Pushing Up Lilies

When Sibling Rivalry Turns Deadly

Episode Summary

Come with me on a harrowing exploration into the depths of familial bonds gone awry in this episode of Pushing Up Lilies. We're unraveling the dark tales of brothers and sisters whose jealousy and other sinister motives twisted the ties that should bind. From petty disputes that escalate into tragedies to chilling plots hatched in the shadows of family homes, this episode peels back the layers of secrets that fester within. Join me as we confront the uncomfortable realities of family dynamics and the dire consequences when the line between love and malice blurs. * Listener discretion advised.

Episode Notes


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Episode Transcription

0:06 Welcome to Pushing Up Lilies.

0:08 I'm your host, Julie Mattson.

0:10 Pushing Up Lilies is a weekly True Crime podcast with spine tingling, unusual and terrifyingly true stories from my perspective as a forensic death investigator and a sexual assault nurse examiner.

0:24 Do I have some stories for you?

0:26 Are you ready?

0:31 Here we are y'all, here in the middle of January already.

0:35 I can't believe it.

0:36 I went shopping yesterday and there is already Easter stuff out.

0:41 I mean, Easter is in April, what is going on.

0:44 I can't believe that the holidays are going so fast.

0:48 It's crazy.

0:49 I literally feel like I barely had my Christmas tree up and then I was turning around and taking it down.

0:55 Time is just flying too fast.

0:57 I do not like it.

0:58 I do not like it at all, but I found a story that I thought y'all might really like, it's different, something that we don't see every day.

1:07 And of course, we know that people kill people for all kinds of different reasons.

1:11 But I thought that this was a little unusual.

1:15 There's oftentimes a lot of jealousy between siblings.

1:22 I know that we've all dealt with that.

1:24 I think that a lot of brothers and sisters are sometimes secretly jealous of each other, but sometimes it becomes obvious as you will see in this story that I'm going to cover today.

1:38 But I think there's always one who maybe gets spoiled a little more than the others.

1:44 And of course, jealousy sometimes persists through adulthood.

1:51 I feel like it's just a problem that probably most families deal with.

1:56 Some of them deal with the issue quietly and some do not.

2:02 And as you'll hear in this story, sometimes it doesn't turn out well, some families just can't handle the issue as well as others.

2:11 But jealousy over Christmas presents can sometimes be an issue.

2:17 I know that growing up, you know, my parents always tried to be fair and give everyone the same amount of gifts or at least spend the same amount of money on things.

2:28 And of course, when you're a child, you usually look at the number of presents and not the cost of the gifts as a whole.

2:35 And that's how you kind of feel like you were treated fairly.

2:39 You got five presents, your brother got five presents, everybody got the same amount of stuff.

2:45 But when you get older, you learn the value of the gifts.

2:52 And that is sometimes when the jealousy kicks in because you know what things cost and you become more aware of the differences in maybe what is spent on you versus what is spent on a sibling that's kind of the issue that came into play with this story, we're going to talk about today.

3:15 Like I said, some Children feel that they deserve gifts that are worth more and are better than their siblings.

3:25 But this is a story out of Florida.

3:29 And it seems like a lot of my stories come from the Florida area, but two brothers were arrested after one of them fatally shot their sister in a Christmas Eve argument over presents.

3:43 Now these are older kids, they again know the value of the gifts they're getting and not just are we all getting the same number of presents?

3:54 It's pretty crazy to actually shoot a sibling over this.

4:00 But after one of the brothers shot the sister, the second brother shot the other brother for shooting the sister.

4:09 It's crazy.

4:10 I mean, it's crazy.

4:12 Well, these kids are 1415 and 23 and this just happened in Pinellas County, and this was just this last Christmas.

4:24 This is a very, very recent story and I like to kind of try to find new stories every once in a while, to cover because I feel like we see a lot of the older stories on all the TV, crime shows and we're not seeing the newer stories that come up.

4:41 I like to kind of cover recent events.

4:44 Also, these kids were actually fighting over gifts, and they felt like that the mom was not spending equal amounts of money on them.

4:56 I mean, first, why do they have guns?

4:58 Like really?

4:58 And we'll cover that.

4:59 But the 14-year-old male is charged with first degree murder, child abuse and being a delinquent in possession of a firearm.

5:11 The 15-year-old brother is charged with attempted first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

5:20 Now again, this occurred on Christmas Eve of 2023.

5:26 Abriel is the female victim's name Abriel Baldwin, and she had two kids.

5:34 She had Jamari who was six and Amir who was 11 months.

5:39 She had a baby.

5:42 I mean, both of her kids were very, very young.

5:45 Now, Abriel suffered a single gunshot wound as did her brother and both were taken to a local hospital.

5:54 Abriel was shot in the chest by her 14-year-old brother with a 40-caliber semiautomatic gun.

6:03 We know that the 15-year-old came outside and then shot the 14-year-old for shooting his sister.

6:12 Now all three kids went shopping with their mom, Anne Abriel and Ariel's two sons.

6:19 There were six of them shopping together.

6:23 The younger brother was jealous that the older brother was getting more gifts.

6:28 The thing is they didn't even think mom may have already been shopping, right?

6:32 This is probably not all we're getting.

6:34 I don't know, it really doesn't make sense.

6:38 But the 14-year-old produced a pistol and pointed it at his brother and said that he was going to shoot him in the head.

6:47 He was trying to get him to fight.

6:50 But when he wouldn't, their uncle separated them and took the younger brother outside to the driveway.

6:58 Now, Abriel told the 14-year-old to stop arguing because it was Christmas and we all know when another sibling gets involved, sometimes that escalates the argument just a little bit, which is exactly what happened.

7:15 And then the 14-year-old threatened to kill her and her baby and then produced the weapon and shot her in the chest.

7:27 At this time when the gunshot was heard, the 15-year-old walked outside with another firearm and shot his brother in the stomach for shooting the sister and then he fled and went to a relative's house.

7:45 Now, the weapon that he used was a 45-caliber semiautomatic gun.

7:51 And when he ran to the relative's house, he apparently discarded the weapon and threw it.

7:58 I'm not 100% sure.

8:02 But in everything I've read on this story, that weapon has not been found yet, who knows if someone found it picked it up?

8:10 It's long gone.

8:12 But last I heard in all the stories that I've read that weapon has not been located.

8:20 Now, the 15-year-old was taken to a mental health facility because he made some self-harm statements following the incident.

8:30 He will be released to the custody of the Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center.

8:37 If he hasn't already, he could have been released because again here it is mid-January, the younger brother is recovering after surgery.

8:47 I'm sure he's been released at this point too, but he will be transferred to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice upon his release from the hospital if he hasn't already been.

8:59 Now, these kids, these miners had reportedly been stealing guns out of cars or purchasing stolen weapons on the street.

9:11 We know this happens a lot.

9:14 I'm sure it happens even in small towns as it does in larger cities.

9:18 But these teens supposedly carried weapons all the time.

9:24 And so neighbors were interviewed and said that these kids always had a weapon.

9:30 Why?

9:31 I mean, they're 14 and 15 living in Florida.

9:36 Where's mom is kind of what I'm saying.

9:40 But in May of 2023, both of the brothers had been arrested for committing numerous car burglaries and the younger brother had arrests dating back to when he was 12 years old.

9:56 These kids have always kind of had issues it sounds like.

10:01 And apparently in the Florida area, this has been an issue, people stealing guns out of vehicles.

10:10 Now, why you would leave a gun in a vehicle?

10:12 I'm not 100% sure.

10:14 I mean, back in the day, you know, when I was in high school, of course, I grew up in a small town, everybody had a shotgun in their back window of their truck.

10:24 I mean, that's just the way it was, you know, I mean, we lived in the country that was just the norm to drive through the school parking lot and see a shotgun hanging in the back of someone's truck.

10:39 But those were the days when I mean, people were still killing each other, but we just didn't worry about it.

10:46 I mean, times are so, so different now.

10:49 I just thought this story was so incredibly sad because I mean, there was another sibling, I believe she was 21.

10:58 She not only lost her sister, but she lost three siblings because her two brothers are going to be in jail for a very long time and she suffered such a loss.

11:13 This is just over jealousy of Christmas presents.

11:16 I mean, if we're killing each other over that, I don't know, it's just so sad, kind of what this world has come to.

11:24 It's changed so much.

11:26 And I always say this, you know, I meet people that are in their eighties and nineties, and they've just seen the world go through so many changes.

11:36 I'm sure sometimes it's just unbelievable to them because I mean, when they were younger, things were so much different and then, you know, they continued to change.

11:47 And now we're at the point where 14- and 15-year-olds are carrying weapons every day and these poor two kids now are without a mom because of this.

11:59 It's just, it's incredibly sad and I'm sure everybody thinks the same as I do I just, I hate what it's come to.

12:06 I mean, I know that it wasn't unusual or it's still not unusual.

12:11 I mean, when I was in Houston and when I worked in Harris County, I mean, we had people killing people for no reason and I mean, it happens everywhere, not just Harris County, but I'm just saying, drive by shootings and, and people just mad and I mean, even around Christmas time, I think we talked before about people killing each other in stores because there was one of something on sale left and they both wanted it.

12:40 Sometimes you just wonder what the world is coming to.

12:45 And it's super scary because the fact is, you know, if we have these kids carrying weapons obviously illegally, who else is carrying them and you make somebody mad and you never know if they're going to produce a handgun or not.

13:00 You just don't know.

13:02 That's why I'm kind of glad personally that we have the concealed carry in Texas because those are usually the good people that have the weapons.

13:12 And so those are the people that are going to protect me because they're able to in a situation when someone points a gun at me unnecessarily, which would be always anyway, I hate this story.

13:27 It's incredibly sad that these two kids are now without a mom just over Christmas presents.

13:32 And I'd be really, really curious to see what was in that mom's basket and what it was that one kid was getting that the other wasn't, you know what that poor mom lost her life for is probably a skateboard or something like that.

13:47 Still on the subject of siblings killing one another.

13:52 There's a story in Indiana and this is actually from September 2018, a 14-year-old Indiana boy was charged in the suffocation deaths of his two young siblings.

14:07 Again, what is it about 14-year-olds?

14:09 But told investigators that he killed them so that they wouldn't have to live in the hell that he did.

14:17 That was a story that he told prosecutors.

14:20 Ripley County prosecutor, Richard Hartel said that the teen was arrested last week on juvenile charges of murder in May of 2017, killing his 23-month-old half-sister, Desiree McCartney.

14:36 And then two months later, he killed his 11-month-old stepbrother, Nathaniel Ritz at their home in Osgood.

14:46 And now this is a rural community about 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

14:52 The teen who was 13 at the time of the deaths told the investigators that he used to tell to suffocate his half-sister in a blanket to kill his stepbrother.

15:06 They were requesting that he be tried as an adult.

15:09 Of course, initially, he was held at the juvenile center.

15:13 But the teen told investigators that he had a conversation with God about his siblings and he promised God that he wouldn't tell anyone why he did it, but he later said that he was trying to save them from hell and the chains of fire, he added that he didn't want them to have to live in the hell that he did.

15:38 And so when they asked the 14-year-old, what his definition of hell was?

15:43 He said chores, he didn't want his brother and sister to have to do chores.

15:50 Apparently, he felt like that.

15:51 That was just a little bit too much.

15:53 According to the affidavit, the teen's grandmother told investigators that when she asked him why he killed his siblings, he said that he didn't want them to be treated the way he had been.

16:06 He also said that, he did firmly hold the towel and blanket over their heads to suffocate them.

16:13 He admitted to this the day before this, I think they said that his father had struck him and caused him to have a bloody nose.

16:24 But as we've seen in some of the cases where serial killers and I know we've talked about this before.

16:32 I mean, this kid's not a serial killer yet.

16:36 I mean, if he gets out and continues what he's up to now, then he very well could be.

16:40 But he squeezed a kitten y'all so hard that literally the insides came out of it because it scratched him.

16:52 And we've seen this again commonly where killers will injure animals first and then graduate to humans.

17:02 But apparently this 14-year-old also had a very skewed version of what hell was, chores are not that bad.

17:11 And the cool thing about it is when you get older you get to move out, but then you get more chores because you get all of them.

17:17 You don't just get what your parents give you.

17:20 You don't share them with your siblings anymore.

17:22 You get all of them.

17:23 You do your own laundry, you do your own dishes, you cook your own food.

17:27 It only gets worse.

17:29 We always say that right?

17:30 We don't ever want to grow up.

17:31 I say it almost every morning.

17:33 I don't want an adult today.

17:35 It's just part of life.

17:37 It's how we learn.

17:38 And I don't think kids of course realize that now, apparently this 14-year old's father is currently in prison, mom has cooperated with the case completely.

17:51 Again, this happened in 2017 and he killed his siblings less than three months apart.

17:58 He was sentenced to serve 100 years in prison, Nicholas Krowitz of Osgood, who last year was 17, was sentenced to 50 years each in the murders of Desiree McCartney who was 23 months old and Nathaniel Ritz, who was 11 months old.

18:23 He was tried as an adult.

18:26 They did have five doctors that testified regarding his mental competency.

18:32 And the mom said that really, she had never seen this coming like she did not suspect that he would do anything like that to his siblings.

18:40 Initially, when this happened.

18:43 May 1st, 2017, paramedics were called to the home, mom and stepmother and three younger siblings live there, and Desiree was not breathing.

18:54 Mom had come home, she found Krowitz holding her in a towel.

19:01 Nicholas had told her that he didn't think she was feeling good because she wasn't talking to him.

19:07 Desiree was taken to Margaret Mary Health in Batesville and then later sent to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where she died five days later.

19:17 Now, when the state investigators started looking into her death and of course, child welfare gets involved.

19:24 Thank goodness.

19:25 He told detectives that he was bathing Desiree when another one of the kids started crying in the next room and he left her in the tub for a few minutes.

19:36 And then when he came back, she wasn't breathing.

19:39 That was just one story.

19:41 And of course, when paramedics again were called to the family's home when Nathaniel was found unresponsive, he was also taken to the same facility and pronounced dead early the next morning.

19:54 And of course, this looks suspicious when two kids die in the same household much less months apart.

20:02 And you know the fact that he mutilated this poor kitten to the point that it almost died so sad.

20:10 Now, this boy probably had obviously not probably had some mental issues but disturbing that 14 year olds would kill, especially their siblings, not just in a situation where they felt like they were in danger just made the decision to kill their siblings over and this very well could have been jealousy related to, we know that our parents have to spend more time with younger siblings, especially when they're small because they can't do anything on their own.

20:41 And that becomes an issue too with jealousy anyway.

20:46 I mean, I just thought that was really, really sad story, especially around the holidays.

20:51 This mom lost basically three of her Children and is now raising her grand babies because her kids thought it was ok to carry weapons.

21:04 And if this is true, like these kids never should have been allowed to carry weapons.

21:08 I don't know if y'all feel about it the way I do, I don't care where you live, Children should not be carrying guns, especially quote unquote all the time.

21:18 But if these first two kids had been in trouble before and had burglarized vehicles and stolen weapons from them, I'm sorry.

21:26 But I think that I watch over my kids a little bit better than that and I just don't think that that should have been allowed to happen.

21:37 But that's just me.

21:38 I know everybody believes differently.

21:40 I do think it's super sad when jealousy kind of gets the best of these kids because they obviously can't control their emotions.

21:50 But now like I said, this kid is 100 years in prison, which is exactly what he deserves.

21:56 He would have continued to hurt people.

21:59 It sounds like because he had started hurting animals first.

22:03 Hate that story.

22:03 But anyway, I just know that jealousy is a big thing, not just between siblings.

22:10 I mean, just between everybody.

22:12 I just don't think that it is a necessary emotion.

22:19 It's such a waste to worry about other people getting more or having more.

22:25 And, you know, a lot of people are getting off social media for that reason.

22:29 They feel like that it's causing them to have feelings where they feel bad about themselves because they can't afford the things that they want.

22:39 On a lighter note, how is the weather where you are?

22:42 It is 10 degrees here and we've had like a hard freeze warning probably for the last couple of days yesterday.

22:49 It got a little warmer when the sun came out.

22:52 It didn't feel too bad, but the wind was absolutely vicious.

22:57 We did get a little bit of snow, not before last and then it pretty much melted off during the day.

23:03 It's going to be like 29 here, which is chilly for us, Texans.

23:07 We're not used to this.

23:09 I know that up north, y'all are used to it but we are big old babies.

23:16 I know I'm going to have my heater on under my desk today, going to the medical examiner's office, going to try to stay warm and as we do every day, we hope everyone behaves.

23:28 We always get a little bit concerned over the holidays because families are spending an unusually large amount of time with each other.

23:36 And we know again that jealousy sometimes kicks in, sometimes you can only handle family for a short amount of time before you lose it.

23:44 Anyway, I hope that y'all are staying warm wherever you are in any part of the country and that you are continuing to stay safe, and I look forward to talking to you next week.

23:58 Thank you so much for joining me today on Pushing Up Lilies.

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24:09 This helps to make the podcast more visible to the public.

24:13 Thanks again for spending your time with me and be sure to visit me at PushingUpLilies.com for merchandise and past episodes.