The trial of a Pennsylvania man who allegedly tried to kill his wife by placing a tripwire at the top of their staircase has begun. A jury is now deliberating the case.
Reports state that 63-year-old William Joseph Dankesreiter Jr. is accused of plotting the killing of his wife, Laura, by letting her fall to her death so that he could collect $300,000 from her life insurance policy.
The lucky woman who managed to stop her fall down the wooden stairway in time was undoubtedly fortunate. She at first blamed a stray piece of loose carpeting for the near-fall.
After further investigation, however, Laura Dankesreiter reported finding two metal eye hooks installed on either side of the doorway, with fishing line firmly tied between them about three inches above the carpet.
Documents filed with the court state that in October 2020, Laura Dankesreiter informed police that she had tripped on something while walking down to the basement of her Derry Township home to retrieve breakfast from the freezer.
There was “nothing accidental” about this, State Trooper Stephen Limani was quoted by Pittsburgh media outlets.
The trooper said If Dankesriter had fallen all the way to the concrete floor below, she would have suffered “catastrophic” injuries.
Prosecutors used witness testimony this week about William Dankesreiter’s romance with another woman to paint a grim picture of the status of the Dankesreiters’ marriage.
In its opening statement on Monday, the prosecution reportedly said his sexual satisfaction and happiness were more important than his wife.
Reports say that William Dankesreiter’s legal team intends to cast doubt on the truth of the alleged affair and may even argue that Laura Dankesreiter planned the whole thing on her own.
William Dankesreiter is facing charges of attempted murder, assault, aggravated assault, and endangering another person’s life recklessly, according to court documents.