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Kristin Rossum
Born October 25, 1976 (1976-10-25) (age 33)
Memphis, Tennessee
Charge(s) First degree murder
Penalty Life without parole
Status Imprisoned
Occupation Former Toxicologist
Spouse Gregory deVillers (deceased)
Parents Ralph and Constance Rossum

Kristin Margrethe Rossum (born October 25, 1976), is currently serving a life sentence in California for poisoning her husband Greg deVillers with fentanyl she stole from her job and attempting to pass off his death as a suicide.

Contents

Early life, education, and marriage

Rossum grew up in Claremont, California; her parents, Ralph and Constance Rossum, were professors at Claremont McKenna College. She has two younger brothers, named (b. 1979) and Pierce (b. 1986) In the 1990s, throughout Kristin's high school years, she used illegal drugs; her favorite was methamphetamine. Her drug use caused considerable stress within the family. Rossum met her husband Greg at Tijuana, Mexico, and they married in 1999. After getting married, however, she had an affair with her Australian boss, Michael Robertson, beginning May or June 2000.

Murder

On November 6, 2000 Kristin called 911 about 9:15 P.M. Paramedics walked into the apartment through the already open front door and saw Kristin on the phone in the middle of the living room. Greg was pronounced dead after paramedics took him to the hospital. To make his death look like a suicide, she sprinkled red rose petals over her husband's body and placed a wedding photo nearby. Ironically, this scene was similar to a scene from Rossum's favorite movie, American Beauty and roses with baby's breath were also her favorite flowers. After Greg found out about her affair, he had threatened Kristin that he would expose her affair and her drug use to the Medical Examiners's Office if she didn't quit her job. Michael learned of this threat before Greg was killed. Two weeks after her husband's death the police interrogated Kristin and she looked like a drug addict. She had her hair short and she was crying. She told police that her husband had been depressed before he died. Kristin's father stated that he seemed to be deeply distressed and that he drank wine and gin heavily that night. In a television interview months after her Greg's death, Rossum stated, "he was making a big deal of the last rose standing. I think he was just making a statement that he knew our relationship was over." She telephoned his office and told his employers that he wouldn't be coming in to work the day of his murder. [1] During the investigation, outsourced toxicology tests showed fentanyl in Greg's body and investigators found a large amount of fentanyl missing at the Medical Examiner's Office. Police believed that she stole the drug from work. While the investigation continued police learned a secret about Kristin, she was a regular crystal methamphetamine user. On June 25, 2001 seven months after Greg's death, Kristin was arrested and charged with murder. Her parents paid for her $1.25 million bail and picked her up from the San Diego jail.

Trial and conviction

At trial Kristin’s attorneys tried to backup their case by saying Greg was suicidal and poisoned himself. Kristin’s brother-in-law Jerome de Villers told the court it was hard to believe that his brother had committed suicide and that he hated drugs. The prosecution played the 911 tape and on the tape Kristin seems to have been administering CPR to Greg. According to the prosecution Rossum killed her husband to keep him from telling her bosses that she was having an affair with the chief toxicologist and that she was using methamphetamine that she stole from the coroner's lab. According to Rossum's VONS card history, she had purchased a single rose herself. In November 2002 Kristin was found guilty of murder and she was then handcuffed and led out of the court to a police car by San Diego County sheriffs. On December 12, 2002 Kristin Rossum was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole and was taken back to the San Diego jail before she could be transferred to the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla the largest women's correctional facility in the United States. Also at her sentencing the judge ordered Rossum to pay a $10,000 fine.

Recent events

In 2006, Greg de Villers' family sued Rossum in a wrongful-death suit and asked a San Diego jury to grant millions in punitive damages. It was also because the family did not want Rossum to sell her story to producers or publishers. The jury awarded the de Villers' family over $100 million in punitive damages, twice the amount the family had requested. John Gomez, the lawyer for the de Villers family, said that the punitive award may be the largest awarded in the state against an individual defendant. [2] A judge later reduced the punitive damages awarde from $104.5 million to $14.5 million.[3]

In popular culture

Rossum was featured in an episode of the Oxygen Channel true crime show, Snapped and in the E! Entertainment network's "Women Who Kill." Author Caitlin Rother was featured in both of them and wrote "Poisoned Love," the authoritative book on the case and Kristin's life.

References

External links

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