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.
Andrew Jondle was 20 years old in 2010 when he used his own parents’ scythe and a piece of pipe to brutally murder them.
The Jondle family moved from the Silicon Valley in California to Polk County, Oregon in 2000. After 25 years of working as a software engineer, David Jondle and his wife Marilyn were “tired of corporate life” and wanted to pursue organic farming. Inspired by Joel Salatin’s book “You Can Farm,” they settled into a 210-acre sustainable form. (Joel Salatin at one point agreed to teach Jondles how to farm.) They called it Abundant Life Farm.
Other reasons provoked the move to Oregon beyond the pursuit of an idyllic farming life. Andrew’s parents were concerned about raising him and his siblings (Wayne and Luke) in a “corrupting” place like California. The rural Northwest “felt more like God’s country to them.” So they made the move, and Marilyn homeschooled all three of the children.
Wayne, the oldest son, did not like the farming life due to suffering terrible hay fever; as soon as he was old enough, he joined the military. The middle son Luke got married and relocated to Salem. Andrew was left alone with his parents. He was “bored to tears” with farming, but reportedly intended to take over the business.
At some point, however, Andrew — barely out of his teens — began a sexual relationship with a 46-year-old woman named Cindy Lou Beck. Cindy Lou had a history of criminal activity: felony convictions for theft and criminal mistreatment. Needing money to pay rent, Cindy Lou used “psychic channeling” to convince Andrew that he had to kill his parents. According to reports, Andrew’s “intellectual capacities were limited, which left him vulnerable to manipulation.” Cindy Lou told him that “animal or tree spirits” told her that his parents “needed to die.” He drove to his parents’ farm, tricked his father into coming outside, and then attacked him with a scythe. When his mother came out and saw the attack, Andrew beat her to death with a pipe. His parents’ bodies were discovered the next day by a water delivery person. When police arrived, they described the scene as “gruesome.”
Andrew was charged with aggravated murder, murder, and burglary. In 2011, he was sentenced to at least 50 years in prison.
View the case index here.
First sentence and it’s already a bad sign. City people pulling a “Green Acres” to Get Out of the Evil Big City into a Perfect Rural Agrarian Paradise usually does not end well. The two cultures are SO different the newcomers usually end up isolated. Or they act like they do in the city, demand a Fry’s Electronics and Starbucks and Homeowners Associations Protecting My Property Values and all the city amenities where they are and end up with the same city environment they bailed from.
The Christianese version of this is usually “being called by God to Plant a Church” in the Rural Agrarian Paradise. You get so many “church planters” moving their family from big cities they need a “take-a-number” system.
Pulling a Green Acres and pulling teenagers out of school to do it – also a bad idea. Teen years are tough years.
I took offense at the ““corrupting” place like California”. Silicon Valley is hardly a corrupting place and there is no shortage of organic food and farmers markets.
Good God, am I the only one to whom the most prominent point in this story was that he was spiritually and sexually manipulated by a 46-year-old felon who convinced him that the earth needed him to murder his parents for money???