Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Reader discretion is advised.
The upcoming episode of See No Evil season 12, titled “Body Heat,” revolves around the murder of Kathy Blair. A 53-year-old music teacher and a single mother, Blair was found dead in her northwest Austin home on December 6, 2014, after she was stabbed multiple times in the chest and the neck. The episode will be aired on ID on Wednesday, February 7, at 9 p.m. ET.
Joseph Hargis, her 27-year-old son, found his mother lying in a pool of blood beside a blood-soaked bed and pillows. The intruder reportedly did not take any high-value items, such as laptops or televisions. However, a jewelry box had been ransacked. According to Oxygen, police believed that the scene had been manipulated to seem like a robbery to divert suspicions.
Kathy Blair was the director of the Christian Choir Society of Austin, which was a music training program for home-schooled students. She had about 250 to 300 students aged between 8 and 14. She had moved into her rented house in Northwest Austin about 4-5 months before the murder. Her home was frequented by students who would sometimes build sets for musical productions, CBS News reported.
How were Tim Parlin and Shawn Gant-Benalcazar caught?
A week after Blair’s death, Sidney and Billie Shelton, an elderly couple, were found dead in their home in Central Austin, which was just five miles away from Blair’s residence. Oxygen reported that the victims had been beaten in the head and strangled, while Billie had been stabbed several times in the face. A similar ransacking of a jewelry box at the crime scene created suspicions of a possible relation between Blair’s and the elderly couple’s murders.
When investigators began digging deeper into Kathy Blair’s acquaintances, they learned about 52-year-old Tim Parlin, who worked as a handyman at her house during the spring. Parlin had previously been jailed for jewel heists and was reportedly out on parole. His wife worked as a masseuse and took care of the Shelton couple at their home.
Weeks before the murders, Tim Parlin and Shawn Gant-Benalcazar met weeks through Parlin’s nephew, who had been dating Gant-Benalcazar’s sister. Parlin told police that Gant-Benalcazar had procured ricin, a poison made of castor beans. He was allegedly intending to commit a murder. The court believed that Parlin should have either known or anticipated that Gant-Benalcazar would kill the victims.
The police found a major clue in the case when Blair’s neighbor, Robert Leef, revealed that he had been testing a thermal scope with a video camera on the night when Kathy Blair died. He captured a man, who was later identified as Gant-Benalcazar, leaving his car. The man walked towards Blair’s house, but the figure was only visible as a silhouette.
Who was convicted of Kathy Blair’s murder?
In May 2018, the court found that Tim Parlin didn’t kill Kathy Blair. However, he was closely involved with the murder and was convicted of five counts related to capital murder. He drove the murderer to the residences of Blair and the Sheltons. He then waited in the car while the killer executed the crimes, the Austin-American Statesman reported. Meanwhile, Shawn Gant-Benalcazar was found guilty of capital murder after he confessed to stabbing Blair.
Both Parlin and Gant-Benalcazar received an automatic sentence of life in prison. Tim Parlin was found guilty in relation to both Kathy Blair’s and the Sheltons’ murder. Shawn Gant-Benalcazar was only proven guilty of Blair’s murder.
The upcoming episode of ID’s See No Evil will explore the case in detail on Wednesday, February 7, at 9 p.m. ET.