As we are approaching Father’s Day, I thought I would focus this True Crime Tuesday on dads. These two fathers should win ‘Father of the Year’. They are cordial, nice, and down right evil. How could a father kill their child?! So without further ado, ‘Father of the Year’ goes to:
Dad: Robert Wood, 1999
Robert was the father to six children. Of importance to this award is his son, Christopher. Christopher was 11 when he died. This all started with a fire at their house. Robert decided that instead of doing the right thing by calling the police or the fire department, he would call his insurance company.
Money fueled this man. He lived beyond his means and stole money from his place of employment even after pulling a $100,000 salary. He was told his house was too extravagant for the area. So, of course, why not burn it down and collect? Right?
He later told authorities that Christopher should have been home as he had not left for school yet. Yet, authorities could not find Christopher in the rubble. Police began to suspect Robert of both the fire and the disappearance of his son. They soon found out that Robert had taken out a $60,000 life insurance policy on Christopher. This is when they dug deep into Robert’s digital trail. It turns out that Robert was not where he claimed to be at the time of the fire. His phone put him elsewhere.
Police went to that location and discovered Christopher’s body in the snow, after being reported by a road grater operator. His shoes were found to be on the wrong feet and he was covered in vomit. This vomit was also present in Robert’s vehicle.
Everything just pointed to Robert. He was soon arrested for first degree murder and first degree arson.
I would love to tell you that he is rotting in prison like he should be, but unfortunately, Robert died by suicide a few months after being arrested.
This story can be seen on Forensic Files, Season 10, Episode 12… Cereal Killer.
Our next award goes to…
Dad: Karl Karlsen, 2008
Tragedy followed Karl. He lost his first wife in a house fire. He lost several horses when his barn went up in flames. And, he lost his son Levi after a car fell on him that he was working on. Through it all he acquired tremendous amounts of sympathy… and money!
To truly understand just how evil Karl is, we need to go back to the beginning and the loss of his first wife, Christina. Mr. Karlsen spun a series of unnatural events to authorities that they began to question if this death was actually an accident. It all started with the breaking of a bathroom window, by Christina (or so we are told to believe). The window was then boarded up… not from the outside, but the inside. Christina had decided to take a bath with a jug of kerosene outside the bathroom that she thought was water (yup, because they smell and look the same, right?). Then, the dog came and knocked over the kerosene. Karl had then placed a defective light right next to the kerosene. A fire ensued. Since the window was boarded up, Christina had no where to go and perished in the flames.
Karl inherited $200,000 off a life insurance policy he bought for Christina 20 days before her death.
Well, a husband who just lost his wife and is raising 3 kids on his own naturally attracts the compassion of women. Soon he married his second wife, Cindy.
In 2002, a fire broke out in Karlsen’s horse barn. He collected $150,000 from a insurance policy he bumped up just 18 days earlier. All this after removing custom harness’ days before the fire.
But the cruelest thing he has done is killing his own son. Levi and his dad did not have the best of relationships. They had finally begun to remedy this when Levi passes away. Karl had hoisted a heavy truck on a very wobbly jack for Levi to work on. Levi was crushed by the car he was working on in a barn on the property of his dad’s horse farm. This occurred on the very day Levi had just signed over all his worldly possessions to his father. Karl, just paying over $400 for a month of a life insurance policy on his son, inherited $700,000.
Cindy began to question just how many tragedies could befall one man after the death of Levi. In a twist of events, she went undercover for the police to catch Karl. Although horrifically scared, she succeeded in getting information the police needed to put Karl away.
Karl pled guilty to the 2nd degree murder of his son, Levi, and was sentenced to 15 years (hardly enough). In a great turn of events, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of his first wife.
Hug your fathers this Father’s Day and be happy they are not one of these two!