Mental Illness Crimes: What the mother of convicted throat slasher actually said to police

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:30 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 8:32 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - 13 News Investigates is getting more clarification on what led up to an accomplished Tucson musician’s arrest for trying to kill a random stranger outside a popular store.

Michael Moynihan Junior has now been convicted of this crime.

13 News Investigates began investigating this case to find out why Michael Moynihan, a convicted felon who suffers from schizophrenia, had been released early from probation.

Three days later, Moynihan was charged again for a violent crime -- this time attempted murder.

13 News Investigates obtained the interim complaint filed right after his arrest, but the mother disputes part of it.

A detective wrote that Michael’s mother, whom he lived with, was interviewed.

It states Ann Moynihan “disclosed to officers that last night, Michael was seeing demons and wanted to kill someone.”

Ann told 13 News Investigates she never said that.

She declined an interview and instead gave this statement.

“Unfortunately, this appears to be a generalization and conflation of interviews detailed in the police report and not a direct statement that I made to anyone at TPD. Mike did not tell me at any time he intended to harm anyone.”

So what’s the truth? 13 News Investigates asked Tucson Police to go over their records for clarification as 13 News Investigates was told conversations with Ann were recorded. We were given those recordings and the supplemental police reports that gives more details about her conversations with police.

13 News Investigates first set out to determine whether the statement in the Interim Complaint that Michael told her he wanted to kill someone the night before the stabbing is true.

Nowhere in the recordings or supplemental reports did Ann say that.

In a recording recorded at the scene, an officer asked Ann, “Does he have any suicidal or homicidal ideations that you know of?”

Ann replied, “I don’t believe he had those.”

Later the same day, in an audio recording with TPD, Ann told a TPD detective, “I want to say that he’s never ever hurt anyone in the past. I mean, he has problems, but never hurt anyone ever.”

It appears Ann did not say Michael wanted to kill someone.

Police reports reveal it was *Michael who said it to officers after the attack at the scene.

After “flagging down officers to turn himself in,” he said, “he wanted to experience what it felt like to kill someone.”

While in jail after his arrest, staff reported he had been “making statements about how he almost killed someone and about killing people.”

Did Ann tell the police “Michael was seeing demons” the night before?

Ann did talk about it in the first recording.

After the officer asked whether Michael had homicidal ideations, Ann replied, “I don’t believe he has those. He has, um, like he’s being contacted by demons, giving him direction.”

It’s unclear here when Michael had talked about the demons.

A supplemental report shows, “Ann specifically reported Moynihan had not slept and had been listening to demons.”

In the second recording, she stated, “I thought he was doing okay, but this morning he told me that he didn’t sleep well, that he didn’t sleep at all. He seemed to be acting a little odd.”

Our investigation into the Moynihan case continues.

For previous coverage on this case, please go to these links:

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