4 Disturbing New Details About The Man Who Killed His Wife On An Alaskan Cruise Because She 'Would Not Stop Laughing' At Him

Photo: Heavy
Kenneth Ray Manzanares

What was supposed to be a vacation for a family of five on an Alaskan cruise ship celebrating an anniversary, ended up as a gruesome murder with a puzzling motive. 

"She would not stop laughing at me," Kenneth Ray Manzanares told a witness after they found his wife dead in their cabin. 

Kenneth was charged Thursday with killing his wife, Kristy Manzanares, while they were on a seven-day Emerald Princess cruise with their three daughters in Alaska. On Tuesday around 9 p.m., the cruise's security and medical team responded to the Manzanares' cabin and found Kristy with a severe head wound and Kenneth's hands covered in blood. 

Authorities say the death of the 39-year-old was a result of a domestic dispute.

Much of the new details we know comes from other witnesses on the ship, mainly the who found Kenneth with his wife's body. Some reports say this person was a family member of the Manzanares family. A dozen of them were on the cruise celebrating this anniversary. 

The witness saw Kenneth on the balcony with Kristy and pulled her back into the room by her ankles. According to the report, they engaged in a bit of tug-of-war before the witness was able to pull her back in. Before officers arrived, other witnesses had also entered the room. 

At first, passengers though the whole thing was a joke because a Murder Mystery dinner was happening on the ship at the same time. About 200 passengers and crew members were interviewed.

“People were running through the hall with blood all over them and trying to get security,” said Megan Morr told Fox 13 Salt Lake City. 

“Upon entering, they observed Kenneth Manzanares had blood on his hands and clothing," the complaint read. "One of the witnesses… advised that when he entered the room he observed KM lying on the floor covered in blood. The witness asked Kenneth Manzanares what had happened to which Kenneth allegedly replied, 'She would not stop laughing at me.'"

Blood was spread throughout the cabin on multiple surfaces. Kristy was pronounced dead at the scene 20 minutes later.

Here are the new details we know about the murder on the cruise ship, the couple and their kids: 

1. Multiple passengers heard the couple's argument and say they saw Kenneth try to jump off the balcony.

There are dozens of different accounts that paint a horrific scene of what happened to Kristy. 

Brian Eckstrom told a television station that he saw a little girl sitting on someone's lap — possibly her grandmother — wrapped in a blanket and sobbing. 

“A man came walking out from the hallway where it happened, and he had, like, a white tank top on, and some jeans," Brian said. "His jeans were completely covered in blood and he came out saying, ‘It’s not good, it’s not good.'"

Another witness told CBC that they saw a little girl running out of the room and calling for help, saying her parents had been in a fight. Another said they heard screaming and then ran into one of the couple’s children, who “said she was just really scared. She said, ‘I just want to go and see my mom. I want to see my mom. What’s happening?'”

Many people said at first they weren't even aware that Kristy was dead inside the room. They just saw a man trying to jump off the ship. 

“They were on deck 7 and he tried to run up to deck 9 to jump off the ship, but security grabbed him before he could jump,” Morr said.

Charles Rowlen and his wife heard the argument. 

“I heard terrible screaming, I mean you knew it wasn’t normal,” Rowlen said.

He said his wife also saw Kenneth try to jump off the balcony. 

“She thought he was going to jump over the rail, and at one point he put his hand on the rail and set his rear on it, but she started yelling get back in and the ship announced, get a security team to that area."

Later, Manzanares apparently told officers his life was over. 

2. They had financial issues in the past. 

Kenneth and Kristy filed for bankruptcy in 2010. 

Kenneth, who goes by Kenny, worked as a bail bondsman, was a manager at Walgreens and an insurance company employee. Kristy Manzanares was a realtor.

3. A family member says never saw any violence between the couple. 

A family member who spoke with CBS said there was no sign of violence between the couple that she saw, and that Kenny and Kristy were proud parents of their children. 

“She’s one of the sweetest, sweetest people you’d ever meet in your life,” said the family member, who wished to remain anonymous. 

Michael Cain, who lived in the neighborhood near the family said the couple got along fine. 

“They were well liked and this is totally out of character.”

4. They were high school sweethearts. 


The couple had met in high school and were married for 13 years. 

In his first court appearance, Kenny appeared to be crying. He dabbed at his eyes and nose with tissues. 

​He has no criminal history, but the maximum punishment he faces if found guilty is life in prison or the death penalty.

Here's a video showing more new details about this tragic case: