Brent Springford murdered his doting parents on Thanksgiving in 2004 at their home in Montgomery, Alabama. Two weeks later he was arrested at Centennial Peaks Hospital, where he had admitted himself for psychiatric evaluation.
Brent had traveled from his home in Colorado to the house where he was raised in Montgomery the day before Thanksgiving. His parents were in Birmingham visiting his sister Robin. When they returned on the Thursday evening, Brent butchered them, beating them with an axe handle and then stabbing them repeatedly.
After having admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital he confessed the killings, first to staff, then to the police.
At his trial in 2008, he pleaded guilty, stating that he had “no doubt that” he killed his parents. However, he claimed to have no recollection of the actual events that led to their deaths.
Brent apparently snapped when his parents decided to cut him off financially. They had already been supporting his lavish lifestyle for years. They had paid for his house in Colorado, his two vehicles, and were giving him a monthly allowance of between $800 and $900. They were also paying for his credit card, which they had just announced they were severing.
Brent was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth; his parents operated the Pepsi Cola bottling plant at nearby Luverne. As major employers in the area they were well respected and known for their philanthropy. Their charity had, for a long time, also extended to their son, they had funded his trips around the world.
However, the Springfords had been long concerned with the path their son was taking in life; they said he’d become estranged in recent times.
By all accounts, Brent had been a young man of impeccable character, handsome with bright blue eyes, he had an altruistic side which included helping to build roads in Latin America; he had also helped his friend’s sick father by staying by their bedside.
Brent was majoring in religious studies at Naropa University in Colorado and had a fascination with eastern religions, especially Buddhism. There was a concern, however, that his fascination was becoming more of an obsession; he had built an 8-foot-by-8-foot monk-like cell in his garage for himself to live in.
His mental health began to become more worrying, when his parents spoke to him they felt he was behaving strangely, and eventually, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Medication did help him a little, but his behavior remained erratic.
In 2008 he was sentenced to life in prison with no parole; he avoided the death penalty due to his bipolar diagnosis. In 2013 he overdosed on Tylenol and died at the age of 37.
This crime is investigated in The Thanksgiving Axe Murderer at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.
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