Ex-'Family Feud' Contestant Sentenced For Murder Of Wife
By Jason Hall
August 14, 2023
A former Family Feud contestant who had previously joked that getting married was the worst mistake of his life while appearing on the game show was sentenced to natural life in prison for the killing of his wife, NBC News reports.
Timothy Bliefnick, 40, was convicted of first-degree murder and home invasion in relation to the February death of his wife, Rebecca Bliefnick, 41, in March. Illinois Judge Robert Adrian handed down the state's harshest punishment during a sentencing last Friday (August 11).
“Mr. Bliefnick, you researched this murder, you planned this murder, you practiced this murder," Judge Adrian said via NBC News. "You broke into her house and you shot her one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 times."
Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011 and a natural life sentence is equivalent to what is described as life without the possibility of parole in other states. Prosecutors said Bliefnick purchased a bicycle and rode to his estranged wife's home, broke through a window and shot her multiple times while she was in a bathroom.
"Some of those shots were fired while she was laying on the ground," Judge Adrian said via NBC News.
Bliefnick had previously joked that "saying 'I do'" when asked by Family Feud host Steve Harvey, "What's the biggest mistake you made at your wedding?" during a taping that took place in the fall of 2019 for an episode that aired in the spring of 2020, according to ABC via the New York Post.
“Not my mistake! Not my mistake! I love my wife,” added Bliefnick. “I’m going to get in trouble for that aren’t I?”
“Yes, it’s going to be a lot of hell to pay at your house,” Harvey responded.
The comment seemed harmless at the time, but was extremely grim in hindsight. Rebecca Bliefnick was found dead in February after she was absent from picking her three children up from school. Timothy and Rebecca were married in 2009, but had separated for several years and were reported to be in the process of divorce at the time of the victim's death.
Rebecca had reportedly filed a restraining order against her husband and his father, according to the New York Post.