Back in the 90’s Natasha Cornett was a Kentucky teen into all things goth. When she married, at just 17, she wore a black dress complete with a matching dog collar; yeah she was kinda hard core about it. The marriage was short lived, only about 6 months; after the separation, she wanted to do something exciting. So in April of 1997 she gathered up her group of friends: Karen Howell, 17, Joseph Risner, 20, Jason Blake Bryant, 14, Joseph Mullins, 19, and Crystal Rena Sturgill, 18. The group hopped in a car, and they set off for New Orleans. (This case always reminds me of Rod Ferrell, who we just talked about earlier this week. So many similarities.)
On the way to Louisiana, the group made a pit stop at a Tennessee rest station. They hadn’t planned their trip very well. The car they were riding in was way too small for the group, the teens were cramped and miserable, so they decided to find someone with a van they could hijack. Unfortunately, the Lillelid family (Daddy Vidar, Mommy Delfina, Tabitha was 6, and Peter was only 2) just so happened to be at that same rest stop. They were decent people, very straight laced, strict Jehovah’s Witnesses who had actually spent the weekend at an annual religious convention. The family saw the group of goth teens and tried to talk to them, they thought that maybe convert them; this was all it took for the group to draw blood.
The teens kidnapped the family of 4 as they were getting in their van, and they drove them to the middle of nowhere. On the ride, sweet little Tabitha offered her captors some of her chocolates. When they got to their destination, a gravel road, the family were forced out of their van and into a ditch; there teens then proceeded to shoot each of their victims, and the family was left for dead on the roadside.
The teens stole the families vehicle and headed for Mexico. Mother and father died quickly, Tabitha died at the hospital, and Peter lived but he was left partially blind with a spinal cord injury. A judge determined that it would be better for the boy if he were sent back to Sweden to be raised by his father’s family. He even came to the US for a visit and an officer guarded him while he was here, to ensure his safety.
The teens were caught rather quickly. Natasha, the group’s ringleader, caught a lot of attention when she said that she was, in fact, the daughter of Satan. She bragged that her name spelled backward was “Ah-Satan”, and Satan himself would help her beat the charges. This didn’t quite work out the way she had hoped it would; Natasha was sentenced to 3 life sentences, as were her accomplices. None will ever be up for parole.
The last I heard, Natasha claims that she is invent; she’d begged her friends not to kill the family! In prison she has befriended the equally notorious Christa Gail Pike (we shall discuss her soon) and together they attempted to murder a fellow inmate, Patricia Jones, with a shoe string. Some people never change.