Alleged "kayak killer" Angelika Graswald denied charges that she fatally sabotaged her fiancé's kayak before a trip on the Hudson River in April on an episode of 20/20 last night, despite an earlier taped confession in which she allegedly admitted to police that "it felt good knowing he was going to die."
Graswald, 35, told the program that she "loved" fiancé Vincent Viafore, 46, who drowned on April 10th after his kayak capsized. "I can't say goodbye yet," Graswald told interviewer Elizabeth Vargas. "It still feels unreal." Graswald vehemently denied the accusation that she intentionally removed Viafore's kayak's drain plug, presumably in order to get his two life insurance policies totaling $250,000. "I needed a chance to let people know that I'm innocent," she said last night. "I'm being accused of murder, which I'm not capable of doing."
In September, authorities released video from a taped interrogation with Orange County police, in which Graswald appeared to have confessed, at the very least, to being relieved Viafore was dead. "I wanted him dead and now he's gone. And I'm okay with it," she says in the video, later telling police, "I wanted to be free." Per the Times:
She also talked about feeling emotionally torn out on the river, after the police asked her what was going through her mind. “I’m like ripping in two halves,” she said. “You know, angels and demons. The demon side, it’s not a good side, and that side was telling me this is gonna happen, let it happen. Just let it. But the good was, ‘Save him, save him, save him. You’re strong.’ ”
The detectives asked why the demon side won out, and she replied: “Well, ’cause of the way he was treating me, you know.”
But during the hours of police interviews, she waffled and contradicted herself as well. An interrogator asked, “Did you want him gone?” Her reply: “Sometimes.” At another point, she said, “I didn’t want to kill him or anything like that.”
A detective asked, “Why didn’t he have that plug in there?” She responded, “He didn’t have it because I guess I had it.” The interrogator pressed, “Did you intentionally take that plug out because you wanted to set yourself free?”
“Could be,” Ms. Graswald replied.
Graswald's attorneys maintained her innocence, and last night she told 20/20 she confessed out of exhaustion. "They kept asking me the same questions like a hundred times. I knew that I was innocent and I told them what they wanted to hear. I was at my breaking point," she said.
Graswald has been charged with second-degree murder.