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Murder and rape of Jessika Kalaher by Crispin Harmel examined on See No Evil

Mugshot of Crispin Harmel
Crispin Harmel is serving life in prison for the murder of Jessika Kalaher. Pic credit: Cedar Park Police

See No Evil on ID is investigating the brutal kidnap, rape, and murder of Jessika Kalaher, who was found dead in her car in a parking lot in Cedar Park, Texas.

Her remorseless killer was an opportunistic brute called Crispin Harmel, who had pounced on his victim in the middle of the night.

In the early hours of September 7, 2009, the dead body of 27-year-old Jessika Kalaher was found in her car. She had been strangled and had suffered severe brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen.

Jessika had struggled and fought to cling on to life, but tragically, she succumbed to heatstroke and died in the car, hours after her attacker had abandoned her. She had also been raped.

Thankfully, the police got a major break in the case almost straight away. Jessika had been attacked in a Walmart parking lot where surveillance footage had recorded the incident.

The attack had taken place in the early morning hours. Shortly before 2 am, video evidence showed Crispin Harmel following Jessika out of the shopping center and towards her car.

Crispin was also spotted by the cameras entering the driver’s seat of Jessika’s car and driving away. A little over an hour later, Harmel was spotted on another surveillance camera exiting the vehicle in a different parking lot and getting into his own truck.

In the meantime, Jessika was left in her Kia car, fighting for her life.

When the police interviewed Harmel, he admitted to being in the car with her but pointed out that she had been alive when he had left her and claimed he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Crispin Harmel lied to the police

The killer lied to the police when he told them he’d met Jessika on a sex website and that they’d agreed to rendezvous at the Walmart. He claimed they’d had consensual sex.

However, after the police examined Harmel and Jessika’s cellphones and computers they concluded that the pair had had no prior connection before the attack.

A friend of Jessika’s told the police that she had set up many of the victim’s social media accounts and was convinced that Jessika had never participated in a sex website.

The surveillance footage from the shopping center showed that the pair did not interact before Harmel entered her vehicle.

There was a lack of fingerprint and DNA evidence to connect Harmel to the crime, which hampered the prosecution. And in 2014, a mistrial was declared after the prosecution was accused of withholding evidence. But a retrial in 2018 ended with a conviction.

Harmel was convicted of Capital Murder while committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, robbery, or aggravated sexual assault. The prosecutors decided against seeking the death penalty, meaning he was automatically sentenced to life without parole.

More from See No Evil

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on See No Evil.

Carleous Clay twice broke into the home of his neighbor Diane Pranske to steal her belongings. When she returned home, he abducted and raped her before setting her on fire and leaving her for dead.

Handyman Charles Greene attacked 81-year-old landlady Alyce Seff at one of her properties in Columbus, Ohio. He choked Seff to death, stole her credit cards, and stuffed her remains into a decorative wishing well.

See No Evil airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.

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