Kentucky Woman Kills Husband 4 Days After $1 Million Life Insurance Policy Became Active

Tasha Bentley initially denied that she had anything to do with the death of her husband, Gary, in 2017.

Gary Bentley [left] with his wife, Tasha Bentley [right].

Tasha Bentley fatally shot her husband, Gary, in 2017 to get his life insurance money.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Gary Bentley was a marked man when his wife, Tasha, got confirmation that the $1 million life insurance policy on him was active on Dec. 6, 2017, and he didn’t even know it.

By that point, the couple had been together for 11 years — married for 7 of those — and they had a son who was born just three months after their September 2012 wedding.

They lived comfortably in their Campbellsburg, Kentucky, home. Gary, an electrician, was a laid-back country man who enjoyed hunting and fishing and collecting guns. Tasha, a nurse, liked to look nice and was more assertive than her husband. They were attentive parents to their son, Connor, and by all accounts, Gary was his best self once he became a dad.

The marriage, however, was not without its rough patches. Tasha began having performance issues at her job, which led to stress and fighting at home. It came to a head when she was ultimately fired after the couple returned from a vacation to Jamaica.

That stress was briefly relieved when Tasha got a new job, but it didn’t take long before family and friends began to notice something seemed off as Tasha was spending weekends away and often stayed out late. Gary’s father tried to talk to his son about the strange vibe, but he was repeatedly brushed off as Gary assured him things between the couple were fine.

The issues seemed to come to a head at Thanksgiving 2017 when Tasha seemed desperate to get away from the holiday meal at her in-laws’ home. She swore she was going shopping when she left after dinner, but when she returned in the wee hours of Black Friday, she had no purchases with her.

The week after Thanksgiving, Tasha told her mother-in-law that she was concerned that someone would harm Gary, but Gary laughed it off.

On Dec. 10, 2017, Tasha called her father-in-law to say Gary wasn’t answering his phone and that she’d arrived home from work to find the garage door open and she was afraid to walk into the house.

Her father-in-law came and walked inside where the couple’s dogs came to greet him. He called for his son but got no answer. After walking through the home, he found Gary lying in bed. He was clearly deceased with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

As detectives examined the scene, they found a single shell casing in the bed with Gary and it appeared that all of his guns were missing from the safe. Gary, who was facing away from the door, had likely been shot while sleeping — the dogs must have known the assailant, otherwise the barking would have surely woken Gary up before he could be shot.

A call from Tasha’s best friend gave police their best lead — Tasha had been planning to leave Gary. She’d met another man at work, and she was preparing to move out in mid-January. Police also learned that Tasha had taken out a $1 million life insurance policy on Gary that became effective just four days prior to the murder.

When interrogated, Tasha said she’d shot Gary because he had been physically abusive towards their son. That allegation was investigated and authorities found no evidence that Gary had ever abused Connor.

Tasha pleaded guilty to murdering her husband in July 2021 and was sentenced 55 years in prison. She is housed at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women. Her earliest possible parole date is 2037.

For more on this case, stream American Monster: “Friends Outside of Work” on Max.

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