Former Pennsylvania politician Evelyn Henderson, 66, has been charged with criminal homicide, aggravated arson, and arson resulting in death or bodily injury.
Earlier this week, on June 16, the 66-year-old Henderson was booked into Dauphin County Prison for allegedly killing her husband, 84-year-old Carmen Q. Henderson, a retired Dauphin County Chief Deputy Sheriff.
One of the reasons for her arrest was the inconsistencies investigators found in her story of how her husband died, stated an affidavit filed by Susquehanna Township Police.
An investigation conducted by department detectives with assistance from the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division, the Dauphin County District Attorneys' office, the Dauphin County Forensic Team, and the Dauphin County Arson Investigation Team also revealed that foul play was apparent.
Evelyn Henderson kept changing the narrative of how her husband died
Evelyn Henderson, known as the former political candidate Evey Zigerelli, called 911 on Thursday morning at 5:26 a.m., claiming her husband, Carmen Henderson, had died after setting himself on fire.
During her 911 call, Evelyn said she'd heard her husband "yell" around 1 a.m. but did not consider contacting authorities as "he was already burnt."
However, the dispatcher reported that "something was very off" with Henderson's story of how her husband had died and also said that Evelyn "was hesitant to answer questions."
When the cops arrived, they found Carmen's naked body severely burned and "fly larva in his mouth and nostrils," a police complaint stated. This suggested he had been dead for a while.
Officers grew suspicious of Evelyn Henderson after she repeatedly changed her narrative. Initially, Evelyn had alleged that she and her husband had argued the night before and that when she woke up later that night, Carmen had killed himself. Evelyn then called the death an accident caused by his smoking a cigar and consequently starting a fire. But the authorities found these different versions improbable.
The accused "eventually settled" on how she'd seen her husband die — sitting in a folding camp chair with a lower pant leg on fire while screaming her name for help, according to court documents. Evelyn then claimed that she'd picked up the phone to call 911 but a while later decided against it.
After the investigators grilled Evelyn, they discovered that a $10,000 life insurance payout could have been a potential motivation for the murder, police sources stated.
Henderson murder case: Couple was severely in debt, say police
According to the police, the couple was in debt. They hadn't paid taxes and were supposed to pay $40,000 as a mortgage on their home.
Further investigations revealed that the money they'd earned from Henderson Limousine Service was spent by Evelyn on vacation homes, day spas, and other activities.
The former politician also stated that her husband, Carmen, would have been able to live with his children from a previous marriage if they had lost their home. But this meant Evelyn would've been left homeless, according to the complaint.
Evelyn is being held in the Dauphin County Prison after she was denied bail. Her preliminary hearing will be held on June 23.