Cal Harris acquitted in wife’s 2001 murder

Photo of Cal HarrisIt has been 15 years and a total of four murder trials for New York millionaire and businessman Calvin Harris. This week, the wild ride finally came to an end as a judge acquitted him of killing his wife, Michele. I’ve been mulling that verdict over the last few days, dancing around writing a blog post about it but not knowing where to start. You see, if you have read my book Missing Wives, Missing Lives, you’ll know that I don’t believe Cal is innocent. His actions on the morning of September 12, 2001, when he claimed to discover his wife did not come home the night before just don’t sit well with me. He’d threatened to kill her in the past. The couple was in the middle of a bitter divorce. And yet Cal didn’t seem to even bat an eye when Michele’s abandoned minivan was discovered near the end of the long, winding Harris driveway with the keys still in the ignition. Instead of reporting his wife missing, he took her car to work with him that same morning and cleaned it out.

If you recall, Cal was actually convicted of second-degree murder in his first trial in 2007. When a new witness came forward five months later, he was granted a new trial. That jury also found him guilty in 2009, but his conviction was overturned just three years later on an appeal. A third trial in 2015 resulted in a hung jury. The case finally came to an end this month when a judge acquitted him of all charges (Cal Harris had waived his right to a jury trial this time).

Despite my beliefs, in the eyes of the law, Cal Harris is innocent and can never be tried for Michele’s murder again. Even if they find her body. This was a tough case. Most of the evidence was circumstantial, a body or murder weapon was never found, and the defense produced a series of witnesses and viable theories that definitely introduced reasonable doubt into the case. Ultimately, I believe the judge got it right–there just wasn’t enough evidence to convict.

Photo of Michele Harris

It makes me so sad to think that Michele’s body might never be found and her killer might never be punished for his actions. For the sake of his children, who have stood by him since the beginning, speaking publicly about his innocence, I sincerely hope I have it all wrong. This chapter is closed, but for many, including Michele’s friends and family, it’s definitely not over.

8 thoughts on “Cal Harris acquitted in wife’s 2001 murder

  1. You are mistaken in your comment “in the eyes of the law, Cal Harris is innocent.” That is utterly false. In the eyes of the law, the judge found him “not guilty.” Not guilty does not equal innocent.

    Secondly, circumstantial evidence is completely valid. I’m always surprised when people feel that circumstantial evidence is invalid or somehow not “real” evidence.

    What’s done is done. He’ll be known as a killer for the rest of his life. Most people in the area “know” he did it and speculate how he disposed of Michele’s body. Her remains won’t be found. He’s a repulsive excuse of a human being: killing Michele, depriving his children of their mother, lying to them about it, and rallying them to demonstrate support for him. I can think of nothing more deplorable. I guess he thinks buying them cars, jet skis, etc. can keep them believing him forever. I hope they figure it out one day and banish him from their lives.


  2. Cal Harris was found not guilty. The judge reviewed all of the evidence and determined he is not guilty. It amazes me that people are still trying to convict him. He and his children have been put through hell because his wife chose to live a very high risk lifestyle. how much money did she take from her twenty-something year old boyfriend? how many boyfriends did she have? who were the guys she was drinking with after she got out of “work” at the bar? she had four babies waiting for her at home and she takes a job in a bar? she had four babies waiting for her at home and she went to her boyfriend’s house after work? she drank with her buddies? In my opinion people are wanting to believe her husband did it so they can think of her as a poor helpless controlled wife. but she wasn’t. she had free housing, free cars, free food, etc. plus a check each month too from the husband she was bashing. Sorry, but there are actually abused women in the world who deserve help and protection. Abused women/women who honestly fear their husbands don’t go get a job in a bar and then hang out at her boyfriend’s house. But I imagine it’s easier to to try to believe she was a victim of her husband instead of looking at the facts of how she spent her time and who she was spending her time with while she left her kids at home. Whenever I read that her family and friends say she was such a great mom I think whoa, great moms don’t choose jobs that mean they’re not home to tuck their kids in at night unless they are the sole financial support for their families and don’t have a choice. Good moms go home after work. Good moms don’t hang out at their boyfriend’s house instead of going home to their kids. Cal Harris was found not guilty. By the judge who heard all of the evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And before that TWO trials found him guilty!

      If you want to attack Michele’s character, you better be prepared to explain what Cal did to her before she filed for divorce.
      Including threatening her body would never be found.

      And to question of she was a “good mom”!?

      Do good Dad’s threaten their wives with guns and get protection orders taken out against them!?

      I have never seen such disgusting and misogynistic victim blaming than I have with this case. Especially from fellow women.


      • Everything you bring up is on HER word…there’s eye witnesses to HER loose behavior…Good moms do NOT go out drinking with a man who spent ten years in PRISON for RAPE


  3. Brenda said that a “good mom” wouldn’t have gotten a job in a bar…she was a WAITRESS-it isn’t a shameful position, especially for someone who’s been out of the work force for many years. And there aren’t many awesome places to work up in Tioga county, for people without recent and up-to-date skills. As for hanging out with a boyfriend…didn’t Michele say that Cal was cheating on her before they even started talking about divorce? Is that what a good dad does? Then let’s measure these two with the same yardstick


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