The real crime of Missouri’s 2003 “Acid Lady.”

CLARENCE Mo. – Larissa Foreman, later known as Larissa Schuster, was born in Clarence, Missouri and grew up on a farm. She attended the University of Missouri and majored in biochemistry while working in a nursing home. Her future husband, Timothy Schuster, who also grew up on a farm, also attended nursing school. They married in 1982 and had two children together, Kristin and Tyler.

Murder suspect Larissa Schuster and her attorney Roger Nuttall listen during a hearing Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at a Los Angeles County courthouse. Schuster, 47, is accused of murdering her estranged husband Timothy Schuster and sealing his body in an acid drum in July 2003. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

In 1989 the family moved to Fresno, California, where Larissa began working in an agricultural research laboratory and eventually started her own company. Central California Research Laboratories, Inc. (CCRL). Due to her demanding job, Timothy took on the role of a housewife.

In 2002, the couple divorced under contentious circumstances. Larissa was not satisfied with the agreement and acted as if the house and business belonged to her alone. She didn’t want Timothy to have custody of Tyler or any contact with her.

Timothy moved out of the house, but Larissa was angry and took items from the house while he was gone. She also confessed to several people that she broke into Timothy’s new home and took items. The couple’s relationship deteriorated even further after the burglary, and Timothy moved into a new home with an alarm system and applied for a concealed weapons permit.

Larissa confessed that she wished Timothy dead and was looking for someone to beat him up.

Timothy disappears

Larissa had her employee Leslie Fichera rent a storage unit on August 8, 2002. Fichera rented the unit on her behalf and gave the code to Larissa.

In April 2003, a 55 gallon blue drum was purchased and shipped to CCRL. Larissa claimed it was for garden clippings but asked an employee if a corpse could fit inside. She also ordered large quantities of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid and a bottle of chloroform from the lab.

Murder suspect Larissa Schuster reacts as she listens to a guilty verdict in her murder trial Wednesday, December 12, 2007 in a Los Angeles County courthouse. Schuster, 47, was convicted of the first-degree murder of her estranged husband, Timothy Schuster, in July 2003. The jury on Wednesday found the biochemist guilty of killing her estranged husband by stuffing him in a vat of acid. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

On July 9, 2003, Timothy disappeared after having dinner with friends. His pickup truck was found in the garage, but no signs of forced entry or struggle were found. His cell phone was on the dresser. He didn’t show up for important appointments and wasn’t heard from again.

Larissa Schuster met with detectives at the police station about her divorce from Timothy Schuster. She told them that the last message she received from him was on July 8 and that he planned to pick up her son on Thursday.

She claimed that when he didn’t show up, she tried to reach him by going to his house, but he wasn’t there. In addition, she also said that the last time she spoke to him personally was on July 5. Detectives noticed that she was nervous and shaking when asked for her cell phone, noting that none of her speed dial numbers belonged to Timothy.

Confession leading to an arrest

On July 14, Leslie Fichera and a friend of Larissa’s went to the police to report suspicious behavior. Police obtained search warrants for a storage unit, the lab where Larissa worked, and her home.

A 55-gallon blue drum containing human remains later identified as Timothy through DNA testing was found in the storage unit. The body was in the early stages of decomposition and was floating in liquid containing hydrochloric acid, which was found to be the cause of death.

Evidence was also found in the lab where Larissa worked, including an empty can of Lysol air freshener, empty bottles of hydrochloric acid, and searches for acid digestion on her work computer. On July 16, Larissa was arrested and found in possession of receipts for air fresheners and instructions for accessing storage units.

The Trial and the Sentencing

The case of California versus Larissa Schuster began before a jury, with prosecutors claiming Larissa killed her husband Timothy for financial reasons and to avoid a property division in a divorce settlement.

Prosecutors presented circumstantial evidence, including the discovery of a new circular mark on the floor of a shed on Larissa’s property, leading them to believe the barrel containing Timothy’s remains had been stored there.

Murder suspect Larissa Schuster consults with her attorney, Roger Nuttall, Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at a Los Angeles County courthouse. Schuster, 47, is accused of murdering her estranged husband Timothy Schuster and sealing his body in an acid drum in July 2003. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

On May 16, 2008, Larissa was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Her appeal for a new trial was also rejected. Larissa is currently serving her sentence in the women’s prison in chowchilla.

Her daughter KristinShe, who hadn’t seen her mother in five years, made an emotional statement in court, calling her mother a demon for taking her father away.

Kristin also mentioned that her grandparents are now raising Tyler and that communication with him is limited. Kristin is now married and has a young son of her own but has said she doesn’t know how to talk to him about his grandmother in the future.

where to see

Both the show”caught” and “Deadly Wiveshas episodes about Larissa. These two episodes go into a deeper description of the story and the descent into insanity that Larissa went through. The real crime of Missouri’s 2003 “Acid Lady.”

Sarah Y. Kim

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