October 1 1985, 17 year old Missy Avila was viciously murdered by her best friend and another friend. Three weeks before the murder Karen Severson, Victor Amaya, and Missy Avila were hanging out at a man’s house outside. This man’s name was Victor. Laura Doyle passes by the home, and Victor and Missy begin to kiss and hug. This angers Laura, and it sets in motion the events of October 1, 1985. That day, Laura and Karen pretend to fight, Missy sees them fighting and tries to intervene. Little did Missy know, it was all a ruse. Missy Avila was murdered by her two best friends, Karen Severson and Laura Doyle in 1985 . They lured her to a secluded location, and she was beaten and murdered by holding her under water with a log. Her murder inspired the made for tv movie “A Killer Among Friends” based on the book “Missy’s Murder.”
Three days after the murder some hikers found Missy’s body. At first they thought that it was a small animal because the body was so small and the log was so big and heavy. Missy was wearing a gold anklet. One earring was found in her hair, and a denim purse was nearby. The contents of her purse included: red lip balm, purple compact, perfume, a comb, orange wallet, and her school identification. Missy lay flat on her tummy and one foot was placed over the other, her arm was bent back behind her arm, and bent at the elbow, which indicated that two people were carrying her. A school of minnows were swimming across her back feeding upon her. Flies also swarmed over her body. Rigor Mortis was complete. Her eyes were partially opened, and her body was turned over, the hikers stated that she had a fearful frozen look of horror on her face. When the coroner did the autopsy he found no drugs or alcohol in her body. Only the breakfast she had eaten that morning, and Missy was having her monthly cycle at the time, a tampon gently placed into her vagina indicated this.
Karen moves in with Irene Avila. Victor Amaya also stayed with Irene during this time, but he left either the next day or the same night that he almost killed Randi Fernandez. In the movie Irene Avila, played by Patty Duke, was a little uncomfortable at first at the thought of Karen moving in, however in reality this was not the case. Irene Avila welcomed Karen with open arms. She wanted to talk about Missy constantly, and Karen helped her do that. She could not see that Karen was morbidly obsessed with Missy. In the movie Irene was against Karen sleeping in Missy’s room, but in reality, Karen slept in Missy’s bed and wore Missy’s clothing. That is until Karen claimed an apparition of Missy visited her there one night, I think this is when Karen moved out. Irene Avila did not ask her to move out as depicted in the movie. It’s obvious that Karen was obsessed and jealous of Missy. She was 5’2 and weighed 200 pounds and Missy was America’s sweet heart.
Once Karen moved out she enrolled in beauty school and scared the devil out of a friend she made there. The friend noticed Karen’s obsession with Missy and was really scared to death of her. She also later found out that Karen had been calling her house and telling her ‘I know you killed Missy.’ Now, here is another problem…In the movie they depicted Eva Chirumbolo as a sweet innocent person, and she may have been, but no one is sure how much she actually knew about what would happen to Karen. Remember she was living with Karen at the time, so it is doubtful that she had no idea what was going to happen. The day of the murder Irene Avila remembers how especially pretty Missy looked that day. She was all excited to go. She even turned to her mom and said, “I love you,” which is something that she did not ordinarily do. Irene’s mother says that scene haunts her until this day.
Finally, in July 1988, acting on a tip from Karen’s friend Eva Chirumbola, police arrested Karen and Laura Doyle on first-degree murder charges. According to prosecutors, Karen and Eva, with Laura’s knowledge, had followed Laura and Missy to the national forest. Eva says that she saw Karen and Laura shouting at Missy and pushing her toward the creek. Eva maintains that, frightened by the violence, she retreated to the car and saw no more. But, she testified at a pretrial hearing, Laura admitted that she and Karen had killed Missy. Laura’s boyfriend had recently left her, and Irene thinks that, once again, Karen had planted the idea that Missy was to blame.
Both women have pleaded not guilty. “I know the details of what happened to Missy,” says Karen, “but I’m not going to say.” Karen, who now carries more than 200 lbs. on her 5’2″ frame, still insists from her jail cell that “a lot of people were upset” that Missy had horned in on their boyfriends. “Missy wasn’t as innocent as everyone thinks,” she says. “When she moved in on my territory [Randy], I just couldn’t take it anymore. But no matter what, I couldn’t kill her.” Uhm, yea right then who did?
Karen Severson has been recommended for parole. However, her request was just denied. NEENER! If you ask me, 15 years isn’t enough. Which is why she’s still in prison. Because of her issues and horrific murder, it’s likely she could do it again. Below is a picture of what she looks like now.
This is what it says on Laura Doyle’s prison pal profile:
My name is Laura, a 42 year old rare redheaded beauty in search of a loyal, honest friend that I can feel comfortable in opening up to, and express who I truly am without the fear of being judged. I enjoy the outdoors, staying active, and helping others. I mentor the young girls here and help them find the positive ways. I am open minded with a kind heart and would love to hear from you.
Below are some quotes people have said in the past about Missy Avila:
“Missy wasn’t the sweet innocent angel she was portrayed to be,which she definitely WAS NOT. I grew up with Missy and I knew Karen in school as well. I never met Laura, but the few times I saw her with Missy and Karen, she gave me the creeps. As for Missy, she was one of the meanest people I ever knew. She was the worst bully I ever encountered as a child and I never saw any other side to her. She was just as awful as the friends that killed her. There were a lot of people that couldn’t stand her.”
“I went to school with Missy, Karen and Laura. Missy was an incredibly sweet girl and it was very noticeable, even in jr. high, that Karen was insanely jealous of Missy. It was a mystery to everyone why Missy was friends with Karen. I have personally dealt with the hateful & revengeful personality of Karen Severson. Karen WAS manipulative, mean, nasty, vindictive, Karen beat me up outside the school one day because I was talking to her boyfriend! Laura was a follower and Karen’s puppet.”
“Losing Missy was a great loss for everyone who ever came in contact with her. She was one of those people that everyone loved. A great asset to this world and a tremendous loss. She was a sweet, good natured, well liked, beautiful girl.”