Genetic Sexual Attraction & Killer Steven Pladl

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This is a case of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) which somewhat recently lead to murder. GSA is very common, it happens when genetically close relatives who did not know each other in childhood meet later in life. We are often attracted to those who have traits similar to ours, both physically and mentally, and that makes those who are related more likely to be attracted to one another. When you have known someone through early childhood, you become sexually immune to them; that’s why most people aren’t attracted to cousins they grew up with. But when relatives do not know one another in childhood, that desensitization doesn’t occur. GSA is common in these types of reunions: mother/son, mother/daughter, father/daughter, father/son, grandparent/grandchild, and it’s extremely common among reunited siblings. Most people who experience GSA know that this obsession is wrong, so they fight their urges; still there are many cases in which the couple gives in. The problem is, with more kids put up for adoption, taken by dcf, people donating sperm/eggs, or children not knowing who their biological parent is, GSA is only going to become more prominent. Very often these couples do not have any idea at all that they are genetically related; there are many, many cases of two strangers falling desperately and obsessively in love only to find later that they are kin. There are support groups and counselors which specialize in helping these situations; if it happens to you or someone you love, know that help is available! And now onto the case:

A happy 10 year old Katie
Photo cred to the Chicago Tribune

A very young Denise Pladl had been adopted by Anthony and Kelly Fusco, and the new parents changed their daughter’s name to Katie; the girl had been given a beautiful life. She’d grown up in Dover, which is located upstate New York, with a great family, her parents and sibling had been terrific. Katie had been an accomplished student in school; she’d been artsy, known for her talent of drawing comics. Then, in January of 2016 Katie’s parents broke the news that they had not given birth to her. Katie promptly did what most would do in this situation: she turned to social media in search of her biological parents, Steven & Alyssa Pladl. Sadly it wasn’t difficult at all to find them.

Reunion photo of Katie, Alyssa, & two younger sisters
Photo cred Dailyreadlist
Katie & bio father, Steven

Birth mother Alyssa had been just 15 years old when she met a 20 year old Steven online. Alyssa quickly got pregnant, and gave birth to a baby girl she’d named Denise; at 8 months of age Alyssa realized that she’d not been equipped to handle parenthood. They had been so young and poor, and Alyssa would later say that Stephen had been abusing their daughter. Steven would pinch the baby’s skin until it bruised, and on at least one occasion when Denise had been crying Steven had placed her inside an air tight cooler where the infant could’ve easily been suffocated; Alyssa truly believed that Denise’s life had been in danger, and since Steven had threatened violence if she ever left him, that hadn’t been an option. So, Alyssa had done what she believed have been the best for her daughter: baby Denise was given up for adoption.

Birth mother Alyssa, photo cred to the Chicago Tribune

Alyssa and Steven had stayed married all of these years; they’d raised two more girls, aged six and eleven. Steven had been verbally abusive, he often threatened his wife and had a habit of breaking random items when angered. Just before Katie had contacted them, the couple had decided to separate: though they still shared the same home, they now lived in separate bedrooms. It’s safe to say that both had been thrilled to hear from their eldest daughter; within 6 months or so of learning that she’d been adopted, Katie had made the move to Virginia to be with her new found family.

Photo from Facebook
Photo from Facebook

Alyssa would later say that she noticed a change in her husband almost immediately after their daughter moved in; Steven had not only begun to dress younger, but his personality was much different as well. Before long the mother realized that Steven had been sleeping on the floor of their oldest daughter’s room, which was concerning; when Alyssa confronted Steven about his actions, he and Katie left the home. She only discovered the affair about a year later; can you imagine the shock Alyssa must’ve felt when she read in her 11 year old’s diary that Steven had instructed her to address her big sister, Katie, as Stepmom and that Katie was soon going to give birth to their dad’s baby?

Alyssa holding a photo of her daughter, Katie, as a baby. Photo credit to Huffington Post.

Alyssa was beside herself; she tried to talk some sense into the man she’d shared her life with for two decades but Steven told his ex that his actions were none of her concern. She attempted to reason with young Katie, to explain that Steven had a dark side and that this dangerous man had abused her as an infant, but the teen hadn’t believed anything her mother had to say. And the surprises kept coming; less than two months after Alyssa’s divorce to Steven was finalized, on July 20th of 2017, father and daughter had traveled to Maryland where they had tied the knot.

Wedding photo. Yes, Katie’s adoptive parents were in attendance. They later said that while they’d not been happy with the union, they hadn’t wanted to lose their daughter.
Photo found on Facebook
Cred to Facebook

Steven and Katie had been living in North Carolina in September of 2017 when baby Bennett was born. The happiness did not last long, in January of 2018 they were both arrested for incest; Alyssa had been calling the police from the moment she’d discovered the affair, and these calls had finally paid off.

Photo cred to Fox News

Once released from jail, Katie and Steven had been under a strict no contact order; if they saw one another, both of them would be in serious trouble with the law. Katie moved back home where she belonged, with her adopted parents in upstate New York. After she realized that there could never be a happy ending here, Katie just wanted to get on with her life and put the incestuous relationship with her father behind her. The baby boy, Bennett, had been placed in the care of Steven’s mother in Connecticut; Katie loved her son and visited with him frequently.

Sadly, moving on had not been an option for Steven, he was obsessed. The man drove from North Carolina to New York in his van in order to stalk Katie, she never even noticed that she was being watched. When on April 12th of 2018 Katie and her adopted father, 56 year old Anthony Fusco, drove up to visit with baby Bennett in New Milford, Connecticut, they hadn’t even noticed a van following them; when Katie and her dad pulled up to a stop sign, Steven had been lying in wait. He opened fire, killing both 20 year old Katie and her adopted father. Once Steven had murdered the object of his obsession, he called his own mother and confessed to what he’d done; he also stated that he was going to commit suicide, and the product of his incestuous relationship, 7 month old Bennett, had already been murdered and left alone in the home he’d once shared with Katie.

The victims, Katie and her real dad, Tony
Photo cred to WFSB
Crime Scene Photo from the Chicago Tribune

On April 11th Steven had murdered his son, just before he left to go stalk Katie; the father had squeezed Bennett’s little torso until he was dead. When all was said and done, after 3 innocent people had lost their lives, Steven had turned the gun on himself.

Victim Bennett, cred to Patch

Below I’ve enclosed Katie’s 11 year old sister’s diary entries, you can see where she writes about her father and sister’s relationship. She drew images of her father with horns, saying that Katie’s baby would be half demon. “He’s Satan. He’s fukking SATAN. He’ll go to hell but he won’t be the one getting tortured, he’ll be the one torturing people”. This is an eleven year old girl speaking of her daddy this way! You gotta wonder, what happened to this child? What in the world did she see?

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