Hospitality Betrayed: Teen Mother’s Family Faces Deadly Betrayal After Welcoming Boyfriend, Ending in Tragic Murders

Image by: Oxygen

After Nicole Thornhill faced the prospect of becoming a teen mother, Gerald “Gerry” Jensen, 48, and his wife, Kristan Jensen, welcomed Thornhill (Kristan’s daughter) and her boyfriend, Christopher Tomlinson, into their house. Instead of thanking them, Thornhill and Tomlinson devised a plan to murder the couple, who had both been dealing with substance abuse for years.

“According to [Nicole] and Chris’ beliefs, anyone who used drugs was not a good person and couldn’t be around them, and they also didn’t want them around the baby,” Dr. Bryanna Fox, criminology professor, said on Snapped, which airs Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.

Tomlinson stabbed Gerry with a samurai sword, bringing the hazardous plot to an end.

“The way that both Chris and Nicole felt that they had been impacted as children with parents leaving, that’s what they did to their child,” Fox told the media. “Their baby’s life is now essentially changed forever.”

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Nicole Thornhill experienced a tough upbringing. Her mother, Kristan, suffered from substance misuse.

“Nicole hadn’t grown up with her mother,” Daphne Duret, a former Palm Beach Post reporter, explained on Snapped. “Kristan’s addiction issues led her to be estranged from Nicole for a large part of her childhood.”

Child Protective Services eventually placed Thornhill and her sister, Sara, in full-time care with their father.

“Growing up, things were very chaotic,” Sara Thornhill revealed on Snapped. “I was young enough that I didn’t fully comprehend what was going on. But my sister did. She didn’t get to live with my mother for long.

When Thornhill was 18, her father lost their home, so she moved in with Kristan and her stepfather, Gerry Jensen. She met Chris Tomlinson on the social networking site “Deviant Art.” He was stationed in Germany with the army. When he returned, they met for the first time in person and relocated to California together. But Thornhill quickly became pregnant, and the couple ran out of money. Kristan and Gerry welcomed them back into their Stuart, Florida home.

Kristan relapsed and entered a drug recovery program six weeks after giving birth to their baby in March 2008.

“Kristan and Gerry had been under a lot of stress,” Fox admitted. “This stress was primarily caused by Nicole’s boyfriend, Chris Tomlinson, who had recently moved in with them. Gerry informed [his pal] Kevin that Chris was unemployed. As a father, he did not prioritize caring for Nicole or the baby. Kevin believed that all of the stress with Chris was what caused Kristan’s recurrence.

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Kristan Jensen blamed Tomlinson for the family’s tension during police questioning, calling him a “lazy, inconsiderate brat.”

“Chris did nothing,” Sara Thornhill explained. “He would not acquire a job. He sat and played video games all day. And every time my mother nagged Chris, my sister defended him.”

Kristan told the cops. Tomlinson’s problems with Gerry strained his connection with his stepdaughter.

“She was calling Gerry ‘Dad,’ and things were just great,” Kristan told investigators. “Then all of a sudden, Chris appears. Yeah, she no longer wants to call him ‘Dad’.”

Tomlinson and Thornhill also clashed with Kristan and Gerry on religion.

“Gerry couldn’t understand their Wiccan lifestyle,” Duret told me. “They really couldn’t get through to him.”

Kristan Jensen called the police on April 21, 2008, shortly after 8 p.m., concerned that her spouse had gone missing. She had just returned home from four days in a detox hospital to discover Thornhill, Tomlinson, and their newborn baby, but Gerry had left. He had failed to pick her up from the hospital despite agreeing to do so on April 20.

Thornhill and Tomlinson explained that Gerry had gotten into a quarrel with someone on the phone the night before, so they took their baby to the library. When they returned home, they were told he had left.

However, Gerry Jensen’s phone, auto keys, and the car remained at home. The bathroom door was missing, as was a comforter from the bed. And Kristan noticed a strong bleach odor in the restroom.

After police posted missing person posters, Palm Beach County detectives phoned when they discovered a body matching Gerry’s description at a dump. Fingerprint analysis proved that the body belonged to Gerry Jensen. He’d been stabbed several times, and his throat was slashed.

Why did Nicole Thornhill and Chris Tomlinson kill Gerry Jensen?

When Stuart police investigated Gerry Jensen’s phone records, they discovered that he was not on the phone the night he disappeared, as Nicole Thornhill and Chris Tomlinson stated. When investigators presented Thornhill with this knowledge, she confessed all.

She claimed she and her boyfriend did not want to raise their child in a drug-infested environment, and she admitted to scheming to murder her mother and stepfather for two months.

“I mentioned knocking him out with sleeping pills — making it look like a suicide because they both do so much drugs,” Thornhill told detectives. “So, we went to Walmart and he bought some of those weird generic sleeping pills.”

When the medicines failed, Thornhill said she and her partner devised a new strategy.

“The plan was that Chris and Nicole were going to surprise him and Chris was going to attack him with a samurai sword that he kept in the house,” Fox told reporters.

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Thornhill claimed she took the infant out for a stroll as her lover murdered her stepfather.

“Tomlinson claimed he came out of the room with a sword, confronted him, and stabbed him in the front,” prosecutor Erin Kirkwood stated on Snapped. “That must have been a horrific way to die. Knowing that someone is approaching you with a sword in a limited location. “He did not deserve that.”

Thornhill admitted to helping her boyfriend cover Gerry’s body in a tarp and bed comforter before throwing it in a dumpster.

Police discovered a blood-stained blade under a bed in the residence. However, they discovered tequila and milk bottles laced with sleeping pills, as well as a WalMart ticket for sleeping pills purchased the day after Gerry’s death. Thornhill then admitted to attempting to kill her mother as well.

“I wanted to do the sleeping pills because she had just done it so many times before, trying to kill herself,” Thornhill told police. “She attempted to do it in front of me…” “I can’t stand her anymore.”

After denying involvement in the murder, Tomlinson admitted to a struggle with Gerry, claiming it was self-defense.

“I asked him how he felt about Gerald,” Stuart police investigator Jaylee Porcelli wrote on Snapchat. “He disapproved of Gerald’s behavior, which included yelling, fighting, drinking, and drug use. He informed me that he was a [Wiccan] high priest. He felt he could sense auras around others. And he did not believe that persons with a negative aura should be permitted to live in the same world as his child.”

In May 2010, a jury convicted Tomlinson of murder and other offenses and sentenced him to life in prison plus 60 years.

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“Christopher to this day has not told me in his words why,” Tomlinson’s mother, Christine Troughton, wrote on Snapchat. And I gaze at Christopher. You could’ve had it all. But you became involved with Nicole. And the army messed you up. So, all of it combined, he snapped. And he will never recover from that.”

Thornhill later claimed she only plotted and assisted in the disposal of the body because Tomlinson compelled her to do so, but she eventually accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to 50 years in jail. Despite Thornhill’s murder plan, her mother petitioned the judge for leniency at her sentencing.

“Nicole finally got to have the relationship with my mom that she always wanted,” Sara Thornhill said. “And vice versa. My mother suffered with her loss and pain over what happened to my sister, but they eventually developed a great relationship.”

Kristin Jensen died in 2020 as per oxygen

Thornhill and Tomlinson lost custody of their child. It was adopted by a foster family and given a different name.

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