Your Worst Nightmare is looking at the callous attack that former NYPD detective Christopher ‘Chris’ Hanney inflicted on his wife, Audrey Mabrey.
Mabrey and Hanney had been living in Tampa, Fl. when their marriage began to hit the rocks. The pair had been separated for a few months, but on November 17, 2009, Mabray decided to stop off at their home for a break following a run.
Mabrey later described how she was greeted by her husband, Chris Hanney, holding a butcher’s knife. He brought her into the garage, where he first tried to rape her before beating her in the head with a hammer.
She was still conscious when he then doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.
Despite her horrific injuries, Mabrey was able to activate the garage door, which led to a neighbor spotting her and dialing 911.
Mabrey was airlifted to a hospital with 2nd and 3rd-degree burns covering 80% of her body. She then spent six weeks in a medically induced coma, and it was months before she saw her children again.
There followed years of extensive and painful reconstruction surgery and therapy; Mabrey has since made fantastic strides on the road to regaining some normality in her life. Still, she will never fully recover from the sadistic attack and will always carry the physical and mental scars.
She has since become an advocate for empowering other survivors of domestic violence through a nonprofit organization called Break the Silence.
Hanney tried to accuse Mabrey of attempted murder
When it came to his trial in 2012, Hanney tried to claim that it had been self-defense. He said that Mabrey had been the one armed with the gasoline and that she had tried to kill him. He said he kicked out at his advancing ex-wife, causing her to be engulfed in flames.
However, the jury didn’t buy his lies, and he was convicted of attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison for the attempted murder but was also given 30 years for arson and another 30 years for aggravated battery.
Hanney’s defense had asked for leniency in his sentence, pointing to his years of service in the NYPD, but the prosecution had countered by stating: “Better than anyone else, this defendant should know right from wrong.”
More from Your Worst Nightmare
Follow the links to read about more horrific instances of domestic abuse and murder profiled on Your Worst Nightmare.
Before this episode, ID examined the case of Jonathan Pearson, who attacked his girlfriend, Joi Partain, as she tried to sleep with a golf club. He smashed her in the face between 10 and 15 times before the club snapped in half. He then resumed beating her with another club. This violent brute was given 15 years in prison.
Earlier this evening, ID also looked at the case of Peggy Klinke was afraid of what boyfriend Patrick Kennedy would do if she left him.
Her fears were realized when he spent a year stalking her. After she fled the state, he eventually hunted her down and shot her dead before turning the gun on himself.
Your Worst Nightmare Before Christmas airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.