Christine Paolilla – The Clear Lake Massacre – Driven by Jealousy


Christine PaolillaChristine Paolilla was viciously bullied in high school over the outlandish wigs and messy drawn-on eyebrows she wore to hide the fact that she went bald as a young child.

When Tiffany Rowell and Rachael Koloroutis, two of the most popular girls at suburban Clear Lake High School outside Houston, Texas, befriended her, they made Christine Paolilla into a new woman.

They taught her to dress and do her makeup. They helped her buy more attractive wigs. When they were done with her transformation, Paolilla was voted ‘Miss Irresistible’ by her class.

But police say a dark jealous streak drove 17-year-old Paolilla, along with her drug-addict boyfriend, to gun down Rowell and Koloroutis, both 18, along with Rowell’s boyfriend and his cousin.

Christine Paolilla

The killings were committed in such a brutal fashion that police concluded they were the result of deep personal hatred. Rowell and Koloroutis were both shot multiple times, including in the crotch — evidence of sexual envy.

When Christine Paolilla realized Koloroutis was still alive, despite being shot 12 times, she grabbed the barrel of her pistol and, holding it like a hammer, used the butt of the handle to bash in her best friend’s head as she choked on her own blood.

The cold-blooded murders remained a mystery that baffled police for three years. Investigators never suspected a 17-year-old friend could be responsible for such a horrendous crime.

A new book, ‘Never See Them Again’ by true crime writer M. William Phelps, exposes the gut-wrenching story of a teen plagued by drug abuse and consumed by jealousy who turned on ‘the only people who wouldn’t stab me in the back.’

Christine Paolilla

Revelation comes as little surprise, in retrospect, to the family of her 21-year-old boyfriend at the time, Chris Snider.

In Snider’s house, Christine Paolilla became known as ‘the psycho,’ according to Snider’s sister Brandee, for her obsessive behavior and ‘crushing jealousy.’ Snider called the police on Paolilla several times, Phelps wrote.

When they would fight, Christine Paolilla would sleep on Snider’s front lawn until he let her inside. She rattled the screen door and tried to break into the house.

She demanded violently rough sex from him, as if ‘she wanted him to punish her.’

But Snider, for his part, was no choir boy. He was ‘pushy and aggressive’ and had a hard drug habit.

Rowell and Koloroutis urged Christine Paolilla to dump him, saying she could do much better for herself.

When Paolilla confessed to her crimes three years later, she says it was Snider’s idea to visit her two friends and rob them.

Christine Paolilla

By this time, Rowell and Koloroutis had graduated and were pulling in large cash tips working at a local strip club. Rowell was dating Marcus Ray Precella, 19, who dealt cocaine and ecstasy.

In the afternoon on July 18, 2003, Christine Paolilla and Snider went to visit Rowell and Kolorouti, who were home with Precella and his cousin, Adelbert Nicholas Sanchez, 21.

Paolilla said Snider surprised her by thrusting a pistol into her hand before the robbery. He surprised her again during the robbery, she said, by shooting Precella.

Christine PaolillaChristine Paolilla says the first shot triggered a rampage inside her. She claimed the gun went off on its own and she began firing blindly and sobbing.

But police say the crime scene they discovered, four bloody bodies in the living room of a home in suburban Clear Lake City, Texas, showed a clear-eyed execution.

They counted 40 shots fired. Most were directed at Rowell and Koloroutis. Christine Paolilla shot both women in the groin — wounds that were absent in the men.

Christine Paolilla

Koloroutis was wounded in the buttocks, meaning she was likely shot trying to run away. As she choked on her own blood, Christine Paolilla walked over, police say, and repeatedly bashed her in the head with the butt of her pistol.

Police noted distinctive ‘overkill’ in the female victims, meaning their killer had intense personal animosity toward them.

This behavior from Christine Paolilla doesn’t surprise Brandee Snider.

‘I remember her being intensely jealous,’ she said, according to the New York Post.

‘There must have been some underlying jealousy between (Paolilla) and (Koloroutis). When I saw photos of (Koloroutis), I knew instantly. She was very beautiful.’

Christine PaolillaA break in the case didn’t come for three years. Christine Paolilla had just married a man she met in rehab when a TV special on the unsolved Houston murders came up on TV. She saw a sketch of the suspect. It looked just like her.

That’s when Christine Paolilla confessed to her new husband. The pair went on the run, staying in a hotel room for seven months straight without leaving.

Christine Paolilla

When police, acting on a tip, caught up with Christine Paolilla, they found a fetid room littered with more than 100 needles from heroin use and smeared with dog feces.

When officers closed in on Snider, he ran into the woods with a bottle of pills and soda. They found him dead from a deliberate drug overdose.

Christine Paolilla never fully confessed to her part in the killings — she always blamed most of her actions on Snider.

However, thanks to testimony from her new husband, a jury convicted her of four counts of capital murder. Because she was a minor during the killings, she was spared the death penalty and sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

credit murderpedia / Michael Zennie

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