When Robert Schwartz was found murdered at his home in 2001, investigators had reason to believe the attack was targeted. Soon, they were led to his youngest daughter, Clara Schwartz, who seemed to be at the center of it all. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Perfect Murder: The Devil Made Me Do It’ focuses on how Clara manipulated three other people into helping with her father’s murder. So, let’s find out what happened to her then, shall we?
Who is Clara Schwartz?
Clara was the youngest of Robert’s three children; she had an older brother and sister. At the time of the incident, she was a computer science major at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. When the authorities learned of Robert’s brutal murder, they spoke to Clara and her friends. One of them, Katherine Inglis, provided extensive information regarding Clara’s involvement with the slaying.
Clara and Katherine had met while the former was in her senior year in high school. Katherine later told the police that Clara constantly talked about Robert allegedly poisoning her food, physically abusing her, and how he pulled her underwater in their pool. According to Katherine, Clara wanted her father dead and talked about the money she would inherit if that became a reality. Then, in August 2001, she began dating Patrick House, who later testified against her at trial.
Patrick stated that he met Clara in June 2001 at a festival in Leesburg, Virginia. He said that Clara created a fantasy role-playing game called Underworld, where he played an assassin and a bard. In the same game, there also existed a character named Old Guy that signified Robert. According to Patrick, Clara asked him to kill Old Guy, and he initially thought it was only game-related. But later on, it was clear she meant killing her father in real life.
Patrick further stated that Clara showed him her journal entries where she talked about Robert’s alleged abuse and attempts to poison her. Clara had pointed him to a chapter in a book about herbal poisons, wanting to make Robert’s death look natural. While Patrick never went through with it, she soon found Kyle Hulbert, a man with a history of mental illness, to help her with the plan.
Where is Clara Schwartz Now?
During questioning, Clara initially claimed she thought Kyle was joking when he talked about killing Robert. But later, she changed her mind, saying, “I want to go straight. In my heart of hearts, I knew that [Kyle] was going there to kill [my father].” At Clara’s trial in October 2002, the defense claimed Kyle was not supposed to take Clara’s words literally because they were part of the game.
In the end, a jury found Clara guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of solicitation to commit murder. Michele, her sister, said in court, “It’s been nothing but a nightmare since the first day I found out. It’s hard enough it was my father, but on top of that to have my sister committing such a horrible crime.” In February 2003, then 20 years old, Clara was sentenced to serve 48 years behind bars. She remains incarcerated at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Virginia, and will be eligible for release in 2043.
Read More: How Did Robert Schwartz Die?