It worked the first time- for a while

William Peter New was found guilty of killing his wife. Or perhaps I should say he was found guilty of killing both his wives.

The jury took just 4 hours to deliberate before finding him guilty of the murders of Sept. 9, 1973, death of Somsri New, and the Oct. 15, 2004, death of Phyllis New.

When Somsri died, he claimed he was cleaning a rifle, and it went off after he dropped it. Somsri was shot in the back of the head. Both were killed at close range, and both were sleeping at the time they were killed. It was the similiarity between the two murders that drew the attention of investigators.

When Phyllis died, New claimed he had left the home to get medication for his wife and she was shot in the head by a burgler.

New was found guilty of both murders with a special circumstance of multiple murders. He is facing life in prison with out the possibility of parole.

According to the article, New did divorce his third wife.

The article doesn’t describe what the circumstances were for the third wife. I wonder what ended that marraige?


New recieved $15,000 in insurance benefits at the time of Somsri’s death and was to collect $800,000 for the death of Phyllis. One article says that there was a third wife, but this article indicates that the other marriage was New’s second marriage, and that they are divorced. Phyllis was the third marriage. Evidently New had been talking with an old high school flame, in the months prior to Phyllis’s death and had made more than 90 calls to her. He had told the old flame he was single and available.

%d bloggers like this: