Was she the victim of a random shooting or was Kaitlyn Arquette silenced?

Kaitlyn Arquette

A man pulled up next to her car and shot her


On June 14th, 1989, 18 year-old Kaitlyn Arquette graduated from Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kait was a popular, outgoing honor student who had recently been accepted at the University of New Mexico, with plans of one day attending med school. Shortly before graduation, using money she received from an insurance settlement, Kait moved in with her boyfriend. Kait’s mother, Lois Duncan, was aware of the arrangement, if not entirely up to speed:

“He was eight years older than her but we thought he was only four years older, because they’d lied to us. She knew we wouldn’t let her date someone that much older. He seemed like a nice guy and he was around the house a lot. We liked him.”

They were involved in an insurance scam

Six weeks later, on July 16th, Kait met with her mother and admitted that she and her boyfriend had been having serious problems almost from the moment they moved in together. Kait wanted her mother to lie to the boyfriend regarding her whereabouts. There was urgency in Kate’s request:

“Kait told us she’d had a big fight with her boyfriend, she was breaking up with him, and she was going to a girlfriend’s house for dinner. She said she would either spend the night there or come back and spend it at our house. She was not going to go back to the apartment.“

Kait visited her girlfriend that night from 9:30 P.M. to 10:45 P.M., then headed east along Lomas Road towards her mothers house. It is believed that while on her way home, a car pulled up alongside Kait and someone inside shot her. A little before midnight, Lois Duncan received a distressing phone call:

“It was a call from the hospital emergency room. They said Kait was there and that she’d been injured. They wouldn’t tell me what’d happened on the phone, so my husband and I drove to the hospita, and learned Kait had been shot twice in the head. She was in a coma.” 

The handwriting was not Kaitlyn’s

Five hours later, police arrived at Kait’s apartment. Her live-in boyfriend was home alone, seemingly unaware that his girlfriend had been shot and was close to death. Det. Steve Gallegos of the Albuquerque Police Department questioned him on his whereabouts at the time of the shooting:

“Kaitlyn’s boyfriend told me that he had been out with a couple of friends. They had eaten, they’d played pool and they’d had a couple of drinks. I discovered a note on top of the kitchen table. The note read something to the effect of ‘Hon, I’ll be home at a certain time’. He indicated that the note came from Kaitlyn.”

When the police left the apartment, Kait’s boyfriend headed straight to the hospital and joined her family at her bedside. Less than 24 hours later, Kaitlyn was dead.

Six months later, police ruled that Kaitlyn Arquette had been the victim of a random act of violence. Kait’s mother refused to accept that ruling. Following her daughter’s death, she began to uncover dark hints that Kait had somehow gotten mixed up with a major criminal organization. Two and a half months before she was killed, Kaitlyn and her boyfriend took a trip to Southern California. According to Lois, Kait had become involved in a complex insurance scam after her boyfriend rear-ended another car:

“One of our daughters told me that in March, the boyfriend had staged a fake accident in a car that Kait had rented for him with our credit card.”

Three phone calls were made from her apartment

The scam was reportedly set up by a powerful Vietnamese gang. Everyone involved in the accident complained of soft tissue injuries to the neck and lower back and were later treated by a doctor who was part of the fraud. A law firm in Orange County, California, handled the insurance claims. Kait and her boyfriend received fifteen hundred dollars as their share of the settlement. Lois Duncan learned more:

“It was evidently a major, multi-million dollar insurance scam. And Kait had found out about it.  At the time, we didn’t know how we could fit this in with her shooting. But all of a sudden, there was something that suggested a possible motive. If Kait was breaking up with her boyfriend at that time, maybe she was a danger to the people who had arranged this.”

A few weeks after Kait’s death, her mother made a disturbing discovery: three calls had been made from Kait’s apartment at almost the exact moment of her death. Lois Duncan:

“They were made just minutes after she was pronounced dead, when her boyfriend was with us at the hospital, and the apartment should have been unoccupied. The number turned out to belong to a Vietnamese paralegal in Orange County. It was the same paralegal who set up the car wrecks.”

Lois asked a local crime reporter, Mike Gallagher, to investigate. Mike first spoke to Kait’s former landlord:

“I got the impression from neighbors that Kaitlyn was more afraid of her boyfriend’s friends, rather than her boyfriend. She would get disturbed when they only spoke Vietnamese around her and they tended to make fun of her. Kait did not like her boyfriend’s friends and I think the feeling was mutual.”

Mike Gallagher was able to obtain a copy of the note that police believed Kait had left for her boyfriend on the day of the shooting. He compared it with another sample of her handwriting:

“It was obvious just by comparing the handwriting of the note with Kaitlyn’s writing, that she did not write that note. And that led me to believe that within hours of her shooting, her boyfriend was already lying to police.”

The landlord also told Gallagher that, on the night Kaitlyn died, three of her boyfriend’s associates were in her apartment drinking. Kait’s mother was convinced that one of them made the phone calls to the law firm in Orange County. Det. Gallegos disagrees:

“I don’t think that the Vietnamese connection is related to this case. Thus far, I have not received any information to indicate positively that the Vietnamese are involved in this homicide.”

Kait’s mother remained convinced that her daughter’s death was related to the insurance scam, but the police were going in a completely different direction. Six months after the murder, an informant led police to a young man named Juvenal Escobedo. They discovered that Escobedo had recently sold his brown Chevrolet Camaro. On the night of Kait’s murder, a truck driver had reported seeing a brown Camaro chasing a young woman in a car similar to Kaitlyn’s. In the end, the charges were dropped because police could not connect Juvenal with the gun or the shooting.

Finally, under pressure from Kait’s family, the police questioned her boyfriend again. This time, he admitted that he and a friend had taken part in the insurance scam, but maintained his innocence in her death. Charges have never been filed against him or any of his friends, nor is he considered a suspect in Kait’s murder. Mike Gallagher was unsatisfied with the police investigation:

“I think it’s important for the police and anybody who looks at this case to remember that Kaitlyn’s boyfriend’s friends were involved with large scale organized criminal activity in Los Angeles and multi-million dollar insurance frauds. I don’t think the police ever took that seriously.” 

There seem to be two viable theories about who killed Kaitlyn. She was either the victim of a random shooting, or she was executed to keep her from exposing the insurance scam. Kait’s mother Lois maintains her belief that this was no random act:

“Our family doesn’t have any real idea who pulled the trigger on Kait. The one thing we feel very strong about is that she was not shot randomly by people just out on a spree, having fun, shooting a pretty girl in a red car. We believe Kait was killed because she was going to expose illegal activities involving her boyfriend and his companions.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Avatar

    Peace and warmth to you who need it most.

    She was definitely killed to keep quiet! The insurance scam was just the beginning though, poor Kait wound up in much deeper. It’s my feeling that APD is not going to be of much help, this case is far too large, and they are also at risk of exposure. For this reason they will never truly be involved, to the point of resolution that is..
    I also feel the more time that goes by the the more loss the case suffers. Let’s hope and pray with regard to Kait and her family, my thoughts are with you all.


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    I have lived in Albuquerque for over two years now and the police department is rife with corruption and negligence. The boyfriend was obviously guilty.


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    So if there is even a hint of a multi-million dollar insurance scam, wouldn’t the insurance company be all over it? Insurance investigators are like bulldogs. Where is that in the story?


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    i think either the boyfriend and/or his friend definitely planned this murder. his friends were not fond of kaitlyn and she wasn’t fond of them. once they found out she was going to break it off, she was murdered to keep silent of the scam. i do believe the boyfriend knew this was happening, the phone calls from the apartment shows someone was obviously there to confirm that Kaitlin was shot and then later pronounced dead, no coincidence. did the boyfriebd ever justify why a call was made from their apartment while they were both at the hospital?? just a shame they do not have real evidence besides the brown car to defend it. however the insurance is 10000% a motive for her death. Rip Katelyn, she definitely deserved better


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    Update – Lois Duncan, Kait’s mom, passed away in June 2016. She was 82. (Link to New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/books/lois-duncan-82-dies-author-knew-what-you-did-last-summer.html?_r=0)

    The case has not been solved, despite the two books Lois wrote: “Who Killed My Daughter” (1992) and the sequel, “One to the Wolves” (2015).


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    Unfortunately, Lois Duncan passed away days ago at the age of 82 with this case still unsolved.


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    Hmmmm…look for others, whom are closest


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    The Vietnam boyfriend is the guilty one,the police did a poor job,never followed with it.


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    I belive that her boyfriend was involved ,, maybe the aguement they had she may of mentioned breaking up with him or even telling about the scam he might of followed her with some of his friends waited till she left her friends house then had the chance to kill her


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    Just simply wanted to emphasize I’m happy I came onto your website page!


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    That’s what happens when someone gets involved with Asian thugs. I know from first hand experience. Those snakes are not to be trusted. They stick to their own kind and their own culture too much. No room for outsiders in their world.


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    I think it was connected to the insurance scamf


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    Abq Writer

    A man with the same name as Kait’s boyfriend was the shooter in an fatal incident that just occurred in Albuquerque. (March 2016) A Dung Nguyen walked into a Vietnamese restaurant and shot 3 people, killing two. He then killed himself. The 3 were said to be estranged family members of Nguyen. Was it the same Dung Nguyen?


  14. Avatar


    If Kaityn told her mother she had a huge fight with her boyfriend and wanted out of the relationship and that she wasn’t going back to the apartment, why would the boyfriend provide police with a note written by her stating, ” Hon, I’ll be home at certain time…”? Uh, Hon,? As in Honey? She said to people she knew she wasn’t going back. The boyfriend knows more than he’s saying in my opinion. Statistics show you are more likely to be killed by the person you know than a complete stranger.


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      Very true! why didn’t they question him more on the letter if she wasn’t even planning on returning? police were too quick ruling out the boyfriend and his friends.


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    I read some of the book “Who Killed My Daughter” years ago so when I saw this story on the show, I remembered it. I looked up the book and when I saw Kaitlyn’s photo on the cover of the book, I knew I remembered the right story. I believe the boyfriend had something to do with her shooting and I really think he knows who did it… if he didn’t do it himself. I actually bought Lois’s book and am reading it. It is a really interesting book. I really hope this case gets solved eventually so Kait can rest in peace and so her family can sleep peacefully at night. Kudos to Lois and Don for not giving up the search for her killer. I hope they get the answers they are looking for !


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    I believe she was killed to be quiet and the boyfriend admitted to not look guilty.I hope this case gets solved and kait can rest in heaven


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    I think this Kait case is one that can be solved. Somebody knows something. A brother or friend perhaps. The boyfriend is a likely suspect. What are the odds Kait would die the night she decided to break away and knew about insurance scam? Probably 10 million to 1. Justice for Kait and her family!


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    I don’t think that her death had anything to do with insurance scam. if so , then why did her boyfriend and his companion confess about the money scam?? obviously they wouldn’t kill her so that they themselves would confess later. it has to be something else


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      this is true. maybe they thought if Kaitlyn squealed initially it was going to be worse for them so they murdered her such as maybe she knew even MORE information about other illegal acts they committed. maybe there was more linked to the scam then we know.


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    How do police find out about insurance money especially if its in another state. And about bank finance. Again bank from another state or po box .
    how long did the boyfriend live there , new re did he. Live before, so forth.


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    R A

    I can tell you right now !! If it was another police agency this would be solved.. They have done this family an injustice.. I’m sorry..


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    Her mother wrote 2 books about this case.


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    Stephanie coronel

    I think the boyfriend is suspicious


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    i think that investigator got scared of the vietnamese guys


  24. Avatar

    Stephanie Pucci

    I think Kaitlyn was killed to keep her mouth shut.


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If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.