Annette Cahill Is Serving Time for Murder — 'Dateline' Tells Her Story

Where is Annette Cahill now? She was accused of beating her boyfriend to death in 1992. Did she do it? The case and overall story is complicated.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Aug. 4 2023, Published 3:41 p.m. ET

On the morning of Oct. 13, 1992, Annette Cahill waited outside Wink's Tap in West Liberty, Iowa for her boyfriend. The bar was owned by Corey Wieneke's family, and the 22 year old worked there as a bartender. Despite being engaged to a woman by the name of Jody Hotz, Wieneke was involved with a few ladies. Cahill was just one of them.

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She was waiting in his car when Wieneke arrived with Wendi Marshall. The three left together but Wieneke took Marshall home first, promising to return later. He and Cahill went to her place where they slept together. After stopping briefly at Marshall's house, Wieneke arrived to the home he shared with Hotz, and promptly fell asleep. Later that night, Hotz found him beaten to death in their bed. Decades later, Cahill was accused of his murder. Where is she now? Dateline has answers.

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Where is Annette Cahill now?

Cahill is serving out a 50-year prison sentence at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. She was charged with first-degree murder on June 7, 2018, more than 25 years after Corey's murder, per the Supreme Court of Iowa. By March 2019, her trial began, which resulted in a hung jury. Her second trial began Sept. 9, 2018, and 10 days later, the jury returned a guilty verdict for the lesser offense of second-degree murder.

Cahill's case was reopened in December 2017 when Trent Vileta, a special agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), was at the hospital where Jessica Becker worked as nurse. He was interviewing a witness when the two began talking. Upon sharing that he worked cold cases, Becker told him about something she witnessed 25 years prior, when she was only 9 years old.

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At the time of Wieneke's murder, Cahill and her two children lived with her brother, Denny Hazen along with his wife Jacque. Becker was friends with one of Hazen's daughters and recalled a very bizarre sleepover at their house. They were upstairs when they heard strange noises downstairs.

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After creeping down to investigate, Becker recalls seeing Cahill "crying and sobbing in the dining area." She added, "We heard her make several statements that included, 'Corey, I never meant to hurt you. Corey, I’m so sorry. I never meant to kill you, Corey. And Corey, I love you.'" Becker told her mother what she overheard but Cynthia Krogh was afraid to take her daughter to the police because Cahill's uncle was the sheriff at the time.

Despite having a strong alibi and no physical evidence tying her to the crime, Cahill was accused and found guilty of murdering Wieneke.

There are other theories about Corey Wieneke's death.

It's strange that police didn't look too closely at Hotz, who was the last person to see Wieneke alive and who was also the fiancée he spent a great deal of time cheating on. Hotz, who has since married and now goes by Jody Willier, testified during Cahill's trial in March 2019. She told the court that despite Wieneke's many indiscretions, she loved him. "I ignored a lot of that, and internalized a lot of that myself," she told The Muscatine Journal.

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One suspicious connection in this case comes in the form of Becker's mother. On the morning of October 13, Cahill "surprisingly appeared at a roofing jobsite in West Liberty, which was run by Lester McGowan. No one knew she was coming, but she was apparently there to work. She left less than two hours later.

What's odd about this is, Cahill was once in a sexual relationship with McGowan. And McGowan was used to be married to Becker's mother and in fact, cheated on her with Cahill. Does this come into play at all during Cahill's trial?

For more on the story, tune into Dateline Friday Aug. 4, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC.

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