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 apparently fell out of the boat.”
Eric Bechler was later 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 prosecutor could not have put him away without Bechler’s mistress, a bikini model who appeared on Baywatch Nights, Tina New. She secretly taped Bechler confessing to killing Pegye and then testified for the prosection at Bechler’s trial. Dateline NBC will air Josh Mankiewicz’s interviews with New and Eric’s mother Linda on November 13 at 10pm.