Woman recounts meeting accused killer Lois Riess: ‘I thought she was a new best friend’
New text messages reveal accused killer Lois Riess potentially courted a third victim while on the run in Texas.
Riess is accused of killing her husband in Minnesota, along with a woman who looked like her on Fort Myers Beach, vacationer Pamela Hutchinson.
Documents reveal Riess befriended a woman, and the two shared meals and even a hot tub during Riess’ short stay.
That woman’s name is Bernadette. She did not want to reveal her last name.
Bernadette said their friendship began at a bar called Liam’s, when Riess—who introduced herself as Donna—asked to eat with her. She told Bernadette she was recently widowed and looking for property in Texas.
Bernadette said Riess seemed overly kind and even bought her dinner with a wad of cash. They met for dinner a second time as well. And that’s when Bernadette invited Riess back to stay at her home.
“I had no idea. I thought she was a new best friend. I didn’t think she was going to do anything to me. We sat in my hot tub, she stayed in my guest bedroom, and the next morning I took her to breakfast,” Bernadette said.
But when Bernadette called Riess back a third time, she got a strange voicemail.
The woman on the answering machine identified herself as Stormy Liberty, the same name Riess gave to another person she contacted after Hutchinson’s murder.
“I was trying to text her to meet her again the third time at Liam’s. And I had called and texted her to see if we were going to meet and I never got a response. And I called her phone and there was somebody on the other end of the phone that I think her name was like Stormy Liberty or something like that,” Bernadette said.
When Bernadette went back to the bar, she said the patrons told her about Riess’ arrest. And now, she says she feels scared and ashamed about her brush with the accused killer.
“I feel very betrayed and I feel stupid that I could be so gullible. It’s just scary—very scary to meet a stranger and think that they’re going to be your friend and they turn out to be a killer,” Bernadette said.
WINK News reporter Oliver Redsten has more from Bernadette in the clip above.