James Toliver Craig is a 45-year-old Aurora, Colorado, dentist and father of six who is accused of poisoning his wife, Angela Craig, to death.
The office manager of the dental practice where Craig worked told police that Craig and his wife worked out in the morning on March 6, 2023, and, before the workout, Craig “made Angela a protein shake or pre-workout shake, in which James gave her extra protein because she was feeling sluggish.”
“After the workout, Angela became faint and dizzy and ultimately James took Angela to the hospital,” according to an affidavit in the case.
Craig “was arrested early this morning on murder charges in the poisoning death of his wife,” according to the City of Aurora Police Department.
Patrol officers and the Aurora Police Department’s Major Crimes Homicide Unit arrested Craig and booked him into the jail at about 2 a.m. on charges of first-degree murder, the release said.
He worked for Summerbrook Dental in Aurora. The website is now down, but a cache of Dr. Jim Craig’s biography says, “Dr. Craig was an associate professor at the University of Missouri Dental School, where he taught courses in Clinical Dentistry, Biochemistry and Histology.”
Craig was a dentist at Summerbrook Dental Group for more than 16 years, according to his LinkedIn page.
“Based on the totality of the investigation, James has shown the planning and intent to end his wife’s life by searching for ways to kill someone undetected, provided her poisons that align with her hospitalized symptoms, and working on starting a new life with” a new woman,” the affidavit says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say James Toliver Craig Drove His Wife to a Hospital After She Complained ‘of Severe Headaches & Dizziness’
The charges “stem from about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday when Craig drove his wife, 43, to a local hospital because she was complaining of severe headaches and dizziness,” the news release said.
“Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the wife’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and she was placed on a ventilator in an intensive care unit,” it says.
“She was declared medically brain dead a short time later.”
Daily Beast obtained the affidavit, which you can read here.
According to that affidavit, On March 15, 2023, at approximately 11:08 a.m., “victim Angela Craig (DOB: 04/15/1979) presented herself to University Hospital because she had a severe headache and was experiencing dizziness.”
She was accompanied by her brother and later met by her husband, the affidavit says, but at 2 p.m., she had a seizure and declined, eventually being placed on life support. “Hospital medical personnel could not find a known medical condition that would have caused Angela’s rapid medical decline,” the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, a person whose name was blacked out told one of the attending nurses “his suspicion that Angela was the possible victim of poisoning.”
Craig had recently ordered Potassium Cyanide for their dental practice, the man told the nurse, adding that there was “no medical reason or purpose” to order it for a dental practice, according to the affidavit.
The nurse called police. Craig’s business partner told police that they had known each other for 20 years and went to dental school together but noted that Craig was “a risk taker” and had filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and ‘was on the verge of bankruptcy again.”
Craig confided in him that he was having marital problems with Angela, the affidavit says.
On March 6, 2023, the day Angela first became sick, another person noted that James was at an exam room computer with the lights off doing something on his own computer and then texted her that he would be receiving a personal package and not to open it.
The package arrived on March 13 and was opened by another employee. Inside it, she saw a bio-hazard sticker and what said “Potassium Cyanide” on a circular canister. She later googled it and realized Angela had the same symptoms.
Craig was accused of telling a nurse that Angela might have been poisoned with Potassium Cyanide.
Craig claimed that the package contained a ring he wanted to surprise Angela with, the affidavit said.
He later admitted it contained Potassium Cyanide but said Angela asked him to order it.
Angela had been admitted to the hospital multiple times, for symptoms including being dizzy and weak.
A woman who was a professor of nursing texted with Craig about Angela’s symptoms, and he told her things like, “low blood pressure all night, vomiting in the morning. Still trying to figure this out,” the affidavit says.
2. Police Say Angela Craig, Who Was a Mother of Six, ‘Was Poisoned,’ & Called Her Death a ‘Heinous, Complex & Calculated Murder
Major Crimes Homicide Unit detectives “launched an intensive investigation into the suspicious death,” the news release says.
“The investigation revealed the victim was poisoned. A warrant for first-degree murder was obtained early Sunday morning shortly after doctors made the decision to take the victim off life support,” it says.
“When the suspicious details of this case came to light, our team of officers and homicide detectives tirelessly worked to uncover the truth behind the victim’s sudden illness and death,” said Division Chief Mark Hildebrand in the news release.
“It was quickly discovered this was in fact a heinous, complex and calculated murder. I am very proud of our Major Crimes Homicide Unit’s hard work in solving this case and pursuing justice for the victim.”
Police noted: “The investigation remains active and ongoing. Anyone with any information about the case is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867).”
Craig’s biography is featured on the website of Dental Implants in Aurora.
“I am a general dentist practicing in Aurora, CO for the past 15 years. I have been placing implants for 12 of those years, and have been an instructor for many implant companies and have lectured and mentored many dentists and specialists around the country,” it quotes him as saying.
“Prior to private practice, I taught as an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Dentistry for 3 years. I have also been on a research team for the National Institutes of Health and through that team, worked on novel bone grafting materials and strategies for reducing shrinkage in white fillings,” the page adds.
“My undergraduate education was at Brigham Young University. I live in Aurora with my wife and 6 kids, and any time I’m not in a dental office setting, I can be found in the great outdoors!” he is quoted as saying.
“My approach to dentistry begins with sincerely listening to the patient,” Craig said in a video for his dental group.
3. James Toliver Craig Is Accused of Googling, ‘How Many Grams of Pure Arsenic Will Kill a Human,’ & Flying Another Woman Into Denver While His Wife Was Sick in the Hospital
Craig is accused of saying he didn’t think his wife was going to “make it, “ but then mentioned business in the office, the affidavit says.
Angela had accused her husband of poisoning her and saying something to Craig along the lines of “there are poisons they don’t test for,” the affidavit says.
A person told police that Craig recently mentioned that he had told Angela he wanted a divorce.
Craig claimed Angela was suicidal and may have taken pills, but none of the children mentioned their mother’s depression or prior suicide attempts.
In text exchanges, James and Angela discussed their relationship, “mainly about James’s healing and counseling.
Beginning on February 27, 2023, we observed that the user had conducted searches related to poison. Those searches included “how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human” and “Is Arsenic Detectable in Autopsy?”
Craig had searched via Google “buy Oleander” and through Nerdfighteria Wiki, “6 Deadly ‘Undetectable’ Poisons (and How to Detect Them), the affidavit says.
Authorities also found chemical purchases and emails “intimate in nature” that “contained explicit conversations,” including travel plans from Austin to Denver, Colorado, the affidavit says.
James had the woman visit him while his wife was in the hospital sick, it adds.
He told her something had happened to Angela, and she said how “sorry she was for him and that she wished she was helping him, not pulling him away,” according to the affidavit.
She said she wanted to “ be there for him but did not want to mix in with his family and friends and pretend to be only a friend when there was something more,” it says.
One witness told police that the marriage had “always been tumultuous” and Craig “had multiple affairs with several women, told Angela he had been addicted to pornography since he was a teenager and drugged Angela approximately five to six years ago,” the affidavit says.
He drugged her because he planned to commit suicide and didn’t want her to save him, it contends.
He had gambled over $2,000 and their finances were dire, the affidavit says.
Craig had been “recently communicating with a woman … about what appears to be a sexually intimate relationship. It appears James was flying this woman into Denver while his wife and the other of his children was dying in the hospital,” the affidavit says.
4. James Toliver Craig Referred to Himself on Facebook as a ‘Theme Park Junkie’ & Opera Lover
On Facebook, the couple had a joint account, and the profile picture shows them together with the words, “Light the World, One by One.”
Her Facebook page is filled with pictures of her kids, and comments about getting a bird, eating protein bars, and children’s activities.
Craig also has a Facebook page in his own name. It shows him with a surf board.
His profile picture says, “husband, father, dentist, theme park junkie, opera lover, football fan, cook, fisherman, snowboarder.”
5. James Toliver Craig Is Accused of Writing His Ill Wife, ‘I Didn’t Drug You,” But a Client Called Craig ‘Literally the Best Dentist I Ever Had’
According to KDVR, authorities say they found text messages between Craig and his wife. In one, his wife said she felt drugged, the television station reported.
“Given our history I know that must be triggering. Just for the record, I didn’t drug you. I am super worried though. You looked really pale before I left … Like in your lips even,” Craig is accused of writing her, the television station reported.
Denver7 spoke to clients of Craig. “He was literally the best dentist I ever had. That’s why I recommended him to my mom. That’s why I recommended my brother. So, it was a large clientele that came here under that trust,” Andrew Orth told Denver7.
Another former patient wrote a recommendation on Craig’s LinkedIn page. “Dr. Craig has the latest in technology and was able to put a crown on for me in a single visit. Most dentists require two visits. He has a calming manner as well as his excellent staff,” he wrote.
“Dr. Craig was able to explain everything so I could easily understand what was happening. I enjoyed his professionalism and easy going approach to dentistry. If you try him once, he will become your dentist.”