House burns down where Oklahoma family was murdered by their kids

House where Oklahoma family was murdered by their kids burns down
The Bever house now.

If you haven’t heard about the Bever family, they were a family from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who were killed by two of their own family members. In July of 2015, then 18-year-old Robert Bever and then 16-year-old Michael Bever allegedly stabbed and killed their father, 52-year-old David Bever, their mother, 44-year-old April Bever, brothers Daniel, 12, and Christopher, 7, and their sister, 5-year-old Victoria. Surviving the attack was a then 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and a then 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed. The Bever brothers are said to have killed their family because they wanted to be more famous than Columbine. Robert Bever, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in order to avoid the death penalty, while his brother Michael has been charged as an adult and is set to go on trial later this year.

The Bever house then.

There had been plans made to raze the house and turn it into a memorial park by a city councilman, but part of that point is now moot since the house caught fire last week. So far investigators have not given any cause for the fire or whether or not they think this is a case of arson. There are many possible motives as to why someone may have wanted to burn the house down, but the one I’d like to focus on is that of, what if it was done by a neighbor? I’m not saying it definitely was, because for all we know it could have been a squirrel chewing on a power line. However, the following quote from a local resident caught my attention.

Neighbors said they’re used to people stopping by to look at the house – and even vandalize it.

“They try to take things – pieces of wood from the side and stuff like that ya know,”

Now imagine living in that neighborhood with a ‘murder house’ that’s been vacant for two years, while twisted ghouls constantly come by trying to claim a piece of murderabilia. That’s not even mentioning the number of ‘normal’ vandals that the house has attracted. I could see someone from the neighborhood growing impatient with the planned demolition of the house and taking matters into their own hands.

If this was in fact a case of arson, I see many problems with someone starting their own homegrown suburban renewal program. The first is that fire is very hard to control and this easily could have spread to neighboring residents. Another problem is that fire fighters are putting their lives on the line even when dealing with a single house fire. Any one of them could have easily been killed if the slightest thing had gone wrong in fighting the fire. Then the house would have been a murder house for a second time. Lastly, if this was arson, you just made it easier for the murderabilia ghouls to take a piece of what’s left of the house. They may have even given them an incentive, since not as much of the house is left.

To be honest, I hope it was an accidental fire, as arson may even glamorize the murders further to those that get a thrill from such things.

Tampa craigslist killing leaves father dead, two arrested

Williams and Johnson

44-year-old James Beck, of Tampa, Florida, was killed this past Tuesday after trying to sell his 16-year-old son’s dirt bike on craigslist. Beck and his son met a pair of individuals when one of them opened fire on Beck, striking him twice in the neck. The two suspects then ran off with the dirt bike. Beck unfortunately died on the scene from his injuries right in front of his son.

Police have arrested 16-year-old Ramontrae Williams and 17-year-old Dontae Johnson, and charged them with first-degree felony murder and robbery.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Beck’s family in order to pay for funeral and other expenses.

Sadly, I don’t have much else to add here. Craigslist should be considered too dangerous for anyone to use anymore. While you, the reader, may have found the perfect deal on craigslist, and have never had a problem, the number of people killed through craigslist is now in the triple digits. Craigslist has become nothing more than a dangerous game of Russian Roulette, and too many people are becoming victims to a deadly game that they don’t even realize they’re playing.

UPDATE 2/27/2017: Last week a grand jury indicted both teens, and they will be tried as adults.

UPDATE 3/2/2017: Williams has been denied bond.

We get letters: What to do about a possible gun owning ex-con

hatemail

I received an e-mail not too long ago about a person who was featured on this site many years ago. The person in question committed a crime as a teen but was charged as an adult and was sentenced to prison time. Unfortunately, they weren’t sentenced to much prison time and they are now out of prison. This person is now the legal age to own a gun and they live in a gun friendly state. Back to the e-mail.

The e-mail I received was from someone who claimed that the person in question committed an armed crime against them. The matter is said to have been investigated by police but no arrest has ever come from it. Unfortunately, without a public record of arrest there’s not much that I can do about as far as making it public knowledge however, I did a little digging. I went to the Facebook of the person in question and it’s very pro 2nd-Amendment and anti-government. That’s their prerogative and all but I have yet to meet anyone that pro-gun without owning one. If memory serves me correctly people convicted of felonies in this country, no matter which state, are ineligible to own firearms for the rest of their lives. As far as I know the conviction has not been expunged.

So my question to you dear reader is this, what can be done at this point to ensure the safety of the community around this former felon who is possibly in possession of firearms?

Tyler Hadley to be resentenced for the bludgeoning murder of his parents

tylerhadleymug
Tyler Hadley

Add Tyler Hadley to the unfortunately growing list of murdering minors who get a second shot at sentencing while their victims are still dead. Hadley was 17 in 2011 when he bludgeoned his parents to death with a hammer in their Port St. Lucie, Florida, Home. He then threw a party that he had invited all his friends to on Facebook while his parents’ corpses laid in their bed. He was tried as an adult and pleaded no contest but not before giving out prison autographs that read  ‘Hammer Time’.

Hadley was sentenced to two life terms, one for each parent, Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54. Now the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach has ordered that Hadley be resentenced due to the Supreme Court’s ruling that automatic life without parole for minors is unconstitutional.

Hadley’s uncle, Mike Hadley, puts it better than I ever could…

“All I can say is that whatever laws that they are passing to let these young kids under 17 to just do whatever they want and then give them a lighter sentence is insane,” Hadley said during a phone interview. “It makes no sense at all. When somebody can do those horrendous things to another human being and then stand back and laugh about it and have a party over their dead bodies is crazy. You can never let those people out on society again — ever.”

Added Hadley: “He got a lighter sentence because he didn’t get the death penalty. He’s lucky he got what he got.

Not to mention that he obviously has no remorse for his actions. Not only was he trying to parlay his infamy into some kind of badass prison rep but he also pleaded no contest. That means he did not admit any guilt but agreed that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him.

Like his uncle said, he deserves the death penalty. Anything less than at least one life sentence is a massive miscarriage of justice.

Torey Adamcik denied new trial or re-sentencing

Cassie Jo Stoddart
Cassie Jo Stoddart

Late last week a judge denied Torey Adamcik’s request for either a new trial or a reconsidered sentence. Adamcik’s attorney argues that recent court rulings that say mandatory life sentences for teens are cruel and unusual however the judge disagreed that those rulings applied in the case of Adamcik.

Along with cohort Brian Draper, Adamcik was tried as an adult, convicted and sentenced to life for the 2006 murder of 16-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart. The pair had bragged about the murder on videotape after stabbing Cassie 29 times. Draper was also a fan of the Columbine shooters, what I call a mutant and what Tumblr users call a columbiner.

Philip Chism sentenced for rape and murder of Danvers High teacher. Victim’s family angered by sentence.

Philip Chism
Philip Chism

Yesterday Superior Court Judge David Lowy sentenced Philip Chism to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years for the murder of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer. He also sentenced Chism to two 40 year sentences for her rape and robbery committed by Chism. All three sentences will be served concurrently meaning that the earliest he could be released is in 40 years minus the time served he spent in prison awaiting trial. As I’ve mentioned before Chism could not be sentenced to life without parole since the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that LWOP for teens is unconstitutional as it is considered cruel and unusual.

Colleen Ritzer’s mother had this to say about the sentence…

“Today’s sentence is unacceptable and the laws must be changed,” Peggie Ritzer said at a news conference. “Colleen’s family, friends, students, and those who admired her have been given a life sentence without parole, but not the individual who committed the heinous act. This is wrong and unjust.”

I couldn’t agree more. Chism not only slashed Ms. Ritzer’s throat with a boxcutter but he also raped her and violated her with a tree branch before leaving her body in the woods while he went to a movie with the money he took from her. LWOP is the least that this monster should have received. His age at the time of the crime, 14-years-old, should not be used as excuse for such brutality. There’s no way in hell that someone his age doesn’t know what he’s doing is wrong and the law should reflect it. The more we absolve actions like this the more frequent they’ll become.

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.

Philip Chism convicted in rape and murder of Danvers High teacher

Philip Chism
Philip Chism

Earlier today a Massachusetts jury found 16-year-old Philip Chism guilty in the rape and murder of Colleen Ritzer. Ritzer was Chism’s math teacher at Danvers High School. in 2013 a then 14-year-old Chism brutally raped and slashed the throat of Ms. Ritzer with a box cutter and is even believed to have violated her with a tree branch. The crimes were also believed to be premeditated. Chism’s defense tried arguing that their client was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time. The prosecution argued that he was faking any kind of mental illness which also momentarily delayed his trial previously.

Chism was tried as an adult however there is a possibility for parole as the Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that LWOP for minors is unconstitutional in all cases. Considering the brutality of Ms. Ritzer’s death and the fact that he tried to attack a Department of Youth Services female employee while in custody should show that regardless of his age Chism should never see the light of day ever again.

Philip Chism ruled competent to stand trial

Philip Chism
Philip Chism

Last month the trial of 16-year-old Philip Chism was halted when a judge ordered Chism to a psychiatric facility to determine his mental competency. Chism was said to be uncooperative with his defense and that he was hearing voices among other concerns. Yesterday a judge ruled that Chism is competent to stand trial and the proceedings have started up again.

Chism was 14-years-old in 2013 when he allegedly raped and killed his teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer of Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Chism allegedly raped her not only physically but also with a tree branch before slitting her throat and leaving her body in the woods. Chism has been charged as an adult.

The details of Chism’s psychiatric report has not been made public.

Chism trial halted as competency questions arise

Philip Chism
Philip Chism

Jury selection was about to begin in the trial of Philip Chism before a judge ordered him to a psychiatric hospital to determine his mental competency. Chism was 14-years-old in 2013 when he allegedly raped and killed his teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer of Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Chism allegedly raped her not only physically but also with a tree branch before slitting her throat and leaving her body in the woods. Chism has been charged as an adult.

Chism is said to be uncooperative in aiding his defense by not talking to his attorneys. His defense also claims that he is suicidal, has banged his head against the floor and is hearing voices. The prosecution believes he’s faking it and I tend to agree. I’ve previously read and posted about subjects who have used the ‘hearing voices’ excuse to angle for a stay in a mental institution rather than prison. Also as far as I know, and please correct me if I’m wrong, there has been no previous history of Chism having auditory hallucinations so I seriously doubt he’s having them now. I don’t blame the judge for ordering more evaluation since all bases should be covered to limit appeals if Chism should be convicted and in my opinion he should be.