Schenecker Trial: Julie Schenecker - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Schenecker Trial: Julie Schenecker

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Julie Schenecker is on trial for the murder of her son, Beau, and daughter, Calyx Julie Schenecker is on trial for the murder of her son, Beau, and daughter, Calyx
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Julie Schenecker was born Julie Powers on January 13, 1961. She was 50 when police arrested her for the murder of her children.

She had a decade-long military career as a Russian linguist and interrogator. In the 80s she met her former husband and father of her children, Parker Schenecker, while they were both serving in Germany. They married in 1991.

Court documents said at some point in 1992, she was first diagnosed with depression and a psychiatrist treated her with medication.

From 1997-2001, she was on medicine for depression on a daily basis, except for brief periods while she was pregnant and nursing her children.

In 2001, Schenecker suffered a severe and debilitating episode of depression and was hospitalized for nine months at the National Institute of Health, according to the documents. Parker hired a nanny and his mother moved in to help with the children.

In 2001, Schenecker was diagnosed with severe depression, bi-polar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, described by the Mayo Clinic as one in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms like hallucinations or delusions and mood disorder symptoms like mania or depression.

Four years later (from 2005 to 2006) Schenecker went through a manic phase for six months and refused to take her medicine. At one point, Parker took her to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment, according to the documents, and she started taking medicine and seeing psychiatrists again.

But in the fall of 2010, something went wrong. She fell into a severe depression. Her attorneys in her divorce settlement said she

began to pull away from friends and family and started to undergo a series of surgeries that resulted in her addiction to pain killers

Parker refused to let Julie drive the car with her children, according to the documents. On November 8, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. though, she got into a car accident. Documents claim she was under the influence of pain killers at the time.

Parker sent her to a local hotel, according to documents. He then drove her to a substance abuse center in Clearwater. She was there for 21 days.

From November 2010 until late January 2011, she was back at home, in bed virtually all of the time, and was still abusing alcohol and pain killers, according to documents. She said she had virtually no contact with her friends and family; no interaction with Parker or the kids; and spent 20 hours in bed each day.

Tampa Police have always said it was an email from Julie Schenecker's mother that led police to her New Tampa home on January 28, 2011.

On Thursday, January 27 at 8:54 p.m., Schenecker sent that email to her mother, father, brother and sister. It was disjointed and contained typos.

Schenecker starts her email by saying, "you;'ve [sic] always been there for me. Giving support and guide,ce [sic] that i've need [sic]" She goes on to say she couldn't have lived 50 years without it.

Later, Schenecker talks about her children, and in the middle of it types a chilling sentence.

"some day i'll get to all the answers. It's really difficult and i'm so sickmentally-i do the jobsviv{e  to do I minimally take of the kids.ksadly to sad. beaus has aslo developed calyx's attitde=makes me cry evening. seeingwhat they've become. as far as a 180from their former daring selves. i will end this soon. though I am at my wits end parker shold be without his mom here...that is not wits end until you taken on dinner and carpooling before and after sports. conflicts of games...etc"

Her mother forwarded the email to Schenecker's husband, Parker, who was serving in U.S. Army intelligence in Qatar at the time.

"Have tried to call Julie on both home & cell," she writes. "Also Beau & sent Beau a text to call me right now. Very concerned about Julie."

She called police to do a welfare check and at 7:39 a.m. on January 28, they found the bodies of the two children.

When police took her in for questioning after the murders, she told detectives she was taking Abilify.

In a pretrial hearing, Tampa police detective Sonja McCaughey testified Schenecker made a chilling statement while she was watching her in a holding cell the day of her arrest.

"I shot them," McCaughey remembers Schenecker saying. "I was going to shoot myself, but I fell asleep."

Schenecker is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors were asking for the death penalty, but three years after the murders reversed that decision. Less than a month before the trial, they announced they were seeking life in prison without parole instead.

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