A Maricopa County woman who vanished from her Phoenix home was presumed dead after a boat was found burning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. Police arrested her husband Gaylynn Earl Morris, 53, aka Earl 'Rusty' Morris for the shooting death of his wife, Ruby Morris, 47.
The murder occurred in Arizona in 1989. A lengthy murder trial proved that Rusty Morris shot and killed his wife in their home, placed her body aboard a boat and lit the boat a fire. Police say the motive was that Morris wanted to be with his mistress.
Morris told police that his wife committed suicide after she became enraged when she learned about his affair. Gaylynn Morris was found guilty for the murder of Ruby Morris. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. He is still incarcerated in an Arizona correctional facility.
What makes this case stand out?
1. Earl Morris killed his wife, propped her body up in the passengers seat to make it appear as if she was asleep. He then drove the body several hundred miles to San Diego, put her body on the boat and lit the body a fire. The boat sank, but before it was completely submerged, police were called to the scene after witnesses reported seeing a burning boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
2. One of Ruby's daughters suspected that her father may have had something to hide. Upon investigating him further, she discovered that her father was having an affair. The daughter, who happened to be a country singer, helped solve the case, according to "People's Magazine."
3. The case inspired a movie based on true crime.
Other key facts
Ruby Morris and her cheating husband were married for about 30 years. She endured numerous affairs during the marriage, according to court documents.
The case inspired the movie "Deep Family Secrets."
The story also appeared on a 1999 episode of "Forensic Files: Sex, Lies and DNA" aka "Medical Detectives" about an Arizona woman who was missing.