Oklahoma man Jesse McFadden who had been released early from prison shot his wife, her three children, and two of their friends before taking his own life, according to authorities. The discovery of the bodies took place on the same day that he, a convicted sex offender, was scheduled to go on trial for soliciting nude images from a minor while serving time for rape.
The victims had all been shot in the head and the bodies had apparently been moved to a wooded area, “staged” before McFadden committed suicide, according to Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice.
McFadden had been sentenced to 20 years for rape in 2003, but he was released three years early in 2020 due to good behavior, despite facing new charges of using a contraband cell phone to trade nude photos with a minor. While his motive for the shootings remains unclear, McFadden had sent messages to the minor he solicited, threatening to not return to prison.
“Everyone wants to understand why,” Prentice said. “Normal people can’t understand why. People who perpetrate crimes like this are evil and normal folks like us can’t understand why they do it.”
Concerns had grown when two teenagers visiting the family went missing and McFadden failed to appear at his trial. The victims have been identified as Holly Guess, McFadden’s wife; Rylee Elizabeth Allen, 17; Michael James Mayo, 15; and Tiffany Dore Guess, 13; and two of their friends.
McFadden’s release has raised questions about why he was freed despite facing new felony charges. The circumstances of the case have alarmed Republican state representatives, with Rep. Justin Humphrey vowing to determine yo find out how someone can commit sex crimes in prison and be released on good behavior.
“Oklahoma failed to protect families. And because of that my children — my daughter and my grandchildren — are all gone,” said Janette Mayo, the mother of Holly Guess.
A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has not yet commented on the matter.