Deadly Dads: 5 Fathers Who Killed Their Own Kids

Give your dad a call this Father’s Day … and give thanks you weren’t born to one of these monsters.

Josh and Susan Powell with their two sons

©©Amber Hardman/Polaris

©Amber Hardman/Polaris

Josh and Susan Powell with their two sons

By: Mike McPadden

Father’s Day provides almost all of us with an occasion to honor, celebrate, and express gratitude to the men who largely and (yes, literally) made us who we are.

Then again, Father’s Day is definitely <em>not</em> for everybody. While dust-ups and downturns are a natural part of any parent-child relationship over a lifetime, the following five fathers actually cut their own children’s lives short — brutally and unforgivably.

So give your dad a call this Father’s Day … and give thanks you weren’t born to one of these monsters.

Watch full episodes from Investigation Discovery about Fathers Who Didn’t Know Best on ID GO now!


Ryan Lawrence [Syracuse Police Department]

Ryan Lawrence [Syracuse Police Department]

SYRACUSE, NY — On February 20, 2016, 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence went missing. The adorable toddler had inspired millions online by beating a rare form of eye cancer, but now she was nowhere to be found. Neither was Maddox’s father, Ryan Lawrence, who had been described as “unstable.”

After a single day on the run, Ryan claims he asked God to send him a sign to let Maddox live. When he didn’t see one, he proceeded to beat his baby daughter to death, light her on fire, and then weigh her body down with cement before dumping it in a creek.

After being caught, Ryan avoided the death penalty by pleading no contest to kidnapping murder charges. A judge sentenced him to 25 years and noted, “You deserve to spend the rest of your life in jail.


TACOMA, WA — On the morning of February 5, 2012, a social worker took brothers Charlie Powell, 7, and Braden Powell, 5, to see their father. It was supposed to be a supervised visit with Josh Powell, the dad in question who remained a “person of interest” in the 2009 disappearance of Susan Powell, the boys’ mother. Instead, Josh reportedly rushed the kids inside and pushed the social worker out of the house.

While the social worker called 911 for backup, Josh supposedly struck Charlie and Braden with an axe, and then set off an explosion that blew up the entire residence. All three Powells died in the detonation.

Searchers have never turned up Susan Powell’s body, and Josh was never charged with any foul play. The missing mom’s family, however, believes entirely that he killed her, and investigators continually eyeballed him. Susan’s parents, as a result, obtained custody of Charlie and Braden … until he took those two boys away from them — and everyone and everything else — forever.


Gregory Green [Michigan State Department of Corrections]

Gregory Green [Michigan State Department of Corrections]

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI — Gregory V. Green killed his entire family and then called 911 to turn himself in … twice!

The 49-year-old Green’s first murder occurred in 1991, when he fatally stabbed his wife, who was six months pregnant. Green did 16 years behind bars for that homicide and worked with a pastor to get paroled. After getting out, Green married Faith Allen, the pastor’s daughter.

At the time, Faith had two children from a previous relationship. She went on to have another son and daughter with Green.

On September 21, 2016, Green murdered the couple’s young daughters, Koi, 5, and Kaleigh, 4, by asphyxiating them with carbon monoxide inside the family car. He then restrained and fatally shot his stepchildren, Chadney Allen, Jr., 19, and Kara Allen, 17. On top of that, Green tied Faith to a chair, slashed her throat, and shot her. Somehow, she survived.

Earlier in the year, Faith had accused Green of domestic violence, and had tried — and failed — to serve him with divorce papers. She had also been denied a restraining order against him.

As noted, Green called the cops himself. In March 2017, he was sentenced to a minimum of 47 years behind bars.


Gerardo Ordaz [Healdsburg Police Department]

Gerardo Ordaz [Healdsburg Police Department]

HEALDSBURG, CA — All hell broke loose at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on November 21, 2016. That’s when 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz reportedly burst in to the house of worship and proceeded to drown Maria Jose Ordaz-Chavarria, his two-year-old daughter, in the church’s baptismal font.

The deranged dad then bolted outside and later turned up naked in the parking lot of the Healdsburg Police station, allegedly screaming, “Police! Help me!”

Officers arrested Ordaz on the spot. He has since been charged with one count of murder and felony assault on a child, as well as one misdemeanor count of cruelty to a child. The final charge stems from Ordaz’s nine-year-old son being on hand to supposedly watch his father murder his sister.


Anthony Sanders [Watauga Sheriff’s Office]

Anthony Sanders [Watauga Sheriff’s Office]

WATAUGA, TX — In April 2016, computer gaming obsessive Anthony Michael Sanders, 31, exploded in rage at his two-year-old daughter Ellie. Her transgression? Distracting Sanders from some online game.

The huge father then reportedly beat and bit Ellie before finally smothering her against the floor. Afterward, Sanders allegedly put Ellie’s body in her bed. Later on, Ellie’s five-year-old brother attempted to wake her up, but said she wasn’t moving.

Sanders’ arrest affidavit states that doctors discovered fresh wounds all over the child, including “'raccoon eyes’ bruises around her eyes, blood behind her ear, and two adult bite marks on her back.

Police had previously arrested Sanders in 2011 for choking his girlfriend. He presently faces capital murder charges for killing his daughter.

Watch full episodes from Investigation Discovery about Fathers Who Didn’t Know Best on ID GO now!

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