Young love can be powerful. The person you love is all you can think about. They’re all that’s important in your world. Anyone who is against your relationship is an enemy. And if someone tries to stop you from being with that person, you will do everything in your power to defy them.
Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers whose families forbid them from being together. The pair decided they could only be together in death, and they killed themselves. It was supposed to be romantic. Except, it was crazy—because you do crazy things for the ones that you love.
In April 2006, a 12-year-old girl from Alberta, Canada was told she couldn’t be with her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke. He was too old for her, and a bad influence. But, to the pre-teen he was perfect.
Steinke’s uniform of choice was all black. His eyes were always rimmed with black eyeliner and his skin was as milky as the clouds. He wore a vial of blood around his neck and told people he was a 300-year-old werewolf. He liked the taste of blood. He listened to punk rock music. He was everything that 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson wanted in a boyfriend.
Jasmine’s parents, Marc and Debra, wanted to protect their daughter from the strange older man. What they didn’t realize at the time was that they were the ones who needed to be protected from their daughter.
The young girl didn’t like being told what to do, or who she could date. She was in love with Steinke and she couldn’t lose him. So, she came up with a plan that would solve everything for them. It was a plan that would allow them to be together; a plan that involved murder.
Emails exchanged between the couple read, “I have this plan. It starts with me killing them and ends with me living with you.”
Steinke engaged Jasmine’s sinister remarks and pushed further, asking for details of the plan. How would they do it? When would it happen? Hours after watching their favorite movie, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, the pair morphed into the murderous characters from the movie and made it their reality.
First, Steinke attacked Jasmine’s mother in the basement. He stabbed her 12 times, including once in the heart. As she cried and fought through the blade’s impact, her husband rushed to her aide. He fought Steinke like an animal protecting its cubs, but he was no match for the knife Steinke yielded. Marc was stabbed 22 times, including 9 times in the back.
After her parents were dead, Jasmine and Steinke crept upstairs where her 8-year-old brother, Jacob, waited, scared. The frightened and confused boy was completely helpless as his older sister hovered over him with a knife. She ignored his pleas for help—his questions as to why she was doing what she was doing—and slit his throat from ear-to-ear.
Then Jasmine and Steinke fled.
A young boy spotted the bodies of Marc and Debra laying in their basement and reported it to police. Police were shocked at what they found, and immediately realized Jasmine was missing. Initially they thought the girl had been abducted, and they initiated an Amber Alert.
After further investigation into the girl’s journals and online activity, they realized she was most likely involved in their deaths.
The girl and her boyfriend were soon arrested and tried for the three murders. Steinke’s defense claimed he was an immature boy in love, and he did what Jasmine asked in order to keep her. Jasmine stated she had only joked about killing her family and never expected Steinke to actually do it.
Both were convicted on three counts of first degree murder. Steinke is to serve three life sentences, but it eligible for parole after 25 years. Jasmine, the youngest person ever to be convicted of first degree murder in Canada, is now a free woman.
That’s right. The 12-year-old girl (now a 22-year-old woman) who slaughtered her entire family because things didn’t go her way is probably walking next to you down the street right now. And because of her age, Jasmine’s identity was heavily protected in Canada. She was even allowed to go to college while serving her prison sentence. She could be anywhere.
Some believe that the girl deserves a second chance at life, but what about Marc, Debra and Jacob’s lives? They were selfishly snuffed out by a spoiled brat who was living in a fantasy world with her stereotypical gothic boyfriend. Jasmine gets to have her second chance to redeem herself, and let’s hope that she does. Otherwise, someone out there may find themselves on the wrong end of a blade with Jasmine’s smug face glaring back at them.