Cassie Jo Stoddart was a sixteen-year-old girl, destined for greatness. She had lots of friends, was a straight-A student, and stayed out of trouble. Potacello, Idaho was a largely-Mormon town in southeast Idaho, where life was simple and everyone felt safe. All of that changed in September 2006.
On September 22, 2006, Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik murdered Cassie Jo Stoddart. Horrendously both murderers were her classmates and whom she thought were friends. Torey Adamcik later stated he was inspired by the Scream horror film franchise.
The Murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart
Cassie had agreed to housesit for her uncle, Frank Contreras, and his wife, Allison, for the weekend at the Whispering Cliffs residence. That Friday night, her boyfriend, Matt Beckham, invited Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik to come over to watch a movie. After a while, the two boys said that they’d rather go to a local movie theater instead, so they left.
Approximately fifteen minutes after Adamcik and Draper departed, the power at the Whispering Cliffs residence went out while Cassie and Matt were watching a movie. At that time Matt called his mother to ask for permission to stay the night as Cassie was frightened, however permission was denied. Matt was picked up by his mother a short while later. When Matt was about to leave, he called Adamcik to inform him that he would be going home. After Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik learned that Matt would go home, they reentered the house. As they entered the home, Brian cut the lights at the circuit breaker, making the house inside pitch black. Whilst hiding in the basement, they hoped Cassie would go downstairs in order to put the power back on however – most likely too frightened to go down – Cassie stayed in the living room. So they went upstairs themselves a short time later, disguised with masks and dark clothing and stabbed Cassie to death. The autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed approximately thirty times, with nine – twelve of those wounds being fatal.
Cassie’s thirteen-year-old cousin was the one who found Cassie dead on the living room floor of the house nearly two days later, as the family did not return home until Sunday. Three days later, Draper and Adamcik were arrested and charged with the murder. In their interrogations, both of the assailants blamed each other, but it was later found that they had recorded a video of their plan to murder Cassie before the attack. They also revealed that they had intentionally cut the power, and that they had never gone to the movie theater. Instead, they had been waiting for Cassie to be alone so they could attack her. Horrendously, Matt and Adamcik spent the following day together. Matt tried repeatedly to call Cassie throughout the day but was unable to get an answer.
During the investigation, a video was found of Draper and Adamcik talking about killing Cassie right after the murder had taken place. Brian Draper led authorities to a canyon in which they had hidden the knives and clothing they had used when committing the murder. It was found out that he was enthralled by the Columbine High School shootings and admired the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Just like Randy Robert Stairs, who saw the shooters as heroes and ended up killing 3 people at a grocery store. Additionally, it was widely known that Adamcik also had a strong interest in horror movies (admitting he was inspired by the Scream horror franchise) and “mockumentaries”.
While Cassie’s entire family has undoubtedly suffered from grief as a result of this terrible loss, three family members in particular have been greatly impacted. Frank and Allison Contreras, whose house Cassie was murdered in, left their house that day and never went back. The local sheriff’s office helped with temporary housing and cleaning up the scene of the crime, but the Contreras family could never bring themselves to go back. They have tried to sell the home each year since the attack, but no one wants to buy a house with such a history. Frank’s stepdaughter, who had found Cassie’s body, suffered a breakdown and attempted suicide.
Cassie Jo Stoddart’s family filed a lawsuit against the school district, claiming that the school should have foreseen that Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik posed a threat to others. The case was dismissed, with the courts claiming that the actions were not foreseeable and the school district was not at fault.
The only silver lining Cassie’s family has is knowing that her killers have been brought to justice and are currently serving life terms in prison. Every so often, the men and their lawyers will appeal the conviction, so far to no avail. We can only hope that judges who hear these cases continue to make the right decision and honor the memory of Cassie Jo Stoddart.
Evidence found of the Murder
On September 27, 2006, Draper agreed to show the officers where he and Adamcik had attempted to dispose of items used in Stoddart’s murder. Together with several detectives and his father he went to the Black Rock Canyon area and directed the detectives to a site where evidence from the murder was buried.
A partially burned note was later recovered that may have been the note written at this time. At trial, one of the detectives testified that he believed this note to have been written by Adamcik. The portion of the note that was not burned reads:
… is home alone stop out the house runs into Torey We murder Cassie e is home alone ouse…. Brian chases her th her (unclear) + (unclear) … kill her. c. If Cassie + Matt come ho A noise (unclear) … kill Matt + (unclear) …
The evidence located included:
[tab title=”Evidence Found”]
- Stick matches.
- A pair of black boots.
- A pair of blue rubber gloves.
- A pair of Athletics Works brand fingerless gloves.
- A melted brown hydrogen peroxide bottle.
- A multi-colored mask.
- A large dagger-type knife with a sheath.
- A silver and black-handled knife with a signature of Sloan written on the inside.
- A small dagger-type knife with a sheath.
- A Sony videotape. This is the videotape that was later repaired and straightened in order to make it playable and transcribed as above.
- A black-handled serrated folding knife. Later DNA testing revealed that Stoddart’s blood was present on this knife.
- A partly burned piece of paper with writing in pencil.
- A red and white mask. Later DNA testing revealed a partial DNA profile of Adamcik on the mask.
- A single black glove. Later DNA testing revealed a partial DNA profile from an unknown male.
- A pair of partially burned black Puma brand gloves. Later DNA testing revealed that Stoddart’s blood had soaked into these gloves.
- A blue plastic garbage bag.
- A partially burned black long-sleeved Haggar brand dress shirt.
- A Calvin Klein black dress shirt. Later DNA testing revealed that Stoddart’s blood was present on the shirt cuff.
- A white and grey sock.
- A small piece of black cord.
Transcripts of the Tapes
Warning: These are authentic transcripts from the tapes of Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik before and after they murdered Cassie Jo Stoddart. Parkaman Magazine made them available so that we may never forget the horrendous crimes done by these individuals and – especially – the reason why such killers should remain behind bars. Proceed at own caution. CLICK HERE to see the video and full transcripts of all their tapes on the murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart.
Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik have been featured on Teen Killers: Life without Parole. They also appear in the 2013 documentary Lost for Life. They were also featured on Investigation Discovery’s Your Worst Nightmare, Episode “When lights go out” (UK). Draper and Adamcik were interviewed as part of Cold Justice, Episode “Still of the Night“. Most recent they were featured in a documentary entitled CopyCat Killers shown on Investigation Discovery.
Sarah is a full-time freelance writer and editor with an interest in the mystery and true crime genres. She enjoys a good mystery book and loves watching shows like Castle, Law & Order: SVU, and Bones