Hey, y’all. Today I have the story of the 2015 murders of most of the Bever family in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, by teenage brothers Robert and Michael Bever. I feel like I say this every time I do a case deep dive, but, whew, this one is a doozy. Adolescent killers freak me out way more than most adult murderers. Let’s get into it.
The Bever family
The members of the Bever family and their ages at the time of the murders:
- David Beaver-54
- April Bever-45
- Robert Bever-18 (murderer)
- Michael Bever-16 (murderer)
- Crystal Bever-13
- Daniel Bever-12
- Christopher Bever-6
- Victoria Bever-5
- Autumn Bever-2
The Bever family were essentially recluses. The family would avoid the neighbors and rarely spoke to anyone outside of the family. Some of the neighbors didn’t even know all of the family members’ names until after the murders.
David, the father, worked in IT, and it seems like the mother April worked odd jobs and also worked as a stay-at-home mom.
Can you guess how the kids were educated? That’s right-they were home-schooled. Homeschooling isn’t necessarily harmful in and of itself, but it definitely served to isolate the Bever children.
And I think if you do choose to homeschool, you need to make an effort to socialize your children. April and David Bever didn’t do that. The kids were only allowed to play with each other. They weren’t in any clubs or on any sporting teams. They did attend church, but I wasn’t able to find out exactly what denomination it was.
Robert who is the oldest child was the only one to ever attend a public school, but he was allegedly molested, and that’s why they pulled him out and stuck to homeschooling. I can’t confirm that this happened, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
If you’re picking up a creepy vibe from this family, you aren’t alone. According to Michael, David was physically and emotionally abusive with the children. There’s no evidence to support this, but the oldest daughter Crystal corroborated this claim.
Whether David and April were actually abusive I can’t say for sure. But they certainly hated the world outside their home and would tell their children that the apocalypse would be a fair reward to the world. And in my opinion, isolation alone can be considered abuse.
Not only was the family deeply reclusive, but David was also a security nut. Or at least that’s what he said. He had cameras installed in every room in the house. That speaks of a man who wants to be in control all of the time.
Robert and Michael
The big, bad internet
This doesn’t make much sense to me, but the kids had basically unlimited access to the internet. Weird considering how much the rest of their lives were controlled.
Robert was an aspiring YouTuber and his channel is still live if you want to check it out. His YouTube channel is mostly blogs that didn’t get a lot of views at the time of the murders.
Both Robert and Michael were online often. And wouldn’t you be if you couldn’t speak to other people? I mean I’m always online and I have plenty of people to speak to.
Eventually, Robert developed a fascination with serial killers and school shootings. Of particular interest to him were the Columbine school shooting and the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting.
Robert later got his younger brother Michael interested in mass killings also. They would stay up all hours of the night in their shared bedroom discussing the details of the killings.
And I don’t mean the kind of fascination that you and I have. Robert was obsessed with gaining infamy for mass murder. He said that he wanted his own Wikipedia page and he got it.
So you have the two eldest brothers becoming more and more isolated even from their own family and becoming more and more obsessed with killers. This can’t end well.
At some point, Robert and Michael watched the 2009 film Rampage. I had never heard of this movie but a quick read of its IMDB page, fits right in with Robert and Micheal’s increasingly dangerous obsessions.
The TLDR version of the plot is that a young man who lives with his parents and works a dead-end job builds his own Kevlar body armor and goes on rampage (get it?) through his town killing 93 people. His motives were population reduction I think? I’m not really clear on that.
Put all of these ingredients together put it in the oven at 350 and in 20 minutes, you will have dangerous teenage boys with a lust for violence and murder. Follow me for more recipes.
Robert and Micheal decided that they wanted to join the ranks of their favorite mass murderers. They really wanted that Wikipedia page.
So, their goal was to kill at least 50 people across the country ending in Washington state. They planned to randomly stop and kill ten people at each stop. Robert kept detailed notes of this plan in a notebook in their bedroom.
How were they going to fund this murderganza? Well, Robert got a job at a *checks notes* Christian call center. I guess people would call with prayer requests. Robert saved up enough money to buy body armor, bulletproof helmets, knives, guns, and ammunition.
The oldest Bever daughter Crystal actually saw their knife collection once and it frightened her. She reported it to their parents who basically said, “Boys will be boys.”
The brothers were expecting a large shipment of ammunition to be delivered at their home on July 23, 2015. And they couldn’t let their parents find out about their plans.
That brings us to the murders that occurred on July 22, 2015. Because of the ammunition delivery the next day, Robert and Michael felt like they had no choice but to start their murder spree at their own home. The boys planned to film two different videos of the murders. One that was graphic and only for police and one that wasn’t graphic that I guess they planned to put on YouTube after they escaped.
Part one of the plan was to silently kill their family like ninjas. Part two was to dismember their bodies and put them in plastic bins in the attic before taking the family car and hitting the road.
So, that night, the two brothers waited until 11:30 p.m. when some of the family was asleep. April, the mother, asked Crystal to go get Robert and Michael to help her clean up for the night. But when Crystal opened the door to the boys’ bedroom, Robert and Michael were in their body armor with their knife collection spread out on the bed.
They then told Crystal they had something to show her on their computer. While she was distracted, Robert cut her throat from behind while Crystal struggled and fought. He also stabbed her in her torso and arms. But Crystal didn’t die quickly the way the boys thought would happen. She managed to run out of the room all the way onto the front yard and scream for help. She passed out in the yard.
Meanwhile, April heard the noise and saw Crystal covered in blood. Robert who was chasing Crystal, crossed paths with his mother and he stabbed her at least 48 times. After dispatching his mother, Robert told Michael to go bring Crystal back into the house so that the neighbors wouldn’t be alerted. He drug her back inside and left her in the doorway. They thought that she was dead. But she wasn’t. And she had woken up. Crystal did the smartest thing she could have and pretended to be dead.
After this, the brothers went from room to room hunting down their family members and stabbing them.
What happened next is among the more disturbing things I’ve ever read about or seen
Seven-year-old Christopher and five-year-old Victoria were hiding in a bathroom, and Michael lured Christopher and Victoria out by pretending to also be a victim of Robert. That will make your stomach turn.
If you’re keeping count, the only people still alive in the house besides Robert and Michael are 12-year-old Daniel, two-year-old Autumn, and Crystal though the brothers think that Crystal is dead.
Daniel somehow locked himself in a room and called 911. He told the dispatcher that his brothers were attacking the family. Michael convinced Daniel to let him into the room by pretending that he was also afraid and being attacked, just like he had done with Christopher and Victoria. He begged Daniel to help him.
It seems that Michael and Robert both entered the room and took the phone from Daniel while he was still on with 911 and hung up the line. But it was too late for the boys to make a clean getaway. I’ll link the 911 call, but trigger warning for all the bad things.
Then Michael stabbed Daniel 21 times in his back, shoulders, and chest. The next victim was their father David who had somehow slept through most of the attack. He was stabbed 28 times with a huge knife.
Right at that time, there was a knock from the police at the door. When the cops broke into the home, they heard Crystal faintly calling for help. Crystal received first aid and was stabilized.
At the scene
But Robert and Michael were nowhere to be found. But these kids aren’t criminal masterminds and they were found by police dogs in a wooded area behind the home.
Robert came out of the woods first and willingly, but Michael didn’t and had the police dogs sent after him. In photos after their arrest, you can see that their clothes are ripped, muddy, and bloody. Michael even had bite marks and Robert still had his Kevlar on.
In the end, David Bever, April Bever, Daniel Bever, Christopher Bever, and Victoria Bever were all declared dead at the scene. Two-year-old Autumn was safe and sound asleep in her crib.
Neither of the boys showed any emotion or remorse when they were taken into custody. According to investigators, Robert said that he was proud of what he had done.
Police obviously found Robert’s notebook which contained the details of their horrific plan. Oh, and one of the boys mentioned a flash drive while they were arrested that had more plans. One thing that they planned and were not able to carry out was beheading their two-year-old sister Autumn. Read that one more time.
Police located videos taken by the brothers of the murders, but those tapes have never been released to the public for obvious reasons.
Crystal was able to tell the police who had attacked her before undergoing emergency surgery. She somehow miraculously survived the ordeal.
While Crystal was fighting for her life at the hospital, back at the police station, Robert was the first to be interviewed. He admitted to everything right away and repeated that he was proud of his actions. It was also reported that he often smiled and laughed during his interview.
He went on a tangent about that movie Rampage that he was obsessed with and basically said that it was okay to kill people because eventually, you will kill someone who deserved it. I’m not really following that logic, but whatever you say, Robert. For some reason, footage of Robert’s interrogation was never released to the public but Michael’s was.
Michael mostly tried to blame Robert for the events of that night. He basically said that he just watched while Robert killed their family. But the cops had already talked to Robert and they confronted Michael about the inconsistencies between their stories.
After being caught in lies, Michael admitted to killing some of his family but that he only did it because he was afraid of Robert.
Trials and sentences
Robert and Michael were charged with five counts each of first-degree murder, one count of assault and battery with intent to kill. Robert was 18 at the time of the murders and charged as an adult, but Michael was only 16. Still, Michael was also charged as an adult.
Robert was eligible for the death penalty, while the court ruled that Michael could not be sentenced to death because of his age at the time of the murders.
Robert took a plea deal and was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. But Michael wouldn’t take a deal. Maybe because he knew he wasn’t facing the death penalty? And Michael pretty much stuck to the story that he was innocent and was deathly afraid of Robert.
Robert even took the stand in Michael’s trial to back his story up.
At Michael’s trial, the alleged abuse the kids suffered at the hands of their father was brought up. Robert said they were abused and Crystal has also reportedly claimed the home was abusive.
But in the end, Michael was found guilty and sentenced to the same punishment as his brother.
At some point, Robert attacked two prison guards. In July 2016, Robert attempted to hang himself in his prison cell with a bedsheet. He was cut down and put on suicide watch. He is currently at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center serving his five life sentences.
Michael is currently being held at the Lexington Correctional Center.
Crystal and Autumn were adopted by the same family.
And as for the house of horrors where the family was attacked, the Broken Arrow government tried to raise money to purchase the home to build a park. But in 2017, the house was destroyed by a fire. Some suspected arson.
But in March 2019, The Bever Family-First Responders Memorial Park was opened where the house once stood.