Deadline: Secrets Uncovered will be back with another murder story, this time revisiting the tragic 2008 case of Sabine Buehler. A privileged resident of Anna Maria Island, Buehler was murdered in an act of rage by her then-boyfriend, William J. Cumber III or “Bill” as his friends preferred to call him. The murder shocked the once happy seaside community.
Cumber was arrested and convicted of the murder years later, in October 2015, after a series of delays due to a lack of physical evidence. Sabine’s body was not found until after the trial. The accused was convicted strictly on the basis of circumstantial evidence found in the former couple’s home and in the victim’s car. The 39-year-old pleaded guilty and led authorities to her remains.
The next Deadline: Secrets Uncovered the episode is scheduled to air Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Read on to learn about the Sabine Buehler murder case that plagued authorities for more than seven years and Bill Cumber’s final conviction.
Cumber ‘started choking ‘Sabine Buehler’ until she couldn’t move’
William “Bill” Cumber became a person of interest in the 2008 Sabine Buehler murder case when forensic results of blood found in the victim’s car and their Magnolia Avenue apartment directly linked him to the homicide. His stolen car was found two days after it was allegedly missing in the possession of a man named Robert Corona, who confessed to finding it unlocked outside the Gator Lounge.
Another critical aspect of the case was when Cumber fell for the authorities and accepted the bait. Investigators allegedly falsified some information, telling him about video footage of where he left Sabine’s car.
Assistant State’s Attorney Art Brown told The Islander:
“He’s going to confront the bartender or the owner. He asks if it’s true and he asks what they told the cops. No innocent person would have done that. Only Cumber, knowing he was there, would have had this concern.”
Bill Cumber confessed to the murder in October 2015. In his confession, he revealed the events of the night Sabine Buehler disappeared and how he snapped and killed her.
“She met me and felt the [cigarette] smoke, and we had a little argument about it. She said she couldn’t have this relationship anymore.”
“I’m losing control. She’s scared, and she’s covering her face with her hands. And I reached out and grabbed her by the throat and started choking her until She’s not moving. I couldn’t believe what I did. I looked down at her, and I couldn’t believe what I had done. I decided I didn’t want to go back. jail. So I thought of a way to get rid of her.
Why did Bill Cumber kill Sabine Buehler?
Authorities believe Bill Cumber murdered Sabine Buehler when she threatened to leave him. The 49-year-old was apparently his only source of financial support, and the fact that she was ready to leave him sparked his actions. Ever since they moved into the apartment together, the two had had a lot of relationship issues.
According to reports, Sabine even wrote emails to one of her friends describing Bill’s problematic behavior. In one of the emails dated September 28, 2008, she wrote:
“We might be back at our old place sooner than expected. Bill lost it last night and went into town to see his old buddies on 14th Street. He came back smelling like cigarettes and beer at 5 a.m. I know it takes time to find new friends, but if he goes back to his old ways, it’s only a matter of time before he goes back to jail.”
Where is William “Bill” J. Cumber III now?
Bill Cumber claimed he tried to frame Sabine’s husband, Tom Buehler, for the murder of the 49-year-old. But he couldn’t do without it. He confessed and pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Sabine Buehler, receiving a 22.1-year prison sentence, which was later reduced to 20 years in prison. He confessed to burying the body near Haley’s motel, owned by the Buehlers.
When asked about her confession and the murder, Cumber reportedly said the right thing would have been “not to kill her”. He then added:
“I believe that if I hadn’t done the right thing, I would still be there. Look, I tried to explain to you that what happened happened. It just happened. I don’t tolerate not one iota of what I did. I suffer from it every day.”
According to reports, William J. Cumber III is still incarcerated at the Lake Correctional Institution prison in Clermont, where he is serving his sentence. It will likely be eligible for release in November 2030 (October 11, 2029 at the earliest).
Deadline: Secrets Uncovered airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.