First, James Clay Waller II dug a hole to bury his wife at Devil’s Island, on the Mississippi River.
Then he killed his wife, Jacque Sue Waller, by strangling her and beating her to death at his home in Jackson, Missouri.
On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison on one felony count of interstate domestic violence.
Jacque Waller was the mother of his 5-year-old triplet sons. The Wallers were going through divorce proceedings when she was killed in June 2011, according to a news release by the United State’s Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri.
Never miss a local story.
During the federal investigation, authorities found a manuscript that James Waller wrote called, “If You Take My Kids, I’ll Kill You!: The Public Confession of Missouri’s Most Notorious Wife Killers.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said James Waller dug the grave, then spent the night with his girlfriend in Illinois. He then went to Missouri, with the intent to kill his wife, authorities say, and to meet with her and her attorney. James Waller then lured Jacque Waller to his home, where he killed her, on the premise that one of their sons was at the home. He then transported her body across the Mississippi River by boat and buried her in the grave he had dug the day before.
None of the boys were at the home when their mother was killed.