Marcus Wesson

When officers arrived at a home in Fresno California on March 12, 2004 they thought they were responding to a simple child custody issue.  Two mothers, as well as other family members, were outside the home attempting to get the occupant, Marcus Wesson, to release their children to them.  Wesson would come to the door but then would shut the door in the officer's faces.  There was likely little the officers could do considering that child custody is a civil matter and it is even more unlikely that the mothers had any sort of official custody order.  In cases such as that the police can do little more than file a report but because of the disturbance outside they had to at least hang out a bit longer than they normally would.  

Citizens and neighbors would later say that soon after Wesson had shut the door they heard gunshots.  The officers would claim that they had not heard them and it is unclear as to how many shots were fired. Something else must not have seemed right to the officers though because at this point they felt like there was a standoff between them and Wesson, who had gone back inside the home. The SWAT time was called in.  Two hours after the ordeal had begun Marcus Wesson would emerge from the house with his hands up and nine bodies would be found inside.

The bodies found were of two adult women and seven children. Authorities would come to know that the two women were daughters of Wesson's and that the children, three of which under the age of two, the oldest being eight, were all children and/or grandchildren of Wesson.  The bodies had been piled up one on top of another in one bed room while in another investigators found another room filled with what was describe as antique coffins.  One report indicated that each of the victims had been shot in the eye, which would indicate that at least 9 shots were fired.  Other reports indicate that it is possible that only the women and a few of the children were shot.  I saw nothing that indicated any kind of silencer was used in the killings and so the fact that the police officers would claim that they had not heard shots seems highly unusual.

But, to know how the police got to that home on that day in 2004 one has to know how the nine victims got there as well. Wesson, who would later be charged with nine counts of 1st degree murder and fourteen other sex crimes relating to the molestation of his underage daughters and nieces, would claim that growing up his father was abusive and his mother was a "religious fanatic."  I use quotes here because it is my understanding that this was Wesson's description of his mother and I find that a bit hypocritical of him considering claims of his children later in life.

In the late 1960's or early 1970's Wesson met a woman by the name of Rosemary Solorio. She was apparently much older than Wesson who was in his very early 20's, one report said she was about thirteen years older than she was.  Rosemary was also married with what most describe was "several" children. I can tell you that she had at least two girls, Elizabeth and Rosemary, but she could have had as many as eight children.  Rosemary left her husband and she and Wesson began living together with her children. In 1971 Rosemary and Wesson had a son together.  To be clear here nearly everything I read indicated that Elizabeth was Rosemary's daughter from another relationship and that Rosemary and Wesson never married themselves.  I found one reference, although like this, it was a blog, that indicated that Rosemary and Wesson did marry and that Elizabeth was a daughter of theirs.  I believe the former to be the true facts but it should not be a surprise when one hears the story where the confusion began.  

It seems that Wesson began molesting Rosemary's daughters at likely an early age and it seems that Rosemary knew it.  It was said that while Wesson had accused his 7th Day Adventist mother as being a religious fanatic, he seemed to be right up that same alley. While he had been raised within the church and seemingly occasionally still attended, Wesson began preaching his own kind of religion at home and even wrote his own Bible of sorts.  This "religion" spoke a lot of Vampires but it also put Wesson in the position of God. In fact, he would train his family to believe he was God.  They would be required to call him "Master" or "Lord" throughout their lives.  Some say it was this 'brainwashing' that Wesson did on Rosemary that allowed her to accept the fact that he was molesting her children.  Starting with Elizabeth in 1974 when she was eight years old, Wesson would "marry" her in the family home.  He was twenty-seven.  He began having intercourse with Elizabeth when she was twelve and at fifteen he legally married her as she was pregnant for the first of eleven times.  

One thing I tried to determine and was unable to is exactly what happened to Rosemary at this point.  I could find no reference to her after the legal marriage of Wesson and Elizabeth.  One reference indicated that she had given the permission to the marriage and as if she continued to live with Wesson but I am unsure.  I am also unsure if Rosemary and Wesson only had the one child together or if there were more.  In the end it would simply be said that Wesson had fathered up to eighteen children with seven different women but it was unclear as to who bore him what children.  I believe however due to ages that Rosemary and Wesson may have also had a daughter named Sebhrenah together.  In 2004, at the time of her death she was said to be twenty-five and unless Elizabeth gave birth to her first child a few years earlier than reported Sebhrenah would not be hers, but more likely a half sister to Elizabeth and a biological daughter to Wesson.  

Over the years Wesson seemed to barely work to support the family.  He lived on the welfare system for food and as far as housing much of that was spent in campgrounds, shacks, boats and abandoned homes.  The children were said to have been "homeschooled" but it is unclear as to how much actual schooling their received.  Some believe this was done or at least said so that no one would question why the children were not in school and that because of that Wesson often kept the children hidden often. He also kept the boys and girls separated.  Some say he did this because he was jealous of the boys and in essence believed that because he had a "fetish" with young girls, so would his sons and he did not want them messing with their sisters because apparently he saw them as all for him.  The home was run as if it was a cult.  As each young daughter reached between the ages of seven and nine, they too would have a wedding ceremony with their father and later his daughters would give birth to his children. It has been said that in 1989 Elizabeth's sister, Rosemary, left her seven children in the care of Wesson and Elizabeth.  Whether some of those children were products of Wesson is unknown.  They would all be referred to as his nieces and nephews but only the DNA would know if that is true.  

As the children got older they had been allowed to go out into the world and have jobs. They were required to hand their paychecks over to Wesson.  Many have asked why at this point that the children did not at least run or even report Wesson.  But, most agree that by the time they got to this point he had so conditioned these children into believing he was God and that the "devil" wore a "uniform and a badge" that they believed him.  I cannot say what kinds of jobs that they held for sure but I can say that obviously some of the children were not as conditioned as he thought as ultimately that is what sunk his ship.

When Wesson emerged from that home in Fresno in 2004, surrendering to police he did have blood on him.  As I said he was charged with nine counts of murder along with many other charges.  At his trial in June of 2005 Wesson's defense attorney's would claim that Wesson had not committed the murders.  They would allege that his daughter Sebhrenah committed them and then killed herself.  The .22 caliber handgun used in the murders was found near her body and her DNA was found on it.  The jury, who would convict him on all charged on June 17, 2005, seemed to believe that story, yet it did not prevent them from finding Wesson guilty of the murders.  Even another of Wesson's daughters believes that Sebhrenah killed the other eight victims but instead of killing herself she believes Wesson killed her.  It was believed by the jury that much like we saw at Jonestown and Waco, there was some sort of suicide pact going on.  The difference here is that Wesson did not commit suicide or even have someone do it for him, he just simply walked out and blamed his daughter.  On June 27, 2005 Wesson would be sentenced to death.

Immediately after the standoff and murders many, if not all, of Wesson's sons would defend him saying that he was a wonderful father and praising him.  It would take years before they came out of what many believed to be like a trance and realize what their lives were really like.  Today none of his children have contact with him while he is on death row.  Three of the girls would get a fresh start living with one of the reporters that had followed the story.  She sacrificed her career to help the family in their healing. 


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