For the last 24 months, members of a Colorado family rocked by a gruesome murder have lived in fear for their lives. The man who masterminded their loved ones' killings is finally behind bars for good, but that didn't prevent him from ordering the original killings.
On the night of Feb. 23, 2011, a man dressed like a ninja entered the Castle Rock, Colo., home of Robert and Tammy Rafferty, going on a murderous rampage -- killing Robert Rafferty, 49, and his sister-in-law, Amara Wells, 39, as Amara Wells' 6-year-old daughter watched in horror.
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Police turned their attention to Amara Wells' husband, Christopher Wells. She had filed multiple restraining orders against him, and he had violated those orders more than four times. However, in Colorado, no matter how many times someone violates a restraining order, as long as they have the funds they can keep bailing themselves out of jail with no repercussions.
"He would get arrested, he would go in with money and he would bond out," said Tammy Rafferty. "He just felt he was above the law because the law was not keeping him in jail."
In the hours after Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty were found dead, detectives identified Christopher Wells as their prime suspect. The only problem with their theory? He was in jail when his family was killed.
"Obviously [Wells] was going to be our first suspect," said Weaver. "To learn that he was in jail stopped us cold."
The Early Years
When she was 27, Amara Walter was working as a flight attendant, living an exciting life flying around the world and constantly meeting new people.
Her life was forever changed when she met one of those people, the dashing Christopher Wells, on a flight to Washington, D.C. The handsome man always had odd jobs, some of them less than savory. At one time he worked as a Chippendales dancer.
"She had just become a flight attendant for United," said Amara Wells' sister, Melissa Brown. "I think she was on the rebound, and he said all the right things to her that she had wanted to hear."
It was a whirlwind courtship, and in less than a year, Christopher and Amara Wells were married. They wed alone, without even their families, in Niagara Falls. Melissa Brown said she and the rest of her family weren't allowed to attend the wedding, that it was only going to be Amara and Christopher Wells and a witness.
"It just happened so fast," said Brown. "It was a very short courtship."
Eventually, the newlyweds moved closer to their families in the town of Castle Rock, Colo., a growing community an hour south of Denver.
Amara Wells was now geographically closer to her sister and her sister's husband, Jack Brown.
The same was true for Chris Wells, now closer to his sister, Tammy Rafferty, and her husband, Bob Rafferty.
The families said that, during the early years of Chris and Amara Wells' marriage, the couples grew very fond of each other, to the point where Tammy Rafferty felt like Amara Wells was more than just a sister-in-law.
"It wasn't like it was my in-law," Rafferty said. "She was my sister, you know, my heart."
Chris Wells Changes
But despite Amara Wells seemingly drawing three families together as one, relatives said, Chris Wells rarely seemed to be around. Tammy Rafferty would hold Sunday dinners at her house every other week. When Chris Wells would show up, she said, he would be distant and would separate himself.