Cassie Jo Stoddart was 16 years old when she was murdered by her classmates, Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik, while housesitting in Bannock County, Idaho.
Her attack was purportedly inspired by the movie Scream and the Columbine High School shooting.
Brian and Torey, both 16 at the time, were said to have been fascinated by serial killers and wanted to follow in the footsteps of Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler, and the Zodiac Killer, according to the South Idaho Press.
The night before the premeditated killing, Brian and Torey identified Cassie as their first victim. On a videotape, Brian could be heard saying, “As sad as it may be, she’s our friend, but you know what? We all have to make sacrifices.”
While laughing, Brian said, “Our first victim is going to be Cassie Stoddart. She’s going to be alone in a big, dark house out in the middle of nowhere. How perfect can you get? I mean, like holy s***, dude.”
“I’m ho*ny just thinking about it,” Torey added.
On the night of Sept. 22, 2006, Cassie was house-sitting for her aunt and uncle on Whispering Cliffs Drive when her boyfriend, Matt Beckham, showed up to watch a movie with her.
Brian and Torey arrived shortly after, but they didn’t stay very long, as they claimed they wanted to watch a movie at their local movie theater instead.
What Cassie didn’t know was that before the duo departed, Brian unlocked the back door, making it feasible for them to re-enter the house without her knowledge.
It was reported that while Matt and Cassie were alone, the lights went out for a brief moment. Cassie became frightened, hence why Matt asked his mother if he could spend the night with her.
When Matt’s mother denied his request, he called Brian and Torey to inform them of his desertion, inadvertently giving Brian and Torey the green light to return to the house.
The teens turned the lights out from the circuit breaker, which was located in the basement where they waited.
Brian and Torey were hoping that Cassie would come downstairs to turn the lights back on, but she didn’t.
As they ascended the stairs, disguised in masks and clad in dark-colored clothing, they heard Cassie yell, “Who’s there?” before stabbing her multiple times as she fought desperately for her life.
Brian was armed with a dagger-type weapon, and Torey had a hunting-style knife.
The murder weapons were purchased at a pawn shop with the help of then-18-year-old Joe Lucero, according to the Leagle.
After the killing, they fled the scene in a vehicle, where they recorded themselves discussing what they did to the girl they once called a friend.
Brian could be heard saying, “I just killed Cassie. We’ve just left her house. This is not a f****** joke.”
Torey interjected. He said, “I’m shaking. I stabbed her in the throat.”
“And I saw her lifeless body just… disappear,” Brian continued. “Dude, I just killed Cassie. That felt like it wasn’t even real. I mean, it went by so fast.”
Torey then told Brian to “shut the f*** up! We gotta get our act straight.”
The teens continued driving to Black Rock Canyon, where they buried the evidence, which included knives, masks, clothing, gloves, and the videotape.
On Sept. 24, 2006, Cassie’s relatives returned from vacation. Her 13-year-old cousin found her blood-covered body laying on the floor of the upstairs living room.
An autopsy determined that Cassie had been stabbed 29 times throughout her body; nine of her wounds were fatal.
After Cassie’s death, the Idaho State Journal reported that “each member of the family claimed to have had an unexplained encounter in the home.”
Her aunt said she lost her job and fell into a depression, and Cassie’s cousin attempted suicide after seeing her body in the home.
She added that the house was once their dream home, but it ultimately turned into a nightmare. When they tried to sell it, they never got any offers.
On Sept. 27, 2006, a police investigation led to the arrests of Brian and Torey, who were booked into the Bannock County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
According to the Casper Star-Tribune, they were charged as adults, and their bond was set at $1 million.
However, once investigators ascertained “new and substantial evidence” in the case, judge Lyn Brower revoked their bond.
During an interview that occurred the day of his arrest, Brian told investigators that he was present when Cassie was killed, but he denied stabbing her.
He said he initially believed it was a prank and that they were only going back to the house to scare her.
Brian then agreed to show the detectives where they buried the evidence.
The following day, Sept. 28, 2006, Brian changed his story. He stated that he and Torey stabbed Cassie, but he said he was pressured to do it.
Brian added that Torey told him that he needed to stab Cassie and make sure she was dead.
The Times-News reported that a “hit list” created by Brian and Torey revealed that they had also planned to kill Cassie’s boyfriend, but his life was spared because he was unable to spend the night at the house.
In 2007, Brian and Torey were convicted of the Scream-inspired murder following two separate trials. They were later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Following their sentencing, their attorneys filed an appeal and asked for a new trial, as they claimed there were 11 errors in the case, including “ineffective assistance of counsel. Adamcik also claimed his sentence was cruel and unusual punishment.”
Despite their efforts, the Idaho Supreme Court decided to uphold Brian and Torey’s murder convictions.
They are now housed at a maximum-security prison in Idaho.