Jeremy starts grade 9 at Bryan Adams High School in DISD for 1989-90 school year
Joseph buys house in 600 Rorary Drive, Richardson
Swipe the pictures
Bryan Adams High School:
/comment: I loved how the BA mascot cougar’s eyes were green in pic #20 of the graffiti. Very artful and fitting. Whoever did this, hats off and props. Concerning Jeremy’s time at BA, there were a lot of people who commented on other websites that knew Jeremy from BA and made friends with him. At least in this regard, it must have been a good time because people spoke fondly of Jeremy. Although some also reportedly thought of him as a “punk” and goofball. Read comments at Ssheps website, with comments from Shea, Robert, Leah and also Shelly. Some of his friends during this time could easily see he had problems. Jeremy was skipping school from time to time and smoked cigarettes regularly. From what I’ve seen from BA and the surrounding neighborhood, I’d say it was lower middle class nowadays. For the late 80’s and early 90’s this does not have to be true. From what I understand, Richardson should have been a wealthier neighborhood back then.
March 8 1990
At Winter Chill retreat sponsored by Casa View Baptist Church in Dallas suburb Mesquite, Jeremy meets Nancy and they begin dating.
/comment: Nancy was Jeremy’s first big love – a love story which included huge drama. She was a year older than Jeremy. She had blondish-brown, long curly hair and a bright smile. At the time they met, Nancy was a nice, friendly and social girl who excelled at school – like All-Year Honor Roll. Nancy was not at all involved in the stuff that Jeremy was in or suffered from, e.g. his drug abuse and problems stemming from depression. Those problems would eventually lead to their breakup. Later, Nancy became interested in administration and management in general. She addressed teen problems like skipping school and stress from studying in extended exam periods. She stated about truancy “Sitting through detentions can be really boring and make you not want to skip again”. About final exam time she remarked that “It seems like every time I turned around I was having to take another test. It never seemed to end until they started to release the classes. That was the best feeling I have ever had knowing that I wouldn’t have to take another test for three months”. According to Nancy, Jeremy was talking a lot about suicide and was into music that dealt with death and suicide. This is significant, as it makes evident that his suicidal ideation did not originate from a breakup but from other issues, possibly his broken family life, brain chemistry, an underlying condition, a trauma event in the past or a combination of all. The breakup was only a catalyst.
late March 1990
Jeremy withdraws from grade 9 at Bryan Adams High School in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD); he attends Richardson Junior High School in the Richardson Independent School District (RISD) while living with his father in 600 Rorary Drive
Swipe the pictures
Rorary Drive in Dallas:
/comment: Rorary Drive and the surrounding neighborhood appears lower middle class. In 2018, houses got a bit old but the area was peaceful, quiet, secure and clean. Any ideas about the early 90’s situation?
It is not known why Jeremy moved in with his dad all of a sudden after living with his mum for years and being rather successful at BA HS in his first year there. Nancy lived in Mesquite, he lived near this place at Jonesboro with his mother Wanda – Richardson is way up north. Effectively, it became more difficult for Nancy and Jeremy to meet, although the driving license was just around the corner at age 16. Nancy mentioned in the police records that Jeremy would often remove his parent’s cars without their consent to visit friends. Anyway, it is entirely possible the sudden move had to do with Jeremy’s anger and mental health problems which could be too much to handle for Wanda and Jeremy’s sister back then. But this is just a theory.
Nancy breaks up with Jeremy.
Read what Nancy had to say about their relationship and Jeremy’s personality here.
Two days later Jeremy is hospitalized after trying to commit suicide by taking an unknown quantity of pills – suicide attempt #1
Jeremy admitted to an in-patient adolescent program at Timberlawn psychiatric hospital in Dallas
If you’re interested about what life was like at Timberlawn, click here.
Joseph and Wanda modify custody of Jeremy, Joseph becomes managing conservator, Wanda has to pay child support and they split insurance and medical costs
According to police records, Jeremy meets Nancy again at Summer Burn retreat of Casa View Baptist Church. He climbed up a cliff and threatened to jump off. He did not jump but received counseling from church authorities, no follow up reported. Suicide attempt #2
Jeremy gets pass to come home from Timberlawn, he become outpatient but still attended the groups and counseling meetings at Timberlawn.
One night he drives to Nancy’s house and threatens to shoot himself because of family and school problems – suicide attempt #3
Michelle meets Jeremy at Timberlawn and they date.
/comment: Evidently, Jeremy longed for Nancy and had a very hard time accepting they broke up. It is not clear whether Jeremy dated Michelle before or after the episodes at Nancy’s house and the church retreat event. He would call each of them after the breakup and talk about life and love. It is apparent though he still needed medical treatment. Jeremy’s artistic and creative letters with drawings written at this time in his life and sent to Michelle, attest his love and affection for her. According to the police reports, his letters show that he really wanted to have a family with Michelle. The police report does not mention the contents of the letters he wrote to Nancy but it can be assumed they were of the same quality.
Michelle is re-admitted to Timberlawn; Jeremy is released
Michelle and Jeremy break up
Read what Michelle had to say about their relationship and Jeremy’s personality here.
/comment: Maybe this is when he lost it. He was suicidal before but the three attempts seemed more or less like they were cries for help and attention, not really planned out. The last reported attempt was in July. He went several months without incident, as far as the police records go. For any adolescent, moving several times in a short time span, changing classes all the time, not really being able to keep long lasting friends or develop relationships must lead to feelings of alienation. Jeremy must have felt this way too, like he was not able to fit in anywhere although this was hardly his fault. Adding to the fact that it was probably not true, as some friends remember him to this day. Depression makes you not realize those things. Add the broken home he came from, with all the weirdness this brings. Almost every divorce child can whistle this tune to some degree. It became apparent Jeremy wanted to have a functional family of his own. Guess this is why he so desperately searched for a girlfriend who was committed to marry him in order to start a family, something to call his own.
All those problems were destined to worsen his mental condition.
Some friends who knew Jeremy suggested that he suffered from not diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. Wonder what the readers think. BPD is certainly a possibility but it was not mentioned in the Police reports. BPD patients suffer from tantalizing fear of losing someone when they are in a relationship, therefore they appear clingy and controlling sometimes. They also face anger issues. It is a very complex disease that is usually only diagnosed in early adulthood due to being so difficult to grasp. A compiled list comparison of Bipolar II and BPD from various sources can be found here and here.
Late October 1990
Jeremy began attending Richardson High School on October 16, 1990.
According to RHS assistant principal Mr. Roseborough, the problems that Jeremy faced at Richardson HS dealt with truancy and an alleged threat against his algebra teacher.
Jeremy had his locker searched three times before Christmas break.
Searches yielded several bottles of whiteout and a “Cults that Kill” book
/Comment: Witeout was used for snuffing or even drinking back then. The effects mirrored those of alcohol inebriation but without being drunk.
Snuffing was popular with kids during the 90’s but could lead to kidney failure and other serious health issues which is why today’s witeout is made of different chemicals.
Also, there are two editions of the Cults that Kill book, hardcopy 1988 and paperback 1989 with different designs. The report does not specify what kind of edition was found.
The deer leg was found later, along with books on childbirth and fatherhood.
/comment: Obviously they changed the colors and layout of the lockers. Back in 1990 those would have been white-beige or grayish, while nowadays they are purple. Check out the video footage of RHS here.
Jeremy casually tells multiple class mates about his fascination and preoccupation with suicide. He is reported to the school counselor. It is not known what the counselor suggested as treatment or if the person was even in the position to help Jeremy, given the severity of his symptoms.
Early December 1990
Jeremy attends his last regular classes before being put in ISS for threats against teachers.
Dec 11 1990
Jeremy allegedly steals money from a cash box after a RHS basketball game and is reported by fellow student for threats against his Math and English teacher, as well as suicide intentions.
Dec 12 1990
RHS assistant principal Joe Roseborough notifies Richardson police of the alleged threat, the “Cults That Kill” book and the deer’s leg found in Jeremy’s locker.
Mr. Roseborough said that RHS Math teacher Mrs. Neal was not threatened directly by Jeremy, but that he made comments to other students. Something along the lines of “wouldn’t it be funny if somebody just came in and blew her head off”. Those statements reached the principal who then contacted police officer in school Mr. Foster to make a report.
Jeremy was taken out of Mrs. Neal’s class.
Jeremy is arrested for theft. Police also question Jeremy about the threat against the math teacher.
Jeremy attests that he made general comments and that it was twisted as rumors passed around students.
Police recommended counseling.
Joseph tells police that Jeremy “has had a lot of psychological treatment,” that Jeremy was at Timberlawn in early 1990 and that he is checking into other options for Jeremy.
Joseph also asks for the theft to be reported to the juvenile system for help.
Police note that Jeremy is 5-foot-8, 140 pounds, has a conservative appearance, short straight brown hair, a cross tattoo on his left arm, two gold earnings in his left ear and is wearing a jogging suit and tennis shoes.
Dec 14 1990
Jeremy is confined to ISS the rest of the year for both threats and locker contents and also due to the fact that he was hospitalized at Timberlawn. He was in ISS before due to smoking, substance abuse and truancy.
/comment: Obviously the threats and mental problems were the real reasons here. It can be assumed that the school staff did not know how to deal with Jeremy and wanted him out of the regular classes. He was carrying the stigma of being hospitalized at a psych ward. He did not feel comfortable at the new school, so he skipped a lot. It can be assumed it became a habit. And then the threats. Sshep’s website features an interview with an RHS official that sheds more light on the situation and also explains what ISS was like. It is worthy of discussion whether things would have been different if they reacted in another way back then. RHS staff was inviting and talking to Jeremy’s dad to make him aware of all the problems but the follow up was a bit lacking.
Late December 1990
Some time after Christmas, Jeremy tells Michelle B. that he was given a gun as a present.
/comment: Which was not true as he stole the gun later from the drawer in the house of his dad’s girlfriend.
Jan 6 1991
At about 11 a.m., Michelle calls Jeremy. Michelle remembers that Jeremy seemed depressed as always. He boasted that he was on acid and that he did more drugs than ever before.
Michelle told him that she might be pregnant but that Jeremy is not the father. Sometime during the conversation, Jeremy told Michelle he would die for her.
Afterwards, Michelle called Wanda to report Jeremy sounded strange on the phone. Michelle said she felt Wanda did not show concern at the time.
/comment: This call must have crushed Jeremy. But despite all, maybe he hoped they could raise the kid together. Although it was not his child, he remarked he would “die for her”, to assure her he would still be there for her. It was not mentioned how Michelle responded. She did sense something was off and she called his mother, informing her about all of this. Why did she not call his dad? Maybe she felt more comfortable talking to Wanda. There was no further info in the police records. Later it was revealed that Michelle was not pregnant. Jeremy wrote in one of his last notes that Michelle was not to blame – but the actions and conversations between the two were considered in his decision.
Jeremy starts to write and send suicide letters as well as tapes to friends. They would not arrive after he committed suicide.
Chris from Austin provided a sample of those letters.
Chris also adamantly denied that Jeremy had any affiliation with the so-called “Hammer skins”.
“I also read something about him being a member or affiliated with the confederate hammer skins. Absolutely not. At the time (and this was part of my teenage rebellion in my own world) I was into skinhead things/philosophies. Which I shed back then realizing it was bullshit and not who I was nor wanted to be. It was stupid kid shit of trying to fit in when you feel like you’re an outcast. But as far as Jeremy goes, he was just trying to impress me. He was never into that. Nor did he even know any hammer skinhead folks.”
An account from Jeremy’s late friend in 1990, Chris from Austin
/comment: Jeremy was not part of the Hammerskins. He was just trying to impress friends as he would usually try. The info from Chris should answer all the questions that were sent in regarding this issue. Jeremy was not a Nazi, nor was he a racist. He was just a confused kid and he most probably made up this story to impress someone close to him.
Jan 7 1991
Still in In-School Suspension, Jeremy writes notes back and forth with Lisa, who was also confined to ISS at the time. He liked to talk about his life and to get to know Lisa and her life. They were writing about their school and private life, their problems in general. His last note ended with “Later Days” instead of the usual “Write back” which caught Lisa’s attention because she thought it was unusual. She later stated in the newspaper interview she did never expect what happened the next day.
‘Later Days’ note: (blacked out the contents as per Lisa’s request)
Jan 7 1991
Jeremy leaves school and catches a bus for his regular one on one counseling appointment at the Aerobics Center with Doctor Bob H.
The counseling session ends and Jeremy walks to the house of Joseph’s girlfriend at Harvest Hill Rd which was nearby.
Joseph’s girlfriend also gave counseling and was not expected to come home until 9:30 pm.
According to the police report and Joseph’s statements, it was agreed that after the counseling sessions, Jeremy was to wait at Joseph’s girlfriends house for his dad to pick him up, as he was working late on the counseling days.
Jeremy would enter an unlocked door and raid the fridge while watching TV.
Jeremy pages Joseph to say he is at the girlfriend’s house.
/comment: Today you would communicate via messenger of your choice on a smartphone. Back then a pager must have been futuristic, at least a bit. Although RHS students at the time have reported it was very common for students back then to have one of those. How did Jeremy feel about the fact he had to page Joseph all the time? Maybe it fueled his resentments of being controlled and constricted.
Jeremy calls Nancy and tells her that this was the last time they would talk due to the fact that he and his dad were leaving for Tokyo, Japan the next day.
He also advised he had acquired an expensive ring for her for $ 800.00 from Lord & Taylor and that he would be mailing her a letter and this ring the next day.
He wanted her to always wear the ring and remember him while he was in Japan. He promised to write her and he wanted the ring to be a friendship, promise or even engagement ring. They talked for nearly an hour.
According to the Jeremystory, during the evening, Jeremy calls a RHS student to ask for help getting rid of a stolen stereo and getting drugs for a friend in rehab.
Jeremy also talked about “being tired of the bullshit that he had been putting up with at home,” that he was in big trouble and that he was really mad at Joseph.
The police report states that it was suspected Jeremy stole both gun and golden ring from the house of Joseph’s girlfriend at Harvest Hill Rd on this day.
One can suspect he snatched the gun from the unlocked drawer in the bedroom from 6:20 pm to the time he called Nancy.
Joseph picks up Jeremy from the girlfriend’s house. Joseph recalls Jeremy seemed ‘happy, upbeat and normal’. They went home and watched a movie on TV.
Jeremy calls Wanda, no details about the call are know.
Wanda reportedly stated during the interview of 2018 to WFAA, she was supposed to gather Jeremy from school on the fateful day in January.
Jeremy goes to bed
The Last Day
January 8, 1991
Joseph leaves the house to go to work
Joseph calls Jeremy to make sure he was up and ready for school.
Before leaving for school, Jeremy called Nancy again one last time at 7:30 AM. They spoke for about 20 minutes.
He told her he and his dad were leaving for Japan at 3 PM on that day, he was en-route to the DPS to get his passport.
He also said he was stoned on marijuana.
Nancy recalled Jeremy to be in good spirits and that he did not talk of suicide.
She said that he was “so at peace, so much more than I had ever seen him.”
/Comment: This change in behavior is a common sign concerning depression’s last stage.
At age 15 or 16, no one could expect Jeremy’s friends to recognize the signs. His counselors could have known but they were not around.
Maybe his teachers would have known if they were briefed and made aware of Jeremy’s condition.
Jeremy was reportedly hugging teachers and some students in the hallway at Richardson HS, thanking them and being really happy.
Unusual for his personality, so people noticed this and remembered it vividly.
Interlude: Depression stages
Stage 1 is ideation stage, during which a depressed person finds him/herself thinking about suicide more and more.
However, the fear of suicide still outweighs its attraction. Therefore, the person may be thinking dark thoughts (“my family would be better off without me”),
obsessing over dark music (i.e., playing the same depressing song over and over again), or expressing thoughts of death, suicide, pain, and hopelessness through artistic expression, but has not yet begun to formulate a specific plan. – all of which can be attributed to Jeremy a ton!
Stage 2 is the “planning” stage, during which the person’s dark thoughts begin to turn to formulating a specific plan for suicide.
Friends and family may notice the person’s depression worsening and the individual’s substance abuse increasing. Stage 2 rarely lasts longer than several months because it is a very psychologically painful place to be. The person feels compelled to make a decision to suicide (thus moving into Stage 3) or not to suicide at that time;
a decision that most people do not discuss with loved ones and often wrestle with in isolation.
Stage 3 begins when a suicidal person makes the decision to commit suicide. The moment the decision is made, the person goes on “auto-pilot.”
People in Stage 3 are imminently lethal; however, they seem more “normal” than they appeared in a long time.
Depression seems to suddenly lift because the person has made the final decision and is no longer wrestling with it.
Unfortunately, most mental health professionals and family members are not trained to recognize “auto-pilot,” and they breathe a sigh of relief because their patient seems to be much better now, not realizing that he/she is on a collision course with suicide. People on “auto-pilot” typically attempt suicide within the next 48 hours.
It is crucial to be alert when a depressed patient who doesn’t seem to improve after months of intervention suddenly seems to get better.
Instead of relaxing, become more vigilant when you see a sudden, overnight improvement.
Listen closely to any indication that the individual has decided to end their life and mobilize support among family, friends, and medical/behavioral health providers.
January 8, 1991
Jeremy pages Joseph to notify him he arrived at school
He dropped off his backpack at ISS and went to the Eagle’s nest cafeteria wearing his big white coat.
There he met fellow students and gave them ring and letter to be mailed after school by them, because he was “not going to be around after school.”
Jeremy did not seem to be depressed at all but happy.
There were at least two female eyewitnesses that were hugged by him and seen Jeremy smile and in good mood for the first time.
Joseph receives call from Mr. Roseborough who reported that Jeremy was missing from class.
Some time after 9:35 AM
Jeremy enters English Class II, room B201 and is handed a hall pass by Mrs. Barnett to get to the school office and receive a new ISS admittance.
He takes off his white coat and puts it on a desk in the back of the room.
He leaves the room and removes something from his locker #540, presumably the gun.
He returns to the room and puts his hall pass on Barnett’s desk and says something like “Miss, this is what I went for”, or “this is what has to be done” or “this is what I really need” (depending on the source).
Then he placed the gun in his mouth and shot himself.
According to several witnesses, there was no time to react.
This happened in front of a full classroom of 30 students, now mentally scarred for life.
There are rumors that the kids of English Class II bullied Jeremy, e.g. throwing things at him when the teacher was not looking and calling him out due to strange behaviour, etc..
According to police reports, there was no further investigation into this matter although they did receive hints from students. If you want to know more about what he said before, turn to the next page.