Tag Archives: Matricide

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.]

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Crime Time ~ Passport to Murder, “Nightmare in Bali”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

Passport to Murder,  Season 1, Episode 1, Nightmare in Bali

August 12, 2014, Bali, Indonesia

Wealthy Chicago socialite, Sheila Von Wiese-Mack, and her daughter, Heather Mack, have a strained relationship. Heather’s dad died when she was ten and she grew up troubled. Hoping to repair their relationship, Sheila books a lavish trip to Bali for just the two of them.

Eight days into their trip, tragedy strikes. A taxi driver reports a suspicious suitcase left in the back of his cab. Police arrive and find the bloody. bludgeoned, half-nude corpse of Shelia Von Wiese-Mack. Authorities learn Sheila’s daughter was on vacation with her and begin a search, concerned for her safety as well.

A tip leads them to a hotel seven miles away. They enter the room, expecting to find Heather held captive. Instead, they find her in bed with a young man, who turns out to be Tommy Schaefer, her boyfriend from Chicago. Unbeknownst to her mother, Heather used Sheila’s credit card to book Tommy a flight and hotel to Bali as well. When Sheila discovered this, she was livid. She didn’t approve of Tommy anyway, and it wasn’t the first time Heather had stolen and used her credit cards.

Further investigation uncovered the true facts of Sheila’s death. Heather and Tommy planned it together, thinking Heather would inherit her mother’s fortune. Surveillance video showed Tommy entering Sheila and Heather’s room with a bulging item beneath his shirt. Heather had let him in, and he used the item–a metal fruit bowl–to beat Sheila to death. The couple thought they could flee Bali with Sheila’s money, but the hotel staff refused them access to Sheila’s safe, before her murder was even discovered, where their passports and the cash had been secured.

The couple were arrested, and Heather was now pregnant. The trial was held in Bali. The killers were facing the possibility of death by firing squad. They were found guilty but, because of their age and Heather’s pregnancy, they were not given the death penalty. Instead, Tommy was sentenced to eighteen years, Heather to ten. Heather would keep her baby in prison with her until the child turned two, then the child would be taken into foster care until Heather was released, at which time the child would be returned to her.

This is appalling to me. The vicious killers go from facing a firing squad to getting what amounts to a slap on the wrist? Eighteen and ten years? Heather’s daughter will be returned to her? I’m baffled. There was mention of the trauma suffered when her father died and what an impact that had on her life. Sad, yes, but what if everyone who lost a parent at a young age murdered their remaining parent? Heather and Tommy were not children. She was nineteen years old, he was twenty-one. They were both adults. They planned this and carried it out, viciously and without remorse. They even laughed and made faces for the cameras after their arrest. Authorities discovered that, prior to the Bali trip, the two attempted to hire a hit man to murder Sheila.

For years, Heather had been abusing her mother. The police were called to the home more than 80 times. This is not some childish, spur of the moment impulse for which she later showed regret. Heather Mack is a cold, calculating murderer. And now, she’ll be raising a daughter and will likely abuse her. Heather did not end up inheriting any of her mother’s estate…it will all go to her child. She killed once for that same fortune. It’s no big leap to think she’ll do it again.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh, or was their punishment not harsh enough?

 

[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. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.]

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