Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Piper Rountree's Revenge

Piper and Fred

Piper Rountree was born and raised in a small farming community in Harlingen, Texas. According to Paige Akin writing for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, she was the youngest of five siblings, including two brothers and two sisters.  Rountree's father was a military surgeon and her mother was a homemaker.

Piper Rountree
Piper Rountree

Rountree was reported to have had a happy childhood and family life. She had close friendships and was liked by her fellow students although she wasn't the most popular girl in school, fellow classmate Lavon Guerrero suggested. Rountree excelled academically and was eventually accepted by the University of Texas at Austin in 1978. As an undergraduate, she studied speech communication. 

The following year, Dr. Fredric (Fred) Jablin left a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin and took a new position teaching communications at the University of Texas at Austin. He was recently divorced and looking for a new beginning. In 1981, he taught a course in organizational communications, for which Rountree registered. Jablin was immediately captivated by Rountree's artistic and energetic nature. Their student/teacher relationship ended in the fall of 1981 and six months later they began a romantic relationship.

Younger Fredric Jablin
Younger Fredric Jablin

The two were smitten with one another and became increasingly inseparable. In 1983, the couple moved to San Antonio, Texas when Rountree was accepted as a law student at St. Mary's University. Jablin did not give up his position at the University of Texas because his career was just beginning to take off, despite the 180-mile commute from his new home.

Piper and Fredric in 1985
Piper and Fredric in 1985

Later that year, the couple married while Rountree was still enrolled in law school. The marriage initially got off to a good start but it wasn't long before cracks began to appear. According to Bowes, Jablin reported in later court documents that he "became aware early in their marriage that Rountree suffered "emotional problems," after learning that she had been bulimic and was receiving psychological counseling 'because of family issues.'" 

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