In this episode of Crime Watch Daily Updates: Renee Pagel was a selfless, doting mother of three who always put other people ahead of herself. She even donated a kidney to someone she barely knew.
Despite her acts of kindness, one person had it out for Renee enough to want her dead. Renee and her husband, Michael, split up and endured a bitter divorce and custody battle. She expressed concerns to her friends about Michael’s anger and emotions, too.
On August 5, 2006, Renee was supposed to meet up with some friends to attend an art market, but she never showed up. Her father went over to her home and found her brutally stabbed to death in her bed while recovering from her kidney donation surgery.
Renee’s family and friends immediately suspected the bitter ex-husband Michael, but he immediately requested an attorney and did not help police in their investigation at all.
The case remained unsolved for over a decade.
In February 2020, prosecutors charged Michael Pagel with first-degree premeditated murder. He reportedly admitted to his brother in 2011 that he “finalized his divorce” by stabbing Renee with a military-style knife because he was upset about the terms of their divorce. The brother said he didn’t want to come forward about the confession until after their mother died.
Detectives eventually found the knife Mike used to kill his wife by searching at the bottom of a creek with a large magnet.
Michael later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison in October 2020. He will be eligible for parole when he is 80.
Now, let’s look back at the case of a generous woman who gave to others, but had everything taken from her.