HOW JARED ALTHAUS WAS ABLE TO COME UP WITH HIS STORY
1) Jared Althaus read the Houston Chronicle dated 11/14/92 “Family found bound, dead in house fire” by T.J. Milling that his brother Jason Althaus brought up to the farm where Jared and Bob were informed of Bob’s families’ murders. The article informed readers that five people were found dead inside a burning home the night prior, all five victims were found bound and gagged. It states that one man was shot execution style in the back of the head. The article gives the time the firefighters were dispatched to the home and the time the fire was extinguished. It states that the bodies were badly charred and that it appeared that the fire appeared to have been ignited in each of the three bedrooms and that a strong odor of flammable liquid was present. It was hard to detect whether it had been a break in as firefighters had to break down the front door. The article states that two bodies were found in a back bedroom, one in a side bedroom and two in a bedroom that had been converted from a garage. That the male gunshot victim was in the back bedroom. The article also states the victim’s occupations, approximate ages, ranking in the family order and the fact Robin was pregnant.
2) On Saturday 11/14/92 Jared Althaus and Bob Coulson were interrogated for approximately 5 hours by the Houston Police. The police told Jared and Bob what they had found at the crime scene, where the bodies were found, who was found where, the fact that the victims were bound with tape and plastic “things”, that the bodies had plastic bags placed over their heads, the fact that gas was poured over their bodies.
3) Between the date of the murder, 11/13/92, and Jared’s “confession” to the police, 1:50am on 11/17/92, there were at least three other Houston Chronicle articles in regards to the Coulson family murders. “Police suspect accomplice in slayings of 5/Early autopsy reports show asphyxia caused deaths” by Lisa Teachey / Stephen Johnson dated 11/15/92, “10 die violently in 12-hour period” By Ruth Piller, Eric Hanson dated also 11/15/92 and “Kin, friends mourn 5 slain in family” By Laura E. Keeton, Jennifer Liebrum dated 11/16/92. Between these three articles it is reported that all bodies were burnt beyond recognition, the families exact age. Bob Coulson had assisted the police and was not a suspect. Preliminary autopsy reports showed none of the 5 victims had been shot and that all died of asphyxia, more than one killer was likely to be involved, it was a planned murder. The articles tell how one female was found alone in the side bedroom, while two were in the back and two in the garage/bedroom. Police say the fire was probably a motive to cover the crime, the Coulson was a loving Christian family. The articles state that Sarah was living at home at the time while attending college. Otis Coulson was retired after 35 years as a geologist and was now doing outreach ministry and that Mary was a choir member, adult education member and vestry member. During the time the murders occurred and Jared’s “confession” Jared had access to other newspaper articles and information from channels 2, 11, 13 and 26's news report.
4) Since Jared’s four statements were made and he failed a lie detector test there was a period of 1½ years until the matter went to trial. In this period of time Jared spent a total period of 3 weeks in jail giving him access to some media reports on the case. The Houston Chronicle published at least 10 articles on the murder between this time. Television stations in the Houston area and other newspapers were reporting on the case daily. Jared’s trial testimony was different from his final statement made to the police.
5) Jared Althaus had met all of the victims prior to their deaths so he would have known their approximate heights and weights.
6) Jared Althaus lived with Bob Coulson for about 8 months prior to the murders so he knew facts about Bob Coulson and the Coulson family i.e.: that Bob Coulson had tried to by a windshield repair company; that Sarah Coulson had had a baby via c-section which subsequently had been given up for adoption; the fact that Sarah was staying with Mary and Otis Coulson while she was recovering; the fact Robin Wentworth was pregnant; that Dawn* was Sarah’s roommate; that Rick Wentworth worked as a jailer and finished work at 2pm, that Rick and Robin Wentworth were together most of the time and were so much in love that they were inseparable.
7) “Asphyxiated” was a word used by Jared Althaus when describing how the Coulsons died in his typed confession. Asphyxiated came directly from the word being thrown around the media outlets in regards to how the Coulsons died, a technical word, and is not a word the average person would use when describing how people had been suffocated.
8) Jared Althaus informed police were numerous items should have been found that he claimed Bob Coulson threw out the car window after the murders. These items were: bloody tennis shoes; pants; sunglasses; stun gun; gloves; batteries; bags; tape; plastic cuffs; gun barrel; gun frame; gun clip; numerous bullets; clippers; sweatshirt; crowbar; cap; gas can; ski mask and backpack. From these items only 7 were recovered and after extensive forensic test none can be linked to the crime. In regards to the items not recovered Jared led police to “general” areas and in some instances to “specific” areas but not one item was recovered. Where Jared claims Bob threw out a gun in pieces the police recovered a steel slide for a 9mm pistol. Police then used metal detectors, searched on foot, on horseback, in cars, in a helicopter, under water at the creek but still found nothing more than a slide for a 9mm pistol. Only 30% of the items Jared claimed Bob threw out were recovered which police thought was sufficient to believe Jared was telling the truth even though the recovered items cannot be linked to the crime.
9) Three days after the murders Jared planted the 7 items he later led police to. Out of the 7 items Jared planted on the way to San Marcos 3 were owned by Bob Coulson and Jared Althaus owned two. As Jared Althaus was Bob Coulson's roommate he could have easily grabbed the items owned by Bob Coulson from Bob’s closet and the items he owned from his own closet. Out of the seven items two cannot be linked to Jared or Bob at all, the crowbar and the gas can. Jared could have easily bought these items in the 15 miles or so between the apartment Jared and Bob shared and the Coulson family home to have all he needed to throw out. Jared could have purchased either of these items at a home improvement super store (like Lowes or Builders Square) or automobile stores (like Hi-Lo, Auto Zone) The police stated that these two items, the gas can and crowbar, seemed new. Jared Althaus claimed that the gas can was purchase from a Hi Lo, the day prior to the murders. Jared could not produce a receipt so the Police investigated the Hi Lo’s sales records. Hi-Lo stated that their records indicated that no gas can of the same description, which was recovered from a ditch, was sold on the day Jared claimed it was bought. Remember that all of these seven recovered items were tested for: blood; DNA; forensics; prints; etc and nothing was found on it. Nothing was found because Jared lied and none of the items were used in any crimes!!!!
10) Jared Althaus grew up in the general area where the Coulson family lived and where they were murdered and knew where Woodview Elementary School was located, Jared knew that the Daniel Industries building was across from the school. Jared Althaus knew the side streets around the Coulson home and streets in general in the area, like: Witte; Bunkerhill; Westview; I-10 Feeder; Old Katy Road; Gessner; Toll Road; Hwy 290 and other locations Jared mentioned in his statements. In the Civil Trial** Jared admitted knowing before the murders where the ditches were that he later led police to, containing the crowbar and a gas can, prior to the murders.
11) In the Civil Trial Jared Althaus admitted to knowing where to tell police to turn off Hwy 290 because he remembered the construction going on at the intersection. A sweatshirt and a hat was found in two ditches along that stretch of road.
12) Jared Althaus admitted in the Criminal Trial that he knew the name and location of the creek where a piece of a gun was found from years of driving by it to going to and from his family farm.
13) In the Civil Trial Jared stated that prior to the murders he and his family had dumped stuff in the two area dumps where a ski mask and backpack were later found by police.
14) Jared Althaus could easily have taken the police back to these 7 locations to “find” items he had thrown out on the way to San Marcos because he knew ahead of time where 5 of the areas where and could easily find the road off of HWY 290 because of the construction at the intersection.
15) Jared Althaus had been inside the Coulson home prior to the murders so he knew the general layout of the rooms, including the garage bedroom and the hot water heater just outside it. Jared claimed that this heater cause one of the fires which was proved to be untrue.
16) Police fabricated the envelope on Saturday morning (the 14th), 2 days prior to Jared Althaus’ “confession”. They may have mentioned this to him at any number of times: during the 5 hour interrogation on Saturday afternoon; during the 1 hour conversation they had with him in their police car while he was up at San Marcos; during the several hours of his “confessions”. Jared already knew about Bob Coulson trying to buy a company.
17) Dawn* went to the crime scene the night of the murders and told an official all about her call to the house, the time, who she talked to and what was said. So the police had plenty of time (just like with the fake evidence) to give this information to Jared to include in his story.
18) Jared’s final statement, number 4, was 3½ typed pages long. He also failed a lie detector test on this story. Jared testimony included a lot more information then the 3½ page final statement. Jared testified in trial that he met with prosecutors several times, some times up to a couple of hours, prior to the case going to trial. In this time the prosecutors and police would have had ample time to improve Jared’s story to make it more plausible in a court of law.
19) At first the media reports stated one of the victims were shot but autopsies showed otherwise and that there appeared to be blood on Rick and Robins necks, which police know about. This report was days prior to Jared’s “confession” that Bob Coulson had hit them with a crowbar.
20) At crime scenes large pools of blood are easy to spot but when there are smaller amounts Luminol is used to detect it. Luminol in near total darkness turns the chemical into a greenish blue glow when it comes in contact with blood. If blood is detected further test are carried out. Not even carpet cleaning chemicals or a sponge and soap will erase evidence of blood when Luminol is used. If Jared Althaus was telling the truth that Bob Coulson hit Robin and Rick Wentworth on the back of the head with the crow bar and got blood on the crow bar and later just wiped of the blood then a simple test like Luminol would have shown blood on it, no blood was detected on the crowbar.
21) After Jared dropped Bob Coulson off at the mall the time of the murders Jared went to 290 and purchased gas for the car, which he was later able to produce a receipt for.
22) Jared had been in Jerri’s* car before and knew that there were problems with the window on the side of the car from time to time.
23) Jared Althaus knew Bob Coulson injured his knee playing volleyball and that when it got cold it gave him trouble, as it did the night of the murders and was the real reason Jared was driving Jerri's* car.
24) Jared Althaus’s story can be broken down to the following:
a) Things he saw in the media;
b) Things he knew about Bob Coulson or the Coulson family or the Coulson family home;
c) Things he knew about the neighborhood and the road to the farm;
d) Things the police informed him of;
e) A couple of things cops or prosecutors told him while they spoke to him;
f) Things he made up and have been proven to be a lie (documentated proof) such as: people arriving at the house at different times; conversations discussed during the murders; checks used to pay for murder items; stuff being cut of the bodies of the victims before setting fire to the home; and removing them from the house and more.
* Last name withheld to protect identity.
** Must be noted that the Civil Trial followed the Criminal Trial