The Caffey Family Murders

4 min read
The Caffey Family Murders

The Caffey Family Murders

Why would a beloved 16 year old daughter slay her entire family?

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The Crime:

It was an ordinary evening in the Caffey household on that fateful night on March 1, 2008. Texan residents, Terry and his wife Penny, had a pillow fight with their 16 year old daughter Erin and sons Matthew, 13, and Tyler, 8, before they all went off to bed.

Little did they know, Erin had ordered the murder of her parents later that evening because they disapproved of her relationship with boyfriend, 19 year old Charlie Wilkinson.

Around 3am on 1 March 2008, two armed intruders entered the Caffey home and proceeded to murder the family with a samurai sword and .22 calibre pistol. Terry was shot 11 times at close range while his wife Penny was also shot a number of times. One of the intruders then proceeded to attack Penny with the samurai sword, almost decapitating her. Heading upstairs, the intruders shot the older brother, Matthew dead. The younger brother Tyler was hiding in the closet but he was found and the intruders.  He was heard to say ‘Charlie, why are you doing this’, before the intruders took turns in stabbing him with the samurai sword.

Miraculous Survival

After the attacks, the intruders then set the Caffey’s family home on fire. Little did the murderers realise, Terry had survived the horrific attack.  He regained consciousness and realised the house was on fire.  He crawled to the bathroom and climbed out the window, falling to the ground below.  Terry, suffering with 5 gun shot wounds, managed to crawl the length of four football fields to seek help from a neighbor.  He wanted to die after seeing his wife and two sons killed.  But what kept him going was knowing the fate of his daughter.

It was while Terry was recovering in hospital that he heard his daughter Erin had survived. This news gave him the will to live. However Terry’s elation was short lived when half an hour after discovering Erin was alive, his sister delivered the news that his daughter had been arrested and charged with the murders.

Just a few days later, Terry made an eight-hour round trip to the prison to see Erin in person.

The Caffey Family Murders

Her Murderous Plot Uncovered

Police soon uncovered Erin’s chilling plot to murder her parents. Erin had ordered her boyfriend, Charlie Wilkinson to “just do it” and she conspired with two others to see the plan through. With the promise of $2,000, 20 year old Charles Waid assisted Wilkinson with the murders. Bobbi Johnson, 18, was the getaway driver.

All three accomplices gave almost identical statements to police implicating Erin as the mastermind behind the murders of her parents however her younger brothers were only killed by Wilkinson and Waid in case they “talked”. Erin denied being the mastermind but openly admitted to having knowledge of the plan, but did nothing to stop the murders.

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Sentencing for The Murders

All involved in the Caffey family killings are currently incarcerated. Wilkinson and Waid are both serving life sentences and are not eligible for parole. Johnson was sentenced to two concurrent 40 year sentences and will be eligible for parole after serving 24 years.

Erin Caffey is serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of her mother, two brothers and the attempted murder of her father. She will be eligible for parole when she is 59.

All are not eligible for the death penalty as Erin’s Father, and the sole survivor of the massacre, requested it be taken off the table.

Erin’s Reasons

Erin was angry with her parents as they planned on barring her from seeing her boyfriend.

“I was shocked, angry and hurt.  This was the guy (Wilkinson) I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with and he loved me,”

“When I look back on it now, this was all just stupid.  I mean, for what? They weren’t beating me, they weren’t starving me to death. I had it made.”

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Admirably, Terry Caffey has forgiven his daughter and the others for their involvement in the murders of his family. He has since released a book called Terror by Night and is now happily remarried. He visits his daughter in prison every few months.

Terry has forgiven his daughter.

About Author

Kelly Ninyette

Kelly Ninyette, a long time public servant, is currently on maternity leave. Kelly is a blogger, a FIFO wife and a SAHM to her 15 year old step daught...Read Moreer and one year old son. When she is not changing nappies or trying to avoid questions about algebra homework, she can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm, at her craft desk crafting away or hiding away in the bedroom typing an article or reading a book. Read Less

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