Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marcus Wesson: Control, Incest and Murder

Marcus Delon Wesson

Marcus Wesson
Marcus Wesson
The corpulent 5'9" man looming at the center of the conflict was 57-year-old Marcus Wesson, the patriarch of the brood living at Hammond Ave. With his pug dog face and Medusa-like tangles of hair, Wesson was an intimidating sight, and rightly so.

DNA tests would quickly reveal the household's dirtiest secret: Wesson was the father of all nine victims, seven of whom were spawned from sexual relations with his own daughters and nieces.

The list of the dead included Jeva St. Vladensvspry, 1; Sedona Vadra, 1 ½; Marshey St. Christopher, 1 ½; Ethan St. Laurent, 4; Jonathon St. Charles, 7; Aviv Dominique, 7; Illabelle Carrie, 8; Elizabeth Breani Kina, 17; and Sebhrenah April, 25.

Of those, only the two eldest were born of his wife. The rest were products of incest.

Seven of the nine murder victims
Seven of the nine murder victims
To understand how Wesson — or anyone, for that matter — ends up leading such a twisted existence, it's instructive to examine their childhoods. Wesson had the misfortune of being born to a booze-addled, sexually degenerate father and a mother who was a Jesus junkie, according to press accounts. The two extremes combined perfectly to create the Bible-thumping pervert that would become Marcus Wesson.

Born in Kansas in 1946, the young Marcus followed his family's drift from Missouri, to Indiana, to California, to Washington. Father Benjamin Wesson never held a steady job, and stayed home, drinking and "flirting" with his own children, according to the Fresno Bee. There was abundant evidence that Benjamin Wesson had homosexual inclinations, the paper reported. A childhood acquaintance of the family would later testify that the senior Wesson once paid him $50 as a boy to submit to oral sex. He later ran off with a teenage male relative to San Jose before returning to his wife and family a decade later.

Marcus Wesson's mother, Carrie, was a Seventh-day Adventist who force-fed her children daily Bible lessons and whipped them with an electrical cord, a relative would later tell a court. As a child, Marcus Wesson's favorite game was to play preacher, a pastime he would perfect over the decades as he twisted the scriptures to his own perverse ends.

Wesson's sexual history reads like a Greek tragedy in which the protagonist is doomed to commit the same atrocities again and again with no hope of redemption. In the 1960s, Marcus Wesson had sex with one woman, years later with her daughter, and decades later with her granddaughters. The tragedy ends with the children conceived with the daughter and granddaughters lying in a bloody puddle on the floor.

After his honorable discharge from the Vietnam War, where he worked as an army medic, Wesson settled in San Jose. There he met and moved in with Rose Solorio, who was 13 years his senior and already the mother of eight children. The two had a son together.

When Solorio's daughter Elizabeth was 14 and Wesson was 27, he impregnated her as well. They got married in 1974, forever sealing Elizabeth's role as subservient child to his domineering adult. The couple had five boys and four girls.

In 1989, Elizabeth's sister Rosemary dumped off her seven sons and daughters at the Wesson home because her drug addiction precluded her from caring for them, according to media reports. The total number of children living in the Wesson household rose to 16.

The family had no consistent income, and the large brood lived off welfare and took shelter where they could find it, alternately dwelling in an army tent, a trailer, and on derelict boats before settling in Fresno. Although his children were frequently reduced to digging through trashcans for food, Wesson always had money to buy hamburgers and other fast food, the Fresno Bee reported.

Years later, when she was asked on the witness stand why her husband didn't work, Elizabeth Wesson would reply without a trace of irony: "You can't work when you are on welfare."


We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'