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Mom accused of killing kids said they were 'mean'

By Tamara Lush

A Tampa mother who is accused of killing her two teenagers told a detective that her children had been "really mean" and she hoped they were dead.

"I loved them when they were birth through six," Julie Schenecker told Tampa Police Det. Gary Sandel in January 2011.

But they became "sassy" as teens, she said, especially her daughter.

"I just topped over. The last straw," Schenecker said in the interview, a recording of which was played in court Wednesday. "My daughter, the 16-year-old, is mouthy. She calls me names."

Prosecutors said Schenecker killed the daughter, Calyx, and her 13-year-old son, Beau. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, she will face a life prison sentence without parole; prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty.

Schenecker, who is now 53, also told Sandel how she met her husband, Parker Schenecker, while both served in the military and said she worked as a military debriefer in the Army before having children.

During the interview, her voice was slow and slurred. She said she had been in therapy and took multiple prescriptions, including Lithium for bipolar disorder.

She told the detective that she had long thought about suicide.

"I feel horrible. I just feel horrible," she said. "But I've been thinking about doing this for a long time."

Julie Schenecker Accused Of Killing Kids Said They Were 'Mean'

Schenecker's attorneys say she has suffered from bipolar disorder and depression for decades.

During the interview, Schenecker did appear confused at times.

"Are my kids coming in later?" she asked the detective.

Later, the detective asked her where her kids were. She said that Calyx was in her bed where she had placed her after the shooting, and that Beau was in the family's minivan where she had shot him.

"I hope they're dead," Schenecker said to the detective. "What do you think?"

"They're dead," Sandel replied.

Schenecker detailed how she had intended to kill herself after she killed her teens, but wasn't able to articulate why she didn't.

"Beau went first, Calyx went second. I'd sure as hell like to go third," she said.

Tampa Police officer Fred Arnold testified that Schenecker's mood was "jovial" the day of her arrest.

"She wasn't sad or anything like that," Arnold said. "She wanted me to give her my gun so she could finish the job."

Prosecutors say the slayings were premeditated and point to Schenecker's journal and the fact she purchased a gun days before the shootings as evidence.

Defense attorneys questioned the detective about whether he should have proceeded with the interview of Schenecker because she seemed shaky, impaired and couldn't easily stand on her own.

Parker Schenecker sat in the court for the testimony. The couple was married and he was deployed in the Middle East at the time of the slayings. They divorced months after Schenecker was arrested.

Join the discussion

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Dean May 08 2014 at 6:04 AM

It's coincidence that this news item comes along as we approach "Mother's Day". So much for the notion that all mothers are kindly and benevolent.

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1 reply
BETH Dean May 08 2014 at 6:33 AM

No she needs prison she committed murder I do not care that she"might" have problems. Anyone has to be a little Insane to committ any murder.

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dwtomczyk May 08 2014 at 7:09 AM

showed them

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John May 08 2014 at 7:12 AM

I know some one who"s not getting a card this Sunday.

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1 reply
J. Craig John May 08 2014 at 7:22 AM


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fmasone May 08 2014 at 7:13 AM

that lady does not relize how they learn from their parents. look at her, the meanest witch I ever seen. no wonder her kids were mean If tey were mean we will never know

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highiqinny May 08 2014 at 7:17 AM

How did a bipolar person on meds get a gun???

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2 replies
sinincarnateii highiqinny May 08 2014 at 7:23 AM


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loisjanej highiqinny May 08 2014 at 7:27 AM

yes i was wondering the same thing.

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dl0007 May 08 2014 at 7:20 AM

Too bad this animal wasn't neutered BEFORE she reproduced!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
pjc0220 May 08 2014 at 7:22 AM

Another case for the "Crazy" that the NRA will sweep under the rug !!!

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4 replies
jgesselberty May 08 2014 at 7:26 AM

Oh, boy. Here we go again. The good old bipolar defense. There are millions of people who suffer bipolar disorders. They don't murder their kids. If her kids were mean, maybe they took after mom.

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ANN MARIE May 08 2014 at 7:27 AM

this is a tragedy. those poor kids were killed by the most important person in their lives. very very sad!

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1 reply
Penderosa ANN MARIE May 08 2014 at 7:41 AM

Has anyone mentioned these children's father? Where is he??

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5 replies
solarious May 08 2014 at 7:28 AM

what a total pu**Y SURE you loved them when they were nice ..what a f***in idiot

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1 reply
hellyon3too solarious May 08 2014 at 7:44 AM

Yes, you're an idiot, but they let you post, just the same.

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