Dawn Hacheney Murder: How did she die? Where is killer now?

The whole town of Bainbridge Island was shocked when a 28-year-old Dawn Hacheney, wife of the local pastor Nick Hacheney, was found dead in her bedroom on December 26, 1997.

At first, it seemed like an accident but that wasn’t the actual case. Autopsy reports revealed that Dawn had been suffocated before the fire even started.

The story of Dawn Hacheney shocked the whole community and still weighs heavy on the island. How could a beloved pastor betray his wife and God?

What evil lurked inside him behind that guise of holiness? The tragic case serves as a lesson that danger can deceptively hide in plain sight – even within the walls of a church.

Who Was Dawn Hacheney?

Dawn Marie Tienhaara was born on December 5, 1969 to Donald and Diana Tienhaara. Described as intelligent and spiritual, Dawn had a happy upbringing with her three siblings.

Dawn Hacheney with Pastor husband
via Archives

She graduated from Bremerton Christian School and attended Northwest Bible College, where she received her bachelor’s degree. Dawn went on to work as a loan officer at a credit union.

A devout Christian, it was Dawn’s shared faith that drew her to Nick Hacheney. They married on April 20, 1990 and a year later, Nick began working as a youth pastor.

By all accounts, the early years of their marriage were stable and content, but a deadly betrayal was brewing underneath the surface.

The Night of Murder

On December 26, 1997, neighbors spotted flames engulfing the Hacheney’s home late at night.

First responders rushed to take the situation under control and discovered Dawn’s body lifeless on the bed after breaking into the half burned house.

At first ruled an accident, autopsy results showed Dawn had been suffocated before the starting of fire.

This sinister detail prompted police to investigate further and it was revealed that Dawn had been suffocated by a plastic bag over her head before the fire started.

When Nick was quesitioned about the accident, he said that he was out for hunting during the tragedy.

With a lack of evidence, the case went cold for years until Nick’s assistant alleged they had an affair and that he confessed to killing Dawn. Nick had inappropriate relationships with at least two other women after Dawn died.

Nick was convicted 4 years later

In 2001, compelling testimony and evidence led Nick to be convicted of Dawn’s premeditated murder.

Justice came far too late, but it provided some closure for her devastated family.

Behind the God-fearing facade, a sinister betrayal had taken root, leading the pastor to commit a mortal sin against his wife.

Additional digging uncovered Nick had sexual relations with at least two other women soon after Dawn perished. When confronted with the mounting evidence, Nick had no choice but to confess.

He was charged and convicted of Dawn’s premeditated murder in 2001.

Justice came far too late, but at least Dawn’s grieving family finally had answers to her untimely death. Nick Hacheney remains behind bars, though eligible for parole in 2025.

See also: Irving Galarza Now: Where is Susan Borden’s attempted murderer today? Is he Dead or Alive?

Lakshya Kaushik

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