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Joshua Jenkins murdered five members of his family — American Monster spotlights the case

Crime scene tape photo
At the age of 15, Joshua Jenkins brutally murder five members of his family, including his adoptive parents, grandparents, and his 10-year-old sister. Pic credit: Monsters and Critics

Joshua Jenkins was 15 years old when he murdered five members of his family — American Monster on Investigation Discovery spotlights the case.

He was a troubled teen whose adoptive parents, George Jenkins, 50, and Alene Jenkins, 48, sent him away to boarding school at Vista Del Mar School in Los Angeles, California, after he armed himself with a crossbow and rifle and threatened to kill his father.

On February 2, 1996, his family picked him up for a weekend visit at his grandparents’—Bill Grossman, 78, and 74-year-old Evelyn Grossman—condominium in Vista.

While they were sleeping, he snuck into his parents and grandparents’ bedroom and bludgeoned them to death with a hammer and stabbed them with a kitchen knife.

The following morning, when his 10-year-old sister, Megan, woke up, he took her to a nearby store to purchase an ax. When they got back to the condo, he fatally struck her on the head with the ax.

He then dragged their bodies to the master bedroom and set the condominium on fire to cover up his crimes before fleeing the scene in his parent’s Mercedes Benz.

After Vista firefighters extinguished the fire, they discovered the bodies on top of each other in the master bedroom.

In the early hours of February 4, 1996, police arrested Joshua a few miles away from the crime scene. He initially denied having anything to do with the Jenkins Family murders.

Ten days later, he pled not guilty to the murders by way of insanity.

During his court hearing on April 8, 1996, the San Diego County Juvenile Court decided Joshua would be tried as an adult due to the brutality of the murders.

He changed his plea to guilty on the day before his trial was set to begin in April 1997.

Two months after Joshua pled guilty to murdering his family, a judge sentenced him to 112 to life in prison.

American Monster — Falling Down, airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.

Angelica N. Sumter is a freelance journalist who has covered true crime for more than 10 years. In addition to Monsters and Critics, her work has been published on the Inquisitr, Crime Online more

2 thoughts on “Joshua Jenkins murdered five members of his family — American Monster spotlights the case”

  1. What has happened to this child since 1996? Is he remorseful? Could anyone who is guilty of such a crime ever be redeemed to the point they could be released into society?

  2. He didn’t sneak into his parents room, according to this monster in a taped confession on the documentary “American Monster” I watched it. This demon said his dad awoke to use the restroom and he surprised him in the hallway of their grandparents condo then proceeded to hit him in the head, then his mom came out to see what was happening, he attacked her, hit her in the head, then his grandma came out her attacked her hit her in the head, then the grand father came out & he hit him in the head. Then he stabbed all of them in the heart to make certain they were dead. The next day his little sister was asleep on the couch in the living room he hit her up side her head with a ax knocked her out then stabbed her in the heart. Then after he was done killing everyone, he tried to cover up his crimes with a fire after he stacked all the bodies in one room in between a bed.

    Then he took off in the family car with his grandparents poodle was later seen in the convenience store AM/PM by a store clerk who recognized him by the all points bulletin from the news and called the cops. The cops were 15 mins away from the call surrounded him at a stop light & promptly took his demonic butt to jail hell.Him and his sister were adopted as newborns into the family.
    People such as this demon deserve to never see the light of day in human population. These people loved him to the ends, doted on him & they absolutely adored him and his adopted sister as a babies. He grows up to butcher them because he was mad they put him into a boarding school for his behavior of acting out. Too bad it took such a catastrophic loss of 5 family members who absolutely loved him for him to get the help he needs. Just a tragedy I’ll never understand how people can love another human being to eternity and back, then one of them grows up to ultimately take all of their lives in such a brutal fashion that they did not deserve. The carnage he left behind to the surviving family members & loved ones will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Just such a truly sad, sad story of love, family and a monster living among them. Be watchful of people who are closest to you if you sense anything is off, get away from them or get them help.


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