When her two best friends gave her a makeover, Christine Paolilla repaid them by gunning them down in cold blood…
High-school teenager Rachael Koloroutis kept a photo of her friend Christine Paolilla in her purse.
On the back, Christine had written, Damn, we’ve had some crazy memories. I love you.’
Together with another friend, Tiffany Rowell, Rachael had taken Christine under her wing when she joined their school.
Awkward and shy, Christine had alopecia. Sporting unconvincing wigs and badly drawn eyebrows, she was cruelly bullied.
In the year above Christine, popular Rachael and Tiffany kindly gave her a makeover.
The transformation was striking – and, in 2003, Christine was voted Miss Irresistible by classmates.
Graduating that summer, Rachael and Tiffany, both 18, moved in together.
Meanwhile, Christine spent most of her time with her boyfriend Chris Snider, 21.
He was older, abusive, and Rachael and Tiffany warned Christine she ‘could do better’.
Then, on 18 July that year, Rachael’s and Tiffany’s bodies were discovered in a blood-soaked living room, along with those of Tiffany’s boyfriend Marcus Ray Precella, 19, and his cousin Adelbert Nicholas Sanchez, 21.
All four had been shot multiple times.
Rachael’s head was bashed in, and both she and Tiffany had been shot in the crotch, suggesting sexual jealousy.
There were no strong leads, but as Tiffany’s boyfriend Marcus dealt ecstasy and cocaine, police suspected the murders were drug-related.
Three years passed before an anonymous tip-off led to the killer being identified as Christine Paolilla.
But, just 17 at the time, why did she kill those she once claimed to love?
Born in March 1986 in Long Island, New York, Christine Paolilla had had a tough start. When she was 2, her father was killed in a construction accident.
Three years later, she was diagnosed with alopecia.
Meanwhile, her grieving mum had turned to drugs, so Christine went to live with her grandparents.
By 7, Christine was bald, and bullied relentlessly.
Later, the Paolilla family had moved to Clear Lake, Texas, where ‘ugly duckling’ Christine had been transformed.
But it seemed Christine still suffered with low self-esteem. Her boyfriend was into hard drugs, but Christine craved his attention.
Her mum later told Press Snider had scared her, and that she’d tried to keep him away from Christine, even attempted to take out a restraining order.
But, developing a destructive relationship with Snider, Christine displayed ‘crushing jealousy’ if he looked at another girl. And she’d order him to have rough sex with her, reportedly wanting him to ‘punish’ her.
Snider’s family revealed he once confided in them that only two things in life scared him – the police and Christine.
Come 18 July 2003, no-one connected the horrific murders to a teenage girl.
Her mum reported that, at the time, Christine had been deeply disturbed by the deaths.
‘She cried most of the night,’ she said, adding that Christine had been too upset to attend the girls’ funerals.
Believing they’d got away with murder, Snider and Christine eventually split.
After being caught shoplifting, heroin addict Christine was ordered to go into rehab. There, she met and married another heroin addict.
Then, in 2005, Christine saw a TV report about her best friends’ unsolved murders.
Panicking, she confessed all to her new husband, insisting it’d been Snider’s idea to steal drugs from Marcus’ house.
Snider had apparently ‘surprised her’ by handing her a gun just before entering. And, once inside, he’d shot Marcus.
Then, Christine claimed, the gun she was carrying just ‘went off on its own’.
After, she lost control of it and fired ‘blindly’ around the room, sobbing the whole time.
But it seemed she’d had a moment of clarity…
Leaving the crime scene, she’d told Snider she’d go back inside to ‘make sure they’re all dead’.
Back inside,she’d seen her friend Rachael crawling across the floor, trying to dial 911 on her mobile phone, and gagging on her own blood.
Around 3.25pm, Christine had brutally pistol-whipped the back of Rachael’s head, caving in her skull before being driven to work by Snider.
Hearing her confession, Christine’s husband was shocked. But he went on the run with his murderous wife to the La Quinta Inn, San Antonio, Texas.
The pair spent seven squalid months hiding out and doing drugs.
Then, approaching the third anniversary of the vicious crime, in July 2006, Houston police received an anonymous tip-off from another man who’d met Christine in rehab, and who said she’d claimed responsibility for what had been dubbed the Clear Lake Massacre.
Christine Paolilla was arrested at the hotel on 19 July 2006.
Meanwhile, as officers closed in on Snider, he fled to the woods where he was found dead, after taking an overdose.
Charged with four counts of capital murder, Paolilla finally faced trial in July 2007.
Her lawyer urged the jury to acquit Paolilla, saying she was influenced by ‘bad guys’ who became her boyfriends.
‘She was a lost, sad little girl, alone in the world,’ her lawyer told jurors.
Throughout, Paolilla never fully confessed to her part in the killings, blaming most of her actions on Snider.
But, thanks to Paolilla’s husband’s testimony recounting her grisly confession, in October 2008, Christine, by then 22, was convicted of four counts of capital murder.
Because she was a juvenile at the time of the killings, Paolilla avoided the death penalty and was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. She’ll be eligible for parole in 2046.
But Paolilla’s reasons for murdering her one-time best friends remain a mystery