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Grisly Find Of 9 Bodies

A BLOOD covered man was arrested yesterday after walking out of a Californian house where nine people - a woman, a teenager and seven children - were found dead.
The nine bodies - some believed to be his children - were found stacked and intertwined in a pile of clothes. Police chief Jerry Dyer said authorities responded to a call by two women in Fresno, California, that a man had their children inside the home and refused to turn them over.
They arrested Marcus Wesson, 57, who walked out of the house, covered in what appeared to be blood, and surrendered, Dyer said.
"We do believe at this time that the deceased individuals, most if not all, are the suspect's children." he said.
Police were searching the home for additional victims. About 10 coffins were stacked along a wall inside the single- storey home.
Police had determined the cause of death of the victims but were not immediately releasing it.

Sunday Mail (14-3-2004)


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Nine Children 'Exterminated' One After Another

A Californian man accused of killing nine of his children and grandchildren shook his head and wiped away tears as a prosecutor said he had exterminated his family.
Marcus Wesson, 58, is accused of fatally shooting seven of his children and two of his grandchildren, aged one to 26, at his home in Fresno in March 2004.
He fathered the victims with his legal wife and with his own daughters and nieces.
"He gathered the children, systematically lined them up and exterminated them one after another," prosecutor Lisa Gamoian told the jury in Fresno, in central California.
Wesson taught his children the Government was Satan, but he emerged as the lone survivor from a room with nine dead bodies, she told the jury in closing arguments.
Wesson often shook his head back and forth to say "No" as she addressed the jury.
He has pleaded not guilty to 23 charges including rape, oral copulation, murder and continuous sexual abuse of a child.
He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Wearing ankle-length dreadlocks, he occasionally wept during the courtroom proceedings.
In an interview, lead defence lawyer Ralph Torres argued Wesson was not the killer.
"Our position has always been that forensic science is unequivocal and supports the conclusion that Mr Wesson did not kill nine people," he said.
"The one thing we - the prosecution and the defence - know for sure is that the seven children died before the two adult females, and Mr Wesson wasn't in the room with the seven children."
"Sebhrenah Wesson, his daughter, killed the children, then her sister and then herself."
Ms Gamoian told jurors the two women who died were conspirators with Wesson and they helped each other to carry out a murder-suicide pact.
The killing started after a child custody dispute when two of Wesson's estranged nieces returned to claim their children.
Wesson was suspected of impregnating family members so they could have "babies for the Lord", held Bible study sessions three times daily and proclaimed himself Jesus, she said.
The jury will probably start deliberations on Thursday.

AAP (2-6-2005)

Death Penalty For Father Who Killed Nine

A jury decided yesterday that Marcus Wesson, the domineering patriarch of a large clan he bred through incest, desrves to die for the murders of his nine children.
Wesson, 58, was convicted earlier this month, more than a year after the bodies were found in a bloody pile at his home at the end of a police stand-off.
All the victims aged between 1 and 25- had been shot once in the eye. Wesson had fathered some of them with his own daughters and nieces.
Prosecutors said he had killed the children because he feared authorities were about to break up the clan and take the youngsters away.
The stand-off in March last year began after two Wesson nieces who had escaped from the home went back to try to get their children.
His lawyer contended Wesson's eldest daughter shot the others before committing suicide.
As Wesson waited for the verdict, he kept his back turned to his many family members gathered in the gallery.
In pleading for a life sentence, defence lawayer Peter Jones said executing Wesson would not "undo the harm done".
He also noted the jury, in it's guilty verdict, found that the prosecution failed to prove Wesson pulled the trigger. But prosecutor Lisa Gamoian said that did not matter because Wesson orchestrated the kilings.
She said he was a "master manipulator" whose sexual, financial and emotional exploitation of his children culminated in their slayings. Also yesterday, jurors spoke publicly for the first time, saying at a news conference that they were relieved to see the end of the emotionally draining case, which pushed some of them to tears and gave others nightmares.
"People wrestled with their emotion," said one juror. "People had to wrestle with their spirituality and their faith. It'll stay with us forever."
Besides the murder counts, Wesson was convicted on 14 counts of sexual abuse, including the rape of some of his underage daughters. The defence largely conceded the sex charges, since DNA tests showed Wesson fathered the victims.
But they had argued that Wesson's daughter Sebhrenah killed the others, then turned the gun on herself, carrying out a detailed murder-suicide pact devised by her father years earlier.
According to testimonial at his trial, Wesson often asked his children if they ready to "go to the Lord". Witnesses said he preached a plan that if authorities ever tried to break the clan up, they were to kill each other, youngest to oldest.
Formal sentencing was set for July 27. Fresno County Judge R.L. Putman will also sentence Wesson on the sexual assault convictions that day.
Police went to Wesson's home on the day of the killings over a child-custody dispute.
Two mothers of Wesson's children who became pregnant by him had returned to claim their children. Wesson refused and kept authorities at the front door before ducking into a back bedroom. He emerged about an hour later with blood spattered on his clothes.

Adelaide Advertiser (1-7-2005)
Juliana Barbassa

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