#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean
Evil Stepmother, Season 1, Episode 1, Not My Mom
September 8, 2002, Dickson, Tennessee
Kimberly Mangrum became stepmom to two children when she married their father, Terry Mangrum, Sr. During the episode, Kimberly’s stepson, Terry, Jr. is interviewed. He spoke about life with his stepmom. In the beginning, Kimberly worked hard to win his and his sister’s affection. But she soon begins to exhibit mood swings, lashing out for no reason. Kimberly’s main source of contention is the children’s mother, Lee Ann Mangrum, who had full custody. The kids visited their dad on the weekends, but Kimberly wanted full control. She insisted that she begin doing the drop-offs to limit the contact her husband had with his ex. Kimberly uses those dropoffs to taunt and start arguments with Lee Ann.
Lee Ann is a loving mother, but Kimberly engages in conflict with her and tries to undermine her role as a mother, every chance she gets. Somehow, and this I never understood, Lee Ann ends up losing custody to the children to Terry and Kimberly. This gives Kimberly even more of an opportunity to terrorize and abuse them. She would have the kids phone their mother and call her awful names and tell her she was a horrible mother. One day in September, Terry Sr. receives a notice to appear in Court. Lee Ann is filing to get custody of her children. Kimberly is enraged.
The next day, a fisherman finds a body and a vehicle submerged in Turnbull Creek. Police learn that the dead woman is Lee Ann Mangrum. Authorities speak to the family and are told by Kimberly, Terry Sr. and the kids that Lee Ann came over the night before, with a man named Bob. She was drunk and demanding that Kimberly give her Klonopin. Kimberly did so, and Lee Ann finally left.
The police discover Lee Ann’s trailer has been ransacked. They find her son’s DNA in the house and they find cigarette butts outside that contain Kimberly’s DNA. When police question Terry, Jr, he says that when his mom was at the house that night, he wanted to talk to her. After she left, he took Kimberly’s car and drove to her house. She flips out on him and attacks him. In self-defense, he kills her.
Believing there is more to it, the police push him. He finally tells the entire story.
The night that Kimberly receives the letter that Lee Ann is filing for custody, she goes into the children’s rooms (the daughter was 11 and the son, 15) and wakes them. She tells them to ride with her to the store to get cigarettes. Kimberly drives to the convenience store and after she gets the cigarettes, she tells the kids they are going to make one more stop. She drives them to Lee Ann’s. Terry Jr. is relieved when his mom isn’t home, but as they are leaving, a car passes. It’s Lee Ann. Kimberly turns around and parks behind her. She grabs a bat from behind the driver’s seat and tells the kids to get out of the car. She then begins screaming at Lee Ann. Lee Ann locks the doors, but Kimberly breaks the window with the bat. She pulls Lee Ann out of her vehicle and begins beating her with the bat. She hands Terry Jr. the bat and tells him to finish her. He then beats his mother. Kimberly holds a knife to his side and tells him to help get his mother into her car. Afraid for his life, he does as she says. She instructs him to drive Lee Ann’s car and follow her, and he does. She leads them to a creek. They pull Lee Ann from the vehicle and Kimberly drives it into the water. She orders Terry Jr. to kill his mother and threatens to kill him and his sister if he doesn’t. He places his foot on his mother’s body and holds her underwater until she drowns.
They head back to Lee Ann’s trailer. Kimberly forces her stepdaughter to call her grandmother from Lee Ann’s phone, saying, “I’m scared, please help me.” I’m not sure for what purpose, unless it’s to make it appear she is being attacked. Kimberly holds a knife to the children’s throats and tells them if they ever tell anyone what happened, she’ll kill them both, and their entire family.
After Terry Jr.’s confession, police arrest Terry Sr. and Kimberly. Terry Sr. is convicted of accessory after the fact and sentenced to 10 years. Terry Jr. is sentenced to 8 years and Kimberly is sentenced to life. The daughter, Alyshia, is not charged.
What a crazy, messed up, tragic story. I am a little reluctant to totally defend the boy. He was 15 or 16 at the time, and a big kid. I’m sure the stepmom had some psychological control over him, but that’s a bit extreme. Surely, he could have driven his mother to the hospital instead of following Kimberly. He’d have had protection from police. Regardless of all that, there is no punishment too severe for the evil Kimberly Mangrum.
What are your thoughts?