Murder of Dorothy Tyburski by Leonard Tyburski examined on Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love

Crime scene tape photo
Leonard Tyburski was convicted of murdering his wife, Dorothy Tyburski. Pic credit: stock image

Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love is taking a closer look at the murder of Dorothy Tyburski by her husband, Leonard Tyburski, in Canton, Michigan.

Leonard was working as a school administrator at Mackenzie High School in Detroit when he began dating Dorothy, who was 16 at the time.

She ultimately dropped out of school to continue her relationship with Leonard, whom she married and had a family with.

On Oct. 2, 1985, Leonard reported his wife missing. He told police officials that she left their home “with the clothes on her back” following an argument and never returned.

He also told neighbors that Dorothy had mentioned moving to Toledo, Ohio.

Police did not suspect foul play in her disappearance, and the case was ultimately closed.

Dorothy Tyburski’s body was found three years after her disappearance

Nearly four years later, one of the couple’s daughters, then 20, told authorities that she was having dreams about her mother being in a confined space inside the house.

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Then one day she remembered the freezer in the basement and how the key to it had suddenly vanished. When she spoke with her father about it, he gave her various accounts of what happened to it.

She became suspicious.

While he was out of the house on Jan. 2, 1989, she went to the basement and pried the freezer open.

Inside were her mother’s remains.

She and her teenage sister immediately went to the police station.

Leonard Tyburski confessed to killing his wife

Police officials arrested Leonard after he admitted to killing his wife in the basement of their home.

He was charged with second-degree murder.

Leonard told authorities that when he got into an argument with his wife on Sept. 28, 1985, he hit her head against a metal beam at least 11 times before throwing her body in the freezer.

During a 45-minute testimony, he said, “I closed the lid on the freezer. I just couldn’t stand to look at her. I felt so terrible and ashamed that I had done that.”

An autopsy revealed that Dorothy’s cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head.

In July 1989, a jury found Leonard guilty, and a judge sentenced him to 20 to 40 years in prison.

The judge reduced Leonard Tyburski’s sentence

In November 1994, the couple’s daughter sent a letter to the judge, stating that her father’s sentence would only bring more grief.

The judge then reduced his sentence to nine to 25 years in prison.

Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

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