Charlie and The Brandt Family Secret

As we continue our journey into the twisted minds of those that commit the heinous crime of matricide, we happen across the name Carl “Charlie” Brandt. Born at some point in 1957, Charlie Brandt exhibited no psychotic traits in his youth, resulting in a basically normal childhood.  Normal, that is until January 3, 1971.

Charlie Brandt
Charlie Brandt

On that date, Charlie Brandt shocked his small Fort Wayne, Indiana community. Brandt, only 13 at the time, retrieved a handgun from his parents’ bedroom and shot them as they prepared for bed. Both parents were in the bathroom at the time. Brandt’s mother, 8 months pregnant, was shot several times as she took a bath, her injuries were fatal. Brandt’s father, who survived the shooting, was shot point blank in the back.  Next in young Charlie’s sights was his fifteen year old sister, Angela Brandt.  After finding Angela, Charlie raised the gun, pointed, aimed and……; nothing happened. He pulled the trigger several times more but the gun never fired. Angela calmed her younger brother down and ran to the neighbors to call the authorities.

During questioning, Charlie’s father, Herbert Brandt, told authorities that it was his son that had committed these heinous acts. Police didn’t know what to do with their 13-year-old killer. Charlie was too young to be held criminally responsible for his crimes; therefore he never was charged with murder. Indiana courts ordered that Charlie undergo three separate psychological evaluations. The evaluations were proved all but useless. Psychiatrist Ronald Pancner along with two colleagues labeled Charlie a mystery.  The child showed no signs of serious mental illness. After talking with Charlie about his friends, his family and his interests, Dr. Pancner reported to the courts that Charlie showed no evidence of diminished mental ability or capacity. The reports found that the child did well in school and loved a family that loved him; in other words, there was nothing to diagnose.

The State of Indiana saw fit to place Charlie in a psychiatric hospital, where he stayed just over a year — only until his forgiving father could win his release. Upon his discharge, Herbert Brandt moved the entire family, including Charlie, to Florida. Mr. Brandt forced Angela and Charlie to swear to never speak of this matter. Even Charlie’s two baby sisters, too young to remember, were never told the truth about their mother’s death. The incident is never spoken of again.

Fast forward to September 2004, the impending threat of Hurricane Ivan has Floridians evacuating their homes. Now married, Charlie Brandt is urged by his niece, Michelle Jones, to move him and his wife Teri into her home in Maitland, Florida in lieu of the approaching hurricane. Michelle, a successful television executive, was excited about having her aunt and uncle as guests and invited friends over regularly to socialize. On the evening of September 13, the good times would come to a tragic end.

Due to incessant bickering between Charlie and Teri, Michelle had warded off all would be visitors that evening.  Expected guests were told by phone that the evening’s festivities would be cancelled. In the background the drunken bantering of the Brands was clearly audible. Eventually however, the phone calls were no longer being answered at Michelle’s home which worried several relatives and friends, including Michelle’s mother, Mary Lou Jones.

On September 15, Mary Lou convinced Debbie Knight, a mutual friend of her and her daughter, to stop by Michelle’s home.  While on the phone with Mary Lou Debbie knocked on the doors and windows but got no answer. Looking for entrance, Debbie noticed the garage door. Once inside, Debbie was horrified to find Charlie Brandt’s body hanging from the rafters. Due to sweltering temperatures and the length of time since his death, Brandt’s body was in a state of decomposition. Ms. Knight then contacted Maitland police. The officers found Teri Brandt lying on the couch dead, she had been stabbed seven times in the chest.  Nothing could prepare officers for what they would find next.  In the master bedroom, the body of Michelle Jones was found decapitated. She had been disemboweled with her heart removed. On the bed next to her laid her head. It was obvious to the authorities that Charlie Brandt had murdered the women then taken his own life.

What seemed like the end of the investigation was only the beginning. Mary Lou Jones was livid to find out about the 1971 murder of Charlie’s mother and the facts surrounding the case. Angela had revealed to investigators the gruesome events of that evening. Even more shocking was the shrine Charlie had built in his own home. The truth was that Charlie Brandt had been infatuated with Michelle for years. Along with a graphic poster detailing the female anatomy, hundreds of pictures of Michelle had been collected by Brandt. Combined with lingerie photos, it was clear why Brandt called Michelle his,”Victoria’s Secret.”

After investigating the life of Charlie Brandt, law enforcement officials began looking at cold cases. Profilers were positive that Michelle was not the first person he murdered in that fashion. Upon closer inspection, and with DNA evidence, it was found that at least three murders can be attributed to Carl “Charlie” Brandt. Officials admit, off the record, that considering the travels of Brandt and the similarities in murder style; Brandt’s body count over a thirty year period may be astronomical.



Mommy Murderers

“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray. Mothers are indeed God in the eyes of a child. Mothers not only protect and teach us, they provide our initial spiritual guidance as well as inspire their children to become better. As a self-proclaimed “mama’s boy,” I could go on and on about the endearing qualities of motherhood, which saddens me as I write this post.

A week or so ago I was surfing through the internet and happened across a young man and his video. Though he was considered a rapper, this was not a music video.

Qawmane Wilson
Qawmane Wilson

This video was of him going into Chase bank and withdrawing $20,000. The young man then returned to the sidewalk outside the bank and the adjacent parking lot and began throwing money in the air as well as handing hundreds of dollars out to passersby. Now, being as broke as I am, I was instantly offended, however my envy would soon turn to disgust as I read further. In the video, the young man, Qaw’mane Wilson, claimed he was “giving back,” to his fans. The article however, read that this young man had allegedly arranged for two of his friends to murder his mother, an owner of a popular hair salon on the west side of Chicago.  The cash that was being thrown around was the money he collected from her bank account and insurance policies.

The mere thought of committing an act of violence against my mother sickens me. There must be a special place in hell reserved for a child that murders their own mother.  Throughout modern history, various cases of matricide have been documented.  Though instances of this despicable act are many, none have paralleled the vileness of serial killer and necrophile, Edmund Kemper.

Born in Burbank, CA on December 18, 1948; Kemper was said to be a bright child. After his parents divorced in 1957, he and his sister was raised by his mother, Clarnell, in Helena, Montana. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, his mother was a violent alcoholic who would constantly belittle, humiliate and verbally abuse him. It was during this period that Edmund developed a cruelty toward animals. Due to his increasingly erratic behavior, Kemper was forced to sleep in a locked basement. His mother feared that he would sexually abuse his sister.

After a short stay with his father, Kemper was sent to North Fork, California live with his paternal grandparents on their ranch in 1963. There Kemper received the

Edmund Kemper
Edmund Kemper

same, if not worse, verbal and emotional abuses from his grandmother. Everything came to a head on August 27, 1964. After an argument, Kemper shot his grandmother in the head. Some reports claim that he also stabbed her with a kitchen knife after shooting her. When his grandfather came home from grocery shopping, Kemper went outside and fatally shot him in the driveway. Edmund immediately called his mother who urged him to call the police. During questioning, Kemper was asked why he committed this atrocity; his response was simply, “I just wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma”.  He added that he killed his grandfather because he knew that he would be angry at him for what he had done to his grandmother. Kemper was committed to the Atascadero State Hospital and released in 1969. At the time of his release, Kemper had grown to 6 ft. 9 inches, with a weight close to 300 lbs.

Having been convicted as a juvenile and serving less than five years, Kemper began a fresh start. Against the wishes of several doctors at the hospital, he was released into his mother’s care. Kemper eventually got a job with the State of California’s Department of Public Works/Division of Highways in District 4 now called Caltrans or California Department of Transportation.

The verbal abuse from Kemper’s mother escalated over the years. The constant belittling and berating caused something evil inside of Edmund to grow and in 1972 it surfaced. On May 7, 1972, Kemper was driving in Berkeley. Mary Ann Pesce and Anita Luchessa, both 18, were Fresno State students attempting to get to nearby Stanford University after spending a few days in Berkeley. Kemper picked up the two hitchhikers.   After driving them around for a bit, he took his gun out from under the seat and pulled off into a deserted area. He put Anita in the trunk of his car. He stabbed Mary Ann to death and slashed her throat. He removed Anita from the trunk and, with a larger knife, stabbed her to death. He drove around in his 1969 Ford for a while with the bodies in the trunk, trying to decide what to do. He eventually took them back to his apartment, took lewd photographs of the naked corpses then dismembered them. Kemper had oral sex with Pesce’s severed head then put the body parts in plastic bags and disposed of them.  He later tossed the severed heads into a ravine.

On the night of September 14, 1972, Kemper picked up 15-year-old Aiko Koo, who had decided to hitchhike to dance class after missing the bus and was afraid of being late. The Korean dancer caught sight of his gun and began to panic. After convincing her that the gun was to kill himself, he stopped his car at the side of a road and strangled her to death, and then had sex with her corpse. After stopping at a local bar for a couple of beers, Kemper to the corpse back to his apartment; dissected her and disposed of the body parts.

Cindy Schall was a 19-year-old Cabrillo College student. On January 7, 1973 Kemper picked her up and shot her in the head with a .22 caliber pistol. Placing her body in the trunk of his car, Edmund drove back to his mother’s house, where he dissected her in a bathtub. He buried her severed head in his mother’s garden as a joke and discarded the rest of her remains in a ravine.

After a fierce argument with his mother, Kemper met 24-year-old Rosalind Thorpe and 23-year-old Alice Liu on the UC Santa Cruz campus. After leaving the university grounds, Kemper fatally shot Thorpe and Liu with a .22 caliber pistol. He then wrapped their bodies in blankets, and placed them both in the backseat of his car. Once he reached a secluded area, Kemper raped both of the corpses. The next morning, he dismembered their bodies and discarded the remains off in Eden Canyon near San Francisco.

On Friday, April 20, 1973, Kemper fell asleep at home waiting on his mother to return from a party.  When he awoke, she was in her room reading. As he entered the room she said, “I suppose you’re going to want to sit up all night and talk now”. Kemper replied, “No, good night”, before beating her to death with a claw hammer. He then decapitated her and used her severed head for oral sex before finally using it as a dart board. He then removed her vocal cords and attempted dispose of them in the garbage disposal. Kemper then invited a friend of his mother, 59 year old Sally Hallett, over to the house. When she arrived, he strangled her to death.

Kemper often drank with law enforcement officers at his favorite watering holes. It would be to one of these officers that he confessed the true nature of each and every one of his crimes. At his trial, he pleaded “not guilty” by reason of insanity. He was found guilty in November 1973 of eight counts of murder. Though he requested the death penalty, due to a moratorium on capital punishment at that time he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Edmund Kemper currently resides at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California.