NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Woman at The Bar’ examines the 2018 murders of Pamela Hutchinson in Florida and David Riess in Minnesota, both of which transpired in a drastically similar fashion. When the authorities began investigating both cases, they found out that a single woman, David’s wife, was responsible for them, having slain Pamela after killing her husband so as to assume her identity. The brutal double homicides led to a massive nation-wide search for the perpetrator, which eventually ended at a bar on April 19, 2018. But now, if you’re here curious to know all the details about Pamela’s death, in particular, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Pamela Hutchinson Die?
As per a few reports, 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, a Bradenton native, arrived in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, on April 3, 2018, to help a friend scatter her husband’s ashes on Sanibel. She was staying in room 404 at the Marina Village at Snug Harbor, where a hotel employee ultimately discovered her body on April 9. The hotel employees would have found Pamela sooner, but documents state that no one entered her room after someone claiming to be her called the front desk on April 6 and extended her stay by three more days. Authorities could not determine the exact time or date of her death, although they believed it transpired on April 5, between 7:46 p.m. and 8:34 p.m.
Once officers arrived at the scene, they noticed that Pamela’s body, lying on top of a pillow that appeared to be seared by a gunshot, was in the early stages of decomposition. She had been shot in the back and chest, with the bullets entering through her torso, injuring her heart and aorta, killing her instantly. The deputies further saw signs that pointed towards someone having slept on the guest bed. Pamela’s belonging had also been left in disarray. Her purse was inside out, her ID, bank cards, and jewelry was gone, and even her car was missing. Everything indicated that Pamela’s death was a homicide.
Who Killed Pamela Hutchinson?
The detectives in charge were able to put together a timeline rather quickly through the timestamps on surveillance footage in and around the hotel where Pamela was staying. A day after Pamela arrived in the city, she met Lois Riess and invited her back to her room. They left together soon after, only to come back shortly before 1 a.m. on April 5. From the CCTV footage, it seemed like Lois stayed the night with her new friend as they were then seen having breakfast together at a restaurant that was a short walk away from the hotel. They even had dinner together before returning to Pamela’s room at 7:46 p.m.
Lois Riess left Pamela’s room, alone, almost an hour later, at 8:34 p.m. on April 5. She walked to the elevator and just stood there for about 14 minutes before leaving, never to return. After reviewing the tapes, authorities said that Lois looked “distraught, upset” and seemed to be “possibly crying.” They thus determined that Lois was Pamela’s assailant and that she killed her to steal her identity. After all, the Minnesota woman had stolen Pamela’s vehicle and used her ID to retrieve $5,000 from her account before heading off to Texas, where U.S. Marshals and local authorities eventually apprehended her.
Lois was arrested on April 19, 2018. More than a year later, in December of 2019, she pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with a firearm, grand theft of a motor vehicle, along with grand theft and criminal use of personal identification and information. She agreed to the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in exchange for the prosecutors dropping their pursuit of the death penalty.
Read More: Where is Lois Riess Now?