Details in Alleged 'Honeymoon Killer' Case May Make You Second Guess Your Lover

scuba divingTypically on Valentine's Day, we're overwhelmed with sweet and schmaltzy stories of marriage proposals and other romantic declarations of love. But the story of the so-called "honeymoon killer" is a story of love gone very, very wrong.

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Gabe Watson, the man accused of killing his new bride, Tina Watson, while scuba diving on their Australian honeymoon back in 2003. Anyone who has followed the story from the beginning knows Watson's defense by heart: He's saying her death was completely accidental. She panicked during a dive and when he went to help her, she knocked his mask; by the time he recovered, it was too late.

The prosecution, however, is telling a MUCH different story ...

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They say Watson intentionally drowned his wife -- turning off his wife's air supply and holding her until she was unconscious. (One witness corroborated this story, saying he saw Watson holding his wife in a bear hug.) The motive? It's such a cliche: Money. He wanted to collect her life insurance policy.

Of course, the wrinkle in the prosecution's story is that Tina's father, Tommy Thomas, actually collected her $33,000 life insurance policy. But Thomas claims that Watson believed the policy had been increased to $130,000 just before the wedding and that HE was the beneficiary instead of her father. Verrrrrry curious.

The other detail that isn't helping Watson is that he actually pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter in Australia and served 18 months in an Australian prison. His lawyer justifies this as essentially "being a bad dive buddy" and nothing more. Nevertheless, a guilty plea isn't helping Watson win any popularity points now that he's been transferred back home and faces a trial here.

And why should it? Any way you look at it, this love story is absolutely horrific. Tina was an inexperienced diver who trusted in her husband to protect and help her on a potentially dangerous dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Even if it comes out in the trial that he has been wrongfully accused of doing anything intentional, the fact that she trusted her partner and he could not do enough to help her -- and on their honeymoon! -- is still a terrifying tragedy that resonates with anyone that's part of a trusting couple.

Do you think Gabe Watson is guilty?

 

Image via TANAKA Juuyoh/Flickr

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