On the morning of September 22, 2006, Cassie Jo Stoddart began her day like any other. She woke up, got herself ready, and went to school. She was 16 years old and a junior at Pocatello High School in Pocatello, Idaho and was working hard on her education. She had a passion for music and drawing. She attended her classes, hung out with her friends, and had a seemingly normal day. However, this day would prove to be different than any other, because what Cassie didn’t know, was that it would be her last day on earth.
After school, on that fateful Friday, Cassie went over to her aunt and uncle’s house to housesit and look after their three cats and two dogs. Cassie was much more responsible and mature than other girls her age, and so her family trusted her without doubt. That evening, she invited her boyfriend Matt Beckham, and their two friends, Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik, over to hang out so they could watch Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Before they sat down, Cassie gave them all a tour of the house. About halfway through the movie, Brian and Torey told Cassie and Matt that they were leaving. They said they were going to see a movie in the actual theater instead. Although Cassie and Matt thought it was odd, they brushed it off and said their goodbyes to their friends and thought nothing more of it. What they didn’t know however, is that on their way out, Brian and Torey went around back and unlocked the basement door so they could return later undetected.
Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik were movie buffs and were obsessed with film. They routinely studied all-things filmography and had idolized serial killers and true crime. They had recently developed an obsession and fascination with the movie Scream, a story about a masked killer stalking attractive teenagers. They had planned to kill Cassie that night, but when they arrived at her aunt and uncle’s house, they realized that her boyfriend was also there. Brian and Torey had a very specific plan in mind and wanted to copy Scream. They would re-enact a scene in the movie and murder Cassie so they could achieve notoriety. On their way over to the house, the teens filmed their interaction with each other talking about what they were about to do (see the end of the article for the video).
So, after realizing their initial plan had been foiled, Brian and Torey went to the local theater, bought tickets, and went inside. They decided that purchasing movie tickets would give them a solid alibi for when they found Cassie’s body. All they had to do now was wait for Matt to leave and then Cassie would be alone in her “big, dark house.” They drove around, filmed more of their excitement, and eventually returned to Cassie’s aunt and uncle’s house to do the unthinkable.
They parked down the street, gowned up in dark clothing, gloves, and white masks, and snuck in through the basement door while Cassie and Matt continued to watch movies. Disappointed once again that Matt was still there, they decided they would just have to kill him as well.
While in the basement, Brian and Torey intentionally made loud noises to try and lure Cassie and Matt downstairs, where they would “scare them” before murdering them. When this didn’t work, they cut power to the house, hoping that they would venture downstairs to check the breaker. When this also didn’t work, they restored power to the house.
During this timeframe, Cassie and Matt actually did not hear any noises from the basement. In fact, it wasn’t until the power was cut that they started to grow concerned. Matt noticed one of the dogs kept staring down the basement stairs and periodically growling and barking. Cassie was scared at this point and asked Matt if he could spend the night with her. Matt called and asked his mother, who said no but insisted that Cassie was more than welcome to come and stay at their house with them, and that she’d bring her back in the morning. However, by this time, the power had already been back on, so Cassie told Matt not to worry about it, and that she’d be fine. She felt it was her obligation to stay and care for the house and the animals. A short time later, Matt’s mother picked him up and Cassie was left alone.
On the way home, Matt called Torey and asked if he could meet up with them later but could barely hear Torey. It sounded like he was whispering, so Matt assumed he was still in the movie theater and eventually hung up. But Torey was still with Brian – still in the basement and still waiting to kill Cassie – and Matt had just given them confirmation that he was longer with her.
Once more, the two boys decided to cut the power to the house in an attempt to lure Cassie downstairs, and once again, it failed. Frustrated, they headed upstairs armed with a dagger and a serrated hunting knife. When they got to the living room where Cassie was huddled terrified on the couch, Brian slammed a closet door to scare her even more. They were having the time of their life and basking in what they were about to do. They were toying with their prey and making a game of it and despite Cassie’s confusion and screams for help, Brian and Torey attacked her, stabbing her over 30 times. Twelve of those stabs were potentially fatal.
When Brian and Torey left, they recorded their excitement once again. They went to Black Rock Canyon and disposed of any possible evidence. When Cassie’s aunt and uncle returned two days later with their 13-year-old daughter, it was her who found Cassie’s lifeless body on the living room floor.
Police instantly turned to Matt Beckham and began their questioning, but it didn’t take long for Matt to tell them about Brian and Torey. After all, they were the only ones who were there that night besides him. So, 5 grueling days after the murder, police found Brian and Torey, and both blamed each other for the murder. Eventually, Brian led police to Black Rock Canyon where they disposed of the murder weapons and other evidence.
Brian and Torey were both convicted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. To this day, both killers continue to file appeals with the courts to get their sentences reduced or overturned. Each time they do this, Cassie’s family must sit through hearings and listen to Brian and Torey diminish their sole responsibility for her murder.