William Joseph Dankesreiter Jr. Derry Township, Pennsylvania man charged w/ plotting to kill wife by rigging staircase with fishing tripwire.
A Pennsylvania man has been accused of plotting to kill his wife by rigging a tripwire at the top of a staircase inside their home.
William Joseph Dankesreiter Jr., 60, allegedly installed a fishing line in the hopes that his wife Laura would trip on it and fall down the stairs to their Derry Township, Westmoreland County home basement, KDKA-TV reports.
‘It was obviously thought through,’ State Trooper Stephen Limani told the media outlet. ‘There was nothing accidental about this.’
According to court documents, the scheme nearly worked, when, on Saturday morning, Dankesreiter’s wife headed to the basement to get something from a freezer for breakfast.
Fortunately the woman was able to catch herself before tumbling down the stairs.
Bizarre alleged attempted murder
State police say it is one of the most bizarre alleged attempted murders they have ever dealt with.
Troopers told KDKA that Dankesreiter Jr. tried to murder his wife in the couple’s Derry Township home by way of gravity and fishing line.
‘If she had fallen, there were about 10 steps she would have fallen down and there is a small landing area. And then another few steps, she would have been landing on concrete. I can only imagine how catastrophic her injuries would be,’ Limani said.
The woman told investigators she first thought the wire was part of the carpeting that had come loose, according to the court docs obtained by TribLive.
She then noticed two metal eye hooks on either side of the doorway, which held the line about three inches above the carpet, the documents alleged.
Dankesreiter got home as his wife was speaking with the troopers, who arrested and charged him with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
He was being held at the Westmoreland County Prison on $500,000 bail, with a preliminary hearing in his case set for Friday.
‘Not first attempt to hurt wife’
Laura told investigators this wasn’t the first time her husband had allegedly tried to hurt her.
‘That’s one of the things with domestic violence,’ Limani said, ‘it usually increases. It starts at a low level, with verbal abuse, and escalates to physical violence.’
It remained unclear why the husband sought his wife’s demise.