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Pagel murder on Dateline Friday

Pagel murder on Dateline Friday

By Judy Reed

The Courtland Township murder that horrified residents in the Rockford/Cedar Springs area will be the focus on a newsmagazine show this week.

Sarah Pagel will give an exclusive interview on Dateline Friday. Courtesy photo.

This Friday’s all-new Dateline will focus on the Renee Pagel murder case and will include an exclusive interview with Renee’s now grown daughter, Sarah Pagel; Renee’s childhood friend Laura Beach; and more.

Dateline’s “Window of Opportunity” Airs Friday, May 7 at 9 p.m./8 p.m. CT on NBC.

Renee was brutally murdered in August 2006, in her Courtland Township home on 13 Mile Rd, while recovering from donating a kidney to the father of one of her students. She was estranged from her husband, Michael Pagel, and they were going through a divorce and bitter custody battle for their three children—twins Sarah and Joel, 7, and Hannah, 3. She reportedly had over 50 stab wounds to her head, face and torso, and her hands were mutilated defending herself from the attack.

Dateline reporter Andrea Canning with Kent County Sheriff Det. EJ Johnson. Courtesy photo.

The case went cold, and the children were raised by their father after the murder. But Michael Pagel was always the only suspect.

The case was turned over to a cold case review team in Lansing in the fall of 2018. The review team made up of Michigan prosecutors who looked at the case file for the purpose of providing feedback on possible investigative leads that might help the investigation. Recent interviews and investigations provided valuable evidence that resulted in the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charging Michael Pagel, 55, with the murder of his estranged wife. With the assistance of the Michigan State Police, Michael Pagel was taken into custody in the Bay City area in February 2020 and transported back to Kent County to face charges related to the murder of his wife.

Pagel pled guilty to second-degree murder last year, after years of claiming he had nothing to do with it.

Last fall, 14 years and two months to the day Michael James Pagel murdered his wife, Renee, he received what amounted to a life sentence: 25 years in prison, with a maximum of 50.

If you don’t have regular television, you can watch the episode on NBC.com or Peacock for free a week after it airs.

Related stories:

Arrest made in Pagel murder

Husband sentenced in wife’s murder

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One Response to “Pagel murder on Dateline Friday”

  1. Betty Gene Andrews says:

    living in right now.

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