Colorado dentist bought cyanide, arsenic before wifes death, police say

An Aurora dentist ordered arsenic and cyanide weeks before his wife was poisoned to death, searched online about how to poison someone and was having an affair, Aurora police alleged in his arrest affidavit.

James Craig, 45, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder Sunday, hours after his wife, Angela Craig, 43, was taken off life support and died. Investigators believe James Craig put poison in protein shakes he made for his wife, according to the affidavit.

Weeks before Angela died, James Craig used a communal computer at his workplace to conduct numerous searches about poison, police alleged in an affidavit.

The searches included: “how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human,” “Is Arsenic Detectable in 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),” according to the affidavit.

The couple had been having marital troubles before Angela’s sudden severe sickness this month. James Craig ordered arsenic online on Feb. 27, police allege. He received the package on March 4, and two days later, his wife was admitted to a hospital with symptoms that aligned with poisoning, according to the affidavit. While she was hospitalized, James Craig ordered two additional poisons — cyanide and oleandrin, according to the affidavit.

Also while she was hospitalized, a woman with whom James Craig had exchanged sexually explicit messages flew from Texas into Colorado to visit him, police alleged.

“It appears James was flying this woman into Denver while his wife and the mother of his children was dying in the hospital,” a police detective wrote in the affidavit.

Angela Craig went home on Tuesday but returned to the hospital the next day. She was put in intensive care and on a ventilator, and then declared brain dead on Saturday. She was taken off life support Sunday.

James Craig told a seller of potassium cyanide that he was a surgeon and intended to use the potassium cyanide for a medical procedure. He gave the seller his dental license number and work email, but used a newly created personal email, “jimandwaf[email protected],” to order the poison, according to police.

He had the cyanide sent to his dental office, Summerbrook Dental Group, where he told his colleagues he’d be receiving a personal package that they should not open. However, when the package arrived days later, an employee at the office did open the package — not realizing it was the expected personal package — and saw it contained potassium cyanide, according to the affidavit.

The employee resealed the package and gave it to James Craig, who did not realize the package had been opened. When confronted later about the cyanide purchase, James Craig told his business partner the package was a ring he’d purchased for his wife.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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