It wasn't so long ago that another murder shocked our little city. This murder was too close to home. A young man who went to our church, who my parents taught in catechism, whose family my family knew well, decided to kill his family with the blunt end of an axe. Everyone knew Jeffrey Franklin was troubled. He'd been going to counseling and had ADD. He'd been on Ritalin. A friend of mine's younger brother was best friends with Jeffrey and he said that Jeffrey was an angsty young fellow, but what teenager isn't? He did use drugs but most of those of us who didn't know him personally didn't see what was coming. He wore all black and spoke out against authority, but he didn't horde guns or speak of murder. He didn't torture puppies. He was just another teen that was uncomfortable in his skin and a bit lost.
The night Jeffrey Franklin took the blunt end of an axe and hacked his parents to death, he also did serious damage to his two younger siblings. They had severe trauma and brain damage. One of his sisters was at dance and escaped the attacks, but no one else in the family was shown any mercy. Jeffrey had spoken out many times against his parents but he had always loved his siblings. So when he attacked his three baby siblings and bashed their skulls in with all the strength in his body it seemed like something monstrous must have taken control of him. The attacks were so brutal that the first responders at the seen of the crime had to leave the house to vomit. Many had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for years to come just from seeing the atrocities that had been committed by one young man. That night I watched Jeffrey on the news. He taunted the news cameras and stuck his tongue out at those who were watching him. He had taken the police on a high speed pursuit that had ended in kicking and profanity. Jeffrey laughed, dripping with blood, as he cursed and fought and spit at those who watched.
Three nights later Jeffrey was on the news again. This time he was quiet, penitent. He was remorseful, almost teary. He wasn't the same boy who had mocked his parents as they lay drowning in their own blood or who had brutally attempted to hack his five year old sister and bay brother to death.
I have always had a theory about Jeffrey Franklin and his complete transformation. The lawyers say it was the Ritalin, but I've seen too many people on Ritalin to believe that is possible. The one thing Jeffrey had been getting into prior to his parents death was the dark arts. According to friends, he had been attempting to summon demons and use magic to improve his life. I believe he became too successful and whatever it was that he summoned took hold of him and wouldn't let him go. Jeffrey claimed he couldn't remember what happened that horrible night. I'm one of the few people that actually believed him.
Update 2017: This story was written many years ago and there is a lot of new information available on this case that wasn't available when this was written. Please read the comments below to get a more complete story from those who knew Jeffrey. His drug abuse and mental illness are told best by those who have known him. I appreciate everyone's comments and feedback. I have written an updated story that is more accurate. Please follow the link to read it. http://ghoststoriesandhauntedplaces.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-franklin-murders-follow-up-and.html