Snakes on High Stakes

21st Aug 2007

It seems we are going back to good old times, when murders were considered some kind of creative art and the weapons varied from strange little bottles filled with deadly poison to all sort of different noxious animals, crawling into your bedroom at night, like snakes, for instance. This is exactly what two Likewood Colorado men, Beck and Steelman, tried to use to get their cash back from Matthew Sowash, who apparently owned them over $60,000.

The fortunate victim, Matthew Sowash is the owner of the Amateur Poker Tour in Wheat Ridge Colorado. The company is based around running poker tournaments in Denver area bars. Beck claims to have invested $36,000 in the business, which allegedly had to come up to $60,000 due to the interest on the initial amount.

Both Beck and Steelman decided to get the money back through different criminal activities. They’ve put a rattlesnake in a box with a special cover that would make it possible to place victim’s legs inside that box, but impossible to take out. It turned out that both criminals that have extensive arrest records, were planning to kidnap victim’s children to ask for a ransom to cover the dept.

Matthew Sowash contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as soon as the first blackmail came through, as Beck and Steelman started off by sending threatening e-mails to a man to start their evil affair. Both men, Herbert Paul Beck, 56 and Christopher Lee Steelman, 34, are now charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and extortion. The bail for them is $500,000.

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