Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Boy, 13, Charged With Killing Grandparents for Calling Mother ‘Whore’

Zachary Proper, 13. Facebook photo.

A 13-year-old Pennsylvania boy allegedly told police that he killed his paternal grandparents Sunday because they talked badly about his mother and called her a whore. Zachary Proper of Venango County was charged Tuesday morning with the shooting deaths of his grandmother and grandfather at their home. According to police, Proper shot Dorothy Fross, 67, in the head, killing her, then unloaded the rest of the bullets into George Fross, 69, who was terminally ill. Proper’s father, William Proper, called police after being unable to contact his parents, then went to their home where he discovered their bodies. Proper’s mother, Karen Kapp, who is divorced from Proper, had also called police after trying to reach Zachary and his grandparents. According to a probable cause affidavit, Kapp told police she was worried that Zachary was drinking and smoking.

When police arrived at the Fross residence, they found the table set for dinner, playing cards laid out, and Zachary’s favorite snacks on the counter. Police say Zachary cut the safety off his grandfather’s gun with wire cutters and put on headphones before opening fire. At first, Zachary told police that someone else shot his grandparents, but then, police say, confessed to doing it himself. When asked why, he allegedly told police it was because they called his mother a whore.

Zachary is held without bail on two counts of criminal homicide, and, according to state law, will be charged as an adult. In Pennsylvania, a child over 10 accused of homicide is required to face adult charges. He will not face the death penalty, but could be sentenced to life in prison.

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