Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Children of Thunder: The Helzer Brothers

Lethal Date

Selina Bishop
Selina Bishop
Selina Bishop had her last date with "Jordan" on August 2, 2000, at a trendy bar in Berkeley that was midway between their homes. A bartender at the Bison Brewing Company said the couple often met there during the hot months, huddled at a table among the regular clientele - locals as well as students from the University of California who'd stayed the summer.

Taylor was late to their rendezvous as usual, and the brunette handed the bartender a dollar and asked for change to make a phone call, according the Contra Costa Times.

"I dont know why I go out with him," Bishop told Matt King, rolling her brown eyes in mock exasperation, before walking across the street to a pay phone.

Taylor arrived soon after and the couple sat near a window and leaned into each other to hear themselves talk over the juke box music.

As King poured them draught beers - the chocolate stout and red ale the bar is famous for - he contemplated the pair. He thought their meetings were cute, but found Taylor somewhat aloof and distant in comparison to the bubbly Bishop. It seemed obvious that she was far more enamored of him than he of her.

Bishop was in an especially good mood that night. The next day, she and her boyfriend were planning to drive to Yosemite National Park for a camping trip. No doubt she hoped it would be an opportunity for them to get closer and for her boyfriend to finally divulge more information about himself.

After a short while, King saw Bishop take "Jordan's" hand and lead him out of the pub for the last time.

A neighbor of the Helzers, Kaye Shaman, testified that the next day, August 3, she saw a 1984 Honda Accord drive up to their house. Taylor and a woman with long brown hair got out and he kissed her lightly on the mouth before leading her inside the home, according to Contra Costa Times.

Godman filled in the blanks as to what happened after the couple entered the house of horrors. Taylor offered to give Bishop a massage, according to court testimony, and the two went into the family room.

Justin Helzer
Justin Helzer
As she lay face down on the carpet, contentedly yielding herself to her boyfriend's strong hands as he rubbed her back, Justin Helzer walked into the room with a hammer. Perhaps soft music was playing so she didn't hear him approach. Perhaps Taylor was crooning sweet nothings in her ear. She was young, in love, and about to go on a romantic vacation with her boyfriend. She was happy. She never imagined what Taylor was capable of. Whatever was going on, whatever she was thinking as she laid on that carpet, she didn't know what hit her as Justin slammed the hammer into her head several times, cracking her skull.

After Taylor carried Bishop to the same bathroom where the Stinemans were murdered, he noticed she was still alive, Godman testified in court. He pulled her long brown hair back to hold up her head so Godman could see Bishop's face.

"Spirit says you get to know this isn't a dream," Taylor said, before slitting Bishop's throat with a hunting knife.

Godman testified that Taylor had planned to kill Bishop all along, according to the Chronicle. All he wanted from her was a bank account to launder the Stinemans' money.

But the killing spree hadn't ended with Bishop's murder.

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