Blueprint for murder? 9OYS investigates the 'Juggalo' connection
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - What could possibly drive a grandson to allegedly kill his own grandparents? It's a question many have asked since July.
911: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller: I just came over to my grandparents and something has happened to both of them.
There's blood everywhere.
It's hard to imagine something so gruesome, so horrifying happened inside a midtown Tucson home. Mary and Erskin Fulgham were found brutally murdered, stabbed and beaten to death. In a cruel twist, police say their grandson, Kyle Drattlo, and his friends Christopher Terry and Brianna Harding are responsible.
"I kind of suspected it was someone who knew them," said the couple's neighbor.
Detectives quickly pieced together the moments leading to the murder. The trio spent time on Mt. Lemmon panhandling, desperate for money and allegedly planned to "murk" or beat to death a different couple on the mountain. But then plans changed.
Hours later, surveillance tape catches the alleged killers driving away from the gruesome scene. All three suspects believed to be in that white car. All three captured a day later on the run in Tonopah, Nevada.
So we know the alleged who? But what about the why? The path to that answer could be found in one word, tucked away in police reports: juggalos.
Then there's Terry's clown-like tattoos and evidence collected by Tucson Police including "jeans with juggalo writing" and a "baseball cap with the hatchet man symbol".
The genre is horror core. It's most popular group: the Insane Clown Posse. Their followers: the juggalos. Kelly Snyder is a former DEA agent who's tracked possible Juggalo activity across the country.
"It almost has the taste of a cult," said Snyder.
The FBI goes one step further. They call the juggalos a gang active here in Arizona. More than 140 pages released by the FBI document why. They are pages filled with reports of brutal murders and assaults across the country. They all have one word in common: juggalo.
"The perception is that something is obviously not right here," said Snyder.
Just look at the songs says Snyder. Explicit tunes like "Thrill of the Kill", "I Stab People" or "If I Was a Serial Killer". The lyrics even more disturbing. Most of the lyrics 9OYS can't even put on TV. Juggalo critics say the music is a blueprint for murder.
"It makes someone strongly suggest that they're carrying out what's in their lyrics," said Snyder.
But what do Tucson's own juggalos think? 9OYS went to concert to see for ourselves. We saw the tattoos, the hatchet man symbols, they people who say they're misunderstood.
"To label us all a gang is ridiculous," said Joe.
"I don't want to be labeled a criminal just because of the music I listen to," said Acetone.
They say don't blame the music.
"I wouldn't say message is violent," said Acetone.
"You can find Justin Bieber fans that are guilty of violent crimes," said Gilgamesh. "It doesn't get any cleaner than that."
9OYS asked about the brutal murder right here in Tucson. Should the juggalo connection be ignored?
"You can't label everybody just because some people did some bad things," said Joe.
Blame the person they say, not the juggalo family.
"It just doesn't make sense for them to continue to create songs that have something to do with death and killing people," said Snyder. "Isn't there something better they can sing about?"
ICP's record company Psychopathic Records is locked in a lawsuit with the FBI over the gang classification. 9OYS reached out to ICP, but were told because of an Australian tour did not have time to answer questions. Meanwhile, Juggalo-style connections to murders and assaults across the U.S. continue to surface.
"It's not going to stop," said Snyder. "So far they are almost committing the perfect crime."
It wasn't quite so perfect here in Tucson. Three accused killers now awaiting justice for killing an elderly couple that didn't deserve to die the grisly way they did.
All three are still in custody. They are due back in court on December 4th. The Pima County Attorney's office could still seek the death penalty. That decision should be made by the end of the year.