Convicted killer admits to beating his wife to death

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(WQAD) – Convicted killer William “Pete” White of Viola, Illinois, says he was under the influence of a case of beer and pain pills the day he beat his estranged wife to death with a crowbar.

“I had a crowbar to break into the garage. That’s when it just went wrong,” he said in a jailhouse interview at the Mercer County Jail, the day after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

White says he had ignored an order of protection filed by Melissa White, and trespassed on the property to get some property of his out of the garage.

He says he swung the crowbar once to ward off the family dog, and hit Melissa once.

Then again. And again.

“I swung and I was swinging and, God knows, I don’t remember swinging,” he said.

“I loved Melissa with all my heart. It was not intentional,” he said.

White said he remembers taking off and throwing his bloody clothes in ditches just outside of town.

He said he decided to confess and plead guilty to the crime, after three years of denial, because of police pressure, a guilty conscience, and repeated nightmares.

Read the full story at