Forensic Files Season 8 Episode 8 All Wet

in four years time this man suffered the loss of two wives and his business went bankrupt he got to say this guy's got to be the most unlucky person in the world [Music] was it bad luck or as one forensic scientist asked was it too coincidental [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] in 1994 36 year-old Tim Bukowski and his three children moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to begin a new life just a few months earlier in North Carolina Tim suffered the dual loss of his business and the accidental death of his wife Elaine finally things out the memories will never go away but you kind of like had to put out like a backseat to that and kind of like move on Tim started a small company to make crowns and bridges for local dentists in just seven months after the death of his wife he met 32 year-old Mary Ann Fullerton she met him at a dance she came home all excited saying she met the most wonderful man at the Catholic singles club that night and all her friends figured you know they hadn't seen her that excited in a while and it just might be the person Maryann soon fell in love with Tim and his kids Randy sandy and Todd when the couple married Maryann included Tim's children in the ceremony she vowed to love them and cherish them and take care of them as long as she could she hugged Randy she kissed sandy she kissed Todd and she was very emotional when she said this prayer in church I'm looking from the outside in you wouldn't have known that she wasn't you know a real mother per say their opinion thought Todd what do you have when we gonna do but just 18 months after the wedding tragedy struck 10 bus Kowski yet again shortly after midnight on November 7 1994 Tim found his wife unconscious in the family hot tub Maryann was rushed to the trauma center of Allegheny General Hospital but it was too late she was pronounced dead it's probably the worst feeling in the world Tim told police that he and Maryann went into the hot tub together around 11 o'clock they ignored or were unaware of safety warnings that they should spend no longer than 10 or 15 minutes in the hot water and doctors warned against drinking alcohol than a hot tub [Music] Tim and Maryann stayed in for over an hour and Tim admitted the two had been drinking he was really pushing the fact that she was drinking heavily 13 to 15 beers that's a lot of beer later Tim left to take a shower and he said Maryann stayed behind when Tim returned 20 minutes later he found Mary Ann's lifeless body in the water she was immersed in a hot tub the spa that had a temperature of approximately 104 degrees the outside air in early November was in the 30s she probably attempted to get out of the tub and had an episode of lightheadedness because of the blood rushing out to the cooled extremities and had a fainting spell fell into the tub and drowned Maryann's blood-alcohol level was point to to over twice the legal limit of intoxication it's never Pleasant nor easy to tabash the deceased they're not here to defend themselves but the long and short of it in this case was that Marianne Vos Kowski did have a history of drinking she had believed two DUIs we had an episode where we had witnesses that were in the choir with her a church were concerned about her drinking once again Tim Boz Kowski was a widower you got to say this guy's gonna be the most unlucky person in the world to lose both wives in a 4-year period how unlucky can you be on the night Marianne Vos Kowski died police investigating the case were not sure whether it was a freak accident or something else on the hot tub lay two wet beach towels on the bottom of the tub lay the temperature gauge which had broken loose from its housing and a pair of women's eyeglasses on the deck officers also saw a wet pack of cigarettes and ashtray two cups and a small box that held the breathing device Tim used to administer CPR on Maryann until paramedics arrived the device typically is used on strangers to prevent disease that was suspicious the person whose right mind would want to use this device on his own wife and take the time to leave her alone in that tub the run down in the basement to find this thing to bring it up something else bothered police a scratch on tim buck oust his neck detectives asked him to remove his shirt they saw multiple scratches on both sides of his waist his shoulder and left thumb and his left shin was bruised these superficial scratches on his back did not bleed okay they were not surrounded by bruising or black and blue or hematoma contusions on his body they were just little scratches didn't necessarily take a trained police officer to figure out that there was really something wrong here Mary Ann's family was suspicious they had heard rumors that Tim's first wife died under similar circumstances I asked Maryann I said I had heard that she had drowned in a bathtub and Maryann said Oh Aunt Ruth she choked on something and I said what in the world was she eat and in the bathtub that she would choke on and she said well I don't know she said Tim doesn't like to talk about it it gets to upset police in Greensboro North Carolina confirmed that Tim's first wife Elaine died in a bathtub accident four years earlier Tim said elaine was intoxicated when she came home from a church social function Elaine went to take a bath Tim said he went to bed at the time the couple's daughter sandy was six years old both she and her father said they heard a loud noise in the bathroom I remember hearing I said I remember getting up and anyone who looked my dad up Tim said the bathroom door was locked which he forced open with the screwdriver inside he found his wife on her back in the bathtub unconscious submerged in the water Tim said he pulled her out of the tub and placed her over the shower-door tracks to try to revive her he laid her across the tub thinking that he could get the water out of her because he felt like she had swallowed water and that was keeping her from breathing paramedics rushed Tulane to the Wesley long Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead I was in admiration of Elaine I admired her strength I admired her freeness to laugh she had such beautiful qualities at the scene police found vomit in the bathtub from Tim's resuscitation efforts but no water in the tub or nearby how do you get her out and not be whipped how do you get her out and not be water everywhere like what happened to the war there was a thing that kept freaking me out even the shower door tracks were completely dry Brenda Vance was a rookie police officer in 1990 and the same size as Tim's first wife Elaine disturbed by the lack of water in the bus Kowski bathroom vance conducted an experiment in her own home bathtub the officer wanted to see how much water it took to submerge her head we start filling the turbo when there's enough water in the tub that it started getting up right here on my face my head's floating up an unconscious person is just gonna float right up so that didn't make any sense to me second thing was before I could get enough water in there the overflow valve was taking the water out so I could never submerge myself in my tub you know we proved his story just didn't hold water it no water there but it did not happen that way elaine boczkowski's autopsy revealed no water in the airways forensic pathologists say water is not always present in the lungs of drowning victims three parallel lines marked the lower chest and upper abdomen consistent with the shower-door tracks on the bus cows keys bathtub the explanations that he offered for the marks on the body couldn't be refuted by the autopsy findings when he said I put her over the edge of the tub to try to resuscitate her or an attempt to save her life well we we have a mark that's consistent with putting a body over the edge of a tub the toxicology report showed Elaine's blood-alcohol level was zero she was not inebriated as Tim claimed despite the inconsistency the coroner ruled the cause of death undetermined well you call it undetermined because I don't really believe a story but I can't say that it didn't happen that way but I'm suspicious but you know there's just not quite enough there I understand why she made the call that she did to begin with I think it to answer your question directly I think she did the best she could under the circumstances I also believe that that she probably felt very badly personally when the second woman died but if Tim bas Kowski got away with murder the first time would he be lucky enough to get away with it again with wife number two [Music] Tinh boss Kowski had been married two times both wives died under suspicious circumstances the first in a bathtub the second in a hot tub friends and relatives say the two wives strongly resembled each other and they actually wore their hairstyle the same it was ironic because they both wore glasses that were coke-bottle thick and that was another similarity both of them were very much involved in the Catholic Church the investigation into the death of Tim's first wife was inconclusive investigators were hoping for more in the autopsy of Tim's second wife it is impossible to know exactly what happened but we can piece together some things in an intelligent and logical fashion the medical examiner found 53 bruises externally and internally on the upper arms the back and the upper neck we find some bruising and hemorrhaging on the lips and at the base of the gums at the inside bottom portions of the lips then we find these bruises on the arms that are strongly suggestive of fingernail impressions we do have several areas of focal hemorrhage in the neck in those small muscles we call strap muscles because they resemble small elongated rectangular straps and we find small hemorrhages in the surrounding soft tissues pressure to the side of the neck halts the blood flow in the carotid artery to the brain and pressure to the vagus nerve alongside the carotid slows the heart muscle and respiration bradycardia as we call it that slowing of the heart can set the stage in some instances uncontrollably unpredictably quite erratically of a cardiac arrhythmia and abnormal beating of the heart in other words the heart just stops beating the lungs then stopped functioning and in a matter of four to six minutes you're dead dr. wecht says maryann Bukowski did not drown I think that mr. Bukowski strangled her I think he applied pressure to her neck I think that he held her arms he may well have held her underwater although we don't have any definitive evidence of prolonged immersion in water I think that it was a staged drowning I think that the death was due to strangulation Maryann's blood-alcohol level 0.22 was proof she was intoxicated dr. Wecht says being intoxicated made it difficult for Maryann to fight off her attacker the official ruling asphyxiation due to compression of the neck as the medical evidence incontrovertibly in our minds indicated he strangled her to death in plain English it's not that easy to get away with something the second or third time that you try to do it if Tim murdered both of his wives as alleged what was the motive when prosecutors interviewed maryann Bukowski's family and friends they learned that tim and maryann had recently been on a cruise and all was not happy Marian said if things don't get better when I by the time I get back I can always leave and I'm taking the children with me there was evidence Tim's first wife Elaine was planning to divorce him as well as a grown woman in her 30s a mother she was discovering rock and roll from the sixties and seventies she she was really pursuing a wholeness as an individual I don't think he killed the woman that he married I think he killed the woman he was afraid of Tim's first wife had no life insurance to speak of but Tim purchased a $100,000 life-insurance policy on his second wife if and when the time came that he ever had to kill her he would do it and this time you'd have a lot more money than he got the first time even after these two suspicious deaths the children steadfastly defended their father they say that he's innocent but they're in counseling Tim bas Kowski was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his first wife Elaine and his second wife Marianne Vos Kowski insisted he was innocent the evidence does not support that in charge prosecutors in Greensboro believe Tim followed Elaine into the bathroom that night in 1990 a later interview with one of the children revealed there was an argument before Elaine got into the shower Tim forced her over the edge of the tub and held her there for four or five minutes preventing her from breathing at some point in the struggle Elaine vomited before she died the lack of water in and around the bathtub and the bruises on Elaine's body told a tale of violence in Tim's second marriage to Maryann there were problems once more he just killed the first one why not kill the second got away with the first one he figured he can get away with this one Pittsburgh prosecutors believe Tim and Maryann argued in the hot tub possibly about her drinking or her interest in having children of her own the evidence suggests Tim quickly overpowered Maryann possibly covering her head with the beach towels to muffle her screams Maryann fought for her life splashing water onto the deck and scratching Tim's back Tim knew from the first murder that strangulation victims sometimes vomit this may be why he used the CPR mouthpiece in Maryann's case as protection while performing CPR when paramedics arrived all charade all just to play the acting he was terrible actor by the way Tim's defense lawyer says that his client had no motive to kill his wife Tim's business up here was successful they had a new house things were going well for them the only bone of contention that anybody could point to at the time was that they had some arguments over the kids and if that's a reason to charge a man with murder then we're we're all in trouble in the greensboro case and the Pittsburgh case Tim's defense claimed that both of his wives had underlying heart conditions that caused accidental death if you believe in fairy godmothers and things like that and you're prepared to believe that something with a hundred billion to one OS that can happen then maybe you could argue that in Greensboro North Carolina the jury found Tim botzcowski guilty in the first-degree murder of Elaine wife number one he was sentenced to life in prison in the murder trial of Maryann wife number two it was the same verdict guilty but that jury sentenced bus Kowski to death I think his sentence should be tie bricks around him Shane had chained them to him rather and throw him in the Allegheny River and let him see what it's like to drive but you're not gonna use that I was always against the death penalty having lived through this situation I've changed my views tim baz Kowski continues to maintain his innocence his children say their father didn't receive fair trials because jurors in both cases heard about both deaths well without forensics of course this case would have been missed and if a case like this happens in a jurisdiction in which there is no competent forensic pathologist it could well be missed you know the marks on the neck a very very subtle very minimal she left a message for all of us with trauma about her body had proved that this was an accidental he basically told the same story twice with two wives you know and in both cases neither story held water you know so he was basically just all wet [Music] [Music] [Music]