Allegedly Strangled His Wife On Their Honeymoon, Blamed Her Murder On Israeli Assassins
Scott Roston and his wife, Karen Waltz, reportedly met because of an injury
. Roston, a chiropractor, had fallen down the stairs and gone to see Waltz, a physical therapist. She treated his injury, they began dating shortly after and eight months later were engaged. Waltz’s mother was reportedly
suspicious of Roston’s finances ... reportedly going so far as having Waltz’s pear-shaped diamond engagement ring appraised to see if it was actually cubic zirconia, but the couple was married on February 6th, 1988.
Roston and Waltz reportedly spent their honeymoon on the Stardancer. The voyage would last seven days and travel along the Mexican coast, near San Diego. But the couple’s vacation quickly soured. Witnesses reported
overhearing Roston berating Waltz for her sweet tooth and for not knowing the correct silverware to use at dinner. Others spotted Roston and Waltz arguing on the deck.
At 3 a.m. on the night of February 13th, 1988
, Roston reportedly told authorities that Waltz had gone missing. According to Roston, strong winds had pushed Waltz overboard while the couple was jogging. Both the ship’s crew and the U.S. Coast Guard officials were reportedly skeptical because no heavy winds had been recorded anywhere near the Stardancer that night. Roston’s face also reportedly bore multiple pear-shaped injuries, consistent with Waltz’s wedding ring.
Half a day after her disappearance, the Coast Guard reportedly found Waltz’s body floating 22 miles off the coast of San Diego. A medical examiner reportedly determined strangulation to be her cause of death. Experts testified
that Waltz’s body floated with the aid of air pockets trapped in her clothing, which indicated that she was dead when she hit the water — if she had been alive and struggled in the water, there would have been no air pockets.
Roston reportedly changed his story. He reportedly told
investigators that Waltz had been murdered by Israeli assassins. In 1979, Roston and his parents reportedly
moved to Israel where he opened an unlicensed chiropractic clinic. Later that year, Roston was reportedly arrested on burglary charges and spent two months in a mental institution, where he claims he was drugged and beaten. He also reportedly claimed the Israeli mafia had targeted him for refusing to marry a neighbor’s niece and for refusing bribes. In 1987, Roston reportedly paid Vantage Press to publish an exposé about government corruption and human rights abuses in Israel. According to Roston, Waltz’s murder was revenge for this book. The night of Waltz’s death, Roston said, the assassins drugged him and framed him for the murder.
He maintained this defense until his trial. The jury didn’t buy it, and on October 12th, 1989
, he was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder.