Mom Who Wrote Book on Grief Accused of Murdering Her Husband

Glass of water and medication pills blister pack on bedside table

The death of Kouri Richins’ husband may not have come as a “shock” to her, after all.

A Utah mom who wrote a children’s book about coping with grief after her husband died has been accused of his murder.

After Eric Richins’ death in 2022, 33-year-old Kouri Richins published Are You With Me?, which she said aimed to help kids find happiness and comfort after the loss of a parent. Richins claimed that the writing process helped her and her three kids process their grief over losing Eric.

“It completely took us all by shock,” Richins said at the time. Speaking to KTVX, an ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, she added: “It’s — you know — explaining to my kid just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us.”

A suspected poisoning

Now, it seems that to Richins at least, Eric’s death may not have come as a shock at all. Prosecutors allege that she poisoned her him with a lethal dose of fentanyl after serving him a celebratory Moscow Mule in bed on March 3, 2022.

Richins told investigators that she’d made Eric a cocktail that evening to celebrate closing on a home for her real estate business. She said that shortly afterward, she’d gone to sleep in one of their kid’s bedrooms as they were having nightmares. When she returned to the couple’s bedroom at about 3 am, she said that she found 39-year-old Eric unresponsive, and called 911. Summit County sheriff’s deputies arrived to find him lying at the foot of the bed, and he was declared dead at the scene. Richins reportedly told police that her husband had been “cold to the touch” when she found him.

An autopsy report later revealed that Eric had five times the lethal dose of fentanyl in his system. Richins has been charged with one count of first-degree aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

A seriously dark texting trail

After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found suspicious texts on Richins’ devices. They followed up with an acquaintance she’d been messaging, and discovered that Richins had bought hydrocodone from them between December 2021 and February 2022.

Court records show that Richins later went back to a friend to ask for even more powerful drugs — “the Michael Jackson stuff.” She allegedly bought between 15 and 30 fentanyl pills for $900 on February 11, 2022, then purchased yet another $900 worth of the drug on the 26th.

According to People, court documents show that Eric broke out in hives after Kouri served him a sandwich on Valentine’s Day, 2022. He apparently confided to a friend afterward that he thought Kouri might have poisoned him. He died less than a week after Kouri’s second purchase of fentanyl pills.

Richins’ attorney is reportedly yet to respond to requests for comment. Margaret Olson, one of the prosecutors, has called for a measured public response — and offered a reminder that Richins is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“Please keep in mind there are three young children belonging to the decedent and the accused, making this matter very sensitive and difficult,” Olson told The Washington Post.

Bizarre flashbacks to another brazen case

This stranger-than-fiction tale comes just a year after a steamy romance author who authored a blog post titled How to Murder Your Husband was accused of that very crime. Nancy Crampton-Brophy was convicted of second-degree murder on May 25, 2022, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The now-72-year-old had appeared to be in a loving marriage with Daniel Brophy for nearly two decades, but prosecutors alleged that “as Nancy Brophy became more financially desperate and her writing career was floundering, she was left with few options.” We have more on that extraordinary story, here.