The ‘Scream’ Murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart
While housesitting in a remote area of Bannock County, Idaho, 16-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart found herself the victim in a real-life horror movie.
In the evening of 22nd September, 2006, 16-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart arrived at her aunt and uncle’s home in Bannock County, Idaho, to look after their house while they went away for the weekend. Her boyfriend, Matt Beckham, turned up at around 6pm to keep her company for a while.
Later that same evening, two school classmates named Brian Draper (16) and Torey Adamcik (16) also arrived at the house, and together they all settled down to watch Kill Bill: Volume 2. However, before the film ended, Brian and Torey announced they were leaving to visit a local movie theatre instead. The four friends said their goodbyes, and the two boys left. However, unbeknownst to Cassie or Matt, Brian and Torey had unlocked the back door on their way out.
A short while later, Brian and Torey returned wearing dark outfits and masks. They crept back into the house through the unlocked door which led into the basement, where they began taunting the young couple. While Matt and Cassie watched TV, Brian and Torey began making loud noises in an attempt to coax their friends down into the basement. When that failed, they instead shut off the power.
With the lights cutting out, Cassie began to feel uneasy, which was worsened by the fact the family’s dog was constantly growling at the basement door. Matt called his mother and asked if he could remain at the house with Cassie for the night, so that she felt safer. Matt’s mother declined this request, but said that Cassie was welcome to stay at their home for the night and offered to drop her back off at her aunt and uncle’s house the next morning. Cassie turned down this offer, as she felt responsible for the pets and did not want to leave them unattended. At approximately 10:30pm, Matt’s mother arrived to pick him up and Cassie was left alone.
After hearing Matt leave, Brian and Torey began to terrorise Cassie further. They turned the power off and on again in the hopes of luring her to the basement to fix the problem, but without success. Instead, she remained on the sofa scared and in darkness, hoping to fall asleep and find everything back to normal the next day. Sadly, however, Cassie did not live to see the morning.
Eventually, the two boys grew bored of waiting and silently made their way upstairs armed with a selection of knives. They began slamming doors to terrify their victim even more, but when she did not react and approach their hiding place, they entered the living room and inflicted on her a vicious attack. Cassie was stabbed approximately 30 times and sustained wounds all over her body — including her chest, neck, back and abdomen — with 12 of these being considered fatal.
In the days leading up to the murder, Adamcik and Draper had documented their murderous plans in a series of video recordings. These included conversations exposing Draper and Adamcik as horror movie fanatics. They spoke of being inspired by the movie Scream, which revolves around a masked murderer taunting terrified students — sometimes in their own homes — and stabbing them to death. In the Scream movies, it turns out the killer ‘Ghostface’ and the victims know each other, as they attend the same high school.
In a video filmed on 21st September, 2006 — one day before the murder — Draper and Adamcik are heard discussing Cassie as their chosen victim:
Brian Draper: “We found our victim and, sad as it may be, she’s our friend. But you know what? We all have to make sacrifices. Our first victim is going to be Cassie Stoddart. She’s gonna be alone in a big, dark house out in the middle of nowhere. How perfect can you get!?”
Torey Adamcik: “I’m horny just thinking about.”
Arrests & Sentencing
Cassie’s body was discovered two days later, when her relatives returned home from their trip. Police spoke with Matt Beckham, who informed them of the strange occurrences in the house that night and implicated Draper and Adamcik. Three days later, Cassie’s killers were arrested.
Brian and Torey initially maintained they had left to visit a local cinema and did not know what happened to Cassie. However, they had no way of proving they had been there, and also could not recall the plot of the movie they had supposedly watched. Now stumbling on their own lies, Draper and Adamcik began to buckle under the pressure of questioning, and three days later Brian Draper led investigators to the location where they had disposed of the murder weapons and clothing.
In a disturbing video recording, which was taken as they fled the murder scene, Cassie’s killers can be heard discussing the crime they had committed:
Brian Draper: “I just killed Cassie. We’ve just left her house. This is not a fucking joke.”
Torey Adamcik: “I’m shaking.”
Brian Draper: “I stabbed her in the throat. And I saw her lifeless body just… disappear. Dude, I just killed Cassie.”
Torey Adamcik: “Shut the fuck up, we’ve got to get our act straight.”
In August 2007, Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik each received a compulsory life sentence without the possibility of parole and they both remain imprisoned at Idaho State Correctional Institution. Both killers have since appealed their convictions, arguing that the sentences handed down violate laws against cruel and unusual punishment. However, their appeals so far have been denied.