nine years before turning bloody…
According to Penni Adrian, Ellen’s lawyer, Michael was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He became depressed and went on disability. And he soon began taking his anger out on his wife.
They would argue constantly, Michael waking his wife in the middle of the night to do battle in their Albuquerque home. He wouldn’t hit her, but he would grab her and shake her, says the lawyer. That’s when a coworker noticed Ellen’s bruises and provided her with a gun to protect herself.
Police say Ellen Snyder and her son even hired a backhoe to dig her husband’s grave in the backyard
At about the same time, Ellen believed Michael was having an affair with someone named Dave. He was taking classes in Phoenix when someone by that name began calling and leaving sexual explicit messages for Michael on the phone.
In January of 2002, Michael woke her again to fight. She told him to get away. He refused. So she shot him eight times. Then she got her 17-year-old son, Michael Sheffield, to help wrap the body in plastic. They even hired a backhoe to dig a hole in the backyard. That’s where Michael Snyder was buried.
He remained missing until last week. It seems Sheffield had struggled with what he had done, so he’d begun to confide in friends. One of those friends went to the cops, who gave him a car wired for sound. Police got his confession to the entire killing on tape. The body was found right where Sheffield said it would be.
Police don’t seem to be buying Ellen’s self-defense story. At the time of the slaying, she seemed to be a spend-oholic. She owed 20 creditors more than $120,000. In 2006, she even filed taxes on her missing husband’s behalf, then forged his name to cash the refund check. In their view, Ellen was a money-starved woman who merely wanted the man she no longer loved out of the way.
She’s now been charged with murder.
So who do you believe, dear reader? The lawyer who says her client was abused and only killer her husband in self-defense? Or police, who contend Ellen simply wanted her disabled husband out of her life?