November 12th, 2012 07:48 EST
'Fruit Loops, Cake, and Rat Poison' - Why Did Tylar Witt Murder Her Own Mother?
48 Hours (A Fatal Attraction) originally had broadcast an episode of teenage angst-driven homicide (the story of Tylar Witt and Steven Colver) on January 28th of this year, but I didn`t get a chance to see it. Last night Investigative Discovery, with Maureen Maher as your host, showed it again, and I thought to record it, when the opening scene flashed a simulation (by prosecutor Lisette Suder) of the gruesome knifing homicide of 47-year-old Joanne Witt, right in her own bed.
As the unspeakable saga of matricide unfolded (in El Dorado Hills, Ca.), I was still having trouble understanding how cute little Tylar Witt transformed into the monster she became.
Home family videos show a precious little girl playing around in her house with a loving mother. `A young Tylar looked a bit like Drew Berrymore,` I thought to myself. But when and why did the metamorphosis to the dark side take place? The bad side is described as character within her known as Toby. When and why did Toby emerge within her? Did the bad come out because she met 19-year-old Steven Colver? So it would seem, yet child protection services had been called to the Witt home before she even met Steven.
So this model has its flaws. Did Joanne have a drinking problem, as Tylar claimed? This reason for estranged relations between mother and daughter has been mostly brushed off, but may be worth a second look. Nonetheless, we know for certain, when Steven started living at the house, things begin to go berserk. The grandfather, Norbert Witt, tells us drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy) were involved, and yea, sex comes into play as well. Okay, so the teenagers claim Steven is gay and only wants to help Tylar with her homework!
Why did Joanne believe this tall tale? Once Joanne catches the youngsters having sex, she employs a friend, Vinnie Catapano, to toss Steven out of the house. This is the time, I believe, when the real trouble begins. Colver continues to sneak over to the house, several times a day, we hear, and cavorts with his 14-year-old girlfriend. Finally, they`re caught once again, and Joanne files a statutory rape charge with the police. This essentially dooms her into becoming a murder victim. The teenagers exaggerate (in their minds) the rape charge, thinking as a result, Colver will have to spend many years behind bars.
So they cook up a crazy plot to kill Joanne, then flee to San Francisco and commit suicide like Romeo and Juliet, but they use Fruit Loops, cake and rat poison instead of hemlock, or however the misbegotten plot goes. Yet the difference here, is the star-crossed lovers actually went through with their twisted plan. The murder itself takes place on June 11, 2009, late at night, when Joanne Witt is sound asleep in her own cozy bedroom. As we hear, Tylar let Steven in, he grabs a very big shiv, creeps up the stairs, and brutally stabs the poor mom repeatedly, nearly decapitating her with one jab (as Lisette Suder discloses). Apparently, Tylar was nearby when he did it.
They turn down the temperature, so the body won`t decay too fast, then split for SF to eat their Fruit Loops, cake, and rat poison, but they didn`t die. Instead, they were arrested when changing clothes behind a dumpster. Their trial took place in a Placerville a year ago in August. Colver gets life in prison without the possibility of parole, and Tylar copts a plea, getting 15 years to life. It seems as if Colver had bragged to his friends of his horrible deed, even showing them the bloody knife, which he kept as a souvenir in his trunk. Never was totally clear why Tylar and her mother Joanne went south, but it must have started before Steven comes into the picture.