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July 27, 2021

The Children Of Thunder

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In this episode of Let’s Start a Cult – the story of the Children of Thunder, a trio led by a fanatic who believed that it was his mission to kill the leaders of the Mormon Church.

To carry this out, he brainwashed his younger brother and his roommate to carry out a horrific murder spree that left even the presiding judge reeling from its bloody details.


Our Socials:

Reddit On Wiki:

Sources for this episode include the San Francisco Gate, Turner Entertainment, Murderpedia, The Independent, The Daily Mail, People Magazine, and the Cult Education Institute.

Research by: Kayla Deleon

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Josh:Hi, Fred, my name is Josh Schell, host of the Let's Start A Cult podcast. The only podcast host that uses this platform to learn how to become a better grifter so far, I am not doing very well. now with that, another way, it's time for me to introduce my guests this week. You may know him as my unofficial cohost because he's been on so many times, but you will now know him as my official cohost on our brand new podcast Reddit On Wiki. The podcast where we openly admit to using Reddit and Wiki as our main source of information, we talk about anything and everything we find interesting from the lost colony of Roanoke to Florida. Man, we will have you learning and laughing along with us. Please. Welcome my good friend, John, how are you doing,


John:what's going on. And what is this the fifth episode that I've been in or.

Josh:God damn fourth,



it's true though. I am a fourth of your content.

Josh:You're getting there. Yeah. You're every, every month I have to have you on it's a contractual



John:It is. It is. just how it's contractually obligated for you to listen to Drake because you're from

Josh:exactly. It's the same


John:and like me contractually obligated to eat rice at least once or twice a day.

Josh:And for me to hate spicy food


John:Oh God.

Josh:so our first episode of Reddit on Wiki is,

, August 2nd. Very exciting. what episode are you most excited for everyone to listen to John?

John:Well, I mean, we did the little poll and apparently the lost colony of Roanoke is the most voted on. So I want to go with that one. Cause I think that's the kickoff. It kind of sets a precedent. On what we're going to be talking about, but really it goes off the rails, the second episode, and then the third episode is completely different.

So you kind of get a taste of everyone's different style and we're just going to mess you up completely.

Josh:was going to say our second episode is going to be on kayfabe and the end, definitely it definitely is to stay tuned to the end. it gets wild. We will clip it and, and share that I'll probably everywhere. So, so stay tuned for that episode. but. We are talking about cults today, John I know, I know we've been recording a lot for other podcasts, but we're actually going back to minds, the roots.

Anyway, because in this episode of let's start a call, we were talking about the story of the children of thunder. A trio led by a fanatic who believed that it was his mission to kill the leaders of the Mormon church. To carry this out, he brainwashed his younger brother and his roommate to carry out a horrific murder spree that left. even the presiding judge reeling from its bloodying detail.

John:I have never heard of them ever before.

Josh:a car is a cool name, the children of thunder. Like I would think they're

like praying to Thor or something like



sadly they're not, they waste such a cool name on such a terrible act.

John:it. I mean, if there were, if there

were, you know, the worst people, I mean, I

don't, I don't know them. I guess I, I wouldn't mind being like the fourth official member, like I'd want a cool nickname, you know, like Lords thunder, thighs or something.

Josh:there you

  1. They,

John:Yeah. That's

that's, that's what I'm gonna say.

Josh:I liked that. I feel you would take it

into a different direction and I don't, I don't know if they would have you along around for very long.

John:No, definitely no killing involved.

Josh:Yeah. Yeah. You'd be like, we could just go chill, you know, play some, some X-Box or something.

 We can eat by mule near like the hammer and wield that pretend

we're Thor or something. I think I think you would take it in a much lighthearted, much more lighthearted directly.

John:We would definitely get kicked out, just like, Hey, you don't belong in this group.

Josh:Uh, yeah. Yeah. So I'm just going to hop into it. We're going to talk about the Helser brothers. I think that's how it's pronounced, but uh, raised by their devote Mormon parents in a small town near San Francisco, the hell's her brothers Taylor and Justin seemed like your average run of the mill American kids as they use.

Start out as in high school, Justin excelled in wrestling and even joined his school's official team. Unlike other athletes, though, he was shy and introverted, often seeking approval from his older brother who reportedly encouraged those feelings in him. By saying that he was number two to Taylor's number


So a great older brother uh, just making your younger brother feel it like


so that he

John:In inferior pretty much. Yeah. It's like, I'm older. I'm better

than you,

Josh:Yeah, which to be fair as teenagers, that's not,

uncommon if we, if we're gonna,

yeah, it happens. I was definitely a Dick to my younger brother

that I think, I think everyone is, I don't know.

John:I can't relate. I'm an only child,


Josh:oh my God.

John:no one's going to steal my

Josh:So you're worse than both of them.


Josh:Later their cousin, Charney Hoffman would testify that quote. A lot of my, understanding of Justin is best described. In contrast, the Taylor moments with Taylor were moments of clarity. It was impossible. We'll be around Taylor without being deeply influenced by him. The experience of being in Taylor's presence is so profound.

I think it would be difficult for someone with Justin's personality. I don't think he had a chance end quote. So he says looking back that it was definitely going to happen that Justin would inevitably do something terrible with his brother or, or at least be controlled by his brother. Upon graduating from high school, both Hauser brothers went on a two year mission trip to fulfill their requirements of the Mormon. Taylor decided to have

his in Brazil. Well, Justin opted for nearby Texas. your home state there, John.

John:um, my, my second home

state tech, technically both home states. I mean, he's from California,


Josh:Oh, true. Yeah. Oh God.



John:it's following me. Yeah, I know. Right.

Josh:When they returned home to California, both immediately found work. Justin is a cable installer and Taylor as a stockbroker in San Francisco in 1993, he married his girlfriend Ann and had two daughters with her before separating in June, 1996. After feeling suffocated by the constraints of the Mormons. Which fair. Yeah, they're pretty, pretty strict.  two years later in August, 1998, Taylor left his cushy job at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and went on disability after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. and this is where things start to go downhill. and I think it goes to prove a lot of cult leaders definitely

have some sort.

Bipolar disorder, if not some sort of disorder anyway.

John:Right. And I mean, just for them to kind of flip the switch between kind of what's I guess, normal, and what's ethical to forcing the people that, you know, that can kind of control controlled their masses by kind of flipping a switch. And yeah, that sounds like something that's in that spectrum.

Josh:Yeah, exactly.  Around this time, Taylor was excommunicated by the Mormon church for his indecent behavior, which included smoking, drinking, and having sex with

women other than his wife, which, I

mean, the last part. is fair. The other

parts is like, come on. He's just happy. Well fun.

John:it sounds like a Saturday night



That's what,

John:the last part. Oh my God, my wife, hopefully she don't kick my ass when

she hears me say that.

Josh:Oh, I'll cut that part

out. I won't do it. I'm not doing it.



Josh:Yeah. Yeah. he also began developing his own disturbing belief system and telling family members that good and evil were non-existent and that the scripture was being misinterpreted. These pronouncements became even more erratic after he lost his job.

And before long Taylor was confiding in his friends that he was a prophet receiving messages directly from God. Uh, it's not a cult until the leader either believes or tells people

that he

is a God or a messenger of God. And uh, it's starting pretty early.

John:Yeah. I mean, I, I, I can see people questioning certain things about scripture or Bible and all that. I'm one of them, myself. Like, I don't really necessarily think some of the translations translate accurately, especially to like modern understanding, but for you too. Kind of embrace the role and say, Hey, this is wrong, but I have the right word.

I have the right information. And therefore, I'm your Messiah. That is exactly when shit goes to shit. When the shit hits the fan pretty

Josh:Yeah, no, I agree. Like good and evil definitely are. No existed, probably in the world. It's more, there's a lot. There's, it's all gray basically. And then there's people who are better and people who are evil or, and, you know, it's like a spectrum. Yeah. More evil so yeah, I can understand, definitely questioning it like you.

but yeah, to claim you have, the answers is where I disagree.

On Memorial day, 1999, the hell's her brothers attended a murder mystery dinner held at their local Mormon temple that evening. They were reportedly dressed in all black and thus stood out from the rest of the suburban attendees. Most of whom wore start's shirts and press chinos.

It was at that event that Justin met Dawn Goodman, a single mother mother in her mid twenties who had recently moved into town and was working at a grocery store. desperate to find a direction in her life. She decided to join the Mormon church, although she was said  to be an outcast much.

like the hell's her brothers.

Well, Don began dating Justin shortly after the murder mystery dinner. She was reportedly fascinated by his charismatic older book. Taylor managed to convince her to join a self-awareness seminar, which consisted of spending a few days inside a windowless room while a facilitator aggressively badgered them to confront their inner demons, which sounds like most university classes I attended for me.

So not that crazy, but no, absolutely ridiculous. after completing two of the seminars, three levels, Don began receiving spiritual guidance from Taylor. He had become completely unhinged  by this point telling her that sometime in January, 2000, it was his destiny to take over the Mormon church by all means necessary.

He also began calling himself Don, and his brother, the children of thunder, claiming that it was their mission to create a state of peace and joy for everyone.



Josh:if that's not unhinged, I don't know what is,


is why.

Josh:yeah. Just being like I'm taking over the Mormon

church and no one can stop me.

John:And I got my children of thunder with me. Oh my

gosh. Yeah. that that's, that does sound pretty

intimidating. Now you think about


Josh:Pretty cool name. I'm I'm a hundred percent sold on the name. I love the


John:I do too.

Josh:Which is my problem with most of these calls, they take these cool names and just fucking ruin them for everyone else.


Josh:Taylor informed Don that it was her duty to create a self-help group called impact America, as This would help them successfully defeat Satan.

They came up with several plans to finance this venture, including creating a subsidy subsidiary named intimacy, which

would provide wealthy businessman with prostitutes. So basically a pimping service.

John:okay. This is an interesting business


Josh:yeah, it's, it gets way worse, like, okay. So it goes off the rail with this next plan. after another financial scheme involved adopting orphans from Brazil and taking them to the United States where they would be trained to assassinate the 15 leaders of the Mormon church.


I know, it's an audio

podcast, so you can't see John's reaction, but

dumbfounded would be a great,

John:what I'd like where you went there, you

know, I'm starting to make it starting to sound like

a certain plot of a video game series called Assassin's creed.

Josh:It's literally that I think.


John:You have your Knights Templar going. That's the Mormon

or the brotherhood assassin, or what is it? The brotherhood of assassins going against the Mormon


Josh:yeah. with an underlying religious tone to it. Yeah, exactly.

It's a hundred percent. The Assassin's creed. I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with this



John:Oh my God. I mean, yeah. They come out with

like every, yeah. Instead of like, you go from

frigging uh, go from like the Nords and then next thing you know,

Josh:Yeah, some American and just adopting Brazilian children And training them. You're you play as one of the Brazilian children?


Josh:uh, yeah, so these I mean, these plans were clearly and practical, so they, they never actually did them thankfully. And uh,  the, the Hauser brothers along with Don finally settled on extorting money from one of Taylor's former clients, a wealthy senior citizen who could be easily killed in case the situation called for it.

so you know, not better but

less crazy anyway,

have a plan. It's more like more people think of extortion rather than adopting children.

John:right. And to me, a lot of these things, like I question

a lot of, some of the motives,

especially when they say like, oh, I'm here to defeat Satan.


John:How exactly are you going to do that? Are you going to pull up and he'll just be like, Hey, you're saying what's up one V one me right now, bro. Like, let's square up.

Like put on some gloves. I don't know. Like how are you going to defeat Satan? That's kind of what I'm always wondering about when it comes to zealots, not the word for it, but it's like these crazy people thinking that, you know, they could change something using religion is a motive.

Josh:Yeah, there's been

thousands and thousands of generations of humans. You think you're the one that's going to one V one Satan, if he's real.

John:Just squirrel,

Josh:Yeah, we got a trio. We are the children of thunder.

Fair. Maybe It's three people and maybe it takes three people to

take, come on. I

don't know.

John:Yeah. Three V one.



Yeah. so, so yeah, going in for extortion They had other affluent marks in mind, all of whom had at some point been handled by Taylor back when he was working as a stock.

However, the scheme called for another individual to open a bank account and launder the extorted money for them. The trio knew that they would have to kill this individual too. And so they settled on a 22 year old Selena Bishop, whom Taylor had met at a rave party in spring of 2000.  Selena had worked, I had been working as a waitress at a local hangout called to bird cafe when she met Terry.

She fell head over heels from instantly obsessed with his good looks and shoulder length hair, which he wore in a ponytail.

I've seen pictures of this, dude. I don't know if it's just me. I don't find him

bad, like


cap pretty much.

Josh:Yeah. I dunno. Like, like he's, he's super average looking, dude.

I don't



John:that was a coup that was another question I've had too is


is it a prerequisite to be good,

looking to be a cult leader because I'm out in the running for that.

Josh:I don't, I don't know. Maybe, maybe it's just me and I, whenever I look at the cult leaders, I think, oh, you guys have done terrible things, so that maybe affects how I'm looking at them, but I don't find many of them that attractive, but I know it is like a, it's a weird kink. there are women who will write into these people on death row.

All that kind of stuff. So I don't know. Maybe it's just the, the danger or the confidence they exert that.

is more of the attraction. Uh, I, I couldn't tell you. but

yeah, it definitely, she fell for him. So that was not, not a good thing for her, unfortunately.

John: you're right. It's probably the charm. My, maybe he has a business card saying, you know,

what's his name again?



And in the bottom, his title is friggin son of thunder,

Josh:Well, so, so you,

you, so that's actually funny, cause

it goes, it goes into the next point. she had no idea that everything he told her about him was a lie. so for one thing, he introduced himself as George. so completely different name and for another, he refused to give her his phone number And also the client to attempt to take photos of him.

So she was like, oh, let's take pictures together. And he was like, Nope. Also no phone number. and Taylor or Jordan as Selena called him, was hesitant about getting to know any of her family and friends. According to her aunt Olga.  she said, quote, he didn't want to meet any of us from the people I talked to, who he did meet.

He gave them the creeps and

quote.  not a good sign. and I, and the old guy knows she, she knows from the old


John:he's doing the classic sidekick treatment. You know, it was like, Hey, we can't be seeing him.

Josh:Yeah. Well, I wonder if it's like, I know there was a. Yeah. I mean, probably in his mind, he's like, he's a psychopath. So he's like, I just, I don't want people knowing who I am so I don't get caught. But another part of me is maybe wondering if the human part of him.

was like, I don't want to get to know her family because I know I have to kill her.

Like I wonder if that was part of it.

That's the hopeful part of, me. The, the realist of me is like, no, he's just a fucking Dick and didn't want to meet anyone.

John:Yeah. And you know, what that kind of, that kind of goes to your point that some of these people might have some sort of bipolar syndrome. Cause I know it seems like a trend to a lot of either murderers or people who does things like that. They want to be known because they're pretty narcissistic. So ma maybe the other side of them is like, you know, okay.

I don't want to get caught. So

I, yeah, let's not, let's not expose myself even more. So that CA that, that probably plays in a little more to that, that theory.

Josh:Yeah, exactly. in July, 2000 Selena agreed to open four bank accounts under her name, believing that she was helping her boyfriend hide inheritance money from his vindictive ex wife. She also began pursuing him to finalize his divorce, not knowing that she was a mere pawn in his vicious game.  to quote journalists, Julius sheers of Turner entertainment, quote,  Taylor had no feelings for her.

He had money to steal and people to kill The reciprocating saw, he used to cut up his girlfriend's body had already been purchased at the local Sears, the duffle bags that would hold her remain at the local cable. End quote. So while he is dating her and she's opening these accounts for him, he's already got the tools that

he's going to use to kill her and hide her


Like what a fucking asshole, the


John:Do hood how can you premeditate that? You know what I mean? It's just, it's just so much things going on. And you're, you're, you're kind of manipulating someone to do all these crazy steps for you. And the end game is still going to be the same, like, yeah, you're just a tool you're just


Josh:it's so fucked up. besides Selena Bishop, the tree will also plan to kill 78 year old Aneeta Steinman and her husband, 85 year old Ivan. Both of whom had worked with Taylor back when he was a stockbroker in San Francisco. The couple had developed a friendship with him over the years. One that had lasted until well after he left Morgan Stanley.

He would often drop by their house and even went so far as to take them river rafting one summer accompanied by their daughter. Nancy Hall later, Nancy would testify that her father saw Taylor as his own son. The Steinman's Weren't the trio's original targets though.

Rather Taylor had plan to extort and murder another one of his former clients, a wealthy man who lived in the nearby town of Walnut Creek. However, he wasn't home when the hell's her brothers paid him a visit. And so they moved on to the next people on their list, Anita, and. Now, I think it's a great time to insert here. Uh, you know, who won't plan to extort and murder you, the wonderful companies that support this podcast, unless unless

it's Amazon, they will, they will absolutely do that, but I'm more than happy to take their money. So, so here's a man.

John:Jeffrey Bezos.

Josh: all Right. Let's hop back into it. On July 30th, 2000, the Hauser brothers decked out in black suits and carrying briefcases arrived at the Steinman's home, which was located only a few miles away from the Concord house that they were renting.

They immobilize the elderly couple using shackles purchased from a bookstore earlier that day and forced them inside a white pickup truck, which had done Goodman at the time. Together, the children of thunder drove the Steinman's to their rental home, where they made Anita called the local branch of Morgan Stanley.

In order to liquidate her investments, it was believed that she and her husband had been made to drink or date rape drug called rufinol. So rupees uh, to make them more complacent as they wrote out two checks, one for $33,000 and another for $67,000.

Both of these were addressed to Selena Bishop. 

John:it's just, it's just unfortunate, you know, it's a lot of older couples, especially you live that long, you would think you would just get your due time and, you know, natural causes, but for you to get duped like that by, by a couple of assholes, that's just, that's life's, cruelness

Josh:I wasn't even duped, you know what I mean? I guess in a way, because they trusted him, but I wouldn't say they were duped necessarily the same way. Like Sophia was, they were duped as like, they trusted him as like a friend and then he kinda forced them for like, he forcefully took their money from them.

So Taylor initially believed that the couple would overdose on the roof fees. But while they did slip into a coma, they still kept on breathing, which spurred the Hauser brothers to take drastic measures in a bid to hide their crime. Ivan Steinman's oh, I, I should trigger warning for anyone who does not want to hear this buddy.

Cause it gets a little, a little brutal. Ivan Steinman's head was slammed against the tile floor will Anita star was brutally slit with a hunting knife later Dawn who witnessed the murders, testified in court saying that. I couldn't really believe that this was happening. The only thing I could do was pray that the couple would die so that it would just be done with and quote, the following day, Taylor ordered his younger brother to dismember the couple's bodies with the power saw.

he reportedly declined to do the dirty work himself, claiming that he had to sit and meditate to receive messages from the spirit.

so, so Taylor's like you have to do it because I have to go. Yeah, listen to God or whatever.

John:right after they just did some crazy shit.

Like, come on

Josh:but I find somebody you were in that part because like, as an older brother, it's like, I don't want to Do the dirty work. You do it

John:Yeah. Do you do


Josh:like as shitty as the thing he's doing is it's a, there's a little bit of a, you could see like an older brother doing something like that. It's just, just to be an extra shitty person.


Josh:Once Justin was done hacking away at the couples, corpses the children of thunder knelt beside the body parts and thank them for sacrificing their lives for a greater cause.

Definitely not a greater cause. then they attempted to feed the remains to several dogs that they had adopted from a local pound, especially for that purpose. However, this plan failed instead, they were forced to stuff the body parts into gym bags, which they weighed down with rocks before dumping them into.

Mocha alum,

mocha, lemon river. probably butchered that, but uh, yeah, so they threw him in a


John:that's that's not the right word to say, butchering a word after it.


Josh:God damn it.

John:Yeah, we went


Josh:He's back with the puns.

and also canceled yourself.


Josh:August 1st, Selena Bishop walked into a local bank and deposited the checks into her bank account, claiming that she had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from her grandparents to pay for her open heart surgery. The following day, she went out on a date with her boyfriend and was said to have had expressed frustration when he failed to show up on time. according to a news report, quote, Bishop  was in especially a good mood that night, the next day, she and her boyfriend were planning to drive to Yosemite national park for a camping trip. No doubt. She hoped it would be an opportunity for them to get closer. And for her boyfriend to finally divulge more information about himself

and quote. that's on August 2nd, which actually is our podcast release. Take, keep That in mind.


Josh:it'd be plugging that's that's the motto. on August 3rd, a neighbor testified that she saw an 1984 Honda accord drive up to the house that the children of thunder were renting inside with Selena, who was planning to spend the day driving with Taylor to USA. unfortunately for her, their romantic massage, she had promised, turned out to be a ploy for her to lie down in an incredibly vulnerable position in a retelling of events.

A news reporter claimed that. As she lay face down on the carpet, contentedly yielding herself to her boyfriend, strong hands. As he rubbed her back. Justin Hauser walked into the room with a hammer. Perhaps Taylor was crooning sweet nothings into ear. She wasn't young in love and about to go on a romantic vacation with her boyfriend.

She was happy. She never imagined what Taylor was capable of. Whatever was going on, whatever she was thinking, as she laid on that carpet, she didn't know what hit her as Justin slammed the hammer into her head several times, cracking her skull and quote. miraculously Selena was still alive after this.

It wouldn't, wouldn't be for long though. Taylor carried her to the bathroom where he told her that quote spirit says, you get to know this is in a dream and quote before slashing her throat with the same hunting knife that he'd used on Anita Stein.


is dark.

Josh:yeah. Yeah. I mean, so I don't know.

There's, there's almost nothing good to gain from this story. Like I'm glad you like it. The last few moments was like in a happy place, you know what I mean? Like in her mind she was like, I'm going on a vacation? Like this is good. But it's terrible. Like, like she seemed like such a good person And, just like willing to help out and like wanting to like help her boyfriend with this, with the money stuff and, and not knowing where it was coming from.

But assuming it was to hide it from his ex and, and, and then go on a nice vacation and hopefully get to know her boyfriend. And then it ends


Josh:ends in her life basically. which is. Fucking terrible and goes to show you

just what a piece of shit this guy is. He's one of the worst

cult like call leaders.

I talk about

John:And I'm going to say like, and this is not like victim blaming at all, but

you know, it's, it's just, it's, just hard to kinda, Explain the reasoning, why someone would be that trusting initially, especially if they don't want to divulge like complete information about them, themselves them to help them out.

But again, this I'm not trying to victim blame them cause I'm, I'm actually watching this show. Now it's been out for a while. I think it's called. It's called John. I don't know if you've ever,

Josh:Is it.

John:ever seen it. No. My wife tells me it's about me, but yeah, it's pretty much the same. Like the I'm only in like the

fifth episode, the first season, but it's pretty much about the same.

This person kind of lied about his personality, lied about his, what he's about. And he pretty much tricked the, the, the girl to  give him all her assets or like share all the assets with them. And this is, It all comes. How terrible some people can get, you know, and it's just taking advantage of someone's kindness.

Someone's I guess, heart to help you out on your time of need. And you're just going to take advantage of that. Some people are just

Josh:Yeah, no, I get what you're saying. Like it's, it, it sucks because it's. we shouldn't be in a position where we have to say don't trust people as much as cause like if it was a world full

of Salinas and no, Taylor's like the world would


such a great

John:better. Exactly.

Josh:but it sucks that it's like, there are tailors out there.

So. You have to keep the people like Selena on their toes And like prepared to just question things because there are terrible, terrible people out there and it's fucked up what the stuff they'll do to manipulate people

who just trust. And they're like, good-hearted people who could never even fathom someone doing something so horrible.

John:And I think it's also a lot of reasons why people are so

jaded nowadays. Like it's so hard

to, be more open and be more transparent with people or be more vulnerable. There's a history of people like Taylor, that would do fucked up shit like this. And it sucks because we won't be able to advance, society as a whole, because we're so distrusting of people like this, you know, it's, it's unfortunate.

And I do feel bad for Selena and, and you're right, like a solace, like she is, she kind of went out like in a dreamlike scenario, but she doesn't deserve any of that stuff, you

Josh:No, no, she, she, a hundred percent deserve the best life and like to have someone who respected her and, deserved her honesty and, and, you know that, that kind of a girlfriend,

it's just, it's terrible that she happened to stumble upon this

piece of shit. And.


John:Fuck you, Taylor.

Josh:he is.

He's still alive, but we will get to


John:God, please. Don't Sue me though.

Josh:well, yeah, I don't think he'll be able to the children of thunders murder spree was far from over though. Their next mark was Selena's mother 45 year old Jennifer  who knew about the bank accounts that our daughter had opened on behalf of her boyfriend.

In the wee hours of August 4th, Taylor drove to Selena's studio apartment where her mother was staying with a 54 year old man named James Gamble. The two were mercilessly shot at point blank range with a Beretta nine millimeter, which prompted it upstairs neighbor to call 9 1 1.

 so part of me is like, All right. Like you've slipped to people's throats already. Why did you use a gun in a very heavily populated area? Like my mind went to you planned all this shit out, and then you just kind of fucked up by not being quiet or I don't like,

I that's fucked up think about, but that's all I do is study fucked up people.

So what am I,


else am I supposed to



think, do you think maybe they did that because they didn't. Cause you know how a lot of times when they do

murder investigations, they look for a motive and they look for some sort of uh, modus of how they do their killings. Maybe they wanted to.



John:they're probably not gonna buy, you're not gonna find this chick Selena, like right away.

And they might not be able to tie the same type of murderer because it's like, okay. Selena was like brutally killed. It must be something. But then the, the mom was just an execution style kind of stuff. Like maybe they can't correlate the two together.

Josh:Yeah. I would have a hard time believing that they were dating. Right. And like, there were people who knew they were dating. And then on top of that, the two people that the elderly couple he killed were directly like they knew him directly. So I think it, it would have been pretty quickly that they would be able to be, yeah.

Oh, it's definitely this dude with the weird cult killing people he knows directly. So I don't, I think they started off with a good plan, you know, and then, analyzing it, is kind of pointless because it's like,


John:disgusting to like, no matter what, low matter we



Josh:Yeah, they had a terrible plan.

They D they shouldn't have killed anyone and they should have just, you know, gone to the woods, like every other fucking call and, you know, been terrible to themselves instead of outwardly terrible. I'm okay. I'm more Okay.

with that. And I feel that I still feel bad for the followers, but at least they're doing harm within and not to the world as a whole, which I think is slightly better. by the time emergency services arrived, though, Taylor had already escaped on August 4th, two Nancy Hall. The Steinman's daughter reported her parents missing after they failed to pick up any frantic phone calls that same day Kay shaman who lived next door to the hell's their brothers claim to have seen her neighbors driving a truck to which a trailer with a jet ski was attached.

She also testified that there were duffle bags on the truck bed as well. well as one on the lap of the man in the passenger seat. Now in my mind, I'm like, I don't know why that

raises red flags because like, if you saw a

jet ski and then a bunch of like duffle bags, I wouldn't be immediately like there's there's bodies in that bag.

Like something's off


 I would just, Yeah, I would just assume like, oh, there's probably wet suits or something. I have no idea. A few days later on August 6th, a Chevrolet Lumina minivan owned by the Steinman's was found by the police in the nearby industrial neighborhood. In addition to a chainsaw and saw a horse, they were able to lift several fingerprints that were founded to be Justin housers and Don Goodmans based on court testimony.

That same day of the children of thunder hired a professional carpenter cleaner to scrub their living room claiming that the large red blotch on their carpet was Kool-Aid. So link back to my very first episode. according to Hazeem Bilal, who was made to clean the stain, Justin and Don had been sitting commonly in the kitchen, eating a snack while watching him work. So very, very creepy.

John:Yeah, I would hate to watch getting watch while I was doing some

Josh:Yeah. Oh, like, yeah. My dad does construction and it's his biggest pet peeve is when they just watch stand at the bottom of the ladder or

something and just stare at you. It's like something could fall like it like easily fall on you please back up.

John:I hope it does that sometimes.

Josh:well, that's true, but then you're liable. So,


Josh:um, on the morning of August 7th, police officers raided the home that the children thunder had been rented.

In search of the gun that had been used to kill Jennifer Villa, Aaron and James Gamble. Instead they found ton of it, a ton of ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and other similar paraphernalia, which were enough to have the trio arrested on drug possession charges. Taylor attempted to escape twice, but it was quickly dragged down by authorities   As the day progressed, more and more evidence was found that linked the trio to the murders of the Steinman. the duffle bag containing the couple's remains were also unearthed from the Mullock and McCullum river, which  excavated. The police believed that the children of thunder were behind their horrific killings. In December, 2001, all three members of the children of thunder were charged with 18 different felonies, which included murder, extortion and kidnapping. I am very happy that they were convicted because that does not often happen. with, with um, murders, let alone cults, cults, Alamos never, they almost never get charged.

They find either kill themselves before or yeah. Face no criminal charges often or not enough. faced with mounting evidence against them and the possibility of a death penalty. Don Goodman struck a deal with the prosecutors becoming their star witness and giving up the Hauser brothers in exchange for a lighter punishment after agreeing to testify against Justin and Taylor.

She was sentenced to 38 years to life in prison. So that's the lighter sentence, which good fucker she was a piece of shit.  According to several news outlets Don's testimony against the Hauser brothers was so sickening that the judge at one point asked for a

quote, collective deep breath, I end quote before work before continuing.

yeah, so

definitely. Yeah. Oh, a hundred percent. Like if she was going to detail about all that stuff I talked about and I would also need a collective deep breath. In March, 2004 shortly before his trial was about to be in Taylor, Houser entered a surprise guilty plea with his defense attorney, reading aloud and impromptu confession to a stunned courtroom. Justin Helser on the other hand, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the 11 charges that a jury had convicted him.

During his trial, he was portrayed by both his lawyer and his family members as a mentally ill and vulnerable man coerced into the murders by his more Grigorian older brother, which in some ways is fair, but you can only take that so far, in my opinion. you can be manipulated, but your actions are your actions and you can a hundred percent

say no at any point in that.


John:Especially the severity of the crimes that you

committed you can't,

it's just that's yeah. It's just a cop out.


Josh:it it's one thing. If you're in a store and your brother's like, oh, I bet you won't steal that lollipop or something like, like, that's one thing it's like, all right. Like, Yeah.

you're probably coerced into it and it's a shitty thing, but it's not the worst thing in the world. But if my brother was like, Hey, go, come murder these people with me.

I'd be like, what the fuck I'm calling the police. Like you're, you're absolutely going to jail.


Josh:a psychiatrist who had interviewed him even tested that Justin had a delusional disorder, which led him to believe that Taylor was genuinely a prophet of God and thus the killings they committed morally wrong. Yeah.

shortly before sentencing, Justin reportedly told the court that. I want this life to be over. I want to die. I'm being truthful. I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be rude. I just want to be free. I want freedom or death and quote and the court obliged with these resigned words. He was sentenced to the death penalty on August 4th, 2004, four years to the day that the last victim in the murder spree was. it was noted that as the verdict was read aloud, both jurors and his loved ones cried openly while the family members of his victims celebrated all in all Justin Hauser received three death sentences for the role that he played in the five murders. On April 14th, 2013, 41 year old, Justin Hauser was found dead in his cell at San Quentin prison.

After tying his bedsheet to the cell bars to form a makeshift news. This had been his second suicide attempt with the first one, leaving him blind after he stabbed his eyes with pens and pencils.   In a statement released to the press Contra Costa county, chief assistant directive attorney. Oh my



John:Costa county, chief that's the fountain was there right there.

Josh:huh. And then assistant director of attorney. It's like, you can, you can shorten the name, like come on guys.

John:quadruple C ADA. Sure.


Josh:Uh, Harold jute said quote, in no sense of the word, was Justin . Nonetheless the origin of the obvious torment he experienced in prison reflected in self-mutilation. And now suicide clearly rests at the doorstep of his older brother Taylor and quote.

So he's basically saying everything that happened to Justin rests on shoulder, on the shoulders of his older brother, which is fair because if he didn't have that influence, none of us would have ever had. Taylor Hauser remains on death row at the California San Quentin state prison.

No further updates have been made since his sentencing.   It isn't known either. If he continues to believe that he, as a prophet of God has been entrusted with killing the leadership of the Mormon church.

One thing is for certain though, his staunch belief in these led to the horrifying deaths of five people and may have cost his younger brother's life as well.

And That is the story of the children of thunder, a cult that took an amazing name and ruined it forever.

John:That is so dumb.

Josh:Yeah. Definitely. One of the darker ones I've covered.


I don't know what to say. Like I I'm glad that they were punished and he is still being.

I have some sympathy towards his brother with just the understanding that I know what manipulation can do to a person. And he was definitely manipulated, but that's still no excuse for what he did. Don on the other hand, 38 years.

so this was 2001. So she's a, you know,

she's still got a couple more years left, quite a, quite a few.


John:well, no hope it had dawned dawned on her. That is her, her life is fucked.

 Josh:I think that's all we need to say on that topic.

John:It's not even that it's like they fucked five people's lives up that don't deserve


Josh:well, more than that, and if you think of it, like their families, their friends, like it, murdering one person


hundreds. Yeah. it's terrible. Like And I don't know

where they were going for. they should have just gone with the

Brazilian, kids plan, I think in the end,



it create an army of, Brazilian uh, assassins.

Josh:To kill the Mormon church leaders.

John:Right? take the kids. I mean, this is fucked up. Don't listen to

me guys. Yeah. Take like uh, you know, if they were going to adopt those Brazilian kids out of, you know, a life of poverty, at least give them some sort of purpose in life just to be these bad-ass assassins. But. Again, don't listen to me.

That was a


Josh:Yeah. And if I'm, if I'm thinking about it, I don't know if they would have treated them much


than they

would be in

poverty in Brazil, but at least they would have the chance to. hopefully get to America and then maybe find a better way

of living. Like they could assassin they're masters




Josh:which another whole actually, now that I think about it is none of them were assassins.

How are they going to train these kids to be assassins?



Josh:them to jiu-jitsu school for a couple of years. I don't know.

John:Oh my

Josh:Uh, anyway John, you know what it's time for, we've talked about these shitty people for about an hour now, and it's time to rate their calls because society doesn't know how to quantify things, unless you rate it with a point system.

So out of five stars,

how would you rate the children of things?

John:and this is not because I think they're cool. Okay. But I will give them a three, three out of five stars for, for the fall, for the following reasons. One, the one stars to given


John:they're shitty, but  give them a two star because they, they do have a cool ass name. I'm not going

to let that shit.

It's coolest. And the third part, it seems like they're, I know all their plan kind of came to shit at the very end because of seems like this organization of their organization kind of led to their end. But I did think that there were more, a high level in terms of, of a plot as compared to the others other costs that you've talked about in the past.

It's more, I guess like high-level thinking it's like, okay, if we extort money, we do that. Even though, like the initial plants are kind of idiotic, but in the grand scheme of things, had it worked out. That was a pretty good plan. If, if

had it worked

Josh:Yeah, no, I think That's.

a fair rating. I wasn't even going to go that high. So kudos for

you to

go in


John:and it's it's not, I'm not idolizing them. I just want to point


Josh:you love them. I understand.

John:I just wanted to be, you know, I'm not saying I want to be a part of them, but if I was, I really

want it to be called Lord thunder

Josh:With a bunch of children, Brazilian


That's what

you would, you

would, have voted, you would have voted that plan.


Josh:I think I have to go with I wanted to go with one, but I think you've bumped me up to a 1.5 star. I think the name itself gives it that it's only redeeming quality is the name of the cult.

And then the half star. is their thought process was, yeah. As you said, slightly ahead of other calls, I've talked about, they plan a little bit further ahead. even though it did not work out, I don't know for me it's less of a call because it's three people, you know what I mean? like I feel called needs at least five.


Josh:cool. Quote unquote. and, and yeah, I dunno, it just didn't have, like, it didn't seem like they stuck to their original belief as much as, I think they should have around that should have, but like as much as most called, do you know, at least

if your, your sole job is to kill the Mormon later group, why are you killing all these other random


John: question question for you though. Would you think that this is kind of like there.

Initial plan for a takeover, because like you said, it's not really a, a cult per se, unless there's more members, maybe for them getting the capital for it. Instead of the traditional sense of a cult where like, Hey, I'm going to indoctrinate as much people as possible and then take their money.

You think they did this because they want it to speed up that process because once they have their capital off the bat, then they can proceed to whatever they want to do much in a, in a much faster rate. Building it from the ground up as other cults would do


Josh:I can kind of see that in some ways that's a potential In other ways, I'm, I'm looking at it and I'm like, they only got

a hundred thousand, you know what I mean? I mean, that is a lot of money,

but if all three of

John:like the, the two thousands

Josh:true. Yeah. But if all,

John:late night.

Josh:if all three of them had worked a year like this year of planning and killing or, well, not, it wasn't a full year, but you know what I mean?

They would have easily made that and then just, you know, they, they could have started. More moral ways or, or yeah, like requesting donations, like most cults do or I dunno. I think, I think they, as I said, they, they planned what they were going to do. They didn't, I don't think they plan further than that.

I think they were like, okay, we gotta get money to somehow kill the, Mormon leaders. I don't know what we do after that. Like uh, I don't know if they thought about what they would do after the them. or if they were just going to bail after that, they would, maybe they were just

robbers with some sort of false religious scheme.

I don't know. I don't know.


Or maybe, maybe, they, they, they kind of put that idea to

their head.

So maybe if they do get caught, they can use like, Hey, I'm going to use a plea for insanity as a, a way to justify all the crazy and like inhumane shit that I just did.

Josh:And only get 38 years to life.


John:either way. They're all assholes. All three of


Josh:Oh Yeah. A

hundred percent. I hope he rots in hell well in prison for the rest of his life. and then


John:Yeah. And then they can one view, one saying, and then say, and can whoop their

Josh:Yeah. We'll see how he does with Satan. When he.

goes down to meet his brother and Dawn.

John:Exactly. I don't know if you watch south park, but this is exactly how I imagined Satan. Like how he.

Josh:Okay, perfect.

John:Yeah, it's a big ass dude.

Josh:That is a big ass dude.

I don't think I don't think Taylor is that tall, but he is good looking apparently So

he's got that going. thank you everyone for listening to today's episode of the children of thunder. John, let's tell my amazing listeners about our new podcast and where they can listen to


John:oh my gosh, you put me on a spot, but like Josh said, we are going to be launching Reddit on Wiki on August 2nd, 2021. I don't know when this episode is going to come out, but be excited. Launch day, we're launching three episodes off the bat. Josh is going to be covering. Colony of Roanoke. Our boy, Sean is going to be covering kayfabe and I will be uh, terribly putting Florida man into some sort of different perspective.

And then from there, we'll go on to on a weekly basis once again, but you can find us wherever you find your podcasts. We're on. Apple podcast, Spotify. And anything else you can think of? We're on social media, on Instagram and Twitter at Reddit on Wiki. That's R E D D I T O N w I K I N like what Josh said?

Yes. We admittedly use Wikipedia and Reddit as sources.


are I diligently study for this podcast. I do not diligently study for


John:No, that one is for fun. We just don't have as much fun as possible. And you're in for a surprise. We are going to be reading some erotic fan fiction and it gets really weird

Josh:weird and hot. that's what.

John:hot. My heart is cause we were


the whole time we were recording it. Not we're we're on the same room together. All right. Just

went out


Josh:Yeah, it was a, it was a surprise for sure, but a good one. And uh, I hope you, I hope you guys enjoy all the episodes and yeah, definitely subscribe to Reddit on Wiki. We're super, super excited to bring that to you guys. And it's a weekly podcast, so it doesn't have to interfere with this one.

You guys can subscribe to both, listen to both, if you want. And. if you're

loving this podcast, be sure to give us a review and tell your friends about it, be sure to go to our, buy me a coffee page and become a member for ad-free episodes.

If you want to keep up to date with the podcast, you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at let's underscore.  you can follow our slash let's start a call pod, or you can go to let's start a Colt and sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you, Fred for listening and thank you, John, for coming on today, we will see you next time, or we will see you next week when Reddit on Wiki releases. So get excited for that. All



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