Courtney Christine Schulhoff's boyfriend Michael Morin killed her father, Steve Schulhoff, who disapproved of their relationship. Prosecutors accused Courtney of believing she was living her own Romeo + Juliet fantasy, which Courtney denied. But on the facts, there’s something very similar to the story of the star-crossed lovers who chose death (in Courtney and Michael’s cases, life without parole) rather than to be torn asunder by their families. This case is the subject of Oxygen’s weekly Martinis & Murder podcast, which is hosted by John Thrasher and Daryn Carp, which you can subscribe to at iTunes or Google Play.
To get a taste for the grisly murder story, here are some of the most glaring likenesses to Romeo + Juliet.
1. Courtney Christine Schulhoff was just a teenager when it all went down
Much like Juliet, Courtney was a teenager when she fell madly and hopelessly in love with Michael Morin, her Romeo. Courtney was just 16-years-old when she and her 21-year-old boyfriend decided to kill her father.
2. Courtney’s father hated Michael
Much like the Capulet’s hating the Montagues, Steve Schulhoff hated Michael Morin, and like Juliet’s father before him, didn’t want his daughter anywhere near the man. Except in this case, Steve had slightly better reasons than old family beef. For instance, Michael was an adult and Courtney was still a child. Plus, Michael was not only unemployed, but a convicted felon.
3. Courtney rebelled against her family to see Michael
While Romeo and Juliet snuck away to see each other, Courtney was skipping school to spend time with her beau.
4. They were spontaneously engaged after a very short time
Michael proposed to Courtney one day in front of her school when he was picking her up, after only a few weeks of dating, much like Romeo + Juliet’s whirlwind romance and ill-advised rush to the altar.
5. Courtney was sneaking Michael into her father’s apartment
While Juliet was having balcony trysts, Courtney was sneaking Michael into her dad’s apartment at night, where he was secretly living.
6. Courtney and Michael had plans to run away together that didn’t work out
Romeo and Juliet hatched a plan to eventually run away together, but it didn’t work out when Juliet’s family got in the way, she went off on her own little mission, a letter was lost, there were many misunderstandings that ultimately led to their deaths, etc. Courtney and Michael stole a car and tried to run away together too, but it didn’t work out, and they ended up having to come home, where Michael was arrested for stealing the car while on probation.
7. Both families were trying to keep them apart
Even Michael’s father wasn’t a fan of his son’s relationship with Courtney. He rang police to report his car “stolen” when Michael took it on New Year’s Eve 2004, which resulted in Michael spending a month in prison.
8. Death and mayhem became the only way out
Like Romeo and Juliet, Courtney and Michael could only see one way out of their situation. Unlike Shakespeare’s lovers, however, instead of killing themselves, they killed Courtney’s father.
9. Courtney sacrificed herself for Michael, or at least tried to
Juliet killed herself when she found Romeo had killed himself, thinking she was dead in the first place. When Courtney was sentenced to life in prison, she also fell on her sword, and attempted to take full responsibility for the murder, in an attempt to save Michael.
10. Both their lives ended because of their relationship
Courtney and Michael might not have died for their love, but both received sentences of life without parole. Like Romeo and Juliet, they gave up everything because of their relationship.
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