A North Richland Hills woman was stabbed 36 times by her son’s girlfriend after the two women argued for several days, according to an affidavit.
Police found the body of Kathleen Olson, 59, in a bathtub the morning of Nov. 4 at her apartment, 6240 Glenview Drive. She was covered with a sheet and a pink towel, according to the arrest warrant affidavit, obtained late Tuesday by the Star-Telegram.
Julie Marie Peterson, who has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested Thursday at North Hills Hospital after investigators found Olson’s driver’s license, checkbook and credit cards in her purse.
Peterson and her 4-year-old daughter had been living with Olson at the Waterford on the Green Apartments.
In interviews with police, Peterson told investigators that she would never hurt Olson, the affidavit says.
“Who would have done something like this to her?” Peterson asked an investigator during the interview.
But when they searched Peterson’s cellphone, investigators found the question “Where in the body is most fatal to be stabbed my a knife.” Before that, another question was “What's your favorite sword/knife? (answer: only if you know how to use it).” There were also searches about Buck, combat and tactical knives.
Based on photographs and video from transactions at businesses, investigators determined that Olson used her debit card Nov. 1, but that beginning Nov. 2, Peterson used the card to withdraw cash and make purchases.
One of the telephones found in Peterson’s purse belonged to Olson.
The affidavit provides this account:
Peterson and James Olson, Kathleen Olson’s son, had been together off and on for about five years and had one child. Peterson said she and the little girl moved in with Kathleen Olson in North Richland Hills.
On Halloween weekend, James Olson told police he went to the apartment to pick up his daughter. He said he found his mother and Peterson arguing over his daughter — she was running a fever and Kathleen Olson didn’t want him to take the child. James Olson said his mother and Peterson argued all weekend.
Peterson told investigators that she moved out on Nov. 2 for two reasons: because she was being verbally abused by James Olson and because Kathleen Olson was feeling stressed about living paycheck to paycheck with Peterson not working.
Peterson said Kathleen Olson planned a mini-vacation last week with a friend, so she allowed Peterson to use her SUV, a silver Ford Escape. But Mary Olson, Kathleen Olson’s daughter, told police that her mother would not have allowed Peterson to drive the SUV.
On Nov. 2, someone at Kathleen Olson’s workplace received a text message from her phone saying she was sick. The next day, Olson’s supervisor received a text from her Olson’s phone saying she would not be in because she was dealing with personal issues.
On the night of Nov. 3, James Olson went to his mother’s North Richland Hills apartment and found that her SUV was not there. He found the door open and the television gone. He searched the apartment but found no one. He repeatedly called his mother and Peterson, and eventually left.
James Olson told investigators he later got text messages from his mother’s phone saying she was asleep at a friend’s home and to leave her alone.
At 1:41 a.m. Nov. 4, Peterson called 911 and told a dispatcher she was getting text messages from Kathleen Olson saying that her son was looking for Peterson and that he was in the apartment. She said she called because she feared that James Olson broke into and vandalized the apartment. Officers were dispatched and left after finding no sign of forced entry.
At 2:14 a.m. Nov. 4, Mary Olson called 911 and asked officers to check on her mother because her brother had been at the apartment and it appeared to have been ransacked. This time, officers found the door unlocked and Kathleen Olson’s body in a front bedroom bathtub. A shower curtain was pulled shut, hiding the body from view, police said.
A crime scene investigator found a knife in a kitchen sink with blood on the wooden handle.
Several hours later, investigators tracked Peterson by her cell phone to America’s Best Value in Haltom City and took her to the North Richland Hills police station for questioning.
James Olson was arrested by Haltom City police for a traffic violation and was interviewed about his mother’s killing.
During her interview with police, Peterson took medication from three different bottles, saying one medication was for nausea. Soon, she started to slur and stumble around.
Paramedics were called. When they asked for identification, an investigator grabbed a wallet from Peterson’s purse and found Kathleen Olson’s identification. Police then obtained a search warrant for the purse.
Peterson was taken to North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills, where she was later arrested.
She was in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $1 million.
Before her arrest last week, Peterson had no recent criminal history in Tarrant County, according to Tarrant County court records.