Murder of Janie Ballard by Leslie and Mike MacKool investigated on Seduced to Slay

Mugshot of Leslie MacKool
Leslie MacKool will spend the rest of her life behind bars for killing her mom, Janie Ballard. Pic credit: AR Dept. of Corrections

Seduced to Slay is examining the murder of Janie Ballard, who was brutally stabbed to death and robbed at her home in Little Rock, Arkansas, by her daughter and son-in-law Leslie and Mike MacKool.

On the morning of September 13, 2003, Little Rock Police Officer Mickey Holloway was concerned for his friend, 58-year-old Janie, so he called to her home. He soon discovered she had been brutally murdered.

Janie had been stabbed 70 times, and her throat was slashed in an attempt to decapitate her.

Holloway immediately suspected Janie’s daughter, Leslie MacKool, and her husband, Mike MacKool, were the killers. Janie had previously expressed fear that the MacKools would kill her for her money.

Leslie’s father, Janie’s husband, Les Ballard, had passed away the previous month with an estate of over $2 million. Leslie MacKool was angered that she had only inherited $25,000, but she and her husband incorrectly assumed that if Janie died within 30 days of Les, then Leslie would inherit the whole estate.

Janie and Les Ballard disapproved of Leslie’s relationship with Mike MacKool. He was 23 years her senior and was reportedly manipulative and even abusive. The MacKool couple were unemployed at the time of the killing.

Leslie’s defense lawyers would later argue that Mike had forced Leslie into killing her mother by threatening to murder her if she didn’t do it. He reportedly supplied Leslie with clothing and the knife used in the killing.

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Leslie MacKool hid in the bushes to kill her mom, Janie Ballard

The cops concluded that on September 12, Leslie, dressed in dark clothing with face paint, had hidden in the bushes at her mother’s home, waiting for her to come home.

After Leslie stabbed her mother 70 times, she went upstairs and stole some jewelry and a coin collection. She then returned to her mom’s corpse and attempted to decapitate her. Leslie then fled the scene, stealing her mom’s car.

Mugshot of Mike MacKool
Mike MacKool is serving a lengthy sentence. Pic credit: AR Dept. of Corrections

Leslie confessed to the cops the following day. Her trial centered around her mental health and whether or not she’d been forced into the crime by Mike.

Leslie and Mike MacKool convicted of killing Janie Ballard

Ultimately, Leslie was convicted of capital murder and theft of property. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 60 months.

Mike MacKool was convicted of first-degree murder and theft of property. He was given 40 years for the murder and another 20 years for the theft to be served consecutively.

Seduced to Slay airs Mondays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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