The Tragic Case Of Amber And Josh Hilberling

Stories about women who murder their husbands tend to capture the public's attention, and the tale of Amber Hilberling defenestrating her husband Josh is no exception. In June 2011, Amber pushed Josh from a 25th story window in their Tulsa apartment. The two had been married for a year, and their relationship was tumultuous from the start. With a long history of both substance and physical abuse, the couple was in the process of splitting when the tragedy occurred. To pile onto the disaster and sadness of the catastrophe, Amber took her life in jail several years after Josh's death, leaving the couple's son, Levi, parentless.

Was Josh's death a genuine mishap, or was it one of those killings that only looks like an accident? The facts about the murder of Amber Hilberling's husband made many question what truly happened in this Tulsa couple's troubling relationship.

  • Amber Pushed Her Husband Out Of A 25th Story Window

    Amber Pushed Her Husband Out Of A 25th Story Window
    Photo: Tulsa County Jail / Fair Use

    On June 7, 2011, Amber Hilberling pushed her husband Josh out of the 25th story window of their apartment complex. At the time, Amber was seven months pregnant. She told Dr. Phil that she screamed at Josh and called him a coward before shoving him. 

    Hilberling rode down to her husband's body in an elevator and rolled him over. When paramedics arrived, she told them repeatedly that she pushed him out of the window. She has maintained that her husband was abusive toward her and that she pushed him out of panic. 

  • Amber Had Meth In Her System When She Took Her Life In Prison

    Amber Had Meth In Her System When She Took Her Life In Prison
    Video: YouTube

    In October 2016, a fellow inmate found Amber dead in her cell at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. Staff attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead after 15 minutes. An official autopsy report confirmed that Amber died from asphyxia due to hanging. It also revealed that she had meth in her system. 

    Amber had cuts on her wrists and forearms, indicating that she may have been suicidal, but Amber's parents believe she was murdered.

  • Josh's Family Predicted Amber Would Kill Him

    Amber had a history of violence toward Josh; one month before his death, Josh filed for a protective order against his wife when she threw a lamp at him, causing an injury that required stitches and staples.

    Additionally, in a video recorded at the Tulsa Police Department, Amber says, "[Josh's parents] kept saying if we stayed together, I’m going to kill him."

  • Josh Was Abusive Toward Amber

    Josh Hilberling's US Air Force file details an incident in which he threw a plate at Amber and attempted to snap one of her breast implants. Amber told Dr. Phil that Josh was released from the military in part because of drug-related issues. Amber also told the talk show host that Josh used to purposefully break her phone so she couldn't communicate with anyone if he wasn't home.

    When asked why she didn't report every instance of abuse, Amber told Dr. Phil that she "loved Josh very much" and stayed with him for as long as she could. "To intend to kill somebody that you love that much, it couldn’t be plausible," she said.

  • Amber Claimed It Was Self Defense, But Her Story Has Changed

    Amber Claimed It Was Self Defense, But Her Story Has Changed
    Video: YouTube

    In an interview with Dr. Phil post-conviction, Amber explained that she pushed her husband in self-defense. “He reached out and grabbed me. And I was pregnant. And he didn’t care,” Hilberling told Dr. Phil. She said that when she pushed him off of her, he fell to his death. "The window wasn’t supposed to happen," she explained. A neighbor reported that she heard Amber scream "No, no, no," directly before the incident. There were also running noises and then the sound of shattering glass.

    Amber told her grandmother, however, that Josh was working on their television set when she pushed him, and the prosecution claims there were no signs of struggle in the apartment.

  • Josh Was In The Process Of Leaving Amber

    Josh's father, Patrick Hilberling, said that Josh called him shortly before the murder and told him he was planning to leave. Josh told Patrick that he "couldn’t stop [Amber] from using drugs while pregnant, and he couldn’t watch her anymore." He wanted a divorce as well as custody of their unborn child.

    Josh supposedly called his father to ask him for a ride, but Patrick couldn't get off work to pick him up. Amber says it "[broke her] heart to have him leave."