The Tragic Murder of Rebecca Postle Bliefnick

Rebecca Postle-Bliefnick

Quincy, Illinois: Rebecca, 41, was found shot to death in her home. Her bullet-riddled body was discovered by her father after she did not pick up her sons from school. Rebecca was a Quincy native who worked as a Nurse at Blessing Hospital.

Two and a half weeks later, her estranged husband was arrested. Rebecca was a beloved Mother of three sons. The former couple was going through a divorce. The divorce trial was set for March 3. The Department of Children and Family Services made arrangements for the children.

Table of Contents

Who Killed Rebecca and Why?

In March 2023, the State charged Timothy W. Bliefnick with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion, alleging that Mr. Bliefnick entered the home of his wife and intentionally shot and killed her.

Years before her murder, she had sought an emergency restraining order against her husband, saying she needed protection from abuse and harassment. But the petition was denied.

In a Dateline interview, Becky’s sister said, “Because much of the alleged abuse was psychological, Becky wasn’t taken seriously. Nobody believed her because you can’t see emotional abuse. You can’t see what happens behind closed doors. You can’t see manipulation.”

Because Becky and Tim were getting divorced—and because he’d filed his own restraining order against his wife, which was also denied—her sister believes the court viewed her application as gamesmanship. 

Rebecca & Timothy Bliefnick

Rebecca’s Autopsy

Dr. Scott Denton, Forensic Pathologist. During Dr. Denton’s testimony, photos detailed Rebecca Bliefnick wearing black compression surgical pants and a surgical compression pad on her torso. Dr. Denton said she sustained nine gunshot wounds to her torso alone, but not all were immediately fatal. He testified that she could have been alive several minutes after the intruder left her home. Dr. Denton said the mechanism of death was internal bleeding, as she had almost no blood in her vessels. Because of the compression pad, he said it wasn’t surprising there wasn’t much blood on the floor next to her body. Dr. Denton said this would have been an extremely painful death.

Events Leading Up to Rebecca’s Death

2009: Rebecca Postle and Timothy Bliefnick married on September 18.

2021: January 21—Timothy filed for divorce.

2021: May 9—A text from Rebecca to a longtime friend: “He told me if I outed his dad that he (Ray) would probably have to move then kill himself […] I absolutely think he will try to take the kids sometime.”

2021: June 4—Facebook messages between Rebecca and a former co-worker claim Rebecca didn’t want Timothy’s father to have unsupervised contact with her children ever again due to previous child sexual allegations. Rebecca feared he would secretly run off with the children. Messages said Rebecca believed Timothy had “true mental health problems” and was scared to get an Order of Protection.

2021: October—Timothy’s phone was factory reset.

2021: November—Rebecca still had not received a 9mm handgun registered in her name that she requested Timothy return to her.

2022: March 14—Facebook message from Rebecca to a friend: “If he doesn’t get it his way, he may literally lose his mind.”

2022: August—A court order detailed how the exchange of children must be made, that Timothy and Rebecca must stay within 3 feet of their cars when exchanging children.

2022: October—A John Smith Facebook account inquired to a seller via Timothy’s cell phone about a blue 26″ Schwinn mountain bike for sale. Timothy inquired via Facebook to another person about a black Mongoose mountain bike for sale. He purchased the bike.


January 5: Rebecca saw a friend at TJ MAXX, who said she appeared mentally exhausted. They talked about Rebecca’s divorce, and Rebecca said she felt like Tim could snap at any moment. She said Tim told her, “You’ll be dead before you get any of my money.”

Sometime this month, Timothy asked his neighbor if he had any video cameras pointed toward his backyard.

February 10: Timothy Bliefnick called Quincy Police. He asked if they could return a 9mm handgun to Rebecca because he didn’t want to give it to her face-to-face. Police denied the request.

February 13: Rebecca’s male friend arrived at her home at about 11:45 p.m. and stayed the night.

February 14

12:00 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP fitness armband lost connection, and his phone was locked.

12:00 a.m. to 1 a.m. —Video surveillance detected a bicycle rider going past the Quincy bus barn, past a residence at 224 S. 20th Street, and back.

Rebecca’s next-door neighbor received an alert notification that a moving object was detected on his driveway surveillance camera. The video showed a person walking up and down the driveway past a car parked at Rebecca’s home.

1:10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. —Laptop search history on Timothy Bliefnick showed searches for “license plate lookup,” “title/registration lookup, VIN check lookup, vehicle records,” and the search for Rebecca’s male friend’s exact VIN and license plate number.

Timothy’s WHOOP armband reconnects.

1:32 a.m. —A phone call was made to the Missouri Department of Revenue, which handles vehicle registrations.

February 19 to 20: Rebecca stayed at a friend’s house before an abdominal surgery scheduled that week.

February 21

12:45 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP arm band disconnects from his phone.

2:11 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP arm band reconnects. QPS bus barn video surveillance shows a bicycle rider southbound on 20th Street, then going east on Prairie Street, and additional footage captures a bicycle rider heading north on 20th Street between these hours.

12:30 p.m. —Rebecca returned home. Rebecca messages Tim, asking if he could keep the kids overnight for the next two days. That evening was the last time her male friend saw Rebecca alive.

February 22

12:42 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP armband disconnects.

2:19 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP armband reconnects.

2:22 a.m. —Timothy’s phone unlocks.

1:20 p.m. —Timothy’s next-door neighbor goes to his house and then leaves about 30 minutes later.

Video surveillance again shows a bike rider going southbound past the Quincy Bus Barn, turning east on Prairie, then back the other way sometime later.

February 23The Day of Rebecca Bliefnick’s Murder

12:28 a.m. —Timothy Bliefnick’s phone locks.

12:36 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP arm band disconnects from his phone.

12:55 a.m.—Surveillance Video of a bicyclist rider riding southbound past the bus barn.

12:57 a.m. —Video showed the bicyclist turning east on Prairie.

1:11 a.m. —Rebecca attempted to call 911. Her cell phone was found behind a bedroom door.

1: 12 a.m. —An ADT front door alert said the front door was opened.

1:16 a.m. —Video showed a bicycle rider heading northbound past the Quincy bus barn.

1:27 a.m. —Another ADT alert said the front door was still open.

2:01 a.m. —Timothy’s WHOOP arm band reconnects.

2:07 a.m. —Timothy’s phone unlocks.

6:45 a.m. —A Kentucky Road resident was leaving for work and noticed Rebecca’s front door was open.

7:00 to 9:00 a.m. —Another Kentucky Road resident saw Timothy bring a Little Tike’s basketball hoop to his father’s house.

11:51 a.m. —Timothy called St. Peter School, telling them not to let his three kids walk home to Rebecca’s house.

1:50 p.m. —Surveillance camera video showed Timothy arriving at St. Peter School 57 minutes before school let out.

3:03 p.m. —Timothy texted Rebecca’s father, Bill Postle, and asked if he could call her to find out when she was getting the kids because he claimed the school called him saying no one had picked up the children.

3:30 p.m. —Rebecca’s father found her dead in her home. He ran to a neighbor’s home to use their phone to call 911.

3:33 p.m. —QPD Officer Matt Hermsmeier was dispatched to 2528 Kentucky Road.

About 4 p.m. —Rebecca’s mother was picked up. She called Tim, and he replied, “WHAT!?”

About 7 p.m. —Rebecca’s male friend was questioned by QPD and given a DNA swab test.

February 27—Police found an abandoned blue Schwinn bicycle by the Quincy Public Schools Bus Barn.

March 1—Police searched Timothy’s home in the 1600 block of Hampshire Street.

March 13—Timothy Bliefnick was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion.

Timothy Bliefnick Charged in the Murder of His Wife, Rebecca Bliefnick

March 14—Bliefnick made his first court appearance. The judge denied bail.

March 15—Police were seen searching a lagoon on a property owned by Timothy.

Illinois State Police Investigation

Quincy PD Detective Erik Cowick examined a cell phone found behind a bedroom door in Rebecca Bliefnick’s home. Cowick said the last activity on Rebecca’s phone was an attempted 911 call at 1:11 a.m. on Feb. 23. Cowick noted Facebook had been activated since 12:53 a.m.

Cowick also examined a hard drive’s worth of evidence from Timothy Bliefnick’s laptop. Cowick examined thousands of pages worth of search history. Cowick testified there were many searches made on his laptop regarding license plate lookups, vehicle registration lookups, and car ownership history in both Illinois and Missouri.

Evidence showed that the specific license plate searches matched Rebecca’s male friend’s information. These searches were all made between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Feb. 14. Rebecca’s male friend testified that he spent the night at her home that night. Rebecca’s next-door neighbor testified his security camera captured a person walking up and down his driveway. He said those alert notifications came in the very early morning hours of February 14. At 1:32 a.m. of the same morning, evidence showed a call from Timothy’s phone was made to the Missouri Department of Revenue, which handles vehicle registrations.

Prosecutors pointed out a Facebook account on Timothy Bliefnick’s phone that was identified by the name John Smith. Prosecutors revealed multiple text messages between the account and other individuals. Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones presented messages between the John Smith account and another person. Evidence showed that a message from Smith described himself as a male in a green zip-up jacket with long, brown hair. Cowick confirmed this was Timothy’s description prior to the trial.

Similarly, the Smith account inquired to another Facebook user about a 26-inch Mongoose Mountain Bike. Messages show the bike was purchased in October 2022. A similar Mongoose bicycle was found in Bliefnick’s home on March 1. Cowick testified there was proof that it was the same bicycle.

Cowick compared the bike that was found on Feb. 27 less than half a block from Bliefnick’s home to the bike that was sold on Marketplace. Cowick noted similar characteristics, including a partially broken kickstand and a scratch on the front fork.

Prosecutors then inquired about Bliefnick’s search history. Evidence showed search history such as “how to open a door with a crowbar,” “lock picking tricks,” “can you just wash off gun residue,” and “are shotgun rounds traceable?” More search inquiries included how many cops were employed at QPD, how to open a window from the outside, and how to make a homemade pistol silencer.

During the trial, it was testified that Bliefnick wore a WHOOP Fitness band. More search history shows a search on Timothy’s phone asking, “Does my WHOOP catch up when I’m not wearing it?” A picture presented to the jury showed Bliefnick wearing it on his wrist the day his home was searched on March 1. Prosecutors said the only time the fitness band was not reporting data was in the early morning hours of February 23, when Rebecca Bliefnick was murdered.

Trial of Family Feud contestant-turned-estranged husband began with devastating truth about Becky Bliefnick’s murder (Matt Naham, Law & Crime)

Years before Rebecca Bliefnick’s death, Tim Bliefnick and his family members appeared on the popular game show Family Feud. During the show, host Steve Harvey asked Tim Bliefnick about the biggest mistake a person makes at their wedding. “Honey, I love you, but Said I do,” he replied. “Not my mistake,” Bliefnick clarified. “I love my wife.” “I’m gonna get in trouble for that, aren’t I?” he then asked jokingly.

Prosecutors called Timothy Bliefnick’s alleged actions “heinous” and “premeditated.” Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State’s Attorney office, said the “horrific crime” was “an act of domestic violence.”

“She fell on her back, and she looked up into the eyes of her murderer. She looked up into eyes that she had looked into before—into eyes that had promised her once till death do us part,” Jones said. “She looked into the eyes of her murderer, her husband, the defendant. And the defendant looked down at Becky, and he pointed a gun at her, and he pulled the trigger.”

“Not once, not twice, not three times, but 14 times—riddling her body with bullets,” Jones added. “And then, he ran away. He fled, leaving Becky lying on the floor to die alone.”

Timothy’s Defense Attorney, Casey Schnack, told jurors that prosecutors had told “a good story” but emphasized that the opening statement was not evidence. “You get to determine what the evidence proves and what the evidence doesn’t prove,” Schnack reminded jurors.

The defense lawyer said details about Tim and Becky Bliefnick’s “messy” or “ugly” divorce do not equal proof beyond a reasonable doubt. “The burden of the proof is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not based on speculation, it’s not based on conjecture,” the lawyer said. “It’s not based on getting divorced. It’s not based on having bad feelings toward your spouse. It’s not based on inconclusive lab results.”

The defense lawyer claimed the case was “dripping with reasonable doubt” and said that neighborhood video evidence of a person riding a bike was not enough to convict anyone, let alone her client.

Rebecca Bliefnick’s Obituary

Rebecca’s obituary states: “Despite the circumstances of her death, (Rebecca) is remembered for the life she cherished—a life of compassion, generosity, faith, and fierce love for her family.” Rebecca Bliefnick was also described as a quintessential boy mom.

Rebecca Bliefnick with her 3 young sons

The People of the State of Illinois v. Timothy W. Bliefnick

“The last minutes of Becky Bliefnick’s life were not spent surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones. The last minutes of Becky Bliefnick’s life were not spent in the warm embrace of her three children, Deacon, Greyson, and Arlin. The last minutes of Becky Bliefnick’s life were not spent in love, and compassion, and tenderness. No, the last minutes of Becky’s life were spent in fear, pain, and terror as she lay on the cold, gray tiles of her bathroom floor, slowly bleeding to death.”

Those were the haunting words of Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones at the very start of Tim Bliefnick’s murder trial in the shooting death of Rebecca “Becky” Bernadette Postle Bliefnick, a 41-year-old nurse and mother to three sons who was killed on Feb. 23 in her own home in a “heinous and premeditated act” allegedly committed by her estranged husband amid a “contentious” divorce.

The prosecution revealed that Becky Bliefnick was shot up close—14 times—after the alleged perpetrator, 40-year-old Tim Bliefnick, broke into the residence with a crowbar through a window, broke down her bedroom door, and chased her through her Quincy home, ultimately leading to the bathroom where she died alone. Evidence showed that Becky Bliefnick tried to dial 911 in her bedroom when the door was forced open and knocked the device out of her hand. Once in the bathroom, she turned around and heard a shot, and she fell to the ground, the prosecution said.

Defense Attorney Shnack said, “The state’s theory in this matter is that Tim left his 5-year-old, his 10-year-old, and 12-year-old home alone in the middle of the night. He rode a bike from 16th and Hampshire to 24th and Kentucky road, shimmied up the side of his house, and broke in using his crowbar. He walked in through a window, left a footprint on the floor, kicked down Becky’s door, shot her 14 times, and then rode that bike back home.”

The defense had floated the idea that a “prowler in the area” was responsible for the murder. However, the intruder entered the home through an upstairs window in one of the boy’s bedrooms. With so many windows on the main level, why would a prowler enter this way? And who knew that the boys were not present in the home at this time?

Schnack also said that surveillance videos of a bike-riding individual that investigators found only showed “somebody going somewhere.”


Schnack said that the bike was found somewhere around 18th Street, abandoned. “The state believes that was the bike that was used in this crime. They believed in it so much that they took the handlebars off of that bike and they sent it to the Illinois State Crime Lab, and the reason that they did that was that so they could find DNA, fingerprints—something to link that bike to Tim. You will hear from the lab experts that did the testing on that bike, and you will not hear any evidence that there is any trace of [Tim’s] DNA or his fingerprints on that bike.”

During witness testimony that followed opening statements, Sarah Reilly told jurors about receiving a text from her sister Becky Bliefnick in 2021: “If something ever happens to me, make sure the No. 1 person of interest is Tim.”

During the trial, the prosecution also showed how Timothy rode a bike (he purchased off of Facebook Marketplace under the name John Smith) from his house to Rebecca’s.

The state utilized surveillance footage from the QPS bus barn, a residence on South 20th Street, and Rebecca’s next-door neighbor.

Each of them linked within minutes of each other, including the times Timothy Bliefnick’s phone was locked, his WHOOP Fitness band was disconnected, and his laptop wasn’t used to make a search. That bike was then abandoned in an ally by the Quincy Public School Bus Barn, a block from Timothy’s home.

Plow & Hearth

As evidence was presented in the 6-day jury trial, the prosecution detailed the events leading up to Timothy killing his wife of 14 years by shooting her 14 times.

Jones and fellow Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck relied heavily on evidence that formed an exact timeline of the murder.

The State exhibited over 200 pieces of evidence and heard from 46 witnesses. The defense exhibited no evidence and presented no witnesses.  

Illinois nurse who was terrorized by her ex turned to the court for help. She was dead a year later (NBC News)  

Rebecca Bliefnick’s family hoped for swift justice and renewed their call for donations to help her three sons. She leaves behind three young children and an entire community who loved her more than anything. Becky always envisioned herself working hands-on in the medical profession, so it was no surprise when she chose a career in nursing—her true calling—where she was able to provide care and comfort to people on a daily basis.

“Moving forward, our whole family will lovingly support and care for the boys for the rest of their lives in the ways we know Becky would want.” 

LEGO Brand Retail

“We ask for your prayers for strength and peace as we carry forward on this excruciating journey that has forever changed our world. For those who are willing and able to support Becky’s boys’ future, we appreciate any contribution possible to our GoFundMe,” the family added.

GoFundMe: Becky Bliefnick Memorial and Support Fund

The Senseless/Tragic Murder of Rebecca Bliefnick