Twenty-year-old Andrew Jondle and 46-year-old Cindy Lou Beck made for a strange pair.
Andrew was one of three sons adopted by David and Marilyn Jondle, who left Silicon Valley with a decent nest egg and started a farm in Dallas, Oregon. In summer 2010, he appeared to fall under the spell of the older, heavyset Beck. He left his parents’ farm, where he had planned to work indefinitely, and moved into Beck’s apartment 20 miles outside his town, where she hadn’t paid the rent for two months.
Then, things took a turn for the horrific, according to "Killer Couples," airing Thursdays at 8/7c on Oxygen.
The Jondle parents didn’t object to their sons living their own lives: Wayne enlisted in the U.S. Army at 18, and Luke was married and moved off the family’s Abundant Life Farm in his 20s. Andrew seemed content to stick around until he met Beck, however. David and Marilyn didn’t trust the older woman and detected a dominant-submissive vibe in the pair’s relationship, according to “Killer Couples.”
They told Andrew he could either cut ties with Beck or move out. He did so, and a couple weeks later, on Aug. 31, 2010, a driver delivering water to Abundant Life Farm called Polk County 911 dispatch. He had found a body in the farm’s open garage.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Department showed up for their first murder investigation since 1999, according to a Daily Beast article. David was slumped against a wall in the garage with his head beaten so severely it was completely caved in, with some pieces missing, according to authorities on “Killer Couples.” He had also been stabbed with a scythe, which lay beside his body. He did not appear to have put up a fight.
Inside, sheriff’s deputies found Marilyn in the kitchen. She had been bludgeoned to death with a lead pipe. Whether the youngest son, Andrew, was another potential victim or a suspect, authorities knew they had to find him.
They located him via a police report out of the town of Salem. Officers had made contact with Beck, who was on probation for theft, after a confrontation with some neighbors — and Andrew was listed as her boyfriend.
Authorities spoke with the religious Jondle family’s pastor, who said Andrew had suddenly become estranged from his parents over his relationship with Beck. There had been a confrontation, and Andrew had even recently come to him asking for money to help pay for Beck’s rent. The pastor had declined, because the church frowned on the couple’s relationship.
When authorities visited Beck’s Salem apartment, requesting the couple come down to the sheriff’s department for an interview, they noticed two powerful details: Andrew was shaking uncontrollably as he put on a bracelet, and David and Marilyn’s credit cards were sitting on Beck’s living room table.
They were brought to the sheriff’s department, where Beck insisted that she knew nothing about the murders, although she did admit that she thought David and Marilyn “hated” her. Andrew offered a weak denial but cracked after slight pressure. He admitted to killing his parents, but insisted it was in self-defense.
The truth was sadder — and stranger. Beck had presented herself to Andrew as a psychic or spiritualist, which may have been easier because of Andrew’s sheltered upbringing. She would pretend to enter “trances,” according to authorities on “Killer Couples,” and channel spirits that could see Andrew’s future. The only way forward for the couple was to kill David and Marilyn, she would tell him.
Andrew heeded the word of his girlfriend, who was more than twice his age, and rode his scooter the 20 miles to the farmhouse that night. He convinced his father to come outside and, just as the garage door was opening, blindsided him with the lead pipe. Andrew heard his father “gurgling,” according to his confession, authorities said, and tried to finish him off with the nearby scythe.
Marilyn walked in on the scene and Andrew chased her inside, swinging the pipe. He ransacked the home to make it look like a burglary, grabbed the credit cards and some valuables, then rode back to Salem, covered in blood.
When Beck’s role in the murders became clearer, prosecutors upgraded her charges from hinderance to murder. She pleaded down to two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, while Andrew avoided the death penalty by testifying against Beck and pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated murder and one of burglary.
Andrew was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 50 years — he will be 71 years old by then — and Beck got 20 years. She will be eligible for parole when she’s 81.
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