The ABC News program “20/20” will air an episode Friday on Karl Karlsen, the former Seneca County resident convicted of killing his first wife and his son in separate incidents.
The show, titled “The Sins of the Father,” airs at 9 p.m. It includes interviews by David Muir of ABC News with Karlsen’s family members and local law enforcement.
Earlier this year, Karlsen was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his first wife, Christina. She died in a 1991 fire in Calaveras County, Calif., and Karlsen collected $200,000 on a life insurance policy he purchased weeks before she died.
Karlsen is expected to be sentenced later this year to life in prison without parole.
In 2013, Karlsen was sentenced to 15 years-to-life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the 2008 death of his 23-year-old son, Levi, at Karlsen’s Yale Farm Road in Varick. Karlsen admitted causing a pickup truck on a wobbly jack to fall on Levi, then leaving his son to die while he went out of town.
Karlsen collected on a $700,000 life insurance policy he took out on Levi weeks before his death. Levi’s death was ruled accidental in 2008, but Seneca County sheriff’s investigators looked into the case again several years later after Karlsen’s second wife, Cindy, secretly taped conversations with Karlsen while they were estranged.
Those tapes, which Cindy recorded under the guise of saving their marriage, reportedly included admissions by Karlsen that he killed Levi intentionally. Cindy Karlsen went to police with those tapes.
Karlsen, 58, will be sent back to New York after he is sentenced in California, then serve the rest of his New York sentence. He is eligible for parole in New York in 2027. If he is paroled then, he would be moved back to California to start serving his sentence there.
Karlsen has been the subject of two episodes on “Dateline NBC,” the most recent in February of this year detailing the California case. The other episode, focusing on the Seneca County case, was in 2015.