Karen Severson: Dressing her daughter up as Missy

Here is a good question from Paul Doe.

"Didn't Karen used to dress her daughter up as Missy and talk to her as Missy? The book on this case has two witnesses who claim Karen did this?"

Yes, she did. Several people actually witnessed this. Karen's best friend after Missy's murder was totally freaked out by it.

New documentary by the Avila family

The Avila family is producing a documentary about Missy Avila's case. The documentary will focus on the public service announcement, Missy's life, and the family's journey to make changes to the law. As soon as I know the name of the documentary, I will be sure and post it here. The video will be produced by SEA Entertainment. According to Missy Avila's sister-in-law, Shavaun Avila, she will be directing and producing the documentary.

Public service announcement/Karen Severson's book

I was actually going to do an article write up on this on Examiner but decided instead to do just a small update on the case. As you know, the family members for Missy Avila are not happy about the fact that Karen Severson has written a book. The family is trying to have the law changed so that convicted felons are not allowed to use social media or receive monetary gain from their crimes. They are hoping to name the law "Missy's Law." Karen Severson's---Kay Crane's book is posted on the memorial Facebook page. 

Karen Severson's book: Hope beyond the Fences by Kay Crayne?

Received this tip from an anonymous source that states that Karen Severson has written a book about her life experiences under the name Kay Crayne. The title of the book is called "Hope Beyond The Fences."

I have not confirmed if this is so as I have not received a review copy of the book, but the preview sounds like it could possibly be her.

Anyway, check it out and see what you think. The book is about a woman who served time in prison for the murder of her childhood friend. The book covers her journey from birth to her rebellious teenage years, and finally her transformation to becoming a "vessel used by God" to spread the message about him and Jesus Christ.

You can buy the book here at Amazon

The True Story that Inspired the Movie "A Killer Among Friends"

The movie A Killer Among Friends starring Patty Duke and Tiffani Amber Thissen is based on the case of Michelle Avila aka Missy Avila. Missy Avila was murdered by her two best friends, Karen Severson and Laura Doyle in 1985. They lured her to a secluded location, and she was beaten and murdered by holding her under water with a log. There is also a book on which the movie is based called "Missy's Murder." The movie first came to tv in 1992 as a made for tv movie of the week.

Missy Avila case, Michele Avila Photos and Karen Severson Photos

 As you can see, Tiffani Amber Thiessen was a good choice to play Missy Avila. The movie producers changed her character to a White American. The real life Michelle Avila was a Hispanic . She spoke both English and Spanish. In the movie her personality is more laid back and mild mannered. The real life Missy is described as a young lady who did not hold back her tongue. She was also described as a tough kid who would stand up for herself. She was a short and thin young lady with a petite figure. She was attending the continuation with Laura and Karen school due to behavior problems.

Here is the link to her Facebook Memorial Page. You can join the page and speak with Victor Amaya, and I think her brother, and another close friend is on the page.


Here is Karen Severson below

Karen Severson was 5 feet 2 inches and weighed 200 pounds. She is described as having an intimidating personality and demeanor. She was seen as the ringleader of the group. According to the source: "Her parents spoiled her rotten. She got everything she wanted. She had a motorcycle and too much freedom. Her parents would leave her at home by herself many times while they were away. Karen became pregnant for Randi Fernandez, but she had an abortion. She later became pregnant with Stephanie. The father is unknown. Karen also has a sister named Stephanie."

Now here is Laura Doyle

Laura Doyle was described as "red haired with crooked teeth." According to several sources, Laura was actually very cute. The picture does not do her justice they say. They said that she had a "killer body," and a nice face with makeup. She was a follower of Karen. Her parents abused her according to the source. She was attending the continuation school due to behavior problems

I don't have an old pic of Victor Amaya. But he is described as a Hispanic male with a tattoo on his arm of a leaf that says "stoner". He was Laura's boyfriend, but he dated Missy too briefly according to Victor. Victor Amaya did not attend the same school as the rest. He attended Catholic school.

Extra Tidits 

Karen, Laura, and Missy went to San Fernando High School, but the continuation school was sort of like an alternative school for kids with issues.

Karen's daughter, Stephanie, is about 24 years old (at the time this article was written), and a person close to the case saw her in or near Arleta about 2 years ago. She was thin, and she had piercings. She had sort of a punk rock appearance. She also seemed very "to herself," says the source.

Missy Avila's name is pronounced (Ah-bee-la)

The group used to like to hang out in Branford Park in Arleta.The park where Missy was murdered is in Angeles National Forrest which is 45 minutes from Arleta.

For more reading
Timeline of Events in the death of Missy (includes extra information)
A Note About Victor Amaya

Also here is a book about the case. The book was written by Karen Kingsbury. The movie was pretty much based on this book.

Read some other True Story movie articles here

Where Does Laura Doyle Live?

Thanks for that update anonymous. Many of you were asking about where Laura Doyle is now or where she is living. This comment came in from an anonymous person so don't know if it is true. It seems like a likely source.

"She lives with her family around the block from the house where the victim lived on"