Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

'i'm so sickmentally,' Schenecker wrote in email

TAMPA — As the bullet-pierced bodies of her children lay dead in a bedroom and a family van, authorities say, their mother sat at a computer, typing out emails before she was found with blood on her hands.

"Get home soon — were waiting for you!" Julie Schenecker wrote to her then-husband on the night of Jan. 27, 2011.

That message, previously disclosed, was the start of a series of emails that Schenecker allegedly sent to family members after, authorities say, she had shot her two teenage children three years ago this week. The emails, released by Hillsborough County prosecutors Monday, further detail the mental strain plaguing Schenecker.

She sent the email to her husband, Army Col. Parker Schenecker, urging his speedy return at 7:33 p.m. He was stationed in Qatar for 10 days and due back a few days later.

At 7:48 p.m., she forwarded him grades for the two dead teens: "calyx has all b's and a's=yipps i"

Shortly before 9 p.m., Julie Schenecker sent an email to her parents, brother and sister with the subject line "love you all." The incoherent message — filled with typos and grammatical errors — thanked her family members for their support and guidance, but hinted at something darker.

"it's really difficult and i'm so sickmentally," she wrote. "i will end this soon.though i am at my wits end."

"with all my love," she signed off.

Today marks the three-year anniversary of Schenecker's arrest.

Police found 50-year-old Schenecker at 7:39 a.m. Jan. 28, 2011, lying on the patio in a white robe, blood on her face and alcohol on her breath.

The body of 16-year-old Calyx had been wheeled from the computer to her bed. Beau, 13, lay still belted into the family van, his blood-stained glasses resting on the dashboard.

The bodies sat for more than 12 hours after Schenecker shot each of the children twice, after they returned home from school and before she was supposed to take Beau to soccer practice, authorities said.

Detectives said Schenecker admitted shooting the children, but she pleaded not guilty, and her criminal defense attorneys plan to use insanity as her defense.

Schenecker faces the death penalty and is scheduled to stand trial for first-degree murder in April.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

Additional emails, some of which were previously released two years ago by Schenecker's civil attorney and a spokeswoman for Parker Schenecker, describe months of family dysfunction as Julie Schenecker went in and out of rehab, fought with her daughter and crashed a car while drunk and high on OxyContin.

Emails from family members and Parker Schenecker express concern about Julie harming herself or committing suicide.

But the only perceived threat to the kids mentioned in the correspondence was if Julie were to get behind the wheel again while intoxicated.

In an email to Julie's doctor dated Dec. 31, 2010, Parker explained that Julie's "energy seems to be nonexistent, her memory is shot and her balance is way off."

"I'm not sure if she's taking her meds," Parker wrote. "It's the first time she's been like this for this long in 20 years."

Times staff writer Jimmy Geurts contributed to this report. Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.

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