This is so very disturbing. For two different men being forced out of the JW religion, after a time killing their entire families and later to make history as one of "the Top ten" news stories of the year, 2002.
I realize this (these murders) have been discussed before. But for murder to make a "top ten" story for the year really is disheartening. It seems that news sources will stop at nothing to sensationalize others pain at times. I am sure this has happened before but the JW connection really makes me wonder, knowing how many have lost their loved ones not to murder but to shunning, which the JW's compare to death.
I wonder at times if this comparison may give the ideas to kill? Hey why not we are already dead in gods eyes?
Cassi, of the sick to my stomach again class.
The similarities between Bryant and accused murderer Christian Longo are striking. Both moved their families to Oregon recently. Both had business troubles in the past. Both were Jehovah's Witnesses who were forced out of their congregations. The main different between them, though, is that Longo fled to Mexico where he was caught and now awaits trial in Newport. Robert Bryant knelt down in his living room, and put a shotgun to his chin. Yamhill County Sheriff Norm Hand says closure may be impossible in this case.
From silentlambs mailing list
Top 10 of 2002
1) Bryant family massacre rocks McMinnville
Several months after Robert Bryant, his wife, Janet, and the couple's four children were found dead in their rural McMinnville home, bicycles and toys belonging to the children were still visible on their property. But someone eventually took them away.
"I was glad to see everything finally removed," said newly elected Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree, who served as lead detective on the case. "Periodically, I make a run up there to check on things, and that stuff was a constant reminder of the tragedy."
The Yamhill County Major Crimes Team determined that Robert Bryant, a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness who was experiencing severe financial difficulties, shotgunned his wife and children to death as they slept in their beds the night of Feb. 23. He then turned the gun on himself.
It was 's worst mass killing in 19 years. And it occurred on the couple's 17th wedding anniversary.
Robert and Janet, both 37 years old, had four children together: Clayton, a 15-year-old sophomore; Ethan, a 12-year-old sixth-grader; Ashley, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at ; and Alissa , an 8-year-old second-grader at Memorial.
The bodies weren't discovered until March 14, when Crabtree and sheriff's deputy Bowdle peered in a window at the home in the course of a welfare check requested by concerned neighbors.
Three earlier welfare checks, requested by personnel alarmed at the prolonged absence of the children from school, turned up nothing. But Crabtree and Bowdle spotted Bryant's body after using a ladder to get a better vantage point.
The Bryants moved to McMinnville June 11 from a rural area east of They lived in local mobile home parks for a time, then bought property on and placed a new manufactured home on it.
Robert Bryant, a landscaper, was raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses faith and eventually became a church elder. But he grew increasingly disillusioned with church practices.
Three years ago, he made a break that led the church to declare him disfellowshipped, and even his own parents shunned him after that.
The loss of loyal church trade ruined his landscaping business, forcing him to declare bankruptcy. Evidence shows he was having a much harder time than he expected getting re-established in McMinnville.
Janet's sister, Janet Roe of , said Robert was a loving, dedicated husband and father. She said she forgave him from succumbing to intense pressures and killing his family.