Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Forbidden Love: Steven Colver and Tylar Witt



On the evening of June 11, 2009, the two exchanged several phone calls, Tylar giving Steven status reports about Joanne, how she was drinking that night and if she was still awake. A little before midnight, Steven Colver met Tylar at the house. Joanne Witt was asleep in her bedroom. Nobody would see her alive again.

A little after midnight, Steven and Tylar left the Witt home for the last time. They had to stock up for their journey to San Francisco.

Steven Colver
Steven Colver

It was the morning of June 12, 2009, and Joanne Witt was never going to come between Steven Colver and Tylar Witt again. After leaving the Witt home, the couple drove to Richard Colver's empty house where they showered and used the fireplace to burn the clothes they had been wearing. Then they headed over to Town Center where they grabbed a few hours sleep in the parking lot of the local library. When they awoke, up they grabbed drinks at the Starbucks in Safeway, bought food at the 99 Cents Store, and stopped at Home Depot to buy D-Con rat poison. Their immediate plan was simple: spend their last day in El Dorado Hills with friends before driving to San Francisco for the weekend, capped off by a Shakespearean dual suicide by eating sweets laced with rat poison.

With their shopping finished for the time being, they called their friend Matt Widman and drove over to his house where Colver and Witt dyed their hair black in Widman's bathroom while their host finished his chores. Then they journeyed back to Town Center to hang out with friends and buy some other supplies for the weekend: marijuana, cocaine, and Ecstasy. Later, back at Colver's empty house, Steven and Tylar cooked some ramen noodles while mulling whether or not they should tell their good friend Matt what had happened the night before.

After a line of cocaine, Colver felt Widman was ready to hear the news. Steven explained the reason Joanne Witt hadn't been calling after Tylar all day: It was because he had stabbed her to death the night before, and he brought the bloody knife in from the car to prove it. Widman was surprised but nonplussed. The whole party was shocked shortly after when Colver's dad came home unexpectedly. Steven quickly hid the drugs and the knife as Tylar and Matt slunk out to the car. By now it was 10 p.m. Friday night: the couple brought Widman back to his house and then left for San Francisco.

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