Tonight’s Fatal Vows series on Investigation Discovery looks at the murder of mum Pegye Bechler by her husband Eric during a birthday boat cruise.
Pegye vanished after disappearing from the speedboat while celebrating her big day off the coast of Orange County.
Bechler claimed his wife’s death in 1997 was an accidentally and he pleaded not guilty to her murder.
He said that he was on a bodyboard being towed along behind the boat by his wife when he was knocked underwater by a wave — finding her gone when he resurfaced.
But he was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
It came after he was secretly recorded admitting to a new girlfriend, bikini model Tina New who had appeared on Baywatch Nights, how he bludgeoned Pegye to death then dumped her weighted body into the sea.
After the physical therapist’s death he tried to claim more than $2million in a life-insurance pay-out. The pair had three children together.
It took the jury seven days to deliberate before they announced their verdict.
Fatal Vows looks at cases where couples’ marriages end in disaster, with this episode looking at how the good-looking couple seemed to have everything going for them before Pegye ended up dead.
Fatal Vows airs Saturdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.