It had seemed like Katherine “Kit” Mordick was happily ever after.
Kit met her future husband, Gregory Mordick, at Disneyland in California, where they both worked on the “It’s A Small World” attraction.
The sweet, quiet guy – who recounted his college degree and service in Vietnam – loved sewing and cooking and was a perfect complement to his vibrant, sunny personality.
“It sounded like a fairy tale,” her sister Donna said of the couple’s nuptials in 1977. “She was really happy.”
The couple settled down and had two daughters, but unlike fairy tales, the romance wouldn’t last.
A few years after the wedding, Kit started working as a food stylist, the person responsible for preparing food to be photographed for commercials and magazines.
This decision not only brought her closer to the career of her dreams, it also brought her closer to a photographer she often worked with named Henry. The resulting affair was enough to derail her marriage, and by the end of 1982, Kit and Gregory were in the midst of a divorce, as Kit happily pursued the new romance.
The new year brought new possibilities, but on January 23, 1983, Kit was found by her brother Joe O’Connell and her new love, Henry, in her Anaheim Hills home with her throat slit.
It would be decades before the case was ever solved.
Henry and O’Connell had gone to see Kit after she failed to show up for a family dinner the night before. They arrived to find no lights on in the house but noticed Kit’s car was still parked in the garage. It was then that Henry discovered an unlocked door and broke into the house to make the macabre discovery.
“I saw her lying there, there was just blood everywhere,” O’Connell told “Dateline” correspondent Keith Morrison. “She was dead.”
The attack had been so violent that Anaheim Police Detective Boyd Underwood – who took charge of the case decades later – described his head as “almost gone”. Her throat had been slit and she was found naked from the waist down.
“We were both crying. Both out of control,” Joe recalled.
It looks like the house was ransacked. Loudspeakers were ripped from the walls, a TV sat near the front door and a factory was toppled, but there were no signs of a break-in and investigators believed the scene looked to have been staged.
Immediately, the police examined the men closest to Kit, questioning Henry and Gregory.
Police had discovered an unopened letter Kit had written to Gregory on a table inside the house.
“I’m ready to move on,” she wrote. “I don’t want to be unhappy or angry. I want you to know that I forgive you everything and ask your forgiveness for the very deep pain that I have inflicted on you.
Gregory said the last time he saw his ex-wife was on Saturday when he went to her house to pick up the couple’s daughters for the weekend.
“[I] arrived home around 10 a.m. to pick them up for a birthday party,” he told “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered.”
Gregory said he chatted with Kit, loaded his two daughters into the car, then made several trips to load their party bags and gifts into the vehicle.
As for that letter, Gregory told ‘Dateline: Secrets Uncovered’ that he thinks Kit may be apologizing for starting his food photography career without him, though the pair have always talked about working together to start the business.
Kit’s sister, Donna, however, had another possible explanation. After the affair, Kit had apparently read Gregory’s journals and discovered that many of the details she thought she knew about her husband—such as his college degree and service in Vietnam—were actually a lie. There was also a list of women’s names, although it’s unclear if this was a list of women he had slept with or just a list of women he had admired, as Gregory had insisted.
“Everything she knew about him was a lie,” Donna said.
The betrayal was enough to break the relationship for good, according to Donna.
“All my deceptions have been exposed,” Gregory would write in his diary in September 1982.
Gregory told Morrison he lied because he “didn’t fit in very well at Disneyland” and was considered an unusual guy for hobbies like sewing.
“So I decided to spruce up my life a bit and all of a sudden people liked me,” he said.
Regardless of his lies about his past, on the day Kit was killed, witnesses reported seeing him at the birthday party that afternoon, acting happy and helpful.
An autopsy also determined that Kit was killed on Saturday, January 22, 1983, during “PM” hours, when Gregory was already at the party.
Yet Gregory still lived under a cloud of suspicion and decided to leave California, with his two daughters in tow, to start a new life in Spokane, Washington, where he opened his own photography studio.
Henry was reportedly two hours from San Diego on the day of the murder and was ruled out due to the alibi.
For decades, Kit’s case remained unsolved until Underwood, who had played a role with the Anaheim Police Department investigating cold cases after his official retirement, took a fresh look at the case. ‘affair.
After looking at the crime scene photos, he discovered that the evidence had never been tested for DNA and had all the evidence in the case re-tested. Investigators found Gregory’s DNA on the back sliding glass door, the closet door handle, the plastic bag inside the closet, and the bathroom sink in the home.
“The bathroom sink had his blood and DNA mixed together. On the sliding door was a mixture of his blood and blood,” Underwood said. “You’re starting to be more and more convinced that he was part of that crime scene.”
Gregory was arrested for first-degree murder in 2008. Prosecutors argued that Gregory killed Kit because he didn’t want to waste time with his daughters and pointed to diary entries where Gregory wrote about how he would be painful to be separated from them.
He had also confessed to the papers that there had been violence between the couple and admitted he punched Kit during their anger-fueled breakup, the latest incident occurring weeks before his death, although he insists about the fact that she had always started physical confrontations first. .
Gregory’s defense team tried to pin the blame on Henry, the other man who had been in Kit’s life all those years ago, calling a witness who recalled Kit not being happy with the relationship. They also pointed to how quickly Henry moved on with Kit’s sister Donna, marrying her just a year after the murder.
They also pointed to evidence storage issues. At some point, a vial of blood taken from Gregory had split open and seeped onto other evidence packaging.
They also told jurors that no blood was ever found on Gregory’s clothing and called a witness who described him as acting completely normal at that birthday party that afternoon. .
The first trial resulted in a hung jury, but during the second trial Gregory was found guilty of first degree murder.
Gregory was sentenced to 25 years to life, although he continues to insist on his innocence.