Vashti Seacat was a beautiful housewife who was found dead in her bed in a home fire in 2011. Her husband, police officer Brett Seacat, was found guilty of her murder. In tonight’s Dateline Saturday night mystery, producers will revisit the Kingman, Kansas, case, which will most likely include an update. The original episode, entitled “Burning Suspicion,” first aired around 2013. Dateline‘s most dedicated viewers will listen to the story unfold through first-hand accounts by police officers who worked the case and intimate friends and associates of Vashti and Brett Seacat.
News outlets reported that the Seacat home located at 255 E. B Avenue in Kingman became a blazing inferno. It was there that investigators found 34-year-old Vashti Seacat’s body in the second floor master bedroom. An examination of the body revealed that she had been shot while she slept, and then the home went up in flames. The investigation revealed that the fire had been set and was most likely a cover up for murder. Brett Seacat told police that his wife shot herself and set the fire because she had been suffering with depression, and there was even a suicide note. However, that explanation didn’t fly with police.
Vashti Seacat met Brett in high school, where he was a star wrestler. By all accounts, they fell in love at that time, and though they had a few breakups, they always fell back into each others arms. When they married in 2004, no one was surprised by their lavish beach wedding in the exotic Belize. The two lovers definitely seemed like they were going to forge a lasting relationship for decades to come.
But as police started looking into the couple’s marriage, it revealed that their relationship had drifted far away from that hotspot wedding destination in Belize. Now Vashti, a mother of two small boys, was a bit depressed and trying to lose weight, according to some. There was one more thing — she wanted a divorce. Friends say that she’d finally made up her mind that things with her police officer husband were not going to work, and she was excited to be going on a Mexican vacation and making plans to move on with her future without Brett. The Daily Mail timelines the events this way.
“Seacat killed his wife at about 4am and then set fire to their home to hide the evidence.() The mother-of-two had filed for divorce a couple of weeks before her death [and] her husband had been served with divorce papers in the days before the fire. Mrs Seacat had started making plans with her friends a week before her death.”
Adding all of those facts together clearly shows that Vashti Seacat had no plans to kill herself, and she looked forward to being with her boys, Brendan and Bronson. And they say she was an awesome mother — the kind of mom who got up early to make fresh food for her kids everyday.
Family members say that the boys were sad and broken by her death, often waking up in the middle of the night fearful and begging for their mom to return. Brett Seacat says he is innocent of his wife’s death and would never burn down his own home and subject his kids to such a devastation, according to statements Brett made to police during the interrogation.
“If I wanted to kill my wife, I could’ve come up with something better than that.”
“‘I would never burn our house,’ he said under questioning from the prosecutor. ‘I would never expose my children to any situation like that.’”
At Brett Seacat’s trial in 2013, a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison. His life sentence was upheld in 2015. Watch Dateline‘s “Burning Suspicion” tonight on NBC. Check your local listings for exact times. Also showing tonight on CBS 48 Hours is the case of a Texas teacher and coach who was accused of killing his pregnant wife in their home.
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