Michael Bever’s defense team recently announced they would not be pursuing an insanity defense for their client. In 2015, a then 16-year-old Michael Bever, and his then 18-year-old brother Robert, stabbed and killed their parents, 52-year-old David Bever and 44-year-old April Bever, in their Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, home. However, they didn’t stop there. They also killed their siblings, Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed.The motive the brothers allegedly gave for the killing spree was they wanted to be ‘more famous than Columbine.’ In 2016, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to five life sentences without parole. Michael Bever has been charged as an adult in the murders.
Bever’s defense contends the parents were committing psychological child abuse which is not totally out of the realm of possibility. However, that doesn’t explain why they killed their brothers and sister as well. Not to mention that according to their surviving sister, the duo was allegedly planning the murder at least a year in advance.
Previously, the defense has tried saying Michael only went along with the murders because he was scared of his brother, but investigators say that Robert feigned he was in danger in order to get his siblings to open the door to the room where they were hiding so they could be killed.
Michael Bever’s trial has been delayed a number of times, but it looks like it’s finally set to start on April 16th. Unlike his brother, since he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, Michael Bever is not facing the death penalty. With any luck, he’ll receive the same sentence his brother did.
What shouldn’t be forgotten about this story is the letter Sparre wrote to his ex-girlfriend after his conviction where he stated he enjoyed killing Tiara, admitted planning the murder for weeks and thought he was smarter than police. Egomania and psychopathy aside, does that sound like someone with a diminished mental capacity to you?
Meanwhile, Tiara’s family, who by all accounts are loving and close-knit, can’t appeal the death sentence David Sparre inflicted unfairly on Tiara just because she answered his craigslist ad.
This happened a few weeks ago, but you should be used to that by now with me. Sorry, just getting to it now.
Anyway, in late December, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld the life sentence of Torey Adamcik. Adamcik and Brian Draper were juveniles when they killed their friend, 16-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart, in September of 2006. The pair were charged as adults and both were convicted and sentenced to life for the brutal murder of Cassie. Since their 2007 convictions, both men have filed many appeals claiming that sentencing juveniles to life is unconstitutional or they didn’t have effective counsel. All previous efforts to escape their convictions have failed.
There are some who believe that the pair were too young to be sentenced to life in prison. It’s my opinion that they were plenty old enough to know what they were doing was wrong considering they killed Cassie just for the thrill. The pair also videotaped themselves before and after Cassie’s murder talking about how they were going to kill her. The transcripts from the tapes have been released.
Before the murder, Adamcik told Draper, “we’re not going to get caught,” to which Draper replied by saying, “we’re going to make history,” according to the transcript in the Supreme Court’s opinion.
The transcript includes conversation between Adamcik and Draper referencing horror-slasher films like “Scream” and comparing themselves to serial killers like Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler and the Zodiac Killer.
“Those people were mere amateurs compared to what we are going to be,” Adamcik said.
In another segment of the transcript, Draper says “I feel like I want to kill somebody. Uh, I know that’s not normal, but what the hell.”
Adamcik replied, “I feel we need to break away from normal life.”
According to the transcript, Draper said he and Adamcik identified Stoddart as their victim the day before the murder, despite claiming she was their friend.
“We’ll find out if she has friends over, if she’s going to be alone in a big dark house out in the middle of nowhere. How perfect can you get?” Draper said.
“I’m horny just thinking about it,” Adamcik replied.
These are not two people, and I use that term loosely, who should be released back into society. Not only did they know what they were doing but they documented their actions as well, like it was a home movie to be rewatched later. They are the definition of depraved and probably have no remorse for Cassie’s senseless murder.
I’ve been writing about the murder of 15-year-old Jennifer Parks for the past 12 years, and I always feel a little bad when I write about it. I feel bad because whenever I write a new post on whatever the latest development is, I have to write about the details of her murder which are still horrific to think about. Since Jennifer’s murder, I have become friends with people who were close to Jennifer’s family and I’ve become friends with Jennifer’s mother, Laurie Parks. While Mrs. Parks is aware of what I write, I always feel guilty when I bring up Jennifer’s murder again for whatever reason. With this post I feel twice as bad.
For those of you who may be new to the site, Jennifer was killed on July 30, 2005 by 18-year-old Jonathan Zarate and his brother, 14-year-old James Zarate. Jennifer’s family were neighbors with the Zarates in Randolph, New Jersey. The two brothers stabbed and beat Jennifer to death in their basement just because Jennifer reported to her school that James Zarate was bullying her. After the Zarate brothers killed her, they dismembered her body so they could fit her remains into a trunk. The trunk was left in the back of the Zarate family’s Jeep until they could try to dispose of her body. Her body was there 24 hours before the brothers and an accomplice tried to dispose of her remains in the Passaic River. A police officer caught them trying to dispose of Jennifer’s remains. Jonathan Zarate was tried first and in 2009 was sentenced to life in prison. Then James Zarate was tried as an adult and later that year was sentenced to life with eligibility for parole after serving 76 years of his sentence. In 2016, a resentencing was ordered for James Zarate based on court rulings that state mandatory life without parole for teens is cruel and unusual. Back in September, it was ruled that James Zarate would remain sentenced as an adult.
Now, the reason I feel twice as bad with this post is because this past week, the same judge who sentenced James Zarate to life was forced to resentence him to 50 years with the eligibility for parole after 43 1/2 years. Back in January, the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that juvenile killers need to have a meaningful chance for parole from their sentences. This is not surprising, considering New Jersey abolished the death penalty when they had someone like Jesse Timmendequas (TL;DR The monster who killed Megan Kanka resulting In Megan’s Law) sitting on their death row.
To this day James Zarate has denied any responsibility in the killing and has become a paralegal while in prison. Meanwhile, Jennifer Parks’ death shows the massive loss of potential that she could have given this world. Jennifer would have been around 27 now. She could have been planning for her wedding or already taking care of a young family while her parents could have been the adoring grandparents. Or she could have been a strong woman entrenched in her career or causes. Tragically, neither is the case. After Jennifer’s death her parents divorced and later after that, her father died of a heart attack. So Jennifer’s murder has cost a family more than the loss of a daughter. However, if the Daily Record will allow me to indulge in a liberal dose of fair use I’ll let Laurie Parks’ own words speak for themselves.
“The heinousness of the crime is exactly the same as it was 12 years ago. Not a day has gone by since July 30, 2005, that I don’t miss my daughter Jennifer Parks. The horrific things that the defendant and his brother did to Jennifer remain exactly the same. They tortured her, punched her, stabbed her with a knife and choked her. When she begged for her life, they shoved a bandana down her throat to stop her from screaming,” Parks said.
“What kind of people can do such a thing? Only monsters,” Parks said to the judge.
“Because of the defendant I was not there for Jennifer when she took her last breath or said her last words. I cannot even imagine the fear and pain she went through in her last moments. I lost my daughter, my husband, my home and basically my whole life and the defendant still stands before us breathing. I buried my daughter in pieces but the defendant still gets to fight for his life, something he took away from Jennifer. Something I believe he planned for a long time,” Parks said.
“He still gets to see his mother and his father. He still gets to live and stand before this court and say ‘my life matters.’ Well I say it doesn’t,” she said.
“He should have to remain behind bars. He should never experience freedom. He took that away from Jennifer, from me and all of Jennifer’s friends and family. I’d like to end by saying Jennifer Parks was a beautiful soul, a beautiful girl and she matters. Jennifer’s life matters,” Parks said.
It doesn’t get more powerful than those three words: Jennifer’s life matters. She didn’t ask to be killed. She can’t appeal her death. The New Jersey State Supreme court can’t make a judge rule her back to life. Jennifer doesn’t have the same luxuries that James Zarate does. Therefore, James Zarate’s life should be forfeit and he should be made to spend the rest of his unnatural life behind bars. Rehabilitation should not come at the expense of justice.
In 2005, 14-year-old James Zarate helped his older brother Jonathan brutally kill and dismember their neighbor, 16-year-old Jennifer Parks of Randolph, New Jersey. The younger Zarate brother was tried as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to life plus 14 years. Jonathan Zarate was sentenced to life plus 24.
Back in April, James Zarate, now in his mid-20s, attempted to appeal his life sentence by arguing he should have been tried as a juvenile. His defense used the same old argument of his brain supposedly not being fully developed. While a teenage brain is obviously not fully developed, it’s developed enough to the point where they know the difference between right and wrong, and there was nothing more wrong than what the Zarate brothers did to Jennifer.
The brothers invited her over under the guise of watching TV, but when she went to their house they stabbed her to death, dismembered her body then stored her body in a large trunk for 24 hours before trying to dump her remains in the Passaic River. All because Jennifer reported to the school James Zarate was bullying her.
At any time between the time Jennifer was invited over their house until the time they were caught by police trying to dump her body, James Zarate could have told his parents, or police, or anyone. Instead he chose to remain complicit in Jennifer’s murder, up until the point where the Zarates almost got away with it.
Yesterday, a Superior Court judge upheld the original decision to try James Zarate as an adult, which basically upholds his life sentence. In 2016, New Jersey passed a law which said no one under the age of 15 could be charged as an adult. However, the judge ruled the 2016 law does not have to be retroactively applied.
In no way does James Zarate ever deserve to see the outside of a prison ever again. No matter how ‘undeveloped’ his brain might have been, his cold-blooded brutality was fully developed.
(Thanks to Lady Gray for her editorial assistance)
In July of 2015, 18-year-old Robert Bever and 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. Thirteen-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and two-year-old Autumn survived. The two brothers allegedly killed their family so they could be ‘more famous than Columbine’.
The elder Bever brother was sentenced to five life sentences without parole after pleading guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Michael Bever has been charged as an adult and his trial was delayed back in May to start this past August. However, his trial has been delayed again. The trial has been rescheduled due to a new attorney being assigned to Bever, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
The defense is arguing Michael Bever was under the influence of his older brother and feared for himself if he did not carry out his brother’s orders. Except the way the younger Bever helped kill his family betrays that defense completely, in my opinion.
Authorities also say Michael, who was 16 at the time, even banged on the office and bathroom door, where younger siblings were hiding, and begged to be let in, because he feared he would be killed. Police say when the children opened the doors, they were murdered.
That doesn’t sound like someone who feared his brother to me. That sounds more like a psychopath who took great enjoyment in killing his own family for no other reason but trying to be famous. The surviving sister even said the two brothers were talking about committing murders up to a year before the crimes occurred. Some people would argue his brain wasn’t developed enough to realize the repercussions of his actions. If someone his age doesn’t realize killing most of his family isn’t wrong then they really have no business being in society anyway.
As some of you may know, I recently appeared on TV One’s #Murder to discuss the craigslist killing of Tiara Brown/Tiara Pool.
As you can see by viewing the episode below, my screen time was very minimal which was ok.
I mean you had police investigators, members of Tiara’s family, accomplished journalists, and here I am some loudmouth with a bad haircut and a website. So while I was a bit disappointed in not having more screen time, I understood why.
The reason, I’m guessing, as to why I wasn’t in the show more is they really didn’t cover a lot of time between the arrest of David Sparre and his being sentenced to death. That’s where I am extraneously connected to the story.
When I first posted about Sparre’s arrest along with a follow-up post about Tiara, I received a number of comments from someone claiming to be a member of David Sparre’s family who was not only proclaiming Sparre’s innocence, but was blaming Tiara for being murdered. In the commenter’s eyes, Tiara going on dates while her husband was deployed in the Navy was a worse crime than Sparre stabbing her multiple times and slitting her throat. The commenter continued to proclaim Sparre’s innocence and blame Tiara even in the face of overwhelming evidence against Sparre.
While I was being interviewed, I also discussed David Sparre’s behavior while he was in custody awaiting trial. When he was arrested he didn’t have any facial tattoos, but when the trial started he had tear drops tattooed on his face. Teardrop tattoos can sometimes signify the person sporting them has killed someone. That’s not the best defense for someone who was facing the death penalty for stabbing a random woman to death. I also discussed the letter Sparre wrote to his ex-girlfriend, after he was convicted but before he was sentenced to death, where he admits he enjoyed killing Tiara Pool.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience although I wish it would have been for a happier reason. I want to thank Jupiter Entertainment for even considering me for an interview. I also want to thank Greg Collier for his continued support as well as my Patreon patrons. Of course I couldn’t do any of this without my readers both old and new. Lastly, I want to thank my editor and proofreader Lady Gray, who has made me a much better writer over the past year.
In closing, I want to express my remorse I didn’t get an opportunity to meet Tiara’s family while I was in Florida for the interview. If you’re reading this, my heart continually breaks for Tiara. By all accounts, she had so much potential to lead a fulfilling life, only to have it taken away by someone less than a man with such careless disregard for life.
The charred remains of 29-year-old Michael Luckey, of Osawatomie, Kansas, were found in his burnt out car in the driveway of an abandoned home in Kansas City, Missouri. Luckey allegedly went to Kansas City after responding to a craigslist ad for sex. Once he arrived at his destination three men identified as Micah Dozier, 18, Tayelor Fitzpatrick, 20, and Larry K. Wren III, 18, allegedly attempted to rob Luckey, but in the ensuing struggle Luckey was stabbed to death. The trio then reportedly put Luckey back in his car and moved the car to the abandoned home before setting it on fire. All three suspects have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and tampering with evidence.
I wasn’t able to find out if the fake ad was a casual encounters hook up ad or a straight up ad for prostitution. Yes, they still exist on craigslist. Let me give a word of advice to all the internet Lotharios out there. If it’s a casual encounters ad she’s more than likely a prostitute and looks nothing like her picture, and if she’s not a prostitute she’s actually a bunch of guys looking to rob and beat you. So unless you want to end up like so much Kansas City BBQ I suggest you try to meet women the honest way and not through places like craigslist.
James Zarate was 14-years-old when he helped his older brother Jonathan brutally murder their 16-year-old Randolph, New Jersey, neighbor Jennifer Parks. For those of you not familiar with the story, Jennifer had been bullied by James Zarate and reported him to the school. To get back at Jennifer for his brother, Jonathan Zarate invited her over to his house to watch TV. Instead, the Zarate brothers brutally bludgeoned and stabbed Jennifer to death. In an effort to try to hide her body they dismembered Jennifer’s corpse and stuffed it into a trunk that they then put in the back of one of their parents’ Jeep. It was a full 24 hours before the pair, along with a friend, tried to dump Jennifer’s remains in the Passaic River. If it were not for a passing police officer, it may have been an eternity before Jennifer’s body would have been found.
Jonathan Zarate was convicted at trial and was sentenced to life plus 24 years. James was charged as an adult and was sentenced to life plus 14, but later had his sentence reduced by nine years. James Zarate has had many appeals denied, but now instead of appealing his conviction he’s trying to have his sentence reduced.
If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll notice that Zarate’s attorney is trying a familiar ploy. In 2016, New Jersey passed a law stating that no one under 15 could be charged as an adult. Zarate’s defender is asking for a juvenile re-sentencing under this ruling arguing that a 14-year-old’s brain isn’t fully developed enough to understand their actions when they commit murder. If the ruling were to fall into Zarate’s favor, more than likely he would be released after time served.
As I have argued many times in the past, this is a load of crap, as a 14-year-old’s brain is developed enough to know what murder is. Zarate willingly participated in Jennifer’s murder and at any time could have gone to his parents, the police or Jennifer to warn her in advance. He did none of these things. Instead he took part in an act only the most bloodthirsty of killers would have committed. To have him ever breathe the air outside of a New Jersey prison would not only be a travesty of justice but an insult to Jennifer’s memory. He is where he belongs.