Face down in a pool of crimson, in the shadow of a blood-spattered grade-school picture of the smiling stepdaughter she helped raise, Caren Koslow lay dead, nearly decapitated. This Fort Worth oil-heiress and her wealthy banker husband never knew as they slept in the early hours of March 12, 1992, that this was the day a family fury would be set free.
Security code in hand, two young men had tiptoed in the dark across a perfectly manicured lawn, disabled the house alarm, broken through a door, then, quickly and without contemplation, made their way to an upstairs bedroom.
Sleeping in their River Crest estate, Jack and Caren Koslow had little time to prepare for the intrusion, and were ordered to the floor by the teens.
Forty-eight-year-old Jack later recalled for investigators how he had attempted to retrieve a shotgun from a nearby closet, but was stopped in his tracks, as the bloody streaks on the closet mirror would confirm.
A rapid, violent attack ensued. One man beat the defenseless couple with a crowbar, as his accomplice searched the nearby closet for money he had been told would be there. A deadly knife attack followed.
"I went and I stood over Caren, lifted her chin and cut left to right. I did the same thing to Jack," the youth testified in trial. Investigators would retrieve a hunting knife from the room, which matched a smaller version located in Jack's drawer, whose handles had been dirtied with bloody handprints.
Assuming their victims dead, the pair went to search the closet again for the money. At that time, Jack had been able to get to his feet and had gone after the boy, who proceeded to hit him again with the crowbar until the businessman slumped to the floor in defeat. While Caren lay dead and Jack unconscious, the two teens grabbed Jack's wristwatch and $200 in cash before escaping the house.
"I remember the whole world turning black," Jack, would later relay during court testimony about the time when he fell unconscious on a carpet saturated with his own blood. Upon waking, he had managed to run to a neighbor's house at 4:13 in the morning, a bloody, beaten body, nearly collapsing on their stoop, crying, "You've got to help me."