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This Mom Killed Her Teen Son & Daughter—Experts Say Warning Signs Were Ignored! How Did This Happen?

Mon, January 31, 2011 11:34am EDT by 9 Comments

So heartbreaking—Julie Powers Schenecker admits to committing the double homicide while her husband is serving in the Middle East!

Tampa, FL police were shaken on Friday (Jan. 28) when they found 50-year-old Julie Powers Schenecker sitting on her back porch covered in blood. But nothing could prepare them for the horror of learning Julie had shot her two teenage children in cold blood the night before. asked the experts what could have caused this mom to crack and murder her two children.

Julie, who is married to Col. Parker Schenecker, admitted to shooting her son Beau, 13, twice in the head while driving him to soccer practice. She later shot her daughter, Calyx, 16, in the face while she was doing homework at her computer. Julie told police the children were “talking back” and being “mouthy.”

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“The fact that she had a loaded gun with her while driving her son to soccer practice suggests that this crime may have been pre-meditated,” says Dr. Gilda Carle. “It’s a fact that teens are mouthy as they try to navigate their hormonal swells. And it’s a fact that parents of teens go through challenges trying to cope with their hormonal kids. While parents may want to murder their teens, that’s just an expression, and most parents and kids make it beyond the tough times without incident.”

The horrific double murder has shocked everyone who knows this family because Julie never appeared to be anything but a loving, caring mother. She had no criminal history and her only run in with the police was due to a car accident last year.

But Schenecker’s mother, who lives in Texas, did suspect that something was wrong after getting a troubling email from her daughter, in which she admitted to being depressed and having trouble with the kids. That’s why she called the Tampa police when she was unable to get in touch with Schenecker.

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“Her mom was aware that there were some signs of possible danger before this tragic murder,” Dr. Carle tells “Depressoin is anger turned inward. What was Julie angry about? Military families show another side of war that is often not explored.” Dr. Carle  feels that this may have been a case of severe separation anxiety, as Julie struggled to cope with the teens on her own while her husband was deployed.

Charges against Julie will be held as she’s being treated at a Tampa-area hospital for an unknown condition. Parker was reportedly stationed in the Middle East at the time of the murders.

Dr. Carle says that the horror of this incident will be felt by the entire family, probably for the rest of their lives. “Two children are dead and their father, who is fighting for his country is undoubtedly devastated. I believe Julie’s mother will also need counseling to cope with the guilt of ‘knowing’ without really ‘knowing’ the full extent of what she saw,” she adds.

— William Earl

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