Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Schenecker dad long knew about his wife's depression

The Schenecker’s children Beau, 13, left, and Calyx, 16, were shot and killed Jan. 27.

Family photo

The Schenecker’s children Beau, 13, left, and Calyx, 16, were shot and killed Jan. 27.

TAMPA — For the first time since the deaths of his two teenage children, Parker Schenecker is speaking about his wife, who has been charged with their murder.

"We were a typical American family," he told People magazine, "but we had a sick member."

He said his wife, Julie Schenecker, had suffered from depression since before they were married. When it hit, he said, she would have low energy, ignore housekeeping duties and meal preparation and stay in bed for much of the day.

"I never had any indication that she would harm the children, or that she would ever think of taking the children's lives. It was absolutely incredible when I found out she did. …

"Julie was a fantastic mother early on when the kids were needing nursing and nurturing. … They gave her a lot of joy; it gave me a lot of joy watching her with the kids."

He said he convinced her to check into inpatient rehab after he suspected she had substance abuse issues in November. "I did everything I could think of to do," said Schenecker, a colonel in the Army.

He said family life became more stable when she returned home after a week. They had a peaceful Christmas and he witnessed her get into a playful sponge fight with the kids.

His military work took him overseas Jan. 19.

Her last e-mail message to him, on the day police believe her children died, included these statements:

Get home soon …

We're all waiting for you.

Tampa police say the Tampa Palms North mother shot Beau, 13, and Calyx, 16, after school on Jan. 27. They say she had been planning it for days.

Parker Schenecker described his first jail meeting with his wife after her arrest:

"I walked in and said, 'How about we do this: Let's not talk about anything that happened in the house,' " Schenecker told People.

"She said, 'Yeah, that would be great.' "

He spoke about a memorial service and their burial, and toward the end of the visit, told her, "I am going to look you in the eye and tell you that I am going to seek a divorce."

He did. The divorce, and the criminal resolution, are pending.

Prosecutors have until Aug. 15 to announce whether they will pursue the death penalty. Public defenders have until then to determine whether they will pursue an insanity defense.

"I don't hate Julie," Parker Schenecker told People. "I feel for her. I'm going through my hell; she's going through her own hell."

Schenecker has said he will spend the rest of his life honoring his children. The Times shadowed him last month at King High School's Relay for Life when he took his first steps toward that goal.

He told People he is eager to move out of the house the four shared.

He said it is too big for him.

Schenecker dad long knew about his wife's depression 04/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What to watch this weekend: 'The Walking Dead,' Stephen King's '1922'

    Blogs

    100 episodes of walkers: The Walking Dead

    Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead.
  2. Editorial: GOP failing to protect health care for Florida kids

    Editorials

    In Tallahassee, the Florida Legislature is considering how to make it easier for low-income families to apply for subsidized health insurance for their children. In Washington, Congress cannot even agree on how to keep paying for the popular program. There is a disconnect that threatens health coverage for about 215,000 …

    In Tallahassee, the Florida Legislature is considering how to make it easier for low-income families to apply for subsidized health insurance for their children. In Washington, Congress cannot even agree on how to keep paying for the popular program.
  3. Infamous killers of Tampa Bay, a region familiar with horror

    Crime

    TAMPA — Three people have been shot and killed in the last two weeks in Seminole Heights, and police say the cases are related. On Thursday night it was Anthony Naiboa, 20, who just happened to get off at the wrong bus stop.

    [Times files]
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing homemade explosives released under Baker Act

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A 24-year-old man who was arrested for possessing destructive explosives Wednesday is no longer in jail.

    Randall Winston Drake, 24, of Dunedin is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]