Jana Carpenter Koklich and Bruce Koklich seemed like the ideal couple. She was an attractive 41-year-old blonde, the doted-on only child of a once-powerful California state senator. He was the dedicated and loving husband. Together they owned a lucrative Norwalk, California, real estate business, and a computer business, owned a pair of luxurious houses, and drove high-end cars. Then in August 2001, Jana Carpenter Koklich went to an Eric Clapton concert with friends. She was never heard from again. Bruce Koklich painted himself as the grieving husband. He turned up on news broadcasts, tearfully pleading for his wife's safe return. But something wasn't right. First of all, there were inexplicable money problems that police traced back to some of Bruce Koklich's shadier business dealings. Then there was the shadowy business partner who came out of the woodwork and the million dollar insurance policy on Jana Carpenter Koklich's life. Topping it all off were the supposedly grieving husband's sleazy secret attempts to bed his 18-year-old niece while his wife was secretly missing! Eventually, those who had been close to Jana grew suspicious of the man she had married. And no one was more suspicious than her father, former State Senator Paul Carpenter. He was dying of cancer in Texas, but still found in his decaying body the strength for one last fight. It would be the fight of his life: Justice for Jana Carpenter Koklich. Finally, in late 2003, after Jana's blood-stained car had been found, a California jury convicted Bruce Koklich for her murder and sentenced him to fifteen years to life in prison. Paul Carpenter did not live to see justice done.
by Carlton Smith
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