As unusual as it is, the history of mail order brides isn’t always dark or bloody, but there’s no denying that most of the women who leave their home countries and families are at risk. Often, the men who seek their company have deeply rooted personal problems and are looking for women to dominate or abuse. It happens more often than we hear about. And we usually only hear these women’s stories after they’re dead.
Reina Swerksi and Anastasia King are two women who left their families in hopes of a better life in America with well established older men they hoped would love them. Instead, they were abused, and they died for love.
In Memory of Reina Swerksi
It was 2011 when Gary Swerski’s daughter, Eva, revealed six years after her stepmother’s disappearance that her father had indeed killed his mail order bride and hidden her body. This wasn’t the first woman he’d had a troubled relationship with, and she wasn’t the only one from overseas either.
Swerski (pictured left, above) had previously been in a relationship with Mansueta Casinillo who eventually moved from the Philippines to New York in 1981 to marry him and have his child, Eva. Eva’s mother left Swerski, who physically abused her.
Swerski soon began dating Hilda Gonzalez-Tapia Muhammad, a Chilean woman who died two months after they moved in together. Muhammad’s death was reopened as a murder case only after Swerski’s daughter admitted to police that she’d witnessed her father put the dead body of then 34-year-old mail order bride from Ecuador, Reina Swerski, in a bag.
For five years, Eva kept her father’s secret because he warned her that she would be next if she opened her mouth.
Reina Swerksi was strangled to death by Gary Swerski. Her skull was found in the Santa Cruz mountains, but her body was never found.
In Memory of Anastasia King
Indle G. King Jr. also strangled his mail-order bride, but with the help of his tenant. He showed no emotion, no reaction, while Anastasia’s mother wept in the back of the court before he was finally sentenced to 27 years in prison for her daughter’s murder.
He killed Anastasia because he was convinced she was going to divorce him just as his first mail order bride had. He’d abused his first wife, but she got away.
The only reason King was caught for the murder of Anastasia is because his accomplice, Larsen, who was in jail after the murder for raping a teenage girl, lied and told police that King alone had killed his wife. He even lead police to the body, which was buried under a dirty mattress in an unsanctioned dump on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Seattle.
After lots of lies and manipulation, the truth came out in the trial: Anastasia King had been strangled to death with a necktie. Her husband sat on her body while the man who rented a room from him, Daniel Kristopher Larson, wrapped a necktie around her neck and twisted it for four minutes until she stopped breathing.
King had already contacted a third mail-order bride just a couple of months before killing Anastasia.
For more on mail order brides, here’s a clip from a documentary: