PEORIA – Police are now scrutinizing the life of a retired Valley firefighter, who had four wives, two of whom are now dead. Now, as one victim's mother speaks out, disturbing new details are emerging about what might have happened to the women.
Authorities identified skeletal remains found in northern Peoria earlier this month, as those of Deborah Delaney. Police believe her husband, Bill Delaney, was responsible in the disappearance and death of his wife.
Deborah's mom, Patricia Smyth, tells 3TV's Kristine Harrington that she's not surprised her daughter ended up dead.
Deborah's mother says she had feared for her daughter 's well-being ever since 2007, when Deborah went to the hospital. “She said, I think he's poisoned me,” Smyth says.
Bill Delaney was married to Deborah for almost ten years. Deborah had given her mom a hand-written letter, in which she said she was sick of Delaney's ‘kinky sex demands’, and claimed he was committing fraud. She also wrote that she was afraid for her life.
“I don't trust the man,” Smyth tells us. “Never did, never will, even in his death he's the son of the devil as far as I'm concerned,”
Patricia reported her daughter missing in April of 2011, after she couldn't reach her on Easter Sunday.
“I didn't know what he'd done with her ; it scared me,“ Smyth says. “I mean, my mind was going night and day. I’d lay down to sleep and think about it.”
Turns out Bill had been married three times before. Kathryn Delaney was Bill's second wife.
“About the seven year mark, it started getting weird,” Kathryn says of her ex-husband. “He just changed.”
The day Kathryn moved out, she says Jayme, wife number three, moved in.
When Jayme ended up dead under suspicious circumstances, Bill moved Deborah in. Then, when Deborah went missing, Kathryn says she just knew she, too, was dead.
“I had zero proof, just a feeling,” Kathryn says, “Knowing his personality, knowing how nasty and manipulative he could be.”
Possibly realizing that police were closing in on him, Bill Delaney took his own life last spring. It happened near Flagstaff, where he was already living with yet another new woman.
And now, almost two years after Deborah went missing, her family is still trying to cope with the tragic truth.
“I have closure, but I will never feel better,” says Smyth.
Peoria police have now launched a new investigation into the death of Delaney's third wife, Jayme.
Investigators believe she died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but detectives now wonder if there’s more to the case.