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10 Newlyweds Who Chose Murder over Marriage

by Julie Henthorn
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

While there can be an immense amount of mental and financial stress that goes into planning the wedding of your dreams, the day you say “I do” is also supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life.

After the formalities of the ceremony, the reception allows couples to share their first dance and celebrate with friends and family before going on a honeymoon. From there, the first day of the rest of their lives is supposed to begin as they start a new life together.

However, when the 10 newlyweds on this list began having doubts about their marriages, rather than trying to reconcile their differences, ask for a divorce, or seek an annulment, they chose to end the union themselves, and not by legal means.

Related: 10 Bizarre Ways To Save A Marriage

10 Bradley Robert Dawson

Tennessee man accused of killing newlywed wife in Fiji l GMA

Thirty-eight-year-old Bradley Robert Dawson and 36-year-old Christie Chen Dawson of Memphis, Tennessee, were married in February 2022. The couple planned to enjoy their honeymoon in July 2022 at the Turtle Island Resort in Fiji. The exclusive resort is also where the 1980s film The Blue Lagoon was filmed.

However, on the evening of July 8, 2022, another vacationer at the resort complained about noise coming from the couple’s room. They described it as a drunk argument accompanied by a loud scream, a bang, and then utter silence. Unfortunately, no one looked into the matter until the next day when the resort staff realized the couple hadn’t shown up for meals, but by that time, it was too late for Christie. A housekeeper found Christie’s dead body in their room with gruesome injuries to her face, head, and back.

Bradley was arrested on another island on July 11, 2022. While he initially confessed to his wife’s murder, he later changed his story after obtaining legal counsel, stating that he had taken a kayak to a nearby island on July 8, 2022, to give Christie some space after their argument. What Bradley failed to mention was that when he left the resort, he left behind his “sophisticated GPS watch,” only taking his wallet and passport with him.

Bradley is believed to be a flight risk and remains in custody, facing murder charges. However, he maintains his innocence, stating Christie was “his everything” and that he “prays for her every day.” His bail hearing is set for September 1, 2022.[1]

9 Lewis Bennett

FBI charges Lewis Bennett with 2nd-degree murder in missing wife Isabella Hellmann case

Forty-one-year-old Lewis Bennet and 41-year-old Isabella Hellman were married in February 2017. They planned a belated honeymoon for May of that year, in which they would be sailing on a catamaran through the Caribbean before returning to Florida.

On May 17, 2017, the couple charted a course from Varadero, Cuba, back to Florida. However, Bennett claimed the vessel was on “auto-pilot,” and Hellman took watch as he slept. He was awakened several hours later by a “crashing underneath,” and when we went above deck to investigate, Hellman was gone.

Bennett put no effort into looking for his missing wife. Once the ship began taking on water, he gathered some of his belongings, along with $35,445 in antique coins, which he claimed had been stolen by one of his former employees, boarded a life raft, and loosed himself from the sinking ship. He then left one of Hellman’s sisters a voicemail regarding her disappearance before contacting a friend in Australia whom he asked to contact the Coast Guard. Sadly, despite a 4,900-square-mile (12,690-square-kilometer) search, Hellmann’s body was never found.

Contrary to Bennett’s claims, an investigation revealed that the catamaran had been “intentionally scuttled” as the two holes in the vessel’s hulls were almost identical and created from inside the ship, which could not have been caused by accidental damage or crashing into an object. Additionally, the hatches were left open in order to intentionally sink the boat.

In November 2018, Bennett was offered a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison with three years of supervised release.[2]


8 Jordan Graham

Montana’s Jordan Graham case: Newlywed pushes husband off cliff days after wedding

Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Graham and 25-year-old Cody Johnson were married on June 29, 2013, in Kalispell, Montana. However, only eight days into their new life as husband and wife, Graham lured Johnson to Glacier National Park in West Glacier, Montana, under the premise of a “surprise.”

While Johnson was eager to go with his new bride and canceled his previous plans for kayaking and golfing that day, he had no idea of the sinister “surprise” Graham had in mind. Graham had chosen to confront Johnson about her wedding regrets but chose to have the discussion on a narrow ledge in the park, which sat hundreds of feet above a ravine.

When Graham expressed her unhappiness to Johnson, an argument ensued between the couple. Johnson then grabbed Graham by the arm, but in her anger, she brushed his hand away and pushed him over the cliff to his death before simply driving back home.

Johnson was reported missing on July 8, 2013, but Graham never called the police. In fact, Graham fabricated several different stories and pieces of evidence throughout the investigation into Johnson’s death—from saying he had left with a group of friends to fabricating an email saying he died during a hike. Johnson’s body was found at the bottom of a 300-foot (91-meter) cliff on July 12, 2013.

On December 12, 2013, Graham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder under a plea deal and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.[3]

7 Thomas Nutt

Moment Thomas Nutt Dumped His Murdered Wife’s Body in a Suitcase

Forty-six-year-old Thomas Nutt and 52-year-old Dawn Walker were married on October 27, 2021, in West Yorkshire, England. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted a few hours before Nutt decided to kill his new wife.

After their wedding, the couple was dropped off at home by a taxi driver. Rather than celebrating their nuptials, Nutt beat and strangled Walker and hid her body in a kitchen cabinet before departing on their “honeymoon” to Skegness. Upon his return from the honeymoon, Nutt pretended to be Walker and asked Walker’s daughter to meet via text.

When Walker didn’t arrive, her daughter reported her missing and asked Nutt to help locate her mom. Nutt then put his dead wife’s body in a suitcase and disposed of it in a field near their home. Nutt even went so far as to cover the suitcase tracks in the dirt and put up Halloween decorations in an attempt to conceal any evidence linking him to the crime.

Nutt later turned himself in but claimed that Walker had attacked him and threatened to falsely accuse him of raping her. On August 19, 2022, he was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in prison.[4]


6 Miguel Pichardo

Photo credit: Daily News

By June 2015, 30-year-old Miguel Pichardo and 27-year-old Yollanda Gonsalves of Queens, New York, had only been married for two weeks. However, in Picardo’s eyes, that had been long enough, and on the morning of June 2, 2015, Pichardo felt that “it was her time to die.”

After Gonsalves began questioning Picardo’s authority and “gave him the finger,” he slapped, stabbed, and choked her. When a neighbor heard Gonsalves’s screams, they went to investigate and found Picardo, who claimed he was cleaning, wearing only a pair of bloody pajama bottoms. Gonsalves continued to cry out for help, and the neighbor called the police.

By the time the police arrived, Pichardo was gone, and they found Gonsalves’s body partially wrapped in a living room carpet. Pichardo returned to their apartment a few hours later and confessed to the killing. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.[5]

5 Michael Roberts

Photo credit: Cavendish Press

Twenty-six-year-old Michael Roberts and 25-year-old Vicky Roberts of Runcorn, Cheshire, England, were married in June 2009. However, unbeknownst to Vicky, Michael had been having multiple affairs, both before and after they were married. By October of 2009, Vicky began having suspicions of Michael’s infidelity, although she wanted to make her marriage work. Unfortunately, Michael was dedicated to his mistress and wanted Vicky out of the picture permanently.

On November 29, 2009, Michael strangled Vicky and then wrapped her body in sheets secured with duct tape before hiding her in their garage under a duvet. Michael then sent a text message to Vicky’s parents from her phone, saying she had left him and taken her passport with her.

Vicky’s parents then contacted the airlines in hopes of tracking her. On December 3, 2009, after being unsuccessful in locating their daughter, they contacted the police to report her missing. However, when the police initially visited the couple’s home, they did not find Vicky’s body in the garage. It wasn’t until they made a second visit later that night that they asked Michael to reveal what was under the duvet. When the police saw Vicky’s body, Michael took off on foot.

Michael was later apprehended but denied killing Vicky, stating that he had accidentally killed her with a dressing gown belt when a sex game between the two went wrong. Michael was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 17 years in prison.[6]


4 Ronald John Candaele

Bowness Homicide Investigation

Thirty-three-year-old Melissa Rae Blommaert and 37-year-old Ronald John Candaele of Calgary, Canada, were married on December 1, 2019. However, the couple’s new life together got off to a rocky start, and by February 2020, they had been evicted from their residence.

So, on February 10, 2020, Candaele and Blommaert packed their belongings into a U-Haul truck and hit the road. However, during their drive, the couple got into an argument, and Blommaert decided to get out of the truck. Candaele then got behind the wheel, ran his wife over, and left her to die in the street.

While Candaele denied any involvement in his wife’s death, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.[7]

3 George “Scott” Samson

2 Weddings That Ended In Tragedy (Part 2 – Kelly Ecker)

Fifty-four-year-old Dr. George “Scott” Samson and 50-year-old Kelly Ecker of Terre Haute, Indiana, were married on October 4, 2014. Unfortunately, the newlywed doctor and nurse never lived to see the end of their wedding night.

After the reception, the couple invited guests to an after-party at their home, which lasted until approximately 1:00 am. Shortly after that, Ecker made the first of three separate calls to 911, stating Samson was trying to kill her. Before first responders could be dispatched, Samson shot Ecker in front of her ten-year-old son.

When police arrived, they located an elderly couple and Ecker’s son inside the residence. As officers worked to escort them from the home, Samson went to the basement and took his own life.[8]


2 Upendra Singh

Upendra Singh and his wife Preeti of Agra, India, were married in December 2021. However, Singh was not in love with Preeti. He was in love with his girlfriend Monika Bhardwaj but was forced into the marriage with Preeti by his parents.

Bhardwaj wanted to be the only woman in Singh’s life and threatened to kill herself if Singh did not kill Preeti. On May 22, 2022, Singh agreed to her demands and invited her over to watch him carry out the killing. Singh slit Preeti’s throat multiple times and then smothered her with a pillow as Bhardwaj and another friend, Pallavi, held her down.

Singh, Bhardwaj, and her friend have all been taken into custody, and the investigation is still underway.[9]

1 Mi-sun Yoo

Twenty-eight-year-old Mi-sun Yoo and 31-year-old Tae Kyung Sung of Los Angeles, California, were married in April 2017. Unfortunately, the couple had a history of excessive drinking and domestic violence by both partners.

Sung owned a karaoke nightclub called the Barcode, and when he was not working on building his business, he enjoyed playing video games. However, Yoo was not happy with the way her husband chose to spend his time.

On July 30, 2017, the couple had spent the evening at Sung’s bar, where Yoo had been drinking and also “did some cocaine to sober up” before some friends took them home. After arriving home, Sung logged onto his computer and was texting when Yoo stabbed him “straight through the heart” with a knife.

Yoo called 911, but when police officers arrived at the home, she told them “a Mexican man” had broken into the house, stabbed Sung, and then left. However, there were no signs of an intrusion. Yoo also later claimed that she could not remember what happened that night.

Yoo was convicted of second-degree murder in October 2018 and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

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