Woman Initially Believed To Have Been Killed In Burglary Was Allegedly Murdered By Husband For Life Insurance Money


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An Idaho man was charged with murdering his wife who was initially believed to have been killed in a botched home invasion several years ago, numerous sources reported.

Authorities say Jimmy Lee Murphy, 32, fatally shot his wife Whitney Leigh Murphy, 26, inside their home in October 2014, and then reportedly attempted to collect the life insurance payout following his wife’s death, police say, according to Cox Media Group.

Jimmy Lee Murphy, who was outfitting a van to live in just before his arrest, took out a $650,000 life insurance policy in his wife’s name weeks before she was fatally shot https://t.co/As18bL5oTh

— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 9, 2021

When police arrived at the scene of the shooting in 2014, it appeared a botched home invasion had taken place and Whitney was killed by the perpetrator. A neighbor, Levi Bodily, 24, was also shot in the back through a basement window of his home, a Facebook post by the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office said following the incident. (RELATED: Elderly Man Who Admitted To Killing His Wife During Lockdown Cleared Of Her Murder In UK)

Murphy told police he had come home the night his wife was killed and found her dead. He told police he was out washing his truck and following up on instructions by his boss to check sprinklers at the farm at the time of the murder, but his boss denied giving him such orders, according to the Idaho Statesman

Police also said that only a few people knew the layout of the neighbor’s home to be able to shoot at someone in the basement bedroom. The few people who did had alibis for that night except for Murphy, the Idaho Statesman reported. A safe containing $30,000 and other valuables was also still in the home, and the only item missing was Murphy’s shotgun, which was believed to be the murder weapon.

Murphy had gunshot residue on his hands, which he claimed was from shooting pigeons, although police did not find evidence that he was hunting that day. He later admitted he had not been hunting.

Police discovered that Murphy had taken out a $650,000 life insurance policy on his wife weeks before her death, and the insurance company denied his claim after her death, according to the Idaho Statesman. Murphy allegedly refused to pay for his wife’s funeral, police said. He admitted to cheating on her and having marital problems. 

Days after his wife’s death, a relative of the victim allegedly confronted Murphy at a local store and accused him of killing Whitney.

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t,” Murphy allegedly responded, the Idaho State Journal reported, based on court documents.

Murphy quit his job in February and stopped answering federal authorities as he made plans to leave town. He was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday after police attempting to arrest him say they chased him down, tackled him, and used a stun gun after he fled.

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