Kristine Larson was a beautiful young mother who was savagely strangled with a shoelace by her ex-boyfriend and domestic abuser, Zachary Matthews. The Minnesota mom’s case will be featured on tonight’s Ice Cold Killers under the episode titled “Fire And Ice” on Investigation Discovery. Authorities say that it’s true that Kristine Larson had a fiery and troubled relationship with her ex-boyfriend, who, by all accounts, abused her both emotionally and physically. Tonight’s Ice Cold Killers episode is a cautionary tale and will help viewers recognize and identify the signs of an abusive relationship. Expect Hennepin County investigators to weigh in on the case.
Dead Body Found Burning In Minneapolis Lot Belonged To Young Mother
Firefighters received a fire call in December 2007. When they arrived at the location on 24th Avenue South, they found a car burning and the body of a dead woman inside. The woman was identified as 19-year-old Kristine Catheryn Larson of St. Paul Park.
Police detectives notified the family about the grisly discovery. But there was something else. The woman had a 2-year-old son who was missing. It was later determined that the toddler had been left by himself inside of an apartment.
Domestic Violence Plagued Their Relationship
The investigation quickly focused in on Kristine Larson’s ex-boyfriend, Zachary Otis Matthews. Family members told police that Zachary was abusive and completely obsessed with Kristine, according to court records.
When police finally questioned him, Zachary admitted that he had returned to his apartment, where he found Kristine Larson dead in a closet. He also asserted that he transported the body in a car and set it on fire because he didn’t know what to do and did not want to be implicated in her death.
However, police didn’t believe his story and pressed him for more information. An autopsy report had already confirmed that Kristine had been strangled to death, most likely with a shoe lace.
The fire was intentionally set, and it appeared that whoever killed her did so in a fit of rage. That fit the personality of Zachary Matthews, who was said to have a violent temper, which often led to him destroying things around him by hitting walls and busting up doors. Authorities believed that he also killed Kristine after she was late picking him up, according to Twin Cities.
The investigation also revealed that Kristine had ended the relationship with Zachary, and he was upset that Kristine had moved on and had another lover. In fact, court records show that she had spent the night with her new man just a day before her death.
Kristine Larson’s shocked and grieving family members say that after her death, Zachary was with the family and even sobbed with them.
His deception and the evil act were terrible enough. But no one could fathom how he could leave her precious little boy unattended in an apartment for hours.
The courts heard details of Kristine Larson’s sad life with Zachary Matthews. According to Twin Cities, Kristine’s mother made the following statement.
“She testified Matthews had begun dating her daughter while in high school. Kristine got pregnant, and in February 2006 she gave birth to the couple’s son, Darrion Charles Larson. She had overheard fights and seen evidence she believed showed a pattern of domestic violence. Her daughter “was concerned about the obsessiveness and possessiveness of the relationship. There were six, 10, 12 calls a day. Tilson said that when she went over to Matthews’ apartment to help her daughter move out, Matthews seemed overbearing and aggressive — so much so that they eventually called the police to help watch him while they collected her belongings. But Tilson said she was horrified by what she found in the apartment: Several holes that had been punched in the walls, as well as broken doors to the couple’s bedroom, Darrion’s room and the bathroom.”
Learn The Signs Of A Deadly Abuser
Zachary Otis Matthews was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Kristine’s parents were given custody of her son, Darion Charles Larson.
Zachary Matthews’ bizarre behavior had all of the markings of an obsessed abuser. Here are a few more facts from the investigation.
- Zachary Matthews was obsessed with Kristine.
- Zachary would often call Kristine multiple times in a day.
- At times, he watched her as she slept.
- He threatened to kill or hurt himself.
Take a look at the signs above. Sometimes the attention that one receives in a relationship makes them feel loved. But, it’s not love; it’s obsession! And if a person threatens to harm themselves? This is a big one. If a person is willing to hurt themselves, they will hurt you! Don’t be someone’s next victim.
Be sure to tune into Ice Cold Killers tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery (ID).
A short film based on the case
[Featured Image by Yeshiel Panchia/AP Images]