The Richardson family murders is an unbelievable case where 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson and boyfriend Jeremey Steinke killed her entire family in Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada.
Not much is known about her family, but her father was Marc Richardson 42, her mother Debra 48 and brother Jacob 8. According to sources Jasmine was happy and outgoing until she met Jeremey at a rock concert early in 2006 when she was 11 years old.
More About Jeremy Steinke
Jeremy at the time was 23 years, and his nickname was Werewolf. He had a bad upbringing and his mother was an alcoholic and her partner would abuse Jeremy.
At school the children bullied him and before he met Jasmine he already attempted suicide.
Jeremy told his friends he was a 300-year-old werewolf, and he liked the taste of blood. He wore a blood-filled vile around his neck. He also had an account on the website Vampirefreaks.com and enjoyed the Goth lifestyle.
On the website, he listed his interests as:
- Kinky fetishes
- Razor blades
Jeremy described himself as “A Gothic individual who believes in blood, destruction, guts, gore, and greed. Am I God’s champion or Satan’s angel?”
When Jasmine’s parents found out about Jeremy they forbade her to date him, even her friends criticised her relationship with Jeremy. Jasmine started to rebel. She embraced the Goth lifestyle and talked to Jeremy online on Vampirefreaks.com, Nexopia, and Bolt. And yes vampirefreaks.com still exists.
More about Jasmine’s dark side and the plan is hatched
She described herself as:
- A Deep thinker
Jasmine’s hobbies were listed as dark poetry, criminal psychology, blood, kinky shit and human anatomy. She wore makeup that made her look older.
Because her parents forbid her to see Jeremy she and Jeremy started to talk about killing her parents. She loved him and nobody will separate them not even her parents.
When we truly love someone we do crazy things for and in the name of love, and this case reminds a lot of people about Romeo and Juliet. Jeremy was the perfect boyfriend for Jasmine it was everything she wanted. Her parents did what any loving parent would do, protect their daughter. What they never knew was they needed protection from their daughter. Jasmine and Jeremy decided the only way to be together is to kill the ones that stood in their way.
Jasmine’s online username was “runawaydevil” and said she was 15 years old. According to one of the letters online she wrote this to Jeremy which said:
“I have this plan. It begins with me killing them and ends with me living with you”.
Jeremy replied to her and said:
“Payment! My Lover’s rents are totally unfair; they say they really care; they don’t know what is going on they just assume. As their
greed continues to consume, she is slowly going insane. She continues to thank that I came, into her life to help her out, and to stop what they keep trying to shout. It’s all total bullshit. Their throats I want to slit. They will regret the shit they have done. Especially when I see to it that they are gone. They shall pay for their insolence. Finally there shall be silence. Their blood shall be payment!”
Jasmine’s idols were serial killer Jeffery Dahmer and singer Marilyn Manson. She even told her friends about the plan to kill her parents. Her friends laughed at her and told her she was joking as she was raised in a good household and would not do something like that. In turn, Jeremy told her he liked her plan to kill her parents as he loved her too but, they need to be more creative and have a plan. Jeremy told his friends that he and Jasmine will carry out the killings but, her brother must also die.
The night before they killed her family they watched their favorite movie Natural Born Killers. It is a 1994, film about a couple who kill people across America.
The night Jasmine Richardson and Jeremy Steinke murdered her family
On the night of the 22nd April 2006, Jeremy entered the Richardson’s home killing Debra and Marc, while Jasmine was upstairs with her brother.
When Jeremy entered the room of her brother he told her to stab her brother as he did everything for her, she first said she cannot and her brother pleaded for his life and said he is too young to die. Jasmine grabbed him from behind and stabbed him in the chest and Jeremy then slit his throat.
According to sources Jeremy left the Richardson’s home alone and went back to his trailer. A while later Jasmine left the house and took a cab to the Seven Eleven in Medicine Hat and walked from there to Jeremy’s trailer. Two hours after the murders they were laughing and eating in a restaurant. They were planning to leave the province the next day.
The Richardson Family murders is discovered
A friend of Jacob came to visit him on the 23rd of April 2006, he thought he saw a body through the window and went back home to tell his mother. She immediately called the police. Through the basement window detective Brent Secondiak saw a body and called for backup. He thought that there may be someone inside that is still alive. They found Debra she was killed first, stabbed many times, Marc fought back with a screwdriver but, was also stabbed to death in the basement. Jacob was found in his bedroom upstairs stabbed and his throat was slit. It became apparent that 12-year-old Jasmine is missing and the police immediately thought that she may have been kidnapped and sent out an Amber Alert.
After a short investigation, the police suspects Jasmine and Jeremy after they found their emails and accounts online. On the 24th of April 2006, the police found them in Leader Saskatchewan, 80 miles from Medicine Hat. When they were arrested they were laughing and cuddling in his truck. Jasmine and Jeremy were both charged with murdering her mother, father, and brother.
While they were in prison they exchanged letters and in one of the letters Jeremy proposed to Jasmine and she accepted. It is said that Jasmine even bragged about the murders and said it turned them into legends and made them immortal.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Jasmine’s name cannot be published in Canada when she became a suspect. Twelve years is the youngest a person can be to be charged with a crime. Since she was under fourteen years she cannot be sentenced as an adult and the maximum sentence she could get would be 10 years.
An accomplice is charged and the trials of the Richardson family murders begins
On the 3rd of May 2006, Jeremy’s friend Kacy Lancaster, 19, was charged with being an accessory for driving the couple in her pick up and disposing of the evidence. The murder charge against Kacy was later dropped and she pled guilty to an obstruction of justice charge and received one-year house arrest. She was ordered not to use any drugs and alcohol as part of her plea bargain.
Jasmine’s trial started in June 2007. During her trial, she was known as JR, because of the Act that protects her name. At Jasmine’s trial, she was asked why they murdered her family? She said she loved them so much and she thought it would bring them closer together. She told the court she was in a zombie state while Jeremy killed her family and she could not stop him. Jasmine also said they did talk about killing her parents but she meant it only as a joke.
Jasmine was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder on the 9th of July 2007. She is the youngest person ever convicted of murder in Canada. On the 8th of November 2007, she was sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison. She was 14 years old at her sentencing. Four years she would spend in a psychiatric hospital and four years under supervised probation. She would be 23 years old when she completed her sentence.
Jeremy pleaded not guilty to the murders although he did confess repeatedly. Jeremey’s trial would have been in Medicine Hat, but his lawyer won the motion that the trial should be moved to Calgary. He argues that the citizens of Medicine Hat would sentence Jeremy, as they knew too much of the case.
Jeremy’s trial started on the 17th of November 2008, and the police testified that Jeremy tried to recruit some of his friends to help him with the murder but they declined. Kacy a friend of Jeremy testified that he showed no remorse and she did not know about the murders until she heard the news on the television. She cleaned the blood from the truck and did not question the knives, baseball bat and garbage bags he had in the truck.
Jeremy’s appearance in court was described as slumped, head down and staring at the floor. According to sources, his appearance may seem that he tried to look remorseful. When he was asked why he murdered the Richardson’s family he said: “When you found your soul mate, you do anything for them, I did anything.” He was sentenced on the 15th of December 2008, to three life sentences serving them concurrently. He was 25 when he was sentenced and would be eligible for parole in 25 years.
His lawyers started appealing his sentencing; they claimed he was out of his mind and on drugs when he murdered Debra, Marc, and Jacob. The Canadian justice system is firm about their decision and Jeremy would continue his sentence. During his trial, his mother stood by his side and hoped that she would one day see her son outside of the prison walls. It would be unlikely but, like all mothers, she is staying positive.
Jeremy and Jasmine still have contact with each other at this time and continued writing letters and confessing their love to each other. None of them had shown any remorse or expressed any guilt over the murders.
Years later regret sets in for Jasmine and she returns to society
A few years into Jasmine’s sentence she started to regret her crime and responded well to the rehabilitation. According to her psychiatric assessment she was diagnosed with conduct disorder and defiant disorder.
In September 2011, Jasmine attends classes at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta during the last years of her sentence. In late 2011, she was released from the psychiatric hospital and in October 2012, sources said her rehabilitation is going well. Jasmine has attended court twice a year to provide updates on her progress and has received good reviews. It is said she is a poster child for rehabilitation. Her lawyer Katherin Beyak said Jasmine is dedicated to getting better through the process. Crown prosecutor Ramona Robbins said Jasmine, has benefitted from supporters and resources.
In 2012, Jasmine was 18 years old and is once again in the community, where she is serving her last years under supervision. In an interview with some of the residents, they said they feel scared and just want to forget the case. Some of the people that were on the jury feel that Jasmine wanted to take revenge on them and on their families. However according to sources after 10 years it would be unlikely that she would take revenge.
At the age of 23, in 2016, Jasmine received parole and was released. If she remains out of trouble the murders would be expunged from her record in 2020.
How the community feels about Jasmine Richardson’s release
When Detective Brent was asked how he felt about the release of Jasmine he said:
“At one point I wanted her locked up forever. I don’t think I’m there now. I hope she moves on and becomes a productive member of society…I don’t think she is truly evil. I’ve met some of those people that are bad to the bone and she not one of them.”
Some of the neighbors and friends of the family have expressed their disgust that, Jasmine is a free woman. They say if you do the crime you should do the time and believed she should be in jail the rest of her life. There were some residents that expressed empathy towards her; they say she deserves a second chance and that hopefully, she would be an improved citizen.
Mayor Ted Clugston feels Jasmine deserves another chance as she was so young, but does not believe she should return to the community. He said the community is not the proper place for her. He went on to say it was a terrible place for her and she tarnished the community and hurt a lot of people.
Jeremy who is now known as Jackson May was asked to comment on how he feels about Jasmine who is released, he has declined the request for an interview through the Correctional Service of Canada.
It is important that the community trust her again and accept her as part of them. It will take time for wounds to heal, but if she shows them she is truly remorseful and wants to make the best of her life they will warm up to her.
Some of the residents in Medicine Hat blamed the Gothic lifestyle for the murders. They say if Jasmine stayed the sweet, outgoing person she was she would have never killed her parents. Just because you decide to live a certain lifestyle does not give you the right to kill and although it did change her personality she was under the bad influence of a much older Jeremy.
A criminal justice professor Mark Totten at Humber College in Toronto and co-author of When Children Kill gave his professional opinion about Jasmine. He said “We’ve got a young woman here, who at the age of 12 was diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder and conduct disorder – these are two very serious disorders. Forward ten years. Is it possible to change? Absolutely.”
According to some sources Jasmine was the instigator of the murders and had the most influence on Jeremy. Jeremy was seen as the weaker person in the relationship because of his abusive childhood and enjoyed all the love and attention Jasmine gave him.
The status of Jasmine and Jeremy’s engagement is not known.
What is Jasmine Richardson’s new name and where does she live?
Jasmine is currently living in a secret location under a new identity.
What is parricide? And how it relates to this case.
Parricide, a term which meant the murder of a parent or parents, parricide is usually carried out by men. Teenage girls are driven by their boyfriends, and forbidden love; they build up anger and resentment against their loving parents which results in murder.
Jasmine’s case had more press attention and public interest than all the parricide cases recorded. In a study in 2010, they raised the issue of brain development. Compared to adult brains the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed meaning their inhibition, emotional self-control and risk-taking are affected.
As for Jasmine, she felt a range of emotions, love, trust, jealousy, satisfaction, and fear. With all these emotions and hormonal changes that could have played a part in how she behaved. This may explain why Jasmine killed her family. In Jasmine’s case, she did not have an abusive childhood, she only protected what was important to her and when threatened murder was her only option in her mind.
Also when Jeremy carried out the plan and murder she had confirmation that she did the right thing and there were justifiable reasons for doing it.
Now that, Jasmine fully understand the actions she took, she has to live with it for the rest of her life. The murder against her family cannot be explained away or be reversed.
Books and Films about the Richardson family murders:
On the 7th of September 2010, the book called Runaway Devil: How Forbidden Love Drove a 12 – Year- Old to Murder Her Family was released. Journalist Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose covered this story from the beginning and in the book they reveal what really happened.
On the 17th of September 2008, Deadly Women aired an episode about the Jasmine called Forbidden Love.
Social media played a big role in the murders and some claimed there should be rules for online networking, where teenage online users should be monitored. Some people say if her parents did not intervene the murders may not have happened, she should have been able to decide what she wanted.