Sunday 12 May 2024

Killer Kids Volume 14

 22 shocking true stories of kids who kill, including;

John Christian: They were a class of exceptionally bright kids, led by the coolest teacher in school. Everyone loved Mr. Grayson. Well, perhaps not everyone.

Sarah White: There are two sides to the story. One paints Sarah White as a victim of abuse. The other paints her as a mass murderer. Both are true.

Colt Lundy & Paul Gingerich: Colt had taken one too many beatings at the hands of his stepfather. He was done with getting mad. Now he was getting even.

David Black: The boy liked carrying bullets in his pockets. He said he had a gun at home and knew how to use it. No one believed him. They should have.

Steven Miles: He was the odd kid in school, the weirdo, the outsider. Elizabeth was willing to give him a chance. Compassion will cost her everything.

Maxwell Morton: He claimed that it was an accident, that the gun went off in his hand. Why then did he pose for selfies with his victim instead of calling for help?

Miguel Cano: Michael liked to boast to friends that he was a serial killer who’d already claimed several victims. That was a lie. The victim count stood at one.

Dylan Schumaker: Two toddlers left in the unreliable care of a malevolent teen. One of them won’t make it through the night.

Click the "Read More" link below to read the first chapter of

Killer Kids Volume 14

John Christian


They were known as the GTs, a group of eighth-grade students selected by Murchison Middle School, in Austin, Texas, for an advanced English program. GT stood for “Gifted and Talented,” and this group was certainly that. Yet the criteria that had gained them entry to the group wasn’t grade point average or IQ. Rather it was a series of abstract challenges like, “You’re on a desert island and all you have is a tin of sardines and a single matchstick. What do you do?” Or “You have an empty tuna fish can. What use can you put it to? Stuff like that. The object of the tests was to identify kids with a creative streak, kids who could think outside the box.


The mentor of this talented group was probably the coolest teacher in school. Wilbur “Rod” Grayson was young and lanky, and he wore a mustache. To the kids, he seemed incredibly sophisticated but what really made him stand out was the way he interacted with them. He spoke to them as peers and seemed genuinely invested in their growth, not just as students, but as people. The content of the classes was also different. They critiqued music and books and discussed current affairs. They performed skits with costumes and props. Everyone in the group loved it and it bonded them closely together.


If there was one outsider in the class, it was probably 13-year-old John Daniel Christian. Not that John was excluded in any way – he certainly wasn’t – rather it was that he was more introverted than the others, more mature. He dressed and spoke like an adult. In a modern context, he’d probably be called a nerd. John was the son of George Christian, who had served as White House press secretary under Lyndon Johnson. He was quiet and intense, intelligent and bookish. Classmates recall a boy who didn’t like to draw attention to himself, who seemed to want to blend into the background.


But in May 1978, something seemed to change in John Christian’s worldview. Now, the nerdy eighth-grader was suddenly an outspoken malcontent, spouting violent fantasies. He once speculated to a friend about what it would be like to climb a hill near the school and rain down fire from there with a sniper rifle, just to see “how the bullets landed on people.” Classmates who heard these utterings laughed nervously at them. Not in their wildest dreams would they have believed that John was serious. 


May 17, 1978, was an unusual day for the GTs, a day when Mr. Grayson was not present in the classroom. A substitute had been brought in and had handed out an assignment. The group was to split into pairs and were to do a presentation on a book they’d been reading, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. John Christian was paired with another John, John Ray, generally acknowledged as the class clown.


The substitute had given the pairs a lot of latitude in how they made their presentations. Even with that open-ended instruction, though, the class was left stunned by the show put on by the two Johns. From John Ray, they might have expected it. However, it was John Christian who was taking the lead, jumping onto tables, cracking jokes, presenting challenges to his classmates, like who could make the sound ‘sssss’ for the longest time. The result was pandemonium in the classroom.


While all of this was going on, the substitute teacher stood passively by. At the end of it, he expressed his disappointment at the boys’ behavior. “I am going to have to tell Mr. Grayson about this,” he said. “He is going to be so upset.” Later, as the boys were leaving the classroom, John Ray addressed the issue with his classmate. “Man, Mr. Grayson is going to kick our butts tomorrow for that,” he speculated. “Oh, don't worry,” John Christian responded.  “I’m going to bring a gun.” He offered this comment deadpan, although John Ray knew, he was joking. “I’ll bring one too,” he joked back.


The following day, the GTs arrived at Mr. Grayson’s class with a sense of trepidation. The substitute had undoubtedly told their teacher about their unruly behavior the day before. At the very least, they were going to get a lecture. As they entered the class, there was a scramble for seats at the back. Everyone wanted to be as far away from the teacher’s accusing gaze as possible.


As it turns out, they need not have worried. Mr. Grayson was disappointed yes, but he wasn’t angry. The worst rebuke that he offered was, “You guys should know better than this, especially you, John and John.” It was now that someone realized that John Christian was not in the classroom. “Hey, where’s John?” somebody asked. “Here he is now,” someone else said, looking through a window. Moments later, Christian stepped into the room. In his hand was a rifle, held casually, as though he was quite used to handling it.


You might expect, given the scenario, that panic would have broken out. Yet, there was no reaction from the students. They’d frequently played out skits in the classroom, often with props. They assumed that this was another of those situations. Even Mr. Grayson appeared unconcerned by the weapon. “We’re glad you could join us,” he told John. “But what's with the gun? Is this some sort of a joke?” To this, John replied, “Well no, the joke's on you.” Then he raised the gun and fired, three closely spaced shots that spilled Mr. Grayson from his stool onto the floor.


The response to the shooting was not what you might expect. The class started laughing, then broke out in applause. They’d performed many skits in Mr. Grayson’s class, but this was the best of them. It had all seemed so real, right down to the blood that was, even now, blossoming on the teacher’s sweater.


However, it did not take long for someone to realize that this was no comedy sketch. This was real. Their teacher had just been assassinated before their eyes. This boy got up from his seat and ran to his fallen teacher. He realized right away that Mr. Grayson was seriously injured. He then walked directly towards where Christian stood in the doorway, brushed past him, and ran to the administration office. There, he shouted for someone to call an ambulance. At this moment, a mad scramble was going on, with students screaming and trying to flee the classroom. In their midst was John Christian, who walked casually from the scene with the murder weapon still in his hand. He was spotted a short while later, crossing the sports fields. One of the coaches tackled him to the ground and disarmed him.


The story, of course, was huge news in Austin, where the Christians were among the city’s elite. George Christian, as already stated, had served the LBJ White House. His wife, John’s mother, was a high-powered lawyer in the city. The boy would not be without funds for his legal defense, nor without first-class representation.


And what those lawyers were arguing was that this was a clear case of mental incapacity. According to psychiatrists who examined John Christian, the boy suffered from latent schizophrenia. Whereas the district attorney wanted John confined to a juvenile facility for five years, the defense argued that this would be detrimental to his mental health. Christian’s lawyers wanted him sent to a hospital, where he could receive treatment for his condition. In the end, it was this view that won out.    


John Christian was placed at the exclusive Timberlawn Hospital in Dallas, where his parents paid $129 a day (around $600 in today’s money) for his treatment. He would remain at the facility for 17 months before he was declared cured and placed with a foster family. He later graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas before attending the University of Texas, where he studied law and graduated with honors.


Aside from his assassination of Rod Grayson, John Christian has never committed another crime. He’s currently a successful tax attorney in Austin, living in the same suburb where he grew up, within walking distance of Murchison Middle School.



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