Years after admitting to letting her fiancé drown in the Hudson River, the “kayak killer” is reportedly still trying to make money from his death.
Aneglika Graswald was sentenced to a mere 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for unplugging a hole in her fiancé Vincent Viafore’s kayak in April 2015, which resulted in him drowning in New York’s Hudson River. After spending a fraction of that time than behind bars for criminally negligent homicide, Graswald is reportedly trying to get her hands on a portion of her dead lover’s life insurance policy, reports the New York Post.
Graswald, a 37-year-old Latvian, was named as a 45 percent beneficiary of her fiancé’s accidental death policy, which would entitle her to $491,531. Viafore’s mother and sister were listed as the beneficiaries of the remaining 55 percent and are attempting to bar Graswald from making any claims to the funds in court.
Prosecutors believe that Graswald was after the insurance fortune the entire time.
“It’s been a nightmare for the last almost three years,” said the victim’s mom, Mary Ann Viafore, on Wednesday. “She doesn’t deserve the money. She caused his death!”
According to the Post, New York’s “slayer rule” states that convicted murderers cannot profit from the deaths of victims, but since Graswald accepted a lesser homicide plea, she is eligible to cash out. According to presiding Judge James Pagones, Viafore’s family must prove Graswald “recklessly” caused his death.
Graswald has maintained that the drowning was an accident, although she admitted to knowing her fiancé wasn’t wearing a life vest and a piece of his paddle was missing. She later confessed that “sexual demands” involving “threesomes” and her “wanting to be free” motivated her actions. She answered “yes” when asked if she was relieved that Viafore was dead. She also answered “yes, at some point, yes” when asked if she unplugged the kayak hoping Viafore would die.
Graswald was conditionally released from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in December. Prosecutors have said she could face deportation to her native Latvia after she completes parole.
Her attorney wrote to the court in September regarding his client’s right to the funds.
“Ms. Graswald would be entirely within her rights if she chooses to lay claim to any and all of Mr. Viafore’s death benefits,” wrote Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale.
New York Assembly man James Skoufis is reportedly proposing a law in which those convicted of criminally negligent homicide will also be unable to lay claim to life insurance policies. The proposed bill would not affect Graswald unless it were to pass before her case ends, reported the Post.
The Viafore family is hopeful that the wrongful-death lawsuit they’ve lodged against Graswald will be successful.
“We’re pretty hopeful the judge will rule in our favor,” said Mary Viafore.