A Florida woman shot her two teenage children dead because they were being ‘mouthy’, police have claimed.
Julie Schenecker was found covered in blood on the back porch of her home in Tampa after her mother had called police to say she had gone missing after complaining about her children.
Police said the woman, whose husband is serving in the U.S. military in Qatar, had shot and killed her son on the way to football practice ‘because he talked back’.
She then drove to her home and shot her daughter first in the back of the head, then once in the face, as she was on the computer.
A note was left at the home allegedly detailing her plans to kill her children and then herself, saying: ‘They talked back and were mouthy and that she was going to take care of it.’
Laura McElroy, a police spokesman, said: ‘I think we will never understand how or why a mother could take the lives of her children.
‘That was the only reason she provided to our detectives.’
Schenecker was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and appeared in a county jail yesterday afternoon, where she had to be supported by a sheriff’s deputy.
Killed: Beau Schenecker, 13, was shot twice in the head and was found inside the family SUV and, right, Calyx, 16, was found slumped over her computer
Authorities said Schenecker was taken to Tampa General Hospital shortly after midnight to be treated for a medical condition that existed before she was taken to jail.
Her mother had called police from Texas because she was unable to reach her 50-year-old daughter, whom she said was depressed.
A statement from the police added: ‘During a post-Miranda interview with detectives, the suspect confessed to killing her two children.
‘She described the crimes in detail.’
Schenecker’s husband, Army Colonel Parker Schenecker, is stationed at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
The father had been away for several days, said CentCom spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Michael Lawhorn, describing him as a career Army intelligence officer.
Horror confession: Schenecker looks distraught as police lead her to a Tampa jail
‘Depressed’: Schenecker, clad in a white prison jumpsuit, is led away by police
Police said Parker Schenecker was in Qatar and was told of his children’s deaths on Friday.
Officers found the body of Calyx Schenecker, 16, in an upstairs bedroom.
The body of her son Beau, 13, was found in a sports utility vehicle in the garage.
An arrest affidavit said Schenecker shot her son twice in the head ‘for talking back’ as she drove him to football practice.
She then drove home, went inside and shot her daughter in the back of the head as she sat doing her homework, before shooting her again in the face, the affidavit said.
Ms McElroy said the teenagers ‘never saw it coming’. They were both killed by a .38-calibre pistol which had been bought five days earlier, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Neighbour Charanun Soodjinda, 38, said: ‘They seemed like a nice family. I never thought this would happen.
‘How could you do that to your children?’
Seena Jain, who took turns driving the Schenecker children to school, told the St Petersburg Times that Parker Schenecker had taken over doing the school run after his wife was recovering from a serious car accident.
Both teenagers were described as being active at school. Beau played football at Liberty Middle School and Calyx was in the pre-International Baccalaureate programme at King High School, where she did cross-country and had set up a Harry Potter fan club.
Sylvia Carroll, who attended Muscatine High School in Iowa with Julie Schenecker, said she was a popular and athletic student who excelled in basketball in the late 1970s.
They reconnected about a year ago on Facebook.
‘I’m just in shock,’ said Carroll, who now lives in Austin, Texas. ‘I can’t believe this.’
Read more here.
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