Two teen Oklahoma brothers accused in the stabbing murders of their parents and three siblings last July envisioned the attack as the start of a mass-killing rampage meant to make them notorious, a detective says.
“They wanted to kill at least 50 people. They wanted to be famous,” Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Police detective Rhianna Russell said in court Tuesday, CBSNews reports. “They wanted a Wikipedia page. They wanted media coverage.”
After hearing from Russell and others, Judge Martha Rupp Carter ordered Robert, 19, and Michael Bever, 17 – who have pleaded not guilty – to stand trial for the first-degree murder of parents David, 52, and April Bever, 44, and the brothers’ siblings Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5, The Tulsa World reports.
One sister, 13, survived the alleged attacks, while another was unharmed.
Russell testified that Michael Bever mentioned mass shootings at Columbine and the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater as benchmarks the pair hoped to outdo in a quest for publicity as serial killers.
Eric Bentz, another Broken Arrow detective, testified that Robert Bever lamented the failure of the boys’ plot, saying “everyone didn’t die like they were supposed to,” KTUL reports.
“If he killed one person, he was one person, that evened it out,” Bentz said, according to CBSNews. “If he killed more than one person, that would make him look like a god.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
He said Robert described a plan that included cutting up the bodies of his family members, then storing them in bins in the attic before driving the family vehicle to random locations and killing 10 people at each stop.
Robert told Bentz he ordered ammo and firearms online by lying about his age. An earlier search warrant revealed the attacks were carried out one day before a shipment of ammunition arrived, according to The Tulsa World.
Detective Chane Cothran recalled an interview with the surviving sister, who did not testify on Tuesday, but who said Robert Bever had told her “there were too many people in the world,” leading the brothers to stockpile body armor and knives, the World reports.
When the girl expressed concern to their mother about the weapons, Cothran said he was told the mother replied, “That’s just what boys do.”
After a 911 call was placed from the home at 11:30 p.m. July 22, police found blood on the front porch of the family home in the Tulsa suburb and the victims scattered inside. Fresh footprints in the backyard led to a wooded area, where the suspects were chased down by a K-9 officer and arrested.
The brothers are due back in court Feb. 29.