Let’s be honest, no parent has it easy raising a kid. It’s the toughest job in the world. And likewise, no kid has an easy childhood. There are already enough tumultuous waters to navigate without adding dealing with parents into the mix. If we all grew up like an episode of Full House, where a hug and some sappy music solved all of the day’s traumas, maybe the world would be a better place. That said, the vast majority of children grow up with loving parents, in loving homes, and the vast majority of parents would do anything for the well being of their children. But, as always in this world, there are the darker corners, the shadows that lie outside the norm and shock us all too often. Children who kill their parents may not be as shocking as those parents who kill their children, but the idea that a young person has it so bad, or covets something so much, that they would brutally take away the lives of the parents who gave them their own is truly a stark reminder that the real world is nothing like a family sitcom.
8. Daniel Bartlam (14)
One of the United Kingdom’s most shocking cases of a child killing a parent, 14-year-old Daniel Bartlam’s parents divorced when he was nine, and over the next five years his behavior became increasingly disturbing. He developed an obsession with horror movies, became increasingly reclusive and began posting violent clips online. Furthermore, he developed a knack for writing extremely gory short stories, which he would show his mother, Jacqui, with great delight. On Easter Sunday, 2011, his madness reached a new level and Daniel decided to commit what he saw as the perfect murder by killing his own mother. After mowing the lawn and indulging in some Easter chocolate, Daniel proceeded to sneak into his mother’s bedroom and smash her head in with a claw hammer.
Hoping to destroy evidence he then covered his mother’s dead body with paper, doused it in gasoline and lit her ablaze. Daniel was caught after emergency crews responding to the blazing home found the murder weapon in his bedroom. He’s currently serving life in prison.
7. Jasmine Richardson (12)
It was in Medicine Hat, Alberta on April 23, 2006, that the bodies of Marc and Debra Richardson were found brutally stabbed in the basement of their own home. Both parents had been stabbed so many times that Marc had next to no blood left in his body. Even worse, the couple’s eight-year-old son, Jacob, was dead upstairs with his throat cut. More puzzling to investigators, the couple’s 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, had gone missing. Thus began one of Canada’s most bizarre and shocking parental murders of all time. Though it was initially feared that Jasmine had been abducted, she was soon found in the neighboring province of Saskatchewan with her 23-year-old boyfriend. The couple had apparently watch Natural Born Killers shortly before the murders, after which Jasmine’s boyfriend, and clear pedophile, Jeremy Allan Steinke convinced the young Jasmine to marry him, help kill her parents and then proceed to run off with him. The couple were soon arrested and Jeremy was charged and convicted with three counts of first-degree murder, receiving three life sentences. Jasmine was also charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but as a minor received ten years, though she is serving her time in a psychiatric hospital.
6. Seth Privacky (18)
Quiet Muskegon, Michigan was rocked with a quintuple murder in November of 1988 when the Privacky family was all gathering for Thanksgiving dinner. While the rest of the family prepared for the meal, 18-year-old son Seth went on a rampage with his father’s .22-caliber Ruger. He methodically shot the entire family; he first shot his older brother who was watching TV in the living room, then murdered his father and grandfather as they arrived back home from running errands. His mother was shot after she got out of the shower, and then, after his girlfriend showed up unannounced and witnessed the aftermath of Seth’s murder spree, she was shot too. After calling a friend to help him stage the crime scene to look like a robbery, Seth’s plan hit another snag when his girlfriend’s parents showed up and witnessed the pair moving the bodies. Seth ran, but was captured the next day, confessing to his crimes and explaining that he killed his father for threatening to kick him out of the house, and the rest of the family for not sticking up for him. Seth was convicted and given a life in prison, which apparently didn’t agree with him; On July 15, 2010, he was shot to death during a failed attempt to escape.
5. David Brom (16)
The case of David Brom is so shocking because there appears to be no motive at all. As a 16-year-old in Rochester, Minnesota, Brom was apparently a genial teenager, A student, and had displayed no psychotic tendencies whatsoever until February 18, 1988, the night he killed his family. Both David’s parents, Bernard and Paulette, had been severely bludgeoned to death with an axe, as were two of David’s siblings, 14-year-old Diane and nine-year-old Richard. As if nothing had happened, David attended school the next day, then proceeded to brag about the murders in great detail to a female classmate. Yet, there still appeared to be absolutely no motive; the best anyone could come up with was an argument he had had with his father over a punk rock tape he had bought. Regardless, the brutally of the crime saw David tried as an adult, and saw his insanity defense crumble. He’s now serving three consecutive life sentences behind bars.
4. The Menendez Brothers: Lyle (21) & Eric (18)
Lyle and Erik Menendez were spoiled rotten sociopaths with no care for anything, or anyone but themselves. Born wealthy, even the silver spoon in their mouths couldn’t keep them from getting into trouble. 21-year-old Lyle escaped burglary charges thanks in part to his father’s wealth and influence with lawyers, and younger brother Erik’s willingness to take the blame for him in order not to disrupt Lyle’s college career. Not that that really helped much; not long after, Lyle’s education at Princeton was put on hold anyways, for suspected plagiarism and severe disciplinary problems. By August of 1989 the two brothers decided that college and the work force wasn’t for them, and instead decided to ensure they’d be wealthy for life by killing their parents.
On the 20th of August the brothers entered their parents’ $4 million mansion in Beverly Hills and shot their father point-blank in the back of the head with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, blowing his head apart. They then shot their mother, first in the leg, then several times in the arm, chest, and face, leaving her unrecognizable. To make the shootings look like a mob hit, they shot both parents in the kneecaps. Though the brothers were suspects, there was no evidence that police could initially use to charge them. But, like all sociopaths suspecting they got away with the perfect crime, the bothers just couldn’t help themselves. In the first six months after the murders, the two spent over a million dollars. Erik finally admitted to the murders, on tape, to his psychologist. Though Lyle threatened to kill the psychologist if she told anyone, she came forward anyways. By 1992 the brothers were charged with the murder of their parents, and both are now serving life in prison.
3. Brian Blackwell (18)
Oh, to be rich and popular. Brian Blackwell was an intelligent 18-year-old college student from England with dreams of becoming a successful surgeon. To classmates, Brian was a model student, was well liked and was a professional tennis player. He was also quite wealthy. The only problem was, he was neither a tennis player nor wealthy. Diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, Brian built up the illusion of a lavish lifestyle in order to impress his peers. In order to build and maintain this façade, Brian applied for 13 different credit cards and numerous other loans, all in his father’s name. When his parents finally confronted their son about all of the money he had spent, instead of admitting his wrongs, he decided to beat them with a claw hammer before stabbing them to death, all to maintain his illusion. Immediately after the murders, Brian took his girlfriend to New York City and Barbados, racking up £30,000 in charges on his dead father’s credit cards. After his parents’ bodies were discovered over a month later, Brian, who initially denied involvement, ultimately confessed. He’s currently serving life in prison.
2. Lowell Lee Andrews (22)
Once described as the nicest boy in Wolcott, Kansas, university sophomore Lowell Lee Andrews was a heavy set, spectacled 22-year-old when he decided to murder his entire family on November 28, 1958. Lowell had come home from college to visit his family home for Thanksgiving in Wolcott. While his parents, William and Opal, and his 17-year-old sister, Jennie Marie, were all huddled around the TV together in the living room, Lowell read a book upstairs. Once he finished his book, in pure psychopathic fashion, Lowell decided he was going to shave, put on a suit, and kill his family. After heading downstairs, Lowell grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and a revolver from his closet, and started shooting. He shot his sister first, hitting her between the eyes. He then shot his mother six times before aiming at his dad. Lowell’s father was shot a total of 17 times as he tried in vain to reach the kitchen. Lowell initially made the crime appear as though it was a robbery, but he soon confessed to a local Minister. After being asked how he felt about committing such a horrific crime, Lowell responded that he “didn’t feel anything about it. The time came, and I was doing what I had to do. That’s all there was to it.” Although the defense argued insanity, it didn’t save Lowell, and he soon joined his family after being hanged in November of 1960.
1. John William McGrath (17)
On March 10, 1962, 17-year-old high school student and diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic John William McGrath walked into the emergency room of the state hospital in Concord, New Hampshire, splattered in blood and asked for treatment. The problem? The blood he was splattered with was that of his own family, all of whom he had just murdered. After witnessing his mother and father Francis and Willena arguing, John became enraged. His parents left the house briefly after their argument, giving John time to grab a hunting rifle and shoot his two brothers, 13-year-old Peter and five-year-old Charles. When John’s parents returned home a short while later he proceeded to shoot them as well. According to John, his family was “better off dead.” After he was charged and went to trial, John William McGrath was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was committed to a mental hospital. For ten years he remained in the maximum-security wing; on August 13, 1974, not long after he was transferred out of maximum-security and permitted supervised walks on the grounds, he disappeared. There has been no trace of John William McGrath ever since.
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