Reasonable Doubt: What happened to Brian Eftenoff's wife?

Brian Eftenoff (Image via CBS)
Brian Eftenoff (Image via CBS)

The next episode of Reasonable Doubt will delve into the 1999 case involving Judi and Brian Eftenoff, with the latter accused of murdering the former by causing her to overdose on cocaine.

Titled The Jerk, the upcoming episode of Reasonable Doubt will air on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 10.00 PM on ID. The synopsis for the episode reads:

"Everyone agrees Brian Eftenoff is an arrogant jerk who rubs people the wrong way, but his kids insist that doesn't make him guilty of murdering their mother."

The controversial case is immensely multi-dimensional, with different facts pointing at completely different things. On Sept. 24, 1999, the young mother-of-two was found dead at her Phoenix home. Upon investigation, authorities suspected foul play, despite her death occurring from a cocaine overdose.

Read on to find out how the events of Judi's death transpired.


What happened to Brian Eftenoff's wife Judi Eftenoff?

Judi Eftenoff's death is far from an easy case, with experts still wondering whether it was a murder or an accident. Brian Eftenoff called 911 at 5 a.m. on September 24, 1999, to report that he had discovered his wife passed out on the bathroom floor. Judi had died by the time authorities arrived.

Judi's death seemed like an assault judging by the multiple bruises all over her face and body. Her husband, on the other hand, claimed that the last time he saw her, she was fine. Detective Joe Petrocino took up the case and interviewed the primary suspect, Brian, at the police station.

It turned out that Brian had a solid alibi. He had spent the night gambling at a casino with a friend. He said that when he left, his wife was putting their kids to bed. Toxicology tests revealed that Judi died as a result of a cocaine overdose. Judi's friends' testimonies confirmed that she was using cocaine recreationally at the time.

But the discovery of cocaine was not enough to rule out Judi's death as a mere overdose. This was contradicted by two factors. Judi, for starters, had injuries all over her body that resembled an assault. Second, she had a high concentration of cocaine in her system, which the authorities claimed was impossible for a user to consume.

Further investigation revealed that Brian and Judi had a rocky marriage, with their daughter, Rikki Eftenoff, claiming that her parents fought frequently. Authorities soon theorized that someone forcibly made Judi do too much cocaine, leading to her death from an overdose.

This theory also accounted for her bruises.

Brian contradicted himself several times on the record and demonstrated a complete lack of empathy for his wife's death. He was also the one who suggested that his wife had been forced to do cocaine. Detective Petrosino elaborated on his theory, stating:

"I think he beat her up. He hurt her. He knows he hurt her. She's going to call the cops this time. And he needs an alibi, 'cause he doesn't want to go to jail. And if he puts a little cocaine in her, and pours it down her and you know, anybody comes and looks at her, she's going to have to be high on coke."

Ultimately, Brian Eftenoff was arrested for murder. He was convicted of his wife's murder and sentenced to fifty years in prison. Titled The Jerk, the upcoming episode of Reasonable Doubt will air on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 10.00 PM on ID.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal