Man who did online research for 'killing with bare hands' convicted of murder in wife's death

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- A 52-year-old Skagit County man who authorities said did online research for "how to break a neck" and "killing with your bare hands" before his wife died was convicted Friday of first-degree murder.

The Skagit Valley Herald said Skagit County Superior Court jurors deliberated for about three hours before finding William Rodgers guilty. It said his tentative pre-sentence hearing date is set for Dec. 2.

In May 2012, Rodgers called police to say his wife, Sherri Rodgers, had died after falling down a flight of stairs.

The Skagit Valley Herald said prosecutors contended that Rodgers had not only strangled his wife but planned her death ahead of time by performing Google searches on “how to break a neck” and “how dangerous is it to fall down stairs” on the day before committing the murder.

According to the newspaper, prosecutors also argued that an examination of Rodgers’ Google search history showed he had visited several incriminating Web pages, including ones titled “25 methods for killing with your bare hands” and “Top 10 tips to commit the perfect crime.”