• Rod Kackley

The Case of the Christmas Tree Killer


Lisa Williams thought about calling the cops, but she didn't. She told her family that Chelsea Cook, a Utah high-school teacher, had been harassing her. Lisa's mother, Tawny, said Chelsea hassled her daughter at the bank where Lisa worked. She bullied Lisa on Instagram and even made hateful phone calls from the high school where Chelsea worked.

All because Lisa was dating Chelsea's ex-husband, Travis. They'd been divorced about six months before Lisa and Travis got together. As the harassment ratcheted up in intensity, Tawny worried more every day.

Thanksgiving Weekend, 2018, Lisa and Travis were decorating a Christmas tree in Lisa's apartment, along with the help of Travis' three-year-old twins. Travis' phone rang. It was Chelsea. She had medicine for the girls and asked Travis to come outside so she could give it to him.

As Travis went outside, Chelsea ran inside after him and closed the door. Fearing the worst, Travis ran back inside. Chelsea scampered into the bathroom and locked the door. Travis begged her to come out.

When she did, Travis says, Chelsea pulled a gun out of her coat pocket and shot Lisa right in front of the Christmas tree, while she was standing next to their daughters.

Travis grabbed Chelsea, pinned her against a wall and call 911. Lisa died later that night.

Chelsea is in jail now, held without bond facing a charge of aggravated murder.

“I spoke to her an hour or so before it all happened, and she was so excited to give those kids something happy,” Lisa’s sister, Bekah, told the Associated Press.

Bekah said Lisa didn't want to call the police to stop Chelsea's harassment, because she was afraid it would have hurt the three-year-old twins.

“In hindsight," Bekah said, "I think the best thing for the kids would have been to call the police every time."

She needed money. He wanted sex. Craigslist brought them together.

She Deserved Better: A Shocking True Crime Story of a Craigslist Killer is available wherever books are sold including:

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