National News from ABC

‘Bad Romance’: Did a husband’s joke on a popular game show predict a wife’s murder?

Ann Reynolds, Chris Kilmer, and Caitlyn Goodhue, ABC News

(QUINCY, Ill.) — When Becky Bliefnick was found murdered on February 23, 2023, in her Quincy, Illinois, home, the city was left reeling over the shocking crime.

“Our entire city was on edge because no one was able to explain what happened,” Chief of Quincy Police Department Adam Yates said.

At the time of her death, Becky was divorced from her husband Tim, and during two years of separation and a protracted divorce the two lived just blocks apart and shared custody of their children.

Tim Bliefnick’s friends described him as a man who found humor in everything and as someone who loved the spotlight. He was often seen on his TikTok videos telling hokey dad jokes and he also performed in community theater.

“Tim was always very goofy and very fun,” said Bliefnick family friend Rachael, who asked ABC News to use only her first name. “Every time you saw him, he would run up and hug you and be like, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’”

Becky was an athlete, a sunshine blonde who met Tim in college. When Becky and Tim decided to marry, there was no ring or honeymoon because they decided to use the money to buy a home. As their family grew, Becky enrolled in nursing school, pursuing a certification as a nurse practitioner.

Becky’s sister, Sarah Reilly, described her as a devoted mother who was “a people person.”

“She can walk into a room and talk to anybody, and they would be her best friend by the end of the night,” Reilly said.

The murder of Becky Bliefnick is part of a new ABC News “20/20″ limited series premiering Monday, January 22, and streaming the next day on Hulu, called “Bad Romance,” which tells the stories of the husbands, wives and lovers who ended up destroying lives.

Eleven years into their marriage, Tim won a spot as a contestant on the popular game show “Family Feud.” Becky was not a part of the show.

“What’s the biggest mistake you made on your wedding day?” host Steve Harvey asked during the game.

Tim is then seen making a joke that may have given their family, friends and the public a glimpse into some possible cracks forming in Tim and Becky’s marriage.

“Honey, I love you,” Tim answered to Harvey on the show, “but – said, ‘I do!’”

It was a funny answer for the show, and friends may have thought it was just Tim’s sense of humor peeking out. But Tim filed for divorce weeks after his appearance on the game show.

Then, on February 23, 2023, while the Bliefnicks’ three children were sleeping at Tim’s house and Becky was at her home alone, an intruder broke into Becky’s home through a second-floor window.

Police later discovered her body in the bathroom with 14 gunshot wounds.

As part of their investigation, authorities said a surveillance camera in the neighborhood provided a mysterious clue about who could have killed Becky: a ghostly figure on a bicycle patrolling the streets in the middle of the night. Was it Tim, or was there another suspect who would eventually draw the attention of police?

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