Born 17 May 1931
  • Place of birth: Spur, Texas, United States
  • Parents: Marshall Herff Applewhite Sr and Louise Applewhite
  • Children: Two
Ex teacher and religious leader

Case File

Applewhite Opt
Cult Leader


39 Dead
Including Applewhite

Marshall Applewhite was the co-founder and leader of the Heaven's Gate cult, a religious group that gained notoriety in the 1990s. Applewhite, along with Bonnie Nettles, believed in a hybrid of Christianity and science fiction, promoting the idea of ascension to a higher plane of existence. On March 26, 1997, the group gained international attention when an anonymous caller alerted police to a mansion outside San Diego. Inside, 39 Heaven’s Gate members, including Applewhite, committed mass suicide in an attempt to reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft they believed was trailing the Hale-Bopp comet.

  • Leader of Mass Suicide
  • Cult Founder


Suicide by suffocation