Notorious killer Peter Dansie, who was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Helen by pushing her wheelchair into a pond in Adelaide’s parklands, has died in custody.

The 75-year-old murdered Mrs Dansie in April 2017 by drowning her in a pond at Veale Gardens, in what the sentencing judge later described as a “despicable act of domestic violence” and a case of “ultimate evil”.

South Australia’s Department for Correctional Services has confirmed Dansie died in hospital on Monday.

“It can be confirmed that Peter Rex Dansie passed away on 27 May, due to natural causes,” a spokesperson said.

“All deaths in custody are subject to a coronial investigation.”

In 2020, Dansie was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 25-year non-parole period following a trial by judge alone.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged Dansie murdered his wife because he regarded her as a financial burden, and because he had developed an interest in pursuing a sexual relationship with another woman in China.

In March this year, he lost his second appeal against the murder conviction in what his son Grant said was a “big relief”.

Mrs Dansie, a former microbiologist, suffered a stroke in the 1990s that left her with long-term disabilities.

Helen Dansie was murdered by her husband at Veale Gardens in Adelaide in 2017.(Supplied: SA Police)

Dansie denied that he pushed her into the pond deliberately and argued that he had attempted to do all he could to save her from drowning. 

But the judge rejected Dansie’s account, and described the murder as “chilling”, and “evil and despicable”.