WHAT HAPPENED? (1)
Guys. This is a BANANAS story, one that I have a difficult time believing even though I know it happened. I read a long-form article on this months ago and immediately screenshotted it to cover on here because it was so insane.
Okay, so. Tyler Hadley was a 17-year-old kid who lived in Port St. Lucia, Florida, murdered his parents and then left their bodies in the bedroom while he threw a rager at their house. His friends were surprised his strict parents would allow such a party, but dodged questions regarding the permission he received.
The cover photo of this article is Tyler and a friend, drinking out of a solo cup at his party while his parents bodies were just a few rooms over. He ultimately told a friend about the murders, who told police, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
THE PARTY (1)
Tyler Hadley attended Port St. Lucie High School, but wasn't very popular. When he posted that he was throwing a party, many of the students didn't even know him. But, a teenager in a boring town throwing a party with no parents home was enough to convince a lot of people to show up.
His friends, on the other hand, were surprised when all week, Tyler claimed he was going to have a party. His parents were really strict, and they couldn't believe that they would allow him to have the party. However, at 8:15 PM, he posted "party at my house hmu" on Facebook, and so people came.
His friends, still questioning how his parents were allowing him to get away with such a party, were worried they would come home. But Tyler assured them that they wouldn't.
At around 11:30 PM, the party was getting started. A popular student, Mike Young, arrived with about 10 friends, though he didn't really know Tyler all that well. Port St. Lucie was meant for old people retiring, not for kids. There was no downtown, no beach access, and everything closed early. So, they might as well attend the party of the tall, skinny kid who hung out with potheads and delinquents because what else was there to do?
Mike said he seemed nervous, but was clearly on ecstasy. He asked no one to smoke inside, and pretty soon, 60 kids were partying inside the house where his parents once lived, and now laid dead.
The party was straight chaos. Kids were draped over touches, beer pong was played on the table, people tossed their empty cans on the lawn and were scrounging the cupboards for food. Cigarettes were extinguished on the rug, bottles shattered and people laughed. Tyler only asked that people keep the noise down as to not attract the police, but didn't seem to care much about the destruction of his parents' home happening around him. To that end, he told people they could smoke inside so long as they didn't go out on the lawn.
Kids hopped on the family's computer to play some Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne, because it was 2011 after all. The computer was gross with a brownish dried substance that was mistaken for beer or maybe Coke.
People were still asking Tyler where his parents were. Georgia, he told some, Orlando he told others. To some, he said they didn't live here and it was his house. 2 weeks before the party, Tyler had told his friend Markey Phillips, who couldn't make it to the party, that he wanted to kill his parents and throw a party afterward, because nobody had ever done such a thing.
By midnight, there were over 100 people and 2 dogs at the party. The party had only been going on for a few hours, but the place was a coma complete mess. Nobody noticed that Tyler's behavior was off in any way, because he was generally a strange dude so it was difficult to tell. He mentioned to one guest that his father had died, but she assumed he meant a long time ago... Not that afternoon.
Tyler was not thrown off by the sale of pills or weed in his home, but panicked when someone stole a neighbor's mailbox. He did not want the police to come.
Around the same time, people were starting to notice some funky smells and stains. Anthony Snook, who had just been texted that Tyler's party was huge, tried to enter the master bedroom, believing people to be getting high inside, but it was locked. He noticed a black smear under the door, but didn't think much of it. A college soccer player named Justin remembered the party smelling terrible when he arrived, but chalked it up to the sweat and beer and other questionable things happening at the party, not 2 dead bodies.
During a game of beer pong, the ball rolled into a sticky, thick brown substance. Though a little grossed out, the player just washed the ball off and started the game back up.
As one of his close friends Mark Andrews began to leave, Tyler asked if they could speak privately. He told him he was freaking out and might go away for life. He told him that he killed somebody, but Mark asked him not to tell him that sort of thing because he didn't need to know. After going back inside, he told a guest who he had just met that night that he threw the party as something fun to do before he killed himself to avoid jail. Then, he told another friend he was going away for 60 years, and she'd find out why tomorrow.
Then, at 1 AM, he stopped with the cryptic comments and told his best friend since age 8, Michael Mandell, that he killed his parents. He pointed out their cars were in the driveway, and showed him a bloody shoe print. Then, he took Michael to the master bedroom where they found blood soaked towels and a body.
THE MURDER (1)
Tyler told Michael what happened. He took 3 ecstasy pills and listened to music to pump himself up. He took his parents' phones so they couldn't call for help, and he found a hammer in the garage.
He stood behind his mother at the computer with the hammer for 5 minutes before finally bringing it down on her head. She screamed "why" before she died. His father, 6"1' and 300lbs, ran out when he heard his wife scream, but couldn't prepare himself for seeing his son murdering his wife. He asked "why" and he responded, "why the fuck not?" and began to beat his father to death.
He wrapped towels around their bodies and dragged them into the master bedroom. It took 3 hours to clean everything up. He threw everything incriminating into the bedroom with the bodies. He took a shower and then stared at himself in the mirror and laughed.
The family had once been close, but as Tyler grew up, he became more interested in doing drugs and became kind of a weird kid. However, friends say he remained close with his mom and couldn't believe what he had done. His mother, Mary Jo, a beloved elementary school teacher, had told friends just 2 weeks before the party that she was really happy and it felt like Tyler was back to being himself.
BACK TO THE PARTY (1)
Michael didn't leave the party or immediately notify police. In fact, he stayed for another 45 minutes, taking pictures with Tyler i.e., the one in the cover photo.
At 2 AM, people began leaving because they heard of another party in the area. When 14 cars peeled out of the area, finally, it became too much for the neighbors who had been listening to the rager all night. Finally, a neighbor called the police, but only 20 people were left at the party. He talked to the cops for a few minutes, they let, and he restarted the party as people began to come back, as the second party was just a rumor.
He posted at 4:40 AM, "party at my house again hmu", but the party at hand was still going strong... It was only stopped when the police arrived. Michael had called a crime hotline, and told them everything.
2 officers were dispatched to the house. When they came up to the door, he was frantic, pacing back and forth. When asked if any adults were home, he became incoherent and even annoyed. He told them he knew he was going to jail, and asked them to just take him.
Despite his protests, they went inside. The house was a wreck. Solo cups everywhere, dirty pots and pans on the counter, cigarettes on the ground, empty beer bottles and broken furniture. A black lab locked inside of a closet.
But the destruction of the party was not what they were there for. They noticed dried blood on the baseboards of the master bedroom and forced themselves into the room, where they found the murdered bodies of Tyler's parents.
The funeral for the Hadley parents was attended by nearly 1,000 people. One person in attendance was Tyler's brother, Ryan, who said he would visit his brother in jail, since he believes it is what his parents would have wanted.
Tyler's friends couldn't really understand why he did it. A boring town, drugs and strict parents who put a lot of pressure on him. Tyler, himself, blames one psychiatric pill he was on and said that he regretted everything he did but in jail had said to other inmates that his party was awesome. He gets fan letters in prison and was proud that his story was popular after the ordeal, but has also been jumped and beaten in prison.
He passed his GED and passed his SAT with a good score, and reads all day. He meets with a priest and says he wants to become ordained when he gets out, but his 2 concurrent life sentences might get in the way of that.
He writers letters to family, including his grandparents, and says he feels terrible about what he did. He forgave Michael for turning him in, and said that while he wished he could be drinking or smoking, he enjoyed the clarity of being sober.
As news spread through the town about the corpses in attendance at the party, reactions ranged from disgusted to creeped out to being in awe and even thinking that, years from now, it would be a cool story.
This case obviously received a ton of attention due to the extreme nature of the murders and aftermath, but don't forget that there were victims. They weren't just 2 bodies inside of a house during a giant creepy party, they were people.
Mary Jo Hadley was 47 and a beloved elementary school teacher. Blake Hadley was 54 and a Plant Operator for Florida Power & Light for 30 years. They were both survived by their parents, and one brother and sister each, along with their 2 sons, Ryan and Tyler, their beloved son and the man who killed them. (2)