Anyone know what happened with this case?

Back in 2002, Mariela Karbowski was confessed to the murder of her estranged husband, Karl Karbowski, who frequently went by his middle name, Terry. She said she beat him to death with a toaster — the article I read specified that it was a two-slice one. It’s a rather unusual murder weapon and prompted a few jokes on the internet about the need for better toaster control, people should have to have a license and a 30-day waiting period to buy a toaster, etc. Anyway, although Karl’s body was not found, Mariela was charged with murder.

And then…nothing. I have been unable to find a single article after the ones where Mariela was initially charged. Surely she should have been tried by now, but I can’t find anything about it. Karl is still listed as missing with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

I appeal to you, Charley Project Blog readers, for assistance in this matter. Whatever became of the Toaster Murderer?

28 thoughts on “Anyone know what happened with this case?

  1. Princess Shantae August 16, 2010 / 1:45 pm

    No idea but I hope if she goes to prison they don’t let her work in the kitchen. A toaster is one thing but can you imagine her throwing a fit with a salad shooter?

  2. Kat August 16, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    HA! Not that it’s funny, obviously, but that comment sure was!

    • Princess Shantae August 16, 2010 / 2:48 pm

      A toaster is just funny anyway. I read once not long ago about some old couple that got in a big fight over who was going to make a sandwich for who and the wife ended up dead b/c the husband threw the microwave at her.
      Kitchen stuff is funny, come to think of it.

  3. Kat August 16, 2010 / 4:02 pm

    We’re awful people :). I do remember waffle irons, salad spoons, can openers, anything and everything. Like I said, it’s obviously not a funny situation, but the things human beings can think of (esp. while under the influence) are astounding. Like, I’ve never walked into my kitchen while pissed at my husband and thought….gee, I’d like to whack him with the loin of pork. Honestly. It’s no wonder the world is going to hell in a handbasket. However, to get back on topic, I remember the case but have heard zippo since then…maybe one of those interminable delays?

    • Meaghan August 16, 2010 / 10:31 pm

      I’ve heard that the majority of domestic homicides take place in the kitchen, probably due to the proximity of all the manner of weapons. As for the pork loin story, you can read the whole thing here: Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. Yes, the same guy who wrote Matilda and James and the Giant Peach and all those other children’s stories.

      As for my part, when I was about fifteen or so, my abusive brother was berating me like usual (EVERY SINGLE DAY it was “you’re stupid” “you’re ugly” “no one likes you” “Mom and Dad are going to send you away because they hate you”), while at the same time frying bacon on the stove. The stove is right next to the kitchen stairs and I was passing my brother to go upstairs and he was saying nasty things to me, leaning over the pan to flip the bacon order with a fork, when I had the impulse to put my hand on the back of his head and shove his face down into the hot grease. I was so angry. My arm actually twitched, I wanted to do it that badly, and I grabbed hold of it with the other arm to stop myself.

  4. Kat August 16, 2010 / 4:03 pm

    OOOOoh, you know what I just thought of? Maybe she was charged under another name. Sometimes with common law marriages, in certain states your legal name is still birth/maiden name. Any thoughts, people?

    • Meaghan August 16, 2010 / 10:37 pm

      I checked under her maiden name — nothing. I may call Texas DPS but they probably won’t tell me anything. Piss.

    • anonymous September 28, 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Nothing has been done in this case. Her name is Mariela Hernandez now, she is still an instructor at the beauty college. There is no double jeopardy as she has never been tried.

  5. Kat August 17, 2010 / 1:26 am

    Well, they might. You have friends in high places, as they say :). And quite frankly, many moons ago when I read The Witches, I slept with my closet doors open till about a year ago and I’m still not too comfy. I used to check under my bed, too. It’s not all Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Also, I feel your pain with the bro thing. I used to think about the same thing, but never had the opportunity. I assume this is the same guy of the stuffed diseases who lives in MI now.

  6. Texas Rose August 17, 2010 / 1:32 am

    She is not in the Harris County Jail (where the offense occured) and she is not in the Tx Department of Justice prison system, as far as I can tell. W/ no articles at all, it’s hard to believe there ever was a trial. As she confessed (and said she put his body and the toaster into the river, but neither was found), a trial should have been a slam dunk. Maybe she died before a trial? What’s her maiden name, I can search on that as well???

    • Chaos October 31, 2020 / 1:22 am

      She is very much alive unfortunately. She attempted to murder someone with a car bomb as well. Other Crimes include sex trafficking and poisoning as well as domestic abuse.

  7. Kat August 17, 2010 / 1:34 am

    It’s Quinonez or some such, I was able to find the marriage certificate this morning when I looked, but I did not save the name, should be easy to find if googled. NAMPN says they had dna or something, I assume from one of the sources they had listed in that casefile, but I did not have time to look.

  8. Texas Rose August 17, 2010 / 1:52 am

    http://cpedia.com/search?q=mariela+karbowski

    The murder did NOT occur in Harris County (Houston) but the two counties where the major portions of it occured refused to try her, so Harris County (which she passed through w/ the dead body) took the case. Her maiden name is Quionez, and the above link mentions she has a lot of family in Mexico, so I bet she escaped to Mexico.

    http://www.dadi.org/toaster.htm
    Yes, she was bonded out and that seems to be the last anyone has heard of her…but you’d think we would find info on her as a fugitive, etc.

    • Meaghan August 17, 2010 / 1:54 am

      A $10,000 bond?! For murder? That’s pathetic!

  9. Julie October 22, 2010 / 12:40 pm

    I am Terry’s sister. Mariela was never prosecuted because they did not feel there was enough evidence without a body for a conviction. As far as I know, she is living in Victoria, Texas. It is so difficult to believe that it is so easy to get away with murder, but Mariela and her accomplises were successful. Our family has not been able to get closure on Terry’s death. I would like to have buried his remains next to our mother’s, but from what little information we have been able to ascertain, his murderers made sure that would never happen. Too incriminating. We keep hoping that someday someone will talk and we will be able to find out more of what happened.

    I would love to hear from anyone who may know something. Thank you.

    • Meaghan October 22, 2010 / 1:26 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that the case never went to trial. If they find more evidence though, they can prosecute her again.

    • Jenny W November 9, 2011 / 4:56 pm

      She works at the Vicotria Beauty Collage and is very open to the fact that he murderer her husband and they cant retry her because of double jeoperdy. Just a note fyi for you.

      • Meaghan November 9, 2011 / 7:58 pm

        If she was never actually brought to trial, she CAN be re-tried. A person can be charged, have the charges dropped before trial, and then be brought up again on charges without violating the double jeopardy clause.

      • Julie Hensley October 14, 2019 / 9:39 pm

        Hi Jenny. This is Julie, Terry Karbowski’s sister. If you are willing, I would like to visit with you privately. Will you help me, please?

    • A friend October 31, 2020 / 1:28 am

      Want to put her away for good I might know how. I can’t let her get away with all the people she has hurt.
      supermegachaos@gmail.com

      Email me to talk more about it

      • Julia bell January 5, 2021 / 7:55 pm

        What? Are you for real? I only ask because Terry was my grandfather so I look on here sometimes to see if there’s any new comments.

  10. anonymous September 1, 2011 / 12:19 am

    There is a lady by the same name Mariela Quinonez Karbowski is a instructor at this school “VICTORIA BEAUTY COLLEGE” in Victoria, Texas 77904 located on laurent street. She is very rude, disrespectfull, and not fit to teach mentally. She has violent mood swings at school towards students. Earlier i was googling news articles on Google.com out of boredom and i came across this particular article published back in 2002 in victoria advocate, a local newspaper. OMG I am shocked beyond my imagination. I am actually speechless after reading this article and concerned about the well fare of faculty, students, and customers who go to that establishment I can not believe The owner of the school Rebecca Brown hired such a individual. Also i would like to convey my regards to MR. Karl terry karbowski family and my sincere condolences for their loss.

    • anonymous April 30, 2015 / 6:55 pm

      She is still working at the Victoria Beauty College and she is a total nut case. I wish more people knew exactly who she is. I don’t think she should be allowed to work anywhere with such a criminal back ground….

      • Anonymous December 9, 2019 / 9:23 pm

        She preys on men she can manipulate for money!

      • A friend October 31, 2020 / 2:00 am

        Anonymous is right she has also attempted a car bombing on an individual in the past before this insident. From what I here was to try to claim on his life insurance fraud. She is dangerous and manipulative use caution!

  11. Anonymous June 20, 2020 / 11:54 am

    She actually now opened a barber school in Victoria Tx. She was fired from the beauty college for accepting money in exchange for class hours!! And claiming students were enrolled in school and getting credit for them, yet they were never there. She flaunts thats she killed her husband to all students. She has such a bad attitude if you put her in her place…as I did. I didnt put up with her lies! She thought she was GOD almighty and knew everything. I hope she one day gets charged with his murder! Im sorry for your loss.

  12. Chaos October 31, 2020 / 1:12 am

    I don’t know if anyone will read this but she is also involved in an attempted murder by car bombing I know the man who was almost murders by the women. She should be in jail. Other Crimes by her include attempted murder by poisoning and sex trafficking along with demestic abuse the fact that she remains out of prison is amazing to me.

  13. Anon May 23, 2021 / 4:12 am

    Like the above person said, Mariela does not work at the VBC (Victoria beauty college) anymore. She opened up her own place recently but it’s still in Victoria. She has no regards on keeping quiet that she did in fact murder her ex husband. She openly admitted it to my sister, her ex-daughter in law. And she’s mentioned in my presence a few times as well but always in a jokingly manner. She always says the same thing about it though….that she murdered him with the toaster and threw him as well as the toaster in a river. And she will never get daughter for it. It’s sad really. I hope justice comes for her one day.

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