Son Poisoned

In Centennial, Denver, in October 2012, Ari Liggett poisoned and killed his 56-year-old mother Beverly Liggett. Before it was determined that he was sane enough to stand trial, the cause of his action was initially attributed to his mental illness. After being found guilty of first-degree murder in November 2014, Ari was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

Story Background

Ari was a former University of Colorado student, but he’d struggled with mental health issues since he was five years old and had been hospitalized five times. Beverly, 56, had some issues with her son Ari while they were living together in Centennial, Denver, Colorado, in the western part of the United States.

Beverly, a recent nursing school graduate, complained about Ari’s mistreatment of her and his sister. Ari was arrested for threatening his mother and younger sister.

Ari harbored resentment toward his mother. Ari blamed her for his problems, despite everything she had done to help him. When he discovered his mother had left him out of her will, he was devastated.

The Crime

Ari purchased potassium cyanide (a poison that kills quickly) in 2012 and practiced mixing it with a cocktail. Despite the love she had shown him, all he wanted was to kill his mother.

Ari poisoned his mother on a fateful day in mid-October 2012. Ari spent 24 hours chopping up Beverly and cleaning the house after learning she had died. This was to allow him to dispose of her body without being suspected.

When his mother’s body was cut into manageable pieces, he placed them in plastic storage tubs filled with olive oil in the trunk of her car.


Beverly was soon reported missing by friends and family. Police searched the home and discovered potassium cyanide, but Ari was nowhere to be found.

Ari was spotted driving his mother’s car through the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village on October 17. When they attempted to stop him, he fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended. When the cops searched the vehicle, they discovered a sickening discovery in the boot.

Ari was brought in for questioning and said he’d found his mum dead on the floor of their home. He suggested that she’d committed suicide by taking potassium cyanide and he was taking her body to be put in a storage shed.


When questioned by police later, the former University of Colorado student mentioned his mother’s will and stated that his ‘definition of right and wrong may differ from what others believe.’

In July, Liggett pleaded not guilty due to insanity, but a state mental hospital found him competent to stand trial. ‘He takes advantage of his mental illness. When he wants it,’ said Brian Sugioka, Chief Deputy District Attorney.

Prosecutors claim Ari poisoned his mother with a cyanide mixture on Oct. 14 or 15, 2012, and then dismembered her body in the bathtub for the next 24 hours to get rid of the evidence.

Ari’s defense team insisted that Ari’s behavior was “completely psychotic.” They claimed that because of his mental illness, he couldn’t plan a murder and chastised the way he’d been treated over the years. The jury disagreed, describing his actions as cool and calculated.


Ari Liggett, 26, was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2014 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ari remained silent as the news was delivered, but shifted in his seat as the judge described his mother’s unconditional love for her son. Her ‘fear for her son became a fear of her son,’ she said.

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