November 08, 2010 08:00 AM by Shayla Perry
Kim Richards has admitted to feeling awkward and lonely since her divorce, but what the reality star has not talked about is the tragedy that rocked her world many years ago.
Details are now emerging about the horrifying death of Richards’ former fiance, John J. Collett.
Nineteen years ago, Richards and Collett, then a 29-year-old commodities salesman, were engaged after dating for several months.
“She loved him and he loved her and it was like a fairy tale,” Collett’s sister, Nina Stormo tells People magazine. “They seemed really happy.”
But in October of 1991, Collett was shot by a hit man outside of a San Fernando Valley deli in what some think was a business scheme gone wrong. Richards was called to identify Collett’s body.
“It just tore her apart emotionally and she was not in good shape for a long time,” Jan Collett, John’s mother tells People. “She really loved John. They were a good match.”
The shooter, Marva DeCarlo Johnson, 31, was sentenced to 30-years-to-lifeÂ in June of 1993, after being found guilty of murder. Prosecutors had evidence that Collett’s murder was a paid hit, but failed to present evidence of who bankrolled it and why.
Jan Collett, who has gathered information on the case over the years and is planning to write a book about her son’s murder, believes that her son was a victim of conspiracy, professing that a rich businessman convinced many wealthy acquaintances to invest a lot of money, and instead of repaying the investors, he hired a hit man to kill them.
Regardless of what really happened to Collett, his mother says that Richards has never recovered from the tragedy.
“Kim was always carrying around a lot of pain, subsequent to my son’s death,” says Collett. “I really cared for Kim. I thought she was a really good person with a good heart.”
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