5 Children Who Murdered Their Parents for the Inheritance
Entitled children. It's something people of all classes and ethnic groups experience, but it seems to be an epidemic among the wealthy. Unlike households with prohibitive budgets, the financially-elites' children grow into adults who demand their parents continued support despite being able-bodied persons who refuse to work to support their expensive habits.
The following is the true stories of five American adult children who murdered their parents because each of them were unwilling to give their offspring that for which they had worked so hard: money.
1. Jimmy Robertson of South Carolina
On November 25, 1997, Terry Robertson's co-worker was concerned when she didn't show up for an important work meeting and, hoping Terry had simply overslept, went to the Robertson's Rock Hill home to get her. Instead, her colleague found the brutalized bodies of Terry and her husband, Earl.
It didn't take much effort for detectives to learn about the couple's oldest son, James D. "Jimmy" Robertson. Jimmy, according to close friends and family, had recently been cut-off financially by his parents after they learned he'd been expelled from Georgia Tech for failing to complete his classes. Jimmy's fellow students explained the failed classes were due to the once budding-math genius' addiction to illegal and prescription drugs.
With the help of Robertson's girlfriend, detectives put the pieces of the puzzle in place. The completed picture would show Jimmy, angry at his parents refusal to give him money to support his habits any longer, killed them in a fit of rage - induced by snorting crushed Ritalin, to inherit their $2.2 million dollar estate.
Jimmy was convicted of murdering his parents in 1999 and was sentenced to death. He continues to appeal his sentence from death row at Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.
2. Andrew Wamsley of Texas
When a call came into 911 on the night of December 11, 2003, there was no one on the other end. Officers were immediately dispatched to locate of the call: the home of Rick and Suzanne Wamsley on Turnberry Drive in Mansfield. It was there the couple's stabbed and bullet-ridding bodies were found.
Residents of the Wamsley's neighborhood were in shock. This was a safe community, away from the crime of it's county seat of Dallas. Rick and Suzanne were well-liked by their neighbors. Who would kill the Wamsleys? And why? Investigators assured neighbors the homicides were an isolated event and there was nothing to fear. Refusing to say anymore, however, residents of Walnut Estates were on high alert.
What police weren't telling the Wamsley's neighbors was a clump of hair had been found in Rick's fist. In March 2004, the state forensics lab matched the hair to 19 years-old Susana Toledano. Three more arrest would come in quick succession.
The Wamsley's neighbors would be shocked and appalled when the couple's 19 years-old son Andrew was arrested as the mastermind of the murders. Why had the teenager conspired to kill his parents with his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, her roommate Susana, and another teenager? He had 1.65 million reasons, police believe.
Those who knew the foursome described them as "lost" kids who were often found hanging out at the Arlington IHOP. It was there, in August 2003, the plan to murder the Wamsleys so Andrew could inherit the family fortune and he and Chelsea could live happily ever after.
Unlike Andrew who had grown up with the comforts and conveniences his father's oil-related job provided, Chelsea grew up in a poorer area of Tarrant County. The high school senior fell hard for the rich boy who had graduated from Mansfield High School the year before. She love Andrew and she loved all his money could buy her. When Andrew dropped out of college, however, his parents had cut him off financially.
The murder conspiracy had initially included killing Andrew's sister, Sarah but before it was executed, Rick and Suzanna had forced her from their home after committing her to a mental facility failed to curtail her "rebellious" nature. On the night of the murders, Sarah was living at her boyfriends and thus spared the same fate as her parents.
During Andrew's trial, he tried claim he had not killed his parents for the money but because they had been emotionally and, on a few occasions, physically abusive. The jury disagreed and convicted Andrew of the murders. He was sentenced to life in prison in March 2006.
Following her conviction, Chelsea Richardson became the first female sentenced to death in Tarrant County but later her sentence was commuted to life in 2011.
Susana Toledano agreed to testify against Andrew and Chelsea in exchange for a plea agreement sentencing her to life in prison with possibility of parole after 30 years.
Hilario Cardenas, the manager of the Arlington IHOP who secured the gun to be used in the murders, pleaded guilty to conspiracy was sentenced to 50 years behind bars. Eligible now for parole, Hilario's first application was denied. No information is available about his next eligibility date.
3. Alan Hruby of Oklahoma
On Monday, October 13, 2014, a Duncan, Oklahoma, housekeeper walked into the home of her clients, John and Tinker Hruby, to discover they, along with their 17 year-old daughter, Katherine, had been murdered. The housekeeper told officers it was a horrific scene she will never forget. The Hruby's had been killed on Thursday, October 9, but had lain undiscovered until her arrival four days later. She sobbed as she recounted the stench of blood and decomposing flesh.
The couples' son, 19 year-old Alan Hruby, was 75 miles away at the University of Oklahoma when he received the call about his family's tragic death. He rushed home immediately, seemingly eager to cooperate with detectives hoping to find a triple murderer. Initially, Alan would neglect to tell detectives he had shopping addiction or that he had recently been arrested on fraudulent check and credit card charges.
Alan may not have provided investigators with said information but it didn't stop them from finding it out on their own. Extended family members told officers about John and Tinker's decision to cut their son off financially because of his inability to control his spending. Alan had served jail time, his maternal grandparents told detectives, for stealing his grandmother's credit card and charging more than $5,000 while he was vacationing in Europe.
The elder Hruby's were third generation owners of The Duncan Press as well as several other small town newspapers and, like past generations, had earned a decent income doing so. Learning the couple's net worth was a rather significant amount, detectives believed they who had killed the Hruby's and why.
When Alan was confronted with this information, he knew he'd been caught and confessed to his crimes. It wasn't that he was a shopping addict, Alan claimed, why he killed his parents. He wasn't happy but understood why they refused him any more financial support but he had asked for one last loan of $3,000 to pay a loan shark who was threatening him. Their refusal, he said, is what made him angry enough to kill.
Initially, Alan pleaded not guilty but in March 2016 changed his plea. Following an allocution before the Court confessing the events of the night of the murder, Alan was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
4. Anthony Bluml of Kansas
Nineteen year-old Tony Bluml never had the best relationship with his adoptive parents, Roger and Melissa Bluml, so when he received a Facebook message from the woman he knew to be his biological mother, he was ecstatic.
When Tony agreed to meet Kisha Schaberg in California, the Blumls had recently kicked him out of their Valley Center home because he smoked marijuana and refused to work. Kisha was much more understanding than the two people who had raised him because she was much the same way. Kisha did not work and smoked weed all day, as well as other illegal and prescription drugs, allowing her live-in girlfriend to support her; and now her long lost son and the friend he had brought, as well. When she invited Tony and his friend, Braden, to move in, she didn't have to ask twice.
Eventually Kisha's girlfriend grew tired of supporting everyone alone and insisted they get jobs but they refused, instead choosing to move into a nearby hotel. Before long, however, the trio decided to return to Kansas.
Where they intended to stay once reaching Kansas, not one of them knew. What little money they had was disappearing quickly and none of them had any job prospects. As they mulled over possible ideas, someone proposed the idea of murdering the Blumls. With them dead, Tony would inherit their money and other assets, which could be sold. By the time they reached Kansas, the trio believed they had the perfect plan for murder.
Kisha, Braden, and another of Tony's friends whom Braden had been recruited, went to the Bluml home while they were away. While waiting for the couple to return, the three positioned themselves around and inside the Bluml home. When the couple exited their vehicle in the driveway, they were ambushed, robbed, and shot. Melissa died the next day while Roger passed away the following week.
As Roger and Melissa had been quite vocal about the issues with Tony, it didn't take police long to link him and the others to the crime.
In 2016, Tony and Kisha pleaded guilty in exchange for life sentences without the possibility of parole. Braden Smith testified against his friend and Kisha in exchange for a plea bargain of life with a possibility of parole after 25 years.
5. Chris Pritchard of North Carolina
In 1988, North Carolina State University student Chris Pritchard was heavily into the role playing gaming of Dungeons & Dragons, and harsh illegal drugs like Cocaine and LSD and his stepfather was refusing to support his habits anymore.
His mother, Bonnie Van Stein, had always gone easy on the child because she felt guilty about his father not being around. As a result, Chris was often labeled a "troubled" child by teachers and principals. His behavior would grow worse after his mother married Lieth Von Stein.
Lieth owned a chain of successful dry cleaning stores in the Winston-Salem area and had accumulated a significant net worth. Although Lieth was Chris' sole financial support through high school and when he went to college, Chris believed he was too controlling of the purse strings.
Chris decided it was time for someone else to be in charge of said strings. He plotted with fellow D&D player, James Upchuch III to kill his parents as they slept in the Washington community home. The duo recruited Gerald Neal Henderson to drive the getaway car. When the job was done, Chris believed he'd inherit more than two million dollars.
On July 25, 1988, Chris set his plan in motion. When the it was over, Lieth was dead and Chris' mother was critically injured. Chris' 18 year-old sister claimed to have slept through the attack, although her room was only a few feet from her parents.
Detectives quickly learned about the poor relations between Lieth and his stepchildren, especially Chris. Bonnie, however, was adamant her children were in no way responsible for the attack on her and her husband but the evidence suggested otherwise. They were certain Chris had planned the murder, James Upchurch had committed them, and Gerald Henderson had driven all of them to and from the crime scene.
Three juries agreed. James Upchurch III was first sentenced to death but it was later commuted to life in prison. Chris and Gerald were convicted of second degree murder. Gerald Henderson was paroled on December 11, 2000. Chris Pritchard was paroled in June 2007.
Since his release, Chris resumed living with his mother in her home near Arcadia.
The following 1992 made-for-television television movie based on Joe McGinnis' book Cruel Doubt. Both book and movie are an excellent recounting of Lieth Von Stein's murder.
© 2017 Kim Bryan