I saw this case on unsolved mysteries a few years ago, and then again a few days ago. Her story struck me as so sad....
Katherine's father, Paul Korzilius, was the personal manager for rock star Jon Bon Jovi. The two families were quite close (you could say they were even freinds) and often took vacations together, Paul's family going along on several of Bon Jovi's tours, as well.
Katherine's family lived in Texas in an area not quite upper-class, but not the typical suburb (somewhere near Austin, I believe). The mailboxes for the houses in that part of town were roughly one-eighth of a mile from the Korzilius house. Six-year-old Katherine often liked to walk from the house to the box assigned to their family, get the mail, and return home. The trip took somewhere around half an hour when she was in no hurry to reach home.
On August 7,1996, Nancy, Katherine's mother, had taken Katherine and her brother, Chris, for a day of shopping. Paul was out of town helping Bon Jovi to promote his new tour and the subsequent album. As they approcahed the mailboxes, Katherine asked if she could get out, pick up the mail, and walk the rest of the way home. Seeing no harm in this, Nancy let her daughter do as she wished. She left Katherine at the mailbox with the key, then headed for home. It was 4:15 P.M.
An hour later, Katherine had still not returned home. By this time, Nancy was in a panic. She had called the police, but was informed that, unless she had been missing for at least twenty-four hours, they could not declare Katherine missing. Angered and upset, Nancy pulled Chris into the family car and drove out to the mailboxes. When she did not see her daughter anywhere, she made a wide circle around the neighborhood.
She found Katherine's battered body laying in the middle of the road over a half a mile away from the house, obviously not on the path she normally took home. Frantic, Nancy pulled her daughter into the car and headed for the local hospital. Around six hours later, at 11:30 P.M., Katherine was pronounced brain-dead.
Hospital examinations before her death revealed a fractured skull and several bruises and uneven cuts on one hip, both knees, both elbows, the left shoulderblade, and the small of her back. The coronrer corroborated this, saying that it was most likely caused by either falling, jumping, or being thrown froma moving vehicle. There was no evidence of sexual assault; only physical trauma.
Later, the police sent the K-9 unit to track the girl's scent. Startng at the mailboxes, they had walked for perhaps five or six minutes when the trail veered off into a vacant lot, then disappeared, only to be picked up again where the body was found. Police and private detectives surmised that she encountered her attacker, ran into the lot to escape, but was then picked up and thrown into a vehicle. Whether she jumped out of the vehicle or if she was thrown was never discovered. But the coroner said that the fracture in her skull was of greater size and severity to have been caused by the fall; she had obviously been struck, possibly several times, in the head.
To this day, almost ten years later, this innocent girl's brutal murder goes unavenged and the killer walks free. The family has moved on, but there is a hole in their hearts and their lives that cannot and will not ever be filled.
Shortly after the incident, Jon Bon Jovi penned the song August 7, 4:15, a ballad about the fateful events of that day, and dedicated it to her memory. He said it was the least he could have done for the family, but wished he could have done so much more.
I have heard several theories about this case. One is that Katherine grabbed onto the back of her mother's car and fell off, and that her mother lied about finding her. This theory doesn't hold up with me for several reasons. another one I hear is hit and run, but then why would her body look so peaceful? hit and run victims do not USUALLY look that pleasent, and why would her scent have been picked up near the lot and her body not found near there?
Last edited by Kimster; 01-16-2011 at 10:59 PM. Reason: removed prefix
I have thought a lot about this case. The info I have seen about this was on Unsolved Mysteries. I agree that none of the theories add up. I don't believe that Katherine fell off the back of the car. I also know that their is definatly more to the story than what was shown on UM.
I just watched a repeat of this show last night, and did a search to see if there was any new info. This was all I found. This was a really strange story. They pretty much disproved the theory of Katherine climbing on the back of the mom's vehicle, due to the lack of areas to hold on to, as well as Katherine's broken finger, which was in a splint and would have made it especially hard to grip.
It just surprises me that no one heard anything, like car tires squealing, or even saw a vehicle approaching this girl. I wish there were more details.
It is possible that no murder took place. It may have been an accident.
I am wondering if another child could have done this. A teenager perhaps. I think it was murder and it does not sound like an adult crime: The nature of the injuries, no sexual assult, and leaving the body out in the open.
From what I remember about this case is that she had injuries that coincided with falling, not being hit by a car. Correct me if I am wrong. Usher your theory is one I have not thought of.
Does anyone know anything about this case? Is it still open?? I tried searching the internet and nothing comes up anywhere except for that Bon Jovi song. This was featured on UM awhile back....
Young girl dies mysteriously in upscale neighborhood.
If you search you will see that there is already a thread on her.
In addition to the thread here on the Websleuths message board, there is also a discussion of this case on the Unsolved Mysteries website. The link to it is http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...d.php?t=116970.Originally Posted by georgiagirl
There may be other discussions listed under other message boards, you might want to look at them as well.
I wonder what happened to her...
I was just thinking about her the other day! I really think she jumped on the back of that car and fell....it is the only thing that makes sense.
The above post is as always MY OPINION ONLY!
Me too, georgiagirl! Katherine's case has always really bothered me. It's just so strange. And I always wondered where, exactly, did they live? Austin is a pretty large place.
Just a theory....
The above post is as always MY OPINION ONLY!
It seems like falling off the back of the car is a likely answer, but there are two things I remember from Unsolved Mysteries that make me question this. First, wasn't Katherine's hand bandaged, or her arm in a sling, or something like that? I recall that she had a healing injury, and it seems like it would be difficult for her to hold on. Second, August is a hot month, and cars get hot. Too hot to touch/hold on to?
Her head injury and her scent in the lot also make me wonder.
Didn't they live in a very nice gated community? I have always thought that maybe somebody who was working in the community that day grabbed her up as she walked home and tried to drive her away, but she made such a commotion that the person panicked and threw her from the vehicle before anyone noticed.
Mr.E, but wouldn't those two reasons make her falling off the car even more likely? She may have not realized how hot it was at first touch but once the heat started to bother her, she let go. Maybe the thumb splint made it difficult for her to hold on to the car and she slipped.
She may have been playing in the lot earlier and dogs aren't infalliable, either. The head injury probably occured when she fell backwards at a 30 mph speed and hit her.
The unsolved mysteries forum has about 11 pages of discussion on this case.
Excellent point about the hot car, Mr E. I grew up in Texas but had forgotten how hot the cars get in the summer. Like so hot you wouldn't be able to touch at all, much less hold on to a piece of metal for any length of time.
Thanks for the UM reading idea, Danaya - I'll check it out.
Danaya, if she had fallen off immediately I might buy it. But I just don't think she could have held on long enough to get to where she was found.
Last edited by OkieGranny; 04-10-2015 at 11:02 AM. Reason: fixed broken link
Ah, I have heard about this case. I remember seeing her mother interviewed and she said she thought Katherine's death was directed towards her (Nancy) personally and that Katherine's body was intentionally left in the road so she would find it. Her mother obviously felt like Katherine had been intentionally killed, murdered in an attempt to devestate Nancy. The link to the Unsolved Mysteries summary. Nancy explains that Katherine's hair and clothes were not out of place like they would have been if she had been thrown or fallen from a car leading her to believe that Katherine had been placed there carefully.
I don't know what I think of the theory she tried to grab onto the car. It does not seem that feasible to me. I know she was only 6 yrs old but even at that age wouldn't she know better than to try to grab onto the bumper of a moving car? And why would she have done that anyway? According to the family, she really liked walking back from the mailboxes. If she was murdered, considering the very short amount of time it would have occured, it seems like the perp had targeted her, knew that she would pick up the mail and was waiting and watching for her. It could have been someone who lived in the neighborhood who was able to keep an eye out for her from their window or something. There are so many possibilites.
'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
After driving down Elder Circle last week while visiting relatives, it seems even more unlikely to me that Katherine's death was related to an attempted abduction. The loop on which they lived is quite secluded from the main road (off of which you probably wouldn't drive unless you were trying to get directly to the neighborhood - does that make sense? There wouldn't be any aimless cruising in the area unless you were a looky-loo like myself).
The only way I could see attempted abduction being a possibility was if there was construction in the area (ie house-building) or if it was someone doing business (yard work, etc) on Elder Circle or Exton Cove. It was about 4:30 pm when we drove by and all was quiet - we saw one man out jogging and a family of deer.
This death has always struck me as being an accident. There was simply no evidence of an attempted abduction and the wound patterns resemble those of someone either falling from a vehicle or being struck by a vehicle.
To my mind, if the police had been more empathetic towards the family this case would have been resolved much sooner. The confrontational attitudes that this case seems to have brought out are a major cause of this still being considered a mystery, IMHO.
Maybe I read this wrong, but I THOUGHT the original post said that
1. After dropping Katherine off at the mailboxes, the mother went directly home.
2. Katherine's mom checked the route from the home to the mailboxes and did not see Katherine.
3. Katherine's body was found on a different road a short distance away.
Based on this, it is impossible that Katherine "fell off" her mother's car. Did I miss something?
Katherine is the week's featured cold case from 1/9/11 to 1/16/11.
The thing that's been bothering me lately is that Katherine was found (according to the UM segment) face down in the street. If someone had "placed" her there, as her mom purports, wouldn't it be natural human inclination to place her on her back? Especially when the concrete would have been exceptionally hot.