Nancy Pfister, the Aspen socialite and philanthropist that was found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in her home last year, will have her case featured on CBS’ 48 Hours. The 57-year old woman was the life of the party and had so many friends that police considered several people to be suspects in her mysterious murder.
The Glenwood Springs, Colorado, native was Aspen royalty. Her father owned a ski mountain, and the family had deep roots in Aspen’s high society. She also had celebrity friends — even dating actors Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson at one time. Though Nancy Pfister was known as a nice and caring person who lived life to the fullest, people who knew her well said she was a tough woman who didn’t play.
Her friends and family were sure that whoever killed Nancy Pfister had to have taken her by surprise. Her murder shocked the town of Aspen, and rumors ran rampant as people scurried to find out all of the gory details of the crime. After all, a murder had not been committed in the resort town in 12 years prior, so her death was at the top of news headlines in her local city.
Her bizarre death was discovered in February of 2014 by Kathy Carpenter, Pfister’s friend and assistant. Carpenter told police that she had tried to make contact with Pfister and decided to go to the home when she was not able to make contact with her. When she arrived at the Buttermilk, Colorado, home she found it in shambles. Small blood stains were also apparent throughout the house. As she looked further, she discovered the socialite’s dead body in her large walk-in closet. The body had been wrapped in a blood-soaked blanket.
Pitkin County detectives were immediately dispatched to the scene where they found the body of a white, middle-aged woman who was identified as Nancy Pfister. Even members of the police force were shocked and saddened by the long-time resident’s death.
After law enforcement officials processed the scene, Pfister’s body was transported to the coroner’s office. The coroner’s report stated that the victim had been struck repeatedly in the head with a hammer, and an ax was lodged into her chest.
The medical examiner also deduced that Pfister had been caught by surprise since no defense wounds were apparent. Police believed that the killer entered the home and killed Nancy while she was asleep. Then, they believed that two people carried her body to the closet where she was found. Her body was found just days after she had arrived home from Australia because her renters were not taking care of business. It was one of the last messages that Nancy Pfister placed on her Facebook page. According to CBS News, the message explained her return.
“I’m still in Australia and I’d like to stay in Australia but the people that were supposedly taking care of my house are not doing what they said they would do,” the online post dated January 24, 2014, read. ” I put the rent very low so they would take care of my dog… if you have any ideas how to help me get someone in the house around February 22 it would be great thank you!!!”
Investigators had suspected her tenants Dr. William F. Styler III, aka Trey Styler, and his wife Nancy. Kathy Carpenter was also a suspect, but with no evidence police were unable to attach the crime directly to them. That is — until the bloody hammer was discovered by a trash collector. According to Pfister’s Wiki, a car registration for the Stylers was also found near the bloody hammer.
Police immediately placed them under arrest. Kathy Carpenter was arrested as well. The shocking case took police on a series of twists and turns. In the end, Trey Styler confessed to police that he had killed Nancy alone. His wife, Nancy and Kathy Carpenter had their charges dropped, and Dr. Trey Styler was sentenced to 20 years in prison, after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.
Until this day, many people believe that at least one other person was involved in the murder. Tonight will examine how the case unfolded tonight at 10 p.m. EST on 48 Hours.
[Photo Credit: Twitter]