Faith played an important role in Faylene Grant’s life. She was raised in a deeply religious Mormon family and believed God revealed his wishes to her. She claimed the “Heavenly Father” told her to remarry her philandering husband Doug, and He later revealed to her that she would die young as part of His divine plan. He even said that after her death, Doug should marry his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend.
Prosecutors agreed that her death was planned. However, they argued that Faylene’s death at the age of 35 was the work of her husband. Faylene Grant’s mysterious death is the subject of the premiere of “A Wedding and A Murder,” Oxygen's new series that airs Sundays at 8/7c.
Faylene Eaves was a divorced single mother of two when she met Doug Grant at a Phoenix, Arizona, gym in 1993. Like her, he was also divorced, raising a child on his own, and grew up as a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Described by the Phoenix New Times as a “vitamin-supplement entrepreneur,” Grant founded the company Optimal Health Systems and was at the time the nutritionist for the Phoenix Suns basketball team.
Though they would have two sons together and ultimately have their marriage “sealed” — the Mormon rite of ensuring familial relationships in the afterlife — the Grants' relationship struggled. Doug traveled often for work, and Faylene said she’d had a vision that he was unfaithful to her. In an interview with NBC’s “Dateline,” Fay’s sister Jody Stratton claimed Doug eventually confessed to having affairs with six different women. In 2000, the couple would divorce.
As the Grant’s divorce proceedings got under way, Doug began dating 19-year-old Hilary Dewitt, a family friend who worked for him. Despite their 15-year age difference, they fell in love and planned to marry. That is, until Faylene called Doug and told him she’d had a vision.
In an interview with ABC News, Doug claims his ex-wife said to him, "I was told in the San Diego [Mormon] Temple, from God, to remarry you."
Doug broke up with Hilary in the hopes of putting his family back together, or did he? Detective Sy Ray told “Dateline” the two spoke over 200 times after Doug and Faylene were remarried. However, Doug wasn’t the only one talking to Hilary. Having known her since she was a child, Faylene struck up a friendship with her husband’s former lover.
Hilary told ABC News, “Faylene was like a sister, a mother, a spiritual adviser, a best friend all wrapped up into one for me." In a letter written nine days before her death, she told Hilary that if anything were to ever happen to her, "I want you to be the mother of my children.” That’s because Faylene Grant had a vision that she was going to die.
To celebrate their second honeymoon, the Grants went to Utah’s Timpanogas National Park in late September 2001. Doug told CBS’ “48 Hours” that while hiking, Faylene saw “Jesus in the clouds" before falling down a 60-foot cliff face. Badly bruised, she returned home where she got a prescription for muscle relaxers and Ambien, and instructions not to take them both at the same time.
On the morning of September 27, 2001, Doug Grant says he found Faylene unconscious in the bathtub. She had taken five Ambien, passed out and slipped beneath the water. She was pronounced dead later that day. That night, Doug found a letter from Faylene addressed to “Doug & Hillary,” saying she would like to see them married. Three weeks later, they were.
Was Faylene Grant’s death an accident? Was it suicide? Or was it an elaborate murder plot? Did Doug Grant manipulate his wife’s deep faith into thinking her death was unavoidable and then help her see it through? Nearly eight years after her death, Doug Grant was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter in a salacious murder trial, which left a family divided.
Watch “A Wedding and A Murder” to find out the full story of Faylene Grant’s death.