Here are the eight deadliest, most fatal honeymoons! From bridal deaths to groom killings, we’ll show you the worst newlywed wedding vacation nightmares ever.
8: Sven Fouche & Chantal Bayer
Newlyweds Sven Fouche & Chantal Bayer were enjoying their honeymoon in South Africa when things took a deadly turn. The couple was visiting the Aloe Ridge Nature reserve near Johannesburg when they stopped by a group of rhinos to take some photos. That’s when one of the rhinos attacked Chantal, goring the 24-year-old woman to near-death. As the story goes, the park ranger responsible for taking the couple around suggested that Chantal stand a bit closer to the animals as he took a few pictures. It was at this moment the rhino attacked, charging Chantal & tossing her into the air. Though she survived the assault, the rhino managed to break some of her ribs & collapsed a lung in the process.
7: Michaela McAreavey
January 10th, 2011: Michaela McAreavey—daughter of famed soccer coach Mickey Harte—was enjoying her honeymoon in Mauritius when she was strangled to death in her hotel room. Authorities initially suspected her husband John of perpetrating the crime. But they soon discovered another suspect in the cold-blooded killing. John told police that he & his wife were having a relaxing lunch when Michaela decided to go back to their room to retrieve something. She was then attacked by two hotel employees, who decided to rob the hotel room of their valuables. To their surprise, Michaela returned & the hotel employees panicked. They wrestled her to the ground, strangled her to death, then placed her body in a bath tub, which was then turned on. John returned several minutes later to the room to discover her dead body. After ruling him out as a suspect, it was quickly discovered who the murderers really were: Avinash Treebhoowoon, Sandip Moneea, & Raj Theekoy. But the nine-member jury of the court ultimately ruled the three men not guilty due to a lack of DNA evidence. This sparked harsh criticism of the Mauritian government. Michaela’s native country of Ireland even suggested a boycott of their country, saying the island’s tourism sector was unsafe for travelers.
6: Cody Johnson
Jordan Graham & Cody Johnson were married for only eight days when Jordan pushed her husband Cody off a cliff to his death in Montana’s Glacier National Park. There were no living witnesses to the incident & Graham claimed that she had been in a heated argument with her husband when she shoved him out of anger. But as it turns out, the couple was standing atop a cliff when all this took place & Johnson plummeted to his death. Jordan Graham fled the scene & later reported her husband missing. Friends & relatives searched for Johnson for four days straight but to no avail. Graham even pretended to be a part of the search effort & eventually led them to a spot where she “thought he might be,” telling them she speculated that he “might have gone there.” A surveillance tape later revealed, however, that the couple entered the park together & that Graham had later on left alone. She eventually pleaded guilty to second degree murder & in March of 2014, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
5: Tina Watson
Gabe & Tina Watson—a newlywed couple from Alabama—were scuba diving in Australia after being married for only 11 days. It was at this point during their honeymoon that Tina was killed under what authorities believed to be suspicious circumstances. Tina Watson had recently become a certified scuba diver but somehow lost consciousness during their most recent scuba expedition & drowned to death. Gabe claimed to have been attempting to get the dive rope to Tina, since they were diving in such strong currents. But he claimed that as he was doing so, she began sinking faster than he could rescue her. Nearby divers told investigators that they saw the two engaging in some sort of “underwater bear hug” moments before Tina drowned. Another diver—who was actually a doctor by profession—was in the middle of taking a photo of his wife when he accidentally snapped a photo of Tina’s lifeless body laying on the ocean floor. The doctor also claimed that he watched Gabe leave his wife behind, taking nearly three minutes to swim back up to the ocean surface. Other witnesses added that he was relaxed & in a talkative mood once at the surface while others were attempting to save Tina’s life. Additionally, Gabe changed his personal recollection of what had happened over a dozen times. This—along with the other eyewitness accounts—ultimately forced him to plead guilty in court in 2009. Despite receiving a four-year sentence, he served just one in an Australian prison as Alabama prosecutors asked him to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for murder in Alabama. This was due to the fact that a coroner found evidence showing that Tina likely died from Gabe turning off her air supply & holding onto her until the point of unconsciousness, then letting her drown. Furthermore, Tina’s father indicated that Gabe asked Tina to make him the sole beneficiary of her life insurance shortly before their marriage. In the end, Gabe Watson was tried for murder in Alabama with the judge dismissing the case due to a lack of evidence.
4: Michael & Nicole Abel
Michael & Nicole Abel were a freshly married couple from Pittsburgh on their honeymoon in Hawaii when they were killed in a helicopter crash in 2011. Also on board were Canadians Stuart Robertson & Eva Wannersjo with pilot Nathan Cline. The newlyweds—both of whom were described as talented engineers—were five days into their Hawaiian honeymoon when they decided to take a helicopter tour. All five passengers were killed during the crash. An investigation into the incident found that errors by the pilot, as well as weather conditions, led to the fatal crash. Pittsburgh news network WTAE states that the group was sightseeing in West Maui when Cline attempted to fly over some mountains but failed to give the helicopter enough space to clear them. They crashed & the aircraft caught fire. While the exact details of the crash are unclear, it is known that this flight in particular was Cline’s third tour of the day. There had also been a massive rainstorm not long before the tour along with high winds & a low cloud base that likely impeded the pilot’s vision.
3: Luke Day
Egypt, 2009: Luke Day was honeymooning with his bride Sophie Nicholson-Cole when he drowned to death. Day worked as a high school French teacher & was on a tour of the Nile River with his new bride & a couple other tourists when a strong storm caused their boat to be swamped with water. In an act of valor, Day helped Sophie & several others back on the boat to safety before saving himself. His bravery proved fatal as the boat sank along with Day himself. The couple was on their months-long honeymoon, which was to conclude with a cruise down the Nile on a small felucca boat. But during their first night on the boat, a massive storm that destroyed nearby houses turned the water from calm to dangerous, with waves several feet high violently rocking the boat from side to side. The boat’s skipper ushered his four passengers under the deck, which proved to be dangerous as it caused the boat to capsize. As the couple & two other passengers tried scrambling to safety, Day assisted everyone else in exiting the boat but was drowned himself. Sophie, who worked as an environmental researcher & climate change expert, spent the next three hours frantically searching for her husband in the Nile’s muddy, toxic water. This proved futile & she was unable to find the body. Although she was initially questioned by Egyptian authorities, Sophie was able to return to the U.K. & stated that the incident made her feel as though she “had been torn in half.”
2: David Bulmer-Rizzi
Marco Bulmer-Rizzi & husband David were celebrating their honeymoon in Australia when a tragic accident ended David’s life. David fell to his death when he tripped down some stairs at a friend’s house while Marco was asleep. He did not die instantly but instead, cracked his skull & was rushed to a hospital. Marco later recalled his last moments with David as he told him goodbye & thanked him for being a good husband. It is unclear what exactly caused David to fall, but authorities speculate that he tripped walking up the stairs in the dark then fell down backwards. After the incident, the state of South Australia did not officially recognize the gay marriage as valid when issuing the death certificate, claiming David’s status as “never married.” While the couple was legally married in Sunderland, England, Australia does not permit same-sex marriage, requiring David’s family to approve of the funeral arrangements instead of Marco himself. This drew harsh criticism, especially from David & Marco’s friends & family, who claimed Australia was acting in a discriminatory manner. According to one source, David’s ashes were confiscated from Marco in Hong Kong on the way home as he was not the next of kin. Marco also claimed that the United Kingdom’s government was unhelpful in confirming his status as David’s legal spouse. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill issued an apology for the manner in which his state handled the incident & vowed to push for the certificate to be changed.
1: Jonathan & Emma Gray
2011: a young couple named Jonathan & Emma Gray is killed during a quad bike accident, leaving their six-month old child orphaned. The couple was from Halifax, England but was vacationing on the island resort of Kuredu in the Maldives. Just before the accident, they were attending a party put on by a resort employee they had just recently met. The party’s host, Filip Petre, then gave them a ride back to their villa on his quad bike, which he crashed when taking a curve too sharply. Jonathan & Emma were tragically killed upon impact while Petre suffered only minor injuries. It took hours for anyone to discover the dead couple. Meanwhile, Petre fled the scene. He was charged with Disobedience to Order but was eventually acquitted & returned to his native Sweden, making it unlikely that he will ever stand trial for the couple’s death.