Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Cardinal Sins: Mother’s vices end four children

By Bryn Fawn

Sex, ecstasy and closeness are desires we love to indulge in, some more than others. Some thirst for them so strongly they will draw blood to keep them in their grasp. 

Susan Eubanks was a mother of four sons in San Marcos, California. Eubanks had trouble with men, however, as the father of her sons had divorced her, but she had a boyfriend. 

Eubanks would end the lives of her four children Oct. 27, 1996 and then try to kill herself.

Leading up to the event, Eubanks was having severe marital troubles. She appeared before a judge, claiming that her at-the-time husband physically abused her, threatened to kill her and was prone to alcoholic rages.

Eubanks was terrible with finances, as she owed $40,000 in credit card debt and was ordered to pay $341 a month in child support for a child she had in a different marriage. 

Eubanks quickly rebounded and was dating Rene Dodson. However, things had already begun to sour. Oct. 27, Eubanks and Dodson drank an insurmountable amount of alcohol while taking Valium. Valium is an anxiolytic — an anxiety reducing medication — and sedative and, when paired with alcohol, can lead to severe side effects and even death.

The pair then began to quarrel, which resulted in Dodson ending the relationship and stating he would move out. In a rage, Eubanks slashed Dodson’s tires in an attempt to trap him on her property. Police were called, and Dodson was escorted home.

Police would return several hours later to find three dead children, and one rushed to the hospital.

Eubanks was agitated that her boyfriend had left her. According to Dodon, she had threatened to kill herself and her children if he left.  The boyfriend notified the father of the children, but it was too late.

Her ex-husband notified the police. Police arrived at an absolutely horrifying scene. 

Police heard sobbing as they entered the home. First they found 17-year-old Brandon dead, next they found 7-year-old Austin and 6-year-old Brigham dead in their bunk beds. 4-year-old Matthew quietly sobbed in his bed, barely alive. Eubanks was in her own bedroom, bleeding and sobbing.

Matthew was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive.

All the boys suffered gunshot wounds to the head, whereas Eubanks had shot herself in the stomach. Eubanks’s 5-year-old nephew was also in the home at the time. Evidence showed Eubanks had even reloaded her firearm, which demonstrates her lack of remorse or guilt for her actions.

Eubanks was soon charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Her defense claimed that she had “blacked out” and was unaware of her actions. The jury disagreed. Prosecution argued that Eubanks was fully aware of her actions, for she had made a non-fatal shot to herself, but spared no mercy for her sons.

Eubanks showed no emotion nor remorse during the trial.

Eubanks was sentenced to death Oct. 13, 1999. Eubanks has since resided on death row and has been there for 26 years and five months.

Eubanks was jealous and convinced all men in her life were out to get her. She was a manipulative woman with a severe drinking problem. She had other ex-lovers than just the two involved in this murder, and several run-ins with the law.

Her children were nothing more than a bargaining chip to maintain her hold on her boyfriend, and yet she did not succeed. Eubanks threatened to kill her sons and herself if Dodson did not return. She followed through on her threat, and lost it all. Prosecutors argued that Eubanks deliberately plotted to kill the children to torment Dodson and the boys’ fathers, her previous two husbands. Now, she sits behind bars and can only imagine what kind of men her children could have grown up to be.

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