true crime

April Bever chronicled her family life on Reddit. Then 2 of her sons killed her.

Warning: This article contains graphic depictions. 

Before July 2015, April Bever had found something of a community on the social website Reddit.

Dedicated to viewing and sharing information on discussion threads, April dug into sharing stories about her seven children, defended her decision to marry and start a family young, and gave advice to other confused parents.

Her pride in her family was evident, and her dream of having a lot of kids had been fulfilled.

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Video via Mamamia.

"I have [seven] children and we have always lived on one income and have never had any government assistance or needed it," she wrote in January 2015.

"... My kids do not do without. There are childless people who do not have this. Life is about making good job or income choices and then making the best money choices based on your income.

"I would never give up having any of my children so I could have more money. They are amazing people and the world will benefit by having them in it. And nothing I could buy or invest in could compare to giving a person a chance to have a life."


Seven months later, between July 22 and 23, 2015, her two eldest sons would stab her more than 48 times in her head, neck, torso, arms and hands. They also murdered April's husband, David, along with three of their children.

Robert Bever with his siblings (Michael Bever is not pictured). Image: Facebook.


What happened to the Bever family? 

In 2015, then-18-year-old Robert Bever was the eldest of seven Bever kids. He had a 16-year-old brother Michael, a sister Crystal, 13, younger brothers Daniel, 12, and Christopher, seven and his youngest sisters Victoria, five, and two-year-old Autumn. The family lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

All six of Robert's siblings were homeschooled, with Robert having been the only child to attend preschool outside the home. He was quickly pulled out after he was allegedly molested, reports KJRHThey educated themselves using websites April found online and were forbidden from playing with other children. Their father David installed a security system that included cameras pointed inside and outside their home, and monitored them regularly, according to Robert.

Neighbours didn't know the Bever family well, and aside from going out for groceries and work, Robert claimed they would often go for months without so much as leaving the house.

But while the Bever kids' lives were reclusive and sheltered, Robert and his siblings had unfettered access to the internet. It was there his obsession with mass murders, including the Columbine shooting, began. 

Robert's fascination with infamous killers was shared by his younger brother Michael. Eventually, the boys admitted to each other they had fantasised about killing their family and going on a murder rampage that brought them infamy. 


Their fantasies went beyond just talking.

Together, the young men collected knives they found on the internet and Robert purchased Kevlar body armour with the money he earned from working at a Christian call centre.

Robert also kept a journal, in which he wrote about his desire to become an infamous killer. He also said that he hated people and found society to be worthless – so, with Michael, he developed a plan to go on a killing spree from Oklahoma to Washington state. They planned to attack innocent people at random points along the journey, and purchased guns and ammunition online to facilitate the attacks, to be delivered to a nearby gun shop. 

But first? They wanted to kill their family.

Late in the evening of July 22, 2015, Robert and Michael were in their bedroom on their computer when their 13-year-old sister Crystal told them that mum April had asked for help with the dishes.

Robert coaxed Crystal into the room, stabbing her in the neck – but she didn't die silently as they assumed. The 13-year-old screamed and fought back, causing their mother April to come and investigate the noise. 

She was attacked next, and Robert later told investigators she was praying for him as he stabbed her. He also stabbed his father 28 times in the torso, face, neck, left arm and left hand, killing him.

Crystal was able to get away and yelled for her siblings to hide. Still bleeding, she managed to grab a phone and run away from the house. But it triggered the house alarm, which set her brothers after her, Robert capturing and dragging her back inside.


The brothers then found two more of their siblings, five-year-old Victoria and seven-year-old Christopher, who had locked themselves in the bathroom. Michael tried to persuade them to open the door, telling them that Robert was trying to kill him too. Believing his brother, Christopher nudged open the door – Michael kicked it in and Robert murdered both Christopher and Victoria.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Daniel had managed to lock himself in their father's office, where he called 911, alerting the police to what was happening. Tragically, Daniel also believed Michael when he said their eldest brother was trying to kill him, and let him into the room, leading to his death.

In the recording of the 911 call, Michael can be heard yelling to Robert, "All yours", before Daniel exclaims, "Don't kill me. I love you." Then the line goes dead.

It was Daniel's phone call that saved the lives of Crystal – who was bleeding by their front door while her brothers went on their killing spree – and baby Autumn. Right after midnight, police arrived at the Bever home. Inside, they could hear Crystal screaming for help on the other side of the door.

Robert and Michael escaped into the wooded forest behind their house until police dogs cornered them. The pair were arrested and photographed covered in dried blood, cuts and scratches.


Why did Robert and Michael Bever murder their family?

According to a detective, Robert shared after his arrest that he wanted to kill his parents from the age of 13. He got his job at a call centre to earn money to buy what they needed for the horrific plan, purchasing body armour along with the weapons.

The detective testified in court that Robert had told him he had admired serial killers and believed killing more than one person made him God-like. He didn't think killing was a bad thing, either, and believed he might even do some good if he murdered someone who had not contributed to society.

The brothers had hoped to become as famous as the Columbine school shooters.

According to local Tulsa radio station KRMG, Crystal told police that her eldest brothers had talked about wanting to kill their family and steal their money for a year before their actual crimes. She knew they were obsessed with mass shooters and hoped to hurt people, but when she told her mother, it was dismissed as "boys being boys".

Her father, on the other hand, was upset – but only because of the money he felt Robert was wasting.

It's not clear how Robert and Michael became obsessed with murder, though the brothers claimed (and Crystal confirmed) that their father had been physically abusive towards them as they were growing up.

Robert said in court, per kjrhthat while playing basketball with his dad, they'd both tripped over one another. Instead of getting up, David threw a shoe at Robert's face and they never played again.


There were suggestions of neglect as well, with Robert claimed the siblings only ever ate packet noodles and peanut butter sandwiches, while his mother ate TV dinners and his father ate grilled cheese, chicken, chips and olives.

Where are Robert and Michael Bever now?

Robert pleaded guilty and was sentenced to numerous life sentences for killing his family in 2015. 

In 2018, he took the stand for Michael's murder trial, during which he said he did not give his brother credit in the murders of their family as he did not participate in the actual killings (although reports allege this was a lie).

Michael was eventually convicted of murdering their parents and three of their siblings as well, and Robert later was given three additional life sentences for attacking prison staff in 2019.

The Bever family home remained untouched for years before one local politician launched a fundraiser to buy the house and turn it into a memorial park. 

A year after the murders, the house caught fire under suspicious circumstances and in May 2019, Reflection Park was unveiled to honour the Bever family's memory.

Crystal, who turns 22 this year, and her little sister Autumn, now 10, were adopted by a family in Tulsa.

Feature Image: Facebook.