real life

After her husband died, Kouri wrote a kids' book on grief. Then she was charged with his murder.

When Kouri Richins’ husband Eric died suddenly in March 2022, she struggled to explain the loss to their three little boys. 

Channelling her own grief into writing a children’s book called ‘Are You With Me?’ the 33-year-old said she hoped to bring peace and comfort to any children who’d lost a loved one.

“It completely took us all by shock,” Richins said of her husband’s death as she gained widespread support and sympathy. 

Watch: 5 Things About Grief No One Really Tells You. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

“[I’ve been] explaining to my kids just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us.”

She even dedicated the book to Eric calling him an “amazing husband and a wonderful father”.

But on Monday - just a few months after releasing her book - Richins’ story took a sinister twist when she was arrested and charged with her husband’s murder. 

The Utah mum-of-three is accused of lacing her husband’s drink with fentanyl after an autopsy indicated he had approximately five times the lethal amount in his system when he died on March 4, according to prosecutors.


Court documents allege Richins was in communication with an “acquaintance” who’d previously been arrested on alleged drug charges between December 2021 and February 2022 to request pain medication for a client with a back injury. 

She then got in touch again requesting something stronger, allegedly asking for fentanyl and referring to it as “some of the Michael Jackson stuff”. 

Just three days later, after enjoying a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at their home, it's alleged Eric fell ill and broke out in hives. 

"Eric believed that he had been poisoned," court documents read. "Eric told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him."

Concerned, Eric then secretly replaced his wife as the beneficiary of his will and as Power of Attorney. 

One of Eric’s sisters later told authorities he was concerned his wife might “kill him for the money”. 

Then two weeks later - after records showed Richins bought an alleged $900 worth of Fentanyl again - she rang emergency services at 3am saying she had found her husband “cold to the touch”. 

She initially told police she’d made her husband a Moscow Mule vodka cocktail before heading to one of their son’s bedrooms to sleep because he suffered from night terrors. 

When she returned to their bedroom in the early hours, she found her husband unresponsive. Richins then allegedly stole $25,000 USD cash from his pyjamas. 

Shortly after Eric’s death, one of his sisters went to the police station, alleging Eric told her Richins had previously tried to poison him while on holiday in Greece years ago.


Eric had “warned them that if anything happened to him she was to blame.”

According to prosecutors, at the time of Eric’s death, Kouri owed creditors more than $2 million and planned to make up the difference from five life insurance policies in Eric’s name, worth about the same amount. 

“She has committed the ultimate act of betrayal,” his sister, Amy, said during the June hearing.

But the published author - who had a sequel in the works titled ‘Mom, How Far Away Is Heaven?’ - now faces life in prison if she’s found guilty of her husband’s murder. 

Richins is also charged with three counts of second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute.

She has not yet pleaded to the four charges. A trial date has not yet been set. The next hearing will be on September 1.

Image: Supplied.


Margaret Olson, one of the prosecutors in the case for the Summit County Attorney’s Office, stressed to The Washington Post that Richins is “presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

“Please keep in mind there are three young children belonging to the decedent and the accused, making this matter very sensitive and difficult,” she added. 

Before her arrest, Richins still appeared to be the loving, grieving wife as she posted to Facebook about her loss. 

“Life is just so…hard without you here,” she wrote in a tribute to Eric, according to The Washington Post

“The cards I have been dealt seem like a game that just can’t be played.”

Feature Image: Supplied.

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