Traci Rhode met Scott when they were teenagers they dated in high school and became high school sweethearts and at that time they lived in Iowa so they had been together for a very long time the couple married in 1990 a few years after Traci had graduated high school Scott ended up putting himself through college to become an engineer and Traci went to college to become a nurse specializing in childbirth and delivery care.
Over the years the couple ended up having three sons and based off photos of the couple and just the family in general seemed like typical happy family all that stuff that usually isn’t true. Traci had said that there was a different side to Scott he was very controlling and very jealous she said it was slowly destroying their marriage that he was constantly accusing her of having affairs that she wasn’t having so when she was at home Scott would come into the room where she was at and would ask her like why she was washing her hands she must be having an affair because she’s washing her hands. It was constant. There was a family friend who was close to Scott and Traci and this family friend had known them for a long time and she said that Scott was possessive controlling he felt like he owned her he would accuse Traci of sleeping with different doctors and having affairs with these different doctors that she worked with and her friend knew that Traci wasn’t having an affair there’s no way.
In an interview at Tracy goes on to tell about this one night when she had to stay late at work because she was delivering a baby or something and she ended up getting home at like midnight and when she got home Scott and her kids weren’t home and she was freaking out trying to call them she called the emergency room because she thought something had happened to them she hears the garage door open, in comes Scott and Scott just goes off on her accusing her of having an affair like that’s why she was late . Scott started yelling at Tracy calling her a tramp and a whore, I’m assuming this was like in front of her kids too and Scott said that he went looking for her that night to show the kids what a tramp and a whore their mother was.
That kind of gives to you an idea of their relationship I guess so in an interview they asked Tracy okay well why did you, which I hate this question you know when you’re in a very bad relationship they always ask, “why did you stay? Why did you stay if it was so bad?” and Tracy said that she stayed because she loved him he was the father of her babies. She said that they had just as many good times as they did bad times and to her it was worth working out and honestly like she didn’t say this this is just my opinion sometimes its just easier to stay. Its really sad to say. Throughout the years Scott moved the family five times in 13 years and the reason he moved so much, he would get really jealous and accused Tracy of infidelity to get her away from whomever she was having an affair with and then eventually they ended up in Texas in 2003 Tracy was far from her friends and from her family.
So she felt really secluded, she didn’t have anybody so he got her all to himself but once they got to Texas Tracy ended up meeting somebody at her workplace. This time it was for reals his name was Shawn Michaels and he worked as a unit secretary in the same hospital that Tracy worked at and Tracy said he would kind of flirt with her here and there and she always told him Shawn that she was married and Shawn would say that he was just kidding, he was just messing around I guess he just kept doing it kept flirting with her and then one afternoon Tracy and Shawn decided to meet in a parking lot she said that they just stood there, they were talking about hanging out it was nothing romantic and then when she went to go say goodbye Shawn leaned in and gave her a kiss.
Tracy stands by the fact that she did not have an affair when she was married but I don’t think Tracy knows that like having an emotional affair, I believe counts as an affair. It sounded like she emotionally was falling for this guy and kissing in the parking lot. Like no it’s not the same thing as having sex but in all the interviews she says I did not have an affair, but I think like emotionally she was into this Shawn guy she’s allowed to think that’s fine.
One week later after the the parking lot kiss, Scott confronts Tracy in the bathroom and accuses her of having an affair, like he does I guess every other night, or whatever and Tracy says in the heat of the moment, she just blurts out that yes she was having an affair and she was falling in love with this guy Shawn.
Finally she had the answer he wanted to hear, she said for the first time in her life there was somebody and it wasn’t about sex, it was Shawn wanted her and cared about her and she just had somebody to talk to.
That night when Tracy said that Scott just looked at her and said you have no idea what you’ve done.
October 15th 2003 police were called to the home of Scott and Tracy inside the couple’s home lay Scott with a gunshot wound to the head Tracy said in an interview that that morning she woke up really early like 4 in the morning and she went for her morning walk, she came home and took a shower or she she started a shower, I don’t know if she took the shower and then she heard a moaning sound. It was then she discovered her husband in bed and he was shocked Tracy said that she moved the pillow back and “I saw blood, his eyes were swollen and I touched his face and said Scott can you hear me?”.
By mid-afternoon, it was clear that Scott was brain dead and then he soon passed away. Within hours from the 9-1-1 phone call one of the detectives changed his mind essentially he said that it seemed like it was an attempted suicide at first but upon looking onto it a little bit deeper it shifted to a possible homicide. The detective said that there were all the ingredients of a classic murder plot, there was a love interest jealousy a pretty young wife who was behaving suspiciously.
The detective said that she was a nurse she gave no first aid to her husband whatsoever and the reason she says she didn’t she didn’t give any first aid was because she was in shock. What could she have done? Tracy says that he was still breathing so he couldn’t give him CPR and that the only thing she could really do was wait for an ambulance to come, but the detective said she’s a nurse you know she could have given some kind of first aid. I don’t know maybe covered the hole which he was bleeding from? But despite the shock that Tracy was in, she still ended up calling into work, told her work that she wasn’t going to be coming in that day and that they needed to find someone to replace her shift and detectives thought that was weird like if you’re in shock, why would you call your work and tell them that you’re not coming in so they thought that was a little suspicious. People do the darndest things.
So while the police and where out her house, Tracy decides to go and wash her hands. The detectives thought that was weird that she was washing her hands. Is she trying to wash off the gunshot residue? Tracy’s defense was that she could smell blood on her hands, because she did touch her husband she just wanted to get her hands clean
Tracy said that she went over to the sink and as she washed her hands she just cried but the detectives think that is is suspicious.
While doing some investigating the detectives learned that Scott had hired a divorce attorney. Just one day before the shooting, Scott took Tracy to the divorce attorney’s office to have a meeting and then that’s when investigators decided to interview the divorce attorney. So that’s where they found out that Scott had this plan, he was going to take full custody of the kids and Tracy would have limited visitation and if she chose to fight that they would use Shawn against her, the guy that she was like not having an affair with, in order to win full custody.
Obviously Tracy is shocked she doesn’t want to lose her kids she was very upset because Scott never told her that he was going to do this and she came back and said she didn’t care if they used Shawn against her because she was going to fight no matter what to get full custody of these children. She said that she loved her children and that she was a good mother and all this wasn’t fair. Tracy then told Scott that they needed to go home and discuss this before moving forward. The divorce attorney said that Tracy was obviously very upset and that she stormed out of the office.
So when they got home they both agreed that they didn’t want to put their kids through an ugly custody battle. Later that night Scott, his mood had changed apparently and Scott flew into rage. Scott went and grabbed a baseball bat, he kept asking Tracy where does Shawn live because he was gonna bash his head in with the baseball bat.
He kept screaming at Tracy to tell me where he lives, and Tracy kept telling him that she doesn’t know where he lives. She told him that she has never gone to his house before and then that’s when Scott got physical with Tracy. He then grabs her by the throat, raises his fists up to her told her that he was going to beat her up.
After this Tracy goes into the bedroom, she grabs a suitcase she starts packing and she was just going to stay in a hotel. Scott started crying and begging her not to go and he convinced her to stay. He asked her to lay down with him and said sorry, and after that altercation everything was fine, and then the next morning Scott was found dead by apparent suicide.
The detectives spent the next two years trying to find physical evidence to link Tracy to this murder. Investigators kept digging until they found a break, something that had been staring them in the face all along. On August 11th, 2005 Tracy was arrested for Scott’s murder.
The gun and where it was found would become one of the biggest disputes in this case. Tracy said the gun was in his hand and somewhere on the bed and she stood by this story, her story never changed it was very consistent.
One of the prosecutors said that the pillow was used to muffle the sound, that Tracy used the pillow to prevent any back spatter from coming back and getting on her hands or the weapon and she also used the pillow to disassociate herself from her husband. The prosecutors believed that’s what happened because if Scott killed himself, when would he have time to put the pillow over his face?
There was a forensic blood stain expert, who looked at the police photos taken at the scene, and he reported saying that he took one look at the gun and knew in his mind that it was not a suicide. Sergeant Pablo Flores one of the first officers on the scene, said he removed the gun and he said when he removed the gun, the handle of the gun was resting on his left hand and the barrel on his right. He also said that there was no blood on Scott’s hands and the gun did not come in contact with any blood on the bed and yet there was blood around the handle and in the actual gun itself.
Also, there was no blood on Scott’s hands, there should be blood on your hands. In one of the crime-scene photos, there’s a stain on the carpet of blood, and the theory is that the gun was lying in the pool of blood next to the bed.
There was just randomly a pool of blood on the carpet. The detectives think that the gun was originally on the floor and then it was moved to Scott’s hands. They believed that Tracy put the gun to his head with the pillow covering it, she then shoots the gun and then she dropped the gun which landed on the floor. She then waited for her husband to die, but then she realized that she made a big mistake and then she picks the gun off the floor and then she placed it in Scott’s hand.
In an interview, Tracy says that they were just trying to make her out to be a murderer that the gun was never on the floor and she was not lying. Four years after Scott’s death Tracy went on trial. Her relationship with Shawn was the center of the prosecution’s case because they see this you know as a motive pretty much so they ended up calling Shawn the side boo to the stand no audio recording was allowed during the trial. but he did it acknowledge the mutual attraction, he said over and over again that they did not have a sexual relationship but Tracy fucked up. 10 days after Scott died Shawn and Tracy checked into the Red Roof Inn aka a motel Tracy says that they did not meet at the hotel to have sex, they met to talk. Apparently, they had met at like a pancake house before going to the hotel and Tracy said she felt really uncomfortable because there were a bunch of police officers around and she felt like she was just being watched so they decided to leave and go to a motel just to talk. She insisted that they were not there to have sex but things did end up going further that night and I guess they did have a sexual relationship.
Don’t go to a hotel to talk to nobody goes to a hotel to talk because if you just want to talk you could do that for free in the parking lot or like on the phone I don’t know there are so many other places to talk. 10 days after he died they did that, which did not look good she says that she is fully aware it didn’t look good but she just needed somebody who understood to talk to.
Shawn and Tracy their relationship ended up lasting two years so it lasted for a while after. The prosecution showed that the gun and the gun holster fit perfectly into that stain that was on the carpet. After two days of deliberation, we finally had a verdict, the jury found Tracy guilty of murdering her husband. They think okay she had a motive, Scott was going to take away the kids, she was also having like this emotional affair with Shawn and the only way she was going to get that is if she got rid of Scott. Okay, but look, listen, she was found guilty right but here’s the kicker. So in Texas, the defense has the option of letting the jurors decide the PUNISHMENT as well as the VERDICT so they go back to the courtroom for the second phase of the testimony. This time Tracy took the stand told the jurors that she did not kill her husband and that she did not agree with their verdict. Also, her two older boys took the stand and they told the jurors that they loved their father and their mother and that the mom didn’t do it she needed to be with the kids pretty much they beg to let her be with them because they needed her.
They already lost their dad to suicide and they need their mother and it was reported that it really tugged at the hearts of the jurors because these kids are so innocent so young and they just aw. just really got to them so that was kind of, I don’t want to say it was smart, but it kind of was. Then the jury went back to deliberate as far as the sentencing goes. So what is she going to get? Life? A couple of years? What. And then two days later, the jurors finally made their decision and girl was it a decision. I had to finish my lips completely before telling you the results, okay hmm I’m ready to tell you so Tracy got 10 years’ probation. Probation. Tracy got zero prison time. She did spend three days in jail, to give her some kind of credit and she was also fined $10,000.
So she was punished hard. Probation means that she cannot leave the county and she has an 8 p.m. curfew. Her nursing license was also revoked and she lost her job. She stands by the fact that she did not kill her husband and to this day she is just she’s out she’s free. Okay, look my final thoughts on this. To read the different interviews and stuff, the evidence. I think she did it. There was a good motive. I thought it was weird there was no blood on his hands or the gun. The whole thing just seemed kind of weird. I mean did she go on a run that morning? There was nobody that saw her run. I think there were a lot of people who were torn on if she did it or if she didn’t do it. When you read about the story, all signs are like yes she did it and then when you watch interviews with her, you almost are like, no no she didn’t do it.
And that’s the story of Traci Rhode and I believe she’s still currently in Texas, she still has her son’s and she got off pretty easy. And let’s be honest here if that was a man or pretty much anyone other than a pretty white woman, they probably would be in jail right now. Come on let’s all have a moment of honesty here. So I guess the moral of the story is if you’re going to kill somebody to do it in Texas because they have that law, a jury can decide your sentence. It’s just a little confusing to me how the jury found her guilty, but then they only gave her ten years’ probation. I don’t know the whole thing is freaking weird right? and that is the story. Ten years’ probation. Let me know what you think down below. Do you think she did it? I would love to hear what you think about this case and just your thoughts.