Did lax parenting lead to the murders of the Bever family

The Bever's house

The Bever’s house

I originally posted about the Bever brothers here. 18-year-old Robert Bever and 16-year-old Michael Bever, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, allegedly killed most of their family because they wanted to be more famous than Columbine and not unlike Columbine a similar pattern appears.

Recently police investigators testified that the Bever’s 13-year-old sister had said that the signs were there a year in advance.

One officer was there when the surviving sister was interviewed. She told them her brothers talked about murdering people for about a year and were buying and collecting body armor and knives.

She told officers she mentioned it to her parents, but said they didn’t see it as a threat, more just boys seeking attention.

I really hate to victim blame here but these aren’t things that can be ignored anymore. I mean we’re talking body armor here. That has only one purpose and unless your kids are also being protected by the Secret Service it’s not a good one. In case you were wondering it is legal in Oklahoma to own body armor but illegal to use it in the commission of a crime.

However the elder Bever brother is alleging an instance of child abuse against his parents…

Robert told police his parents beat him when he was 13 and remembered thinking he wished they were dead. He said his father dragged him up the stairs once because he left a light on and that his mother slapped him so hard it left a mark.

He said he believed his parents hated all the kids and kept having them for a tax benefit.

That could entirely be true considering that the Bevers were not the most social of families.

By many neighbors’ accounts, the Bevers kept to themselves – the siblings played alone in the backyard, walked down neighborhood streets bunched together and their parents didn’t socialize much.

While that doesn’t guarantee that child abuse took place it can be an indicator however that does not excuse the brutality the brothers are accused of committing. Then why also kill their brothers Daniel, 12 and Christopher 7, and their sister, 5-year-old Victoria?

However let’s get back to my initial point. Are the Bever parents responsible for their own deaths and the deaths of some of their children because they ignored obvious signs? While the Bever brothers are ultimately responsible for their alleged crimes the inactivity of their parents did in fact allow this atrocity to take place.

These days as parents we can not allow unhealthy obsessions with things like Columbine and serial killers to go unnoticed and unimpeded.

UPDATE 9/9/2016: After pleading guilty in order to avoid the death penalty, Robert Bever was sentenced to life without parole.

UPDATE 5/22/2017: The trial for Michael Bever has been delayed until August.

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