Obituary praising life of Enoch father who killed his family pulled from newspaper website
The obituary of Michael Haight, who shot to death his kids, wife and mother-in-law before killing himself, was removed from the Cedar City Spectrum website amid online backlash
The obituary for Michael Haight, an Enoch man who police said killed seven family members — including his five children — was removed from the Cedar City Spectrum website after it was assailed on social media.
Some posters called it “grotesque,” “vile” and “gaslight nation.”
Yet another took a compassionate tone: “His survivors must feel a complicated grief; I’m sure that’s hard. But their celebration of him erases his family and crime and adds to the victims’ family’s grief.”
The obituary, published Jan. 11 online but also in a printed version, according to photos circulating on social media, painted a favorable picture of Haight as a father, a community member and businessman.
It noted that he coached his children’s sports teams, attended their concerts and accompanied them sledding.
It also described Haight’s commitment to service to his church and community.
Enoch officials said Haight killed his estranged wife, Tausha Haight, their five children Macie, 17; Briley, 12; 7-year-old twins Ammon and Sienna; and Gavin, 4 — and Gail Earl, Tausha’s mother and then shot himself in the family home on Jan. 4.
Backlash to the funeral notice intensified after Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a self-described “grassroots movement of Americans demanding reasonable solutions to address our nation’s culture of gun violence” tweeted the obituary, pointing out that it stated that “Michael made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children. Michael enjoyed making memories with the family.”
Watts captured the obituary in a screenshot on her twitter feed before it was removed.
The obituary also sparked national media attention, with some outlets expressing outrage at its tone.
The New York Post’s headline stated: Bizarre obituary praises Utah dad Michael Haight, who killed wife, five kids.
Funeral services for the children, their mother and grandmother were held Friday in La Verkin, Washington County. Michael Haight’s funeral services were private and only open to family and friends, according to his obituary.
When asked for comment, the Gannett-owned news outlet issued this statement, attributing it to a Spectrum spokesperson:
“Obituaries may be written and submitted by funeral homes, as was the case here. The Spectrum removed the obituary due to the circumstances and sincerely regrets any distress this may have caused.”