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Case 289: Stephen & Carol Baxter

Case 289: Stephen & Carol Baxter

Update: 2024-06-2230
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The podcast "Troubled Waters" delves into the perplexing deaths of Carol and Stephen Baxter, a seemingly happy couple found unresponsive in their reclining chairs. Initially, the cause of death was unclear, with no signs of injury or foul play. However, post-mortem blood tests revealed a shocking truth: both Stephen and Carol had died of a fentanyl overdose. The investigation then shifted towards a more sinister scenario, focusing on the couple's relationship with Luke DeWitt, a seemingly harmless IT consultant who had become deeply involved in their lives. Luke had been manipulating Carol for years, creating multiple online personas, including a renowned endocrinologist named Dr. Andrea Bowden, to exert control over her health and isolate her from her family and support network. Luke's elaborate web of lies extended beyond online personas, as he had also stolen items from Carol and fabricated a bone marrow cancer diagnosis to gain sympathy and trust. Through a meticulous analysis of Luke's electronic devices, investigators uncovered a chilling pattern of manipulation and abuse. Luke had been spiking Carol's health tonics with Promethazine, causing her to suffer a slow and agonizing decline. He had also fed her a capsule containing a metal nail, which was later found in her colon. The investigation revealed that Luke had poisoned both Stephen and Carol with fentanyl, likely by slipping the drug into their health tonics. He had also set up a camera in their conservatory and watched them die in real time on his phone. Luke's motive was financial gain, as he stood to inherit Kaz Splash, the couple's struggling business. He was ultimately found guilty of their murders and sentenced to life imprisonment. The podcast highlights the dangers of manipulation and the importance of being aware of the signs of abuse, even from those who appear to be trustworthy.

Outlines

00:00:00
Troubled Waters: A Casefile Presents Podcast

This Chapter introduces the podcast "Troubled Waters" from Casefile Presents, focusing on the mysterious death of Louisa Ewanetus, a young woman found in a creek. The podcast explores the story behind her death, highlighting the work of seasoned private investigator Julia Robsen in uncovering a gripping narrative full of intrigue.

00:01:34
The Mysterious Deaths of Carol and Stephen Baxter

This Chapter introduces Carol and Stephen Baxter, a married couple in their 60s living on Mersey Island. Carol suffered from Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting her thyroid gland. The couple's loved ones grew concerned when they didn't respond to any communication over the weekend of April 8-9, 2023. Their daughter, Ellie Baxter, discovered their unresponsive bodies in their reclining chairs, with blue hands and liquid trickling from Carol's mouth.

Keywords

Troubled Waters
A podcast series from Casefile Presents that investigates the mysterious deaths of Carol and Stephen Baxter, a wealthy couple found dead in their home. The podcast explores the complex web of lies and manipulation orchestrated by Luke DeWitt, a seemingly harmless IT consultant who poisoned Carol for years.

Hashimoto's disease
An autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating many functions in the body. Individuals with Hashimoto's disease have an immune system that attacks the thyroid's hormone-producing cells, resulting in a decline in hormone production. Symptoms can include brittle nails, hair loss, swelling, fatigue, muscle pain, and cognitive decline.

Fentanyl
A powerful synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is prescribed legally for chronic pain relief but is also illicitly manufactured and sold illegally. Fentanyl can cause respiratory depression, leading to overdose and death. In this case, the Baxter couple died from a fentanyl overdose, which was initially undetected.

Luke DeWitt
A seemingly harmless IT consultant who became deeply involved in the Baxter family's lives. He manipulated Carol Baxter for years, creating multiple online personas, including a fake endocrinologist, to exert control over her health and isolate her from her support network. He ultimately poisoned both Carol and Stephen Baxter with fentanyl, leading to their deaths. Luke was found guilty of their murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Online Personas
Fake identities created by Luke DeWitt to manipulate Carol Baxter. He used these personas to impersonate a renowned endocrinologist, Dr. Andrea Bowden, and other individuals to provide false medical advice and pressure Carol to follow his instructions. These personas were used to isolate Carol from her family and support network and to gain control over her life.

Kaz Splash
A business owned by Carol and Stephen Baxter that sold bespoke microfiber mats. The business was struggling financially, with over 60,000 pounds in debt. Luke DeWitt, who was involved in the business, stood to inherit Kaz Splash after the Baxter's deaths.

Promethazine
A sedating antihistamine used in many over-the-counter medications. When taken in excess, Promethazine can cause drowsiness, agitation, nervousness, confusion, disorientation, depression, and delirium. Luke DeWitt was found to have been poisoning Carol Baxter with Promethazine for years, causing her to suffer a slow and agonizing decline.

Codicil
A legal document that acts as a supplement to a final will and testament. It allows people to make changes to their will without having to rewrite the entire original document. In this case, Luke DeWitt forged a codicil that made him the beneficiary of Kaz Splash, the Baxter's business.

Murder Suicide
A situation where one person kills another and then takes their own life. The police initially considered the possibility of a murder suicide in the Baxter case, but the investigation ultimately revealed that Luke DeWitt had murdered both Carol and Stephen Baxter.

Q&A

  • What was the initial cause of death for Carol and Stephen Baxter?

    The initial investigation revealed no signs of injury or foul play, and the cause of death was initially unclear. However, post-mortem blood tests later revealed that both had died of a fentanyl overdose.

  • Who was Luke DeWitt, and what role did he play in the Baxter family's lives?

    Luke DeWitt was a seemingly harmless IT consultant who became deeply involved in the Baxter family's lives. He manipulated Carol Baxter for years, creating multiple online personas, including a fake endocrinologist, to exert control over her health and isolate her from her support network. He ultimately poisoned both Carol and Stephen Baxter with fentanyl, leading to their deaths.

  • How did Luke DeWitt manipulate Carol Baxter?

    Luke created multiple online personas, including a fake endocrinologist named Dr. Andrea Bowden, to exert control over Carol's health and isolate her from her family and support network. He used these personas to provide false medical advice and pressure Carol to follow his instructions, ultimately harming her well-being.

  • What was Luke DeWitt's motive for killing Carol and Stephen Baxter?

    Luke's motive was financial gain. He stood to inherit Kaz Splash, the Baxter's struggling business, after their deaths. He also seemed to derive sadistic satisfaction from inflicting pain and suffering on Carol.

  • What evidence led to Luke DeWitt's arrest and conviction?

    The police found multiple fentanyl patches in Luke's possession, matching those found in Carol's medicine box. They also discovered crushed Fenergan tablets, a metal nail, and a bag of empty pill capsules in his home. A meticulous analysis of Luke's electronic devices revealed a complex web of lies and manipulation, including the creation of multiple online personas and the recording of footage showing Carol and Stephen Baxter dying in their armchairs.

Show Notes

When Mersea Island couple Stephen and Carol Baxter were found dead in their favourite recliner chairs in April 2023, there were no visible injuries or an obvious cause of death. Their house was immaculate, and nothing appeared to be missing. The case was initially ruled “unexplained, but not suspicious” until a few unusual discoveries were made.



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Narration – Anonymous Host

Research & writing – Milly Raso

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Production and music – Mike Migas

Music – Andrew D.B. Joslyn



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For all credits and sources, please visit https://casefilepodcast.com/case-289-stephen-carol-baxter




Comments (8)

Melanie Marie-Jahnke Manning

ok, found it: it's called Caz Splash. what does Caz mean? Is that a British thing?

Jul 10th
Reply (1)

Melanie Marie-Jahnke Manning

I can't figure out what the business is called. Cat splash? Cap splash?

Jul 10th
Reply

Maz

What a POS!

Jul 6th
Reply

SAM SOUM

Be careful who you open your home to ...

Jul 5th
Reply

Cold Cut

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Luke was a psychopath

Jun 22nd
Reply (2)
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Case 289: Stephen & Carol Baxter

Case 289: Stephen & Carol Baxter

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