A Michigan mother who killed her two adult children and her husband before taking her own life in an apparent murder-suicide, possibly carried out the grisly act as she struggled with being shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Lauren Stuart, 45, and her husband, Daniel, 71, had left the denomination five years earlier. Longtime family friend Joyce Taylor told the newspaper that the family severed ties with the church due to “doctrinal and social issues.” Taylor and several ex-members explained that an extreme shunning takes place after someone leaves the church, where followers—even relatives—are barred from speaking to ex-members again.
A video obtained by WXYZ supposedly shows Taylor and other ex-members bursting into a Kingdom Hall meeting in Union Lake this past weekend and accusing leaders of causing the grisly murder-suicide.
“Excuse me, everyone, My name is Joyce Taylor…Two days ago, four people died as a result of your shunning process,” Taylor said. “Five years ago you people pulled your support from this small family, the only support they had was you people. You turned them away and you shunned them.”
“For what?! Because they wanted to raise their children as they saw fit.”
Taylor claimed that Lauren and Daniel wanted to send their children to college. but it’s forbidden under their religion. Despite this, Taylor said they did so anyway since Steven excelled in computers, like his father, who was a data solutions architect for the University of Michigan’s Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care. Bethany was exceptional in art and graphic design.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lauren is believed to have killed her husband, her daughter Bethany, 24, and her son Steven, 27, before turning the gun on herself last week at their Keego Harbor home. Police sources told WXYZ that Lauren killed the family dog in a bathtub.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office said the three victims had gunshot wounds to their heads, leading them to rule their deaths as homicides. They ultimately ruled Lauren’s death a suicide. Police sources told the news station that Lauren left behind a lengthy suicide note, but wouldn’t disclose what it said.
[Featured Image: Lauren Stuart/KSDK]