A 911 call from a farm outside Elkland, Missouri, resulted in the police making a horrific discovery. A family of six people were wiped out, and another man lost his wife. The authorities struggled to make sense of what happened until significant evidence was discovered, leading them to James Schnick, who was connected to everyone murdered. In the end, let's find out what happened.
James Schnick's Victims: Who Were They?
James Schnick called 911 on September 25, 1987, saying he had been shot and was bleeding out. The authorities rushed to the Schnick farm outside Elkland and discovered that James had been shot in the leg and abdomen. However, it was only the beginning of the tragic discovery that they would make.
Julie's brother, 35-year-old Steve Buckner, and his wife, 36-year-old Jeanette had four children together: Kirk, 14; Dennis, eight; Timmy, seven; and Michael, two. At James' house, the cops discovered Kirk's body not too far from him; it appeared that he had been stabbed. Julie was found in the bedroom and was shot twice in the forehead.
The police arrived at Steven's house and discovered Timmy and Dennis lying in their beds, shot twice in the head. As for Michael, two-year-old Michael, he was found on the property with a gunshot wound to the head, and finally, Steve was found on the road connecting the two farms. It appeared that he had been dragged for a while after being shot twice in the back of the head.
James, who was treated for his superficial injuries, claimed to have returned after rounding up the cattle and was shot in the dark. James then claimed to have taken a knife and stabbed his attacker. It later emerged to be Kirk, and the pistol was discovered in his right hand.
Kirk was found to be the victim, not the killer, however. Everyone believed the teenager was a lefthander. Moreover, Kirk's autopsy report suggested that he had been shot twice with the same weapon in his hand. Hence, suspicion shifted toward James.
According to the program, James was having an extramarital affair with Nancy Bruner. She later admitted to the cops that he planned to marry Julie. But that never happened, and Nancy had told Julie of the affair. James, who provided various accounts of what happened that morning, confessed to killing all seven of his family members.
What happened to James Schnick today?
James Schnick stated that Julie was angry about the situation in the hours leading up to the shooting and that he had called Steve for help. The evidence suggests that he shot Steve during a road fight, but his testimony suggests otherwise. James admitted to going to the Buckner farm to shoot Jeanette and Kirk, then killed the other three boys, and carried him back to the Schnick residence.
The inside of James' pants had gunshot marks, suggesting that he might have shot himself. The murder weapon's retaining pin was discovered in his pants' pocket, according to authorities. In May 1992, James, then 40, admitted to murdering Julie, Kirk, and Michael, and was sentenced to three life without parole.