Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.
Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.
In 2012, Jake Evans — a 17-year-old boy from Aledo, Texas — called 911. In a calm, monotone voice, he informed the operator that he had riddled his mother and sister with bullets.
According to the local sheriff, the motive for the murders was “a big mystery.” While Jake’s father was out of town and his two older sisters were not home, Jake used a .22 revolver to kill his mother (48) and sister (15). The sheriff noted that Jake “reloaded the .22 revolver at least once during the shootings.” He then called 911 and had a 25-minute phone call with the operator. When the operator asked if he knew they were dead for sure, he simply answers, “Yes.” Chillingly, he adds,
It’s weird, I wasn’t even really angry with them. It just kind of happened. I’ve been kind of planning on killing for a while now… This is probably selfish of me to say, but to me, I felt like they were suffocating me in a way. Obviously, you know, I’m pretty – I guess – evil.
Jake and Mallory (the sister he murdered) were both being homeschooled at the time. Jake was withdrawn from Aledo High School his sophomore year for homeschooling, Mallory from McAnally Intermediate in 2010. His family lived on two acres in a gated community and his mother was herself a public school teacher and assistant principle for 15 years. They attended a Methodist church in Aledo for years, but recently changed to a Catholic church. Former classmates of Jake described the teenager as the “nicest kid,” albeit “quiet, shy.”
In January 2013, Jake gave a written confession to the murders. He said he was inspired by Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake. He also confessed that he intended to kill not only his mom and younger sister, but also his older sisters and grandparents.
Jake was “charged with capital murder and denied bail.” His case was in limbo in August 2013 due to proposed changes to Texas’s capital murder statute.
View the case index here.
I’m a bit confused about this story and some of the others from “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent.” There’s nothing in this account that would indicate that this kid’s problems resulted from homeschooling, a fundie/quiverfull upbringing or even an excessively religious one. Pulling a kid out of school in 10th grade suggests that something significant was happening. Maybe his mom (a public school teacher-principal) had seen some serious issues. Homeschooling was perhaps a late-in-the-game attempt to turn something around for him.
If you make homeschooling a legal option, some parents who feel they’ve exhausted other avenues are going to try it. (Even public school teachers, who typically are not big fans of homeschooling.)
I don’t really get this series. Homeschooling is a part of this, but not all of it.