Eric Bechler of Newport Beach, California, took his 38-year-old wife Pegye Jann Bechler out on a rented boat. He said she was driving the boat and towing him on a bodyboard. A rogue wave knocked him off the board and then when he surfaced “he saw the boat circling in the distance with his wife gone.” When the US Coast Guard arrived, they reported that “the wife had apparently fallen out of the boat.” But that’s not what really happened.
Eric Bechler, 33, was found guilty of killing Pegye and dumping her body during their boat ride. He would have gotten $2 million from their insurance policy and custody of their three children. The prosecution relied on Bechler’s mistress, a bikini model who appeared on Baywatch Nights, Tina New, to make its case against Bechler. New secretly taped Bechler confessing to her and she testified for the prosecution at Bechler’s trial. Dateline NBC will air Josh Mankiewicz’s interviews with New and Eric’s mother Linda on November 13 at 10pm.