American Monster is featuring the murder of Ben Renick by his wife, Lynlee Renick, and her former boyfriend, Michael Humphrey.
Ben was famed for having a successful reptile breeding business called Renick’s Reptile in New Florence, Missouri, and he was in the midst of a $1.2 million deal when tragedy struck.
On June 8, 2017, Lynlee called her brother-in-law, Sam Renick, and told him she had found her husband in the snake barn, lying face down in a pool of his own blood.
Sam rushed to the facility before he called 911.
He told the dispatcher that Ben was either bitten by a snake or crushed by one of them, as his skull was mashed.
Officers arrived on the scene with guns drawn, believing that a large snake was on the prowl.
When the coroner took a closer look, he realized that the marks on Ben’s arms weren’t snake bites—they were bullet holes.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
A shell casing was also found near Ben’s body.
A witness spoke out several years after being interviewed by police
An unnamed witness who police officials spoke to in 2017 said he didn’t know anything about Ben’s murder, but in January 2019, he contacted the police and said he had information.
The witness stated that he previously dated Lynlee, and it was several times that she talked to him about the murder.
Lynlee allegedly told him she was having financial issues at her Columbia-based spa and had to retrieve money from Ben’s business.
She feared Ben would end their troubled marriage and take their children away from her.
She then conspired with an employee at her spa to kill Ben.
When the Percocet-laced smoothie didn’t kill him, she conspired with Humphrey to fatally shoot Ben.
An autopsy revealed that Ben was shot eight times, and one of those shots was at close range.
Lynlee Renick and Michael Humphrey were charged with murder
On Jan. 16, 2020, the Missouri Highway Patrol arrested Lynlee and Humphrey and booked them into the Montgomery County Jail, where they were held without bond.
They were both charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Humphrey’s charge was reduced to second-degree murder when he agreed to testify against Lynlee.
In October 2022, a jury found Humphrey guilty, and several months later, a judge sentenced him to life in prison.
The jury deliberated for nearly 12 hours before they found Lynlee guilty.
A Boone County judge sentenced her to 16 years in prison.
American Monster airs Sundays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.