Engineer Beau Rothwell Weighed the Pros and Cons of Wife Versus Mistress

Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.
9 min readMay 5, 2022

Five Months Later, His Pregnant Wife Disappeared

copyright free, St. Louis County police department

I volunteer with a Cold Case Foundation, so justice delivered is often justice delayed. In fact, while families are grateful for answers, the truth is often bittersweet.

Sometimes the perpetrator is dead. Even when he’s alive, he may be an old man who looks more like somebody’s grandpa than the violent offender he once was. It’s also an infuriating reminder that this murderer has lived a full life while their daughter, son, sister, or brother has never had that opportunity.

I am happy to report that that is not what happened in this week’s case. On April 28, 2022, Beau Rothwell was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his wife, twenty-eight-year-old Jennifer Rothwell. He beat her to death with a mallet on November 11, 2019. On July 8, 2022, he will be sentenced and face life without parole. Let’s keep our fingers crossed he gets what he deserves.

In the Beginning

We all know how a love story starts.

Magical. Exciting. Intoxicating.

Beau and Jennifer met at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010. The lab partners soon had sparks flying. Not only were they attracted to each other, but they also had common interests. Both engineering majors, the two enjoyed vacationing with her family in North Carolina and shared a fondness for Game of Thrones. In 2013, they graduated; in 2014, they were engaged; and in 2015, they married. All was right with the world.

By 2018, Jennifer was a chemical engineer at Dupont and up for a promotion. Beau, too, was thriving as an engineer. They bought a new house with a good-sized backyard in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in April, hinting at a future of diapers and preschool. They were ready to start their family.

But then, a setback. That December, the couple learned Jennifer had endometriosis. It could be more challenging for Jennifer to conceive.

Being a logical and organized pair, Jennifer and Beau set up a babymaking schedule around Jennifer’s ovulation cycle. While efficient, it quickly extinguished any spontaneity or playfulness and turned lovemaking into a chore. With…

Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

Forensic psychologist/private investigator//author of serial killer book. Passionate about victim’s rights, the psychology of true crime, and criminal justice.