Former Mayo Clinic doctor fatally poisoned pharmacist wife: Charges

A former Mayo Clinic doctor is facing a murder charge for allegedly poisoning his wife.  

Connor Bowman, 30, was charged on Monday with second-degree murder in connection to his wife Betty’s death by allegedly poisoning her with liquid colchicine in August. 

According to court records, Betty was hospitalized on Aug. 16 with symptoms consistent with food poisoning and began deteriorating rapidly. While in the hospital, she experienced cardiac issues, fluid in her lung and her organs began to fail. She died just days later on Aug. 20. 

Bowman suggested his wife was suffering from a rare illness Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis "HLH", and listed the cause of death as a "sudden onset autoimmune and infectious illness" in the obituary, but the tests came back inconclusive. 

Bowman requested Betty to be cremated "immediately" and insisted her death was natural. He attempted to have the autopsy canceled and was questioning if the toxicology analysis would be "more thorough" than standard and wanted a list of the tests, charges allege. 

The Southeast Medical Examiner’s Office contacted police about the suspicious death after their conversation with Bowman and was notified that he and his wife were having marital issues. 

The obituary stated Betty was a pharmacist and investigators learned Bowman went to pharmacy school in Kansas and worked in poison control, but was now attending medical school. The couple had separate bank accounts as Bowman had debt, but he indicated he would receive a $500,000 life insurance payout from Betty’s death allegedly related to HLH. 

But, others described Betty as a "healthy person." Court records indicate Betty started feeling sick on Aug. 16, thinking it was due to a night of drinking at home with Bowman and consuming a large mixed smoothie drink. While at the hospital, Betty granted Bowman access to her health records, which expired when she died. But with his credentials from medical school, he continued to look at her records days after her death and even made modifications, according to court records. 

During the investigation, the University of Kansas contacted police after Bowman stated he was a suspect in his wife’s death. During his time in Kansas, he worked as a poison specialist and a search warrant revealed he was looking up colchicine, a drug used to treat gout. But, officials said he had not received any calls about that specific drug, charges said. 

He also searched "Internet browsing history: can it be used in court?", how to delete Amazon data, and "police track package delivery," court records read. 

His computer history indicates on Aug. 10 Bowman was looking up medical journals for information on lethal dosages of substances and converting Betty’s weight to kilograms. He also searched for "liquid colchicine" while visiting online shopping websites at the same time. 

Medical officials ran tests on Betty's blood and urine and located the drug in her system. The medical examiner determined her cause of death was toxic effects of colchicine and the manner of death was homicide. 

Authorities arrested Bowman on Oct. 20, executed another search warrant at his residence, and found a receipt for a $450,000 bank deposit. Authorities did not indicate where the money came from. 

Bowman made his first court appearance Monday afternoon and the judge set his bail at $5 million without conditions or $2 million with conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 1. 

Bowman was a pharmacist who was doing his residency at the Mayo Clinic.