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In the third episode of Dateline: Secrets Uncovered season 8, the shocking story of Kevin Mengel’s murder is revealed. Kevin, a loving father and successful businessman, was brutally beaten to death with a shovel by his wife’s lover and employee. The episode titled “Toxic” takes us through the investigation that uncovered the truth behind Kevin’s disappearance and the shocking plan to poison him. Tune in on November 14, 2023, at 9 pm ET on Oxygen to discover the full story of what happened to Kevin Mengel.
The Murder of Kevin Mengel
The tragic murder of Kevin Mengel shocked the Philadelphia community on June 17, 2010. The 34-year-old resident and father of three was brutally beaten to death with a shovel at his family’s MKB Landscaping Co. shop. This heinous act was orchestrated by his wife’s lover, Stephen Shappell, and carried out with the help of an employee. The details of this crime are both disturbing and heartbreaking.
Background and Family Life
Kevin Mengel was known as an ambitious, loving, and caring father who dedicated himself to raising his three children alongside his wife, Morgan Mengel. Born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, Kevin grew up in a challenging environment following his parents’ divorce. However, he managed to find happiness when he met Morgan, the love of his life. Together, they built a family and established MKB Landscaping, a successful urban landscaping business named after their children.
The Mengels lived a peaceful life in West Goshen, Chester County, residing in the Golf Club Apartments. However, their relationship faced strain due to Morgan’s alleged infidelity, causing occasional breaks between them.
Disappearance and Suspicion
In June 2010, Kevin disappeared under mysterious circumstances. He missed a Father’s Day outing with his family, raising concerns among those close to them. Kevin sent text messages to his family and friends, assuring them that he was fine but needed some time away. However, the nature of these messages raised suspicion.
Adding to the uncertainty, a Facebook post was made from Kevin’s account, but it was uploaded from a computer instead of his phone. Morgan attempted to reassure everyone that she was in contact with her husband and that he simply needed space. However, Kevin’s mother, Kathleen Barton, grew increasingly worried and reported him missing to the West Goshen police.
The Master Plan and Murder
As the investigation unfolded, shocking details emerged about the master plan behind Kevin’s murder. It was revealed that Stephen Shappell, the 21-year-old employee at MKB Landscaping, had spent a significant amount of time with Morgan at the family home. On the morning of June 25, 2010, a pivotal moment occurred when Stephen and Morgan were seen hastily leaving the house with a pile of clothes in Morgan’s pickup truck.
Coincidentally, Detective David Maurer was present at the MKB Landscaping shop, hoping to find any trace of Kevin. As Morgan rushed into the office, Stephen quickly drove away in the truck, prompting Morgan to confess to the crime but shift the blame onto Stephen.
Further evidence from text messages retrieved from their phones revealed the shocking truth. The duo had poisoned Kevin’s iced tea with concentrated nicotine, intending to cause his demise. However, as the poison took time to take effect, Stephen resorted to using a shovel to strike Kevin in the back of his head at the workshop. Once they confirmed his death, they callously buried his body in a shallow grave behind a local high school.
As a result of their heinous actions, Morgan Mengel was sentenced to life in state prison without parole, while Stephen Shappell received a prison sentence of 40-80 years as part of his plea.
In conclusion, Kevin Mengel was a loving father and successful businessman who met a tragic end at the hands of his wife’s lover and employee. The investigation revealed that Kevin’s wife, Morgan Mengel, orchestrated the plan to poison him with concentrated nicotine, while Stephen Shappell delivered the fatal blows to his head with a shovel. Despite Morgan’s attempt to shift the blame onto Stephen, evidence from their text messages exposed their master plan. The duo buried Kevin’s body in a shallow grave, but their actions were eventually uncovered. Morgan Mengel has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Stephen Shappell received a prison sentence of 40-80 years. This shocking case serves as a reminder of the lengths some individuals will go to in order to carry out their sinister intentions.