‘They Wanted A Wikipedia Page’: Oklahoma Brothers Murdered Family To Become Famous, Cops Say
Robert and Michael Bever stabbed their parents and siblings and then planned to commit mass shootings.
On July 22, 2015, Robert Bever, then 18, and Michael Bever, then 16, armed themselves with knives they had stockpiled at their home in Broken Arrow and methodically stabbed their parents, David Bever, 52, and April Bever, 44, their two brothers, Daniel, 12, and Christopher, 7, and their 5-year-old sister, Victoria.
Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "Devil In Suburbia")
After spending at least one year planning the brutal murder of their family, two teenage brothers in Oklahoma went on a killing spree — but they were caught before they could flee the state to commit mass shootings in a bid to become famous.
According to Tulsa World, on July 22, 2015, Robert Bever, then 18, and Michael Bever, then 16, armed themselves with knives they had stockpiled at their home in Broken Arrow and methodically stabbed their parents, David Bever, 52, and April Bever, 44, their two brothers, Daniel, 12, and Christopher, 7, and their 5-year-old sister, Victoria.
A second sister, Crystal, then 13, survived the brutal attack despite suffering a slit neck, knife wounds to her abdomen and arms, and strangulation. A 2-year-old girl was spared from the violence because the killers “forgot” about her and she slept through the ordeal, detectives said.
During the room-by-room attack, Michael reportedly tricked his 7- and 5-year-old siblings, Christopher and Victoria, into opening the door of a bathroom where they were hiding by claiming he needed help because Robert was trying to stab him. Christopher suffered seven stab wounds, while Victoria was stabbed 18 times.
The killers’ 12-year-old brother, Daniel, managed to hide in a home office and phone 911 for help, but he was slain when Michael repeated the ruse that Robert was coming after him. When the boy opened the door, prosecutors said, Michael stepped to the side and told Robert: “He's all yours.”
When police responding to Daniel’s 911 call arrived at the Bever family’s home, Robert and Michael fled. A police dog located the pair in nearby woods and they were placed under arrest.
In an interview with police while hospitalized, the surviving sister, Crystal, claimed her brother Robert once complained “there were too many people in the world” and he and their brother Michael were collecting knives and body armor, Tulsa World reported.
During a preliminary hearing in February 2016, Broken Arrow police detectives testified the two defendants’ goal was to “outdo” other mass killers, Tulsa World reported.
“[Robert] expressed wanting to have some sort of fame or notoriety for being a serial killer,” Detective Eric Bentz told the court. “He said that if he killed more than one person, it made him like a god.”
According to Bentz, Robert showed no remorse for what he had done and considered killing “a hobby.”
“He was laughing or chuckling on several occasions,” Bentz recalled of questioning the siblings after the deadly attack. “He appeared calm and relaxed and mildly excited when telling the story [of the killings].”
Detective Rhianna Russell said the murderous brothers “intended to go on a mass-killing spree” and “nightly” planned out the slayings. “They wanted a Wikipedia page. They wanted media coverage.”
The brothers reportedly hoped to make videos with their family’s bodies before dismembering and storing them in their home’s attic.
“Robert wanted to make a video with him in the living room with the bodies visible, which would be seen by attorneys and law enforcement,” Bentz said. “He also wanted to make a second video that he said was less 'horrific' so it would go public [on YouTube]. … He called it a G-rated video.”
On Sept. 7, 2016, Robert accepted a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. A judge sentenced him to five life terms without the possibility of parole as well as one life term. He was given another three life sentences in 2020 after he attacked prison staff with a sharpened instrument.
On April 20, 2018, the trial began for Robert’s younger brother and co-defendant, Michael, and he was found guilty three weeks later of five counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 28 years with the possibility of parole.
At a hearing, Michael told a Tulsa County district judge: “Every minute and every second, I’ve been thinking about what I could have done different and what kind of life I could have had with my family.”
For more on this case, stream Devil in Suburbia: “Behind Closed Doors” on discovery+.