Donald Spice brutally battered his girlfriend Lori Vargis with a hammer: Diabolical investigates

Mugshot of Donald Spice
Donald Spice savagely murdered his girlfriend Lori Vargis with a hammer before trying to cover his tracks by staging a car accident. Pic credit: Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

This week on Diabolical, they profile the savage murder of Lori Marie Vargis, a mother of two children from Michigan, who was beaten to death with a hammer in November 2015.

Her murderer was her boyfriend, Donald Spice. After killing Lori, he mutilated her body and crushed her skull before transporting the remains to the Interstate, where he set fire to the car with her body inside. He intended to cover up the slaying by staging a car accident.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department found Lori’s body at 2:30 am on November 15, and a short time later, officers found Spice walking nearby and arrested him.

Donald Spice claimed self-defense in Lori Vargis murder

Spice confessed to killing his girlfriend and admitted to trying to cover it up, but he claimed that he had initially acted in self-defense when she came at him with a knife.  He stated that the pair had gotten into an argument over a $1700 phone bill when Lori allegedly swung at him with the weapon.

The prosecution disagreed, arguing that Spice had attacked Lori with the hammer while she was sleeping.

Seven weeks before the murder, Spice had taken out a life insurance policy on his girlfriend to the tune of $200,000, and he had named himself as the sole beneficiary.

Spice was convicted of first-degree murder and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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He was no stranger to serving time, having already spent 15 years in prison for breaking and entering. Nicknamed the Nighthawk by police, he is estimated to have committed more than 1,200 crimes in the 1990s.

More murders from Diabolical

Follow the links to read about more disturbing crimes profiled on Diabolical. Shaunna Dodd shot her husband, Brad Dodd, in their home in Nevada in December 2012 and blamed his death on a home invasion. However, Shaunna would later admit that she snapped and killed him.

In another case of extreme marital strife, Randolph “Randy” Roth rode out on a lake with his fourth wife, Cynthia Roth. With his two children playing nearby, Roth murdered Cynthia and tried to blame her death on a tragic accident. Roth later collected a $100,000 life insurance policy, followed by a 50-year prison sentence for first-degree murder.

This episode of Diabolical – Masking Evil airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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