Rosalina Edmondson had a hard life. It was just as hard being one of her three husbands.
Born Rosalina Misina Mendoza, her parents died when she was 1. She grew up in the Philippines being shuttled between orphanages, foster families, and relatives. Eventually, she landed a visiting American serviceman as a husband. She arrived in Seattle in 1977 on a fiancé visa, but her would-be groom got cold feet and broke off the engagement.
Under a deportation deadline, Rosalina miraculously found another fiancé. His name was Agapito Dugeno. Like her, he was born in the Philippines but became a U.S. citizen serving in the Navy. He was 76 years old. She was 23. He died of a heart attack shortly after the wedding.
Rosalina then became the caretaker of a man named Robert C. Erickson, who had a number of health issues. In January 1980, he made Rosalina his sole beneficiary. He died two months later, leaving her a house on Long Lake Road in Kitsap County, Washington.
While working for Erickson, Rosalina married Richard Wayne Manthie, a former Marine she met overseas. They had a daughter together but Manthie was physically abusive and she later divorced him.
“He would get drunk and he was very vicious and violent when he was intoxicated,” retired Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Douglas Hudson told “Snapped,” airing on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. Manthie would later serve time in Montana State Prison for theft.
In 1981, Rosalina then began dating William "Bill" Edmondson after they met at a bar near the Naval Submarine Base Bangor, where he was stationed. Born in 1958, his troubled childhood rivaled Rosalina’s.
“He was born in prison in Pennsylvania because his mother had been convicted of killing his father,” true crime author Rebecca Morris told “Snapped.” Bill was raised in foster care until his mother was paroled after five years.
Following high school, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He landed in Kitsap County in his early 20s. He wasn’t like the other men Rosalina dated. “He was a nice guy. He was an honest guy,” friend Susan Niles told producers.
Bill was taken with Rosalina, especially after meeting her 3-year-old daughter. He’d always yearned for a family. They were married in August 1981, and bought a home near Lake William Symington, Washington. Rosalina outfitted the home with all new appliances, and as they readied for their first Christmas together, Bill splurged on gifts for his stepdaughter.
But Bill failed to report for duty on December 22, 1981. Sensing something was wrong, Naval Criminal Investigative Services notified local law enforcement.
Then, on the morning of December 29, 1981, a man called 911 to report a body he’d seen in the woods near a remote tree farm. It was lying face down in a puddle a couple inches deep.
“We found an ID card from Bangor naval base and it identified the guy was Bill Edmondson,” retired Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Dave Fijolek told producers. When they flipped his body over, it became apparent his death wasn’t an accident.
“It was clearly evident that he had been severely beaten. His eyes were swollen shut, his nose was splattered all over his face, cut lip, broken teeth,” Hudson said. “There was no possibility that this was anything other than an out and out assassination.”
A print off a cowboy boot was even embedded in Bill's chest. An autopsy revealed Bill had also been shot four times in the head with a .22 caliber firearm, according to court documents.
When detectives notified Rosalina of her husband’s death she began crying hysterically. She said they had gone out together on the night of December 21 and that Bill was drinking heavily. She left him at the bar where he was trying to score drugs.
When asked who might want to kill her husband, Rosalina implicated fellow serviceman Michael Cogswell. “She did indicate that Michael Cogswell and her husband were in a homosexual relationship,” retired Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Ray Magerstaedt told producers.
Cogswell and Bill were roommates before he married Rosalina, and Cogswell rented a room in their home. Rosalina claimed she came home one day and caught the two men having sex.
Detectives spoke with Cogswell, who denied having a homosexual relationship with Bill but said they were good friends. After getting off work on December 21, they went out drinking together, later returning home where Rosalina was waiting for them.
“She said, ‘We’re going to go out,’ and that was the last time I ever saw him,” Cogswell told producers.
When asked about Bill's drug use, Cogswell was taken aback and insisted he never did them.
On December 30, detectives spoke to Richard Manthie, who had been staying at Rosalina’s property on Long Lake Road since getting out of prison on December 17. Rosalina had petitioned for his parole, claiming to still be his wife, and paid for his plane ticket to the area, according to court documents.
The condition of the home immediately raised suspicion. The back door was gone. Broken glass was strewn about the floor and significant amounts of blood were found on the kitchen floor and walls. By the missing back door was a pair of muddy cowboy boots.
Manthie claimed he didn’t know Rosalina had divorced him and found out on the night of December 21, when she arrived on Long Lake Road with Bill. He says they argued and he spent the rest of the night drinking alone at the house after they left.
A car Rosalina had loaned Manthie was parked outside the house. Inside the vehicle investigators found .22 caliber shell casings, glass shards, and hair and blood that was later matched to Bill's, according to court documents. Additionally, Manthie’s cowboy boots matched the footprints on Bill's chest.
In Bill's locker at his naval base, investigators discovered diaries where he said he was afraid his new wife would kill him. A week after taking out a life insurance policy worth $150,000, he had woken up in the hospital.
“He had allergies to certain over-the-counter medicines and he ended up with a severe reaction and just about died,” Hudson said. “In the middle of the night he remembered waking up and Rosalina was sitting on his chest pushing Tylenol pills down his throat.”
Bill had asked Cogswell to move in with him as protection against Rosalina, and even told him to use his diaries if anything happened to him.
On January 14, 1982, Manthie was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. At his trial, a former cellmate testified that Manthie had spoken at length about the killing.
Manthie said that on the night of the murder, Rosalina dropped off a case of beer, knowing he got violent when he was drunk. Hours later, she showed up with Bill and introduced him as her new husband. Manthie brutally assaulted Bill, breaking his nose. He then felt remorseful, apologized, and decided to take Bill to the hospital.
“When they were leaving, Edmondson turned to Rose and said he was going to change the insurance policy and take her off as a beneficiary. This really set her off and she said, ‘Kill this son of a bitch or I will,'" Fijolek told producers.
Manthie shot Bill twice in the head as he sat in the passenger seat of the car. He and Rose then dumped his body in the woods. Fearing he was still alive, Manthie shot him twice more in the head and stomped on his chest.
Richard Manthie was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in June 1982 and sentenced to life without parole, according to court documents. Days later, Rosalina was arrested and charged with murder in the first degree.
On March 5, 1983, Rosalina Edmondson was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.