Kristin Rossum was a gorgeous blonde who, by the age of 28, had already made a name for herself in the field of forensic toxicology. As a child, Kristin lived in the upscale neighbourhood of Claremont, California. Kristin was a ballerina, a child model, and eventually a member of Phi Beta Cappa. She was groomed to expect a successful future, including status and material wealth. Her family pressured the pretty Kristin to be perfect and to achieve personal and scholarly heights.
Impulsive and fun-loving, the college-aged Kristin loved risky activities and adventures. However, the stress of her family’s demands, and her desire to live on the edge led her to depart to Tijuana for a vacation. There she met her husband, Greg deVillers. The two were inseparable and within two years they married on June 5th in Claremont. Kristin found work in the San Diego Medical Examiner’s lab. She handled crime scene narcotics such as methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and oxycontin. Kristin presented a scientific paper about death involving the poison strychnine.
Kristin’s boss was an Australian toxicologist named Michael Robertson. Movie star handsome and intelligent, Robertson’s specialization was in fentynol, a rare pain-killer more powerful than morphine capable of depressing the respiratory system to the point of suffocation. Robertson and Kristin attended work conferences together and a relationship grew between the two.
On November 6, 2000, Kristin called 9-1-1 to report that her husband Greg was comatose. When police arrived, they found Greg covered in rose petals. Greg was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital in LaHoya. Kristin informed police she wanted a divorce from Greg, and she believed Greg had committed suicide. Greg’s death was ruled a suicide. Kristin signed papers to donate some of Greg’s body parts. The rest of him would be cremated.
Greg’s brother, Jarome, refused to believe Greg had killed himself. He secured an injunction to prevent the cremation and ordered an independent autopsy. It revealed that Greg’s body contained high levels of both fentanyl and GHB, the “date-rape drug.” Since Greg would have been too sedated to give himself the fatal dose of fentanyl, someone else did, pointing to homicide. Kristin was the prime suspect. It was discovered that 15 skin patches of fentanyl were missing from her work. Upon arriving for an interrogation at the police station, Kristin’s emaciated, unattractive appearance and doped behaviour revealed that she was a methamphetamine addict.
The extreme side effects of methamphetamine are well-known in many U.S. States. Meth is the most addictive street drug in the country. It induces paranoia, clouds judgement, euphoria, high libido and causes hallucinations. Kristin confessed she had been addicted to meth since high school, probably due to the stressors of her family’s expectations. When Kristin met Greg in Tijuana, she was strung out on meth and he felt responsible for her welfare. Greg assumed the role of her parents and maintained her perfect image. Not surprisingly, during the interview, Kristin admitted she was sleeping with Michael Robinson. She insisted Greg discovered the affair and Greg threatened to expose them, ruining both of their careers.
On June 25, 2001, Kristin was arrested on charges of first degree murder. Her parents paid her 1.2 million dollar bond. It was never discovered how the drugs got into Greg’s body. It was believed that Kristin believed Greg would expose her affair and her meth addiction, revealing that Kristin was not the perfect person she appeared. On December 12, 2002, at San Diego Supreme Court, Kristin was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Her promising future was over.
In 2006, Greg de Villers’ family sued Kristin and San Diego County in a wrongful-death suit, after learning that Kristin was selling the rights to her story. On March 25, 2006; a San Diego jury ordered Kristin to pay more than $100 million in punitive damages. A judge later reduced the punitive damages award to $10 million. Robertson returned to Australia after being fired from the medical examiner’s office. He was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in Kristin’s 2001 trial, but as of 2012 has yet to be extradited to the United States to face charges for Greg’s murder.