Fact based reporting by
Amanda Chen and Rob Roman
Though the murder rate is starting to decline in America, there is an upswing in children and young adults who are resorting to murder at an alarming rate. What used to be rare cases are becoming more and more common, as teens are going beyond assault to murder their own parents, siblings, friends, and even adults.
Teens are always beset by body chnges and raging hormones which can magnify small matters into huge and severe conflicts. This makes them more prone to make a temporary and minor problem into a permanent and irrevocable problem. Almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, these children are destroying and throwing away their very lives and the lives of others in an instant. They often have little or no motive.
How and why is this happenning and what can be done?
Let’s take a look at some recent cases:
October 26, 2013 Arizona
A 16 year-old had a heated argument with his mother after she confiscated his cell-phone. Later in the week, on the weekend, the boy allegedly asked his 17 year-old friend to let him know when his mother arrived at their home.
Mike Helms’ mother, Tina Helms Spencer, was found in a backyard shed, bludgeoned to death with blunt instruments. Mike’s 17 year-old friend allegedly helped to move the body to the shed and clean up the scene. Later, as his step-father arrived, Mike Helms also tried to attack him. The step-father fought his way out of the attack and Helms reportedly fled in a family car.
The police confiscated two alleged weapons, a hammer and a cast-iron frying pan. The boy and his friend are awaiting a hearing to discover if they will be tried as adults. The teen was reportedly a “stand-up guy” and training to be a military officer in the Junior ROTC program at his High School.
Sadly, one enlightened teacher who implored her students to be kind to each other and to consider how their actions in high school would impact their legacies, was allegedly murdered by a 14-year old student.
Phillip Chism is being held without bail and will be tried as an adult for the murder of the 24 year-old math teacher who was beloved by her students. She understood the dangers of bullying and appealed directly to students not to engage in it for their own well-being.
Colleen Ritzer was cornered in a student bathroom, punched in the face and her throat was slit with a boxcutter. The teacher’s body was then allegedly wheeled out of the school in a recyclables cart and deposited in the woods near the school. There was no apparent motive for the crime.
Sept 29, 2013 New York
The two broke into the home of Curt Vallentin. They claimed he threw a glass at them before they tortured and murdered him using their fists, a stick, a bottle, and a chair.
The teens were upset that Mr. Vallentin was dating a relative of theirs.
September 9, 2013
In a gang-related incident, two teens rode their bicycles up to two men who were standing in the street and demanded they identify what gang they were from.
The two teens then open-fired on the men killing Daquan Boyd and wounding the other man with three gunshots.
August 28, 2013 Colorado
18 year-old Isabella Guzman was having arguments with her mother, Yun-Mi Hoy and even sent her an e-mail saying “You will pay”.
Earlier in the day she had a long heart to heart with her father, Robert Guzman, who consoled her about the arguments. He told her that she should respect her mother and try to communicate and cooperate with her. He told her that things were not so bad and not to be so upset, because everything would be better soon.
The teen’s stepfather, Ryan Hoy, heard a commotion in the bathroom where his wife was taking a shower after work. The door was held closed as Ms. Hoy gasped and cried out for “Jehovah”. When the door opened, Isabella Guzman, staring straight ahead and wearing a sports bra and shorts, walked away holding a bloody knife.
Lying on the bathroom floor, in a large pool of blood, was his wife, apparently beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed 79 times in the face and neck.
In court Isabella Guzman reportedly smiled at onlookers and made faces in the court camera.
“We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”
This is the explanation for the murder of Christopher Lane, a college baseball player from Australia, by three teenagers who were looking for something to do.
James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, were charged with murder and held without bail. A third teenager, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged as an accessory to murder after the fact and with firing a weapon. All three are being charged as adults.
Christopher’s bereaved parents, demonstrating the exact kind of cultural evolution we are advocating, did not align their grief over their son with the punishment of his alleged murderers.
“I don’t really care what happens to them,” she said of the accused in an interview with 9 News of Australia. “I feel like if they don’t get what they deserve now and in the present, they will eternally. They’re just evil people.”
Christopher spotted jogging and he was shot in the back with a .22 handgun. He collapsed and died on the road.
June 30, 2013 Michigan
A 13 year-old boy allegedly shot his brother and his girlfriend to death. Kareem Walters, 22 and Alexi Frazier, 28 were found shot to death by the Kareem’s father.
The previous week, a 13 year-old girl was arrested for assault and attempted murder after stabbing her older sister.
The reasons given were the desperate economic conditions, constantly moving families, and the easy accessibility of hand guns in the city of Flint, where stable home and family environments are rare.
The boy was too young for authorities to reveal his name, and if found guilty he would likely be released when he turns 21 years-old.
April 13, 2013 Californi
Now Daniel Marsh, at 16 years-old, is in the news again, this time for allegedly murdering 87 year-old Oliver Northup and his 76 tear-old wife, Claudia Maupin. Northrup had been an attorney, he was an assistant Pastor at his church, and he sang and played guitar in a band.
Although Daniel Marsh lived in an $800, 000 home, his divorced parents were both in debt and Daniel is being represented by court-appointed attorneys. He is reported as being highly intelligent and well liked by classmates. He liked to wear his hair long and he liked dark clothes and “darkness” generally.
There was evidence that Daniel broke into their home and was lying in wait. He allegedly stabbed the two to death and there was evidence that he tortured them first. The scene was regarded as a heinous and depraved murder scene, and it shocked the normally quiet neighborhood and the city at large.
A 12 year-old boy is accused of stabbing his 8 year-old sister, Leila Fowlwer to death in the bathroom when they were home alone.
The boy and the family claim it was an intruder and say their friends have turned their backs on the family, who are now struggling with a recent funeral for their daughter and their son in jail. The boy’s homework is sent to the jail by the school regularly.
The little girl died of multiple stab-wounds. Because of the chance it was a home invasion, few details have been released about the murder.
Because of his age, if found guilty he will be released no later than age 23.
November 19, 2012 Georgia
13 year-old Ty’aisa Jackson was babysitting her 2 year- old sister, Sasha Ray. Ty’aisa called her father and reported Sasha missing. When her father arrived, he found Sasha bleeding profusely in the back yard.
The toddler, who weighed only 29 pounds (13 kg) had been stabbed 7 times in the chest and stomach. She had defensive wounds on her tiny hands.
In court, Ty’aisa was to be tried as an adult. She cried as her little sister’s wounds were described in the preliminary hearing. Ty’aias was offered a plea bargain of 10 years of a twenty year sentence for manslaughter, but she refused, opting to go to trial instead. No motive was offered in the case.
April 19, 2013 Oregon
His father suffered burns to his chest and arms trying to put out the fire which blocked the doorway and his mother was injured with bruises from her escape ou the window. Dakota had allegedly tied the door shut and a book of matches an accelerant were found in the hallway.
Dakota’s parents had been sleeping and were wakened by the sound of their smoke alarm to heavy smoke and high flames in their bedroom.
Judge Eric Butterfield found the teen guilty Wednesday of six counts of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of first-degree arson, two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of attempted first-degree assault. The trial was heard by court staff and the judge with no jury.