The honeymoon has to be the happiest time for any newly-married couple. Some choose to enjoy a week or two in an upmarket, five-star hotel for plenty of rest and relaxation after the stresses of the wedding; while others wanting to prolong the beloved honeymoon opt for luxury cruises so they can enjoy that time to the fullest.
When Scott decided to take his new bride on a cruise to Mexico, Karen was more excited than he was for the trip. She had dreamt of going on a luxury cruise liner for years, and now her dream was about to become a reality…
When Scott met Karen he had a sneaky feeling deep down that she would be his wife someday. He wasn’t totally sure why he had that hunch but there was just something about her that made Scott think she was great wife material. It wasn’t long after the couple met that things went from casual attraction to something far more serious.
The way in which Scott and Karen met is something straight out of a Hollywood movie. As it happens, Scott was actually Dr. Scott as he was a practicing and fairly popular chiropractor. Karen worked in the same field, but as a physical therapist. There’s little doubt destiny brought this couple together…
Scott was just leaving his practice after a long day at work when he slipped and fell down the stairs. His injury was serious enough that he needed to go to the hospital and then needed a course of specialist physiotherapy to recover from his injuries; Karen was his physical therapist, and to Scott’s mind, a good one at that. They met twice weekly for a while and their chemistry just got stronger and stronger.
It was a freezing day in February when Scott finally tied the knot with Karen, following what some would call a very short courting period. The wedding was everything they expected and family and friends alike joined the newly-wedded couple, sharing their happiness with them on their big day…
Scott said he wanted to do something special for Karen for their honeymoon. After all, honeymoons don’t happen so often and he wanted it to be just right. Scott knew that Karen had always wanted to go on a luxury cruise so he booked the best of the best, en-route to Mexico.
On the last day of their honeymoon cruise, as the ship was headed back to San Diego, according to Scott, there was a storm of sorts and high winds on the cruise liner. It was the day before Valentine’s day, and things were about to take a turn for the worse. But there were no high winds off the coast of San Diego that night…
According to Scott, for some reason, he and his new wife had gone for a late-night jog on the deck of the ship. In this case, late-night meant 2 am in the morning; a strange time indeed to go jogging. By 3 am Scott had reported to authorities on the ship that his wife had been blown off the deck and into the sea.
Scott Roston’s account of what had happened that night was bizarre, to say the least. For starters, the wind velocity was no more than 5 mph that night, so it was unlikely that Karen was blown off. But then he changed his story, alleging that his wife had “fallen” overboard and not due to the wind…
Scott now claimed that Karen fell over the side of the ship but that wasn’t possible in reality. For a start, the ship’s rail was over three-foot tall, while Karen was five-foot-three inches. Karen would have to have been a high jumper to clear that rail, besides, Scott had weird triangular gouges on his face and a bunch of scratches.
Scott must have been living in some sort of fantasy world if he thought authorities would buy his story. He claimed he had hit his face on a control box but no blood or skin was found on the box meaning he must have been lying. The fact that the control box had no sharp edges made Scott’s allegations even less plausible…
When the Coast Guard spotted two white sneakers bobbing in the Pacific waters around thirty miles off the coast on San Diego, they were pleased to have found Karen but weren’t surprised. Fortunately, but unfortunately for Scott, She had been kept afloat in the ocean due to air which was trapped inside her clothing.
It was an open and shut case for the medical examiners when they checked Karen. Signs of hemorrhaging in her neck and eyes confirmed the team’s worst fears; Karen had been strangled then thrown overboard. But more than that, unequivocal evidence was provided which made her murder a foregone conclusion…
Up On Deck
When detectives took a closer look at the deck, they found parts of Karen’s earrings just a few feet away from the railing where she went overboard. There was also stands of Karen’s hair on deck, suggesting that a struggle must have taken place.
Detectives had a hunch that Roston was lying, and after he was arrested he gave them another bizarre version of events which made them even more suspicious. During his investigation at the Terminal Island detention center, Scott claimed that Israeli secret agents had killed Karen because Scott “had published an expose last year of the countless crimes of [their] government.”
Instead of admitting that the Israeli agent story was a hoax, Roston doubled down and claimed that this was really what happened on the ship. During his trial, Roston conceded that the outlandish story, “may at first blush appear impossible, contrived, unbelievable”, but Roston pleaded with the jury, saying, “these kinds of things do happen in the world of international intrigue.”
Scott Roston received a life sentence without the possibility for parole from a jury of his peers. His appeal fell on deaf ears for the most part, although the Court of Appeals did remand for resentencing. As a result, Roston’s sentence was commuted to a term of a maximum of 33 years and nine months…
Unsatisfied with the new sentence, a few years later and Roston’s defense team were appealing to the court for a third time. They argued at that time that the 405-month sentence was unwarranted. In this case, however, unfortunately for Roston, the court disagreed and he needed to stay put.
Rewind a little to the courting period between Scott and Karen and suspicions were already in place about this man. Karen’s mother, a Mrs. Waltz, told police that she had always been suspicious of Roston. When she first met him, for example, she said he seemed “too well rehearsed,” and the rind he gave to Karen for the engagement looked like a fake diamond to her. The fact that she never spoke about her suspicions before the murder is something she has to live with for life.
All About Power
Other suspicions were raised about Scott Roston when a woman on the cruise called Peggy Thompson who dined with him said that Roston had made a “startling statement.” According to Thompson, “He mentioned that one of the things he liked about being a chiropractor was the sense of power it gave you,” she said. “When he had the person in a position that he could either cure them or he could do great harm to them.”
Despite the convoluted nature of this murder case, as well as the numerous appeals made regarding the sentence, the fact is that justice was ultimately served as Scott Roston spent the best part of the remainder of his life behind bars. There he had plenty of time to think about what he had done, as Karen’s family got justice for their daughter.