Jack Mileski Murder: Where is Claire Welsh Now?

Image Credit: Climbing Magazine

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Sleeping With the Enemy’ chronicles the gruesome murder of a 38-year-old English teacher Jack Mileski in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in January 1997. The perpetrator was found at the scene and confessed to the murder within a few days. If you’re interested in knowing what happened next, including the killer’s identity and current whereabouts, we’ve your back. Let’s dive in then, shall we?

How Did Jack Mileski Die?

Jack Mileski was born in the late 1950s to Carl and Mary Ellen Mileski in Colorado. He was a renowned and well-liked climber of the 1980s and early 1990s in the Shawangunks, the Austin, Texas area, and Colorado Springs. He worked as an English teacher at Aspen Valley High School in Colorado Springs. Dave Young, a Colorado Springs prosecutor, reminisced, “He was the salt of the earth. He was the kindest person you would ever meet.” Diane Fanning, a crime writer, added, “Everybody liked him because he was just a nice guy.”

According to mountaineering sites, Jack is credited with popularizing the term “beta” for describing moves on a climb. He met Claire Walsh, a valedictorian with a master’s degree in physical therapy, at his sister’s wedding in 1996, and the two immediately hit off. They started dating, and the episode showed how the couple planned on living together. However, their happily ever after did not last long, and they soon broke up within a few months of their relationship.

On the evening of January 12, 1997, the police arrived at Jack’s Colorado Springs apartment to find his body on the bed. The murder weapon, a revolver, was lying on his chest. According to his autopsy report, he had been shot in the head. The officers also found Claire lying naked in a fetal position on the hallway floor. She was covered in blood but alive. The investigators called medical personnel, who rushed her to the local hospital, and she survived her non-fatal injuries. A bullet had grazed her skull, while the other was in her chest.

Who Killed Jack Mileski?

The investigators initially thought it was a home invasion gone wrong. However, they changed their initial hypothesis when new information came to light. They interviewed Jack’s friends to learn Claire had significant abandonment and control issues. According to the show, Claire was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and was jealous of his women friends. Former FBI Profiler Candice Delong explained, “Unless Jack’s arms were around her all the time, she was a mess.”

The episode showed how desperate Claire was to have Jack at all costs. She started contacting all the women in his life and declared he was off limits. ‘The Gazette’ journalist Bill Hethcock said, “Claire started doing strange things, like reading his mail and going through his home phone book. And calling women in his little black book, so to speak.” Candice added, “And that speaks to the need for drama that someone with a borderline personality disorder.”

It soon became too overwhelming for Jack, and he decided to break things off with Claire. However, the disgruntled former girlfriend refused to take things lying low. Within a few months of their breakup, she showed up at his North Nevada Avenue apartment in Colorado Springs, from Arizona, with luggage in December 1996. The show noted how she stated she was pregnant without any money or employment. The kind-hearted Jack could not turn her away, despite all the red flags she displayed a few months ago. He pledged to support her through his pregnancy.

Claire started living with Jack and slowly attempted to creep into his life in her manipulating ways. Diane Fanning explained how Claire altered the message on his voicemail by adding her name to act all coy and flirtatious around him. The episode showed how she even went to the lengths of sneaking into his bed naked and using sex to keep him in her grasp. However, Jack became suspicious within a few weeks when she started to postpone her appointment with the doctor by making up new excuses every time. When Jack forced her to take a home pregnancy test that came back negative, he realized he had been duped by Claire.

An angry Jack gave her an ultimatum and asked Claire to move out of his apartment within short notice. According to court records, she was not ready to lose Jack again, and her unhealthy obsession with him resulted in a tragic incident. In the early morning of January 12, 1997, Claire slipped naked into a sleeping Jack’s bed. He was asleep on his stomach, and Claire put the muzzle of a loaded gun flat against his forehead and fatally shot him. Police reports state he instantaneously died in his sleep.

According to the show, she cuddled Jack’s body and lay there for a few hours before calling one of her cousins and frantically requesting him to call 911. When the cousin arrived with officers, they were shocked to find Jack dead and Claire lying unconscious in a pool of blood. In the hospital, Claire claimed she had almost no idea about what had happened in the apartment that night. However, the police refused to believe she was innocent when they found a Bible highlighted with passages on murder inside Jack’s apartment.

Claire Welsh is Serving Her Sentence Today

Claire confessed to the crime and was charged with first-degree murder in Jack’s homicide. The court convicted her in her 1998 trial, despite her pleading not guilty on insanity grounds. The prosecution had six witnesses, comprising the first respondents to the crime scene and the medical personnel examining her, who testified she was in her senses when she committed her former boyfriend’s murder.

One of the detectives even testified Claire refused to answer his questions by communicating “she didn’t want to make a statement at this time because she might say something wrong.” The prosecution also stated how she got hold of a Colorado identification card to buy a gun on January 11, 1997, and made a list of things that needed to be taken care of after his death, including sending flowers to his mother.

After sufficient evidence proved she was in her senses, the court sentenced Claire to life imprisonment without the chance of parole in September 1998. However, the Colorado Supreme Court threw out her conviction on technical grounds in December 2003. She went to trial again in October 2004, was found guilty, and was handed her prior sentence. According to official records, the 58-year-old is serving her sentence at the La Vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo County, Colorado.

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