Gainesville entrepreneur tried to kill wife, staged as break-in, police say

She wanted a divorce, he stabbed her, according to police

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Deputies in Alachua County said a man tried to kill his wife and himself and make it look like an intruder did it. It seems straight from the movie "The Fugitive" – but this ended differently.

Michael Reuschel, 62, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and false imprisonment. 
He’s a wealthy businessman, with multiple homes and luxury cars. 

"Right out of the gate, as our deputies responded, things begin to not add up," Sgt. Brett Rhodenizer of the Alachua County Sheriff's office said.

Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies said they knew something wasn’t right when Michael Reuschel called 911 Saturday morning.

He said someone came into his house, didn’t know who it was, and they had stabbed his wife.
They found his estranged wife inside badly bleeding.

"Absolutely needed surgery to save her life. She had significant injuries to her wrists, to her abdomen and to her neck," Rhodenizer said.

Reuschel, a well-to-do entrepreneur, also had cuts from a knife but it wasn’t until after his wife got out of surgery that investigators started to get the real story.

The attack happened in the quiet, upscale Haile Plantation neighborhood, just west of Gainesville. Neighbors said they knew the couple, but they did not know there was any trouble. And they certainly had no idea anything like this would ever happen.

The victim told detectives that she had asked for a divorce and the two began fighting at a local restaurant. They went home separately and he stabbed her in bed.

According to police, she yelled “Michael you are going to kill me.” He replied “That’s exactly what I want to do.”

She said he stabbed her and kept her in bed, bleeding, for about an hour. He then said he would let her live if she stuck with the story about the fake intruder, according to police. He changed clothes and called 911 only to be arrested later that day.

He does have significant financial resources, that’s why there is no bond issued, based on his ability to potentially flee from justice.

The wife is at the hospital but should deputies say she should survive. Reuschel is at the Alachua County jail without bond.

There was some history of violence. He had a domestic violence injunction against her and his wife was arrested in 2017 for domestic battery. This appears to be Mr. Reuschel’s first time in trouble with the law for something like this.

About the Author: