Friday FAIL

What is it about Florida that makes people want to murder their children?

Your child was “mouthy” take care of it another way than murdering them!  Spank them,  wash out their mouth’s with soap, do something other than committing a crime!  Jeez!

The original story comes to us from The Huffington Post and kind of older story!

It is stories like this that make me wonder where our society is headed!


Police say Julie Powers Schenecker was a seemingly devoted mother who brutally murdered her two children because they mouthed off to her. But why? That is the question on many minds today as people try to come to grips with a horrific crime and the reasons behind it.

“She seemed like a very well-adjusted person. … She spent years in the military [and] as the wife of a career officer,” friend Jan Graham told AOL News.

Schenecker, 50, of suburban Tampa, Fla., was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her son, Beau, 13, and her daughter, Calyx, 16. Tampa police said she confessed to the killings.

According to the arrest affidavit, Schenecker used a recently purchased .38-caliber pistol to shoot Beau twice in the head when they were on their way back from his soccer practice. Afterward, the affidavit said, she returned home and shot Calyx in the face as the girl sat in front of her computer studying.

Authorities believe the slayings occurred Thursday. Investigators were not called to the scene until Friday morning, when they received a call from Schenecker’s mother, who said she was concerned because she could not reach her daughter, who she believed was depressed.

Julie Powers Schenecker

Samara Sodos, The Tampa Tribune, AP
Julie Powers Schenecker is led away from the Tampa Police Department, in Tampa, Fla., on Friday. The 50-year-old is charged with the murders of her son, Beau, 13, and her daughter, Calyx, 16.

“When officers arrived at the family home at 7:45 a.m., they found the suspect on the back porch with blood on her clothing,” Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said in a statement. “Officers found [Beau] shot to death in an SUV in the garage. They discovered [Calyx] shot to death in an upstairs bedroom.”

According to McElroy, Schenecker freely spoke to police about the killings.

“During a post-Miranda interview with detectives, the suspect confessed to killing her two children,” McElroy said. “She described the crimes in detail.”

Schenecker allegedly told police she had purchased the gun five days before the deaths and had planned on killing the children and then herself because she was “tired of them mouthing off,” The Associated Press reported.

Schenecker’s husband, Col. Parker Schenecker, was not home. A U.S. Army intelligence officer, he was on assignment in the Middle East when the shootings occurred, police said.

Schenecker missed two scheduled court appearances over the weekend because of an illness. Authorities have declined to comment on her condition, citing medical privacy laws. She was reportedly shaking uncontrollably when police took her into custody and remains on suicide watch today.

This afternoon, Schenecker appeared in court via a video link from the county jail. She wept during the two-minute proceeding. She was not required to enter a plea, and Judge Walter Heinrich ordered her held without bond. Her next court date has not been set. Because the case remains open, prosecutors declined to comment on it, CNN reported.

Those who know the family are stunned by the slayings and say there were no outward signs that anything was wrong. Authorities are also stumped and have indicated that Schenecker has no prior criminal history aside from a November traffic accident in which she was cited for careless driving.

Graham, a former classmate of Schenecker who has known her since grade school, says she is stunned.

“I last saw her at a class reunion,” Graham said. “I can vividly remember her dancing and having a wonderful time. … She looked great and we talked and I was happy for her.”

In the 1980s, Schenecker joined the U.S. Army and worked as a linguist in Munich, Germany. She also coached the officers’ volleyball team.

“She was super good at it,” former colleague K.C. Dreller told the St. Petersburg Times. “I imagine she was super good at everything she did. Anybody who was in that field was a Type A personality.”

It was while stationed in Germany that Schenecker met and fell in love with Parker, a successful career military man. The two married and shortly thereafter had their two children. Calyx was born in Germany on Sept. 12, 1994. Beau was born in Honolulu on Sept. 29, 1997.

The family traveled around the country, living in many places, including Arizona, Hawaii and Virginia, before settling in Florida in 2008. Schenecker did not re-enlist in the military and, instead, became a stay-at-home mom.

Calyx attended King High School in Tampa. There, the 10th-grade student was in the Pre-International Baccalaureate program and excelled on the cross-country team. She also reportedly formed a popular Harry Potter fan club.

“She was a great kid, the kind you would want to clone,” Principal Carla Bruning told the St. Petersburg Times.

Beau attended nearby Liberty Middle School. The eighth-grader enjoyed video games and soccer.

“Beau was amazing, he was random and funny, and always in a cheering (sic) mood,” a friend posted on a memorial Facebook page.

The victim’s family members have declined to comment on the case. AOL News also reached out to several family friends today. Graham was the only one to respond. She said she is still trying to understand what could have caused the tragedy.

“No one deserves that kind of horrible death,” Graham said. “I’m at a loss for words.”

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Schenecker is believed to have maintained a page in her name on Facebook. There are no obvious signs on it that she was battling depression, as her mother reportedly told law enforcement. Oddly enough, she allegedly “Liked” two Facebook pages related to children:

“Julie likes ‘If God has blessed you with a child and you are forever thankful press like!'” and “Julie likes ‘If you hurt my daughter I will make your death look like an accident.'”

Schenecker’s November car accident could, however, offer some clues that she might have been dealing with problems related to alcohol or drugs. According to the police report, which was released today and obtained by The Associated Press, she showed signs of impairment after the crash.

The report states Schenecker had dilated pupils and “mush-mouthed speech,” but the officers indicate they did not give her a sobriety test because she was taken to the hospital. When they went there to obtain a blood sample, they discovered she had already been released.

Another record released on Monday indicates Schenecker was investigated in November after she was accused of child abuse, the AP reported. Calyx allegedly told officers that her mother had hit her several times. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Florida Department of Children and Families looked into the allegations but determined they were unfounded.


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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on July 8, 2011, in Friday FAIL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I wrote about this woman. I just could not imagine looking at one of my kids (even on their worst day) and shooting them in them in the back of the head. Good job on the Friday Fail!

  2. What kills me is does the parent not realize her children’s behaviour is a direct result of her parenting or lack there of? It kills me when parents don’t take responsibility for their actions an their children’s actions. Yea there is a certain time you can’t be responsible anymore however if they are under your roof you are still master and commander. Why are parents these days so scared of disipining their children?

    It sounds like in Florida you can get away with it too. I may be wrong but listening to all the stories from afar that is the perception of many right now.

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