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Janice Bonnell murdered husband Brett Bonnell, blamed it on a hit and run: Snapped on Oxygen

Police tape

This week on Snapped, the team looks at a mysterious murder from Seadrift, Texas. The death of Brett Bonnell looks like a hit and run, but is there more to it? And does wife, Janice Bonnell, really know what happened?

A maintenance worker discovered the body of 40-year-old Brett Bonnell at 5 AM lying at the side of the road beside his Ford Probe. He had received a blunt force trauma to the side of the head.

Janice Bonnell told officers that her husband had left their mobile home the previous evening to buy a phonecard from Walmart. His car had a flat tire, and at first glance, it looked like a case of hit and run. Was this a tragic accident?

The police began to think that the idea of a hit and run just didn’t seem to add up. There was no evidence to suggest that another car had been at the scene.  There were no skid marks. His injury suggested a side mirror might have hit him, but there was no glass at the scene.

Did Brett and Janice Bonnell have a troubled marriage?

The police then began to learn of a troubled marriage between Janice and Brett. The pair had moved to Texas with their 13-year-old daughter from Indiana earlier in the year, hoping to make a fresh start.

Unfortunately, Janice’s dream of opening an embroidery shop in town remained elusive, and the pair had financial difficulties. However, Brett did have a life insurance policy that was worth a cool $19,000.

The police concluded that Janice had bashed her husband on the side of the head with a baseball bat while he slept in their trailer. She then enlisted her sister, Betty Roney, to help her place Brett’s remains on the road in the hope that it would look like a hit and run.

They then tried to appear innocent by constantly harassing officers to find the driver of the hit and run vehicle, but the cops saw through their ruse.

Janice attempted to excuse her actions by claiming that Brett abused her and that she was fearful for her life. Her accusations were subsequently dismissed as lies.

In October 2008, Janice received a 45-year prison sentence and must serve 22-years before being considered for parole.

More from Snapped on Oxygen

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Snapped.

Teresa Lewis hatched a dastardly plan to have her husband, Julian Lewis, and his son, Charles Lewis, murdered so she would be the sole beneficiary of life insurance money. She paid two men who she’d been sleeping with to do her dirty work.

Another murderous woman was Cynthia Phillips, who’s many husbands and boyfriends appeared to come to a grisly end. Phillips had left a body count across many states, but the police finally caught up to her after she shot boyfriend, Toby Matthews.

Snapped airs at 6/5c on Oxygen.


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