Medicine Hat Media

Richardson Family Murders & Steinke Trial

A fairly complete and concise history of the Richardson Family Murders and Jeremy Steinke Trial.

Every source online or in the media says they cannot name the Richardson daughter because she is under the age for being tried as an adult for the crimes she committed. But if you Google “Richardson Family Murder”, the Wikipedia article, and every source or media reference gives the history as: “Richardson family was killed by their daughter and/or Jeremy Steinke.” As a result, in this article, we will abide by The Law and not give her name, instead, we will just call her “Richardson”, because that much has already been said everywhere else in the media.

Jeremy Steinke and his girlfriend apparently met one day in early 2006. Sources vary as to the location of their meeting, going between a local Punk Rock show in Medicine Hat and on the social networking website Nexopia. At any rate. As Jeremy Steinke was 23 years old at the time, and his girlfriend was 12, her parents – Marc and Debra Richardson – naturally wished the two not to date; however, Richardson continued to see Steinke. At length, her parents forbid her from seeing him entirely. During the ordeal, the couple maintained contact through various social networking websites on the Internet. Nexopia, Vampirefreaks and Bolt seem to be the main three.

Jeremy Steinke. Image courtesy of

Jeremy Steinke. Image courtesy of

On Vampirefreaks, Jeremy Steinke listed several personal interests that many people in the Western World have. BMXing, skateboarding, snowboarding, cars, music, piercings, tattoos. But as the list goes down, the interests get a little more (socially perceived) dark and name such interests as scarification, pain, “kinky fetishes”, blood, razorblades, Lycan’s and his girlfriend. In his profile on Bolt, Steinke describes himself as “A Gothic individual who believes in blood, destruction, guts, gore and greed. Am I God’s champion or Satan’s angel?” Apparently, he would often comment to his friends how he was a 300 year old werewolf.

Perceivably, these traits, coupled with photographs of him wearing dark clothes and eyeliner, and having a shaved head, lead many people – as I have heard discussed – to comment on how “weird” and “freaky” he is. The truth is that no matter how “bad” a person might appear, they might be the nicest person ever. I have been to quite a few Punk Rock shows, and there are numerous people who “look” dangerous or threatening, but when you talk to them, they seem quite intellectual, or even so nice as to help you up if you get knocked down while dancing. But the 300 year old werewolf thing is kind of weird. All-in-all, his interests, style of dress, and falsified comments regarding himself were probably, in part, an attempt by him to appear to be part of certain scenes (music scenes, trends, etc.) and getting people to pay attention to him. At any rate, in an interview his Mother said he was a very nice young man. Mother’s are always right, as mine always says.

Likewise, on Vampirefreaks, The Richardson’s daughter described herself in her profile as: bisexual, Wiccan, nocturnal, awkward, a deep thinker and insane. Interests include: dark poetry, criminal psychology, blood, human anatomy and “kinky shit”. Apparently photographs she uploaded were deceptive in that the clothing and makeup she used made her look much older than 12. This is a fairly common thing in todays society with girls wanting to grow up faster than time allows.

Richardson. Images courtesy of Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Richardson. Images courtesy of Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Again, perceivably, these traits coupled with photographs seem to be weird and freakish. But in a more literal and realistic view, what person reaching puberty is entirely sure about who they are? The Wiccan interest might be a little bizarre to most, but even so, there is a lot of history and artwork dedicated to it, so maybe that was her interest in it? Maybe her interest in blood was the interest that blood flows through our veins and without it we are alive, which is anatomically (in reference to her human anatomy interest) interesting. Lots of people probably became Doctors based on their interest in human anatomy.

A lot of people seem to think that people must not have a had a good upbringing if they do something so tragic and hateful; however, it is often told in newspapers and interviews that both Steinke and Richardson came from well-off and loving families. As stated previously, Steinke’s Mother said he was a well-mannered young man, that he would never hurt anyone. Richardson’s parents would say how they wanted the best for her, but would not let her see Steinke. Was this for the best? What is the social perception behind why a 23 year old man would want to date a 12 year old… child? Sexual affiliation seems to be the main theory behind such a union. Whether it was true or not, we may never know, though the two often used the term “soul mate” in regard to each other. The point is, a person may lash out and act irrationally even if they have had a great life up till that point. Just look at the Greyhound Bus attacks. I would get into that, but that is a whole other rant.

In the time leading up to the murders, Steinke discussed his predicament with a number of friends, most of whom agreed that it was an unfair situation that they were unable to see each other. Eventually, Richardson came up with a brilliant scheme that was bound to work. Her description of the plan to Steinke was “It starts with me killing my parents and it ends being with you.” Steinke’s initial reaction was that he thought she did not mean it and was saying it just out of anger. Like most confused youths, he would have probably been right, but the ‘joke’ eventually lead them to discussing ways to complete the task. It might have been said in jest at first, but eventually lead up to an “I jump, you jump” situation.

On April 22, 2006, Steinke arrived at the Richardson household and while his girlfriend was upstairs comforting her 8 year old brother, her boyfriend tore through the house and killed her mother and father. Soon after, he arrived upstairs in the boys room and yells at his girlfriend: “Stab him, just stab him! Slit his throat!” Quote by She exclaims that she cannot and Steinke says she has to, because he did everything for her. Her brother, it is said, pleaded for his life, declaring he is scared and too young to die. In response, Steinke’s girlfriend stabs him in the chest while Steinke completed the task by slitting the boys throat.

Afterward, as the research suggests, Steinke left the Richardson house, without his girlfriend. He retreated to his trailer-park home and soon afterward, she took a cab to the local (and only) 7-11 in Medicine Hat. She paid the driver and walked the 10 minute walk to his place.. There the couple slept together, and in the early morning decided to flee the province.

Steinke Homstead. Image courtesy of

Steinke Homestead. Image courtesy of

One of the neighbours’ son’s later on saw what he described as bodies laying on the ground and told his parents, who then phoned the police. The police then showed up to the find three dead bodies of the Richardson family, but the daughter was not there. Initially it was speculated that she may have been kidnapped or something of the like; however, in a fairly short time, the police located the couple at a popular hang out and party area in Leader, Saskatchewan. They were arrested shortly afterwards.

On July 9, 2007, Richardson was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, becoming the youngest person in the history of Canada to be charged with multiple murder. Despite claiming during the trial that she was in a zombie-like state while Steinke was downstairs with her parents and was unable to go and stop him, she later admitted to the court that the two would talk about killing her parents prior to the murders, but claimed it was only in jest. Testimony revealed that on March 20, 2007 (three days before the murders), Richardson had told a friend that she was going to kill her parents. The friend laughed it off, much to Richardson’s dismay, who said “Fine. Don’t believe me.” in response. But is this something that the average person would take seriously?

Richardson is currently serving a maximum of 6 years in prison followed by 4 years of probation. This is the maximum penalty for a person sentenced under 14 years of age.

Jeremy Steinke’s trial is currently underway, which began on November 17, 2008, in Calgary, Alberta. Originally slated for a Medicine Hat-based trial, Steinke’s lawyer argued and won for the trial to me moved to Calgary, feeling that the citizens of Medicine Hat who would be on the jury would invariably know too much of the crime and feel a more compelling duty to sentence the accused. However, that would have been for the better in terms of justice, and in either case, this story has reached far across the nation, so a few hours down the Trans Canada will not change much for the outcome. In either case, Richardson’s trial was in Medicine Hat, so why move Steinke’s trial to make it any more fair and ‘just’?

So far in the trial, testimony has been heard from undercover police officers conversing with Steinke regarding the murders. Steinke apparently tried to recruit friends to help with the murders, all of which declined, having no purpose to kill anyone. Autopsies of the bodies found that there were multiple stab-wounds in both Marc and Debra Richardson several inches deep, some of which pierced their hearts. Evidence suggests that Marc Richardson found a nearby screwdriver and tried to use it to defend himself and/or his wife but to no avail.

Drawings of Jeremy Steinke in Court. Images courtesy of Medicine Hat News.

Drawings of Jeremy Steinke in Court. Images courtesy of Medicine Hat News.

Testimony was also heard by associates or friends of Steinke and Richardson, describing their relationships and social decline. Richardson is said to have begun losing contact with her friends, preferring the company of older people, such as Steinke. Testimony was heard by one associate on November 25, 2008. Kacy Lancaster was a friend of Steinke and drove the couple to Leader, Saskatchewan. She testified in court that she was unaware of the murders until reading a newspaper afterwards. She claimed that the couple showed no emotion or remorse for what they had done, so nothing was perceivably wrong despite her cleaning blood from his truck and not questioning Steinke having knives, baseball bats and garbage bags in his truck.

Much evidence was found of conversations over Nexopia between Steinke and other friends and/or affiliates talking about methods in which to achieve the murders and referencing the movie Natural Born Killers as a parallel situation to their own.

Jeremy Steinke in court. Image courtesy of Medicine Hat News

Jeremy Steinke in court. Image courtesy of Medicine Hat News

Most of the population in the neighbourhood where the murders took place appear to not want any further part in the case, except to know the outcome. Overall it seems that most people are scared, probably over “Them coming back to take action against possible testimony”; however, after being in jail for 10 or more years, it is very unlikely that they would exact revenge against people who do not know really what happened. It would be more likely that if they wanted revenge, they would find out where the Jury lives, since they are the ones who ultimately do the sentencing.

Steinke’s appearance in court is almost always described as the same: Slumped, head down, staring at the floor. This is a telltale sign of either being remorseful over his actions, or trying to appear remorseful. His claim is that: “When you find your soul mate, you do anything for them. I did anything.” A bit far, but I guess we will see the courts decision on if it was too far or not.

Medicine Hat News articles: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
The Windsor Star
The Calgary Herald
People You’ll See In Hell

User Comments

3 Responses to “Richardson Family Murders & Steinke Trial”

  1. February 27th, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    scm says:

    To clarify your statement:

    “A lot of people seem to think that people must not have a had a good upbringing if they do something so tragic and hateful; however, it is often told in newspapers and interviews that both Steinke and Richardson came from well-off and loving families”

    Jeremy Steinke neither came from a well-off, nor a loving family. Sure, his mother cared about him, but she abandoned him countless times on drinking binges, leaving him to fend for himself for days on end. Her husbands and boyfriends, while drunk, abused Jeremy frequently. Also, as you stated a little further down, they lived in a trailer home, which is anything but “well-off.” Just to clear a few things up.

  2. February 27th, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    scm says:

    Also, neither “Richardson” nor Jeremy admitted to the murder of her brother. Kacy Lancaster was under the influence of many things when she and her friend were cleaning the blood from Jeremy’s truck; they claimed to think it was something like rust. (Also, baseball bats don’t seem too suspicious to me, and Jeremy claimed he always carried a knife since he was jumped when he was only 13.) That’s it, I’m done.


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