On NBC’s “Dateline: Haunting Images,” it is discussed how Gregory Mordick was found guilty over three decades after his wife, Katherine Mordick, was discovered in her Anaheim Hills, California, Ridgecrest home with her throat cut in late January 1983. Gregory, however, remained innocent all the way through his trial and punishment. We’ve got your back if you’re curious to find out more, such as how the cops managed to apprehend Gregory after all these years. So let’s get started, shall we?
Who Is Gregory Mordick?
Katherine “Kit” Mordick and William Gregory Mordick met for the first time when coworkers at Disneyland’s “It’s A Small World” ride in California. William was regarded as being quiet and timid yet had a strong love for baking and needlework. He frequently told tales about his time in Vietnam and his undergraduate years. He drew Kit to him, and the two got married in 1977. Two girls were born during their marriage, and they made their home at South Ridgecrest Circle in Anaheim Hills, Orange County, California.
After a few years of marriage, Kit began her career as a “food stylist,” setting up meals for television and print advertisements. William, meantime, found it difficult to make a living as a photographer. He was allegedly not “working outside the house very much at all” towards the end of the marriage and instead stayed at home with his girls, according to court records. The wedding, however, was in a funk when Kit had an affair with Henry Bjoin, a photographer she worked with.
According to reports, the fissures were discovered when the Mordicks assisted Donna O’Connell Bjoin and her former husband with a move in October 1982. Donna claimed to have seen William holding Kit by the shoulders and shaking her when she ran into the condominium after hearing one of the daughters scream. They split up after that incident, with him leaving the Ridgecrest home. William and Kit split custody of their daughters after their divorce, with William paying visits to the girls on alternating weekends.
Donna claimed to have seen another similar violent event on one of these visits in December 1982, where William was supposedly on Kit and “striking her, hitting, and pounding her.” Kit’s legal representative requested the dissolution of the Mordick marriage on January 4, 1983. So it came as a shock when Kit’s brother Joseph O’Connell and her ex-boyfriend Henry Bjoin discovered her body with her throat cut inside her dining room on January 23, 1983, at 10:30 p.m. On a table, the cops discovered an unopened letter addressed to William.
The crime scene was created to resemble a robbery and a sexual assault, but William was the main target for the detectives. On the other hand, he asserted that his last encounter with his ex-wife occurred on January 22, when he visited her home to pick up the couple’s daughters for the weekend. William claims that he picked up the girls at 10 a.m. and then travelled to his friend Jana Johnson’s birthday party in Huntington Beach before arriving at his parents’ Poway home. He appeared to be pleasant and cooperative, which led the cops to question partygoers who had seen him.
Where Is Gregory Mordick Now?
Due to outdated forensic equipment in 1983, the detectives’ blood samples from the crime site were never examined. Donna asserted that Kit had read William’s notebooks and discovered he had lied about his college education and time spent in Vietnam. When challenged about the claims, he said he had lied since he “didn’t fit in very well at Disneyland” and was perceived as strange due to his interests in sewing. However, the autopsy report revealed that she had died on January 22 in the late afternoon or evening.
Since William was present at the party during that time, the authorities were unable to connect him to the murder, and by the spring of 1983, the investigation had stalled. He established his photography studio after relocating to Spokane, Washington, with his daughters. When the case was reopened, the detectives discovered his six diaries, in which he had written about how difficult it would be to live apart from his daughters after his divorce and had described physically hitting Kit in a fight just weeks before she passed away.
William’s DNA was discovered by forensic scientists on the Ridgecrest home’s back sliding glass door, closet door handle, plastic bag inside the closet and powder room sink. 2008 saw his arrest, and he was given a first-degree murder charge with unique circumstances. He allegedly wanted his wife dead in order to avoid paying her almost $124,000 in child support over a 16-year period, according to the prosecution. A vial of William’s blood had split apart and leaked over evidence packaging, but William’s defence claimed incompetence on the part of the investigators.
The defence team blamed Kit’s ex-boyfriend Henry, who wed Donna’s sister a year after the murder and was Kit’s sister-in-law. They brought up Donna’s ex-husband, who denied William assaulted Kit in October 1982 and claimed she never assisted them in moving. Additionally, they emphasised how the autopsy report initially claimed she was slain while William was at the party, but the coroner eventually acknowledged she might have been murdered at 10:00 am, when William left for the girls’ pick-up.
In addition, William’s defence attorney cited the fact that he appeared normal during the party he attended and that there was no evidence of blood on his clothing. Despite the fact that the first trial’s jury was deadlocked, a second jury in October 2010 found William guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in January 2011 after they abandoned the special circumstance accusation against him. He was 64 at the time. His grown daughters back up their father’s denials of guilt.
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