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Cindi Vickers Murder: Tracking Billy Vickers’ Whereabouts Today

The ‘Dirty John’ Podcast focuses on the Newell family’s encounter with conman “Dirty John,” but it also references a tragedy inside the same family three decades before. Cindi Vickers was murdered inside her Garden Grove, California, home in early March 1984, but the aftermath was as startling as the crime itself.

Who Was Cindi Vickers?

Cindi, who was born on November 21, 1952, became engaged to Bill “Billy” Franklin Vickers, a grocery manager, when she was 17 years old. They married a year later, when she reached the legal age. Arlane Hart, Cindi’s mother, reported that they had two children and were content. “She said, ‘Mom, I am not happily married,” Arlane continued. You were correct. I should have waited a little longer. He’s not the type of person I’d like to marry.'” The confession astonished her because she had always assumed they had a friendly relationship because they were always joyful at family events.

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Cindi, on the other hand, proceeded to inform her mother that Billy had become increasingly dominating. She highlighted his dislike of her wearing a bikini to the beach or going out alone at night as examples. She said, “We just had a great family unit and she named several things that I didn’t even know that was happening.” Cindi and Billy’s schism grew when she met a professional football player who lavished her with attention. She filed for divorce from Billy, and the couple sold their Garden Grove home.

Cindi had planned to see her mother for lunch on March 8, 1984. However, she never arrived, and Arlane hid the lunch items so she could resume her piano lessons. The doorbell rang at 4:00 p.m., and she answered it to find two police officers on her doorway. One of them softly informed them that there had been a gunshot. Initially, she worried that Billy had hurt himself in his grief. She soon realised, much to her dismay, that her daughter had tragically died that day.

Who Killed Cindi Vickers?

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Arlane recounted. “The two cops stood there with their hats on their chests.” According to the authorities, Billy shot Cindi when she was sitting at a table, writing checks in the home they had recently sold. He’d borrowed the revolver from a friend, which he used to fatally shot his wife in the neck from behind. After pulling the trigger, he inflicted a gunshot wound in his stomach and immediately dialled 911 to inform dispatchers that he had shot himself.


Billy survived his self-inflicted injuries, but Cindy died in the hospital. Investigators discovered that the mother of two had already divorced her husband of 13 years and was living in Laguna Niguel. She had returned to the house, however, to clean it and pay some bills before the buyers moved in the next day. During the early 1985 trial, the prosecution portrayed Billy as possessive and sullen. They described him as someone who was envious of his wife’s lovely appearance.

Prosecutors claimed he was wounded when she allegedly mocked him for his appearance and baldness in front of their acquaintances. They portrayed him as a guy driven by envy and moodiness, who believed that his wife’s choice to move out and open her own bank account the day before the shooting signalled the end of their marriage. However, Arlane later remarked that it was her profound dedication to her lifetime Christian faith that helped her to find the strength to forgive Billy.

This conviction compelled her to testify on his side at her own daughter’s murder trial, a choice that startled the prosecutor. She testified for five hours, and despite the prosecutor’s repeated questioning, she maintained her unflinching support for her former son-in-law, who had expressed regret for his acts in taking her daughter’s life. “I adored Billy.” I didn’t like him because of what he did. “I despised what he did, but I loved Billy,” she stated on the programme.

“They threw her (Cindi) under the bus,” said prosecutor Thomas Avdeef. I’m not familiar with the family dynamics. That’s something I’ll never comprehend. “Why speak ill of the victim?” Billy’s defence team claimed that their client killed Cindi while “temporarily unconscious.” “We don’t argue with the fact that he shot the gun,” defence attorney James Riddet said. The jury acquitted Vickers of both first and second-degree murder counts and deadlocked in a 7-5 decision on the voluntary manslaughter allegation.

Where is Billy Vickers Now?

However, before the case could be retried, Billy pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison. He would be released on parole after only two years and nine months in prison. Billy re-entered family life, according to Cindy’s sister, Debra Newell, and even attended family parties and outings with his two sons – Debra’s nephews. She did, however, claim that she could never forgive him as her parents had. Cindi’s sister, Debra Newell, became involved with “Dirty John” three decades later, resulting in yet another devastating episode for the family.

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