A chilling killing

News.com.au reports on the scuba diving death:

HONEYMOON killer Gabe Watson could face the death penalty when he is released from an Australian jail and returns to the US.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King yesterday announced he would go after Watson for a capital , the worst category of murder in the state.

If he is convicted, Watson faces death by lethal injection or life without parole.

The 32-year-old bubble-wrap salesman has admitted to killing his new wife who drowned as they explored the Great Barrier Reef on their October 2003 honeymoon.

In June, he cut a deal with Queensland prosecutors and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

He was sentenced to 4 1/2 years’ jail, to be suspended after a year, in a decision that devastated Tina’s family and provoked public outcry over its leniency.

Queensland Attorney General Cameron Dick appealed the sentence and the Court of Appeal on Friday ruled Watson should spend another six months in jail, which means he will be back in Alabama in December 2010.

I’d not heard of this case, so got curious. What made people think it was a deliberate killing, not an accident? Well as always, Wikipedia has the answers:

During an excursion to the site of the SS Yongala, a passenger ship that sank in 1911, Tina lost consciousness and sank to the bottom, 100 feet below the water’s surface. Gabe claimed that the currents were stronger than they expected and that he responded to a signal from her to return to the dive rope where he noted a look of worry on her face before she accidentally knocked his mask loose. When he recovered his sight, she was sinking too quickly for him to retrieve her and he surfaced to get help. He also stated there was nothing in his training as a rescue diver “about how to get somebody” in trouble to the surface.[1] There were other divers nearby at the time, including one diver who saw Gabe engaged in an underwater “bear hug” with his wife, after which he headed for the surface while his wife fell to the ocean floor.

Okay I can see why it looked suspicious.

Tina’s father claimed that Gabe had asked Tina to increase her life insurance and make him the sole beneficiary shortly before their wedding. The insurance company confirmed that Gabe had twice emailed questions about the company’s dive insurance policies prior to the honeymoon and had asked about her insurance shortly after her death. Gabe also claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance money from her death until he was named as a possible murder suspect

And now alarm bells ringing big time. Not only is Watson probably a killer, he is a very stupid one to have left a paper trial of guilt behind.

Now the Watsons were on their honeymoon. This is when you realise how chilling this is. He presumably pretended to love her, and got married to her just so he could kill her to claim the insurance.

Tina Watson is buried in Pelham. Her remains were relocated in 2007 to a different lot purchased by Gabe.

After being informed by her family that flowers and gifts were repeatedly being vandalized or disappearing from the grave site, even when chained down, Sergeant Flinn investigated. On hidden surveillance videos, he witnessed removing them with bolt cutters and angrily discarding them in trash receptacles.

It’s circumstantial evidence, but wow is this one dump fucker.

Gabe moved into the house that he had inherited from Tina after her death.[7]

On August 15, 2008 Gabe married Kim Lewis. Reporters have described her as a “Tina Watson lookalike”.

Oh dear. Why would you marry someone who has been charged for killing his former wife? As much as I despise the evil sociopathic men who abuse and kill their partners, I also despair at the women who ignore the warning signs.

It is a pity the Australian authorities did a plea bargain for manslaughter rather than risk trying him for murder. Considering he had given 16 different versions of what happened, I think he was so stupid he would have destroyed himself on the stand if he testified. Mind you, he probably would not be allowed to testify, so maybe the manslaughter plea was better than nothing.

There is further info on Watson on this site.

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