On June 15, a family who appeared on ABC’s “Wife Swap” in 2008 was involved in an attempted a murder-suicide.
According to earlier reports, Stark County, Ohio deputies responded to a 911 hang-up call around 5:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon. They arrived to the sound of a gunshot and found three victims inside the home.
It is currently believed that the suspect, 25-year-old Jacob Stockdale, shot his youngest brother, 21-year-old James Stockdale, and his mother, 54-year-old Kathryn Stockdale, before attempting to kill himself.Screenshot/YouTube
Both James and Kathryn were pronounced dead. Jacob is currently in critical condition at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center.
An official motive has yet to be revealed, but the mom who Kathryn swapped with during their episode, Laurie Tonkovic, has opened up about her time with the now 25-year-old.
Tonkovic told TMZ that she believes Jacob lost control because he was fed up with the strict lifestyle.
The “devoutly religious” Stockdale family cut out both television and video games from their children’s lives in order to “censor all that their kids watch and listen to.”
Tonkovic told TMZ that when she attempted to give Jacob and his three brothers more freedom during the episode, he freaked out. She explained:
“When I switched the rules, and I was going to let them have fun, have the television and video games, and experience life a little bit, [Jacob] ran outside crying. And when I went out after him, I asked him what was wrong, he said that his mom and dad tell him that basically he would burn in hell.
He lived in a very controlled environment, where his mom and dad told him what to do. [He] really wasn’t allowed to do anything beside what they wanted. He got up, he worked, he worked, he worked. They homeschooled him, wouldn’t let him go out amongst society, they were very religious and they are a very, very talented family.
But God says give you free will, OK, free will they didn’t have. They weren’t allowed to make choices, I think that it caught up to him.”
The family, who made up the Stockdale Family Band, has since taken down their official website.
The oldest brother, Calvin Stockdale, released a statement asking for privacy. The statement read:
My family appreciates the prayers and support we are receiving from our friends and the community. We are mourning the loss of my brother and mother and are waiting to learn more about what transpired yesterday afternoon. While support is appreciated, we ask for privacy as the family deals with this tragic loss.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information regarding this investigation to call 330-430-3800.