“This is a tragedy beyond words. The evil of this act is beyond my ability to describe.” — Judge Peter McDermott, during the sentencing of Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper.
The murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart is a case that shocked the nation due to the young age of both the victim and the perpetrators, as well as the brutality of the crime.
On the evening of September 22, 2006, Cassie Jo Stoddart and her boyfriend, Matt Beckham, were watching a movie on the couch. Unbeknownst to them, however, two of Cassie’s classmates had climbed inside through an open window. The classmates, Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper, waited until Matt Beckham left the residence. The boys had already made up their mind to kill Cassie that night.
Cassie was reportedly stabbed more than 30 times with a variety of sharp objects, including a hunting knife and a pizza cutter.
The wounds were deep and extensive, and several of them were fatal. The attack was so violent that it caused severe trauma to Cassie’s body and resulted in her death.
After the attack, Adamcik and Draper left the house and went to a nearby store, where they purchased food and drink. They then returned to the house to clean up the crime scene, remove any evidence that might link them to the murder, and make it look like a robbery gone wrong.
The next day, when Cassie’s boyfriend returned to the house, he found her body and immediately called the police. The investigation that followed ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of Adamcik and Draper.
According to the testimony of the two perpetrators, they had been planning the murder for months and had even filmed a video diary documenting their plans. The boys had become obsessed with the horror movie “Scream” and had modeled their crime after the film.
“The murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart was a senseless act of violence that has left a lasting impact on the community. We will never forget her or the impact that her life had on those around her.” — Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
Several pieces of evidence were discovered that ultimately led to the conviction of her killers. Some of the key pieces of evidence include: DNA Evidence: DNA evidence found on a knife that was used in the murder led investigators to two suspects, Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper.
DNA evidence was also found on other items at the crime scene that linked the suspects to the murder.
Footprints: The suspects left footprints in the mud outside of the house where Cassie was killed. The footprints matched the shoes worn by the suspects.
Confession Tape: The suspects were recorded by police confessing to the murder. The tapes revealed that the murder was premeditated and that the suspects had been planning it for weeks.
Video Footage: Video footage from a camera in the home where Cassie was house-sitting showed the suspects entering the house on the night of the murder.
Eyewitness Testimony: Eyewitnesses reported seeing the suspects in the area on the night of the murder, and one witness saw them leaving the scene.
Overall, the combination of DNA evidence, footprints, video footage, eyewitness testimony, and the suspects’ own confession tapes provided strong evidence of their guilt and ultimately led to their conviction.
After Draper was interrogated, he admitted that he was in the room when Adamcik killed Cassie and that he had also stabbed her under orders from Adamcik. He led the authorities to evidence he had hidden in the Black Rock Canyon area, which included four knives, a mask, latex gloves, and a videotape.
The tape contained footage of the boys planning Cassie’s murder and their reactions to it after her death.
During the investigation of the murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart, it was discovered that Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper had created a “death list” of people they wanted to kill. The list reportedly included the names of several other individuals, including friends and acquaintances of Adamcik and Draper.
According to court records, the “death list” was found during a search of Adamcik’s home after the murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart. The list was written on a piece of paper and included a column for “targets” and another for “methods.”
The names on the list were reportedly crossed out, suggesting that Adamcik and Draper had already carried out some of their intended acts of violence.
The discovery of the “death list” was seen as evidence of the premeditated nature of the murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart and the dangerous mindset of Adamcik and Draper. The list was also a cause for concern among the individuals named on it and their families, who may have feared for their safety.
Overall, the “death list” created by Adamcik and Draper was a chilling reminder of the potential for violence and the devastating consequences that can result from it.
Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper were tried as adults and found guilty of first-degree murder in 2007. Adamcik was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and Draper was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Both defendants appealed their convictions, but their appeals were denied. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Montgomery v. Louisiana that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.
As a result, Adamcik’s sentence was vacated, and he was resentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years.
Draper’s sentence was not affected by the ruling. Both Adamcik and Draper remain in prison today.
The murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart was a heinous crime that shocked the community, and the consequences for the perpetrators were severe. Psychologists who have studied the case suggest that the boys suffered from a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, and a lack of empathy. Violent media, including horror movies and video games, which desensitized them to violence and made it easier for them to rationalize their actions heavily influenced them.