On the morning of December 26, 1997, police and fire services responded to a call about a structure fire at the home Bremerton, WA home of Nick and Dawn Hacheney. When they were finally able to extinguish the flames and search the home, they discovered the badly burned body of twenty-eight-year-old Dawn Hachney in her bed, where her husband had left her several hours earlier. After a brief investigation, Dawn’s death was determined to be the result of an accidental fire—a tragic end to a short life, nothing more.

The case, which most had considered closed years earlier, was revived in April of 2001, when a woman went to Bremerton Police with a startling statement. She claimed to have been having an affair with Dawn’s husband Nick, at the time of Dawn’s death and that, at some point during their affair, he’d confessed to drugging his wife and setting the house on fire to cover up the murder. Investigators took the woman’s claims very seriously; however, Nick Hacheney was a former minister, which added to people's perception of the case. 

Thank you to the gorgeous, vibrant and talented David White for Research assistance


Associated Press. 2002. "Former minister on trial in wife's death." The News Tribune, November 11: 16.

Baker, Travis. 2003. "Angry words erupt at Hacheney Sentencing." Kitsap Sun, February 8: 1.

—. 2002. "Defense presses woman who pointed finger." Kitsap Sun, November 27: 4.

—. 2001. "Ex-minister might face life in prison without parole." Kitsap Sun, October 4: 1.

—. 2001. "Ex-minister pleads innocent in wife's death." Kitsap Sun, September 18: 1.

—. 2002. "Former minister guilty of murdering wife." Kitsap Sun, December 27: 1.

—. 2001. "Hacheney denied reduced bail." Kitsap Sun, October 27: 4.

—. 2002. "Judge: Jury will hear of alleged wife killer's affairs." Kitsap Sun, February 28: 10.

—. 2002. "Pathologist testifies about changing autopsy results." Kitsap Sun, November 13: 3.

—. 2002. "Sexual affairs not relevant, attorney argues." Kitsap Sun, February 9: 5.

—. 2002. "Trial begins for ex-minister accused of killing wife." Kitsap Sun, November 4: 1.

Kitsap Sun. 1997. "Dawn Hacheney Obituary." Kitsap Sun, December 30: 5.

McCormick, Julie. 2001. "Former minister suspect in wife's death." Kitsap Sun, September 14: 1.

Olsen, Gregg. 2010. A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder that Destroyed a Church. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

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