Man Held in Slayings of Two Wives

Thursday, October 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A 67-year-old man dying of cancer has confessed to killing his wife and two children nearly 22 years ago, and to killing another wife, authorities said.

Robert M. Spangler was arrested Tuesday at the home he shared with his fourth wife. He was being held without bail in Mesa County.

Nancy Spangler, 45, the couple's son David, 17, and daughter Susan, 15, were found dead in their home south of Denver in December 1978.

Nancy Spangler was found in the basement with a suicide note and a handgun nearby, and the children were found in their bedrooms. The deaths were ruled a double murder-suicide.

Investigators reopened the case when they learned in 1994 that Robert Spangler's second and third wives also died under suspicious circumstances, one from a drug overdose and one in a fall at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Authorities now say Spangler staged the murders of his first wife and two children, and confessed to pushing one of his wives over the edge of the Grand Canyon.

An officer said Spangler has been given only a few weeks to live, and that may have played a role in his confession.