Death Foretold: Letters From the Grave

Julie Jensen's husband convicted, but ruling could open door for appeal.

ByABC News
July 1, 2008, 3:53 PM

July 2, 2008— -- For people on the outside looking in, Julie Jensen appeared to have it all: a successful stockbroker husband, Mark, to whom she'd been married for 14 years, two wonderful sons and a beautiful suburban home in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

"We all looked up to her as being a perfect mother," said friend Kim Shaw. "[Julie and Mark] would always be outside, always working on some kind of project," remembered her friend and next-door neighbor Margaret Wojt. "Just laughing and having fun with it ... it was amazing to watch them."

But gradually, their marriage started to unravel. Wojt's husband, Ted, told ABC News that Mark had wanted Julie to be more sexually experimental. "She said, 'Aw, [Mark] wants me to be like these other women ... his friends. They go to the bars, three in the morning. They go to the strip clubs ... Drinking ... I'm not that. I don't want it."

Friends say Julie had previously contemplated divorce, but Wojt said Julie told her, "Mark would kill me first, before he divorced me."

Then, on Dec. 3, 1998, 40-year-old Jensen was discovered dead in her bed by her husband Mark. In the early hours of the investigation, police said suicide was the likely cause of death. District Attorney Bob Jambois was at the Jensen house that day and felt differently. "It didn't look right," he said.

The family quickly held funeral services.

Neighbor Carrie Ashley said, "I would probably mourn a stranger more than he mourned Julie."

When the autopsy came in, it did not confirm Jambois' suspicions and found no evidence of foul play. Instead, Jambois said, "It showed nothing."

What neither Mark nor the investigators knew was that Jensen had left her own testimonial about what was going on inside her home. Before her death, she gave an envelope to Ted and Margaret Wojt. She told them that "if anything happens, give it to the police."

The Wojts, to whom Jensen had confided, gave police the sealed envelope. In it was a letter written by Julie Jensen, accompanied by a photo of a shopping list. Her words were simple and shocking.