Brynn Hartman / Murder of Phil Hartman / Murder-Suicide

Brynn Hartman | Mariticide / Suicide

Brynn Hartman
Brynn Hartman

Brynn Hartman

Born: April 11, 1958

The Murder of Phil Hartman

Mariticide / Suicide

Crime Spree: May 28, 1998

Brynn Hartman was born Vicki Jo Omdahl on April 11, 1958. She was the murderer of actor and comedian Phil Hartman. She was also his wife.

On May 28, 1998, Brynn Hartman killed her husband in his sleep, shooting him three times, at point blank range, with a revolver.

Brynn Hartman

Vicki Jo Omdahl was born in Thief River Falls. She was the daughter of an engineer and owner of a retail shop. She had one brother and two sisters. She was an average student growing up in a hard working, middle class family in a small town in Minnesota. While seeking to know her place in this world, Vicki decided to drop out of high school. She married Douglas Torfin, a telephone operator in her home town. But the marriage soon ended, as Vicki Jo Omdahl wanted far more out of this life.

To support herself, Vicki did some modeling in nearby Minneapolis. But she wanted real success. Big success. So, a year later she decided to try acting and moved herself to Hollywood, California. She changed her name to Brindon. She later changed it again and Brynn would be what stuck.

In 1986, Brynn was working as a swimsuit model when she met aspiring actor, Philip Edward Hartman, on a blind date. He was a confident comedian and actor on his way up the Hollywood ladder. They soon became a couple and moved in together.

When Phil was hired for the television program “Saturday Night Live” in 1986, they would live in a small apartment in Manhattan.

In November 1987, the two were married. It would be the third marriage for Phil and the second for Brynn. Brynn would spend her days in their Manhattan apartment, where she took care of their two children, Sean Edward, born in 1989 and Birgen Anika who was born in 1992.

Brynn Hartman



But Brynn Hartman was growing weary again. She wanted more for herself. She still wanted to become an actress, so she took acting lessons and had some cosmetic surgery done to improve her appearance. Despite her efforts, she obtained only small bit parts and cameo roles. Even these roles, however were due mostly to her relationship to her up and rising husband and she knew it. As Phil’s stardom steadily rose in Hollywood, so did Brynn’s jealousy of her husband’s success and her perceived failure to achieve any significant notice of her own.

The Move To Encino

In 1994, the Hartman family moved to Encino, California when Phil left “Saturday Night Live” to work on a television sitcom. While Phil Hartman’s career began to take off, tensions began to mount at home. Brynn had a quick temper and a short fuse which led to more and more bitter arguments as her jealousy of his growing success heated up.

Brynn Hartman on the other hand, became more suppressed, heightening her sense of failure as an actress. She turned to alcohol and drugs to ease her pain.

Although Brynn would take several trips to rehabilitation centers, her paranoia would only grow. Fearing privacy invasion by celebrity fans and crazy stalkers, Brynn purchased several handguns, hiding them around the house.

That Fateful Night
Brynn Hartman
(Photo By Russell Einhorn/Getty Images)

On the evening of May 27, 1998, Brynn Hartman paid visit to producer Christine Zander. After returning home, she and Phil engaged in a heated argument. Speculation is that Phil threatened to leave her if she began engaging in drug use again, which she had obviously been doing that every evening. Phil ended the argument with the threat of divorce and retired to bed.

Brynn Hartman, on the other hand, took to several hours of heavy drinking and wallowing in her own self pity and fears. Finally, around 3 am. Brynn entered their bedroom. Phil was asleep. Brynn raised her handgun and fired. She shot her sleeping, husband twice in the head and once in the side. Phil Harman was instantly dead.

Brynn Hartman

Still intoxicated, Brynn Hartman drove to the home of her friend, Ronald Douglas. She confessed to him that she had killed Phil. Initially he did not believe her, but after she showed him the gun and confessed the crime a second time to another friend via a phone call, Douglas knew something was terribly wrong. He took the gun away from Brynn and went with her back to the Hartman house. Upon seeing Phil’s body in the bedroom, Douglas called 911. It was now 6:20 am.

When the police arrived at the Hartman house, they escorted Douglas and the two confused and terrified children from the house. Brynn however ran to the master bedroom and locked the door. Sitting down next to her dead husband, Brynn Hartman put a gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger.

An autopsy would later show that Brynn Hartman had consumed alcohol, cocaine and the antidepressant, Zoloft, that fateful evening. The coroner’s official determination of Brynn’s death was suicide.

Brynn and Phil Hartman

As stipulated by the Hartmans’ wills, the children were taken in to be raised by Brynn’s sister, Katherine Kay Wright, who lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Phil Hartman’s will, which estimates his worth at $1.2 million, also stated his desire to be cremated and have his ashes scattered over Emerald Bay on California’s Catalina Island.

Sources: | murderpedia | | Utube

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