17 year old Piehl, Wisconsin native Ashlee Martinson had lived a pitiful life. She’d been terribly abused by multiple people, including her stepfather, 37 year old Thomas Ayers. This man had not only been been verbally and physically abusive towards Ashlee, but also her 40 year old mother, Jennifer, and her three younger siblings. It was common for this man to choke his wife out, and the children had witnessed him holding a gun to their Mother’s head.
The man was sadistic, and he got off on murdering young animals in front of the children he was supposed to be protecting; on one particularly traumatic event the helpless girls had watched in horror as Thomas choked their beloved dog, threw him around the room, and then fed him to a bear. It seems that Ashlee’s mother had held a soft spot for cruel men, and that this had been a pattern; a prior boyfriend had raped Ashlee when she was just nine, and had used the girl’s flesh as an ash tray.
To top it all off, Ashlee’s mother has been very strict; she was controlling, overbearing, and the teenager was charged rent to live in her mother’s home. She hadn’t been permitted much of a social life, when she wasn’t at home, the teen was usually working. As an outlet, Ashlee became a popular gothic horror blogger who went by the name “Vampchick”. She wrote short stories and poems about murder.
She’d been planning to move in with a friend as soon as she turned 17, but as soon as her parents found out that she’d been seeing a 22 year old man by the name of Ryan Sisco they suddenly forbid it. Thomas and Jennifer demanded that they end their relationship immediately; they confiscated her cell phone, her keys, grounded her, and sent Ryan a message saying they would press charges if things continued. Freedom from the abuse had been just within Ashlee’s grasp, and suddenly it was taken away.
Though Thomas had been convicted of a multitude of crimes including sexual assault, kidnapping, and domestic violence and therefore was not legally permitted to own a firearm, he’d kept an arsenal in the home. Just hours before tragedy struck, Ashlee had watched her stepfather beat her mother for the last time. She’d posted to Facebook: “He’s gonna kill her if she doesn’t leave soon. I want to kill him so fucking bad, take one of his guns and blow his fucking brains out.“.
Ashlee later claimed that she’d felt hopeless that day, and had taken her stepfather’s loaded shotgun with the intent of ending her own life. When Thomas pounded on her door and she heard him talking smack about her, she changed her mind – why should she be the one to die? Instead of committing suicide, the teen shot her abusive stepdad once in the neck, and another in the head.
When Mom heard the blasts, she came running with a kitchen knife in her hands to see what was going on. Ashlee was stabbed in the leg before she could take the knife from her mother and, in a rage, she stabbed her own mama approximately thirty times. All of this happened on March 7th, the day after Ashlee’s 17th birthday.
Ashlee’s three little sisters (aged 2, 8, and 9) were not physically harmed. The teen made sure they had some food and water, then she locked them away in a small room. Ashlee then went on the run with her boyfriend in his truck; they were soon picked up in Indiana.
Ashlee plead guilty to 2nd degree intentional homicide, and is currently serving 23 years in prison plus 17 years on extended supervision. At court, psychiatrists stated that she had suffered PTSD from the hell she’d lived through in her short life. It had all built up over time, and on that day she finally snapped. Most of those who knew the family are on Ashlee’s side, and believe this too heavy of a sentence.
Ashlee doesn’t seem too remorseful today, and to be honest I’m not sure that I blame her. She says she’s freer in prison than she ever was at home. She does say that she misses her relationship with her siblings, and wishes that they could forgive her. Little sisters did corroborate Ashlee’s story of abuse. As for Ashlee’s boyfriend, Sisco was charged with having sex with a minor. He took a plea deal, he will serve no time so long as he stays out of trouble.
In Ashlee’s blog, using the name Vampchick, she wrote short stories and poems about murders, autopsies, suicides, Hell, the Devil, and cannibalism. She posted pictures of flayed skulls, demons and Slender Man. These are some quotes from her Nightmare Blog, and I will post some screen shots:
“One look, one look is all it took, For obsession to begin, Making you want to kill yourself, To him, killing is no sin, Brutally snatches mortals at night, They scream, they flail, But he takes off in flight, To him you can’t be faithful, He is a fallen angel.” (Angels In The Mirrors, January 2015)
‘Bloodstains in my fingerprints, Screams inside my head, Memories of imagination, I’m dancing with the dead, Whispers in the shadows, Death waits upon the eve, I’ve come to love the darkness, The night is when I feed.’ (My Shadow, January 2015)
‘I need to hurt somebody. Make someone feel how I do. The river is beautiful, my gun is loaded, my tools are cleaned, and my toy is all tied up and ready. She looks at me in fear, she can’t very well scream with the gag in her mouth. So I take it out, I want to hear how she asks. “What did I ever do to you? Why me?” She looks at me terrified as I take out my first tool, just an ordinary pair of scissors.’ (My First, January 2015)
*Cases like this one upset me so badly. Of course she was wrong for killing her stepfather, but damn. How much can one person take? Most difficult to understand is how Ashlee’s mother allowed her daughter to live through all this, with multiple abusive men. Do you believe that the punishment fits the crime in this particular case? What do you believe should’ve happened?