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James Harrison Was Jealous

April 7, 2009 at 5:48 am by  

…so he killed his children and himself.

Samantha, Jayme, James, Heather, and Maxine Harrison

Samantha, Jayme, James, Heather, and Maxine Harrison

Graham, WashingtonMaxine, 16, was just learning to drive and hoped to someday become a cosmetologist. Jayme, 14, was a shy and quiet girl who loved video games. Samantha, 12, wanted to be a veterinarian. Heather, 8, loved being outside. James Jr., 7, was an energetic child with dreams of joining the Navy when he grew up. Those hopes and dreams will never be realized. Enraged over his wife’s supposed infidelities, their father, James Harrison, killed each and every one of them.

Relatives portray James Harrison as a strict parent and a jealous, controlling husband. In 2007, James was accused of abusing one of the children and DHS got involved. The complaint was checked out, James was put on a parenting plan, and the case was closed. The child in question remained in the home because the abuse ‘apparently was not considered serious enough at the time.’ They couldn’t possibly have known what the future held for the Harrison children.

James thought his wife was having an affair. And Friday evening, he and Maxine went in search of his wife, Angela. Maxine was able to track Angela through a GPS feature in her mother’s cell phone. They found Angela at a convenience store…with another man. Both father and daughter left the store distraught after Angela told them she wasn’t coming home; she was leaving him for the man she was with at the store. After returning home, Maxine sent a text to a friend, telling him that her parents got in a fight and her mother was leaving. The last text she sent said, ‘I’m tired of crying. I’m going to bed.’

At some point that evening, after the children were asleep, James shot each of them, in the head, multiple times at close-range. All of the children, save one, died in their beds. One child was found in the bathroom, amid obvious signs of a struggle. He then left the home in search of his wife.

On Saturday afternoon, a relative came by the Harrison’s mobile home to check on the family. No one answered the door. The relative noticed one of the children lying motionless on a bed.

Investigators believe James returned to the area near the convenience store, looking for his wife. James’ idling car was found not far from the store. He was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was no note.

Angela Harrison denies having an affair. She said ‘she had a friend who showed her that she was not being treated properly.’ She told interviewers she finally got the courage to leave James on Friday morning and was going to come back for her kids so that they could all live together. She believes James killed the children to punish her. ‘Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would hurt my children. I did think he would hurt me. I know he would have hurt me, but not my children,’ said Angela. ‘They were my life and they were taken from me. He was real selfish, what he did.’

I think Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said it best: ‘This was not a tragedy. It was a rotten murder. This appears to be the terrible work of the biological father. If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what does.’

Sad that we have two murder-suicide cases involving guns on the front page today. Want to put in your two cents on gun laws? You can join the conversation here.

Wicked Doll has this one covered in the forums as well.

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