BUNKER HILL, IN - Beyond the razor wire of the Miami Correctional Facility are prisoners convicted of murder, rape and robbery. There is also one prisoner whose story is likely known by every person in Indiana.
Marcus Schrenker had a high-flying hobby and a high paying job. But it all crashed in 2009. Prison is a long way from Cocktail Cove, the affluent neighborhood next to Geist Reservoir where Schrenker and his family used to live. Schrenker has gone from an expensive house to the big house.
Schrenker and another inmate now share a tiny prison cell. He has books on finance, marriage, bipolar and psychology. He has a television, letters from friends and family and a cross.
Schrenker is serving four years in prison after pleading guilty in August 2010 to five counts of securities fraud. The plea agreement also calls for Schrenker to pay restitution to the following people:
$22,851 Rita Schilling
$34,000 David and Kathy Sawrie
$100,000 Robert Askins
$63,267 Tania and John Wingfield
$127,329 Rick and Maggie Harris
$127,329 Michael and Susan Alma
$159,004 Ronald Johnson
In August 2009, Schrenker pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of Willful Damage, Destruction, or Wreckage of an Aircraft, or Civilian Aircraft and two counts of Knowingly and Willfully Communicating a False Distress Message to the US Coast Guard. He was ordered to serve 51 months in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and pay $906,036 in restitution.
According to court documents, Marcus Schrenker was an investment advisor and was a principal in investment firms called Heritage Wealth Management, Heritage Insurance Services and Icon Wealth Management. According to court documents, "Michelle kept the books and was chief financial officer for the three firms. She was paid $11,6000 monthly and had the authority to write checks and withdraw money from Heritage Insurance Services."
According to court documents, "Marcus encouraged some clients to invest in a fund that allegedly would take advantage of the relative strength of the Euro over the dollar. He instructed those clients to pay the money to Heritage Insurance Services. Marcus apparently did not invest the money in the Euro fund; instead he and Michelle used the money in Heritage Insurance Services for their personal expenses."
"After reviewing the evidence, Hamilton County made the decision not to file charges against Michelle Schrenker," said a spokesman for the Indiana Secretary of State.
"Marcus Schrenker touted himself as an investment advisor. He was really an investment thief," said then-Secretary of State Todd Rokita in September 2010. "He was taking people's money and sticking it in his pocket so he and is family could have a lavish lifestyle. He stole with a pen and a briefcase and a computer."
The plane crash is how the world learned of Marcus Schrenker. According to court records, Schrenker went to the Anderson, Indiana airport on January 11, 2009 and called in a flight plan to Destin, Florida.
According to court records, Schrenker made a radio transmission to the FAA at 24,000 feet claiming he was encountering moderate to severe turbulence and claimed his windshield was cracking, he was "bleeding profusely" and losing altitude. Schrenker's plane leveled off at 3,500 feet. According to court records, Schrenker jumped from his aircraft around Childersburg, Alabama, went to a home in the area and said he and some friends had been in a canoeing accident.
Schrenker registered at the Harpersville Motel using his half brother's name, walked to a nearby storage unit, recovered his motorcycle and began driving to northern Florida. The U.S. Marshal's Service tracked Schrenker to a KOA Campground in Gadsden County, Florida. According to court records, none of the plane's windshields were damaged and none of his blood was found on the plane. According to court records, Schrenker had several items with him including: an Illinois driver's license issue to his half brother, a credit card issued to his half brother, a computer, $2,699 in cash and his Garmin, GPS unit.
According to the Indiana Secretary of State, Schrenker's sentence is scheduled to end in August 2014. "However, at that time, he will be transferred to an Indiana prison to serve 10 years on the state charges. The federal and state sentences run consecutively."
For more than a year, Schrenker and I have exchanged letters and emails, setting the stage for this exclusive interview from a place that few of us ever see.
Scott Swan: "How has prison changed you?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I'm sober now. When I crashed that plane, I was heavily addicted to pain pills. I was not rational in the slightest way. Getting sober and understanding my addiction, and getting past that, has been a key step for me in making that change. I was struggling with a seven year addiction to Oxycontin. I had back surgery. I was prescribed these pills. I thought I was bigger than them. I thought I could beat it. I thought I was invincible. And, I suffered from a lot of depression. My bipolar is no secret. And, I used the pain meds to self medicate. They were very effective at treating the depression at first. But, in the end, it took more and more pills just to feel normal. And in the end, I was complete dysfunctional."
Scott Swan: "Why did you crash the plane? What was your plan?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I saw myself as useless, in a very poor state of mind. I thought that the financial salvation for my family would be for me to die. When you're in that state of mind, you're at the end of the addiction, which is where I was at, I wasn't making sense and I struggle with that every day. How could I do something like that, so irrational and so stupid. I was not in a good state of mind that day and I viewed myself - if I was gone - it would be better for them, better for the children, better for Michelle. At first, the plan was to kill myself. And, there were some other people who knew about it. And, they said don't do that. There's another way. I really didn't expect to live. It was such an insane idea. To this day, I can't believe I survived that."
Scott Swan: "Who knew?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Several people knew. Michelle knew everything that was going to happen that night and that's hard for me being here because she never once stepped in and said don't do this. This is stupid. We don't need money that bad. She could have called the tower. She could have called the police. She could have even called me and said stop what you're doing."
Scott Swan: "Michelle knew the entire plan?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Yeah."
Scott Swan: "You told me at one point, she even went as far as packing your bag. Is that what happened?"
Marcus Schrenker: "We were in our bathroom, we had a big master bathroom, I remember we were sitting on the tile floor and we were talking about everything that needed to be done, when they declared me dead. How to file an insurance claim, how to deal with the aircraft insurance, the letters to give to the children, how she would handle everything. I remember packing my backpack, my drop sack and everything that was in it, and it was just a surreal conversation."
Scott Swan: "Who else knew?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I'd rather not name at this point."
Scott Swan: "Your world was crumbling, wasn't it?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Yeah. I destroyed everything in my life. In a matter of a year, I destroyed my business, my marriage, all my friendships. All I really cared about was where I would get my next pill. Where am I going to get the next Oxycontin. I really didn't care about anything else at that point. It was a very predictable path of destruction that I went down. And, in the end, it all blew up on me and this is something I should do."
Scott Swan: "Your step-father had died."
Marcus Schrenker: "He had just passed away. A few days before, Michelle had filed for divorce. I had placed a trade error. I lost several million dollars and cost us the future of our company. I had let all these clients down. I had lost all this money. I had done a terrible job. I think in a very poor state of mind, I thought they'd be better off without me."
Scott Swan: "So, you decided to do what?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I still can't believe I did this. I thought if it looked like I died, and the airplane went out in to Gulf of Mexico, that Michelle would get over $10 million in life insurance. It would be an accident. It would look like an accident. So, it seems like the best plan. And, for me, I would probably have overdosed. I would have probably killed myself eventually. In fact, that's what's so ironic about this. This (prison) saved my life. I couldn't get sober. I couldn't get off the pills. I couldn't stop. And, every time I stopped tried to stop, I got sick. It felt like the flu. I got these tremors. And everything. I detoxed in the worst of all places, in a prison."
Scott Swan: "Prison saved your life?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Yes, it did. Prison is very difficult. It's a one solution fits all kind of place. But, it forced me to come face to face with the addiction, and forced me to understand the physical desires and to understand, whenever I got depressed, I wanted to take a pill. And here you face it. You're going to face it without the pills and everything else. You're going to do it."
Scott Swan: "What kind of preparation did you do prior to getting in the plane?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Very little preparation. I plugged in the GPS coordinates in the airplane, where I should eject. I had planted an infra-red strobe, a day before, where I was supposed to come out. It was in Alabama. I had night-vision goggles, called flare so I could see it as I approached it. The people that were on the ground, they had radios. They were talking to me. So, it was not the best plan, but there was some planning. Everybody thinks I spent months and weeks and days. No, my step-father died. I flipped out. I did this spontaneously."
Scott Swan: "Tell me about the motorcycle and what you put on the plane."
Marcus Schrenker: "The motorcycle was a backup plan. It was not meant to be a getaway. Initially, somebody was going to pick me up and take me somewhere in Florida where I could change my name or, I'm not really sure what they had in mind. But, when the ejection went wrong, I got hung up and drug 10-20 miles or however much I missed that point by, the deal was blown and I told those people on the ground, just let me go. I'm going to take care of this on my own and I decided that I would just commit suicide."
Scott Swan: "Before we get there, you radioed the FAA and what do you tell them. Your initial story was the windshield was blown out."
Marcus Schrenker: "Told them I had a windshield failure and asked for emergency descent. At that point, I had a pre-programmed radio transmission system, that I had pre-recorded, and it was transmitting things I was saying and truthfully, I wasn't even making those transmissions."
Scott Swan: "So, bleeding profusely - not true?"
Marcus Schrenker: "No."
Scott Swan: "Windshield blown out - not true?"
Marcus Schrenker: "No."
Scott Swan: "These are things you pre-recorded?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Yes."
Scott Swan: "Is the plan to jump out of the plane or what was the plan?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Yeah, I had no experience in parachuting. Never done it before, never had any idea how it was going to work. I thought if you just went to the back of the airplane and opened up the door, you could just jump out. Once you're free of the airplane, you pull the d-ring. In a very poor state of mind, I forgot the aircraft was pressurized. So, when I went up to the door, and opened it, it was an explosion and out I went."
Scott Swan: "You didn't go out all the way, you got hung up?"
Marcus Schrenker: "An airplane has stairs that have a cable. And, as I went out, my harness got caught up in that cable, so here I am slamming against this airplane, at 200 mph, in the middle of a January night. And it's negative 44 degrees Celsius. It felt like my skin was being burned alive, it was so cold."
Scott Swan: "So, at some point you break free and you're falling. What's happening at that point?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I thought I got drug for minutes - for 15-20 minutes. Investigators say no, it was probably a matter of 60 seconds. That was enough to take me past where I was supposed to safely eject and fall. When I did break free from the stairwell, I hit the elevator in back and slammed into that and then got tossed around. That tore my parachute open. I remember I could hear it. It sounded like zippers going up and down. When I finally stabilized, I remember looking up and saw the parachute candlestick. It was wrapped all the way up, just like a candle. And, I thought this is not good. I didn't have a backup or anything. From that point, I just spun my way down, to the Alabama earth."
Scott Swan: "And you landed..."
Marcus Schrenker: "Landed in all things, went flying through an Alabama oak tree - perfect. Investigators say if I had been 3 feet to either side, I would have been killed instantly. Threaded this oak tree perfectly. It caught my stringers and parachute as I went through. And of all things, landed in a river that was flooded of course, and that saved my life."
Scott Swan: "What did you jump out with?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I had survival gear. Pack that was on the front. I had a drop bag that was attached to me which was pretty heavy with valuables. Parachute was attached. And, unfortunately, I didn't have the parachute on right. So, when I went out, everything went flying out with it. So, it wasn't the best of plans."
Scott Swan: "You jumped out with gold?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I never alluded to that - ever. Michelle was the one who brought that up. She was the only one who knew about it. And she brought that up during a divorce hearing. I was stunned she did that because when she did that, everybody in Alabama knew alright, there's gold or precious metals in the bottom of a river. And, I'm sure someone's found it by now."
Scott Swan: "What did you have with you?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I don't know the exact weight. At one point, Michelle and I owned 80-100 pounds of precious metals. My plan was to use some of that to get re-established, to get more drugs, or whatever I was going to do. When I hit the river, I was knocked out. Or, I was knocked out when I hit the tree. I'm not really sure where. But, when I woke up, my PFD had inflated. So, I could tell I was above the water. I was very woozy and disoriented. But, the one thing I was absolutely sure of my ankle was anchored. And, that was that drop bag was on the floor of the river. So, it was either that or me. I was already hypothermic and shaking, so I made the decision to cut it."
Scott Swan: "What did you tell police?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I gave them my name, showed them my pilot's license. I was hysterical. I had hit my head pretty good. I wasn't making sense. I tried to tell them, my airplane is still flying, I'm not in it, the autopilot's malfunctioned, it needs to be shot down. And, they're looking at me like I'm crazy. They said, 'Have you been taking anything? Yes, I took 10 Oxycontin tablets - just call the FAA. So, they called the FAA, they verified my pilot's license. And they said, no airplane's crashed, we don't know what you're talking about. They gave my ID's back to me. And they said, what do you want to do? Go to a hotel, do you want to go to the hospital, what do you want us to do? And, they were trying to tell me that I was in some kind of canoe accident, or had been ATV'ing, they just would not believe me. It was such an insane story. They kept asking where's your parachute then if you parachuted out of this airplane? I said, it was back at the river. It's in the river. Oh, yeah, sure boy, we believe you. I could see it from their side, it was a pretty crazy story. my plan was to drive down to where the airplane crashed, I knew it would crash somewhere on land in Alabama or Florida. My plan was to drive down there and explain what happened. In my crazy mind, I thought I just thought - here I am, by the way, I know the airplane is 300 miles away from where I landed, and here's the reason why. But, again, I wasn't in a very good state of mind. I went the wrong way down I-10. Milton, Florida was to the right of I-10. I went left because I was looking at the map upside down. And, I had been traveling all day. I had been bleeding all day. Nothing was making sense. Well, I'll just stop at a campground, get my marbles together and figure out where the airplane's at and see what's going on. I show up at the campground, and tell the lady, I just need a place to camp out for a little bit, I need a rest. She didn't ask me any questions. But, I remember as I was paying the fee, I looked up at the TV behind her and saw myself on CNN. I thought I was hallucinating. I thought this couldn't be right. She didn't recognize who I was or what was happening. So, I went to the campground site, I had a little, mini-laptop, I opened it up, and of course, I went to your website, and saw that I was on the front. It was going around the world, I checked my email and I had tens of emails. Where are you? What's happening? Please talk to us, please call us. Friends and family and so forth. At that point, I decided that I was done embarassing my family. I was done with this addiction, I was just done period. I chose at that point, to take my life.
I went in, took a six pack of beer. I wanted to dull the pain. I went back to the campsite, I started a fire, and started to consume as many pills as I could, and as much beer as I could to numb the pain. And, started to write a letter to my family telling them how sorry I am for what I've done, to the clients, for how sorry I was for the money I've lost. And, that this was the better way. I went one step further. I went into a tent, and slit my wrist, and my arm artery, I had consumed 100 Oxycontin, 4-5 beers, and was bleeding out. There was no chance of me living. And, there was no hesitation. This wasn't I'm going to attempt suicide, this is I'm going to end my life. I spent probably two years in remorse and somewhat denial. I was in denial that I had a problem. I was in denial that I had a mental illness. It took a long time for me to really process through a lot. I was still hurting deeply over Michelle and what she had done. Her appearances on TV, all the hate bloggers, it was a lot to process. So, it took me a long time to work through it. Michelle and I are still married. And, it's very painful. I wish I could explain it. I have been so angry with her and what she did, what she said, and how she threw me under the bus. I never once through her under the bus. I never once said anything that would get her in trouble, that would send her to prison. I kept my mouth shut."
Scott Swan: "How much did she (Michelle) know about your plan with the plane?"
Marcus Schrenker: "She went on Dateline NBC and said he left me holding the bag. That kind of comment. That she didn't know anything about anything. She never spoke up and said he has a mental illness, she never once said he was addicted to pain pills, she never once spoke up and said I knew everything that was going to happen that night and he was not well.
Instead, she made these crazy comments and was just trying to save her own hide. That's something a wife doesn't do to a husband. Michelle was going to the doctor's with me. She knew I was bipolar. She knew I was diagnosed bipolar. A few weeks before the accident the doctors had called her and said he needs to be hospitalized. He's dangerous. He's dangerous to himself and other people and he's going to do something stupid. A few weeks before the accident the doctors had called her and said he needs to be hospitalized. He's dangerous. He's dangerous to himself and other people and he's going to do something stupid. He needs help. And, the decision was not to do that because it would destroy the business.
I've asked her over and over, why didn't you hospitalize me? I wouldn't be in this prison if she would have hospitalized me and she said, I thought you would hate me. I said I wouldn't have hated you. I would have loved you for it. I would have hated you short term, but I wouldn't be here. Alot of people in my generation, they call it generation RX, because there are so many people hooked on these prescription pain pills. I thought I was bigger than the pain pills. I thought it was ok. And, the reason why is they alter your sense of what's right and wrong. They alter your moral compass where you think you can do anything. And, when I initially started taking them, I thought oh, this is wonderful. This is great, I've never felt so great in my life. But, what happens is your body builds up a tolerance to it where it takes more and more and more. So, what I became is a functional addict to a dysfunctional addict, also someone who had bi-polar and was out of control.
Michelle was aware that I was taking a lot of pills. She was aware I was taking them while driving, taking them while flying, taking them at the office. I had a vial in the car, a vial in the airplane, it was just a way of life for us. I really want to reach out to people. If you think you're addicted to these pills, you have to get help cause if not, you could end up in a place like this. That's what happens. Slowly but surely, you're life becomes eroded. Your sense of right and wrong becomes manipulated. And, you will do something stupid. You could hurt someone or yourself."
Scott Swan: "What did you tell your children?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I had to be very honest with them. And honestly, the first couple of years, I wasn't honest. I wasn't telling them the truth. And, I had to come totally clean and say I was addicted to these pills. And, I did some very stupid things."
Scott Swan: "What have you told your clients?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I would tell them the truth as well. Obviously, you trusted me. I let you down. I'm very sorry about that. I didn't know I was that impaired."
Scott Swan: "What were you doing with the clients' money?"
Marcus Schrenker: "We were a legitimate business. We worked very hard. Ran a balance sheet. A P&L statement. It was very respectable. The last year, what happened was we were running a deficit. So, what was happening was client funds that were coming in for deposits, in certain accounts, were getting co-mingled in the business account. And, then what was happening was personal expenses were getting paid with that and you can't do that."
Scott Swan: "Michelle knew that?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I don't want to put Michelle in prison, so I'll be careful what I say here. She knew a hell of a lot more than she let up to. You're the chief financial officer. You're my wife. You were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. You were living the good life. You're in that picture with me next to the Lexus's. Then, all of a sudden you're saying I didn't know anything about it. I didn't know anything about anything. And, I had nothing to do with this guy, that's what she was saying. And that was extremely hurtful. She never had to throw me under the bus like that. I told her, I will go to prison. I will take the blame. I want you and the kids to be happy."
Scott Swan: "Tell me about the picture everyone has seen."
Marcus Schrenker: "I was high in that picture. If you look at my eyes in that picture, I have shark eyes. My pupils are completely dilated. Anyone in their right mind, would never take a picture as ostentatious and as in your face as that picture was. Look at Michelle's ring, on her finger. Huge ring. You look at those cars. Look at that airplane. It looks like we had it all. But, deep down inside, I was dying. I was in this depression that I could not shake."
Scott Swan: "And you're having an affair..."
Marcus Schrenker: "The whole thing with Kelly has been completely out of proportion. Absolutely out of proportion. Kelly and I had been friends for years. Kelly had a child, was not doing well. I stepped in to help her. Everyone made it sound like it was this adulterous relationship. And, it wasn't. I was simply trying to help a friend. And, that did not sit well with Michelle."
Scott Swan: "Was that the reason she filed for divorce?"
Marcus Schrenker: "She thought I was having an adulterous affair with this woman and assumed that I was. It took me two years for my memory to recover. Where I could really understand what happened to me and Kelly in that last year and be able to recall vividly all the times we were together and what happened."
Scott Swan: "How do you want to set the record straight? What's been said about you that's not true?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I wouldn't even know where to start. I wish someone would have come to be and said what happened. I would have told the truth. I'm very sorry what happened to those clients and the money they've lost. And, I'm going to do what I have to do to make that right. That's not a legacy I'm going to leave for my family. I'm going to do the right thing. I'm taking my punishment like a man. And, I'm going to be a better person because of it. It's helped me. I'm going to reach out to others and help them with dependency when I get out of here.
My children - I don't want them to think I was leaving them. I wasn't of sound mind that night. I love them. I love those three kids with everything I have. I want them to do know that. It's hard for them to understand what these pills do to one's mind. It's hard for them to understand what the bi-polar does. It's a hell of an illness. But, I want them to know that I miss them. I think about them every day. I love them. I should have gotten help and I'm sorry I didn't get help and I'm sorry all this happened. But, I'm going to do what's right. And, I'm going to see this out."
Scott Swan: "Why are you nervous about getting out?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I'm extremely nervous about that. Everywhere I go, people know me. Even in here, I'm recognized. I don't know how I'll live a sense of normalcy. How will I get my life back. That's scary when everything's been taken away. And, you've been punished to this level. When you've been eviscerated to this level, getting your credibility and your reputation back. It's going to be a hell of a fight."
Scott Swan: "What do you want to do when you get outside? Can you salvage that?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I think I'll be ten times as successful as I was. I'll never touch a drink again. I'll never touch a drug again. That I know. I would like to own my own business again someday but not in finance. I have no desire. It's a very high pressure industry. Very unpredictable. Extremely stressful. I think that's what drove me to the alcohol and the drugs so much. I really want t o help others deal with dependency and addiction. And, If I can just save one life, it's worth it."
Scott Swan: "Your story plays out like a movie."
Marcus Schrenker: "We've been approached by Hollywood. It's no secret. Yes, they want a story, and do a screenwrite with an A list actor. There's novelists and authors that want to do the book, I'm just not really sure yet if I want my life memorialized in a movie."
Scott Swan: You've got to pay these clients back to the tune of $650,000. How will you pay these clients back?"
Marcus Schrenker: I can't start that process until I'm out of here and obviously going back to work.
If I would agree to a movie, I would ask that those proceeds go to the clients and that way, they're taken care of and then I can start with a clean slate.
(NOTE FROM INDIANA SECRETARY OF STATE: The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has a procedure to attach the proceeds of media rights of convicted felons to pay restitution. The majority of the funds go to victims. However, the securities victims also have a civil judgment against Schrenker, which is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, which means that they can seek even the portion that would go to Schrenker.)
Scott Swan: "Do you think you can salvage your marriage?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I love Michelle with everything I have. I forgive her. If I expect her to forgive me, I have to forgive her. I don't think I'll ever love another woman as much as I love her. That's what's so scary. I would do anything to work out our marriage. But, I've asked her to come forward, you need to take responsibility, where you need to. You need to do what's right. If you're going to be my wife, you need to start acting like it. I do love her."
Scott Swan: "You've been painting in prison. How has that been therapeutic for you?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I've never drawn or painted in my life. I think in second grade I did water colors. But the doctors recommended it. I was having a hard time with my memory. My memories were so jogged. I couldn't tell what came first, college or high school. I couldn't tell who was friends or not. I would ask Michelle, who keeps writing me and she said, it's one of my your best friends. I don't remember this person. So, the doctor said take up an art. Draw with your left hand, draw with your right hand, and think of things you remember. Beach scenes or whatever, and that will help job your memory and help things connect. I try to think of places in my mind that Michelle and I have been. I could sit for hours and make these paintings. In my life, I'll never have time like this again. There's something incredibly calming about spending a couple of hours and just painting."
Scott Swan: "You play basketball. You get exercise..."
Marcus Schrenker: "Exercise is almost mandatory and it's good. It's part of the recovery process. I've lost over 50 pounds since I got here and I want to lose another 30 pounds before I leave."
Scott Swan: "You're close to an airport (in this prison)."
Marcus Schrenker: "When the jets start up over there, I can smell 'em. And, that just brings back this wave of memories. Sometimes, some nights will start up and I'll have night terrors, all night about the accident, my roommate will wake me up and say calm down, it's just a dream. We can hear the control tower. Why God, why did you put me here - laughter."
Scott Swan: "What are those dreams like. What do you dream about?"
Marcus Schrenker: "It's just the airplane exploding. It was so violent, Scott. It was so violent. It's something you've never forget."
Scott Swan: "What was the mistake you made and not getting the plane to the Gulf?"
Marcus Schrenker: "If I had pressed the auto pilot button, it would have climbed back up to altitude, and it would have gone way past the Cayman Islands. But, a jet at low altitude, burns through its fuel very quickly. It's a turbo prop, with a turbine engine, it descended down to altitude, and it used up its fuel in 45 minutes."
Scott Swan: "So, had you hit autopilot, how much different would your life be?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I'd be dead. That's the ironic thing. If they wouldn't have caught me, and forced me to detox, I would be dead today."
Scott Swan: "No doubt at all."
Marcus Schrenker: "No doubt at all. I was a complete train wreck."
Scott Swan: "Was your plan to go to the Caribbean, to Mexico, to Europe?"
Marcus Schrenker: "What I really want to emphasize - I really wasn't in a good state of mind. My only desire at that point was to stay high. Was to keep the pill dosage coming. The Oxycontin, which is synthetic heroin basically, that was my only drive. If I would have had enough access to money, I probably would have bought enough money to kill myself."
Scott Swan: "What have I not asked you that you want my viewers to know. Something that's on your mind or heart."
Marcus Schrenker: "I'm human. I have feelings too. I wish people could understand how horrible that was. I miss being loved. I miss being held. I miss my family. I miss my kids. I miss them so much. You can take everything away from me, everything materialistic, I really don't care about that. But, you take your kids away from me, and its hell. It's a prison sentence in itself."
Scott Swan: "Prison is a long way from Cocktail Cove, isn't it?"
Marcus Schrenker: "It is. It is. I grew up with nothing. I was from a middle class family. I'm a survivor. This doesn't bother me one bit, this has been good for me. The more I acquire, the more unhappy I was. I couldn't find happiness."
Scott Swan: "You had it all."
Marcus Schrenker: "On the outside yes. The more I acquired, the more unhappy I became. I found that my assets began to control me. And, that's a lesson a lot of people learn about money and wealth, it's not all cracked up to what you think it's going to be."
Scott Swan: "You had a million dollar home, airplanes, cars..."
Marcus Schrenker: "At one point, I think my total net worth was over 10 million."
Scott Swan: "How much do you think you lost?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Ten million. Lost it all." [Laughter.] "I don't know what I have. I don't want to speculate about that and talk about that too much. I think when I get out I'll have to really sit down and figure out what I have left and go from there."
Scott Swan: "What about the people who are watching this and say he's not getting enough time. There's not enough time he can spend in prison?"
Marcus Schrenker: "Prison isn't the hard part. Jail was the hard part. I spent two years in solitary confinement. Scott, if I locked you up in one of those rooms for one day you'd go crazy. Think about doing that for two years. I've been punished at a level that most prisoners, most murderers will never get. I was eviscerated on TV. The Nancy Grace's, they hammered away at me over and over. And, I couldn't defend myself. I wasn't well enough to defend myself. I've lost everything. Plus, I've been sent to prison. I think we send people to prison that we don't like sometimes which is sad."
Scott Swan: "Once you get out of here, will you ever want to fly again? Do you want your own plane? Do you want your pilot's license?"
Marcus Schrenker: "I miss it so much. I'll always see planes up here flying around. I miss that. I don't know though. I don't know if I could ever pilot a plane again."
Michelle Schrenker came to Channel 13 on Oct. 17 2011 to watch the entire interview and released this statement.
"There is no validity to anything this man has to say," said Michelle Schrenker.