Caroline Nosal: The 24-Year-Old Murdered by Her Co-Worker, Christopher O’Kroley

Christopher O’Kroley, who worked with Caroline Nosal at Metro Market Cottage Grove in Madison, shot her to death on February 2, 2016, in an act of revenge. After his arrest, O’Kroley claimed that “it was easy” to kill her.

As humans, we need to trust each other in order to form deep bonds or to work together efficiently as a team. So, while working in an organization or a shop together, it is often essential that colleagues get along.

There is a reason why women are afraid to talk about situations that make them uncomfortable, often especially in the workplace. Even though we live in the 21st Century, harassment (particularly sexual harassment) is still prevalent at work. A similar case happened back in 2016, which perfectly depicts the dangers of what could happen when a mentally unstable person’s advances are rejected.

Caroline Nosal was living the life of her dreams, financially independent, and had a steady job working at Metro Market Cottage Grove in Madison as an assistant produce manager. She used to get along with all her colleagues, except for one guy, Christopher O’Kroley.

Their Work Relationship

Nosal and O’Kroley both worked in the same place. Other co-workers claim that initially, their relationship was fine. Until one day, O’Kroley wanted more from their friendship. According to reports, O’Kroley started harassing Nosal sexually.

Nosal rejected his advances and was tired of his behavior, so she told one of the store managers about it. Nosal thought that by complaining about O’Kroley’s behavior, everything would be fine and he would stop the harassment.

But, little did Nosal know that there was a storm raging inside O’Kroley and he was planning to do something drastic to get revenge.

What Was Christopher O’Kroley’s Plan?

26-year-old O’Kroley was suspended while the incident was being investigated. According to various reports, O’Kroley was hurt by the fact that she rejected him, and on top of that, it was because of her that he was suspended.

O’Kroley revealed that after his suspension from work, he decided to kill Nosal and himself, if he was fired from the job. On February 1, 2016, O’Kroley was fired from his job. The news was hard for him to digest, and in his anger, he bought a gun.

Christopher O'Kroley

Photo: Christopher O’Kroley/Facebook.com

O’Kroley decided to wait a day and practice shooting the gun, before attempting to kill Nosal. In the mental state he was in, he decided that killing her was the only option.

How Did She Die?

Call it fate or a sign, but on Monday evening after he had practised shooting his gun, O’Kroley went to their workplace intent on shooting Nosal. Fortunately, Nosal had already left work for the day, so O’Kroley went back home, watched films, and ordered a pizza.

O’Kroley tried his luck again on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, but this time, he made sure to check if Nosal was still at work. To find out when her shift ended, O’Kroley messaged his former co-workers on the pretext of collecting his stuff from the store.

He learned that Nosal was done work at 8:00 p.m. and decided to kneel down by Nosal’s car and wait for her there. 

The moment he saw Nosal turn the corner, he got up and shot at her chest. When Nosal fell to the ground, O’Kroley shot her once more in the head. 

When O’Kroley was asked his motive behind shooting her, he said it was easy to kill Nosal because he was angry that she “ruined” his life. O’Kroley himself admitted to the authorities that he was a sociopath.

Death of a Beautiful and Beloved Girl

Nosal had a big life ahead of her, with big dreams and goals to achieve. Unfortunately, her friends and family were heartbroken when they heard about the news of her unexpected and tragic death at the age of just 24. 

She was born Caroline Elizabeth Nosal on May 1, 1991, in Rockford, IL to James M. Nosal and Jane Brandy Nosal.

They had a sweet little family of four; her parents and her sister, Amy. Nosal was a very sympathetic person at heart, who was crazy about animals and would go to any extent for her loved ones.

Nosal was an avid reader, and according to her Facebook, she believed in getting lost in the world of books. In 2010, Nosal graduated from Sun Prairie High School and attended Madison Area Technical College.

Nosal liked to keep herself busy and was very talented. She was a figure skater and an equestrian. She liked to keep herself busy by working with animals at the Humane Society, playing video games, and watching her favorite shows like Star Trek or Monty Python.

Before Nosal worked at Metro Market, she was an employee at the Stoughton Pick ‘n Save in 2014.

Her friends described Nosal as “wonderful and sassy.” Loretta Richard-Green was traumatized when she learned the news about one of her best friends’ death.

Caroline Nosal Killed

Photo: Caroline Nosal/Facebook.com

The Aftermath

It was evident O’Kroley was mentally disturbed and premeditated his plan to kill Nosal. Initially, O’Kroley’s plan was to shoot Nosal and kill himself, too. In a text message to a co-worker, he wrote, “I killed Caroline and I’m about to kill myself. So don’t be surprised when I don’t respond anymore.”

But O’Kroley realized that he couldn’t kill himself and initially his plan was to hijack someone’s car at gunpoint. However, he took his own car instead and fled the scene.

On February 3, 2016, O’Kroley was arrested about four miles from an area where his car was discovered abandoned. In order to search him and arrest him, officials had to use K9s and a drone.

There was a gunfire exchange between O’Kroley and Madison Police Officer Michele Walker before he was taken into custody.

On February 5, 2016, O’Kroley’s bond was set at $1.0 million after he was charged with first-degree intentional homicide. When O’Kroley appeared for his hearing, he was wheeled into the courtroom wearing nothing but a suicide-prevention smock (a tear-resistant, noose-proof article of clothing made for detainees who are on suicide watch).

In July 2016, O’Kroley pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide. In September 2016, O’Kroley received an automatic life sentence for shooting Nosal.

Not the First Time…

In the past, O’Kroley was served warrants for unrelated cases at least twice. One was in September 2013 by Madison Police and the second in September 2014, by Cottage Grove officials.

According to one of O’Kroley’s ex-girlfriends, O’Kroley was also hospitalized for a few days in September 2014, after he tried committing suicide. She further told the Wisconsin State Journal that he has been mentally ill for the past decade.

Additionally, O’Kroley “was listed as a suspect in a sexual assault” case, which reportedly occurred on December 26, 2015, at his house in the 800 block of North Thompson Drive.

A 20-year-old woman who knew O’Kroley claimed that she fell asleep in his house after watching a movie and woke up to find, “some of her clothing [wasn’t] the way it should be.” She felt that maybe she was sexually assaulted.

There were also disputes over the birth and support of a son he had with his ex-girlfriend, Amanda M. Joers.

Where Is Christopher O’Kroley Now?

According to reports, O’Kroley was found dead in his prison cell at Waupun Correctional Institution on May 1, 2017. According to Nosal’s mother, Jane Nosal, O’Kroley apparently killed himself on Nosal’s birthday. He was discovered dead in his cell at 11:00 p.m.

Talking about his death, Jane said, “I’m sure he planned this, to kill himself on her birthday. So this was intentional. I guess he felt he hadn’t poisoned that day enough.”

The Killer Beside Me

The Killer Beside Me is a show that airs on Investigation Discovery and it describes the details of Nosal’s murder. It is a six-part series which premiered on April 22, 2018, and has since stirred up curiosity into the case. The horrific details of Nosal’s death are covered in the series that airs at 7.00 p.m. EST on Investigation Discovery.


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