An Illinois man who once competed on Family Feud allegedly pried open his estranged wife’s second-story window with a crowbar before shooting her 14 times, prosecutors said Tuesday.
“Terrified, bleeding, and alone,” Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones described Rebecca “Becky” Bliefnick’s last moments after the February attack, according to KHQA.
The grisly scene was among several new details revealed by Adams County prosecutors at the start of Timothy Bliefnick’s murder trial, where he is accused of slaying his wife amid a contentious divorce.
The prosecutor said that Bliefnick’s internet history showed that he searched “how to open a door with a crowbar” and how to make a homemade silencer around the time of the murder. He also allegedly searched how to wash off gunpowder and “average [Quincy Police Department] response times,” Jones said.
Jones also said that prior to her death, Becky texted a family member insisting that if anything happened to her, Bliefnick would be to blame. Bliefnick has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including first-degree murder and home invasion. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
Bliefnick’s defense team during opening statements insisted that their client was innocent and that some evidence against Bliefnick was “inconclusive.” “Utilize your common sense,” defense attorney Casey Schnack said.
Prosecutors say Becky was found dead in her home on Feb. 23, 2023, after she failed to pick up her children from school. A GoFundMe started after her death described Becky as a 41-year-old nurse and mother of three.
Quincy Police officer Matt Hermsmeier, who was among the first investigators to respond to the crime scene, testified that Becky was found on her back in the bathroom with a towel underneath her, according to Muddy River News. Hermsmeier added that the wooden frame of Becky’s bedroom door and her window were damaged.
At the time, Bliefnick and Becky had been separated for two years. KHQA previously reported that Becky filed a restraining order against Bliefnick and his father—and that she was later hit with a restraining order by her husband. The couple had been married since 2009.
Ted Johnson, who testified that he was in a “dating type of relationship” with Becky, described to jurors how excited the nurse was for her divorce from Bliefnick to be finalized.
Johnson said he last saw Becky two days before her murder when he brought her food after she had surgery. He said he texted Becky on Feb. 22, where she said that she was going to pick up her sons the next day. Later, he told jurors, he learned that Becky had died from her sister.
Prosecutors also revealed to jurors ballistics evidence that allegedly tied Bliefnick to his estranged wife’s death. Jones said that at the crime scene, investigators found eight shell casings near Becky’s body that belonged to the same gun. Also at the scene were pieces of an Aldi bag prosecutors allege Bliefnick used in a homemade silencer.
An additional 27 shell casings later found in Bliefnick’s basement matched the type of casings found by his estranged wife’s body. Becky’s DNA was also found on an Aldi bag at Bliefnick’s home.
In January 2020, Bliefnick raised eyebrows when he appeared on the TV game show Family Feud. While he competed, Bliefnick told host Steve Harvey that his biggest mistake on his wedding night was saying “I do.”