With a two-part Snapped special on the notorious Menendez Brothers airing on Oxygen Oct. 2 at 9/8c, we've got kid killers on our minds. There are many cases in which kids have committed patricide (killing their father) and matricide (killing their mother), but why? In the case of the Menendez Brothers, the reason is thought to have been greed. The brothers blew a million dollars in the six months following the brutal murder of their parents. Sound like grieving? Here are seven shocking cases of kids killing their parents.
David Brom - Arguing Over Music
Parents and kids always argue over music. In 1988, 16-year-old David Brom of Rockester, Minnesota allegedly argued over his punk cassette tape. His friends said he liked bands like Suicidial Tendencies, and his father didn't want him listening to the tap. David then proceeded to bludgeon his father, mother, 13-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother to death with an ax in the early morning. The victims were found in their nightclothes and had sustained 56 blows collectively. David had told a friend that he was going to kill his parents the day before.
David was apprehended near a phone booth. He had given himself a dyed black mohawk sometime shortly before or after the murders. He was convicted of first-degree murder and was given three consecutive life sentences. His plea of insanity was rejected by the jury.
Esmie Tseng - Overbearing Parents
16-year-old Esmie Tseng of Overland Park, Kansas, was an overachiever pushed to the edge. She had blogged that her parents, who were Chinese immigrants, had impossibly high standards for her. She allegedly been grounded for scoring only 96% on a test and was forced her to stand naked in a corner when she disappointed her parents (which seems like straight up abuse). Ranked among the best classical pianists of her age in the state, Esmie’s parents also threatened to sell her piano if she didn’t improve—she’d fallen short of straight A’s by getting three B’s on a report card.
On March 6, 2006, Esmie snapped, stabbing her mother to death with a knife in an incident that unfolded through several rooms of their home. She pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. Esmie was released from prison in 2012 and is currently a news editor in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Menendez Brothers - Money
Erik and Lyle Menendez seemed to live a charmed life. The Beverly Hills brothers shot their wealthy parents at their palatial estate in 1989 and claimed it was because their father sexually abused them. Lyle was 21, Erik 18. Their parents Jose and Mary "Kitty" Menendez were were sitting on their couch in their living room watching a James Bond movie when the brothers attacked with shotguns.
Jose was shot first, in the head, giving Kitty an opportunity to make a run for the hall. She was shot in the leg, and after she had fallen down was shot in the arm, chest and face. Her remains were nearly unidentifiable.
Police began to suspect Lyle and Erik because they blew a million dollars in the first six months after their parents were murdered, buying a Porsche, a restaurant, and living in separate penthouses in the same ocean-side complex in Marina Del Rey.
Roberto Martinez-Marinero - He Was Just Angry
Families argue but Roberto Martinez-Marinero of Omaha, Nebraska took it too far. The 25-year-old had been arguing with his mother about money and was a suspect in a burglary of her home. After one serious argument on May 5, 2015, he stabbed his mother with a six-inch blade more than 20 times in the head, neck and torso and beat her with an aluminum baseball bat before dumping her body in a ditch with the help of his girlfriend.
Horrifically, his 4-year-old half brother was thought to have witnessed the murder—so he threw him off of a bridge. The boy's body was later discovered in the river. And he also tossed his 11-month old baby brother into a dumpster. The baby was later found alive.
Roberto pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. He said there was no defense to what he had done - he was just angry. He'ss spending life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Tyler Blansit - Grades
Tyler Blansit and his mother argued over his grades at the University of Alabama in May 2015. Things got so heated that the 22-year-old beat his mother to death with a baseball bat. She was nearly unrecognizable when police found her body in her backyard in Mentone, Alabama—a small town of 500 that hadn’t seen a murder for “20 or 30 years,” according to the sheriff.
Sarah Johnson - Boyfriend
Sarah Johnson faced an issue a lot of teens have: Her parents didn't approve of her older boyfriend, an undocumented Mexican immigrant. It is believed that the 16-year-old teen killed her parents out of fear that they would report her 19-year-old boyfriend for statutory rape. In the early morning of Sept. 2, 2003, Sarah entered her parent's bedroom in the wealthy neighborhood of Bellevue, Idaho, shooting her mother in the head while she slept and her father twice in the chest while he showered. Sarah was sentenced to two concurrent life terms plus 15 years for a firearm enhancement.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.