Real Name: Laura D. Law
Aliases: None known
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: October 2001
Details: Laura Law and her boyfriend of eleven years Michael J. "Mike" Tlusty enjoyed having friends over at their home in Arkdale, Wisconsin. Denise Piccioni and her husband were often guests; Denise was Mike's cousin and Laura's best friend. Denise believed that the couple's relationship was happy. However, on March 26, 2001, Mike was angered when he found that Laura had gone with Denise and her mother to gamble at a casino. Laura claimed that Mike was depressed and that something was wrong with him. That night, Mike mysteriously vanished. The only person who claimed to know what happened to him was Laura, but she too would disappear. Laura said that when they returned from the casino, Mike packed some clothes and took $73,000 in cash. He then set out on foot from their rural home in the middle of the night.
Denise was suspicious of Laura and believed that she was lying. However, she only thought that she was lying because she was embarrassed of the truth. Two weeks later, Laura told Denise that Mike had called her and said that he was out west. However, four months passed without any sign of him. Since the couple ran their own business, few noticed that he was missing. However, by the summer, Denise convinced Laura to talk with Mike's parents. Strangely, Laura said to Denise that she planned to lie to Mike's mother, saying that Mike had gone to Canada. Denise tried to talk her out of it, but Laura lied anyway. As a result, Denise became very suspicious of Laura.
At one point, Denise tried to get her snowmobiles that she had stored in Mike and Laura's shed. However, Laura seemed determined to keep anyone from going into the shed. Denise threatened to cut the lock off, get her snowmobiles, and have a locksmith place a new lock on the shed. Laura eventually removed the snowmobiles but refused to let anyone in the shed. Denise soon suspected that Mike's disappearance may have been related to the shed.
Four months after Mike vanished, his brother Mark filed a missing persons report. The case was assigned to investigator Gary Silka, who went to Laura's house. Laura never let Silka in the shed, and she claimed that she was renting it out to someone. A few hours later, Laura Law fled the area. It would be several more months before investigators were able to get a search warrant for the shed.
On January 22, 2002, they entered the shed and were hit by a foul odor. They then found a body wrapped in blankets and plastic wrapping. It was identified as Mike Tlusty, and he had been dead for nine to ten months. The cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Several years prior to the murder, Laura had purchased a 9mm handgun. It is believed that this gun was used to kill Mike. The police believe that Laura had a gambling problem and that Mike was planning to leave her. They also believe that she killed him because of it. Laura Law is wanted for the murder of Mike Tlusty.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 17, 2002 episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Law was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Results: Captured. Shortly after Unsolved Mysteries finished filming this segment, Laura Law was captured in Nashville, Tennessee. Based on information received from a tip, FBI investigators began questioning motel employees in the downtown Nashville area. Law was identified by an employee of a motel as their late-shift desk clerk. When she arrived for work on July 16, 2002, she was arrested.
Maintaining her innocence, Law tried to get her lawyer, Sheila Kessler, to change the venue because of pretrial publicity, but the judge rejected that notion. Kessler then changed Law's plea on the charge of hiding a corpse to innocent by reason of mental defect while Law retained the innocent plea to the charge of first-degree intentional homicide. In 2003, Law pleaded guilty in the shooting of Mike Tlusty and was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison. She will not be eligible for parole until 2026.
- Laura Law on Unsolved Archive
- Woman Charged in Shooting Death
- Local Murder Victim Draws Eye of TV Fugitive Trackers
- Wisconsin suspect found at hotel job
- Police and FBI Arrest Woman Sought in Boyfriend's Murder
- Judge won't move woman's trial
- SitcomsOnline Discussion thread on Laura Law
- Michael Tlusty at Find a Grave