Hey guys, when researching this post I used the book Runaway Devil: How Forbidden Love Drove 12-Year-Old To Murder Her Family. It’s a pretty good true crime book to read and I recommend it! Also, if you like this post, please share it!
A triple slaying left Canadian citizens asking how a normal loving family like the Richardsons could have been targeted for such an horrid crime. Detectives soon find out that it is the families’ own daughter, 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson, who masterminded the entire slaying. Jasmine even killed her own little brother with a knife before running away to be with her boyfriend and murder partner, 23-year-old Jeremy Steinke.
“Mommy, there’re bodies at Jacob’s with blood on them.”
It was the 6-year-old neighbor boy who first saw the bloody and mutilated bodies through the basement window of 304 Cameron Road, Southeast. Inside the home were 3 deceased bodies, that of the father Marc Richardson, his wife Debra, and his 8-year-old son Jacob.
A Normal Family
Marc’s family arrived in Medicine Hat three years ago from Okotoks, near Calgary, and all their neighbors considered them a quiet, loving, and normal family. Of those neighbors, Phyllis and Vernon described both Marc and Debra Richardson as “full of life,” and knew that owning their own home instead of renting was a lifelong dream of the hardworking parents.
A former neighbor, Bob Grodin, said about the family, “They were the family we all wished we had. Debra was the cement who built a pleasant, happy home, and Marc’s only plan in life was to do right by his family. I lived vicariously through those parents and really admired their devotion to family.”
Marc was recently promoted at his electrical engineering job for EnCana Corp, where he worked as an instrumentation technician. A new promotion meant more money coming in for the family, which meant they could finally take a well-deserved vacation.
Things weren’t always going this well for the family, however. Before Marc met his future wife Debra both were struggling heavily with hard drugs. Fortunately, Marc and Debra found support in each other, meeting for the first time in an addiction recovery program, getting married soon after. Before they were slaughtered on April 23, 2006, they had been happily married for 15 years.
A Death Battle
The police arrived at the scene promptly at 1:34 pm. Neighbors and on-lookers had already formed when the detectives kicked down the front door and entered the murder scene. One police officer heard a faint whimpering, which turned out to be the family dog lying next to the dead body of Debra Richardson.
Debra’s position was “unnatural” according to detectives, and police found her body naked from the waist down, her blue nightie hiked up with a clear and visible sign of smeared blood covering her legs. Detectives surmised Debra was murdered first after she surprised the intruder downstairs. A struggle took place, according to Debra’s defensive wounds, but ultimately she was was overpowered and repeatedly stabbed with a knife.
Marc was the second to be murdered in the home. Marc’s arms were frozen and his fists were clenched tightly in an upward position, which resulted from the body transitioning through rigor mortis. Beside Marc’s body was a black-handled knife, which would eventually be determined to be one of the two knives used in the murder of the Richardsons. Also beside Marc’s body was a screwdriver which was grabbed to defend himself against his killer.
Both Marc and Debra had defensive wounds showing that the couple fought back, Marc nearly being victorious. As police began following the bloodstains, they could see that after Marc was murdered, the killer traveled upstairs to the 8-year-old Jacob’s room.
A Bloody Light Saber
Inside Jacob’s room police found the murdered boy lying on his right side, still in his underwear, and with a large knife gash in his throat.
There was an extensive amount of blood showing that the boy bleed out quickly, however, police also found his blood-soaked toys on the floor, including his prized possession, a Star Wars light saber, which he used to defend himself against his killer.
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The Missing 12-Year-Old
When detectives first entered the residence, they did not know that there were 4 family members who lived in the house. The 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson, JR, was nowhere to be found. Police immediately released her photo to media outlets, thinking that Jasmine was abducted and being held captive by an intruder. Detectives visited Jasmine’s school, where they opened her locker for any information about her whereabouts.
What fell out of her locker was shocking.
Jasmine’s drawing showed a 12-panel cartoon strip laying out a murder plot of her entire family, which even included her 8-year-old brother Jacob.
The illustration shows two stick figures pouring gasoline into a water sprinkler. The other three figures are unaware that they are about to be lit on fire. “Oh no, we’re covered in gasoline.” “Ahh, I’m being burned alive, help my flesh is being burned off, the unimaginable pain,” the illustration continues.
Clearly Jasmine Richardson had been planning to kill her family months before the actual murder took place.
More Than Just A Phase
Jasmine Richardson was never unfairly treated or abused by her parents and was even given opportunities that many children would never get. One friend describes Jasmine, “JR was an understanding, decent, outgoing, absolutely amazing person.” While another friend corroborates those traits, “When I met JR in grade 6, she was kind and gentle and made an effort to befriend me and made me feel welcome.”
Jasmine’s mother Debra had been practicing reiki for several years, which could have piqued her daughter’s interest in the subject which led to her embracing Wicca.
At 11, Debra’s sweet daughter adopted a unique look and personality. A stark difference to the smiling and happy little girl in other family photos. Now Jasmine was dressing in all black, wearing eyeliner, a dog collar, short skirts, chains, and watching movies such as Edward Scissorhands and Natural Born Killers.
She started hanging out with older men and becoming sexually active.
Marc and Debra started enforcing tougher restrictions on JR such as no internet, no phone, and no hanging out with friends. Slowly the thought developed in the 12-year-old’s mind that she needed freedom away from her parents and the only way to get that freedom was to kill her entire family.
The Runaway Devil
On August 27, 2005, Jasmine, 11, joined MindViz.com and also created an account on Myspace.com. Following that, she joined VampireFreaks.com under the name of x-killer-kitty-x and Zorpia.com under the name of Runaway Devil. The alias of Runaway Devil would ultimately stick to her main identity thanks to the media’s coverage of the murders.
It was on social media where Jasmine would eventually form a connection to a 23-year-old highschool dropout name Jeremy Allen Steinke. Jeremy was also goth and referred to himself as ‘Souleater’. Jeremy was a horrible influence on Jasmine’s young and developing mind. At the time, still living in his mother’s trailer, he would hang out with 11- and 12-year-old girls at the local mall.
The teenage and preteen girls all looked up to him. Jasmine’s parents were furious that their daughter was associating with someone so worthless as Jeremy Steinke.
A Warewolf in Sheeps Clothing
Steinke would ultimately be the person whom Jasmine coaxed into helping her kill her entire family. Jeremy and Jasmine started an intense romance, mostly writing dark poetry and talking on the phone, although sometimes JR would sneak out of her home and visit him at his mom’s trailer.
It was on one of these late night visits that Jeremy Steinke admitted to his true identity, which was a 300-year-old reincarnated werewolf. Obviously there was nothing good that could come of this scenario with a 23-year-old jobless goth and an impressionable 12-year-old hell-bent on killing her parents and her little brother.
On one of Jeremy’s person blogs he posted: “We must meet in the cemetery one hour before the full moon is at it’s fullest to speak of a tragedy within te coven. Those who have not overcome the mindless rage need not attend.”
Drunk, Bullied, and Abused
Growing up, Jeremy Steinke was both heavily abused and bullied. Jeremy “Stinky” became his nickname, and he was picked on mercilessly by his peers about his alcoholic mother and his poor living situation.
Jeremy’s father left him at two years old and the mother quickly replaced him with many other abusive and drunk men.
From Jeremy’s own words about his stepfather, “he had a tendency to abuse me and my siblings. Physical abuse and mental abuse. He’d tie us to chairs and make us watch the other children get abused as well.”
One former classmate remembers Jeremy Steinke well, “I remember being in grade 5 with him and he was always late for class. I remember the teacher, finally fed up with him coming in late every morning, confronting him about it, and telling him to set his alarm clock or get his mom to set it for him. That was all it took, and he snapped. I remember him screaming at the teacher in front of all of us about how he didn’t have an alarm clock and how his mom wouldn’t buy him one. I remember being scared, he was that angry.”
Jeremey did not excel in his class, and by 15 he was an alcoholic and a cutter. It was in 2005, one year before the murder of the Richardson family, that Jeremy went goth. Younger girls adored him, partly because of his appearance, and because his age allowed him to drive and to buy alcohol.
Some psychiatrist surmised Steinke was born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder because of his immaturity and desire to please his peer group.
“Off Like A Rocket”
Shortly before driving to murder the Richardson family Jeremy consumed a case of beer, several shots of vodka, several lines of cocaine, several glasses of wine, and at least one ecstasy pill. According to him, he “was off like a rocket” when he arrived at the Richardson home.
Wearing a black neoprene face mask, a black fishnet arm stockings, a leather wristband, a neck bandana, and eye liner Jeremy snuck in the house, was immediately confronted downstairs by Debra, and started stabbing.
Marc surprised Jeremey when he barreled down the stairs, wielding a screwdriver and according to his own words, “he came at me real fast. I was scared shitless. I thought I was going down. I went to back up, and I tripped and fell and he jumped on me and attempted to stab me in the chest. He grabbed my face and shoved his thumbs in my eye.”
“It’s What Your Daughter Wanted”
The last words Marc Richardson would ever hear before his death after asking why he was being stabbed was, “It’s what your daughter wanted.” The blade used to kill Marc was bent at the tip, showing that his killer hit his bone with the murder weapon.
“Shhh.. Go to sleep”
Now that Jasmine’s parents were dead, it was time to kill 8-year-old Jacob who was upstairs cowering in his bed. After a failed attempt to suffocate her little brother, saying “shhh go to sleep”, Jasmine to the bladed knife and stuck it deep through his neck. The excess of blood led investigators to refer to the murder as “a major bloodletting event.” Jasmine would later claim that her “little brother gargled,” as she pushed the knife into his neck.