Crime Time ~ Evil Stepmother ~ “Not My Mom”

#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.

Lee Ann Mangrum

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.

Terry Mangrum Jr.

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?

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]


Filed under Crime Time

15 responses to “Crime Time ~ Evil Stepmother ~ “Not My Mom”

  1. So many questions. How many yrs. was Kimberly involved with the children? Did Lee Ann seek help or discuss Kimberly’s behavior with anyone? How much was their fathers behavior a contributing factor?
    So many questions. I agree, he should have to answer for his part in his moms murder.


  2. Raynell M Faulkner

    I watched this last night I kept saying he’s a big boy he could beat her down why didn’t he


    • Scarlet J

      Being beat down mentally, emotionally and physically on top of death threats can affect anyone of any size.
      I know my ex was abused violently and at a certain age he finally fought back but he was almost 18 and it was a traumatic experience for him to hear him tell it. It somehow affected his memory as probably the worst of any abuse he took prior to that. Besides it may have also be self preservation and knowing his little sister may get it worse.
      So many things factor in abuse victims.
      I feel for these poor children. This woman was a monster. I hope with therapy the children and family of Lee Anne can heal some.


  3. heather

    Did you not see the scenes where Terry Jr. described how terrified he and his sister were of Kimberly? The abuse they were subjected to? His physical size has nothing to do with his maturity. He was still a child. There’s a reason why 15 year olds aren’t considered adults. He did not deserve years in prison.


  4. Kat

    Size has nothing to do with abuse. Its about the mind. We all question why if he was so big he didn’t fight. But the truth is that there was probably real fear that he could be next. Most males abused by women are much bigger than the woman. He didn’t deserve what he got. I truly believe that he had been severely and chronically abused by this woman. This woman made this kids kill her not because it was easier because she knew she could control them for the rest of their lives.


  5. Laura

    There was not one shred of evidence presented that either child had been physically or mentally abused by their stepmother beyond their saying so. Ironic, considering it was their false allegations of abuse against their own mother which led to her losing custody in the first place. They lied to get what they wanted, which was to stay in Fairview and live with their father and stepmother. Then they lied to the police, lies that might have gone undiscovered without DNA evidence. When confronted with proof of their lies, they concocted another abuse story.

    They robbed their mother’s house after participating in her murder. They never shed a tear over her death, but had plenty of tears and a tale of woe when begging for leniency. All so very troubling. But not nearly as troubling as the fact that they had a chance to save their mother’s life after the savage beating and chose instead to participate in drowning her. Kim Mangrum was in a seperate vehicle from them and their injured mother. Kim Mangrum wasn’t armed, couldn’t have stopped them from driving their mother to get medical attention, from seeking a place of safety away from their “evil” stepmother.

    As far as I’m concerned, they got off too easily, and all because some judge bought their phony sob story.


    • Ashley Tanner

      Terry Jr. stood up in City and showed scars related to the abuse he received from his psycho step mom. He couldn’t drive his mom to the hospital cuz his little sister was in the car with a murderer. He chose for his sister to live. Thank God we’re never put in those situations.


  6. Gia

    The story says that the sister was in the passenger seat of their moms car when he was driving. So they were all in the car together, except Kimberly. Here’s what happened in a short period of time…Kimberly was such an evil malevolent force to begin with, that when the kids saw their own dad would do nothing to help them, much less himself…they gave up. It was easier to give into Kimberly and identify ‘with their captor’ than it was to go against her. They began to relate to her in seeing their own mother as the ENEMY. I’m sure they were afraid of Kimberly, but at any point either of those kids could have told someone that they were being abused or were afraid of Kimberly. Didn’t they go to public school, have neighbors and what about other relatives? I’m guessing Kimberly was good at putting on airs for strangers and outsiders and they probably outwardly didn’t see a problem.
    I do think the son deserved to serve a sentence, though feel 8 years was a little strong considering the emotional and mental trauma he would have needed to get help for. Seeing him in that TV special it’s clear he hasn’t dealt with much, tends to see himself strictly as a victim and is completely disconnected from a certain reality. I wonder if he and his sister and father are now close. I highly doubt it, but I think this story should serve as a cautionary tale…


  7. Tammy bond

    Im interested to know what books you’ve written.


  8. Kimberly

    it doesn’t matter how big he is he is stil child who was physically, verbally and emotionally tortured by his stepmother, there are adults that are physically, verbally and emotionally tortured that can’t stand up to their abuser how do you expect a 15 year old child to do what adults in the same situation can’t?


  9. No name

    LeeAnn was a very good friend of mine. I knew her children almost all of their childhood….while it may seem that he could have driven his mother to the hospital, don’t forget that his little sister was still with Gypsy. I’m positive that you she would have killed her,if he had tried to do that. Little Terry was a very sweet child, and both of those children loved their mother very much.


  10. In less than 20yrs after all of that almost every person involved in that whole murder have passed away.


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