Karl Karlsen, 59-year-old Romulus man who is currently in prison awaiting trial in California for the murder of his wife, Christina, by starting a fire at their home in 1991 to collect a life insurance policy in her name. Karlsen was sentenced in 2013 at the Seneca County Courthouse in Waterloo for killing his own son, Levi Karlsen, for insurance money. The Karlsen case was also featured on ABC’s 20/20 back in 2013.
Karlsen is currently serving a sentence of 28 years to life in Seneca County, New York. He plead guilty to brutally murdering his 23 year old son by kicking out the jack holding up a truck and crushing him in order to collect on a $700,000 insurance policy he had submitted just days before.
His wife Christina’s death in a house fire was initially thought to be an accident, just like Levi. But now California prosecutors are charging Karlsen with murder charges for allegedly burning his wife alive 28 years ago to collect a $200,000 life insurance policy in her name. “Under California law, murdering someone for financial gain is a special circumstance homicide that may qualify Karlsen for the death penalty,” says California criminal defense attorney Tsion Chudnovsky
“These old cases can be very difficult to prove due to the deterioration of evidence with time. But there is no statute of limitation for murder charges, so prosecutors can take as long as they need to build the best case possible,” she said.
Earlier this month, on the Voice of the Victim on Apple Podcasts, the Karlsen cases were featured during episode 83 of the popular podcast series, entitled Greed Destroys a Family.
You can listen to the full episode below: