Michael Apelt and his brother, Rudi, came to Arizona from West Germany and began "courting" numerous women. Michael eventually met Cynthia Monkman and married her in October 1988. One month later, Michael applied for $400,000 in life insurance on Cynthia. The policies became effective on December 22, 1988. On the night of December 23, Michael and Rudi took Cynthia into the desert near Apache Junction and killed her by stabbing her numerous times in the chest and back and cutting her throat. Michael and Rudi returned to Mesa and, in the early morning hours of December 24, Michael called the police and reported that Cynthia had disappeared. A citizen found the body in the desert later that day. Rudi Apelt was tried separately and was convicted of first degree murder, and sentenced to death.
Presiding Judge: Robert R. Bean
Prosecutor: Catherine Hughes
Start of Trial: April 18, 1990
Verdict: May 11, 1990
Sentencing: August 10, 1990
Procured commission of the offense Pecuniary gain
None sufficient to call for leniency
State v. Apelt (Michael), 176 Ariz. 349, 861 P.2d 634 (1993).