It’s been a while since we looked in on Michigan’s murder-child and his dispassionate parents. Some of what we’re going to discuss became public before Ethan Crumbley’s defense filed a notice that they would be pursuing an insanity defense. I wanted to call this post ‘Catching up with The Crumbleys’, but that felt a little too flippant for me.
Anyway, we start back in early January when James and Jennifer Crumbly had a bond hearing. As you may recall, the Crumbley’s were being held on $500,000 bond each on four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. These charges stem from the Oakland County prosecutor’s belief that the Crumbley’s were negligent in allegedly providing the gun Ethan Crumbley used to kill four other students. Those four students were 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.
But back to the Crumbleys. They were seeking a lower bond of $100,000 each. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald laid out why she thought that request should be denied. Ms. McDonald considered the Crumbleys an extreme flight risk, stating that after their arrest warrants had been announced, the Crumbley exhibited behavior that indicated they were trying to avoid arrest.
For example, at the time of their arrests, the Crumbleys had close to $7000 cash on them along with multiple credit cards and gift cards and four different cell phones. Just hours after the shooting, the Crumbleys were said to have tried selling off the horses they owned rather quickly. That same day, they emptied Ethan Crumbley’s bank account of $3000. The day before the Crumbleys were supposed to turn themselves in, $2000 was withdrawn from their bank account. The next day, they withdrew another $4000.
If you’ll recall, the Crumbleys were hiding out in a friend’s studio in an industrial section of Detroit. James Crumbley is said to have parked his car in a way where his license plate was obstructed. The Crumbleys allegedly asked their friend to do some shopping for them, which was said to have included vodka, orange juice, and bedding. I guess there’s nothing like lying around and having a few pitchers of Screwdrivers while there’s an active warrant out for your arrest. Even after police had entered the building where the Crumbleys were hiding, the Crumbleys hid behind a locked door, crouched behind a mattress that was on the floor. You know, because police never look under any mattresses when searching for a wanted suspect.
The Crumbleys’ defense argued the Crumbleys had received threats and were merely concerned for their own safety.
The judge didn’t buy it, and their request for lower bond was denied.
If I get this post out on the 22nd, Ethan Crumbley is scheduled to appear in court today to see if she should remain in jail or be transferred to a juvenile facility. It may have already happened, but the media may have not caught up yet. In preparation for this hearing, the Oakland County Prosecutor filed some findings with the court late last month.
According to these filings, Ethan Crumbley had always intended to surrender to police, so he could live and admire his handiwork. He allegedly wanted to witness the suffering he caused. Crumbley is said to have wanted to commit the shooting so people could think about him until time ends. Police found videos of Crumbley from the day before the shooting, where Crumbley talked about killing other students the next day. And of course, there was the prerequisite journal where Crumbly again talked about his desire to kill.
One of the many problems with infamy seekers like this is they think they will be remembered. Thanks to America’s laughable gun legislation (you knew I had to bring that up eventually), people like Crumbley are just another name on an ever expanding list. This past Valentine’s Day was the 14th Anniversary of the shooting at Northern Illinois University. We’re also coming up on the 10th anniversary of the shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio. In my opinion, not only could most Americans not tell you what happened at these schools, but they most assuredly couldn’t name the shooters. The only school shootings that remain in the American conscience are Columbine, since it was the one that set off this modern chain reaction of school shootings, and Parkland due to the political fallout that stemmed from it. Every other school shooting is just one in a series of hundreds. Even I have to look up some of these cowards’ names after writing about them for the past 22 years. Once Ethan Crumbley is sentenced to prison, he will be all but forgotten outside the Oxford area.
Lastly, I want to talk about one of the text messages Jennifer Crumbly sent after her stepson had already killed four other students. She actually sent a number of questionable text messages, but I wish to focus on the one she sent to her boss.
As news of the shooting broke, Jennifer Crumbley texted her boss the following: “I need my job, please don’t judge me for what my son did.”
Can she actually be for real? How cold-blooded is she to think she could go back to selling houses in the Oxford area after her stepson killed four people? If she hadn’t been arrested, I don’t doubt she would’ve been out there in her realtor’s blazer trying to close a deal if she had her way.
I think it’s clear that neither parent cared about Ethan Crumbley. And when you have a household where guns are treated like party favors, no one should be surprised this is how it turned out. The three of them combined created the ‘perfect’ recipe for disaster.