The next episode of A Crime to Remember is pure TV crime noir. Investigation Discovery viewers will hear details of a shocking murder case that comes out of California.
Titled “The Newlydeads,” the new episode of A Crime to Remember will focus on the case of Cheryl Perveler, a pretty, statuesque newlywed bride who was found slumped in the front seat of her car almost 50 years ago. Her husband, ex-cop-turned-insurance adjuster Paul Perveler, and his blonde lover, Christina “Kristina” Cromwell, orchestrated the killings. However, there was also another victim in the case: Christina Cromwell’s husband, Marlin Cromwell, who was found dead in a fiery blaze years earlier. The story will be recounted by Los Angeles investigators and other crime experts who are familiar with the case.
A Crime to Remember will reveal that investigators were called out to a scene in Burbank, California, where the body of a woman was found dead in her car inside the carport. The headlights were still on and the woman’s lifeless body was found slumped in the seat. She was bleeding from the skull. An autopsy report confirmed that the victim, identified as 22-year-old Cheryl D. Greene Perveler, was shot in the head.
Cheryl Perveler’s family was notified, and she was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills cemetery.
Investigators were baffled as to who would want this young woman dead. She was new to the area and had only been married for two months to her husband, Paul Perveler. The pieces just didn’t fit.
To find clues, LA detectives began digging into Cheryl Perveler’s background, and all of the clues led them to Paul Perveler.
In a shocking turn of events, it was discovered that Paul Perveler was once an LA cop but resigned after he was under investigation for arranging an illegal abortion. He was having an affair with Christina Cromwell, a woman whose husband, 27-year-old Marlin Cromwell, was gunned down before he was found dead in a fire in his Highland Park home in 1966. The fire was set to cover the killer’s tracks.
Investigators began to establish a connection between these two deaths and some insurance policies. Although Christina Cromwell claimed not to home at the time of the murder, she did collect on a hefty insurance policy that allowed her to buy her lover, Paul Perveler, at least two beer joints.
The investigation revealed that Cromwell and Perveler wanted his newlywed bride, Cheryl Perveler, dead to collect on a double indemnity insurance policy.
They had more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove their theory. They also heard a story from Paul Perveler’s former wife, Lela Halverson, who stated that someone had tried to kill her twice in a hit-and-run assault. She believed that her husband wanted her dead to cash in on the insurance money.
Paul Perveler met Christina Cromwell in 1965 after he began working as an insurance adjuster, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Kristina Cromwell (Christina Cromwell) was the secretary, and shortly after they met, they began an illicit affair while married.
Below, an AP Images photo shows Kristina Cromwell headed to court.
The case was sensational, and it was often compared in the media to the 1944 movie Double Indemnity starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck.
The book Till Death Do Us Part: A True Murder Mystery by Vincent Bugliosi and the 1992 movie Till Death Do Us Part were both based on this true-life crime.
A side point: In the book and the movie, the names were all changed, according to My Life of Crime.
- Paul Perveler was Alan Palliko.
- Cheryl Perveler was Judy Palliko.
- Christina Cromwell was Sandra Stockton.
- Marlin Cromwell was Henry Stockton.
- Lela Halverson was Katherine.
Where are they now?
Paul Perveler was sentenced to death the first time around. However, that sentenced was later thrown out and commuted to life in prison. He is still in prison.
Lela Halverson has fought to keep him from being paroled. She is still terrified that he’ll try to kill her again, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Christina Cromwell received a life sentence and was released on parole in 1976.
As of 2016, it appears that she is still alive. Her son, who has allegedly had trouble with the law lives in Oregon, according to an Amazon review. Kristina Cromwell’s Facebook page has a photo of her now. If this is indeed the same woman, she now goes by another last name and is working as a program manager in Sacramento, California. By the looks of her life now, you’d never know that she was ever involved in such a heinous crime.
A Crime to Remember airs tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on the Investigation Discovery channel. The Sharon Kinne case also made an episode of A Crime to Remember.
[Featured Image by David F. Smith/AP Images]