Robert McGill was arrested in July of 2009 for the murder of his wife during a cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines’ cruise ship. McGill, 57 years of age, pled guilty to second-degree murder. McGill, who was celebrating his 55th birthday, was on the Carnival cruise ship Elation with his wife, Shirley McGill, who was 55 years of age, for a five day cruise to Mexico.
In attempting to reduce the sentence the lawyers for Robert McGill, argued he got so drunk while the ship was in Cabo that he had no memory of what provoked him to murder his wife. It was reported that he had at least 20 drinks, including beer and hard liquor, as well as mescal, and was barely able to walk when he returned to the cruise ship. He beat and strangled his wife to death in the bathroom in the cruise ship cabin.
The story could form the basis for a movie or book. They were teenage lovers who had parted ways and reunited decades later, fell in love all over again, and then got married. This storybook romance then turned into a horrific murder.
The family members of Shirley McGill were present when the judge imposed the life sentence on Robert McGill, the maximum sentence. Former colleagues of Robert McGill, were reported to be baffled by his actions because they knew him as a long term, dedicated teacher.
Although this case involves an extremely sad and depressing story of a romance that ended in tragedy and death, this is not the first case of a serious crime being committed onboard a cruise ship. Cruise ship companies are now required to report all serious crimes that happen onboard cruise ships, any information regarding crimes onboard cruise ships are now posted online in order for the public to be able to be more aware of the type of crimes that happen onboard cruise ships, and the frequency of these crimes.
Our firm continues to be safety advocates for both crewmembers and passengers harmed at sea.