Killer kids. It’s something we’ll never get used to seeing. The baby-faced killers who grace the front pages of our newspapers and our television screens captivate us, leaving us to shake our heads and ask, “Why?”
True crime veteran writer Don Lasseter brings us the tragic stories of several homicidal children in his book Killer Kids, which was re-published and updated in 1999.
With each of kids not old enough to buy alcohol but convicted of murder, averaging 15 to 20 pages each, the information is just the facts – no in-depth research and reporting, straight out of the court records and news accounts.
As many of you know, this kind of writing is normally referred to by me as “shallow” but when you’re working with a collection of stories, it’s something that more than works – it makes for excellent reading!
Sometimes you just need the condensed version and Killer Kids by Don Lasseter delivers.
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UPDATES FROM THIS BOOK:
David Wilson was paroled on February 13, 2008, after serving 15 years, 10 months, 20 days of the life sentence he received.
Billy Shane Willingham remains incarcerated at Hancock State Prison in Sparta, Georgia.
Now 40, Philip Daniel Negrete continues serving his sentence at Anamosa State Penitentiary. Jammi Gene Reinier is currently incarcerated at North Central Correctional Facility and is expected to be released in September 2014. Sam Henry Archer was released from prison in December 2011 but, in March 2012, he was picked up on a parole violation which, as of this writing, has not been adjudicated.
Mark Shane Grimm is currently incarcerated at the maximum-security prison, SCI Forest, in Marienville, Pennsylvania.
Steven Pigg remains in custody at the Wabash Valley prison in Carlisle, Indiana. Carl Purvis was released on December 2, 1999. Curtis Burke would have been eligible for parole as early as 2012; however, while incarcerated he added an additional five years to his sentenced after being found guilty of possession of marijuana. His earliest release date is now May 2017.
April Leigh Barber was transferred in June 2010 to the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women. Although considered very intelligent, Barber has quite the disdain for authority; having accumulated 16 infractions since her incarceration. On the other hand, her paramour and co-defendent, Clinton Lawrence Johnson, was a model prisoner until his death at age 38 on May 14, 1999.
Taryn Antwan Lagrome was released from prison on November 1, 2006. Since his release until his death in April 2010, he had spent time coaching Pop Warner football in Coconut Grove, Florida.
Leigh Ann Zaepfel is presently incarcerated at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McCloud, Oklahoma. Zaepfel’s boyfriend and co-defendant, Christopher Carrion is in custody at the Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Oklahoma. He’ll be eligible for parole in October 2012. (His sentence, if any, for the murder of Timothy McClellan is unknown) In the meantime, he seeks correspondence through online personals ads.
Shawn David Jackson is serving his sentence at the Cross City Correctional Institute.
Peter Dinsdale, a.k.a Bruce Lee, a.k.a. Bruce George Peter Lee, continues to be secured at an undisclosed mental institution in England. Officials are doubtful that he will ever be a free man again.
Daniel J. LaPlante will never be a free man and presently serves his sentence at MCI Norfolk, a medium security prison just south of Boston.
Clinton Bankston, Jr. remains behind bars, most likely until he dies, at the Telfair State Prison in Helena, Georgia.
Steven Patrick Mignogna is in custody at SCI Somerset.
Todd Daniel Davilla, having now reached adulthood, currently serves his sentence at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, Oregon.
Eric Robert Motis committed suicide on January 10, 1998, while incarcerated at SCI Huntingdon. He was 26 years old.
Adriel Simpson felt lucky when his sentence was reversed on appeal. In 1997, however, he was again sentenced to life without parole. He is presently housed at Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Oklahoma. Damon Dubois, a ficticious name for Kola Adetula, committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 20.
Shawn Paul Novak remains safely behind bars at the Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Oakwood, Virginia.
Kenny Houseknecht is currently incarcerated at the East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, New Jersey.
Barry Loukaitis, now 29, is in the custody of the Washington Department of Corrections, housed at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center.
In a 2008 interview with ABC News, Evan Ramsey claimed that he didn’t know his victims would die after being shot. According to Evans, believed those he shot would just stand back up; as he had seen in a favorite video game. For his errorneous thinking, Evan received a sentence, after appeals, totaling 217 years. The date he is eligible for release is February 17, 2137.
Luke Woodham was sentenced to 320 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2046, when he is 65 years old. As of June 17, 2010, Woodham is incarcerated at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.
Michael Carneal pled guilty in October 1998 to two counts of murder; receiving a sentence totaling 199 years. However, as provided by terms of the plea agreement, he will be eligible for parole in 2023 when he is 40 years old. Missy Jenkins, a survivor of Carneal’s deadly attack, maintains her own website where she promotes her book.
Andrew Golden, now age 24, was released in May 2007. Following his release, Golden had assumed the new identity of Drew Douglas Grant. In 2008, he stupidly applied for a concealed weapon’s permit, but received a resounding no from the state when his fingerprints from his application were matched in a database to prison records.
Mitchell Johnson was released in August 2005. Beginning in January 2007, Johnson had been in quite a bit of trouble resulting in an 18 year prison sentence but he was paroled in November 2011.
Andrew Jerome Wurst pled guilty to the lesser offenses of third degree murder and attempted murder. He is presently behind bars at Albion SCI. He will be eligible for parole in 2029.