The 1993 death of Kittie Koseck, a 34-year-old mother of six, sent shockwaves of pain reverberating throughout a family for decades after.
Kittie, as well as her three of her five daughters, allegedly suffered horrendous abuse at the hand of her husband, Daniel, and when her death by .38 was deemed a suicide, almost no one believed it.
Former prosecutor Kelly Siegler, of Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” went to Crowley County, Colorado, last year to help local authorities re-investigate Kittie’s case. What she found shook her to her core.
“It’s not fair and it’s not right, and we’ve got to do something,” Siegler said, after interviewing Kittie’s daughters about growing up in the allegedly abusive home.
For decades, the official story posited that Kittie and Daniel had a fight one September night in 1993. Kittie took a walk to clear her head and, when she didn’t return, Daniel went looking for her. He found his wife lying dead on some sheets of plywood with a single fatal gunshot wound to the head and his .38 revolver lying by her feet.
Daniel was never charged in his wife’s death, but friends of Kittie, as well as the children, have steadfastly refused to believe that she would have killed herself. She was getting ready to leave Daniel, her daughters told investigators, and was intent on bettering herself.
Siegler called the case “tricky”: Many of the reasons that Daniel may have had to kill his wife could also have been reasons she would have wanted to commit suicide. The marriage was unhappy, by all accounts, and Kittie was allegedly having an affair.
The case became thornier, however, after interviewing Kittie’s daughters. Siegler and “Cold Justice” investigator Abbey Abbondandolo joined Crowley County Sheriff John “Smokey” Kurtz and Crowley County Investigator Tom Cody.
One said that her father sexually abused her and “beat the hell out of me.” Another claimed that Daniel locked her in her room while he killed her dog inside the home. The daughters also said they witnessed Daniel “bounce [Kittie] off a dresser” and threaten her with firearms.
Kittie’s daughters also had a different story about what happened that September night. According to them, the three eldest daughters went downtown that night to watch a concert. Before they left, they saw Kittie put on her nightgown for bed and set her alarm for work the next morning, they said.
When they returned, Daniel was fully dressed, even though he was ostensibly in bed, and their mom was nowhere to be found. The girls recalled a large pile of what they assumed was laundry on the floor that their father instructed them to step over. Later that night, they said, Daniel woke them up, saying “Your mom just shot herself.”
Daniel told one of the eldest daughters to drive them down to the sheriff’s department in her car, they said.
The day after Kittie’s death, a neighbor saw Daniel outside their trailer burning heaps of what looked like clothing and carpet, he told investigators. The girls also claimed that Daniel’s parents arrived that day and began inexplicably helping him tear up and dispose of flooring in the trailer’s laundry room.
“This is a huge piece of circumstantial evidence that something happened in that trailer,” Siegler said, the team also noting that the position of the revolver at Kittie’s feet was odd, as was the fact that she was fully dressed in winter clothes when her body was found.
The team eventually tracked Daniel down to rural Wyoming, to see if his story had changed at all since the initial investigation.
Abbondandolo and Cody interviewed Daniel and asked him to once more tell his version of what happened.
“She started a fight,” Daniel said. “She said a couple of crude and rude words to me.”
Daniel also claimed that Kittie threatened to kill herself a couple days before her death and pleaded with investigators to find who killed her if she didn’t kill herself.
He strenuously denied sexually assaulting his daughters, however, and denied pulling the flooring out of the trailer the day after Kittie’s death — it was a couple days later, he said.
The team noted several inconsistencies with what they heard from other witnesses and decided to bring what they had learned forward in hope of an indictment.
“I don’t believe she committed suicide,” Cody said. “Nobody did.”
The Crowley County District Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the case.
For more on the death of Kittie Koseck, including heart-wrenching interviews with her daughters, watch “Cold Justice” at Oxygen.com and airing Saturdays at 6/5c.
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