Adrianne Reynolds, Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory were three troubled teenagers attending an alternative high school in East Moline, Illinois in 2005.
The three began as close friends, but toxic jealousy turned their relationship fatal. What followed was a brutal, sadistic crime that shocked the local community to its core. Here's everything you need to know about the case of teenager Adrianne Leigh Reynolds.
Adrianne Reynolds Childhood
Adrianne Reynolds was born in Longview, Texas in in 1989. Unhappy with her life down south, she relocated to East Moline, Illinois , when she was 16 to live with her adoptive father and stepmother, Tony and Joann Reynolds. Here, Adrianne started fresh, with a new school, new friends and a new life.
But Adrianne didn't adjust well to her new school. She was a talented singer who loved performing for others, and her teachers reported that she could move people to tears with her voice alone. However, Adrianne didn't have any other academic interests outside of singing, and she believed it wasn't a viable career path. Therefore, she enrolled at Black Hawk College Outreach to obtain her GED.
Sarah Kolb And Cory Gregory
At the Black Hawk College Outreach Center, Adrianne studied with hopes of joining the marines when she graduated. Adrianne was a popular student at the college, and was able to make close friends for the first time in her life. Adrianne was a self-confessed 'Juggalo'; a devout follow of the rap band Insane Clown Posse, whose fans often dressed in black and wore face paint.
It was here at this alternative college that she met fellow classmates Sarah Anne Kolb and Cory Gregory in 2004. Sarah and Cory had a close relationship but weren't romantically involved, and as Cory was a fellow Juggalo, Adrianne took a liking to him. The three regularly hung out together, both in school and out.
Jealousy Struck Sarah Kolb
But Sarah Kolb didn't take kindly to the blossoming friendship between Adrianne and Cory. Not only that, but Sarah became jealous of the attention Adrianne was receiving from other boys at school. Sarah was also bisexual and was interested dating in Adrianne herself, but her growing dislike of Adrianne put an end to any attraction she felt.
In December 2004, Adrianne and Sarah got into a heated argument after school. After some time apart, Adrianne took steps to repair the friendship by apologizing, but Sarah wasn't so accomodating.
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While Sarah returned the gesture, she had a sinister idea bubbling beneath her friendly facade. In her journal, Sarah even wrote that she wanted to kill Reynolds, but her friends simply wrote this off as a joke.
The Relationship Turned Fatal
On the afternoon of 21 January, 2005, Cory and Sarah invited Adrianne out to lunch at Taco Bell. Cory drove, and while the three were together, Adrianne and Sarah got into another heated exchange in Kolb's car. And as they arrived at their destination, the girls' argument turned physical. They got into a fight that quickly got out of our hand.
Sarah and Adrianne reportedly began fighting, throwing punches at each other. Cory jumped in to assist Sarah, holding Adrianne down while Sarah began beating Reynolds with a wooden implement that she reportedly carried for protection. Once Adrianne was subdued, Sarah removed her belt and strangled the life out of Adrianne in the back seat of the vehicle. The impulsive attack had fatal consequences.
The Teenagers Burnt Adrianne's Body
Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory, two teenage students, had murdered Adrianne Reynolds. The pair drove out of the parking lot to a more secluded location, removed Adrianne's body and placed it in the trunk of the car. They decided to head out and find somewhere they could dispose of the body in private. Sarah and Cory then drove out to Sarah's grandparents farm.
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Here, Sarah set fire to Adrianne's lifeless body in the hopes it would crumble to ashes. Burning the body proved much more difficult than they anticipated, so they reconvened and came up with a new plan.
Meanwhile, Adrianne's parents reported her missing since their daughter hadn't shown up for her waitress at job at 5pm. Adrianne's father Tony said that since Adrianne didn't have many friends, he suspected foul play was involved in her disappearance.
They Hired A Friend To Dismember Adrianne
The day after Adrianne's murder, Sarah and Cory recruited Nathan Gaudet, a 16-year-old fellow student to help them dispose of Adrianne's remains. Nathan, who had a disturbing obsession with blood, gore and animal cruelty, met his acquaintances at the farm armed with a hacksaw. Sarah demanded that Cory help with the dismemberment, but Cory refused, saying "I can't cut up a body. It ain't right."
Nathan hacked away at Adrianne's corpse, severing her arms, legs and head from the torso. They disposed of the torso and legs in a nearby ravine attached to the farm, and after heading to McDonalds, they then drove to Black Hawk Historic Site in Rock Island where they buried the rest of Adrianne's remains several feet below a manhole cover.
The Teenagers Were Arrested
Police searched tirelessly for any trace of Adrianne Reynolds with no luck. Her family put out thousands of flyers around the city with the hopes that someone might recognize her, but no one, even Adrianne's schoolfriends, recalled seeing her the day the disappeared. But a few days after she vanished, an anonymous tipper said they'd spotted Adrianne in a Taco Bell parking lot.
Authorities followed the trail and discovered that Adrianne Reynolds was last seen with Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory. They zoned in on Adrianne's former friends and took them both in for questioning. Both maintained their innocence at first, but it didn't take long for one half of the to break down and reveal the horrific truth.
Cory Gregory Confessed Everything
When police questioned Sarah, she claimed that she and Cory had picked Adrianne up and dropped her off at a local McDonald's. She claimed they had a minor argument, but had made up by the time they dropped her off. She also made no mention of Nathan Gaudet in her testimony.
While Sarah and Nathan were remorseless and manipulative in their actions, Cory Gregory felt differently. Guilt began to plague him, to the point that he couldn't keep the murderous secret to himself. Under police interrogation, Cory broke down and confessed that a week prior, Sarah strangled Adrianne Reynolds in the back of Sarah's car and together they'd dismembered her body.
Cory Led The Police To Adrianne's Remains
Cory took police to the manhole at Black Hawk Historical Site where they discovered Adrianne's severed arms and head. He then took them to Sarah's grandparents farm where they found the legs and partially-charred torso. The evidence was concrete, and guaranteed both Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory a life behind bars.
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However, he didn't mention the assistance of Nathan Gaudet in his testimony, and police only learned of his involvement thanks to the honesty of his grandmother. Nathan's grandmother notified the police of her grandson's possible involvement due to a bloody hacksaw she found in her basement. When police asked Cory about Nathan's involvement, he confessed that he too was involved.
Sarah And Cory's Strange Relationship
There was no doubt that Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory killed Reynolds, but it was still a confusing picture. What motivated three teenagers to murder a so-called friend? Was it mere teenage jealousy, or was there something more sinister at play?
Cory's confession revealed that prior to her slaughter, Adrianne reportedly asked Cory on a date. Cory told Sarah of this new development, which angered Sarah despite her and Cory not being romantically involved. Sarah also had a boyfriend at the time who wasn't involved.
Sarah soon confessed the truth, stating that she didn't want this new girl 'stealing' Cory from her. Cory then claimed that he only assisted with the crime because he was in love with Sarah and didn't want her to go to jail. During interviews with Sarah's schoolmates, one said that Cory was obsessed with Sarah and did everything that she asked him.
Arrests And Trials
Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory were both charged with two counts of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide on February 1, 2005.
Prosecutors allege Kolb and Gregory committed premeditated homicide which warranted a long custodial sentence. Sarah Kolb was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and one count of concealing a homicide, and was sentenced to 53 years in prison. Meanwhile, the Kolb families wept quietly in court.
Thursday morning, May 5 2005, Cory Gregory pleded guilty to the same crimes and a unanimous vote by Rock Island County Jury sentenced him to 45 behind bars for his participation.
Nathan Gaudet received only 5 years in a detention center for his involvement in the crime. On April 16 2012, Gaudet passed away in a motorcycle accident. Both Sarah Kolb and Cory Gregory remaned in prison.
At the sentencing hearing, Kolb's court appointed attorney David Hoffman read out a letter written by the defendant. Kolb wrote: "I felt no feeling as she died. There's no excuse why I couldn't turn off my not-feeling to feel." Kolb's family declined comment regarding their daughter's actions.