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Movies Based On True Crimes: Till Death Us Do Part (Cheryl Perveler & Marlin Cromwell murders)


The names in the movie were changed:

Alan Palliko: Paul Perveler (convicted, sentenced to death, commuted to life)
Sandra Stockton: Christina Cromwell [Kristina Cromwell] (convicted, sentenced to life in prison; paroled
Katherine Palliko: Lela Halvorson
Henry Stockton: Marlin Cromwell (murdered 12/11/1966)
Judy Davis Palliko: Cheryl Perveler (murdered 4/20/1968)

Ex-Cop, Girlfriend Held in Two Murders
Officer Accused In Death
Former Policeman, Girl Friend Held In Murder, Fraud Plot
‘Double Indemnity’ Murder Trial Opens
Sentence Couple In Double Slaying
Death Sentence Imposed in Slaying of 2
Slay Trial A ‘Rerun’ Of Old Movie
Ex-Officer in Prison for Killing Fails in Parole Bid
Perveler appeal
Victims of Domestic Violence: #240 Mrs. Cheryl Perveler

Books
Till Death Us Do Part: A True Murder Mystery
Find-A-Grave: Cheryl Perveler
Movies/Documentaries
Till Death Us Do Part

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14 Responses

  1. Great Site! I have always been looking for more info on the Perveler-Cromwell case. I was wondering if there are any pics of his ex-wife and best friend and if they are still alive. and if Perveler is still in prison or alive and if it has ever been fully proven who the shooter of Cheryl Perveler was? In the book Vincent Bugliosi believed Perveler not to be the actual shooter. Thanks again love your site.

    • William,

      To my knowledge, Perveler is still in prison. I was not able to find any photos, but am still looking. Hopefully I will find them. I don’t think that they pursued another shooter, even with the belief that there might be one. I am surprised that Perveler did not turn on one.

      • Until they are convicted, they have to be considered “innocent until proven guilty”. So, you can get in trouble for outright proclaiming them guilty, without saying like, I believe they are guilty, it is my opinion, etc. I personally believe with every fiber of my being that these two ARE guilty, and they should fry. That is my opinion.

    • I believe Paul was the one who shot Cheryl, and that the witness who spotted him running from the scene at the time of the crime was correct. I know Bugliosi thought that he hired someone (not sure why he thinks that- probably because of the phone calls right before &after and Paul’s reaction upon learning of her death), but it’s too coincidental that someone who happens to have the same features as Paul (the walk, the look, etc.) would just happen to be running away from the scene. Cromwell later testified at a parole hearing that Paul told her he was going to shoot Cheryl.

  2. Thank you for your response, Good luck with finding more, From reading the book, I always believed Paul Perveler to the actual shooter of his wife,for the very good reason you pointed out, If there really was another, Perveler would have surely have giving them up by now in the hopes of making a deal. I also thought that Cromwell should have done way more time than she did for at the very least setting up her childs Father to be murdered for profit and when I have read the book my heart just breaks for his poor wife, What a horrible thing to do. Thank God his first wife got away from this creep! I hpoe he never gets out…

  3. Actually, Bugliosi DID believe Perveler was the shooter. There was an eyewitness placing him at the apartment complex at roughly the same time as the shooting took place, even though he was supposedly at his bar. An absolutely fascinating case…one of the most intriguing I’ve ever read…(just finished “Til Death Us Do Part” for the 4th time…)

  4. by the way…there’s a picture in the afterword of the 1994 copy of the book of “Bugliosi waiting for the verdict.” Wondering if the people on the far end are Peveler and Cromwell…if so, it’d be the only pic I’ve ever seen of them.

  5. Jim, Read page 439 in the updated book, Bugliosi states that he believed Perveler[Alan] planned the killing but that someone else carried it out, Maybe now he has changed his mind since nobody else ever was charged and no names have ever been dropped by Cromwell or Perveler himself. Like I said earlier, I always believed Perveler himself was the shooter and what the old man said in court about seeing someone in the carport area that resembled and walked like Paul Perveler was true and the as close to an eyewitness that there will ever be.

  6. I just found this site as I was doing research for a friend that is doing a photo book on the neighborhood. I lived across the street in 1966 (Ballard Street) from the Cromwell home. I remember in vivid detail as they carried Mr. Cromwell’s body from the home. There were more neighbors that actually dialed the fire department including my father whom was just arriving home and saw the smoke.

  7. Try the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of Thursday, May 2, 1968, page 2

    • Thank you very much!

    • Hi Gitty (kind of a late reply, but I just recently discovered this book and finished it!) I was wondering how you found this article?? I looked online through the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette archive and couldn’t pull it up, maybe do you have a link to it? I am very curious to see what these people look like. I’ve found a few photos of Perveler on the internet… not quite as handsome or charming as I’d expected! But they were all prison/trial photos so maybe the stress of both just took a toll on his physical appearance. You would think for a trial that was supposedly so high profile that there would be more easily accessible photos online. I’m also trying to find some L.A. Times articles about this trial.

      Anyways, I hope Perveler never gets out of prison. I have mixed feelings about Cromwell. While I don’t condone her actions, I can’t help but wonder if her lawyer was right when he said that Cromwell was likely infatuated with and brainwashed by Perveler when she conspired to kill her husband, and that perhaps she never would have participated in such a thing had she never met Perveler. I watched the TV movie based on this book and although it may be inaccurate, it makes you feel sorry for Kristina (or Sandra). It makes her seem like a sad, lonely woman longing for an exciting life and thought she’d found that in Paul (Alan). But I could be totally wrong, she could be just as evil as Alan for all I know! But she did later come forward and tell the truth. So who knows. All we know for sure is that poor Cheryl(Judy) and Marlin (Henry) should still be alive and well and its unfortunate that they were victimized by this mess of an affair gone wrong.

  8. Bonnie, thank you so much for publishing pictures of this murderer. I always wondered what he looked like – having read the book and seen the movie. Not as charismatic or handsome as Treat Williams…

    If anyone ever deserved the death penalty, it was he.

    Does anyone know what his date and year of birth are? I am working on a book that will include Perveler.

    If anyone ever deserved the death penalty, it was him.

  9. There are other pics of Kristina & Paul & Lela in the L.A. Times archives. Kristina looked completely different than the pic on this site. She wore no glasses, has bleached blonde hair & was much slimmer. There are some articles about how her diet to lose weight may have driven her to murder, just a theory used by her her defense.
    In the mid ’90′s, I went to a book signing of Mr. Bugliosi’s & asked him about Paul. He said he was still in prison & it had been factual about him trying to kill his own parents in Mexico in addition to the crimes he was convicted of.
    An interesting fact about Kristina’s son, Kent (Kyle in the book) he was arrested in Oregon a few years ago in a drug bust of a ring of meth distibuters. He was 1 of about 6 or so people arrested & I don’t know if he is still incarcerated or not. At the time I was able to pull up his mug shot taken by the OR PD & he was one big, tough, scary looking dude. He was fronting his drug business (alledgedly) with a legitimate painting company at the time of his arrest. Somehow I get the feeling it wasn’t his 1st brush with the law, don’t know why, but I just think so!
    Lela is still married to Paul’s former best friend & they live in a Los Angeles suburb. His real name is Allen (Halverson) he was Michael in the book. Lela has been petitioning to keep Paul in prison for the rest of his life when ever he has come up for parole. She has had support from a local assemblyman in doing this, as he has threatened to kill her if he ever gets out. All of the characters involved (except for Kristina’s son, Kent) are in their 70′s now (2011). (Kent is in his late 40′s.)

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