Jasmine Richardson was only 12 years old when she killed her parents and her 8-year-old brother. She is the youngest person in Canadian history to commit multiple counts of murder. Richardson didn’t act alone, however. Her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke helped with all three murders.
The bodies of Marc and Debra Richardson were found on April 23, 2006 after a six-year-old boy spotted the corpses through a window. Their eight-year-old son was killed but left in his bed upstairs.
Initially, police worried about Jasmine Richardson, who’d gone missing. It was assumed she’d been abducted by the killer. After the investigation began, however, evidence pointed to the 12-year-old being involved in the murders.
The next day, both Richardson and Steinke were found 100 miles away from their hometown. They were arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
What was most peculiar about the crime was the couple who’d committed it. Steinke was a 24-year-old Goth dating a 12-year-old girl. They’d met at a rock concert that same year and he’d convinced Richardson that he was a 300-year-old werewolf. His dark eyeliner and black clothing made the ridiculous assertion believable, at least to a 12-year-old.
Richardson was enamored by Steinke, and the two insisted they were in love. In fact, Steinke proposed to Richardson while they were both in prison. She accepted, but they never married.
The main motive for killing the Richardsons was their refusal to allow their daughter to date a 23-year-old man. But contrary to what authorities first assumed, it was Richardson, who first came up with the plan to kill her parents, not the other way around. Police found incriminating evidence against Richardson from her online accounts, in which she first proposed the murders.
“I have this plan,” she wrote to Steinke. “It begins with me killing them and ends with me living with you.” In response, Steinke wrote: “She continues to thank that I came into her life to help her out, and to stop what they keep trying to shout. It’s all total bullshit. Their throats I want to slit. They will regret the shit they have done. Especially when I see to it that they are gone. They shall pay for their insulince [sic]. Finally there shall be silence. Their blood shall be payment!”
Later in court it came out that Steinke allegedly told his friends that he liked the taste of blood, and wore a small vial of blood around his neck.
On that fateful day in April, it was Steinke who attacked and killed Richardson’s parents. It was Richardson, however, who stabbed her little brother in the chest while he begged for his life, saying “I’m scared. I’m too young to die.” Steinke then slit his throat to make sure he was dead. Later, Richardson would say that she thought it would be too cruel to let him live after killing their parents.
At trial, when she was asked why they murdered her parents and little brother, Jasmine said, “I loved [Jeremy] so much. I thought it would bring us closer together.”
The murder trial for Jasmine Richardson was in June of 2007. She pled not guilty to all three counts of first-degree murder but the jury found her guilty on all three counts. She was sentenced to only 10 years imprisonment, the maximum sentenced allowed by the Youth Criminal Justice act, which states that convicts who were under the age of 14 at the time they committed the act cannot be charged as adults and can only be given a maximum sentence of 10 years.
She also got credit for 18 months for time served, with four years to be spent in a psychiatric facility, followed by four-and-a-half under conditional supervision in the community.
In 2015, she completed her sentence, and was fully released at the age of 23.
In December of 2008, Jeremy Steinke, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to three concurrent life sentences in prison. He was made eligible for parole after serving 25 years.
In September 2011, Richardson became a freshman at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.
In 2012 Steinke changed his name to Jackson May and tried to appeal his case but failed.
Although it’s uncertain, there have been no reports indicating that Richardson and Steinke are still a couple.
For those of you who want to learn more about this murderous couple, there’s a book called Runaway Devil: How Forbidden Love Drove a 12-Year-Old to Murder Her Family.