The MacNeills: A perfect family? Part 1

Michele married Martin MacNeill, who became a doctor, and quickly built a big family with eight children. When he turned 50, he made some big life changes, and convinced his wife to get a facelift.
7:39 | 06/15/19

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Transcript for The MacNeills: A perfect family? Part 1
There's mama. My curling iron didn't work today. She's just beautiful on the inside and out. Just very graceful and, and classy and loving. She was a dream of a big sister, was popular, she was athletic, she was great in school. She also loved music and she played the violin. I mean, we were all very proud of her. Michele somers, she's gorgeous. She was voted miss Concord. Homecoming queen, cheerleader. She was a straight-"a" student. She enjoyed acting and drama and she did a lot of modeling. Michele somers is very, very involved in her church, the Mormon church. And she is at an event for young singles. And it is there she meets martin Macneill. He caught her eye. Swept off her feet would be the word for it. Michele was just 21 years old when she met martin Macneill. And within months of meeting martin, the two of them eloped and were married and began a family very quickly. And all she cared about is and helping, helping people. Incredibly empathetic to anyone's problems or situation and -- She would take anyone in. And just genuinely love them. Her dream was to someday be a wife and a mother. And her dreams, seemingly, come true. She had four kids in five years. Mm-hmm. Boom, boom, boom. That was not enough for Michele and martin Macneill. They decided to give children that did not have homes a home. There's Michelle and Sharon inside the car. Hi. So they proceeded to adopt children from the Ukraine. That's it off in the distance. Here's one of our drivers. The family grew to not just four children, but eight. Growing up I -- I had a wonderful childhood. I mean, my mom was always there and just the best person you could ever, you could ever ask to have as a mother. She doted on all of us. And really -- Really was there emotionally there for every little thing. My father, I was very close with my father as well. I mean, we all were. And I had just a really good relationship with both of them. So from the outside looking in, it sounds like the perfect family. Yeah. She was very quiet, was always very pretty and very well-kept. All the girls were just dressed perfect, like a tea party. If martin was ever around, it was him that, that always dominated every conversation. Martin Macneill was appointed by the governor of Utah to head up a large medical facility. He just made sure to say that he was a doctor and a lawyer. He walked in the room and sort of took it over, like, "Look at me." Like he was above everybody. The somers family had a long history with martin. They did not like him with Michele and thought that he was controlling and manipulative. I never liked him. He seemed arrogant to me. He seemed all about himself. He wasn't anybody that you'd ever want to be around. Everybody hated him. I was constantly trying to explain my father. When he'd come home, he was a completely different person. So we thought we knew the real, the real person. My sister seemed to grow more distant, like, he would pull her away from the family. She just seemed to be more withdrawn. Did any of you ever feel like you could say, "Michelle, there's something about this guy that we don't like"? We did try to warn her, but there was no talking to her. It was like he had his grips around her. He had total control. I first met Alexis and Rachel back in 2010 when I was doing a story on their father, martin Macneill, for "20/20." When my father turned 50, he started acting very strangely. I just thought he was going through a midlife crisis at first. He became obsessed with losing weight and his appearance. He's going to tanning salons. He lost weight. He'd start exercising just all the time, just in the middle of a conversation, jumping and doing push-ups, things like that. It was really bizarre. Really strange. Very out of the ordinary. How did your mom react to all of this behavior all of a sudden? This focus on physicality. She was suspicious. She thought her husband was having an affair. Michele confronted martin Macneill with allegations of an affair. Ever the manipulator, he turned the tables on her and told her that she should make some changes, too, martin Macneill convinced her she needed a full-on facelift. My mom had never talked about that before or anything. She'd never been into plastic Are we talking just a little eye tuck? No. It was, it was a full facelift. So, how much convincing did it take? Quite a bit, actually. She saw my dad tanning, getting all in shape. And so I think, you know, my mom was just a little concerned too. "Oh, maybe I should do a couple things, you know, maybe that will help." She was afraid that she was losing her husband. I actually went to the consultations with her to meet this plastic surgeon and she told him all of her concerns, saying, "Maybe I'll wait till this summer." I would be home from medical school for my summer break so I could be there and help with the recovery. And my dad said, "Oh, no, Alexis, you have spring break coming up in a week. Let's do it then." My dad said we have everything set up, you know, the anesthesiologist is reserved. We need to do it. Martin had found a plastic surgeon and came in with a list of things that he wanted Michele to have that he said would help her. Michele ended up being prescribed percocet, lortab, valium, ambien, phenergan. These were all central nervous system depressants. And they were never meant to be taken at the same time. And the surgeon agreed? He knew my dad was a physician, so he thought he knew how to dose different medications. It was just bizarre because, yeah, my mom was very sensitive to medication anyway. Martin Macneill insisted his wife go home with prescriptions for lots of sedatives and painkillers that normally, would not have been prescribed following plastic surgery. But the surgeon deferred to martin Macneill. Because Dr. Macneill planned to take care of his wife personally. What could go wrong?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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