Glad you found your way here, hsonn.
It's unusual to have someone find their way to this little spot without going the long way around through the other forums first. Hope you enjoy your time here. Bunch'a nice folks in SE.
I can't really make a comment regarding your remarks on the Mormon religion. I can say, however, that IMO it was Mark Hacking that committed the crime, not the Mormon church. It's often too easy to shift blame to someone else or something else when things have gone wrong.
From your comments it sounds as if you have some uncomfortable memories of your experiences with the Mormon Church. That is sad. I'm assuming you are no longer part of that religion now that you are an adult (?)
I live in Salt Lake City and tt really bothers me that nobody, that I've read or heard, has brought up the Mormon dynamic in this case. It is so clear to me that Mark Hacking felt backed into a corner, and while there is certainly no excuse for what he did to his wife, I would like to share some information with all of you that might help you understand what led up to this tragic murder.
Mormon kids are born into a cookie cutter and to actually make your own decisions in life, or to be your own person, develop your own identity, etc. is a VERY bad thing because you risk growing a brain and leaving the church. You would be risking disownment by your family. I'm sure that is why Mark spun his web of lies - because he felt he had no choice. I've been there before - I was raised Mormon. My whole life, I was TOLD what directions my life would take. I was not allowed to learn to make decisions for myself, I was told by my church and by my family what I needed to do at every step in life. People in the Mormon church get very nervous when they see someone taking off their blinders! It means they're about to lose one (and 10% of that person's income, which every church member pays as tithing).
And the education thing.... My family was the same way - we all have to be doctors, dentists, etc. I felt useless if I wasn't on my way to making six figures. I'd be willing to bet that Mark's father asked him once a month how good his grades were, when he was applying for medical school, etc. Like I said, I can just about guarantee that Mark did not feel like he had a choice about his education plans or his future, and since his personal preferences weren't the same as the plan that was laid out for him by everybody else from the day he was born, he had to improvise.
Let me explain a little about the Mormon culture. You go to church for three hours every Sunday and attend church activities throughout the week, when you turn eight years old your parents tell you to get baptized, so you get baptized. You go through high school, take Seminary (scripture study and religion) classes every day through high school, graduate high school, and at age 19 (for boys) you go on a mission. If a Mormon boy decides to not go on a mission, then it's a big upset and everybody wonders where he went so wrong in his life and how he went so astray.
They send them on missions, where they do and say anything they can to try and trick as many people as they can into getting baptized Mormon. Actually, not nearly as many people are willing participants in the Mormon religion as their numbers claim. For example, their statistics include me, and I wouldn't touch a Mormon church building with a ten-foot pole, just because my parents had me baptized into the Mormon church when I was a child. Less than half of Utah's population is Mormon, yet we see the newspapers print statistics saying that two-thirds of the state's population is Mormon - VERY inflated.
There's so much pressure that most Mormon boys go on missions even though they don't believe in the religion or what they are doing. It is just not worth it to say no and have to endure the disappointment and scorn of the immediate and extended families. Plus, it's a free vacation and if they're lucky they'll get to go somewhere really cool, like Paris or Amsterdam. Then, a lot of them get kicked out of their missions for not living up to the "standards" that they never chose for themselves, anyways.
After two years they return from their missions, and they are told to get married as soon as they can. So they marry the first willing participant they meet. They marry someone they don't even know, have 5-6 kids, brainwash those kids to be good little Mormon robots, and the cycle starts over. Utah has a very high divorce rate because these kids are told to jump into marriage, and then their dream worlds don't work out the way they were supposed to.
I think that in Mark Hacking's case, his life was just built on all the wrong things and he crashed - hard.