Family of Webster County man convicted of murdering his wife and stuffing her body in a freezer says she abused him
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A man who killed his wife, stuffed her body in a freezer, and stored it in a unit at a storage facility has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Larry Dinwiddie, 59, admitted to beating his wife, Cynthia Dinwiddie, with a claw hammer then choking her to death in 2015.
His family testified he was a victim of domestic violence. They accused his former wife of years of physical, verbal, and mental abuse though it was never reported.
“He’s my brother. He’s a good person,” said Anita Dinwiddie. “What I did was totally wrong. I had no right to do what I did. Like I said before it wasn’t me. Anybody that knows me knows I’m not a violent person. I’m not here to hurt anyone. What I did was horrific,” said Larry Dinwiddie to the judge during his sentencing hearing.
Dinwiddie hid her body for nearly four years. He locked it in a running freezer and stashed it in a storage unit at a facility on the outskirts of Marshfield. Deputies caught him after a sting operation. Deputies say they tricked him into returning to the storage facility to fix the broken freezer. He was promptly arrested.
Dinwiddie told detectives that his wife was an alcoholic who abused him for years. The night of the crime he told them he snapped.
“The people that know him have had compassion for him. They know what he endured,” said Anita Dinwiddie.
She says her brother used to confide in her.
“He did not file for police reports because of the stigma that went along with a man being abused,” she said.
Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser says the claims of abuse could not be proven after Cynthia Dinwiddie was killed.
“It was unfair to her that we didn’t get to tell her story. We didn’t get to talk to witnesses who may have had interactions with this couple. All that was gone because the body was not discovered for so many years because of the intentional hiding of it by the defendant,” he said.
He encourages anyone suffering from abuse to get help.
“It would have been a better alternative for everybody had he chosen something different,” said Berkstresser.
Dinwiddie’s sister says she’s hoping his story will help others speak out.
“If there’s another man out there that is going through something similar reach out. Get help,” said Anita Dinwiddie.
She says she will continue to support her brother.
“Just let him know that he’s not forgotten, that he’s still loved,” she said.
In all the years Cynthia Dinwiddie was unaccounted for no one reported her missing. Larry Dinwiddie must serve at least 80 percent of his sentence which is 20 years before he can be released. He’ll be 79 years old when he is eligible for release.
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