Fort Worth, Texas
In June 2018, two 14-year-old girls got into an argument about a sleepover. One of the girls grabbed a knife and stabbed her friend to death. While this murder shocked the community, violence committed by teenaged girls has been on the rise for several years.
On the afternoon of January 18, 2014, 16-year-old Jessica Burlew, a runaway from a juvenile group home in Phoenix, was in her mother's Glendale, Arizona apartment. With her mother's knowledge, the teen was having sex with her 43-year-old boyfriend. The girl's mother, Tracey Woodside, left the apartment to take out the trash. While outside the dwelling handling the garbage, Woodside received a call on her cellphone from Jessica who said that her lover, Jason Earl Ash, was dead.
When Woodside returned to the apartment, she found Ash lying in bed with an electrical cord twisted around his neck. He also had superficial cuts on his face, arms, and torso. When Tracey Woodside called 911, Jessica ran out of the apartment.
At the death scene, the girl's mother told police officers that Ash and her daughter regularly played sex games involving ligature strangulation and cutting. Just before passing out Ash was supposed to utter a "safety word" to signal a discontinuation of the choking. This time he died before issuing the warning. (He's not the first person to die of sexual asphyxia, it's a dangerous game.)
Police officers found Jessica at a neighbor's apartment wearing a burka as a disguise. When questioned by officers she admitted accidentally strangling her 43-year-old sex partner with the electrical cord. At first she thought he had merely passed out. To revive Ash, she cut him with a razor blade. After realizing that he was dead, she continued to cut on his body to relieve her own stress.
A spokesperson with the Glendale Police Department, on January 22, 2014, announced that Jessica Burlew has been charged, as an adult, with second-degree murder.
In October 2015, pursuant to a plea deal, the judge sentenced Burlew to ten years in prison.
At 8:30 on the morning of Tuesday, January 21, 2014, a 14-year-old girl who resided with her mother and her 11-year-old sister in Mundelein, Illinois, a suburban community 30 miles northwest of Chicago, called 911. According to the caller, an intruder had entered the home that morning shortly after her mother left for work. The man had stabbed her younger sister several times then ran out of the house.
Police officers found the 11-year-old victim, Dora Betancourt, unconscious and bleeding on the second floor of the dwelling. Emergency personnel rushed the girl to a nearby hospital where she died shortly after arrival. She had been stabbed 40 times. Based on the cuts on her hands and arms, investigators believe the victim tried to defend herself. At the scene, officers recovered a bloody 4-inch kitchen knife.
Questioned at the Mundelein Police Department, the 14-year-old sister described the intruder as a Hispanic man. When a detective pointed out that the victim had, clutched in her hands, follicles of her older sister's hair, the suspect confessed to the stabbings. After the attack she took a shower to wash off her sister's blood then called her mother who told her to dial 911.
When asked why she attacked her sister with the kitchen knife, the 14-year-old said she had cooked six dinners for her younger sister the previous week and the girl showed no gratitude. Also, the victim had recently hit her.
Dora Betancourt had been a student at the St. John's Lutheran School in Libertyville. The 14-year-old murder suspect also attended St. John's.
A Lake County prosecutor charged the 14-year-old girl with first-degree murder. She was held at a juvenile detention center.
In January 2016, the judge sentenced the now 16-year-old killer to detention in a juvenile facility until she turned twenty-one.