Following her death, suspicion immediately fell on the producer. Mexican authorities said Bruce hit his wife in the head with a metal tube, bat or stick and then choked her to death before dumping her body in a hotel sewer.
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On the morning of April 5, two teenagers staying in the room below Bruce and his family were awakened at around 6 a.m. by “screams, crying for help and extremely loud banging from the room above [theirs]… It sounded like a woman in extreme distress,” according to the complaint filed in the U.S. court on behalf of the Mexican government.
Bruce later told hotel staff that the noises were from a fight they were having about the behavior of their children. He then told investigators that the screams were from a game they were playing with their then 3-year-old son, according to the complaint.
Throughout the investigation, Bruce maintained his innocence. “Everyone seems to have decided that I killed my wife,” he told 48 Hours Mystery in 2012. “I didn’t kill my wife — I really didn’t.”
However, Monica’s sisters told the show they believe their brother-in-law murdered their sibling. The pair had reportedly been having marital problems prior to her death, and Monica was upset that Bruce was having an affair.
“I told her, ‘Monica, don’t worry. You know, come back here, just move on with your life,’” Monica’s sister Jeanne Burgos told 48 Hours Mystery. “You’re just going to build up your life again and you’re going to be happy again.”
Bruce also produced Pimp My Ride and The Restaurant. Monica owned Zabumba Bar & Restaurant in Venice, California.