Tex McIver used to call his wife, Diane, the love of his life. Yet when she died, in what some would consider a terrible accident, Tex seemed far more concerned with her life insurance policy than the loss of this supposed great love.
Because of this uncharacteristically callous attitude, the police investigating the “accident” wondered if these were the actions of a grieving husband or a cold-blooded killer? The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office went with the latter and the more the story took shape, the more obvious the real answer became…
A Terrible Accident
It was a Sunday evening, Diane and Tex McIver were catching a ride home with their friend Dani Jo Carter. Carter was driving her 2013 Ford Expedition and Tex had chosen to give his wife the front passenger seat, the gentlemanly thing to do. Suddenly, a gunshot rang out inside the car. Tex’s firearm had gone off, hitting Diane in the back.
Reeling from the noise, Carter noticed that her friend had been seriously injured and quickly turned around to drive the five miles to nearby Emory University Hospital. The drive took about 17 minutes, even with Carter making haste, but by the time the doctors had gotten Diane into surgery, it was too late…
Intention or Accident
In the wake of Diane’s death, Tex explained that the gun had gone off accidentally. How could someone so in love with his wife ever intentionally shoot her? The question weighed on Carter’s mind as she drove him back to his condo in Buckhead. When they had arrived, she sat with Tex as he called up Diane’s friends and colleagues to inform them of her death.
As she sat there, watching Tex go through the motions and make the arrangements, Carter noticed something peculiar in her friend of 40 years. Tex never seemed to “breakdown” at all. He appeared completely calm, but not in the same way someone in shock might. No, Tex seemed to be more clear headed than anyone who’d just lost their wife ought to be…
Carter left later that day, wondering what could possibly have been going through Tex’s mind. Over the next few days, Tex had many visitors. Some of them were his friends, some were hers, but all of them noticed the same unusual things about Tex’s attitude. He didn’t seem emotional; at least, not in the way one might have expected.
Less than 48-hours after Diane had passed away, two of her colleagues came to pay their respects to her husband. They had come to offer their condolences, but in two, separate one-on-one conversations, Tex managed to sound less the grieving husband and more the opportunistic gold digger…
Tex had even remarked to one of them, Jay Grover, “I wonder if I can collect her checks now.” That same night, Grover overhead Tex telling someone else about a job opportunity in Oklahoma he was interested in. It appeared as though he was already looking to move on and move out of the state.
Ken Rickert, the other work colleague, recalled Tex asking him in no uncertain terms about how he might go about getting Diane’s Social Security benefits, before complaining about his salary cut at his law firm. He also complained about the rising costs of maintaining his ranch. Clearly, it was money, not Diane that was on his mind…
Rickert explained this exchange when called to the stand at the subsequent trial. “I expected at that point in time, he would tell me how sorry he was and how it was a terrible, tragic accident, and say how much he loved Diane. But I never heard that.” Neither did anyone else, it would appear.
Thus far, it is clear as day that Tex was not acting like anyone could have expected a husband in mourning to act. That said, there is no “proper way” for grief to manifest itself. Some are inconsolable, unable to eat or sleep. Some cry for days, some choose to suffer in silence or deflect their grief with humor. Was this simply how Tex McIver grieved?
Perhaps sewing up all these loose ends financially kept Tex’s focus away from his grief. After all, some people fight the sense of loss by organizing everything, the funeral, the dinners, the wakes, the masses, and everything else that comes along with a death in the family. Unfortunately for Tex, the allegedly accidental shooting still had to be investigated by the police.
The optics on Tex’s behavior did not look good from the start and they only got worse as police examined his actions proceeding his wife’s death. A day after Diane died, Tex asked his neighbor and former girlfriend, Janie Calhoun to come over and catalog her closet. He wanted to know how much her expensive clothes, shoes, hats, purses, and furs were worth…
Tex sold all of Diane’s newly-cataloged belongings a mere two months later. A month after that, he auctioned off her jewelry. He had also discussed making repairs to the condo and putting it on the market pretty soon after Diane’s death as well. For some reason, Tex was rapidly cleaning house and that wasn’t even the worst of it.
Getting Her Back
Tex’s behavior leading up to Diane’s memorial service was worst of all. Apparently, two days before they buried his wife, Tex spoke to Diane’s assistant about the possibility of him getting Calhoun, a married woman, to come back to him. This was not the sort of thing a grieving husband says; this was something far different…
The Signs of Sorrow
Eventually, the police came to a similar conclusion and Claud “Tex” McIver was arrested and brought to trial. The whole trial lasted 25 days and during that time, 70 character witnesses were called to the stand by the prosecution. Many of these witnesses had interacted with Tex in the period just after Diane’s death and they had much to say about his behavior.
Of those 70 witnesses, only one testified to seeing Tex show any signs of sorrow. The rest all had sobering accounts of the supposed grieving husband’s greed, callousness, impassivity, and inappropriateness following Diane McIver’s death. Still, as damning as much of that testimony ultimately was, there were some who still believed in the couple’s love…
Always in Love
Luckily for Tex’s case, the jury didn’t only hear evidence of his strange unseemly behavior, they heard how much Diane and Tex were in love. Tex called her darling whenever he could and they never spoke a cross word to one another; in public anyway. No one really knows how things were between them in private.
The One Witness
Amongst the cavalcade of character witnesses, there was only one person who apparently saw Tex grieve at all about his wife’s death. That person was Rachel Styles, a friend who had actually coordinated the McIver’s wedding in 2005. She recalled him crying uncontrollably when she mentioned Diane and having to stay on his sofa in the condo for two nights afterward…
The idea floated around that Tex and Styles might have had some sort of inappropriate relationship in the wake of Diane’s death, but was quickly dispelled. The fact was, Styles and many others stayed in order to watch out for Tex, as he was “too emotional” to be left alone. Still, this seemed to be the final nail in Tex’s coffin.
Many times, it’s the actions before a homicide which point to the culprit’s guilt, Tex’s case was the opposite. Nearly everything he did following Diane’s death could be used against him. Still, the question remained, did he kill her on purpose or on accident?