When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Kishon Green

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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.

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Kishon Green

In February 2008, 34-year-old Kishon Green stabbed his 10-year-old son and his son’s 13-year-old half-brother to death.

In February 2008, 34-year-old Kishon Green stabbed his 10-year-old son and his son's 13-year-old half-brother to death.
In February 2008, 34-year-old Kishon Green stabbed his 10-year-old son and his son’s 13-year-old half-brother to death.

Kishon’s parents, James and Rachel Green, said they tried to teach Kishon as a kid to “live based on the Bible’s teachings” and had “love and affection” for him. Growing up, Kishon had difficulties with school, his IQ being 70 — “the generally recognized borderline for mental retardation.” As a young child, he ranked low on tests in elementary and middle public schools. He eventually was withdrawn from school and homeschooled for his high school years, eventually receiving his high school diploma as a homeschooler.

Kishon had a long history of cocaine and alcohol abuse. He personally blamed the murders on his drug use, explaining that, “I have a heart. I’m not a cold-blooded killer.”

Three weeks before the killings, Kishon had moved back in with the boys’ mother, Tiffany Courtney. The day of the murders, he had borrowed Tiffany’s car for a job interview and then picked up the boys at school. He killed the boys, hid their bodies in a closet and a bathroom, and then proceeded to pick up Tiffany from work. After getting in an argument with her, he attacked her as well, stabbing her repeatedly as well as striking her with a baseball bat. He smoked a cigarette, washed his hands, changed his clothes, and then left Tiffany’s apartment. Tiffany managed to call 911, still unaware her sons were dead.

In June 2012, despite opposition from prosecutors, a judge ruled there was “overwhelming evidence” that Kishon was “mentally retarded” and thus could not be sentenced to death. The following August, Kishon pled guilty to capital murder of the two boys and attempted murder of his girlfriend. He was sentenced to prison for life without parole.

View the case index here.

When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Lukah Probzeb Chang

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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.

*****

Lukah Probzeb Chang

In August 2013, police in Pendleton, Oregon, arrested 23-year-old Lukah Probzeb Chang (also known as Danny Wu) for murdering one young woman and attempting to murder another.

In August 2013, police in Pendleton, Oregon arrested 23-year-old Lukah Probzeb Chang for both murder and attempted murder.
In August 2013, police in Pendleton, Oregon arrested 23-year-old Lukah Probzeb Chang for both murder and attempted murder.

Lukah grew up on a North Carolina farm and his father was the pastor of a Baptist church. He was homeschooled and also attended a private Christian school his senior year from which he was expelled. In 2006, his family moved to Thailand for a year as Christian missionaries to set up a church in a refugee camp. After being expelled from private school his senior year, he joined the military. He served in the Marines at the Marine Corps Base Camp in Pendleton, California but deserted his post as of July 9, 2012. He then moved from his home in Oceanside, California, turning up in Oregon.

On August 14, 2012, Lukah stabbed a 19-year-old motel maid, Amyjane Brandhagen, to death. Almost a year later, on August 9, 2013, he attempted to beat another woman, 53-year-old Karen Lange, to death with a metal pipe. Karen was jogging on a public jogging path. Police were originally at a loss to solve the motel murder; DNA, however, linked the motel room to the pipe used in the jogging attack. Video surveillance from the jogging attack identified Lukah, then known as a homeless person who went by “Danny Wu.” Lukah decided to hide at the Pendleton Convention Center, where two food service workers discovered him in a kitchen and reported him to the police.

During his trial, Lukah never explained why he murdered the first woman and attempted to murder the second woman. According to police, he “did not appear to suffer from mental illness, alcohol or drug problems,” though he “regularly warned people to stay away from him.”

Lukah pleaded guilty to both murder and attempted murder and was sentenced to prison for 35 years to life. He will be 58 before he can ask the Oregon Parole Board for reassessment.

View the case index here.

When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Hannah Bonser

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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.

*****

Hannah Bonser

On February 14, 2012, 26-year-old Hannah Bonser stabbed a 13-year-old girl to death in an unprovoked attack in Elmfield Park, Doncaster, in the United Kingdom. The victim, Casey Kearney, was a complete stranger to Hannah.

On February 14, 2012, 26-year-old Hannah Bonser stabbed a 13-year-old girl to death in an unprovoked attack.
On February 14, 2012, 26-year-old Hannah Bonser stabbed a 13-year-old girl to death in an unprovoked attack.

Hannah had been in and out of mental care services for 10 years since the age of 16. She had a history of mental health problems, substance abuse, and a childhood plagued by sexual abuse and neglect. These problems went back to her childhood, where she was homeschooled in a Mormon family. She was raised by “Mormon parents who were allowed to home school her despite warnings of neglect. When social workers visited her home at one point they found rooms ‘full of dead cats and excreta.’” At the age of 10, she was placed in public school; at the age of 13, she was removed from her family and placed in foster care; at age 16, she became homeless.

Just a month before the murder, Hannah said that “she had been hearing voices since she was seven years old but that they were now ‘worse than ever.’” In spite of that, Hannah was discharged from specialist mental health treatment a mere two weeks later. She was discharged despite signs that her mental health was worsening. In fact, Hannah had “repeatedly told doctors and nurses she was hearing voices and feared she was going to harm someone in the weeks before she murdered Casey Kearney.”

An independent review of care Hannah received throughout her life noted major mistakes and failures on the part of multiple individuals and organizations. Hannah was nonetheless found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

View the case index here.