This week on Fatal Vows, the team examines the case of Juan Gonzales and Kathy Lujan, a married couple from Lujan, Texas.
On May 11, 2016, 41-year-old Kathy Lujan went missing. Her husband Gonzalez filed a missing person’s report on the 14. Police thought he looked like a concerned husband, frantic with worry over the well-being of his wife and children.
However, investigators would later learn that Gonzales was a cold-blooded killer who had murdered his wife, wrapped her in blankets, and then dumped her body in a drainage ditch in a Texas oil field.
The pair had argued over Gonzales’s use of Lujan’s money and a phone call that she had allegedly made to somebody. She confronted him in the kitchen, where she berated her husband and reportedly pushed him and grabbed his shirt.
The scuffle got entirely out of hand when Gonzales struck his wife, and they both fell to the floor where they continued to wrestle with each other. The struggle culminated in Lujan being choked to death.
Juan Gonzales confessed to killing Lujan to officers
Juan Gonzales was put under intense police questioning before he eventually admitted to killing Lujan. He was first arrested for credit card fraud concerning his wife’s card. While in detention, he decided to cooperate with investigators over the murder, and he informed authorities where to find Lujan’s remains.
At his trial, Gonzales pleaded guilty to the murder and to tampering with physical evidence, a human corpse. He asked that the jury consider that he acted in the heat of passion. The jury disagreed with him ruling the crime as deliberate; he was sentenced to life in prison and fined $10,000.
His August 2019 appeal failed when the Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed the original trial’s judgment.
More from Fatal Vows
Follow the links to read about more marital strife that culminated in murder.
Jo Ringer told friends that she was scared of her husband, Chad Reidy. She said to them she was planning to escape when the time was right.
Unfortunately, that time never came, as she was subsequently reported missing; her remains were found a year later. As the police were building their case against Chad Reidy, he evaded justice by committing suicide.
One night something drove Edgar Whitney to strangle his wife, Jodie Whitney, in their bed with their 3-year-old daughter sleeping nearby. Edgar tried to cover his tracks by dumping her remains in a swamp.
After attempting suicide a week later, Edgar finally came clean and confessed to the murder.
Fatal Vows airs Monday’s 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.