Have you ever heard a teen talk back to their mother and wish that you could tell them to respect their elders? Have you ever wondered how some parents can let their child get away with complete disrespect? Well Julie Schenecker wasn’t going to be one of those mothers. She had two teenagers who she said had a mouth on them you wouldn’t believe. It was so bad that she decided to shoot her kids “in their mouthy mouths” as she wrote in her journal.
Julie was a typical stay at home mother. Cook, clean, take the kids to soccer practice, help with homework, all those things that people turn their noses up at. She is an Army veteran married to an Army Colonial. From the outside looking in it would seem that they were the ideal family living the dream. But inside the walls of their large lavish Tampa home, there were signs that Julie was losing it. She had battled depression and bipolar disorder since she was molested as a child. During the course of her marriage she had been on meds, stayed in a mental health facility, and seen a therapist. But none of that was making any difference in the Schenecker household. As her depression and bipolar disorder continued to take over, 16yr old Calyx had to start filling the role of mother around the house. In addition to being an honor roll student, she was now acting adult in the house. This role caused even more tension between the mother and daughter. Not only was she a teen struggling to make it thru high school with her own issues, she had a mother who on most days was barely able to function. And things continued to spiral downward when Parker Schenecker had to take a deployment to the Middle East.
Before he left he circulated an email to close family and friends letting them know that he was about to go on deployment but upon his return he would take the children away and divorce Julie because she wasn’t getting any better and things were increasingly getting worse between her and Calyx. He told them of her self destruction with alcohol and pills. But she assured him that she would be able to handle his deployment and with such short notice there was nothing he could do but trust the woman he had been married to for so long. After all her issues were always with herself he didn’t have reason to think she would hurt the kids. She had struck Calyx before but she had never done anything to put her in danger. And she had never laid a hand on Beau so he felt that it would be ok.
Little did he know that one January 22, 2011 Julie would end up killing both children in a very gruesome manner. Julie originally planned to end the lives of her children on Saturday when she went to the gun store and picked out a gun. She told them it was for home protection due to a recent surge in breakins however that was a lie. She was very upset when there was a 3 day waiting period to finalize the purchase. Her plans were put on hold for a few days. Normally the waiting period helps not only run the background check on people but it also helps to cool down and emotions that may be running wild with people who are looking to purchase for other reasons. This didn’t work for Julie tho. As she waited for the day she could pick up her gun she continued to hatch the plans. The night before she picked up her weapon, she cooked Calyx’s favorite chicken dinner which Calyx didn’t eat. Then Tursday January 22, 2011 Julie went to pick up her gun and some hollow point bullets. She picked up her son Beau from soccer practice. On the way home she pulled out the gun and shot thru the windshield. Beau told her to put the gun away or he would punch her. Instead of putting the gun away she put it to the side of his head and shot him. She then pulled into the garage and then shot Beau again this time in the mouth. When she went upstairs to where Calyx was working on the computer Calyx asked her what she was doing. She more than likely heard the gunshot from the garage. Julie told her daughter she just wanted to see what she was up to. When Calyx turned her head to finish working on school stuff Julie shot her in the head. As she fell to the floor, Julie then shot her in the mouth. She picked up her daughter and laid her in her bed and covered her with a blanket. She tried to carry Beau out of the minivan and put him in bed too but he was too heavy for her to carry so she covered him with a blanket as well and left him there.
She had plans to kill herself too. However since we’re talking about all this its obvious she failed in that act. She said she was saving her kids from the pain of going thru what she went thru with depression and bipolar disorder. She felt that Calyx was already struggling with it and based of Beau starting to speak up at the age of 13 that he was surely to suffer from it as well. She wrote in her journal that she shot them in the mouth because they were too sassy. Instead of turning the same gun with hollow point bullets on herself she decided to take the less painful (and usually less lethal) way out by taking an overdose of lithium and Coumadin. She said that she would have killed her husband had he been home. After a call to authorities from Julie’s mother, the cops found her almost sedated on the back porch by the pool. There were cigarette butts everywhere and beer bottles at different locations thru the house. The gun was sitting closeby. When the police arrived Julie told them she killed them for being mouthy. During the initial investigation of the house police found post it notes on different things in the house as if she was telling them everything that had happened. There was one on the plate of chicken that Calyx didn’t eat on Wednesday night.
Julie is currently on trial for the murder of her two children. She is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. There are so many things I want to say about this case and I don’t know where to start. The state decided not to seek the death penalty against her for mental health reasons. It is unconstitutional to put someone with mental health disorders to death. But if there was ever a case where someone deserves to die for what they did its her. I don’t care that she was molested as a child. I don’t care that she is depressed. She killed her kids. The person who said they wanted 6 kids, gave up a career to be a mother, is the same person who took their lives in a well thought out and gruesome manner. She was strict and unhappy and instead of taking her misery away from herself she chose to cause misery in the lives of everyone around her. She took the kids away from their family and friends. She caused grief in a whole high school and middle school. And as many parents who take the lives of their children and say they were going to kill themselves, she didn’t follow thru on her end and she is a constant reminder of what she took away when she killed her kids. Their potential, their future. I think that while she may have some issues, Julie was lucid enough to start laying down her defense when she started leaving post it notes around the house. She premeditated the death of her kids.
Do you think she is insane and deserves to be spared? Or do you think that she deserves to spend the rest of her life in jail being subjected to the life of general population instead of a mental health facility?