Natural Born Killers

The Richardson family murders are the murders of three members of the Richardson family in Medicine Hat, Alberta in April 2006.The murders were committed by the family’s 12-year-old daughter and her 23-year-old boyfriend Jeremy Steinke. At 1:00 pm on 23 April 2006, the bodies of husband Marc Richardson, aged 42, and wife Debra, 48 and son Jacob, 8, were found in their home. Absent from the home was the couple’s 12-year-old daughter. For a time it was feared that she was a victim, but the following day Jasmine and Jeremy were arrested and charged with 3 murders. On May 3, 2006, Jeremy’s friend Kacy Lancaster, 19, was charged with being an accessory for driving them away in her pick up and disposing of evidence. The couple met at a punk rock show in early 2006. Jasmine’s parents punished her for dating Jeremy due to the age disparity. Just hours before the murders, he watched the film Natural Born Killers. Jeremy asserted that he should go about his plans in a similar manner and  said to an undercover officer: ‘You ever watch the movie Natural Born Killers?… I think that’s the best love story of all time….” Shortly after Jasmine’s arrest, Jeremy asked her to marry him and she agreed. Watch Natural born killers trailer.

Friends of the pair verified that  Jeremy was watching a film about serial killers and was overheard finalizing a deadly plan. “He was on the phone in the kitchen, pacing back and forth, saying, ‘I don’t want to do this. Are you sure you want to do this?’ ” an underage girl testified. Watch 1940s documentary boy in court: juvenile court and rehabilitating at-risk offenders 

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act twelve is the youngest possible age at which a person can be charged with a crime; convicts under fourteen years during a crime cannot be sentenced as adults. On July 9, 2007, Jasmine was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. Jasmine is the youngest person ever convicted of a multiple murder in Canada. She was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. On December 15, 2008, Jeremy was sentenced to three life sentences for first-degree murder. Jeremy will be eligible for parole after twenty-five years. Accessory to murder against Kacy was dropped and she pleaded guilty to obstruction. She received one year house arrest as part of the plea bargain and ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol.  Watch Inside Juvenile prison: what it’s like

Update:  On September 30 2013, Jasmine became the “poster girl” for rehabilitated juveniles. She has been released from prison, attends high school and holds down a job. Her lawyer insisted she is at “low-risk” to re-offend. He even wanted an 11:30 p.m. curfew lifted so Jasmine could enjoy more freedom but the court refused to overturn this constraint. The judge however is impressed with Jasmine’s progress: She’s doing all or more than is expected from her under the program. Isn’t that wonderful.

I know of many teenagers who attend high school and hold down jobs yet they have never murdered their families. Should this young woman really be revered for convincing a prison psychiatrist that she is really and truly remorseful? Jasmine won’t have any supervision when she reaches 22. She will have filled her 10-year prison sentence which in my opinion isn’t enough and never will be.

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