Chilling moment police tell Terry Caffey his daughter had their family killed

By news.com.au, Marnie O’Neill

This is the chilling moment police tell Terry Caffey that his 16-year-old daughter Erin was behind the murders of her mother and two young brothers.

Mr Caffey was recovering in hospital from multiple gunshot wounds having just watched his 13-year-old son Matthew get shot to death and his wife Penny almost decapitated, when police paid him a visit.

"I guess the first thing I want to know is how my daughter is ... they won't tell me a whole lot and they won't let me watch the news," a shaky-voiced Mr Caffey is heard to ask Chief Deputy Sheriff Karl Fischer in the police-recorded exchange.

Deputy Fischer replies: "She is, she's doing fine."

Mr Caffey says tentatively: "I don't want to know a whole lot of detail but ... oh god ... what kind of involvement did she ..."

Deputy Fischer: "Her involvement was great."

At those words, Mr Caffey lets out a gut-wrenching howl and just sobs, the grief in his voice so intensely primal it renders the listener a useless voyeur.

The harrowing clip is one of several confronting scenes in the first episode of Piers Morgan's documentary Killer Women, which aired in Europe on Wednesday night to rave reviews.

Erin Caffey (far right) with brothers Matthew (left), Tyler (centre), mother Penny and father Terry. Photo: YouTube
Erin Caffey (far right) with brothers Matthew (left), Tyler (centre), mother Penny and father Terry. Photo: YouTube

It tells the true story of the Texas Family Murders, in which a 16-year-old, 149cm choirgirl called Erin Caffey masterminded the execution of her entire family after her parents ordered her to break up with her boyfriend Charlie Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, 18, his friend Charles Waid, 20 and Waid's girlfriend Bobbi Johnson, 18, helped her, with the men carrying out the actual murders.

Caffey's mother Penny was shot, then stabbed with a samurai sword so violently she was almost decapitated. Her brother Matthew, 13, was shot in the head and the youngest, eight-year-old Tyler, was repeatedly stabbed with a samurai sword. Her father Terry was shot five times and left for dead as the house was set on fire but he miraculously survived.

'Charlie! Charlie why are you doing this?'

In the ITV-commissioned documentary, Morgan escorts Mr Caffey to the crime scene, now just a clearing in the forest where the family home used to be, and asks him to relive the attack.

Mr Caffey does so, recalling the event as if it happened yesterday:

"It's quiet, we were peacefully asleep in our bed and then all of a sudden our bedroom door flies open and you can hear the door hitting the wall, like bam, and I'm thinking that my youngest Tyler had a nightmare and he flew into the bedroom but just as quickly as the door flew open, 'bam bam bam!' the gunblasts went off and we were being riddled with gunfire. Then I knew I knew immediately we were being attacked."

He continues: "(Charlie Wilkinson has) been in our home many times, I knew immediately why he was there: It was to get revenge because we made him break up with our daughter.

"I heard my son Matthew cry out, he said: 'Charlie! Charlie why are you doing this? No Charlie! No please why are you doing this?"

"And I'm trying to get up and then all of a sudden, 'bam, bam' I heard the gunshots and I realise that Matthew's been shot."

Though he had just been shot five times himself, Mr Caffey said all he could think of was getting his family out, and when he realised they were lost, making sure he survived so he could tell police who killed them.

I've got to stay alive long enough to identify the killer'

"I manage to get to my feet," Mr Caffey tells Morgan. "I'm trying to get out the bedroom door to get upstairs to my children, but by this time the house is totally engulfed, and I'm hit by a wall of flames and forced back into the bedroom ... and there's Penny laying there and when I saw her I immediately knew she was gone, because not only did they come in and shoot but he also came with this samurai-type sword and she would nearly be decapitated.

"And it was just the shock that I'm in but all the time I was thinking if we can just get to my neighbours we can fix this and everything's gonna be ok ... My mind is thinking, if I die here I might not be able to tell who did this, I've got to stay alive long enough to identify who did this."

Later, after police arrested Wilksonson, Waid and Johnson and Erin Caffey was still missing, Chief Deputy Sheriff Fischer searched Wilkinson's trailer for clues. He recalled rummaging around the cluttered space and coming across a blonde wig.

Thinking it was strange but wanting to get on with his work, Deputy Fischer said he gave a wig a tug and moved it to the side, only to discover it was attached to a head - Erin's head. Police had found her hiding place.

Caffey, now 24, is serving two consecutive life sentences for the 2008 murders and is eligible for parole in about 30 years.

- news.com.au

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