This 1993 Steamboat Springs Murder Became One of the Nation’s Most Chilling Cases
In 1993, Doug Boggs discovered the body of his brother, Gerald Boggs, in his Steamboat Springs home. Someone had beaten him with a shovel, shocked him with a stun gun, and shot him to death.
Today, the murder is known as the infamous "Black Widow" case. Here's what happened.
Who Was Gerald Boggs of Steamboat Springs?
According to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Boggs, known by friends as Gerry, was a bachelor in his early 50s when he met Jill Coit, a newcomer to the area.
Coit and her sons began renovating homes near Oak Street, which led her to become a patron of Boggs' business, Boggs Hardware. The two eventually married in 1991.
She'd been married eight times (she would eventually be married 11 times) — and some of her past husbands had died in mysterious circumstances. When Boggs learned of her history, he attempted to end the marriage.
Coit responded by suing Boggs for $100,000. Their court date was set for October of 1993.
The Murder of Gerald Boggs
When Boggs did not open the hardware store on October 22, 1993, his brother knew something was wrong. Doug drove to Boggs' house to investigate and found his dead body.
According to Forensic Files Now, witnesses told law enforcement that they had seen "two odd-looking people" near Boggs' residence the night before, leading police to suspect Coit and her new boyfriend, Michael Backus.
However, Coit and her lover had a seemingly rock-solid alibi: they were away in the Poudre Canyon on a camping trip.
How Potatoes and Onions Helped Crack the Case
"Criminal" reports that, on the day of his murder, Boggs stopped by local restaurant The Shack to have his usual breakfast of hashbrowns, eggs, and toast.
Investigators analyzed Boggs' stomach contents and found potatoes and onions, allowing them to confirm that his last meal had been in the morning at The Shack — a time when Coit had not yet left for her camping trip.
Debunking Coit's alibi was enough for police to search her home, where they discovered the stun gun.
According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, Coit is now 77 years old and serving out a life sentence at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center.
"Criminal" noted that, while serving time, Coit has put out personal ads, attempting to find her next husband.
Learn more about other infamous Colorado crimes in the gallery below.
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