Last year Utah made national headlines when a man murdered his whole family, including his mother-in-law, in little Enoch City.

The town with less than 10,000 residents was stunned when the family (Tausha Haight, 40; Tausha Haight's mother, Gail Earl, 78; Haight's three daughters, Macie, 17; Briley, 12; and Sienna, 7; and two sons, Ammon, 7; and Gavin, 4) was executed by the patriarch of the home, Michael Haight.

It was a staggering revelation that rocked the region and had many people scratching their heads with questions like "Why?" and "How could he?" and "Not here? Not in my hometown?"

Unfortunately, even the heinous crime of murder has crept into life in our beloved Utah. The only (albeit small) comfort we could take from the shocking event was that the murderer took his own life, too.

A few months ago, murder happened again in our state. In a small town. And the confessed murderer doesn't seem to feel any remorse.

In May of last year, 40-year-old Dallas W. Martineau went to his brother-in-law's house in West Haven, a small town (about 11,000 residents) west of Ogden, waited in the backyard with a loaded gun for what police say was several hours, then shot and murdered the 50-year-old just after he exited the back door at about 11 p.m.

Reportedly, the confessed killer said he listened in on the conversations going on in the house for quite some time before eventually committing the deadly crime.

Police also say Martineau planned the entire event and drove from his home in Roy to the West Haven residence (an approximate 15-minute drive) for the expressed intent to commit the murder.

In 2024, there have already been more than a dozen murders in Utah (although that number is down from a total of 94 in 2023), including three boys (ages 15, 17 and 17) who kidnapped, robbed and killed a 21-year old man last month in Taylorsville and a 20-year old who was killed in a dispute over a girl in Bountiful in February.

In December, a Parowan first-grade teacher was found unresponsive in her bed by her husband, with authorities saying she died due to "multiple blunt force trauma" to her head.

A suspect has not been arrested in this case.

Murder is not the option, never the option, no matter the circumstances. It should still shock us when it happens.

Life is precious. Let us teach that to our children.

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