Sunday, July 26, 2015

Teen Murder the Missy Avila Case

 Notes from the Missy Avila Case
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

Before the murder 1985
Laura Doyle worked in a supermarket bakery at the time of the murder.
About 3 weeks before the murder Karen Severson, Victor Amaya, and Missy Avila were hanging out at Victor's home outside. Laura Doyle passes by the home, and Victor and Missy begin to kiss and hug. This angers Laura, and it sets in motion the events of October 1, 1985. Remember in the movie when Laura and Karen pretended to fight? It showed Missy getting out of the car in an attempt to break up the fight. In reality it did not happen this way. A witness said that Missy was sitting in the car observing the fight terrified by what she was seeing. Also, Victor Amaya could not really remember, but he thinks this occurred in front of his parent’s house.

October 1, 1985
Missy leaves the house with Laura, and the two go to meet Karen and Eva Chirumbolo at Stonehurst Park in Sun Valley. In two separate cars, they all drive to Wicky Up better known as Colby Canyon in Angeles National Forrest, which is 45 minutes from Arleta.

Missy is murdered.

The day of the murder Irene Avila remembers how especially pretty Missy looked that day. She was all excited to go. She even turned to her mom and said, "I love you," which is something that she did not ordinarily do. Irene's mother says that scene haunts her until this day.

About 3 hours after Missy's murder, Irene receives a phone call from Barbara Doyle, Laura's mother, asking if Missy was home yet.

At 8pm Missy has not returned home as she stated that she would, and Irene is now worried. She stays up all night.

October 4, 1985
According to the book based on this case, 3 days after the murder some hikers found Missy's body. At first they thought that it was a small animal because the body was so small and the log was so big and heavy. Missy was wearing a gold anklet. One earring was found in her hair, and a denim purse was nearby. The contents of her purse included: red lip balm, purple compact, perfume, a comb, orange wallet, and her school identification. Missy lay flat on her tummy and one foot was placed over the other, her arm was bent back behind her arm, and bent at the elbow, which indicated that two people were carrying her. A school of minnows were swimming across her back feeding upon her. Flies also swarmed over her body. Rigor Mortis was complete. Her eyes were partially opened, and her body was turned over, the hikers stated that she had a fearful frozen look of horror on her face. When the coroner did the autopsy he found no drugs or alcohol in her body. Only the breakfast she had eaten that morning, and Missy was having her monthly cycle at the time, a tampon gently placed into her vagina indicated this.

Karen moves in with Irene Avila. Victor Amaya also stayed with Irene during this time, but he left either the next day or the same night that he almost killed Randi Fernandez. In the movie Irene Avila, played by Patty Duke, was a little uncomfortable at first at the thought of Karen moving in, however in reality this was not the case. Irene Avila welcomed Karen with open arms. She wanted to talk about Missy constantly, and Karen helped her do that. She could not see that Karen was morbidly obsessed with Missy. In the movie Irene was against Karen sleeping in Missy's room, but in reality, Karen slept in Missy's bed and wore Missy's clothing. That is until Karen claimed an apparition of Missy visited her there one night, I think this is when Karen moved out. Irene Avila did not ask her to move out as depicted in the movie

Once Karen moved out she enrolled in beauty school and scared the devil out of a friend she made there. The friend noticed Karen's obsession with Missy and was really scared to death of her. She also later found out that Karen had been calling her house and telling her 'I know you killed Missy.' Now, here is another problem...In the movie they depicted Eva Chirumbolo as a sweet innocent person, and she may have been, but no one is sure how much she actually knew about what would happen to Karen. Remember she was living with Karen at the time, so it is doubtful that she had no idea what was going to happen.

November 1988
Karen Severson to be tried as an adult
Karen pleads innocent the next day

January 1990
Defense says that the witness Eva lied on the witness stand according toKymi Reel another friend of the girls.

March 9, 1990
Karen Severson and Laura Doyle are sentenced 15 years to life in prison

May 1990
Michele Avila's mom starts victims group

December 1991
Karen Kingsbury's, the lady who covered the murder and trial, releases her book.

January 1994
Laura and Karen ask the courts to reverse the convictions

June 1997
Severson denied parole

April 2002
Laura Doyle denied parole

October 2003
Karen Severson denied parole

July 2011: Karen Severson has been recommended for parole. She will most likely be released at the end of this year.

Where they are now

Victor Amaya still lives in Arleta-Pacoima area of California. He stopped doing drugs, and he has worked as a dispatcher for the same company for the past 10 years. He has 2 children and a 2 year old granddaughter. He is divorced, but has a girlfriend.

The Avila's moved away from Arleta. Irene has moved around alot since the trial. She stated that she has had a hard time settling down. According to Victor Amaya, Irene and her sons have had some severe emotional and behavioral problems since Missy's death.

Karen Severson's parents still live in Arleta, California on the same street a few houses down from the Avila's old home. Paula Severson sat on a jury trial for Robert Blake's civil court trial that found him liable in his wife's death. She failed to disclose the fact that she had been in a high profile murder case, and that her daughter was convicted of murder. This came to light when a postman who also sat on the jury recognized the address, and told Paula that she remembered that the murder of Missy Avila happened there. She said that Paula turned stone faced. Anyway, Robert Blake motioned for a new trial in 2006 based on this. Karen had a sister too. She has her own business in California.


  1. Are Karen and Laura still in prison?

    1. No. They were released. Karen just published a book trying to profit from the crime.

  2. Yes. They are still in prison. They have been denied parole several times.

  3. I thought Karen was an only child? Did her parents adopt after she went to prison? In the book Missys Murder it was stated she was an only child and was adopted.

    I was wondering about Karens daughter and figured she was in her 20's now. I guess she remained with Karens family?

  4. Today I was looking at the Yahoo site and it had one of those articals "5 websites you wish you never have gone" - so I checked it out. One of them was called "meet and inmate" and I thought "well what is that about?". It's a pen pal/dating site for inmates. Laura Doyle is there. Her add reads: "Laura Doyle #W35830
    VSPW B4-32-03U
    PO Box 92
    Chowchilla, CA. 93610-0092
    My name is Laura, a 42 year old rare redheaded beauty in search of a loyal, honest friend that I can feel comfortable in opening up to, and express who I truly am without the fear of being judged. I enjoy the outdoors, staying active, and helping others. I mentor the young girls here and help them find the positive ways. I am open minded with a kind heart and would love to hear from you"
    I don't know why I should be shocked, but I still am.

  5. I went to Jr. High with them. I had no problems with them myself, but two people I know had nothing but trouble with them once they felt crossed. Straight up crazy girls.

  6. Looks like Laura got her teeth fixed sometime between the late 80's and now, based on her "meet an inmate" pic.

  7. this movie was spot on im a teen and i want to read this book soo bad... i have to admit tnhat is the sadest movie have ever seen

  8. I am so sorry for Missy and the family, this is something I cannot get over (I saw the movie when I was a kid. I am now 29) and it still haunts/hurts me. I feel for the family and Missy. I hope one day they all truly get justice and I wish her family well. I am glad that movie/book was made for us to see the dark sides ppl have, such a shame.

  9. I watch da movie all the time n still wanna drop tears. Their jealousy should keep them behind bars.

  10. reading this made me want to cry.I cant get enough of it every time i read this i cry SO SAD! i hope those SO CALL friends will be behind bars for as long as they live and that what they did will haunt them for as long as they live.

  11. This movie was so sad and shows just how vicious teenage girls can be when they feel that someone is stepping on their territory. My question Did any of the boyfriends know what was going on. Because I know in high school everybody will date each others ex boyfriends.

  12. watched the movie on lifetime today and related to it being true from my junior high school days. We really need to look into this type of thing in high schools and try to stop it before it goes to the point it did for Missy. I was harassed and tortured in junior high by 3 girls in my band. They would poke me while marching with their instruments and step on the back of my shoes and rip my ankle skin with their shoes til my shoe came off. I was to scared to tell anyone, because they would pretend to be my friends at band camp and etc. Thank God I never went anywhere with them alone! They are probably still 3 evil witches!


  14. I remember when this movie first came out 20-something years ago. For the longest time I couldn't remember the name of the movie until today. I am glad they are still in jail. I am disgusted at the fact that they are allowed access to a dating site. They shouldn't be allowed to "enjoy" life. They should be made to feel guilty and miserable while serving their sentence. My heart goes out to the Avila Family.

  15. Jealously and personal problems can lead someone to kill somebody who has everything. No other excuses.......

  16. I just saw the movie for the first time. I didn't know it was based on a true story until the end of the movie. I can't believe people could be so heartless and cruel. I hope they stay in jail forever. I don't understand how people can do such utterly disgusting things. Absolutely terrible.


    Victor Matthew Amaya
    Karen Severson one of the women who took part in Missys murder has been granted parole Missys Brother let me know yesterday this has been a shock to me and I can only imagine what the Avila family must be going through another slap in the face from this cold blooded MURDERER.Karen isa piece of shit where is the justice? Missy was a Great friend to me and I loved her very much she is not forgotten and thought of often ,victor
    Saturday at 11:17am ·

  18. I knew Missy,we went to school together. A real nice girl. Friends are supposed to support you not kill you! Years have gone by and many times, I wonder what kind of person could do that to someone who was so friendly and sweet.They will always have the guilt on there shoulders like the brick they built. we all fall. peace and wisdom to know the difference !

  19. No worries Guys Karen has Multiple Sclerosis KARMA BABY! Nobody Deserves it more

  20. ^ this is the best news I've heard on this case!

  21. This story is so sad. I remember watching the lifetime movie "A killer among friends" starring Patty Duke. Karen and Laura she never be realesed from prison.. They will never be rehabilitated for society.. I feel so sad for the family of the victim.