“This was one of the most heinous crimes I’ve ever covered, and I’ve covered some really terrible crimes.” M. William Phelps, journalist and true crime author
The murder that Christine Paolilla was involved in was a brutal and senseless crime that took place in a townhouse in Clear Lake, Texas, on July 18, 2003. Paolilla and her boyfriend, Christopher Snider, killed four of their friends: Tiffany Rowell, Marcus Precella, Adelbert Sanchez, and Rachel Koloroutis, who was pregnant at the time of her death.
According to court documents, the victims were shot multiple times with a .40 caliber handgun, and their bodies were left in a pile in one of the bedrooms of the townhouse.
The crime was discovered when one of the victim’s parents came to check on her and found the bodies.
After the murders, Paolilla and Snider left the scene and went about their lives as if nothing had happened. They continued to live together and spend time with their friends, all while keeping the secret of their horrific crime.
Clear Lake Victims
Tiffany Rowell and Rachel Koloroutis met Christine Paolilla while attending Clear Creek High School in League City, Texas. She was shy, and they were popular — and like a high school movie cliche’ — they took her under their wing. They helped her break through her shell. They made her popular.
The fact that Paolilla knew all of the victims and had spent time with them before the murders makes the crime even more shocking and senseless.
“The murders of these four young people were a tragedy for their families and the entire community.” — Chuck Rosenthal, former Harris County district attorney
Tiffany Rowell was born on January 4, 1984, and grew up in Friendswood, Texas, a suburb of Houston. According to reports, she was a smart and outgoing person who was well-liked by her friends and family.
“Tiffany was one of the sweetest, most caring people you could ever meet.” — Rhonda Rowell, Tiffany Rowell’s mother (Source: Houston Chronicle)
At the time of her death, Tiffany was a student at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, where she was studying nursing. She had plans to become a registered nurse and was known for her compassion and caring nature.
Rachel Koloroutis was born on July 25, 1983, and grew up in League City, Texas, a suburb of Houston. She was a kind and compassionate person who was loved by her friends and family.
“Rachael was the kind of person that always looked out for the underdog, always tried to help others,” George Koloroutis told ABC News. “And because of this affliction that Paolilla had … Rachael really felt sorry for her.”
At the time of her death, Rachel was a student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she was studying psychology. She was also pregnant at the time of her death, and her unborn child was also killed in the attack.
Marcus Precella was born on December 6, 1983, and grew up in League City, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
“Marcus was a wonderful son and brother who brought so much joy to our lives.” — Wayne Precella, Marcus Precella’s father
At the time of his death, Marcus was working as a mechanic at a local car dealership. He was known for his mechanical skills and love of cars, and he had plans to open his own shop one day.
Adelbert Sanchez was born on August 28, 1984, and grew up in League City, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
“Adelbert was a kind and gentle person who had so much potential.” — Rosa Sanchez, Adelbert Sanchez’s mother
At the time of his death, Adelbert was working as a pipefitter at a local industrial plant. He was known for his work ethic and dedication to his job, and he had plans to continue working in the field and provide for his family.
From Miss Nobody
“She was a victim of bullying and ostracism.” — M. William Phelps, journalist and true crime author
Christine Paolilla was born on June 6, 1986, in New York, and she grew up in a middle-class family in the town of Taunton, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of three children and had two older brothers. According to reports, Paolilla had a troubled childhood and experienced some traumatic events in her early years.
Her father was an alcoholic, and her parents’ marriage was reportedly tumultuous, with frequent arguments and domestic violence. When Paolilla was six years old, her father died of a heart attack. After his death, her mother struggled with depression and alcoholism and was reportedly emotionally distant from her children.
Christine Paolilla developed alopecia at an early age and was self-conscious about her baldness. Alopecia is a medical condition that causes hair loss, and it can be a difficult and emotionally challenging condition to deal with.
“She was always trying to fit in and be accepted.” — Jessica Meier, Paolilla’s former classmatee)
It is known that she wore wigs to cover her baldness and that she was sensitive about her appearance.
“I remember her being intensely jealous. There must have been some underlying jealousy between (Christine Paolilla) and (Rachael Koloroutis). When I saw photos of (Rachael), I knew instantly. She was very beautiful.” — Brandee Snider, sister of Christine Paolilla’s ex-boyfriend
Clear Lake Massacre
On July 18, 2003, Christine Paolilla and Christopher Snider went to the home of Paolilla’s friend, Tiffany Rowell, in Clear Lake City, Texas. Rowell’s boyfriend, Marcus Precella, and his cousin, Adelbert Sanchez, were also present, along with Rachel Koloroutis.
Paolilla confessed that on the night of the murders she and Snider had planned to steal drugs from the house. Sometime during the night an argument broke out between Snider and Precella, which led to the shooting of all four victims. Each of them was shot multiple times. After being shot, Koloroutis was still alive and attempted call for help by crawling towards the phone, but Paolilla struck her in the head multiple times with a revolver, causing fatal injuries.
Koloroutis and Rowell were both shot in the crotch, which is believed to be a sign of sexual jealousy. The police intially surmised that the killings were drug-related, as Precella, a known drug dealer at the time, sold from the Clear Lake home.
One hour after the murders, Snider drove Paolilla to her job at the makeup counter in a Walgreens store. It would be nearly three years until police arrested the murderous duo, holed up inside a dingy hotel room.
Match From Hell
He was born on November 29, 1979, and grew up in the Houston area. Not much is known about his background, but according to reports, he had a history of drug abuse and criminal activity.
according to some sources, they met while both were working at a restaurant in the Clear Lake area of Texas.
Paolilla was working as a waitress at the time, while Snider was a delivery driver for the same restaurant. It’s not clear how long they had been dating or how serious their relationship was at the time of the murders, but they were reportedly living together in a home in the Clear Lake area.
Arrested in Motel Room
Christine Paolilla and Christopher Snider were arrested and charged with capital murder on July 29, 2005, more than two years after the murders took place. The arrest was the result of a lengthy investigation that involved interviews with witnesses, forensic analysis, and a review of surveillance footage from the area.
Both Paolilla and Snider initially denied any involvement in the murders, but they eventually confessed to their roles in the crimes. In 2008, Paolilla was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Snider pleaded guilty to his role in the crimes and was also sentenced to life in prison.
Christopher Snider died by suicide in his prison cell on August 30, 2019. He was 39 years old and was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in the murders of Tiffany Rowell, Rachel Koloroutis, Marcus Precella, and Adelbert Sanchez.
Snider was found unresponsive in his cell at the Telford Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was later determined to be suicide by hanging.
Paolilla’s defense during her trial was that she had been coerced into participating in the murders by Christopher Snider, her boyfriend at the time. She claimed that Snider had threatened to harm her and her family if she did not go along with the plan to steal drugs from the victims’ home.
However, the evidence presented at the trial, including Paolilla’s confession, contradicted her defense, and she was ultimately convicted of the murders. Despite her initial denial of involvement, Paolilla ultimately admitted to her role in the crimes and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.