10 CASES OF PARRICIDE IN MARYLAND
Should we be afraid of our own kids?
Are you afraid of your own kids? Maybe you should be. According to Wikipedia parricide is defined as the act of murdering one's father (patricide) or mother (matricide) or other close relative. This crime has become more common than we care to discuss. Are these kids abused? Do they show signs of losing it? From parenting extremes to severe cases of abuse to kids just plain zapping out, Maryland is home to some of the worst cases of kids who murdered their parents. The following article documents ten notorious cases of parricide in Maryland.
KATHLEEN MARIE VAN SCOIK
This case right here is a perfect example of what can go drastically wrong when a person who has a history of any mental illness not only stops taking their prescribed medication but also how traumatic life events can trigger something in them to just go off. After a history of mental illness, a diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic and various stays in both Spring Grove State Mental Hospital and Crownsville State Hospital, on May 3 1990 47 year old Kathleen Marie Van Scoik of Crofton snapped. Under the illusion that her parents were stealing from her and aware that they were about to have her committed into another institution, she invited her mother over to her condo with the sole purpose of ending her life. When her mom, 71 year old Eleanor Mae Heddinger came over, Kathleen lured her into her kitchen and plunged a six inch buck knife in her fifty one times.
"To make sure she didn't suffer, I ran in a bedroom, got an ax and chopped her neck until the gurgling sounds stopped." she later confessed to police.
After almost beheading her mother, she calmly called 911 telling dispatchers she had "just knifed her mother and cut her head off." Kathlen started showing signs of her disease fourteen years before butchering her mom when she would act out in fits of uncontrollable rage after the divorce of her first husband. When her only son died in 1981 after being hit by a car, her disease worsened. She did respond to treatment and got married again in 1985 but when her second husband died of cancer four years later, she stopped taking her medication. Her disease peaked when she learned that not only had her parents paid off the mortgage on their house using money from her dead husband's life insurance policy but they also threatned to have her committed again. These events set her off leading up to the attack on her mother. Although she had a self defense plea based on these issues, she was found guilty but not criminally responsible and is being held indefinitely at Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital for the criminally insane.
LISA MAE FRIEDEL
I bet when 46 year old Larry Kujawa of Preston Maryland in rural southwest Caroline County taught his 16 year old stepdaugher Lisa Mae Friedel how to shoot, he had no idea she would eventually put what he taught her to use on him. After arguments with her mom and being hit by her stepfather she plotted their murder one morning with a friend as they rode the bus to school.Lisa, a junior at Colonel Richardson High School, later confesed to police that she thought about killing them often and on the night of the murders she walked back and forth from her bedroom to theirs - gun in hand - debating with herself on whether she should shoot them or not. She eventually got up the nerve and on March 29 1994 while her parents sat up in bed watching TV she shot her stepfather twice in the head and her mother 48 year old Laura Mae Kujawa once in the head and back point blank range with a .357 caliber magnum. The gun was part of an extensive gun collection that they kept under their bed for their own protection. Cops arrested her three days later at an Ocean City motel where she explained away her actions with, "something came over me." Tried as an adult in the double homicide, she received two concurrent life terms and is an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women.
ROSS HAKIM TELP
Imagine having sudden rage so intense you attack not only your own mom but you report her missing, stringing along family and friends with false hopes for a safe return. Although he had a few minor drug convictions on his record 18 year old Ross Telp from the 4300 block of Park Heights Avenue in northwest Baltimore city suddenly kirked out over an argument with his mom 52 year old Margo Baker in April of 2005 and stabbed her forty times with a steak knife. The cause of the argument? He borrowed her Suzuki SUV and scratched the hubcaps on it. When she asked him about it, he went off, hacking her in the head, neck and torso. After slashing his 4 feet 11 inch, 135 pound mother, he wrapped her body in a sheet, got help from a friend, drove her body to Leakin Park and dumped her remains behind Cahill Recreation Center. Then he had the audacity to report her missing to police. He helped family and friends to put up flyers begging for her safe return and even went on camera with the media coincidentally not showing his face.
"I still believe that she'll come through that door. She said she was leaving with a friend and she said she'd be back. I was upstairs changing my clothes and I hadn't seen her since." he told the camera.
However he bragged to his friends another story and one of them snitched with an anonomous 911 call to police. When cops bought him back in for questioning eleven days after the murder, he finally confessed after cops promised him he could go home if he showed them where her body was. When he did, they arrested him instead. He pled guilty to second degree murder, got thirty three years and is at Eastern Correctional Institution. At sentencing Judge Glynn summed up his feeling telling him, "You are a truly depraved individual...probably beyond redemption."
YUN JASON CHEN
On December 26 2005 one day after Christmas, a fight between a father and a son broke out at a townhome in the 4900 block of Webbed Foot Way in Ellicott City Maryland. The fight ended with 20 year old Yun Jason Chen slashing his father fourteen times with a steak knife. Arrested and charged with his father's murder, Yun at first told cops he stabbed his father - Yun Sen Chen to prevent him from attacking his mom. Mom refused to lie for him and Yun eventually pled guilty to murdering his father. He got a twenty year sentence at Patuxent.
SOMMER LOREN BROOKS
Killing your parents because you just snapped is one thing but some cases just baffles the mind completely. Some cases make you think to yourself, damn, that's cruel. Take the twisted but sad case of 22 year old Sommer Loren Brooks of Randallstown Maryland. On the evening of January 28 2003 neighbors of the 4200 block of Holbrook Road - an elusive, quiet, wooded area of Randallstown known as Hidden Valley - were outside grilling enjoying the Super Bowl when suddenly they heard a woman screaming, "Help me! Help me!" The piercing screams were coming from behind a wooded area in the back of their home where area houses sit on two or more acres. At first they thought they were hearing things or it was just kids playing but when they heard the screaming forty five minutes later, they went looking armed with flashlights. Unable to find anything, they call cops to investigate. Cops did show up but instead of knocking on doors to investigate anything, they sat in their car, windows rolled down, waiting to hear someone screaming, "Help me! Help me!" I guess. At any rate, after twenty minutes of waiting, they left. Turns out the screaming was coming from inside a house - not the woods. Sommer, a former student at the private Garrison Forest School and a graduate of the University of Maryland was busy inside 4204 Holbrook bludgeoning and torturing her mom to death with an ax and a maul after a heated argument over household chores. After savagely beating her mom 52 year old State Department of Budget and Management employee Linda Carol Brooks, Sommer went out to dinner at T.G.I.F. with a male friend she just met a week before the murder. Her friend later told police that other than a few scratches on her she talked and laughed normally while enjoying dinner. After dinner, around 8:15 they went to her house talking and watching a video in the basement where just a few feet away her mom lay in a bloodied heap on the bathroom floor. She didn't break down until just when he was about to leave, crying, she told him in gory detail how she fought with her mother. After she struck her mom, her mom slapped her back. She said it was on after that and she chased her mom outside where they wrestled in the snow. When she overpowered her, she tied her up, keeping her bound all night.
"When she was good I gave her a snack or a drink. I even let her go to the bathroom." she told him.
She told him her mom eventually just asked to be killed quickly and told her daughter to give her twenty sleeping pills to do the trick. Sommer gave her the pills and when they didn't work, she had enough. Completely alarmed at the news she was telling him and especially after she showed him her mom's body on the bathroom floor with her bloodied head wrapped in a towel, he demanded she call 911. She called but told dispatchers her mom had died from a drug overdose. When cops got on the scene, they discovered this was no overdose and arrested the former top softball player. Sommer had no criminal record, was charged as an adult with first degree murder and found competent to stand trial after months of evaluation at Clifton T. Perkins mental hospital. Despite at least two suicide attempts and several stays in the county detention psych ward, Sommer was placed alone in a private cell on protective custody. There, two months before she was scheduled to go to trial, sometime between the hours of 12:05am and 12:45am when no CO's were on post, she successfully ended her life by hanging herself from a cell bar with a trash bag over her head and a bed sheet around her neck.
JASON AUSTIN BLEVINS
The harsh reality of drug addiction at it's worse. When 51 year old Mary Ella Ginger of Edgewater allowed hr 24 year old heroin addicted son Jason Austin Blevins to move in with her, she had no idea that just two years later he would be charged with killing her. After she found out he was forging her signature on her checks and using her credit cards without her permission to fuel his ferocious drug habit, she had enough and kicked him out of her home. He check into a hotel in Glen Burnie then decided to confront his mom about kicking him out. His mom, who ran a day care out of her house on Steuart Lane for fifteen years, had taken a part time job at a Subway Sub shop in Annapolis to help pay for upcoming Christmas presents and was working alone around 11pm on December 12 2003 when he showed up. After they argued, he stabbed her more than a dozen times. Then he stuffed her body in the shop's walk in freezer where cops found it the next morning. So bent on getting high, he cashed a forged check for $500 that still had his mom's blood on it at an area M&T Bank the next morning. Eventually confessing to her brutal slaying, he pled guilty and got a twenty year prison sentence at Patuxent.
ROGER DALE RAMSEY JR & JOHN I. REED
Eighteen year old Roger Ramsey Jr. of Middle River just didn't like his new stepmother 32 year old Kimberly Sue Ramsey and on September 7 1995 he, along with four of his friends orchestrated a plan that involved burglary and murder. According to her family and friends Kimberly did everything she could to win over the affection of her new stepson after marrying his father seven months prior to her murder. She packed lunches for him, cooked dinner for him, washed his clothes, bought furniture for his bedroom, even went looking for him when he would run away. A week before he decided to have her killed, he got into a huge argument with her and his father after he wrecked his Pontiac Sunbird. When his father was arrested on a warrant for violation of probation shortly after, aware that his step mom would be home alone, Roger decided to make his move. Planning the burglary with five other youths who were heavy drinkers and into loud music and wild driving, 20 year old John I. Reed was enlisted to be the shooter. At around 11:30pm, they crept around the home in the 300 block of Endsleigh Avenue, wearing ski masks and armed with a loaded .38 caliber revolver. To create the illusion of a burglary gone wrong, they cut phone lines and broke a window to gain entry. When she confronted John and begged him not to kill her, he shot her seven times in the head, chest, and face then ran out the house carrying stolen cash and credit cards in a pillowcase.
"I turned around and she was coming at me. I was scared out of my mind and I ran out the house." John later confessed to police.
Getting a mere $250 from Roger for shooting his mom, he declined an offer to murder his father as well for his house and money. John got a life sentence plus sixty years without the possibility for parole and is an inmate at Northbranch Correctional Institution. Roger got a death sentence and is an inmate at Western Correctional Institution.
JASON AARON DELONG & SARA ELIZABETH CITRONI
Here's a case where you have a child who never experienced maternal love. This is what can happen if you don't love or nurture your child. Take 19 year old Jason Aaron Delong who never believed he was loved or wanted by anyone. He was originally from North Carolina but because he was neglected from birth by his sometimes there sometimes not mother he was shuttled back and forth from foster homes in North Carolina to his mom's Bishop Garth Apartment complex in Westminster Maryland to his father's house in Jupiter Florida. His mom - 39 year old nurse's aide Cathryn Brace Farrar had her own mental issues. A satanist heavily involved in the occult, it's documented she not only abused him sexually, physically and emotionally but practiced satanism on him as well, his father later testified in court. The years of mounting unaddressed, untreated tension boiled over and on the morning of July 29 1993 he snapped. While his mom took a sip of her coffee he unleashed his fury, stabbing her eighty six times with a hunting knife.
It gets worse.
Cathryn's boyfriend 35 year old George William Wahl who was the brother in law of Carroll County's State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman also met a brutal fate. Jason had just met a troubled 17 year old runaway one week before at the Cranberry Mall in Westminster.Their attraction to each other went deep and it was love at first sight. He liked her shaved head. She bought him a pair of combat boots. Sara Elizabeth Citroni must have been in the same zone as Jason because while he was gutting his mom in the kitchen, she was slashing George in the living room. This was the same girl who was a student at Franklin High School, a member of the International Club and Students Against Drunk Driving, played JV soccer and sang in the concert choir. A model student up until her mom died of cancer two years prior but yet she managed to knife this man forty times with a folding knife so brutally she ended up occasionally slicing her own fingers in the effort. For most of the one week that they knew each other they later confessed to police that murdering his mom was the main topic. After the bloody rampage, the pair fled the death scene in his mom's 1980 orange Chevette, enlisted the help of a friend - another 14 year old runaway. With their underage, unlicensed driver behind the wheel, they managed to make it all the way to Palm Beach Florida but ended up wrecking the car after being on the run for four days. Cops ran the Maryland tags, found out they were registered to a dead woman and arrested them both. Jason was eventually found not criminally responsible for the killings and is detained at a Mental Health Correctional Institution in Jessup. However, Sara was found competent to stand trial and got a life sentence out Patuxent.
MICHAEL EDWARD JOSEPH REIRIZ
Can you say weird? Here's a case where the guy actually worked as a mental health worker at Shephard & Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson for six years, had no criminal record, nothing out of the ordinary in his upbringing. In fact, you could say he was rich. He went to St. Pauls Private School all his life, was a former choir boy traveling to England and France, and he was a former Towson State University student where his tuition was paid for by his grandparents. But when his grandfather, 88 year old retired John Hopkins surgeon and a pioneer in ear, nose, and throat specialties Dr. Walter E. Loch expressed his disapproval in 31 year old Michael Edward Joseph Reiriz of Perry Hall new girlfriend, Michael didn't like it. Dr. Loch wasn't pleased that Michael's girlfriend, a nurse who although was separated from her husband, was still married and not divorced. They bickered about it so much that Michael moved out his grandparent's home and they stopped lending him money. His grandfather pissed him off even more when ho ordered Michael not to bring his girlfriend on a much awaited planned family trip to visit his favorite aunt on Cape Cod. To further spite his grandfather, he took a Visa card out his grandfather's wallet, called a travel agency and booked a $3000 trip for him and his girlfriend to Jamaica. On August 15 1994 the night before the scheduled trip he left his sleeping girlfriend, drove to his grandparents home in the 200 block of Stratford Road and let himself in with his key. Wearing gloves, he grabbed a Louisville Slugger baseball bat from the porch and headed upstairs to his grandparents bedroom. There, as they slept in their bed, he not only bludgeoned to death his grandfather but his 81 year old grandmother retired obstetrician Mary Hyde Loch. Hitting them too many times to count he then ransacked the house to make the murder seem like a burglary gone wrong and took a shower in the same house where his bloodied grandparents lay. As he left the house he tossed the bat in the grass behind the house and a few hours later, he was on his way to Jamaica with his girlfriend like nothing happened. His mom (the victims daughter) became concerned when she didn't hear from her parents and especially when she found signs of forced entry to their home. The police were called and his mom convinced him to come home three days later. He confessed to police he killed his grandfather because he was archaic, mean, completely insensitive and didn't have a caring, emotional bone in his body. He said he bludgeoned his grandmother because he loved her and couldn't let her live by herself. Whatever the reason, he got two consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole and is an inmate at Jessup Correctional Institution.
LEWIN CARLTON POWELL lll
By all accounts 16 year old Lewin Carlton Powell lll of Towson was an exceptionally bright teen. An honor student at the $20,000 a year private McDonough School in Owings Mills, he took courses in school that included honors and advance placement classes and was part of the school's jazz band. Teachers, neighbors, friends, relatives, everybody all gave glowing reports on the teen so the horrific events that occurred on the afternoon of May 14 2008 had every parent asking just when is too much, too much? After an argument with his mom over his grades got out of control, Lewin morphed into a human pressure cooker and exploded on his mom. Beating her at first with his fists until she was dazed, he grabbed an aluminum baseball bat swinging and chasing her throughout the house to keep her from escaping. God only knows what went through her mind and what was said as her only son pummelled her to death. Beating her down as she reached for the back door, he ended 39 year old Donna Rose Marie Campbell-Powell's life. Then he placed a plastic bag over her head so she wouldn't bleed all over the place and hid her body in the garage. He had the right frame of mind to not only clean up the blood but he went to sleep with the bat by his side. When his father came home from work around midnight, he was totally unaware of the horror that had taken place earlier and fell asleep on the couch. He awoke the next morning to his son cracking the bat upside his head. Fracturing his skull in two places, his father managed to escape out to the back yard while trying his best to convince his son to let him live. In the midst of the confrontation, Lewin admitted to his father that he killed his mother and his father told him he would give him money out his bank account to help him escape in an effort to prolong his life.
"I think the devil got in him that night. That morning when he attacked me, I can see in his eyes that it's not him. I can hear it in his voice." his father later told officials.
Meanwhile, Donna's very concerned coworkers worried something was wrong when the extremely punctual and loyal worker didn't show up for her job as an assistant claims adjuster for the Baltimore County Budget & Finance Office. Reports said even if she was five minutes late she would always call. They called her house forty one times and not getting an answer, they called her son's school to find out if she had dropped him off yet. When they were told she never showed up, two coworkers drove to her home in the 1600 block of Alston Road in the Thornleigh Community to investigate. Finding her blue Toyota Corolla still in the driveway around 10am, they literally walked upon the unbelievable scene that was unfolding between father and son in the back yard. Bleeding from his head injuries, his father reportedly told them,"Thank God you're here. My son killed my wife."
Charged as an adult for the first degree murder of his mom and the attempted murder of his father, he showed no emotion or remorse as he confessed to police he attacked them because although his parents never abused him, he said they put him under too much pressure to be perfect and he just couldn't take it anymore. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he said anything less than perfection was unacceptable in his house. Neighbors verified this telling reporters that they often heard his mom berating him for everything such as the way he cut the grass or if he got C's instead of A's. They said he was always quiet but had grown shy and withdrawn over the last few years. Despite the tremendous support from his family and all the glowing reviews from teachers, family and friends speaking in support of the teen, the judge sentence him to life suspending all but twenty years. With good behavior he could be eligible for parole after serving twelve. His father fully forgave his son telling reporters, "I would welcome him back home today, tomorrow, anytime. Prison is not going to help him. Prison is going to make him worse."
The following information is based on my book "Maryland's Most Notorious Murders 1990-2008" available at Amazon.