Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Snapped: Killer Couples

15-Year-Old Plots Father’s "Cold, Calculated" Murder and Convinces Boyfriend To Carry It Out

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Curtis Smith, Aaron Friar’s friend, said on Snapped: Killer Couples of the plot hatched by the teenager to kill her father. “You know, little girl Ellie—I couldn’t believe it.” 

By Caitlin Schunn
Gavin MacFarlane featured on Snapped Killer Couples Episode 1711

It started out with a child discovering her father’s blood on the family couch and ended with her 15-year-old sister arrested for their father’s murder.

How to Watch

Watch Snapped: Killer Couples on Oxygen Sundays at 6/5c and on Peacock. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

Ellen "Ellie" Friar was charged after Aaron Friar, 50, went missing — his body later discovered in the woods off an embankment in Medford, Oregon. But she wasn’t the one who killed her father. Her boyfriend, 19-year-old Gavin MacFarlane, was ultimately convicted of carrying out the murder, all so the young couple could run off together.

“I think that they had this Romeo and Juliet situation where Ellie and Gavin wanted to be together, but everyone was telling them they couldn’t be,” Ellen Delsman, a classmate of Ellie Friar, said on Snapped: Killer Couples, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.

Don't miss the latest in true crime:
Who Were Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Nick Godejohn's Alter Egos?

Elementary Principal Picks Up Tips From ‘CSI’ Exhibit Before Killing Husband in Complex Murder Plot
Woman Who Killed Her Own Father and Has a Missing Brother Connected to Another Family Murder Case

The Murder of Aaron Friar

On Oct. 2, 2017, Aaron Friar’s girlfriend called 911 around 6:45 a.m. to report that her boyfriend and his oldest daughter, 15-year-old Ellie, were missing. Aaron’s other two daughters had called her after they woke up and found blood in their home, and their father and sister gone.

When Medford police spoke to Friar’s other daughters, an 11-year-old and 8-year-old, the older child had more to share about what happened.

“She woke up to her dad yelling, and the sound of something crashing, at 5 o’clock in the morning,” Det. Sharon Reynolds with the Medford police department said on Snapped: Killer Couples. Later, the child, “comes out to the living room and goes to the couch and puts her hand on the couch, and when she takes her hand away it’s bloody. She turns on the light, and was shocked because there was blood everywhere.”

The 11-year-old also told police that she’d heard a familiar voice in the living room that night: Gavin MacFarlane, her sister’s 19-year-old boyfriend.

“Aaron would tell me that the guy is a bad seed and not a good influence on Ellie because Ellie was doing very well in school,” Curtis Smith, a friend of Aaron Friar, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “She was doing band and everything. But I think Gavin held her back.”

A month before he went missing, police learned Aaron Friar had forbid his daughter and MacFarlane from dating. MacFarlane had also called police and claimed that Friar was at his home, threatening to kill him.

Ellie Friar's Interrogation 

Just when police began to search for MacFarlane, an officer spotted him, Ellie Friar, and 22-year-old Russell Jones II walking down the street. All three were brought into the police station for questioning.

Ellie alleged to police that her father abused her.

“My parents are very controlling,” she said during a taped police interview. “My dad is very abusive. Verbally. Emotionally. And a few times, when I did something that he didn’t like, he would grab me right here [indicating throat] and he’d pin me against the wall.”

She claimed that she’d been planning to run away and was waiting for MacFarlane and Jones to come get her, when Jones showed up with a machete.

“Russell [Jones] attacked my father,” she said during a taped police interview. “I guess my dad woke up, and [Jones] attacked. As soon as I heard screaming, I ran.”

But police didn’t buy her story.

“Ellie just wanted her dad out of her life so she could be with Gavin,” said Det. Bill Ford with the Medford Police Department on Snapped: Killer Couples. “And Gavin gets his buddy Russell involved in it. And Russell’s the protector.”

But when police confronted Jones with Friar’s story, he pointed the finger at Gavin MacFarlane, claiming MacFarlane used a baseball bat to kill Aaron Friar.

“He [MacFarlane] goes into the living room, beats the crap out of the guy. I walked through the front door, and I see [a] dead body,” Jones said in a taped police interview.

Jones claimed his only involvement was in helping MacFarlane move Aaron Friar’s body out of the house. Together, they put him in a tarp, loaded him into the trunk of Friar’s car, and then dumped the body. He led police to the body dump site, and claimed the baseball bat found near the body was thrown there by Ellie Friar.

RELATED: Self-Described 'Amish Stud' Plots With Married Mennonite Lover To Murder His Wife

“It’s just like, strangest thing ever,” Ford said. “He’s not emotional. He’s not upset. It’s all just like matter of fact, like it’s just another day.”

A medical examination found Aaron Friar died of blunt force trauma, lending credibility to Jones’ version of events over Ellie Friar’s.

Why did Gavin MacFarlane say he killed Aaron Friar?

When confronted with the discovery of the body and Jones’ story, Gavin MacFarlane admitted to killing his girlfriend’s father. He said he’d known for two weeks that Ellie Friar was pregnant, and that she’d recently told him her father was abusing her.

“I was just trying to protect Ellie,” MacFarlane said in a taped police interview. “That’s what set me off. I was just really angry at that moment…the anger had just been building up because of the things that Ellie had been telling me.”

MacFarlane confessed to hitting Aaron Friar with a baseball bat, and even demonstrated hitting him in interrogation footage.

“Gavin was loyal and kind of ride or die,” Sylvia Delsman, a friend of MacFarlane’s, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “He would absolutely go along with any sort of crazy plan.”

MacFarlane also claimed killing her father was Ellie Friar’s idea.

“She said, ‘Go out in the front room, take him out, and text me and let me know when it’s done,’” MacFarlane said in a taped police interview.

But Ellie Friar was not pregnant, according to police. There was also no evidence her father abused her or her two sisters.

Gavin MacFarlane pled guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He’s eligible for parole in 2043 at the age of 45. Russell Jones II pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He’ll be released in April 2031 at the age of 35.

“The saddest part is that the two little girls no longer have their father,” Reynolds said. 

Ellie Friar pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She’ll be eligible for parole in 2041, at the age of 39.

Watch all-new episodes of Snapped: Killer Couples on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen and the next day on Peacock.

Latest Videos