Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Lawyer who 'almost got away with the perfect crime' convicted of throwing his wife overboard on luxury cruise

LawyerLonnie Loren Kocontes, a former California lawyer, was convicted and sentenced top life for throwing his ex-wife-s body off a cruise ship. 

The incident occurred in 2006, and Kocontes was convicted in June of "first-degree murder for financial gain." 

Kocontes and his ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, were on a holiday vacation together on the day the incident occurred. Prosecutors argued that Kocontes killed Kanesaki in order to inherit more than $1M.

During the trial, Kocontes testified that he and Kanesaki had rekindled their relationship and planning to get remarried. Prosecutors did not believe this testament and instead stated that Kocontes was instead planning to kill his ex-wife and "make it look like an accident."

Kocontes claimed that he had taken a sleeping pill and Kanesaki was gone when he awoke. Kocontes reported his ex-wife missing later that evening and had already returned back to the U.S. by the time his wife's body was found. 

The FBI began investigating Kocontes in 2008, when he attempted to move $1M between bank accounts that he shared with another wife. 

"After a long investigation, which included Ms Nguyen telling the authorities that Kocontes had said he had asked a friend to kill his ex-wife, the 62-year-old was indicted for Kanesaki’s murder in 2013 and has been in police custody since then."

See James Crump, Lawyer who 'almost got away with the perfect crime' convicted of throwing his wife overboard on luxury cruise, The Independent, September 21, 2020. 

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.


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