Page 13 - AreaNewsletters "Apr 2021" issue
P. 13

But the story becomes even more bizarre...
I’m honored to be able to share some of my personal memories of living and working in Castle Rock, and I hope you check back
each issue to enjoy them.
~ Lora Thomas, County Commissioner
There were questions about a Trust that was left for Ross Carlson upon the death of both of his parents. Did the Trust belong
to him? What if he was convicted of the murder of his parents? News articles at the time indicated that the Trust Fund was used to defend Carlson and pay for the services of well-known and successful Denver criminal defense attorney, Walter Gerash.
One evening I brought a prisoner into
the jail, and the booking deputy said that Carlson was back for a court hearing and did I want to see him? At that time there was a small room where prisoners were booked into the jail, then o  to the side of the booking room was a large square that had cells spaced around it. A person could stand in the middle of the square and see all of the cells.
I followed the deputy into the square and looked at a young man with light hair who was sitting on his bunk, looking at the wall. The young man slowly swiveled his head to the left, looked at us for what seemed forever and then slowly moved his head back so that he was staring at the wall! I will remember looking into his eyes and feeling a chill – one that I haven’t forgotten to this day.
On November 7, 1989, Douglas County Judge Robert Kingsley ordered Carlson to stand trial the next month for the murder
of his parents, saying that the multiple personalities were nothing but an act. Shortly after that decision, Carlson started to have bleeding problems and was transported to University Hospital in Denver where he was diagnosed with leukemia.
While Carlson was in the hospital and handcu ed to the bed, a friend of mine who was a Douglas County Deputy named Judy was guarding him. Carlson tried to wrestle the gun away from her but she was able to maintain control of it. And within a few days, Ross Carlson, before he could stand trial for the murder of his parents, died of the leukemia diagnosed only three weeks earlier.
Want to know more about this real case that happened right here in Douglas County? Read The First Sin of Ross Michael Carlson by Dr. Michael Weissberg. While serving at the Douglas County Coroner, I was able to  nd Dr. Weissberg at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Aurora, and spoke with him to see if he would present this case at “A Night with the Coroner,” a program I started in 2011 that educates people about how death investigations are conducted. While we were not able to secure Dr. Weissberg’s appearance, the conversation certainly was fascinating.
Castle Rock and Douglas County have such a rich and varied history. The seven years I was stationed in Castle Rock from 1984-1991 were magical for me. So much changed as the population increased but so much stayed the same in that it still has a small town feel!
Castle Rock “AreaNewsletters” • April 2021

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