Massacres/Mass Murder · Texas

Man kills five members of ex-wife’s family

July 9, 2014
Spring, Texas
A man looking for his ex-wife ties up and shoots her sister’s family, killing 5 and wounding another

Ronald Lee Haskell and his wife had recently divorced due to domestic violence. Haskell visited his former sister-in-law, Katie Stay, in search of his ex-wife. Haskell dressed as a FedEx delivery driver and knocked on the family’s door which was answered by the oldest child, Cassidy (15), who didn’t recognize her ex-uncle at first. Haskell asked if the girl’s parents were home and left when she replied they were not.

Haskell then returned to the home, forced his way in, tied up the five children (ages 15, 13, 9, 7, and 4) and made them lie face-down on the floor. He did the same to the parents when they returned, and demanded they tell him where his ex-wife was. When they didn’t tell him, he shot each person in the head execution-style. The youngest victim, Zachary (4), survived briefly but died in the hospital. Cassidy was able to survive when she raised her hand slightly which destroyed her finger but caused the bullet to deflect enough that she suffered only a skull fracture. She then played dead, waited for Haskell to leave, and called 911, informing the dispatcher Haskell was planning to murder her grandparents next.

Police were able to use this information to confront Haskell before he reached his former in-laws’ house. After a 3-hour standoff with police — during much of which he held a gun to his own head — he was arrested without further incident.

Over a week before the murders, Haskell’s mother filed a restraining order against her son following an argument. The argument escalated ending with Haskell tying his mother to a computer chair for 4 hours and threatening to kill her and the rest of his family. The argument allegedly began when Haskell’s mother mentioned she had been in contact with his ex-wife.

Haskell has been charged with 6 counts of capital murder and awaits his trial pending lengthy mental health assessments.

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