Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Jeffrey Dillingham

Jeffrey Dillingham
Jeffrey Dillingham
Executed on 1 November 2000

Jeffrey Dillingham, 27, was executed by lethal injection on 1 November in Huntsville, Texas for the murder-for-hire of a 40-year-old woman.

In March 1992, Dillingham and his friend Brian Dennis Salter, both 19, entered the upscale Fort Worth residence of Jack and Karen Koslow. Using a code provided them by the couple's 17-year-old daughter, Kristi, they disarmed the house's alarm system and came in through a rear entrance. The Koslows were asleep. Following the floor plan given to them by Kristi, the intruders went into the master bedroom and began attacking the Koslows. Mr. Koslow ran to his closet to fetch a shotgun, but he didn't get it loaded in time to defend himself. The man and woman were forced to lie on the floor. Dillingham then beat them with a steel pry bar and Salter slashed their throats with a hunting knife. They stole Mr. Koslow's wallet, $200 in cash and a wrist watch worth $1,600. Karen Koslow, 40, died at the scene. Jack Koslow was beaten into unconsciousness and left for dead, but after awhile, he regained consciousness, staggered to a neighbor's house, and called police.

At first, police suspected Jack Koslow of murdering his wife, but then they received a tip from a friend of Dillingham's, who helped him get rid of the pry bar and bloodstained clothing. Two weeks after the murder, Dillingham was arrested, and in confessing, he implicated Salter and Kristi Koslow, who were dating at the time. Dillingham and Salter told police that Kristi promised to pay them $1 million each for murdering her father and stepmother. Court testimony showed that Kristi wanted them dead because she didn't get along with them after her father remarried, and that she planned to gain a $12 million inheritance.

Jeffrey Dillingham was the first to go to trial. He was offered a life sentence to testify against Kristi Koslow, but turned it down. He was found guilty of capital murder and was given the death sentence. Salter was then offered the same deal as Dillingham. He accepted it. Kristi Koslow was convicted of capital murder but was spared the death sentence by the jury. Jack Koslow testified that his daughter should be condemned, but the jury did not hear that testimony.

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