Christine Marie Paolilla is an American woman who was convicted of shooting four of her friends to death in 2003 in what became known as the Clear Lake Massacre, which made national headlines.

Early life

Christine Paolilla was born on Long Island, New York on March 31, 1986 to Lori, a stay-at-home mom, and Charles Paolilla, a construction worker. When she was 2 years old, her father died, followed by her grandfather and great-grandmother. When she was 7 years old, Paolilla went to live with her grandparents. As a young girl, Christine was diagnosed with alopecia and began wearing wigs. During her childhood, Paolilla’s self-confidence was very low.

Paolilla attended Clear Lake High School in Houston, Texas, where she befriended students Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell, who helped her fit in with the other students. In 2003, she was voted “Miss Irresistible” by her school’s student body. That year, she also began a relationship with 21 year-old Christopher Lee Snider.

Murders

On July 18, 2003, 17 year-old Christine Paolilla and her then-boyfriend, 21 year-old Christopher Lee Snider, went to her friend Tiffany Rowell’s house, where Tiffany and Rachael Koloroutis, Tiffany’s boyfriend Marcus Precella, and Marcus’ cousin Adelbert Sanchez were. According to Paolilla, the couple planned to get drugs at the house, but Snider reportedly got into an argument with Precella, which led to the killings of Rowell, Koloroutis, Precella, and Sanchez.

Apprehension

More than three years after the murders, the case was still unsolved. In July 2006, after receiving an anonymous tip, police arrested Paolilla inside a San Antonio, Texas hotel room. She was living with her then-husband Justin Rott; the two were heroin addicts who had not left the hotel room in eight months. Initially, Paolilla denied killing her friends. In his interrogation however, Rott told police that Paolilla had confessed to him that she had been an active participant in the murders. He stated that Paolilla had gone back into the house and beat Koloroutis to death with a gun.

Before he could be apprehended by police, Christopher Snider committed suicide in Greenville, South Carolina.

Conviction

On October 13, 2008, Christine Paolilla was convicted of four counts of capital murder. Because she was a juvenile offender at the time of the killings, she was spared the death penalty. The following day, she was sentenced to life in prison. She is currently incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas and will be eligible for parole in 2046.

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz stated “I think there’s a chance she thought they were pitying her … but still envied them, because they didn’t have to work so hard to be nice, to be accepted. That’s going to create some intense envy and jealousy, bring out the aggression, and the … wish to punish them for what they have” about Paolilla’s killings.

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