After the violent death of a successful snake breeder in 2017, there was a lot of discussion about why he was killed.
But it wasn’t until the authorities received a tip from someone behind bars that they were able to move further.
NBC News’ ‘Dateline: Venom‘ investigates Ben Renick’s murder and how a years-long inquiry led detectives to a bizarre conspiracy concocted by his wife, Lynlee Renick. So if you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got you covered.
Must See: Where is Lynlee Renick Today?
What Caused Ben Renick’s Death?
Benjamin Blue-Brich Renick was born in August 1987 in Missouri. In New Florence, Missouri, he grew up on a rural property with his family. Ben and his brother, Sam, had a close relationship.
The 29-year-old specialised in rare and exotic snakes as a snake breeder. In April 2014, he married Lynlee Jo Gallatin, with whom he has a daughter, Emilia. Lynlee had a son named Matthew from a prior relationship, and the pair reared him.
Emilia and Matthew had a loving father in Ben. Ben was in the midst of selling a portion of his breeding business at the time of the occurrence.
Lynlee contacted 911 franticly on the evening of June 8, 2017, to report her husband dead at his facility. Authorities first assumed Ben had been killed by one of his snakes and went on the hunt for the missing animal.
The recovery of shell casings, on the other hand, proved that Ben had been murdered. It was determined that Ben had been shot eight times, and it took officials nearly three years to find the perpetrator.
Who Killed Snake Breeder ‘Ben Renick’ And Why?
Apart from the shell casings, the authorities didn’t discover any evidence to follow up on at the crime site. The case became cold and remained that way for a few years until a local resident named Brandon Blackwell contacted the authorities.
He is Lynlee’s ex-boyfriend and served time in prison for stalking. Lynlee had confessed to killing Benjamin in June 2017, according to Brandon. As a result, the authorities now had a new suspect to look into.
Soon after, a sinister conspiracy to assassinate Ben surfaced, involving numerous people. Lynlee’s spa business was in financial trouble, and the motive was money, according to the authorities.
They suspected Lynlee of murdering Ben with the help of her employee, Ashley Shaw, and her ex-boyfriend, Michael Humphrey.
Ashley and Michael later collaborated with the authorities, giving officials a clearer picture of what had occurred.
Lynlee said Ben was sexually abusing her, according to Ashley and Michael. Ashley and Lynlee started thinking about ways to get rid of Ben and even tried to kill him by feeding him a poisoned protein drink in the beginning.
When that plan fell through, Lynlee enlisted the help of Michael, a former lover. On June 8, 2017, Michael and Lynlee drove to Ben’s breeding facility while Ashley stayed at the spa with Lynlee’s phone.
Michael and Lynlee gave opposing accounts of what transpired that day at the trial. While Michael claimed to have witnessed Lynlee pull the trigger and murder Ben, she claimed Michael was the one who did it.
According to Lynlee’s account, she was only at the facility to request a divorce when Michael shot Ben as she raced to her car.
Ashley and Michael eventually reached an agreement with the prosecution and decided to testify against Lynlee. Despite her assertions that she had nothing to do with Ben’s death, she was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to a hefty jail sentence in December 2021 for 16 years.
Lynlee was the sole beneficiary of a sizable life insurance policy in Ben’s name, according to the prosecution. They also assumed Lynlee was concerned that if the couple divorced, Ben would take the kids with him.