In 2006, in Pocatello, Idaho, Cassie Stoddart agreed to house sit for her family, not knowing that she would meet a terrifying end. Two boys that she considered friends would put a devious plan into action. They brutally murdered her, for no other reason than to do it. This is her story…
Disclosure: This story includes talk of a brutal murder and crime scenes. If any of these subjects are a trigger for please take care of yourself, and check out some of my other stories! I Never victim blame nor do I make excuses for people who commit these horrendous crimes. I believe in learning from these tragic events. The history of these awful people is important to think about what led up to the events and how to resolve the problem before it leads to murder.
On December 21, 1989, in Pocatello, Idaho, Cassie Stoddart was born. Pocatello, located in southeastern Idaho, has a population of roughly 50,000 people. Cassie Stoddart lived with her mother Anna. I could not find much information on her father, so I assume he was not in the picture. She also lived with her siblings Christy and Andrew. Since Andrew and Cassie was 2 years apart, they had a close relationship. Friends and family described Cassie as a responsible person who cared about school. She maintained straight A’s in school and had plans of going to college. Although Popular, she was kind and would make friends with everyone. Cassie loved to draw and listen to music; she seemed like an average teenage girl.
The day September 22, 2006 started off with Cassie going to school. Because it was a Friday, she planned on house-sitting for her Aunt and Uncle, Allison and Frank Contreras that weekend. Her mother, Anna, picked her up from school to get ready to go to the Contreras’ home. She arrived at the home on Whispering Cliffs Drive at 5:30 PM. At 6, Her boyfriend, Matt, came over to spend a couple of hours with her. Shortly after, the couple’s friends Torey Adamcik and Brian stopped by to hang out. She gave the friends a tour of the house and watched Kill Bill Volume 2, but the boys left before the film ended. They said they wanted to watch a movie at the local theater.
Meanwhile, Cassie and Matt were watching TV in the living room, when they heard loud noises coming from the basement. Suddenly, the power went out, then some of the lights turned back on. This began to make Cassie feel very uneasy. Matt noticed one of the dogs repeatedly stared at the basement door, barking and growling periodically. Cassie became more scared, so then Matt called his mom to ask if he could stay with Cassie. His mother said no, however, she offered for Cassie to spend the night at their place and she could drop her back off in the morning. Cassie declined her offer, because she made a promise to watch the house and animals. After leaving the house, around 10:30 PM, Matt called Torey to see if they wanted to hang out later. He assumed they were still at the theater, because they were whispering.
Meanwhile at the Contreras home, after Matt left, the lights turned off again. Cassie became terrified and there was no way she was going down to the basement to look at the circuit breaker. She decided to just sleep for the night.
Flash forward to Sunday, September 24: her aunt, uncle, and cousin returned to the home. Her cousin, 13 at the time, found Cassie’s body on the couch. Her Aunt called 911, frantically saying “there’s a dead girl on the floor.” Lieutenant Robert Rausch, first on the scene, noted that there was blood everywhere. After conducting an autopsy, it was revealed that Cassie had 30 stab wounds. Twelve of the stab wounds could have been fatal and most those hit the ventricle of Cassie’s heart.
What happened to Cassie?
The police first questioned the person who was the last known to see Cassie alive: Matt Beckham. As discussed previously, Matt was her boyfriend, making him their first feasible suspect. He passed his polygraph, was cooperative and there was no evidence linking him to the murder, therefore he was cleared. He told the police about Torey and Brian coming over earlier that night.
The police went to Torey’s house to question him. Torey told them that they went to the Contreras’ home for a party. When the party, never happened, they decided to see a movie, then they went back to his home for the night. The police went to Brian’s home to question him and he had the same story. They checked out the movie alibi and it did not add up. The boys could not remember what movie they saw, no ticket stub or receipt. Also, the young man who was working at the theater that night knew the boys, because they went to school with them, but never saw them that night.
When asked about a party, Matt told the police that it was never a plan. Furthermore, Cassie never would have had a party at her family’s house, as she was known to be very responsible. On September 26, The police spoke to Brian about the lack of proof in their movie alibi. He told them they lied, because they were breaking into cars. After searching his home, they found an empty knife sheath. Brian said it belonged to a friend and he did not know what happened to the knife. The following day, police wanted to conduct a polygraph test. This is when Brian confessed to the murder, however he blamed the majority of the crime on Torey.
I am going to give a rundown of the murder, in Brian’s perspective. While receiving a tour by Cassie, Brian secretly unlocked the door of the basement, so then they could reenter without the couple knowing. They left to finish planning the murder. When they returned, they parked down the road, got out of the car, dressed in all black, including clothes, gloves and whites painted masks. They entered through the basement door Brian unlocked. They began making loud noises to lure them to the basement, in order to scare them. When this did not work, they turned off the lights, using the circuit breaker, in an attempt to get them down to the basement. Because this did not work, they turned some lights back on.
After Matt left and called them, they were whispering, because they were hiding in the basement. They tried again to get Cassie to the basement by turning the lights off. She did not go to the basement, because why would she? They went upstairs and Brian slammed the closet door at the top of the staircase to scare Cassie. However, she was sleeping on the couch at this time and did not wake up. Brian had a dagger and Torey had a hunting knife that they acquired from a pawn shop. This is when they brutally stabbed Cassie, as she slept and left her to bleed out. Originally, Brian said he did not stab Cassie.
Brian led them to Black Rock Canyon, where they found evidence, including weapons, clothing they wore, and videotapes they attempted to burn. Police arrested and charged Brian with first degree murder and conspiracy murder, with a million dollar bond.
The police then went back to Torey’s house, but told him nothing they knew. He tells the police the story of stealing cars. This shows the boys spoke between Brian’s second story and his confession. When he said they spent the night at his home, police revealed they had a witness that saw him at a local convenience store. He then said he went to buy matches for cigarettes and admits to being near the canyon. This is when they inform him of the information Brian confessed to and Torey subsequently asked for a lawyer. Then he blamed Brian for the murder. Police charged him with the same first degree murder and conspiracy murder, with a million dollar bond.
Brian is now claiming that Torey was the ringleader. He said he only stabbed Cassie after Torrey ordered him to. He said he only stabbed her four times, in the legs and chest. Brian claimed Torey said that Cassie needed to die. The videotapes proved he had more involvement than what he claimed.
Who are Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik?
Brian, who was born on March 21, 1990 to Pamela and Kerry Draper, was known to be friendly to classmates and friends. Despite this, he did tell police he was fascinated by the Columbine shooting. Torey, born to Shannon and Sean Adamcik on June 14, 1990, was inspired by the movie “Scream”. He met Cassie and Matt in high school. As soon as Brian started high school with them, him and Torey bonded fast over horror movies.
Trials and Appeals
Brian and Torrey were convicted in two separate trials. The medical examiner testified about the 30 stab wounds and stated that most of the murder involved a serrated knife. This goes along with Brian’s story of Torey inflicting the majority of stab wounds, assuming he used the hunting like Brian said.
They also played the tapes at trial, which consisted of them bragging about being bigger than infamous serial killers, like Ted Bundy and the Hillside Stranglers. They made a list of classmates they intended to murder. In the tapes, Brian also said they were going kill their first victim, proving he knew that was the plan. They also said they chose Cassie first, because the opportunity presented itself, with her house-sitting an empty house. The tapes showed that Torey was the ringleader, because Brian would make jokes and he would tell him it was serious, but then make jokes himself. He also would get mad if Brian called themselves evil, because that is a religious concept.
On April 17, 2007, Brian was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. On June 8, 2007, Torey, was convicted and also sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. They both also received an additional sentence of 30 years to life for their to conspiracy to commit murder charges.
Although they both currently remain detained at the Idaho State Correctional Facility, near Kuna, Idaho, they continue to make appeals. The biggest appeal they tried to make was based on Miller and Montgomery decisions. Miller V. Alabama567 US states that mandatory life sentences for minors are unconstitutional. Montgomery V. Alabama states cases involving minors are required to be retrospectively reviewed. Torey attempted to receive a new hearing based on this decision, but it was denied.
Cassie’s mother, Anna, said of the ruling, “I’m just happy. My baby got her justice”.
I wanted to write about topics during this month that scare me. The fact you can have friends you trust and they do this type of thing is terrifying. She seemed like such a sweet girl, who befriending everyone. I find it weird that they filmed videos as documentation of their crime, then they burned them. They made a list of victims, so I assume they planned to have these videos when they were finished.
I usually like to include lessons on how to be safer. But i have nothing. These boys were “friends”. She could have gone with Matt to his place, but they could have waited for her the next day. They eventually would have murdered someone else, if not Cassie. Because no one supposedly saw any signs, I think they would have murdered someone regardless. It is such a tragedy and I hope they remain behind bars. I also hope for Cassie’s mother to have peace. What do you think could have been done to avoid this brutal murder?
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