Sometimes a high school sweetheart story is cute and sweet. Sometimes it’s an anecdote about marrying too young. In the case of Mike Williams, its a fable about a greedy woman and her poorly executed plot.
Denise and Mike Williams met in high school. Soon they were dating and the cutest couple in Florida. Mike took up duck hunting and Denise would tag along to spend more time with her man.
Underneath the fairy tale though, was a cauldron of lies and deceit that would ultimately bring the whole thing down on them.
Three Makes A Couple
What Mike Williams didn’t know is that when he turned his back, his wife was jumping on their mutual best friend. Brian Winchester, the best friend, didn’t seem to feel guilty about breaking the bro code. In fact, he seemed to delight in it.
When Denise decided that being married was too much, and the widower label would suit her better, she enticed Brian into a scheme. They took out life insurance policies on Mike. Using her womanly wiles, and guilt, she got Mike to sign the papers. It was for their little girl if something ever happened to him, didn’t he want his favorite girls to be taken care of? Mike found the argument flawless and signed his death warrant.
The triangle was about to become a zig-zag line.
December 16, 2000, Mike went duck hunting. Since they had their daughter, Denise did not join him. Nobody was supposed to. After his hunting session, Mike was to come home and take Denise on a vacation to celebrate their anniversary.
That celebration never happened though. Mike didn’t return home. Police looked for his body and clues but none were forthcoming. A few witnesses said they saw Mike fighting with someone but didn’t think anything of it. Since there was no evidence, no body, investigators theorized Mike hit his head and fell into the swamp and got eaten by alligators.
Denise and Brian were in the clear… Or so they thought.
Mom Doesn’t Give Up
Publicly, Denise was every bit the widow. But investigators say it was just an act. She never asked about the investigation or showed them any signs of being a grieving wife. Though when the insurance money came in, she cheered up.
One of the ladies in Mike’s life wouldn’t just accept that he was eaten by alligators. His mother, Cheryl Ann. Police would get phone calls, postcards, almost any form of communication to make sure they were looking for him. They were annoyed but the investigation wasn’t closed.
Forgetting the mother-in-law? That’s bad murdering.
Another thing that is bad murdering, is upsetting the man who pulled off the crime. Brian and Denise were finally free to be together. They married and had a volatile relationship. He had a sex addiction that led him to constantly cheat on Denise. One day she got fed up with it and left him.
Big mistake. Brian lost his mind and climbed into her car while she was at a store. He held a gun to her head and forced her to start driving. He warned that if she went through with the divorce he would end her. A CVS offered her salvation, she pulled over, talked him down, and got him out of the car. Then she called the police and filed a report.
Brian was arrested and started to sing like a bird.
Truth Comes Out
Denise must have thought everything had finally fallen her way. Oh, how wrong she was. Brian was filling in the details of the Mike Williams case, in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence for that pesky kidnapping charge.
Police verified every detail he told them. Using Brian’s testimony and finding the body, helped bring the case to a close. Denise was charged with murder. Her attorney argued that she had done nothing wrong and Brian had been the one to pull the trigger, so why wasn’t he being charged.
The deflection tactic did not work. Denise was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree murder, and accessory after the fact. A Judge sentenced her to life in prison.
Is there any doubt she wishes there was another lover to take out her second husband?