A WOMAN WITH DREAMS OF BECOMING A STAR FINDS A GRUESOME HOLLYWOOD ENDING -- CBS NEWS "48 HOURS MYSTERY" -- SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 2009
Barbara Mullenix had dreams of becoming a star. A fan of the hit CBS television drama CSI, she hoped she was on her way when she landed background parts in several episodes. But Barbara didn't receive the Hollywood ending she wished for. Only one year after arriving in California, her body was discovered in the water at the affluent Newport Harbor Yacht Club. She had been stabbed fifty-two times, with a butter knife embedded in her right eye.
"Someone wanted to punish this person," says Detective Joe Cartwright. "It was clear they wanted her to suffer."
At first authorities turned their attention to Barbara's former husband, Bruce Mullenix, a likely suspect considering their unusual living arrangement. Despite their divorce, Bruce had agreed to let Barbara and their teenage daughter Rachael move into his small Huntington Beach apartment, a situation that worsened when Barbara would drink and become verbally abusive.
Investigators were surprised to find that Bruce did return home the following day, though, after an out-of-town business trip. With Bruce's alibi iron-clad, attention quickly turned elsewhere. "Fifty-two stab wounds is overkill," says Detective Steve Mack. "Whoever stabbed Barbara Mullenix knew her very well." But who could've been so enraged as to commit such a gruesome murder? What the detectives soon discovered was absolutely shocking.
Correspondent Erin Moriarty reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Lady in The Water," Saturday, Jan. 24 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Ira Sutow and Allen Alter. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.