Double wife killer fights to keep spouse's $1.5 million insurance policy

A man facing allegations of murdering two wives is fighting to keep the life insurance payout.

A man facing allegations of murdering two wives is fighting to keep the life insurance payout.

Harold Henthorn is struggling to keep the $1.5-million life insurance settlement on a policy taken out on his second wife, whom he is accused of murdering.

Now court documents have revealed that Henthorn is fighting a case brought by American General Life Insurance Company, who is asking the court to decide what to do with a $1.5 million policy taken out on his second wife, Toni Bertolet.

In a separate motion, court documents filed last week show that Henthorn fought his late wife’s family to have the funds from his wife’s estate released into his possession. As well as owning her own successful practice as an ophthalmologist Bertolet had two further life insurance policies taken out in her name.

In February 2014 a district court judge found in Bertolet’s family’s favour and barred Henthorn from accessing his late wife’s estate on the grounds that allowing him to do so posed an ‘imminent risk of substantial harm…to [its] financial interests.’

But newly filed documents reveal that Henthorn attempted to have these funds released into his possession as recently as December.

He only finally failed in his bid last month, when a court denied him access to the funds, and demanded that he appoint a forensic accountant to detail the contents of his late wife’s estate.

Henthorn was charged with murdering his wife, Bertolet, last November. While hiking with Henthorn in a remote stretch of Rocky Mountain National Park, Bertolet plunged 140 feet to her death.

It led police to reopen their investigation into the suspicious death of his first wife, two decades ago.

Two decades ago, his first wife,  Lynn Rishell, was crushed to death under the front of Henthorn’s Jeep when the jack gave way as she reached under the vehicle for a lug night while changing a flat tire in the dark.

Both women died in suspicious circumstances where Henthorn was the only witness.

In both instances, Henthorn was named as the sole beneficiary in a string of lucrative life insurance policies totalling $500,000 on the death of his first wife and $4.5million on the death of his second.