By Walton Golighlty
Michael Roseboro, 42, was a third-generation mortician and owner of the Roseboro Funeral Home in Denver, founded by his great-grandfather. He and his wife, Jan, 45, had been married for 19 years in July 2008. They owned their dream home and were constantly building additions to accommodate the family of six.
But Michael had a dark side, indulging in one extramarital affair after another. Which interested the police when Jan was found at the bottom of the home’s swimming pool on July 22, 2008. Roseboro was arrested 11 days later, after the autopsy showed Jan had been bludgeoned, punched, kicked and strangled before being tossed into the water.
Initially, Michael said he’d gone to bed at 22h00, leaving Jan by the pool – and had discovered her an hour later. Jewellery was missing, and he told police he believed an intruder had killed her. But detectives noted fresh scratches on his hands and face.
Moreover, neighbours said the house had been in darkness on the night Jan was murdered. Usually, they said, it was lit up like an airport runway. This cast further doubt on Michael’s version of events.
All the same, Roseboro had his supporters. He was a likable man who had comforted many bereaved families. He was also known to offer reasonable terms if a family couldn’t afford his services. But he lost many of those supporters when it was learnt that he’d been carrying on an affair with a married woman. The girlfriend, Angela Funk, 38, then made a public announcement: she was pregnant with Mike’s baby.
After his arrest, Mike was held without bail. In February 2009, a lab confirmed that his DNA had been found beneath Jan’s fingernails. She had fought her husband as he strangled and beat her.
“It was exactly what they needed to bring their case home,” says M. William Phelps in Love Her To Death.
At Roseboro’s trial, jurors heard the sombre, unemotional call he made to 911 and the giddy, upbeat new father talking with his mistress about their baby. Evidence of the affair also included e-mail exchanges wherein Michael and Angela discussed afternoon rendezvous, getting married and honeymoon plans. Divorcing their spouses was never mentioned.
Found guilty, Roseboro was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to Phelps, Mike later confessed to the murder to a fellow inmate, saying, “Yeah, I did it.”
By Walton Golighlty