The Justice Files: The murders on Marilyn Drive

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It was a murder that shocked the community of Layton.

In April of 1970, Dale Jean Langston and her two children were found in a pool of blood. They had been stabbed to death.

“I received a phone call from my aunt that there had been an accident,” was how Shirlene Renshaw recalled that day.

She asked her aunt several times what had happened. At first, Renshaw thought they might have been involved in a car accident. Eventually, her aunt told the younger sister of Langston what happened.

“She said Dale and her children were killed,” Renshaw said. “I asked her what happened to Don? And she said Don wasn’t there. Don was her husband.”

In 1970, Langston was at home with her two young children, Troy, and Christine.

Inside the home on Marilyn Drive, Layton police found the 24-year old mother lying in a pool of blood. She had been stabbed around 33 times. Her throat was slashed; her two children were also stabbed multiple times.

Renshaw’s aunt told her not to watch the news that day but she did.

“(The news) spoke about Dale Jean and her children being horrifically murdered, that it was a horrendous murder,” said Renshaw. “And I just waited until it was over to get it in my mind what had happened and I still didn’t know.”

As police investigated, Langston was buried next to her son in Bountiful. Christine, the older daughter, was buried in Kaysville.

At the time, the Layton police chief told reporters that the murders were possibly an “act of revenge,” but he didn’t elaborate.

“We tend to believe that it was someone who was extremely angry, potentially with her husband or possibly Dale Jean herself,” said Karra Porter, co-founder of the Utah Cold Case Coalition.

The coalition is re-investigating the case. Porter said the children were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They are not supposed to be there that night.

In late April of 1970, police arrested a local man. The Weber County attorney charged Dennis Baker with the murders.

Baker was a parolee and a friend of the family, according to Porter. He faced a judge that same week and was returned to prison for violating his parole.

“There wasn’t any reason that someone should mutilate her or her two children,” said Renshaw. “She just didn’t deserve this. There just wasn’t any reason for her to be murdered.”

Wednesday, as the Justice Files continues the murders on Marilyn Drive, something happened to Baker which turned it into a cold case for more than 50-years.

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