Patient complaints leveled against Bakersfield dentist (continue story after video)
"Robert Tupac killed his wife," said retired Los Angeles police homicide investigator Lee Kingsford, who worked on the case. Kingsford spoke to Eyewitness News on Friday by phone.
The death of 36-year-old Marianne Tupac happened at the couple's Westwood home on Feb. 13, 1991. According to news reports published in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Robert Tupac told police his wife had trouble sleeping after going to bed. She went to take a bath, and when he arose shortly before midnight, he found her lifeless body in the tub.
Kingsford recalled that Dr. Tupac had stated that his wife was feeling suicidal. An empty bottle of Halcon sleeping tablets was found nearby in a medicine cabinet.
Police at first thought the case was either accidental or a suicide. But it was later ruled a homicide via a supplemental autopsy report, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kingsford said he talked to several experts about the cause of death of Marianne Tupac.
"All agreed that if she had drowned in the tub, there should have been a great deal more water in her lungs," said Kingsford. "It was their opinion, therefore, that she was dead when she was put in the tub."
Kingsford also said there were no visible signs of trauma.
"I, therefore, felt she was suffocated with a pillow," said the retired detective.
Kingsford said Marianne Tupac was wife No. 3 and that Dr. Tupac was also having an affair with his office manager, Tierney Bocek, whom Tupac married after the death of his wife.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office never filed charges against Dr. Tupac, because it could not determine whether the death of Marianne Tupac was an accident or murder.
As for a motive for killing his wife, Kingsford said the dentist wanted to be free so that he could marry Bocek without losing his assets.
"The only way in California that you get away without losing half of your money and the house is that the wife is dead," said Kingsford.