The murders of Jason and Joby Graf by their stepfather, Edward “Ed” Graf, is featured in the latest episode of Evil Lives Here on Investigation Discovery.
Clare Bradburn was a single mother of two boys, Jason and Joby, who was struggling to make ends meet until she met and married a man named Ed in 1983.
Ed went on to adopt Jason and Joby, and Clare became pregnant with a third child, a boy. This was right around the time she found out that Ed had been fired from his bank job after allegedly embezzling over $70,000.
After the baby was born, Ed took out a $50,000 life insurance policy on his son and stepsons. Bradburn stated that if the children died an accidental death, the amount would double.
As time went on, the man she thought would be a great husband and father to her children started to change, and the children became frightened of him—and so was Bradburn.
When she suggested they separate, Ed told her that she wasn’t going to take his son away from him, and it was at that moment that she knew it was a threat.
Two weeks later, in August 1986, Bradburn received a phone call at work about a fire that broke out at a shed behind her house on Angel Fire Drive in Hewitt, Texas.
When she arrived at the scene, her husband told her that Jason and Joby were dead. However, James Sutter, a former Hewitt volunteer firefighter at the scene, stated that he didn’t understand how Ed knew the boys were dead because he never gave him that information. He said they found the body of a child, but they didn’t know who it was.
It was when firefighters extinguished the fire and searched the area that they discovered two bodies, which were later identified as Jason and Joby.
When Ed was questioned by police, he told them that he was inside the home changing the baby’s diaper when the fire started.
The fire was eventually ruled an accident, but Bradburn believed that it was intentionally set by her husband.
An autopsy performed on the boys revealed that they died of asphyxiation from smoke inhalation and severe burns. A second autopsy indicated that Jason and Joby were burned alive because of the amount of soot found in their throats and lungs.
The pathologist also took note that the boys had high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood.
Investigators believe that Ed knocked the boys out before placing them in the shed and using an accelerant to start the fire.
Ed denied having anything to do with Jason and Joby’s death. He said they must have accidentally set the shed on fire and were unable to get out.
In 1988, he was arrested and convicted of murdering his two stepsons. He was granted a new trial in March 2013, after the evidence presented in his trial was considered flawed.
Ed confessed to the murders in 2014, and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Seven days after his confession, he was released on parole after serving 25 years in prison.
Evil Lives Here — They Let Him Out, airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.
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