A dentist accused of murdering his wife and mother of his six children is said to have had an affair and researched toxins that cannot be detected in an autopsy before mixing his wife’s protein shakes with arsenic and cyanide.
James Toliver Craig, 45, of Aurora, Colorado, used a shared computer at his workplace to conduct multiple online searches for poison before his wife Angela, 43, was declared brain dead, according to his arrest affidavit.
The searches included “how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human being.” “Is arsenic detectable on autopsy.” “Top 5 Undetectable Poisons That Show No Signs of Foul Play,” “How to Make Poison,” and “The Top 10 Deadliest Plants (They Can Kill You).”
Craig allegedly ordered the arsenic online on Feb. 27 and received the package on March 4, police said.
James Toliver Craig was arrested on Sunday for murder after detectives discovered his wife Angela Craig, 43, had been fatally poisoned
James and Angela Craig pose for a family photo with their six children, ages eight to 20
Angela was hospitalized two days later with symptoms consistent with poisoning.
Craig had taken her to the hospital in Colorado around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday after she complained of headaches and dizziness.
Her condition quickly deteriorated and she was soon put on a ventilator in intensive care.
The mother of six was soon declared brain dead and doctors eventually made the decision to turn off her life support.
Her death was investigated by detectives from the Major Crimes Homicide Unit, who initially determined she had been poisoned.
“It was soon discovered that this was in fact a gruesome, complex and calculated murder,” division chief Mark Hildebrand said.
Craig flew a woman he had exchanged sexually explicit messages with from Texas to Colorado while Angela was in the hospital fighting for her life.
“It appears that James flew this woman to Denver while his wife and the mother of his children were dying in the hospital,” the police wrote in the affidavit.
Craig had told the seller of the poison that he was a surgeon and intended to use the potassium cyanide for a medical procedure.
He then gave the seller his dental license number and business email to order the poison.
Craig had the cyanide sent to his dental office, where an employee opened the package and saw the contents before resealing it and giving it to the dentist, who told his business associates that the package was a ring he ordered for his wife.
Craig was a practicing dentist and part of the Summerbrook dental practice in Colorado, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2021
A person close to Angela Craig’s family told the Daily Beast that she was a “phenomenal woman, outgoing and the best mom you could imagine.”
“She was very supportive of her husband and even worked in his practice during financial difficulties.”
According to court documents, Craig and his practice, Summerbrook Dental, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2021.
The couple had been married for more than 20 years and had six children — five girls and a boy — ages eight to twenty.
Angela started experiencing symptoms of dizziness and headaches a few weeks before her death and told her family.
She was examined at least twice at the hospital prior to her Wednesday morning admission, but relatives thought it might be a sinus infection because she was prone to it.
The person who spoke to the Beast said, “One of her brothers who lives in Salt Lake went out to be with her.”
Until her hospitalization, there was no reason to suspect foul play.
But after Angela was hospitalized, James apparently made himself scarce.
“He hadn’t been with the family much in the past few days,” which “created some suspicion,” the source said.
In a 2021 press release, Craig described himself as “happily married” to Angela.
The release went on to say that the couple “have six kids and they all enjoy the outdoors, especially camping, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking.”
“They also like to visit theme parks and often travel to Disney, Universal and Sea World.”
It also noted that James Craig volunteered for WE CAN HELP, an anti-bullying program sponsored by the Denver Police Department.
Poisoning is a rare method of murder. According to studiespoisoning accounts for less than 0.5 percent of cases.