Please read the “TCT Disclaimer” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page before reading any true crime posts.
Before we get into my first inaugural true crime story for the blog (so exciting!!!), I just want to ask: have you seen Zac Efron as Ted Bundy for the upcoming biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile“? I am literally shaking with antici…………..pation.
I will admit, I definitely felt like screaming WHY GOD WHYYYYYYYYYYY when I heard Efron had been cast as the killer who tops my list of favourite of all time – not in a admiring way, obviously – but seeing this shot really calms my skepticism. I’ll reserve full judgement until I see his portrayal, but so far so good.
Now, onto my first true crime write-up for my brand new blog! I’m Canadian and it’s pretty clear to me that hardly anyone pays attention to us on an international level, and that’s fine. We like keeping to ourselves. Y’all know who Trudeau is, but admit it – this is the first time you’ve ever really known our Prime Minister’s name. Or even that we don’t use the term “President.” Admit it!
Anyway, I feel like this gives me an opportunity to explore a true crime case that maybe not a lot of people are familiar with because it’s a Canadian case. I could do something big, flashy and well-known, but that’s not really the vibe I want to start off with.
So, instead, let’s talk about The Werewolf Lovers. That’s the most lame-ass name for these two, but whatever. Here we go…
Trigger warning: violence against children
April 2006. Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
Jeremy Steinke was 23-years-old. His clothing of choice was anything black, he rimmed his eyes with black liner and he liked punk music. Nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. It just gives you a sense of his style.
Honestly, I knew a few guys like this in high school. But, I’m not talking about students who were currently attending my school. Nay, nay! These were dudes who had graduated a couple years prior and still showed up in their shit cars and black trench coats to hang out in the school parking lot during breaks.
At the time I thought it was “cool” that older, goth guys were around, but looking back, it was creepy AF and totally inappropriate. That gives you an idea of how our perspectives change as we get older. So, it’s really no wonder that the young girl in this story didn’t understand why all the adults were like THAT’S A PEDO RED FLAG, CHILD.
What’s a little different between Jeremy and the dudes hanging around my high school, as far as I know, was that Jeremy wore a vial of blood around his neck and told people he was a 300-year-old werewolf who liked to drink blood. Alright. According to testimony, his mother was an alcoholic and her myriad of gentlemen callers regularly abused him. He even tried to take his own life as a teenager. Is this an excuse, no. But you can see how maybe having the identity of a 300-year-old werewolf was powerful for him.
Still a pedophile, though.
Jeremy was everything Jasmine Richardson thought was cool because pre-teens are fucking stupid.
“He drinks blood, Jasmine!”
“You just don’t understand, mom!”
Jasmine and Jeremy met at a concert in early 2006. She quickly “fell in love” with him. And I’m using quotes there because children have literally no idea what it means to be in love. And make no mistake, Jasmine was a child. She was 12-years-old (!!!) when she started dating 23-year-old Jeremy.
Jasmine’s parents, Marc and Debra, noticed a drastic change in their beloved daughter after that concert. She went from being a happy and bright kid to a despondent, moody preteen who only wanted to wear black. I did the same thing around that age, but it wasn’t because I was dating a werewolf. I blame it on puberty and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nothing wrong with that. Look at me now! Okay, not a great example. Moving on…
Marc and Debra sought out the source of their young daughter’s change in style and personality. When they found the 23-year-old self-proclaimed werewolf, they were, understandably shocked and furious. Can you even fucking imagine finding out your child has been groomed by a pedophile? Jesus take the wheel.
Marc and Debra punished Jasmine for dating Steinke, which infuriated her. Even Jasmine’s friends had criticized the “creepy” relationship, so I stand corrected that not all preteens are idiots. Jasmine didn’t like being told what to do or who to date and believed her parents just didn’t understand, Will Smith style. She “loved” Jeremy and nothing was going to keep them apart.
Jasmine sent the following message to Steinke through email: “I have this plan. It starts with me killing them and ends with me living with you.”
Bitch went from 0 to FUCKING MURDER, real quick!
Steinke replied, “Well I love your plan but we need to get a little more creative with like details and stuff.”
In another message, Jasmine wrote: “Their throats I want to slit. They will regret the shit they have done. Especially when I see to it that they are gone. They shall pay for their insulince [sic]. Finally there shall be silence. Their blood shall be payment!”
On April 23rd, 2006 at 1pm, the bodies of Marc and Debra were found in their basement by a neighbour’s child.
Steinke, following the plan he’d made with Jasmine and fuelled by an insane combination of alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine and weed, entered the house through a basement window and stabbed Jasmine’s mother 12 times, including in the heart.
While Debra fought off her attacker, the struggle woke up Marc who rushed to his wife’s aide. Marc managed to get a shot in on Jeremy, stabbing him in the eye with his own knife, but ultimately Marc didn’t win the fight. Marc was stabbed 22 times, including 9 times in the back.
“He fought to the end,” MHPS Chief Andy McGrogan said. “He was a warrior. He just didn’t have the same tools that the other guy did.”
With his last breaths, Marc Richardson asked Steinke why he was doing this, to which Jeremy replied:
“It’s what your daughter wanted.”
After her parents were dead, Jasmine and Jeremy searched out her 8-year-old brother, Jacob. He was asleep in bed. Jacob was stabbed fives times and then had his throat cut from ear-to-ear. He would be found surrounded by blood-soaked stuffed toys.
Jasmine would later testify that her brother pleaded for his life and emitted a gurgling sound when she stabbed him. She said that Jeremy was the one who slit the little boy’s throat to “finish him off.” She would say that she killed her brother because she found it too cruel for him to live without their parents.
After the family was dead, Jasmine and Jeremy fled the scene.
Insp. Brent Secondiak, a staff sergeant with the Medicine Hat Police Service at the time, got the call from dispatch about the neighbour kid who was pretty sure he’d seen bodies in the basement of the house next door. Secondiak approached the scene, his tactical gearon, and entered the house thinking he could possibly save a life. In the home, he find two bodies in the basement and a body upstairs. Secondiak called other backup officers to the scene and a homicide investigation was swiftly underway.
The police soon realized someone from the home was missing, 12-year-old Jasmine.
“I truly believed that this person was missing and possibly abducted,” Secondiak said. “It wasn’t even in the realm of possibility that she was an accused.”
Police issued an amber alert, but a search of Jasmine’s room, her school locker and her diaries, quickly led them to understand she had actually planned the crime herself.
“It was a huge shocker that she had any part of that because it was so horrific… I couldn’t imagine someone so young doing something so horrific,” Secondiak said.
Located the next day, 130km away in Leader, Saskatchewan, the duo were arrested and each charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
In November 2008, Steinke’s went on trial. His defence was that he was just an immature young man in love; that he was only doing what Jasmine had ordered him to do, as if the grown-ass pedophile was really the submissive one. He also claimed he was scared that if he didn’t kill Jasmine’s parents, that she would leave him.
Previous to the trial, Jeremy had allegedly admitted to an undercover cop in prison that he had participated in the murders willingly. He allegedly said: “Have you ever watched the movie Natural Born Killers? I think that’s the best love story of all time.”
The couple had reportedly watched the movie just hours before deciding to commit their crimes.
Steinke was subsequently found guilty of all counts. He was sentenced to three life sentences, one for each count of first-degree murder, to be served concurrently. He will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of twenty-five years.
On the stand at her own trial, Jasmine said she was only ever “kidding” about killing her family, that she didn’t think Jeremy would actually do it. When asked why she participated at all, she said: “I loved him so much. I thought it would bring us closer together.” Oh, child.
In Canada, under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, any child under the age of 14 at the time a crime is committed cannot be charged as an adult, and cannot be given more than a ten-year sentence.
On July 9, 2007, Jasmine became the youngest person in Canada to ever be convicted of first-degree murder when she was found guilty on all three charges. She was sentenced to the max penalty of ten years. Her sentence included credit for eighteen months served pre-trial, to be followed by four years in a psychiatric institution and four-and-a-half years under conditional supervision, which included a curfew.
In September 2011, Jasmine was given permission by the court to began attending classes at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Shortly thereafter, she was released from her ten-year sentence at a psychiatric hospital. Few details about Jasmine’s psychiatric assessments were made public other than that she was diagnosed with conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
In May 2016 her sentence was totally completed, and she was freed of any further court-ordered conditions, restrictions or supervision. During her final court hearing, she made no apologies and didn’t express any regret for what she’d done, but speaking from the Queen’s Bench, Justice Scott Brooker said: “I think your parents and brother would be proud of you. Clearly you cannot undo the past; you can only live each day with the knowledge you can control how you behave and what you do each day.”
In other words, Jasmine is now a free woman and according to the court system, she is a model for the concept of rehabilitation. If Jasmine doesn’t commit any crimes within the five years after the end of her sentence, the murder of her family will be completely wiped from her record.
When McGrogan, an inspector when the murders happened, remembers this case he says, “I think of the photos of the boy who had his throat slit from one end to another.”
Secondiak echoes this sentiment saying: “I’ve seen lots of bad scenes and lots of dead bodies, but very few children and very few children ever in that state.”.
When it comes to Jasmine’s ten-year sentence, Secondiak says he’s gone through a myriad of emotions. “At one point I was mad. Mad that she wasn’t treated as an adult, but I’ve also gone the other way and felt sorry for her.”
Now, he says he trusts the system. “At one point I wanted her locked up forever. I don’t think I’m there now. I hope she moves on and becomes a productive member of society,” he said. “That’s tough coming from me. If you would’ve asked me five years ago I would’ve given you a different answer.”
And as awful as her crimes were, Secondiak doesn’t think she’s without hope.
“I don’t think she’s truly evil. I’ve met some of those people that are bad to the bone and she’s not one of them.”
Jasmine currently lives in a secret location, has changed her name and all details of her new life have been kept hidden from the public as per Canadian law.
Jeremy changed his name to Jackson May while in prison and has unsuccessfully tried to appeal his life sentence.
So what do you think of this? How do you feel about Jasmine being a free woman? Do you think she should have been tried an adult?
I’ll let you know now, I don’t believe in trying any child, for any crime, under and circumstances, as an adult. Some people view that as a controversial take, but I just don’t think it’s right.
A young person’s mind is scientifically proven to not be developed enough to understand or grasp their actions the same way an adult is. A lot of times, growing up can be so difficult, the changing of body chemistry so drastic, that it’s not difficult to objectively understand how a young person could commit a crime with all the wrong reasons in mind, without a clear understanding outside their own bubble. Teenagers especially seems to have little grasp of the concept of things existing outside of their personal world experience.
It’s like a constant state of not being able to see the forest for the trees.
Do I think child murderers should get off scot-free? Obviously not, but I believe psychiatric treatment is almost always the right answer. Prison will generally just make someone worse who might have otherwise had a chance to get better. After the psych sentence is up, I believe the option to extend it should be available. For example, if Jasmine was determined by her doctors to be a legit psychopath and danger to society, the option to go back to court and argue for a longer sentence should be available.
That’s just my two cents.
Stay safe. Be Kind. But, take no shit.
Later, Murderinos ✌️🔪