Tragedy struck a small Texas town in the wee hours of March 19, 2012, when Trey Sesler, a 22-year-old Youtuber known as 'Mr Anime', took a small collection of firearms and eliminated his entire family.
If you're not paying attention, you may completely miss Waller, Texas. But that's most likely how this town's 3,000 citizens would prefer it, anyway. Surely, a town of this size wouldn't want to be associated with a grisly triple murder of a loving family by one of their own.
Unfortunately, Trey Sesler, a Youtuber known as 'Mr Anime', committed a heinous crime which put his town on the map.
At least for a little while.
Shoots Mother First
Rhonda Wyse Sesler, 57, loved her family, her home, and her job. Employed by the local newspaper The Waller Times as a "precise wordsmith", Rhonda's "contagious laugh" helped even the darkest days seem a little brighter.
A "quintessential mother", Rhonda supported her son's hobbies, even appearing in some of his YouTube videos.
In a post written by a close friend of Rhonda describes how she knew her well from grade school and how accepting she was of anyone she met.
There's plenty of reasons the Trey Sesler case is so sad, but I believe it is the love and support his family has shown him that makes it so unbelievable.
Why kill the three people that love you the most?
Trey claims that it was "too much alcohol, too many drugs, and too much exposure and study of violence to where it didn't seem like it was going to faze [him] to do that."
According to Trey's confession, he invited his mother into the garage under the guise of a problem with his car.
What exactly went through Rhonda's mind before the murder? Surely, she could have never imagined her own son would do this. However, the time was after midnight.
Perhaps Rhonda instinctually knew that her son was in trouble and needed her help. Neighbors described her as being "very motherly."
In another case I've covered, a father is confronted by his own son before he is brutally killed. When researching that specific case, I speculated on the distinct and eery feeling that the loving father 'accepted' that his son was doing this and purposely chose not to harm his attacker.
I know the following statement sounds morbid, but remember, this is the child of the family.
Crime investigators would later find a sticky note from Rhonda addressed to her son Trey: “Trey - Enjoyed our time together last night watching PAWN SHOP. Got you some groceries & supplies in town…but the Xanax can’t be refilled until Oct. 30 - only every 30 days. Sock is in microwave to heat up for your elbow. I filled up the Bird & here is some extra $$ for gas, food, etc. Here is your wallet - it was in Bird door.”
Trey Sesler raises his high-powered.22 rifle to his own mother and pulled the trigger.
Next To Die, Older Brother
The horror that 26-year-old Mark Sesler must have lived through before dying was perhaps unspeakable. Unfortunately his death was not as quick as his other family members.
Mark Sesler may have already been awake when he heard the shot from his younger brother's .22 caliber rifle. According to Trey, he certainly went to check out the noise. "I don"t know what you're doing out there, but it was really loud."
Walking past his older brother, the killer walks to his room to grab a more compact killing weapon, his Glock 9mm equipped with hollow point rounds.
Trey tells detectives, "I don't say anything to him. I just quietly walk past him, go into my room. I pick up my Glock 9 mm that's full of TAP FPD hollow point rounds. And I go into the hallway and I point it at him."
After being shot twice, Mark runs into the bathroom and deadbolts the door behind him.
Father's Death Bed
Lawton Ray Jr was the last family member that Trey Sesler shot.
For the past 30 years, Lawton worked for Robinson Elementary as a valued and well-respected educator. According to one report, Lawton was a "Spotlight teacher in 2000 and 2006, and selected for his outstanding contributions as a teacher."
Lawton most-likely didn't hear his wife of 34 years being shot in the family garage, however, he heard his oldest son being shot twice in the hallway.
By the time the loud gunshots echoing through the house alerted Lawton, his youngest son Trey pointed his Glock 9mm in his direction.
Lawton Sesler was found face down and shot twice on his bloody bed.
After shooting his entire family, Trey Sesler walked back to the bathroom door. His plan was to finish his older brother.
Trey shot at least 6 rounds through the bathroom door, trying to hit his older brother, and after shooting the deadlock and kicking open the door, he saw Mark laying in the fetal position. His blood covered the tiles.
The last bullet went through Mark's head. Trey told investigators, "And I was like, 'Okay, I guess that's got him."
Trey checks on his mother, who was already deceased in the garage. He stated to police during an interview, "Mom hasn't moved, so I'm thinking, 'Well, she's probably dead,' but I pop two rounds at her just to make sure..."
Even Killed The Family Fish
A family annihilator falls under the 'familicide' category and is when one family member has the goal to destroy the entire family unit.
I think of their mindset of tearing something down to its base, it's roots if you will, once the person (usually a male) realizes that the family "no longer serves a particular function."
Not only did Trey Sesler kill his entire family, but he destroyed the family home. He killed the ferret. He shot bullets into the fish tanks, killing the fish. In a nutshell, he destroyed everything in his life, including the ones that loved him the most.
Behind 'Mr Anime'
Before we knew Trey Sesler as a family annihilator, he was better known by his YouTube alias 'Mr Anime'.
Mr Anime had multiple channels on both YouTube and Vimeo and would record himself reviewing anime films. Most of which were extremely violent.
Friends of Trey described him as “highly intelligent, slight eccentric and generally kind-hearted guy who seemed at times to “live in his movies”.
Another close friend, Tyler Adams, who knew him from highschool claimed that Trey's mind had "gone astray." He continued, "The only thing I can think of [regarding Trey's decline] is his movies, over the years, involved more and more violence."
Tara Sandoval has known Trey since the 6th grade. He wasn't "in the popular crowd. He wasn't a social butterfly, but if you approached him, he was nice."
Trey Sesler graduated from Waller High School in 2007, had tried college at Blinn for 2 years, but never received a diploma. This is in stark contrast to his brother, which he shot in the head while lying in the bathroom, who had graduated with a business administration degree from Sam Houston State University in 2010.
Was there a sibling rivalry, or perhaps jealous, aspect to his murder?
Police had small run-ins with Trey before the murder, but someone could probably chalk this up to the town's small population. The Sesler family was avid gun collectors and law enforcement knew Trey for shooting at closed businesses, schools, and, to everyone's horror, his pet rabbits.
Trey's aunt Weda Frierson told the Houston Chronicle, "I'll have to admit, he was quite strange. But naturally, I wasn't going to tell [his] parents that he acts peculiar."
Trey Sesler Idolized Columbine Shooters
In another recent mass shooting case I covered, the shooter had developed a fascination with the Columbine Massacre Shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
I have to admit; I have a lot of trouble understanding how someone could hold these shooters in such high regards, but clearly there is something to be said.
When police looked through Trey Sesler's personal computer, they found something even more shocking.
Not only was Trey idolizing these school shooters, but he had also developed his own system for grading serial killers.
Police noted that the 22-year-old was escalating his criminal behaviour. Starting with killing pets, then setting fires and shooting buildings."
Mr Anime loves god and his family (CrimeMagazine.com 3 Mar. 2016)Other views of suspect in killings emerge (Austin-American Statesman 26 Mar. 2012)Gun-obsessed movie critic who ‘shot dead his parents and brother was planning a Columbine-style massacre at school’ (DailyMail)Mark Sesler (YouTube)
Columbine High School Massacre discussion forum
Trey Sesler main youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LensCapProductions
Trey's second channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrAnimeSeasonTwo
Trey's vimeo account: https://vimeo.com/user1427784
Trey's MySpace account: https://myspace.com/treyses/
Mark Sesler's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMajor0/