The Day two JW kids murdered their parents.

by LDH 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • LDH

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, which is ten years old now. The Freeman Brothers of Allentown Pennsylvania lashed out against their strict upbringing by killing their loyal JW parents and even their younger brother.

    The story made national headlines because these two had tattoos on their foreheads. "Berzerker" and "Sieg Heil."

    In chapter five, we get the Freeman family history, beginning with the fact that both Brenda and Dennis were second-generation Jehovah’s Witnesses. They both met at Bethel New York, at Watchtower’s headquarters, and left there to go back to Allentown to raise a family. Dennis was appointed an elder in 1976 at age 28. Dennis took a job as a school janitor; Brenda was a stay-at-home mom to the three boys, Bryan, born 1978; David, born 1980, and Eric, born 1984. Dennis’s single pioneer sister Valerie moved in with them after Bryan’s birth. They lived down the block and across the street from the local Kingdon Hall.

    But by 1995, something had begun to go terribly wrong within the Freeman household. The two oldest boys had been in and out of legal trouble and in and out of mental hospitals. Valerie moved out. Bryan and David were openly hostile to their parents and especially to little Eric, mistreating him and calling him names. The older boys then not only openly rebelled against their Witness upbringing; they joined the local Nazi skinheads tatoos, shaved heads, Nazi wall art and all.

    I remember this, I was living in Upstate NY at the time, and knew Allentown PA well.


  • LDH
    The first signs of trouble were in 1991, when the boys were 13 and 11 years old; the boys refused to attend the Watchtower meetings. What seems to have happened is that the Freeman family developed problems that needed professional intervention .What they got instead were the local , untrained elders. When the boys refused to acceptably respond to this lay ‘treatment’, the boys were ‘marked’; shunned, isolated from the only family and friends they had ever known their whole lives.

    And the Freeman family war was on. If their parents and little brother (who at age 11 had no choice but to join in the shunning) didn’t want them, then there were other people who did. Around this time Dennis was no longer an elder; no one has told the reason why. One night, 12-year-old David put animal parts in his Aunt Valerie’s bed. Instead of mental health professionals, the local elders were called again. Later, David threatened to kill his high school football coach. Again the local elders were called.

    Finally, the Freemans committed David to psychiatric care for a month in 1992. But by now it was too little too late. A precious year had been wasted while the Freemans allowed untrained elders to practice psychiatry and psychology on their children. David had been abusing alcohol and drugs for years, and needed professional help, not prayers; he needed hugs and medicine, not shunning and threats of everlasting destruction.

    I remember the story was so sad!!!


  • Honesty

    Two of my former JW friends (they are loyal to the WT shunning doctrine) served at Bethel with the parents. They were shocked that the two boys turned out so bad. I bet they didn't know the only help the family had in the form of social services were a group of janitors, window cleaners and construction workers. No wonder there is so much mental illness and depression in JW congregations.

  • LDH

    You know it's interesting. Many of us were raised in very strict JW homes, but we didn't murder our parents.

    I think these two were just desparate, and desparate people have nothing to lose.

    Honesty, read the last link. It specifically mentions that the parents only sought professional help when it was too late. The article mentions that once the boys placed 'animal parts' in their aunt's bed. They got hauled in front of the elders instead of the parents recognizing how bizarre this behavior was.

    Can you imagine that elders meeting?

  • mkr32208

    Well the congregations in that area of PA are TERRIBLE too! They all come from old dutch stock and they are all such ASSHOLES! My parents went to a congregation in that area when I was born for about 5 years and never got invited to any get togethers had no friends to speak of etc... They were "too new" to take a chance on! Those people all suck...

    I do remember this happening though, I just have a hard time feeling bad about it. I sorta wish they had been able to find transportation to the hall after the killings. I mean hell why stop when your on a roll?

  • MinisterAmos

    Dumb Asses!

    Why couldn't they have hopped the bus to Brooklyn? That is, after all, the absolute root of this horror.

  • Undecided

    It happens to people in all religions, just look at the latest news about the woman who shot her preacher husband, and the ones who kill their children. It seems to just be part of this crazy life on earth and the mental breakdown from so many different circumstances and religions.

    Ken P.

  • AudeSapere
    I remember this, I was living in Upstate NY at the time, and knew Allentown PA well.

    Lisa -

    Did you the Featherstone's? They were in my congregation in NJ and moved to Allentown sometime in the early/mid '70's.

    I think there was an area dubbed 'Kingdom Hill' because so many witness families lived there.


  • LDH
    It seems to just be part of this crazy life on earth and the mental breakdown from so many different circumstances and religions.

    I don't know Ken. I don't see too many Zen monks going wacky with the numchuks!

    I agree to an extent. I think when you belong to a religion which pushes all of your buttons and is very rigid and strict in your personal freedoms, I think that's when it happens.


    I DO remember the name.

    MrK, You are right about the Dutch influence in that whole area. Amish, too. and Mennonite.

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