Nancy Pfister was found beaten to death in her own closet in February 2014; in what was the first murder to rock Aspen in 20 years. Nancy, 57, was a wealthy Aspen socialite who had rubbed soldiers with the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and allegedly dated Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas.
In 2013 Nancy decided to rent her chalet to married couple Trey and Nancy Styler while she vacationed in Australia. The couple had fallen on hard times after Trey was diagnosed with a debilitating disease and were struggling financially, but they thought they had come to reasonable terms with Nancy.
They moved in a month before Nancy left for Australia, and almost immediately, the relationship turned sour. The arguments actually increased when Nancy left for her holiday; they were constantly arguing over money, especially the utility bills.
In February, Nancy announced she was coming home 2 months earlier, and she wanted the Styler’s out immediately. The couple decamped for a nearby motel.
A week after Nancy had returned home, her friend Kathy Carpenter, suspicious at not having heard from her in a couple of days, went to check on Nancy. She found her bludgeoned to death and bound with an electrical cord in a closet.
Police became suspicious of the Styler’s when they heard of the financial dispute coupled with the lack of forced entry at Nancy’s home. Trey Styler took and failed a lie detector test; however, police did not have enough evidence to prosecute.
The breakthrough came when a city worker discovered a bloody hammer, pill bottles with Nancy Pfister’s name printed on them, and vehicle registration for Trey and Nancy Styler’s car in a public trash can. Later the key to Nancy’s closet was discovered outside the Styler’s motel room.
The Styler’s were arrested in March 2014; Kathy Carpenter was also arrested 3 weeks later on suspicion of aiding and abetting the couple. Trey agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for having the charges against his wife and Kathy dropped.
Many people still remain very suspicious of the role played by Nancy Styler in this murder.
Trey Styler was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In August 2015, he was found dead in his cell; he had hung himself.
Get the details on The Object of Murder at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.