"48 Hours" has been covering the contention surrounding a erstwhile Texas defence lawyer for 2 decades. Say the sanction Catherine Shelton and you are guaranteed to get plentifulness of stories and opinions from galore radical successful Houston and successful Dallas. That's due to the fact that unusual things person happened to the men successful Shelton's life. Some person suffered bizarre mishaps and misfortune and five men person died. She says she's ne'er killed anyone, but questions remain. "48 Hours" contributor Jenna Jackson went looking for the truth.IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS
I've heard a batch of outrageous transgression stories successful my life. But thing comes adjacent to what's successful these boxes: assaults, arrests, trials, disbarments — records and documents from years of Catherine Mehaffey Shelton's chaotic and mysterious life."For years, I've been tangled up successful a bizarre crippled of feline and rodent with a pistillate named Catherine Shelton," said true-crime writer Jenna Jackson. Her obsession with Shelton's communicative began successful 2003 portion moving for "48 Hours." CBS News
But this is besides truly the communicative of my obsession with Catherine.
It each started much than 20 years ago. I archetypal met Catherine for a amusement I was producing for "48 Hours" connected the contention that had surrounded the defence lawyer for decades.
In the years since, I've met her a fewer much times and it's ever been the aforesaid — she's coy, adjacent playful. But often, I permission feeling confused. I wonderment if she's not the feline and I'm the rodent she's conscionable batting around.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2016): I person done a fewer things. Yes. I bash admit that I've — well, I've ne'er stabbed anyone. All right? … And I've ne'er changeable anyone with a shotgun."Well, I privation I had ever been the cleanable lady, but, I don't know, it conscionable didn't enactment retired that way," Catherine Shelton told "48 Hours" successful 2006. The erstwhile defence lawyer has ne'er been charged with execution but she has links to 5 men who person mysteriously died implicit the years. CBS News
Is she blameworthy of anything? Some things? Or is this each a coincidence? I've decided I'm going to look into it each again and spot if I tin excavation up immoderate caller information. The goal? To conscionable with her 1 past clip and spot if I tin get immoderate answers.
From the start, I knew I was going to request assistance sorting done the allegations.
Jenna Jackson: We have—fraud … elder abuse, assaults, theft, taxation evasion, fraud again, transgression mischief, shootings …
Brian Benken: It's not achromatic and white. But arsenic you tin archer from each these pictures and antithetic cases connected your table, that's a batch of coincidences.
That's Brian Benken, a backstage researcher and present a defence attorney.
Brian Benken: We're gonna support an unfastened mind. You know, nary passageway imaginativeness here.
And Lisa Andrews, a erstwhile prosecutor. They utilized to telephone her "the crystal queen."
Lisa Andrews: But let's beryllium existent here. … determination are a batch of coincidences.
Both Brian and Lisa are consultants for "48 Hours." Like astir everyone successful Houston, they've heard a batch astir Catherine Shelton.
Brian Benken: She's a fable astir Harris County … 'Cause I astir spell backmost 40 years down astatine the courthouse. And if you speech to immoderate of the aged prosecutors and defence attorneys from backmost successful the day, they cognize each astir Catherine.
Jenna Jackson: They each cognize her name.
Brian Benken: And they tin archer you plentifulness of stories.
Catherine Mehaffey Shelton began practicing instrumentality successful the 1970s.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): She was— intelligent. She was precise witty.
That's Gary Taylor. He was a paper newsman successful Houston covering the courthouse. He got to cognize her beauteous well.
GARY TAYLOR: She was good known astir the courthouse due to the fact that of the estimation she had.… she thought she was smarter than everyone other successful the remainder of the world.
GARY TAYLOR: I knew that — she was a tough— pugnacious gal.
GARY TAYLOR: She decorated her location with — with stills from aged Humphrey Bogart gangster movies.
He's gonna beryllium a overmuch bigger portion of this communicative aboriginal on. But perceive to immoderate different memories of Catherine.
LLOYD OLIVER (2003): I situation accidental astir apt the prettiest transgression defence lawyer successful the Harris County courts. … She conscionable had a vivacious personality, conscionable charmed everyone.
Lloyd Oliver is simply a longtime lawyer and a well-known fig astir the Harris County Courthouse. I hadn't spoken to him successful years, but we caught up with him precocious and helium inactive had immoderate crystal-clear memories.
Lloyd Oliver: She had beauteous blonde hair. She was shapely. And — she attracted men.
Lloyd and Catherine were friends.
Lisa Andrews: How did you not autumn prey to her charms?
Lloyd Oliver: We weren't involved— romantically oregon physically. … where you tin archer that is I'm inactive here. I'm inactive around. (Laughs) We're having this speech close now.
Lloyd Oliver: Some of her relationships turned — beauteous ugly. And … erstwhile they said it was over, sh — I retrieve her saying once, "It ain't implicit till I accidental it's over." So, if you were her boyfriend, you had to hold till she got acceptable to measurement distant apparently.
Lloyd Oliver: Sometimes she would conscionable travel un— unglued.
And arsenic I was astir to hear, immoderate accidental you didn't needfully person to beryllium romantically progressive with Catherine to spot that broadside of her.
Robert Pelton (phone call): Hello?
Jenna Jackson: Hi, is this Robert Pelton?
Robert Pelton: Yeah. Yes, ma'am.
Jenna Jackson: I'm present with Lisa Andrews and Brian Benken.
Robert Pelton: I cognize 'em some precise well. (laughs) They're some fine, good lawyers.
Jenna Jackson: They are. Well, they are helping maine connected a project—about Catherine Mehaffey Shelton.
Robert Pelton: Oh, my God. Oh.
Jenna Jackson: You retrieve her?
Robert Pelton: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I deliberation so. Yeah, I'm acrophobic I do. She — she tried to termination maine erstwhile she was connected trial, successful trial.
Jenna Jackson: Wait.
Brian Benken: Which proceedings was she in?
Jenna Jackson: Wait. What?
I knew I had to conscionable with him successful person, truthful I tracked him down.
Robert Pelton: I retrieve Catherine Mehaffey well.
Robert Pelton is simply a defence attorney. He says helium was successful the courthouse backmost successful 1980 erstwhile Catherine seemingly had a precise atrocious day. A chap lawyer took Pelton aside.
Robert Pelton: He said, "Catherine said she's conscionable taken sleeping pills oregon Valium. She's gonna perpetrate suicide. Will you instrumentality her successful the hallway?" I said, "OK."
Robert Pelton: The hallway was — I mean, the doorway was close there. There was a precise tiny courtroom. … And each of a sudden, Catherine grabs my tie, and pulls maine in, and opens the door— opens the door, and the justice has got a pistol laying connected his desk. … And the window's unfastened connected the 4th communicative of the courthouse building. She says, "You're gonna dice with me." And she grabbed me, and I think, "OK" — In my mind, I think, "I'm either gonna get changeable oregon autumn dormant from the 4th communicative of the courthouse building."
Jenna Jackson: Oh, my gosh.
Robert Pelton: And of course, I was hollering. And she was hollering. The bailiffs got the doorway open. I don't retrieve how, and got her, and of people I was frightened to death, and strapped Catherine down arsenic I retrieve it, took her to the infirmary … connected a stretcher, and — travel to find that she had not taken sleeping pills.
Jenna Jackson: Do you deliberation she was superior that day? Was she trying to termination you?
Robert Pelton: I don't — I would hatred to deliberation so. … I deliberation she was — had temporarily mislaid show of her faculties. … I deliberation she was conscionable frightened and acting out. I — I'd hatred to deliberation she was trying to truly bash thing atrocious to me. But I don't know. I mean, convey God thing — I didn't — I ne'er had to find out.
Catherine admits she went to the infirmary that time and had her tummy pumped but denies the remainder of Pelton's relationship and says she ne'er tried to wounded him. But that communicative was conscionable 1 of the galore swirling astir her. And determination were darker stories. Perhaps 1 of the darkest would impact an ex-boyfriend of Catherine's.
He had been recovered murdered successful his garage.THE MURDER OF GEORGE TEDESCO
Brian Benken (with Jenna Jackson astatine transgression scene): This 1 was a beauteous brutal one… Right up present by this gate. This is what we judge to beryllium the archetypal lawsuit … linked to Catherine.
Jenna Jackson: Oh wow.
Brian Benken: They find him beaten to decease successful that store close there.
Jenna Jackson: In that store …
Brian Benken: I mean severely beaten to death.George Tedesco was an ex-boyfriend of Catherine Shelton. On the time helium was scheduled to look successful tribunal successful a quality with Shelton, helium was recovered brutally beaten to decease successful his garage. Investigators recovered a tyre robust connected the premises that they believed to beryllium the execution weapon. CBS News Archives
The unfortunate was a doctor; an anesthesiologist named George Tedesco. He and Catherine had erstwhile dated.
Jenna Jackson (at transgression scene): It's a crazy, brainsick execution … and it's inactive unsolved.
Brian Benken: Correct … and there's nary statute of limitations.
Brian Benken: His Corvette was missing … but … It didn't look similar a regular robbery. … the homicide detectives thought it looked similar thing beauteous personal.
Jenna Jackson: Personal?
Brian Benken: There was really — a tyre robust there, akin to this (holds up tyre iron), that they judge was astir apt the limb that was used. … helium suffered large — respective skull fractures and hematoma. You know, helium bled retired from the — the beating that helium took.
Brian Benken (pointing to photos connected wall): These are immoderate of the transgression country photos from that location.
Looking astatine the transgression country photos I recognize wherefore it looked personal, but wherefore couldn't it beryllium conscionable a robbery that whitethorn person turned violent? After each his car was missing.
Brian Benken: He inactive had jewelry connected him. His wallet was inactive connected him. You know, things of that quality that a idiosyncratic who's robbing you would astir apt take.
And the different happening absorbing astir his scene, erstwhile radical typically— oftentimes, erstwhile they're recovered dormant successful their garage, it's due to the fact that it's idiosyncratic that knows that they're gonna beryllium determination astatine a peculiar time.
The timing of Tedesco's execution was besides curious.
Lisa Andrews: Wasn't helium expected to amusement up successful tribunal for the suit that —
Brian Benken: Yes —
Lisa Andrews: — Catherine filed against him claiming —
Brian Benken: — exactly.
Lisa Andrews: — they were married? And past helium was a no-show connected the time of trial?
Brian Benken: Yeah.
Tedesco was discovered murdered the time helium was expected to spell to tribunal successful a quality with Catherine. Detectives discovered that Catherine and Dr. Tedesco had been warring for months. Catherine sued him for fractional his assets, claiming they were "common law" married. She said they had been unneurotic for a small implicit a year, but an researcher for Tedesco's household says they had lone dated 3 oregon 4 months. The full happening turned precise ugly, with Tedesco alleging that Catherine made threatening telephone calls, stalked him and adjacent committed burglary.
Lisa Andrews: There seems to beryllium a lotta rage successful this crime. And, so, you mightiness wonder, OK. Was she beardown capable to bash this? Was she inactive aggravated capable astatine him to bash this?
Good questions, and we'll travel backmost to this lawsuit successful a second.
But archetypal it's worthy talking astir the benignant of occupation Catherine had with different fellow erstwhile they broke up.
FERRIS BOND (2003): It was god-awful. It was god-awful. It's the worst happening I've ever been through.
This is simply a lawyer named Ferris Bond. We talked with him erstwhile I was archetypal reporting this story.
FERRIS BOND: I wouldn't privation that connected the worst enemy. I wouldn't adjacent privation it connected her.
They dated successful the 70s and helium says things started retired fine.
FERRIS BOND: She was a precise pretty, petite small blonde miss … and she was available. … we really dated astir apt a play of months.
But Bond says aft helium saw her get into a combat with her roommate, helium decided to get out.Ferris Bond and Catherine Shelton dated for a fewer months. Bond told "48 Hours" that aft they broke up, Shelton stole his car, changeable astatine him with a shotgun and yet burned his flat down successful 1974. To get distant from her, helium says helium joined the Marine Corps. CBS News Archives
FERRIS BOND: It became wide to maine that she had immoderate convulsive tendencies and— I should effort and get distant from her.
But helium said with Catherine, breaking up was hard to do.
FERRIS BOND: Probably the worst happening was burning my flat and each of my possessions. … stole my automobile, changeable astatine maine with a shotgun.
No charges were ever filed against Catherine. When we spoke to her backmost then, she denied those allegations and didn't truly privation to speech astir Ferris Bond. But she did admit she whitethorn beryllium excessively overmuch for immoderate men to handle.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): There are immoderate sorts of men who are really, truly offended by me. … I deliberation it's my propensity to astir apt accidental precisely what I deliberation to them astatine a definite constituent erstwhile — erstwhile I conscionable can't clasp it successful immoderate longer.
To get distant from her, Ferris Bond told america helium joined the Marines.
FERRIS BOND (2003): Frankly, I didn't deliberation that determination was immoderate mode she'd travel maine into the Marine Corps.
With that communicative successful mind, we took a person look astatine that Tedesco execution lawsuit and started digging a small deeper. We recovered retired that aft Dr. Tedesco was murdered, things got alien fast. For starters, Catherine broke into the transgression country claiming that she was retrieving immoderate spot that belonged to her.
Brian Benken: … aft they recovered Tedesco's body, Catherine and an lawyer that was representing her astatine the clip … they really get a locksmith. They spell into his townhouse.
Lisa Andrews: An lawyer went with her to bash to that?
Brian Benken: An lawyer went with her.
That lawyer was Lloyd Oliver.
Lloyd Oliver: — she has an uncanny mode of … getting different folks — talking different folks into doing her bidding for her. And I'm nary objection to the rule. … she talked, "OK, let's spell bash it." So, we went implicit there, and I walked — you couldn't get in. So called the locksmith. He lets america in.
Brian Benken: I mean, what— that didn't rise immoderate flags to you?
Lloyd Oliver: I don't cognize —
In a deposition later, Catherine admitted she took, amongst different things, a TV, pottery, $140 successful cash, her driver's licence and an antique sword.Brian Benken, right, Jenna Jackson, center, and Lisa Andrews benignant done the allegations against Catherine Shelton. CBS News
Brian Benken: And what would ever marque her deliberation that that was a astute happening to bash —
Jenna Jackson: Right.
Brian Benken: — to spell successful determination and region spot erstwhile a lotta radical were gonna deliberation that fin — it's a fiscal motive to statesman with. She's already … trying to assertion that she's the communal instrumentality woman erstwhile everybody seemingly successful his household … said no, they're not adjacent close.
Jenna Jackson: He was conscionable beaten to death—
Brian Benken: Yeah, he's conscionable beaten to death—
Lisa Andrews: She just—
Jenna Jackson: —"it was my stuff. I'm taking it."
Lisa Andrews: She conscionable does what she wants to do, right—
Jenna Jackson: (Laughs) She doesn't care—
Lisa Andrews: She does what she wants to do. And doesn't — damn the consequences.
In that aforesaid deposition, Catherine claimed that Tedesco was progressive successful immoderate amerciable enactment and was allegedly convulsive with her. But erstwhile "48 Hours" asked her astir Tedesco backmost then, she didn't privation to speech astir him.
Brian Benken: All right. So … I person to question, if — if she's upset astir him being killed …
Lloyd Oliver: She wasn't successful blubbering tears. I mean, she wasn't that upset.
Brian Benken: OK.
Lloyd Oliver: She inactive had her wits astir her.
Brian Benken: All right.
Lloyd Oliver: And Catherine's wits are — she's beauteous — beauteous sharp.
There were galore lingering questions astir the lawsuit and for some, reddish flags. The DA's Office seemingly thought determination were reddish flags, too. So, they decided to secretly grounds immoderate of Catherine's telephone calls. Her choler astatine yet different ex-boyfriend was captured connected tape:
MAN: Just calm down.
CATHERINE SHELTON (screaming): He's got to beg for my mercy. He's hurting me. I've done nothing. I'm conscionable trying to get away.
MAN: Well, permission him alone.
CATHERINE SHELTON: Beg maine for mercy."BREAKING UP WAS HARD TO DO"
So, I promised we'd get backmost to Gary Taylor. Remember him? He was the Houston paper newsman who covered the courthouse and Catherine. He archetypal met her successful 1979 aft her ex-boyfriend Dr. Tedesco was murdered.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): She was a blistery point astatine the courthouse. She was intriguing due to the fact that of the enigma of her past and the danger—the information that seemed to beryllium lurking underneath.
Taylor says helium was intrigued, and that intrigue turned into thing else.
Jenna Jackson: His narration with her started due to the fact that helium was covering the Tedesco case, trying to get a story. … So, similar galore of the men successful her beingness backmost astatine that time, they started dating and having an affair, and, you know, lines were blurred, I think, a small bit.
Jenna Jackson: It does look similar it was, like, enactment each the clip backmost then. I mean, not that it's tame present astatine the Harris County Courthouse, but successful the '70s, it's, like, each these chaotic parties.
Brian Benken: It was a antithetic ambiance backmost then.
Jenna Jackson: Yeah —
Lisa Andrews: Totally different.
Taylor was not shy astir the details of this torrid affair.
Jenna Jackson (reading from book): He says, "Our roadmap to the chamber was marked successful scarlet letters from the infinitesimal (laughs) we met.""She besides had the hard look of a atrocious girl, and that played to my weakness. A menace? She conscionable looked similar amusive to me," Gary Taylor wrote of Catherine Shelton. CBS News Archives
Taylor adjacent wrote a publication astir that clip successful his life.
Jenna Jackson (reading from book): "She besides had the hard look of a atrocious girl, and that played to my weakness. A menace? She conscionable looked similar amusive to me."
GARY TAYLOR (2003): I was looking for a small excitement successful my life. And she surely delivered successful that class …
I talked with Gary Taylor astir this years ago.
GARY TAYLOR: We had a intersexual narration that went connected for … astir 4 weeks. … And — past I spent astir 3 months trying to disengage from that relationship—
Catherine, by the way, disagrees with each of that. She doesn't adjacent admit that they dated.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I don't see him a narration oregon anything. He's nothing.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): … for a mates of months, helium followed maine astir … and— went to court, followed maine there.
Taylor told maine Catherine came with immoderate precise crisp edges.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): She's— precise abrasive, precise aggressive. And she can— she tin locomotion into a country and person people— arguing with her successful a substance of minutes. … She has a — she has a temper that — that comes out. And she can't — ever power it.
GARY TAYLOR: You know, Tedesco's sanction was ever coming up … I heard her accidental this to respective people: "You amended bash what I say. You cognize what happened to George. You cognize about George."
But Taylor says helium truly saw a scary broadside of her erstwhile helium told her it was over.
GARY TAYLOR: It was 1 nighttime we were — aft I told her we were gonna person to interruption up. I saw her — teardrop up a — a suitcase … And she tore it each to smithereens.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): The association, specified arsenic it was — was breached disconnected with immoderate verbal acrimony.
Taylor says she erstwhile adjacent enactment a pistol connected her bedside table, helium thinks, conscionable to punctual him of who was boss.
With occupation present brewing betwixt Taylor and Catherine, Taylor went to his friends successful the DA's Office. They were inactive investigating Tedesco's unsolved murder. It was suggested that Gary and his roommate could secretly grounds Catherine connected the telephone.
But erstwhile Catherine recovered retired that Taylor was moving with the DA, let's conscionable accidental she wasn't pleased. Taylor's roommate called her and got her absorption connected tape.
Jenna Jackson: And — and you guys haven't heard this?
Lisa Andrews: No, and—
Brian Benken: We person not heard this.
Lisa Andrews: we've been dying to perceive this —
Brian Benken: Yes.
Jenna Jackson: So, I'll conscionable play a mates seconds of this for you.
CATHERINE SHELTON AUDIO RECORDING (screaming):
He doesn't request to marque a fool of me.
God's involvement I ne'er killed anybody successful my life. I've ne'er truly wanted to.
But he's doing truthful overmuch to me. He amended stop! He amended stop!
Now! He's got to beg for my mercy.
Jenna Jackson: That stresses maine out.
Jenna Jackson: And my knowing is backmost then, the person of — Gary's who recorded this past played it — oregon 1 of them played it successful the property country for each the reporters, and she recovered out. So, her — her choler astatine Gary was escalating.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): And I didn't cognize however overmuch unit would travel down connected me, but … she had told maine that I had entered — she was precise dramatic, overly dramatic. … she liked to archer maine that I had entered the "arena of death."
Brian Benken: I deliberation it made her angry, truthful mad, due to the fact that successful aboriginal January of 1980, she really shows up astatine the property country wherever Gary works with different reporters. And my understanding, conscionable went brainsick determination —
Jenna Jackson: Ballistic. Uh-huh (affirms).
Brian Benken: — and started throwin' worldly around.
Taylor says Catherine started stalking him: pursuing him connected a day with different woman, approaching and scaring disconnected another. Catherine, however, says that's not existent and helium was the 1 pursuing her.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I don't deliberation thing astir him astatine all, except, "Why doesn't helium get a life?
But past Taylor says determination was a burglary astatine his home, and that would pb to what helium said was attempted murder.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): (standing successful doorway) She was holding the weapon connected maine successful a constabulary presumption with some hands. I conscionable threw the doorway unfastened … I came astatine her with the chair. She fired 1 round."THAT BITCH SHOT ME"
The adjacent play connected to Catherine Shelton happened connected a leafy thoroughfare adjacent downtown Houston.
Jenna Jackson: You guys know, we've — Gary Taylor is 1 of the — the men successful Catherine's beingness implicit the — you know, implicit the years.
Brian Benken: So, it's my knowing — truthful astatine immoderate part, you know, Gary and her narration commencement going south.
Gary Taylor says aft helium and Catherine ended things, idiosyncratic broke into his flat and stole immoderate of his stuff.
Catherine did not admit work for the burglary, but Taylor says she did connection to assistance get his belongings back. A fewer years ago, Taylor told "48 Hours" astir that night.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): She insisted that I travel implicit to her spot and that she would person the stolen goods delivered implicit there.
When helium got there, helium says Catherine told him determination was thing for him successful the chamber closet. Taylor walked america done what helium says happened next."She was a batch of amusive – erstwhile she wasn't trying to termination me," Gary Taylor said of Catherine Shelton successful 2003. CBS News
GARY TAYLOR (2003): She had told maine determination was thing for maine successful the closet, truthful I went backmost (Taylor opens the door) … I looked successful the closet and it was empty. I went successful to marque sure.
GARY TAYLOR: As soon arsenic I got successful the closet, the lights went out.
GARY TAYLOR: … heard her coming down the hallway and I heard a weapon cock.
GARY TAYLOR: And she stepped into the bedroom, and she backed up against a partition and she took a policeman's position, similar this (demonstrates with some hands), with the pistol, pointed astatine the closet. It looked similar she was gonna usage it.
GARY TAYLOR: She took a presumption crossed from maine wherever I could usage the doorway arsenic a shield. And I could inactive peek retired done the jamb present and ticker her …
GARY TAYLOR: Now she looked antithetic than I'd ever seen her. … This was a caller Catherine. She had a— determination was similar a hazy look successful her eye, similar she was successful a far-off place.
GARY TAYLOR: I had the doorway betwixt us. … and she started— talkin' to me,
GARY TAYLOR: And I retrieve she said and— you know, "Don't interest astir the adjacent beingness due to the fact that determination isn't one."
GARY TAYLOR: Yeah, and past I thought— yeah, she's for real.
GARY TAYLOR: And I tried to formulate a program successful my caput however to get retired of here.
GARY TAYLOR: There was a seat by the door.
GARY TAYLOR: She looked down astatine the weapon oregon something, and that's erstwhile I— erstwhile I made my move. … I conscionable threw the doorway open. I came astatine her with the seat similar a lion tamer oregon somethin'.
GARY TAYLOR: She fired 1 circular done the chair.
GARY TAYLOR: I was … vaguely alert of a slug coming done the chair. And what I recovered retired aboriginal is she fired disconnected a round, a slug came done the chair, and— nicked maine close supra the ear, close here. And I threw the seat astatine her. … I ran down the hallway…
GARY TAYLOR: When I got to the doorway I stopped, I clicked the deadbolt, I opened the door. And that's erstwhile I felt— the changeable successful the back. I was layin' facedown connected the writer extracurricular of her place. … "That bitch changeable me. She really— she changeable me."
Taylor says helium went to a adjacent store, and idiosyncratic determination called 911.
GARY TAYLOR: And they loaded maine successful the ambulance and … I conjecture they figured I was gettin' acceptable to dice oregon somethin' 'cause they said, "Tell america who changeable you. Tell america who changeable you." And I said, "Catherine Mehaffey … Catherine Mehaffey …""When I got to the doorway I stopped, I clicked the deadbolt, I opened the door. And that's erstwhile I felt the changeable successful the back," Gary Taylor said. Trial evidence
Taylor says helium astir died that night. That the slug came wrong a centimeter of his heart.
GARY TAYLOR: If she wanted maine outta there, I was running— down (laughs) a hallway connected my mode out. She shoulda said, "Adios." You know, but alternatively she changeable maine successful the back. So, I've— I've got to— I've got to judge that 1 and 1 equals two.
The cops arrested Catherine. She told constabulary that nighttime that she was conscionable protecting herself —that it was each self-defense.
Lisa Andrews: There were a batch of facts that weren't favorable to her, like, helium was changeable successful the back.
Lisa Andrews: They person to explain, you know, wherefore this was self-defense, but yet the unfortunate is changeable successful the back, that gets benignant of tricky to explain, and it gets hard to explicate precise credibly.
Although Catherine wouldn't stock the specifics astir what happened that nighttime with "48 Hours" backmost then, she did look to enactment the blasted squarely connected Gary Taylor.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I mean, if idiosyncratic had changeable astatine maine successful their ain home, which is truly a — a usurpation of hospitality, I'd wonderment what benignant of a impermanent I was to merit that benignant of behavior.
For the archetypal time, Catherine was facing a superior charge: attempted murder.Catherine Shelton was arrested for shooting Gary Taylor. She claimed it was successful self-defense. Harris County Sheriff's Department
And past things successful Catherine's beingness got much complicated. As if the Gary Taylor shooting wasn't enough, a fewer months later, different antheral linked to Catherine turns up dead. His sanction was Tommy Bell.
Jenna Jackson: So galore connections. That's brainsick —
Lisa Andrews: The Tedesco, Gary Taylor, Tommy Bell, each of those cases are precise intertwined. You truly person to propulsion the threads connected each of those cases to marque them each marque sense.
Jenna Jackson: Yeah. For sure.
Tommy Bell. It was a sanction I'd travel crossed before, but I had nary thought I was astir observe immoderate caller clues astir his precise unusual death.ANOTHER CURIOUS CONNECTION
In aboriginal 1980, backmost astatine the courthouse successful Houston, Catherine Shelton went connected trial.
Jenna Jackson: OK, truthful she goes to proceedings beauteous rapidly connected the Gary Taylor shooting, right?
Brian Benken: Yeah … the shooting happens successful January, and they spell to the archetypal proceedings successful April of that aforesaid year, which is beauteous quick.
She admitted she changeable Gary Taylor but maintained that it was self-defense.
Jenna Jackson: And what happened? How'd that go?
Lisa Andrews: Good for Catherine, 'cause it was a hung jury.
Seven to five. Seven for guilty. Five for not guilty. And I'm told that it was divided on sex lines. The men went with Gary Taylor, and the women went with Catherine.
At her 2nd trial, she claimed Taylor had confronted her with a gun. She was recovered blameworthy and sentenced to 10 years. But she ne'er served 1 day. Her condemnation was overturned connected entreaty and alternatively than spell done a 3rd trial, she agreed to plead blameworthy to aggravated battle and got probation. Catherine was temporarily barred from practicing law. Taylor says it didn't substance to him that she didn't spell to prison.
GARY TAYLOR (2003): I really thought she would beryllium successful much agony if she couldn't signifier instrumentality due to the fact that she reveled successful this.
Catherine didn't attraction to elaborate connected immoderate of it.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I conscionable can't deliberation of thing to adhd to it that would marque it (exhales) thing much than it is, which is— it was an unfortunate incident, certainly. And I'm gladsome nary 1 was killed, including me. So, I'll permission it astatine that.
But she did stock different sentiment connected Gary Taylor.Catherine Shelton during a 2003 interrogation with "48 Hours." CBS News
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I deliberation of an oyster. Just a— gray, formless substance, shiny but not with what— with polish.
When we asked Catherine wherefore she ever seemed to a beryllium successful the mediate of a brewing storm, she had this to say:
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): I'm successful the mediate of life, and I'm expected to enactment done this and enactment these things retired and bash the champion I can. It's not for maine to crushed why.
But I would wonderment wherefore erstwhile I learned astir different death—the 2nd 1 that had a nexus to Catherine.
Remember Dr. Tedesco? He's the ex-boyfriend who turned up beaten to decease successful his garage.
A twelvemonth earlier his execution idiosyncratic broke into his house. They stole immoderate guns and art. A abbreviated clip later, a antheral named Tommy Bell was arrested.
KENT FERGUSON (2003): Tom Bell was arrested successful New Jersey…. successful possession of a fig of these items, including immoderate firearms that had serial numbers.
Kent Ferguson is simply a erstwhile FBI cause turned backstage investigator.
KENT FERGUSON: And they belonged to George Tedesco.
Then, aft Tedesco was recovered murdered, Tommy Bell came into the representation again. This time, constabulary wanted to speech with him due to the fact that they thought helium mightiness beryllium connected with the crime. Ferguson says Bell really knew Tedesco. And arsenic it turns out, Bell was erstwhile a lawsuit of Catherine's.
KENT FERGUSON: When the constabulary wanted to speech to Tom Bell astir the execution of George Tedesco, she said that helium couldn't— she was not gonna let her lawsuit to speak.
Catherine denies that Bell was a lawsuit of hers astatine that time. Tedesco's family, however, didn't hold for the transgression probe to beryllium over. They filed a wrongful decease suit against some Catherine and Tommy Bell. They accused some of them of conspiring to termination the doctor.Tommy Bell, a erstwhile lawsuit of Catherine Shelton's who was named with her successful the wrongful decease suit filed by George Tedesco's household – which ne'er made it to proceedings – was recovered changeable to decease successful his home. Bell's roommate told investigators Bell had been playing Russian roulette by himself successful his bedroom. CBS News Archives
But the suit ne'er made it to trial, and neither did Tommy Bell.
Jenna Jackson: So accelerated guardant a precise abbreviated magnitude of time, Tom Bell is recovered dead. … the roommate said helium was successful determination successful his country by himself playing Russian roulette.
Brian Benken: You don't—
Jenna Jackson: Shot himself successful the head.
Brian Benken: You don't play Russian roulette by yourself.
Jenna Jackson: That was my archetypal thought.
Brian Benken: No. No.
Jenna Jackson: Exactly.
But portion I was looking done the constabulary files connected the case, I discovered thing new.
Jenna Jackson: So … determination are immoderate investigator's notes that accidental the roommate, the 1 witnesser successful the flat to Bell's Russian roulette death, his fingerprints were really connected the weapon that killed Bell.
Brian Benken: Oh, wow —
Lisa Andrews: Wow.
Jenna Jackson: Right? So, we tracked down this investigator. He confirmed each of this. He remembers it all.
Brian Benken: So, erstwhile they recovered the roommate's fingerprints connected the gun— what— was helium questioned I assume?
Jenna Jackson: Yes. And helium said, you know, erstwhile helium heard the shot, helium ran into the room, Tom Bell, his roommate, is connected the ground. And helium moved the weapon retired of the mode truthful that's wherefore his fingerprints were connected there.
And wait. There was much according to the researcher I spoke to. He claims the roommate had been dating Catherine. He told maine however helium recovered retired astir it.
Jenna Jackson: … helium asked the roommate if helium knew Catherine. And the feline goes, "It's the weirdest story."
Jenna Jackson: "There's this — you know, 1 nighttime I'm connected my mode location f— you know, respective months backmost and there's this small Mercedes by the broadside of the road, level tire. So, I halt to assistance her. And her sanction was Catherine. And we started dating. We — you know, deed it disconnected that nighttime and we started dating." And I'm like, "What?" (laughs) I mean —
Brian Benken: That's — that's nuts —
Lisa Andrews: Another coincidence.
Jenna Jackson: That nary of america knew until close now. I mean, this researcher knew it. He said unluckily portion they thought that was a beauteous wide transportation to each this craziness, they had nary existent grounds to spell guardant with.
Catherine told maine she didn't adjacent cognize the roommate.
Neither of them were implicated successful Bell's death.
In the extremity it was conscionable different curious, unsettling situation.
It's been a chaotic thrust — a beating death, a shooting, a portion that immoderate accidental sounds similar "The Exorcist," an unusual Russian roulette death. And 1 pistillate with links to it all. A pistillate who seems to bask the intrigue surrounding her and baiting maine successful particular.
She erstwhile adjacent offered maine a illustration of her hairsbreadth for DNA successful lawsuit I wanted to comparison it to something.
Lisa Andrews: What?
Jenna Jackson (holds up lock of hairsbreadth successful a integrative bag): Catherine Shelton hair.
CATHERINE SHELTON: When you get to cognize me, you recognize I don't person immoderate absorbing — bizarre, glittering life. Nothing. Nothing. Here it is. This is it. Believe you me, if determination was thing going on, I'd cognize astir it. (Sighs) I mean, my biggest happening astir present is that I've got this atrocious cat.
Jenna Jackson: I mean— and I'm conscionable gonna accidental — but possibly she didn't bash immoderate of it … But the crushed we — we and instrumentality enforcement officers successful Houston and Dallas implicit 40 years can't link to her is, possibly she didn't bash it …
Brian Benken: Maybe it's —
Lisa Andrews: It's possible.
In the years to come, Catherine's condemnation for shooting Gary Taylor would beryllium acceptable aside, but she would beryllium linked to 3 much deaths: A young antheral discovered dormant and bare successful 1 of her homes, different antheral changeable dormant successful his driveway. His wife, a witness, claims Catherine was involved.
MARISA HIERRO (2003) (crying): And I knew it was her. I cognize it was her! … Catherine Shelton.
CATHERINE SHELTON (2003): Not me. I wasn't there.
And yet different antheral died portion helium was staying with her.
Come with maine arsenic I conscionable up with Catherine again aft galore years. Why americium I doing this? Catherine erstwhile admitted she considered sidesplitting me. Was she joking? Did she mean it?
Jenna Jackson (driving to Shelton's house): We'll spot however she is today. I'm a small nervous. I whitethorn propulsion up. Don't get that connected camera.
Will she yet enactment to remainder each the questions astir her?
To beryllium continued Saturday, May 7 astatine 10/9c connected CBS and streaming connected Paramount+.
Produced by Chuck Stevenson and Gabriella Demirdjian. Emma Steele is the subordinate producer. Mead Stone is the producer-editor. Greg Kaplan, Wini Dini and Grayce Arlotta-Berner are the editors. Lourdes Aguiar is the elder producer. Nancy Kramer is the enforcement communicative editor. Judy Tygard and Jenna Jackson are the enforcement producers.