Air Force Retiree Dennis Dawley & Mistress Brandita Taliano Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole for the 1991 Murder of Joan Dawley (April 15, 1997)

Preview: Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. In 1993, when Joan receives an inheritance and makes plans to divorce, Dennis, fearing financial ruin, enlists his lover to help murder his wife. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

Air Force retiree Dennis Dawley, 61, with the help of prostitute and mistress, Brandita Taliano, bludgeoned to death his wife Joan Dawley of 35 years for financial gain in Van Nuys, California. Joan wanted a divorce and Dennis and Brandita wanted her inheritance money. The 1991 case went cold for years until DNA technology under Joan’s fingernails yielded a match to Brandita Taliano. Both Dennis and Brandita were charged with murder, conspiracy & solicitation and faced the death penalty. On April 15, 1997, a California jury sentenced Dawley and Taliano to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The pair were spared the death penalty because they didn’t have any prior violent felony records and the jury heard the emotional pleas from Dawley’s daughters.

Investigation Discovery:

Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

In suburban California, an intruder brutally attacks and kills Joan Dawley. As the Dawley family grieves, it’s up to LAPD detectives to crack the case. Secret home movies uncover a shocking tale of deceit, and a monster lurking behind the scenes. -Stages of Grief, American Monster (S3, E1)

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Related Links:
Murder Suspects’ Trip Tipped Off Police : Slaying: Widower visited Las Vegas with mistress two days after his wife’s death. The pair are now charged in the killing.
American Monster: Meet Dennis Dawley – Air Force Vet, Golf Pro & Brutal Wife Killer
Man, 61, Testifies in Wife’s 1991 Slaying
Husband, Former Mistress Get Life in Wife’s Slaying
BRANDITA TALIANO, Plaintiff, v. D. L. JOHNSON, et al., Defendant. | United States District Court, E.D. California. (May 14, 2014)
Partners in Crime | The New Detectives (S5,E2)
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape | Deadly Women (Preview)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday | Deadly Women (Preview)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E10)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (website)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano | Amazon (S1,E2)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Second Best’ on ID: Dennis Dawley Elicits Help of Mistress Brandita Taliano to Murder Wife (September 19, 2014)
American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

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