Dena Schlosser

It may seem that I have gotten off track compared to some of the cases I have recently been blogging about considering this one took place a mere ten years ago, in 2004.  That is true, however, the current book that I am reading (Psycho USA) that contains all of the old stories also from time to time mentions a reference to a newer or more modern story and this was one of them.  I have a few stories that I have researched and ready to write, that do stay with that current tradition but I fell across this one and it has struck me.

Dena Schlosser lived in Plano Texas in 2004 when on November 22nd she proceeded to cut off the arms of her infant daughter and attempted to cut her own arm off. Dena's case is very similar to the Andrea Yates case (the woman who drowned all her children to save them from Satan) and ironically she and Andrea were actually roommates for a while at a state institution. Both Dena and Andrea suffered from post-partum depression and psychosis.  They were also both very involved in their churches that tended to preach more unorthodox things.  There is one major difference however.  At the age of eight, Dena was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or "water on the brain."  Over the next several years, leading into her teens she had many surgeries to drain fluid as well as to insert shunts to help drain the fluid. It is known that hydrocephalus can cause many issues, including mental disabilities and illnesses as it is a trauma to the brain.  

It appears that, at least on the surface, that Dena did not suffer early on with any issues pertaining to mental issues.  At least that was the report. As someone who has had experience dealing with people with mental illness I tend to believe there were likely signs that were ignored or passed off as simple personality traits. And, while nothing specific is mentioned really, it is slightly referred to the fact that Dena was to take medications for many years prior to things happening. After high school Dena went on to college and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology.  While at college Dena met John Schlosser.  In the end she graduated, but he did not.  Some reports from her family indicate that he made people believe he was still in school for computer programming and was graduating when he had been academically dismissed sometime prior.  Dena's family say that John was a controlling person from the start and they appear to put a lot of blame, whether warranted or not, on John.  John did not apparently want Dena to work but he himself had a difficult holding a job.  When he did allow her to work it appears she too had issues.  It seems they both tended to quit jobs for what others would feel were unreasonable reasons.  However, in 2000 John and Dena moved to Ft. Worth Texas from Illinois for a job for John.  

Per usual the job did not last long and soon their home was in foreclosure.  By this time they had been turned onto the teaching of Doyle Davidson, the minister of The Water of Life Church in Plano and the Schlosser's moved to Plano to be closer to the church.  I did a search of Doyle Davidson and I am unsure there is an accurate way to describe him or anyone to compare him to.  I will give you the jest of his ideas and ways and you are welcome to search yourself as you there is plenty of information out there, including websites that daily update basically to correct the things that Davidson says on his own sites.  

Davidson was a veterinarian and he tells his followers that in 1969 God told him to leave that career and become a minister to spread his word. Note, that I did not put "his" in capitals as is often done when speaking about the word of God. This was partially intentional as I am uncertain that the word Davidson spreads is not his own.  While he apparently often refers to his past career and somehow intertwines it into his sermons, he also preaches about women being submissive to their husbands, that all mental illnesses are signs from demons and medications do not work, and that those who cannot hold jobs are being tempted by demons among other things.  The first thing that drew especially John Schlosser to his preaching was his references about jobs. He became convinced that this was the reasoning behind his inability to hold or keep a job (whether he quit or was fired).  Davidson's preaching about wives being submissive drew Dena in.  According to Davidson, those wives were were not submissive became possessed by a demon that basically this demon took over their reproductive system.  Dena appeared to take this to be the reason that over the last several years she had had three miscarriages and while she had delivered to healthy little girls she had suffered mentally after each event.  This also fed into Davidson's other main topic, that mental illness was also caused by demons.  If you cannot tell demons was and is a reoccurring theme with Davidson.  

The day after giving birth to her youngest child, Margaret (aka Maggie)at home, Dena attempted suicide.  She was hospitalized and diagnosed with "severe bipolar with psychotic features." She was released from the hospital but according to sources John (and possibly Dena herself too) decided that per Davidson's teachings medication was not the answer but praying and believing in God would cure things.  Within a few weeks she was found running down the street screaming that there was a spirit in her home.  Child Protective Services (CPS) became involved and did an investigation.  Under their ruling Dena was not to be left alone with the children so John's sister moved in.  By August CPS had finished their investigation and lifted the order.  I am unclear as to at what point John's sister moved out.  Some reports say she moved just the day prior to Margaret's death while others report she left as soon as the CPS order was lifted.

It was later reported that on November 21st, the day before the incident that John and Dena had a argument in the church parking lot.  According to John this began because Dena wanted to give Margaret to Doyle Davidson saying she believed that God wanted her to give him to her to marry. One of the children later told CPS workers that John "spanked" Dena with a wooden spoon because she was misbehaving. For John's part he stated he thought the argument had been settled and thought no more about it.  So clearly her psychosis was under control.... insert eye roll.  

After severing Margaret's arms as she lay in her crib and attempting to cut her own arm off Dena seemingly called John and told him that she had harmed the baby.  He in turned called a friend who lived across the street, although she was at work, and asked her to check on Dena.  The friend called Dena who told her that she had killed Margaret and the police were called.  When they arrived they found Dena sitting in a chair, covered in blood, holding a knife and singing hymns.  For hours after she continued to chant, "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord." 

Once in custody and under evaluation Dena stated that a news report showing a boy being mauled by a lion was a sign to her of the coming apocalypse and she heard God tell her to remove Margaret's arms and then her own and she was somehow supposed to deliver them to God.  After her trial she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to North Texas State Hospital.

John had also been evaluated by psychologist and was found to have "narcissistic personality traits."  CPS had removed the children from the home in November stating he had failed to do enough to protect his children. After this diagnosis, it was ordered by a judge that John was to seek psychotherapy, take parenting classes and have his sister move back into his home before he could regain custody of his children.  His reaction to his daughter's death and the mistreatment of Dena's issues brought this evaluation on.  John had stated he felt "a little melancholy" over her death but that he was reassured because she was in God's hands and that he was "almost done being very sad when I buried her."  John's lawyers dispute these claims and as it has been said many times, that people grieve differently.  His lawyer claims that just because this was not outwardly apparent it did not mean he did not grieve.  

In late 2008 Dena was released into outpatient care.  By this time John had divorced her.  Part of the agreement included that she never have contact with him or their daughters again.  In 2010 Dena was recommitted.  All was able to determine on this was that she was seen "walking" around the street at 2am.  One would presume that she was having a "psychotic" incident but I found nothing on this.  She was again released in 2011 for outpatient care.  The last thing I found on Dena was that it was discovered that in 2012 she was working at a Walmart in Texas.  Someone recognized her and the story hit the news. Soon after she was "fired" but again I do not seem to have the whole story.  She was working under her maiden name, which presumably she had taken back in the divorce and a criminal background check had turned up nothing considering she was not convicted of a crime.  Walmart apparently gave no reason for her firing.  Of course like many corporations their statement of the incident was first and foremost about their reputation so little more was said about the situation.  

Doyle Davidson continues to preach from his pulpit, every single day. His sermon's are broadcasted on television, sometimes nationally. His website allows you to see a live stream of them. He continues to make seemingly outrageous allegations and claims and still has followers.  Then again so did Jim Jones... right up to the end. 


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