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How Dr James Craig poisoned his wife Angela to death with cyanide

Dentist Dr James Craig was arrested in Colorado for the murder of his wife Angela.

James and Angela lived with their six children in Aurora, Colorado.  James worked as a dentist at the Summerbrook Dental Group.  

You can view their Facebook accounts here:

James’ lies started to unravel on March 15, 2023 at 11.10am.  Angela went to University Hospital with a severe headache.  She had also complained of dizziness.  Her brother took her to the hospital and James got there later.  

At 2pm, Angela had a seizure and her condition rapidly deteriorated.  She suffered from oxygen deprivation, had no pupil reaction and had pressure on her skull.  She was placed on life support and the medical team were at a loss as to what caused her to decline so fast.  

Just to note that all of this info comes from the affidavit which has been very poorly redacted.  We know that Ryan Redfearn (James’ business partner) is named many times, as is Ryan’s wife Michelle.

Michelle has a Ph.D in nursing just as some background.

Michelle has told police that March 15 was not the first time that Angela was sick.  She went to the hospital on March 6 and was released the same day.  She went back to hospital on March 9 and was released on March 14.  Doctors were at a loss as to what was causing her illness.  

How Dr James Craig poisoned his wife Angela to death with cyanide

When Angela went to hospital the second time, Michelle was continually in touch with James via text regarding her condition.

When Angela was admitted to hospital for the third time, an office manager at the dental practice contacted Ryan.  She relayed about how on March 6 (the day that Angela first went to hospital), that she saw James returned to the office after hours.  She said she saw him at an exam room computer with the lights off.  She thought this was weird as he had his own office and computer plus a laptop that he took to and from work.

After she left the office that night, James texted her to say that he was expecting a personal package in the mail and that she was not to open it.  

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The package ended up arriving on March 13 and it was luckily intercepted by another employee.  When that person looked inside, she saw a ‘biohazard’ sticker and a circular canister that was labelled ‘potassium cyanide.’  She sealed it back up and gave it to James.

She kept thinking about the parcel and started to research potassium cyanide and the effects it could have on someone.  She realized at this time that Angela had the same symptoms.  This was how the phone call to Ryan on March 15 came about.  

The call to Ryan was made as he was en route to the hospital to see Angela.  

When Ryan and Michelle arrived, they spoke to James.  They said he stepped away to take a call from the doctor and that when he returned, he was visibly upset.  

James stepped away again and Ryan voiced his concerns to one of the nurses.  He told her that he was suspicious that Angela may have been poisoned.  He told the nurse that James had ordered potassium cyanide for their dental practice but they had no medical reason to have it there.  

The nurse called police and this is when the investigation into James began.

Ryan and Michelle left the hospital after this and they sat in their car.  James called Ryan.  The call was answered via bluetooth, so Michelle heard the conversation.  James said he had ‘heard some disturbing information’ and asked Ryan if he had said anything to the hospital staff.

Ryan told James that he was aware of the package that had been delivered to the office.   James lied and said that the package had been a ring to surprise his wife with.  Ryan told James he knew it had been potassium cyanide and asked why he would have purchased that.  James changed his story and said that he knew what was in the package, but that Angela had asked him to order it.  He said he ‘didnt think she would actually take it.’

At this point, Ryan told James he needed to get a lawyer.

Later that day, Ryan got a text from James.  He made an “an urgent plea” for him not to talk to anybody about their prior discussion, “including any law enforcement officers,” the affidavit reads. The text read, “You will do more damage than good to my family by continuing to insert yourself into this. Angela is gone and I am devastated.”

“Ryan, I understand why you did what you did. I do. I get it. But if you had come to me personally, man-to-man instead of talking to everyone else about what you thought you knew, I might have let you in on some details that would have made you less likely to cause this horrible storm.  “Ryan, if you had ONLY put me higher on your list of priorities instead of putting everyone else’s opinions and gossip ahead of me! For that I am very, very mad at you.”

At 12.30am on March 16, a detective went to the hospital to speak with medical staff.  At this time, Angela was still on life support with no brain activity and she had a very poor prognosis.

Police went and spoke with the office manager of the Summerbrook Dental Group that day.  She said that on March 6 (the day of Angela’s first hospital visit), James and Angela had exercised together.  He made her a protein shake and after she drank it, she felt faint and dizzy which is why he took her to the hospital.

Around this time, the office manager began to notice that James’ behavior was strange.  She said that she had a conversation with him about how Angela might not survive but that he quickly pivoted to talking about office business.  

She also told police that she knew Angela and James had been having marital issues and that Angela wanted a divorce.

Police also spoke with Ryan and Michelle on March 16.  Ryan told them that he had been business partners with James since August 2022, when he purchased the dental practice from him.  The business had been struggling financially.  They had known each other for more than 20 years and had gone to dental school together.

Records show that James filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and was on the verge of filing again.  

Ryan also told police about the marital issues that James and Angela had been experiencing. 

A CPS worker spoke with police on this day.  She told the detective about her individual meetings with James and his six children.  The CPS worker said James had made “some concerning statements” and “alleged that Angela was suicidal and had been for same time.” . He claimed to have revived her several times over the previous months. He also said he asked for a divorce in December 2022 and her depression and suicidal ideations had increase since then.

James also told the case worker that Angela had been intentionally overdosing but that he wasn’t sure what she had been taking.  He said he was sure her toxicology would be positive for something.  

According to the affidavit, the CPS worker “provided her opinion that James was attempting to build a cover story for what really happened to Angela.”

At the time this was all happening, James was staying with an unnamed friend.  Police went to that home at 8.30am on March 16 to speak to James.  He said he did not want to talk about Angela.  

Police served him with search warrants for his phone, Angela’s phone, his wallet and his laptop.  He gave police the phones and passcodes and he also gave them the password to his laptop.  He said he didn’t have a wallet but that he kept his cards and ID in his phone case.  Police took photos of the cards.

Police went to the Craig family home at 8.45am.  Nobody was home and they executed a search warrant.  They saw that there were surveillance cameras both inside and outside.  They amended the search warrant and seized these cameras.

In addition, multiple other items were collected from the residence. This included:

Multiple types of powder proteins
Multiple workout-style shakers used to drink those powder proteins
Computer tablet
Two different unlabeled plastic bags with white powdery substances
Water bottle on an exercise bike

Police executed a search warrant on the dental office at 11.45am.  They seized cameras and hard drives, as well as a laptop that James had recently used.  Police also took the contents of a vacuum for further examination.

They also found James’ DEA number during this search.  A DEA number is assigned to all health care providers and allows them to write prescriptions.

When police searched Angela’s phone, they found James was saved under ‘The Boy.’

On March 17, police searched the other electronic devices.  His phone was connected to the email dinosaurjim@me.com but investigators found another email on a hard drive in the dental office.  That email is jimandwaffles@gmail.com.

The waffles email was first created on February 27, 2023.

Waffles had searched many poison-related inquiries, including “How many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human” and “Is arsenic detectable in autopsy?” He had also searched for chemical suppliers in Aurora. Investigators also found an Amazon order from Feb. 27 to be delivered to the Craig household for an item called Arsenic Metal 99.9999% Crystalline Metalloid 10 grams for Element Collection, according to the affidavit. It was a $13 order.

Investigators also found additional online purchases of poison.

James searched for “buy arsenic, aurora, co,” “what can you use arsenic for” and other questions. In addition, he found a website with a page titled “Is Arsenic Detectable in Autopsy?” According to the affidavit, he also clicked on YouTube videos about making poison and a video titled “Top 5 Undetectable Poisons That Show No Sign of Foul Play,” the affidavit reads. He also clicked on a series of videos detailing how to make poison out of oleander, a toxic plant.

James had also visited a website that had info on arsenic and cyanide.  A video on this site explained how difficult cyanide is to detect and by the time doctor’s figure it out, it’s usually too late to save a life.

The email account attached to this search history had stopped communications with any contacts on March 16. Other orders were attached to the email, including Sigma 207810-25G from Midland Scientific. Investigators learned this is a technical term for potassium cyanide..

Shortly after this order was placed, a person with the company reached out to learn what James planned to use the item for, and to inform him that they did not have it in stock, but could ship it overnight. The order had a delivery address for the dental office.

The company sent James a Restricted Item Usage Statement Form to fill out about the purchase. He responded via email by saying he was a surgeon performing a craniofacial reconstruction and was using the chemical “to check and see if it will help with the layering of alternative metals” and if successful, the information would “be published as a paper in the National Institutes of Health,” according to the affidavit. He provided his license number and professional email, though he was still communicating at this point under the email jimandwaffles@gmail.com.

“At no time is James using his professional email, to your affiant’s knowledge, to make these purchases after alleging they are for work,” the affidavit reads.

Police found a separate order from AdooQ BioScience for 3 Oleandrin 1mg items, which totaled $330. The invoice was dated March 10, according to the affidavit. However, this was never delivered as investigators contacted FedEx about the situation and the process was stopped.

It was also discovered that the Waffles account had been communicating with a woman.  

We have found this woman online – her name is in the affidavit but we won’t blast her.  Her name is Karin and she is an orthodontist in another state.

According to police the emails between James and Karin were “intimate in nature and contained sexually explicit conversations.” . They also contained travel plans, which showed Karin flying from Austin to Denver March 8-10. The affidavit reiterates that Angela was in the hospital March 9-14.

A second travel itinerary for March 16-20 also showed a flight from Austin to Denver. This one was purchased on March 4, the same date arsenic was delivered to James’ home.

Police also spoke to Angela’s sister.  She said that James and Angela’s marriage was “tumultuous” and that he had had “multiple affairs with several women, told Angela he had been addicted to pornography since he was a teenager, and drugged Angela approximately five to six years ago.”

Angela apparently told her sister that James had drugged because he wanted to go into their bathroom and kill himself, and prevent her from saving him.

Angela’s sister said that Angela had planned to leave James many times, but he always convinced her to stay. She added that their finances “were dire” after he ran “the dental office into the ground,” the affidavit reads. Angela told her sister that James had gambled away more than $2,000 in Las Vegas recently.

The sister also told police that James had said he would not allow an autopsy to be conducted on Angela.  

She said she wanted one done in case her sister had had a genetic condition that could be passed down to their children.

Angela was pronounced brain dead on March 18, 2023 at 4.29pm.

The conclusion, as written in the affidavit, noted the following points:

Nobody aside from James Craig had suggested Angela Craig had suicidal ideations 

The Department of Human Services, which heard the above point from only him, said it believed he was creating a cover-up story

James Craig had been communicating with a woman in what appeared to be a sexual relationship while his wife was dying in the hospital, and helped arrange her travel plans

An email used to research undetectable poisons was only used from one of the dental rooms at his practice

That email had been used to purchase arsenic, which arrived to the Craig home on March 4

Angela Craig felt ill on March 6 and was hospitalized with symptoms consistent with arsenic ingestion. She was released later that day

James Craig ordered Oleandrin, which was intercepted and never delivered

On March 13, a package arrived and James Craig had instructed the office manager not to open it. This was potassium cyanide. A co-worker unaware of his instructions opened it

Angela Craig returned home from the hospital on March 14 after being admitted on March 9

She was back in the hospital the following day at 11 a.m. She was put on life support and did not regain brain activity before dying 

James Craig regularly made her protein shakes

Investigators believe the poison was in these shakes

The poisons were not located during the searches of the Craig home or dental office

The affidavit concludes by reading: “Based on the totality of the investigation, James has shown the planning and intent to end his wife’s life by searching for ways to kill someone undetected, providing her poisons that align with her hospitalized symptoms, and working on starting a new life with (Person D). Your affiant finds there is more than enough preliminary evidence sufficient to arrest James Craig with premeditated first-degree murder.”

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