The wedding of the daughter of a wealthy Florida man in United States leads to a murderous rage – he was arrested after a violent confrontation with his wife.
The wedding was luxurious – every woman’s dream. The bride wore an $11,000 gown from Bergdorf Goodman and stepmother Sue spent another $9,000 on her own dresses for the weekend.
The venue was a massive Roaring ’20s mansion named Oheka Castle that is perched on 443 acres on Long Island’s wealthy “Gold Coast” about an hour outside of Manhattan.
Oheka Castle is the United States’ second largest private home, and a hot spot for celebrity weddings including Kevin Jonas, Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin, and media personality Megyn Kelly.
And, in 2017, it was the site of a wedding that may have enflamed a marital conflict to its breaking point.
Caroline Reuschel said of her father Mike Reuschel’s charge with the attempted murder of her stepmother, Sue Reuschel: “Never in one million years would I think that my wedding would be the catalyst of all of this”.
The November 2017 wedding held exactly three months before the incident that led to her father’s arrest. The text messages that came to light during legal proceedings suggest Caroline was one of focal points of the conflict between her father and stepmother – though the feud that had been simmering for years.
Caroline said emotionally: “We really just wanted to celebrate everyone coming together.. the choice of venue with 32 guest rooms made practical sense for a wedding that was attended by guests from around the world. It was a giant slumber party with everyone we loved getting to know each other. It was amazing. And that’s all we wanted.”
Sue began complaining to Mike about paying for Caroline’s wedding in texts dating back to 2015. The agreed budget was $100,000. Sue believed Caroline was using her dad to pay for the party. She had often criticized Mike’s ex-wife and two daughters in texts, but she seemed to have a had a strong aversion for Caroline — complaining about her often and calling her nasty names.
The wedding consumed more than the agreed $100,000, as Mike confessed after the wedding.
Mike and Caroline disagreed with Sue and say the real cost was under $200,000, with Caroline claiming she and her now-husband paid for half of the total cost.
Mike and Sue both say that their conflict over the wedding’s cost led to a big fight on November 20, 2017 in their Gainesville, Florida home. Sue called the police that day, later telling the jury she felt things were getting “out of control.”
When police arrived that day, Sue admitted to pushing Mike and agreed to head to their beach condo to defuse the situation. But she was arrested some 30 minutes later when the officer says she wasn’t leaving promptly enough.
Just before their walk down the aisle, a photographer captures the moment Caroline Reuschel notices a long white scar down the side of her father’s face
She was charged with domestic battery and was ordered to stay away from Mike. She moved to their beach condo and began anger and alcohol counseling. Mike didn’t pursue the charges and they were later dropped.
January 2018 saw Mike and Sue coming together again and in February 2018 Sue came to Gainesville for a weekend visit – that visit was where their argument went from bad to worse.
Text messages show that the night of February 2, 2018, the couple were again fighting about Caroline and at 3:30 a.m. on February 3, police again came to their Gainesville home with an ambulance.
Mike told investigators that an intruder had attacked both him and Sue with a knife but Sue after waking up from surgery told detectives that there had been no intruder but Mike had stabbed her.
At Mike’s 2019 trial he confessed he had lied about intruder story but that Sue had attacked him that night and he had lied to protect her because she was scared of being arrested again.
Mike testified that she had been violent with him over a period of years — something Caroline says he confided to her soon after Sue’s arrest. Sue denies that she ever abused Mike and Mike never reported any incidents to police.
The prosecutors argue that Mike attacked Sue that night after she threatened to divorce him because he didn’t want to give up half his fortune — millions of dollars — in a divorce.
Meanwhile, Mike agreed on the stand that he didn’t think it was fair for Sue to get half in a potential divorce.
Caroline can’t help but be haunted by a moment just before she took her vows – she got ready to walk down the aisle and noticed a long white scar down the side of her father’s face.
From $200,000 to murder trial – from luxurious wedding to dirty trial…cut your coat according to your cloth..