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Forensic pathologist says Julie Jensen could have died by suicide

An experienced forensic pathologist who testified about the poisoning death of Julie Jensen Friday during the jury retrial of Mark Jensen, the Pleasant Prairie man accused of killing his wife in 1998, said she may have died by suicide.

Dr. Lindsay Thomas, who examined the autopsy report done by a previous medical examiner and studied the case at length, said there are reasons to believe Julie Jensen died by suicide. The expert witness was called to the stand by Mark Jensen’s defense team during the end of the third week of trial.

“I couldn’t come up with an exact cause (of death) though I certainly think the ethylene glycol played a significant role,” Thomas testified Friday morning in Kenosha County Circuit Court. “I don’t believe there’s conclusive evidence that her death was a homicide.”

Thomas said “there’s a lot of evidence to support that her death could have been a suicide.” She said her opinions are based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

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Mark Jensen, now 63, was convicted in February 2008 for the murder of his wife inside their Carol Beach neighborhood home near the lakefront. He is standing trial again here after years of appeals and battles in state and federal courts.

Mark Jensen, according to prosecutors, killed the 40-year-old mother of two over three days in December 1998 by poisoning her with odorless ethylene glycol, more commonly known as antifreeze, and then suffocating her by sitting on her while she laid in bed dying and gasping for air in order to make it easier for him to be with a woman he was having an affair with.

They also allege he killed Julie Jensen out of deep anger and obsession over a previous sexual affair she had with a coworker years before, along with other marriage issues.

Mark Jensen, a former stock broker, searched the internet for ways to make Julie Jensen’s death look like a suicide and terrorized her for years with strategically placed pornography, emails and phone calls, according to prosecutors.

Mark Jensen, however, has maintained his innocence ever since his wife’s death. His attorneys have argued Julie Jensen was deeply depressed and died by suicide after framing her husband for her death.

Expert witness

Defense attorney Jeremy Perri also questioned Thomas about asphyxia from strangulation or homicidal suffocation.



Jeremy Perri, one of Mark Jensen’s attorneys, questions Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist, during Jensen’s trial on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.



“It’s my opinion there’s no evidence of either of those, either homicidal suffocation or strangulation,” Thomas said. “It is my opinion that positional asphyxia could have occurred if her face was in a pillow.” Positional asphyxia occurs when someone’s position prevents them from being able to breathe properly.

Thomas said the ethylene glycol was the “most significant” finding from the toxicology reports she examined.

“That is an unexpected finding and certainly likely to cause one’s death,” Thomas testified, adding she found the Ambien, Paxil and other drugs in Julie Jensen’s body significant.

“None of them were in high levels, some of them were in very low levels, but those are all potentially sedating drugs so I would think in combination with the toxic effects of the ethylene glycol (they) could certainly result, if she ended up face down in a pillow, it might have been hard for her to wake herself up enough to get into a safe breathing position.”



MARK JENSEN DAY 14

Special Prosecutor Robert Jambois, left, holds the late Julie Jensen’s resume after questioning Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist, center, about Julie Jensen’s knowledge of computers during Mark Jensen’s trial on Friday.



She said the drugs were likely in pill form and swallowed by Julie Jensen without Mark Jensen forcing her to take them.

“I don’t see that there’s any evidence of (force) in this case,” Thomas said.

Thomas said Julie Jensen had a “history of depression” and there are reasons to believe she died by suicide.

“Mrs. Jensen had a history of depression and other psychiatric issues that in her case dated back at least until 1990, and then she also has a very significant family history of mental health issues with her mother and brother. She had been in counseling before and she’d been on an anti-depressant, so in terms of when we look at what are the risk factors for someone dying by suicide, one of the major ones is, ‘Well, do they have psychiatric history, a history of depression?’ Things like that,” Thomas said.

“Secondly, she had been diagnosed in September by Dr. Borman with depression of 1998. So not only historically, but more recently. And then, two days before her death she saw Dr. Borman and to me this is the most significant because Dr. Borman is a trained physician, he’s known Mrs. Jensen for many, many years, he’s seen her through all kinds of life experiences, and he was very concerned about her that day. He described her a ‘frantic’ and ‘distraught’ and just more upset than he had ever seen her.”

Dr. Richard Borman, the Jensen family physician, testified earlier this week. He diagnosed Julie Jensen with depression and anxiety.

However, lead prosecutor Robert Jambois took issue with Thomas’ opinions. He brought up Mark Jensen’s affair with a woman in the months before Julie Jensen’s death and his alleged conversations with a former coworker during a business trip out of state where he spoke about researching poisons on the internet to kill his wife.

He asked if Mark Jensen was working to “drive her crazy” with years of harassment.

Jambois said Mark Jensen had a strong motive to kills his wife.

Sister testifies



MARK JENSEN DAY 14

Laura Koster, Mark Jensen’s sister, testifies in her brother’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.



Mark Jensen’s younger sister Laura Koster testified Friday afternoon. Koster said Julie Jensen was her sister-in-law and best friend.

Koster said she cared for the Jensens’ two boys the day Julie Jensen died. When she finally saw Mark Jensen in person she said he was “overwhelmed” and “upset.”

“I don’t think he ever realized how much Julie did, or how to do it,” Koster said. “I helped him get his bearings.”

Koster said her brother was “lost in general” about how to move forward.

“He didn’t like break down and cry in front of me on a regular basis or anything like that. I was there helping him and we were working on getting things done,” Koster said.

She also said Mark Jensen grieved at the wake and funeral for his wife.

“He was crying, for sure,” she said. “It’s a sad situation.”

Reason for new trial

The original prosecutor, Jambois, a former Kenosha County District attorney, is serving as special prosecutor before Judge Anthony Milisauskas, now the third Kenosha County Circuit Court judge to preside over the matter.



MARK JENSEN DAY 14

Mark Jensen, center, listens as Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist, testifies during his trial on Friday.



Mark Jensen is represented by a team of defense attorneys led by Bridget Krause.

Prosecutors on Tuesday, Jan. 24 rested their case against a man being retried for allegedly poisoning and killing his wife more than two decades ago.

A Kenosha County judge vacated Mark Jensen’s conviction in April 2021 after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Jensen deserved a new trial.

The court found that a letter his wife wrote incriminating him in the event something should happen to her could not be used by the prosecution as it was in the first trial. In early 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court helped pave the way for this new trial when it declined to hear an appeal of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling.

The so-called “letter from the grave” in which Julie Jensen wrote that “if anything happens to me” that her husband “would be my first suspect” will not be allowed into evidence during this lengthy trial. The high-profile case has sparked headlines across the nation.

Attorneys with the defense said they could rest their case next week. They also intend to call the Jensens’ oldest son David Jensen, who was just eight years old at the time of his mother’s death, early next week.

Mark Jensen is not expected to testify.

The prosecution rested earlier this week after calling 38 witnesses to the stand and playing lengthy videos of some of the men and women who testified during the first trial but were unable to testify again or had died.

Among those who testified during the first two weeks of trial for the prosecution included local law enforcement officials, former coworkers of Mark Jensen, former neighbors of the Jensens, a brother of Julie Jensen, medical examiners and inmates who Mark Jensen reportedly told of his alleged actions.

Mark Jensen, who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in his wife’s death, remains in custody on a $1.2 million cash bond in Kenosha County. He faces life in prison.

Week 3 of Mark Jensen retrial: Noted medical toxicologist testifies about poison in Julie Jensen’s body

Week 3 of Mark Jensen retrial: Julie Jensen’s psychotherapist testifies about her mental state

Week 3 of Mark Jensen retrial: Former local medical examiner testifies about antifreeze evidence found in Julie Jensen’s body

Week 3 of Kenosha County homicide retrial: Inmate Mark Jensen allegedly told of crimes against wife testifies

Week 2 of Mark Jensen Trial: Man who had brief affair with Julie Jensen testifies

Report from the day of the 2008 guilty verdict of Mark Jensen from the Kenosha News archives

Week 2 Mark Jensen Trial: Digital analyst recovers search terms, data on home computer

Jury video of Jensen home on day of Julie Jensen’s death

Forensic pathologist testifies in Mark Jensen’s homicide re-trial on Day 2

Mark Jensen retrial begins with opening statements after jury sworn in

DA’s office expects to spend $70,000 next year to re-try Jensen case

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner, testifies in Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. …

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner, testifies in Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. …

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner, right, goes over her notes with Special Prosecutor Robert Jambois, center, and Jere…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Special Prosecutor Robert Jambois, left, and Jeremy Perri, one of Mark Jensen’s attorneys, argue about how the previous trial should be referr…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Mark Jensen, center, listens as Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner, testifies during the trial at the Kenosha County Co…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner makes her way to the witness stand during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County …

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Dr. Mary Mainland, former Kenosha County Medical Examiner, points to a line on a medicine cup with her index finger as she talks about ethylen…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Lori Ranker testifies how she knew Aaron Dillard during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Dillar…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Mark Jensen, right, smiles at Jolynn Blei as she passes after testifying in his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 20…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Jolynn Blei, who worked at the law office of Mark Jensen’s attorney in the 2008 trial, testifies in Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Court…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Special Prosecutor Robert Jamobis indicates that the state rests during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. …

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Mark Jensen, center, stands with his attorney, Mackenzie Renner, left, as the jury returns to the room during his trial at the Kenosha County …

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Mark Jensen, left, waits with one of his attorneys, Mackenzie Renner, center, for the jury to return during his trial at the Kenosha County Co…

MARK JENSEN TRIAL DAY 11

Mark Jensen listens as his defense team motions to dismiss the trial based on lack of evidence at the end of the day’s proceedings at the Keno…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Judge Anthony Milisauskas make a ruling on what components of witness David Thompson’s’ background can be given to the jury during Mark Jensen…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Jeremy Perri, center, argues about witness David Thompson’s criminal background during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Judge Anthony Milisauskas, right, makes ruling on witness David Thompson’s background and how attorneys can question him during Mark Jensen’s …

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

David Thompson, who as an inmate with Mark Jensen in the Kenosha County Jail in 2007, walks away from the witness stand after testifying durin…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Paul Griffin, Julie Jensen’s brother, talks about Julie as he testifies during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday,…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Paul Griffin, Julie Jensen’s brother, talks about Julie as he testifies during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday,…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Paul Griffin, Julie Jensen’s brother, talks about Julie as he testifies during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday.

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

David Thompson, who as an inmate with Mark Jensen in the Kenosha County Jail in 2007, testifies during Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Co…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Jeremy Perri, center right, and Bridget Krause, center left, both attorneys of Mark Jensen, speak during his trial at the Kenosha County Court…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Lynley Kapellusch, a former co-worker of Mark Jensen, testifies during Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 23, .

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Mark Jensen, left, speaks with Mackenzie Renner, one of his attorneys, during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Mark Jensen, left, talks with his former attorney Craig Albee, center, during a break in his trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday,…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Mark Jensen, left, talks with his former attorney Craig Albee, center, during a break in his trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday,…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Aaron Dillard, left, is sworn in by Judge Anthony Milisauskas before being cross-examined during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Cou…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Mark Jensen, center, stands as the jury enters the room during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday.

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Criag Albee, Mark Jensen’s attorney in his 2008 trial, sits in the gallery to listen to Aaron Dillard’s testimony during Jensen’s trial at the…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Jeremy Perri, center, questions Aaron Dillard during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday.

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Criag Albee, Mark Jensen’s attorney in his 2008 trial, right, sits in the gallery to listen to Aaron Dillard’s testimony during Jensen’s trial…

MARK JENSEN TRAIL DAY 10

Aaron Dillard answers questions during cross-examination during Mark Jensen’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Prosecutors on Tuesday, Jan. 24 rested their case against a man being retried for allegedly poisoning and killing his wife more than two decades ago.

Mark Jensen maintains he’s innocent and that his wife killed herself. Prosecutors say Jensen poisoned his wife with antifreeze, drugged her an…

The new homicide trial for Mark Jensen, accused of killing his wife more than two decades ago, reached its ninth day of testimony Friday, Jan. 20.

Prosecutors in the Mark Jensen murder trial in Kenosha say it is a jailhouse confession. The defense said do not trust everything you’re about…

Mark Jensen says he is innocent and that his wife killed herself more than 20 years ago. Prosecutors say Jensen killed her – poisoning her wit…

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