Professor Marianne Shockley: 5 key details about her mysterious hot tub death

A promotional for CBS 48 hours (Image via CBS)
A promotional for CBS 48 hours (Image via CBS)

CBS' 48 Hours is all set to delve into the strange case of Professor Marianne Shockley's death in its upcoming episode on October 15, 2022. The 2019 case is one of the strangest in the history of Baldwin County. Too much seemed to have happened on the night of her death, leaving even authorities confused about the occurrences.

Professor Marianne Shockley, a respected UGA professor, and her boyfriend Marcus Allen Lillard, 44, went for a swim party at another Baldwin County resident's house. Another person at the party was Dr. Clark Heindel, a former clinical psychologist.

After the death of Shockley, Dr. Heindel went to his residence on Watson Reynolds Road and shot himself, making the case more complicated than ever.

The synopsis for the upcoming episode of CBS' 48 hours, titled, The Strange Death of Professor Shockley, reads:

"A respected professor dies in a hot tub. Two friends are at the scene. Only one survives to tell the tale. "48 Hours" contributor Jonathan Vigliotti reports."

The entire case is filled with shocking details all around. We have compiled five such important details from the case ahead of CBS' 48 Hours.

1) Shockley died of strangulation

After Professor Marianne Shockley's death, a lot of mysteries shrouded the case. Upon doing an autopsy, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Shockley died from manual strangulation.

The prosecutors tried to pin this on Marcus Lillard, claiming that he could have strangled her to death unintentionally while making love in the bathtub.

2) The three people involved that night allegedly did drugs

According to sources, Marianne Shockley, Marcus Lillard, and Clark Heindel had all been drinking and doing drugs that night. Sources claim that they were on ecstasy. If the death was indeed accidental, this could be one of the reasons.

3) The only other witness, Clark Heindel, committed suicide that night

In a bizarre turn of events, when the police separated Heindel and Lillard for questioning, Heindel allegedly went to his house and shot himself fatally. He left a note saying he did not know what happened to Shockley.

Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee said:

"It's one of the strangest cases that we've ever worked ... it was just sort of a bizarre type of case."

4) Lillard was charged with felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and reckless conduct

Lillard was the obvious suspect in the death of Professor Marianne Shockley, also known to her students as Doc. Schock. Though the prosecutors tried to build a compelling case against the man, he was ultimately found not guilty by a jury. The jury allegedly decided on Lillard's fate quite quickly as well.

There were four days worth of testimonies before the jury started deliberating.

5) Lillard was still charged with violation of his probation

At the end of the hearing, the judge revoked Lillard's previous sentence for violation of his probation. His sentence runs through October 15, 2030. He was taken into custody immediately. The judge left it to the parole board to decide how much time Lillard should serve for this.

The upcoming episode of CBS' 48 Hours will deal with the case in detail. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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