(June 2, 1980 - July 15, 2010) is an American mass murderer who was
convicted of five counts of murder at the age of 18 for the shooting of
his parents, brother, brother's girlfriend and his grandfather in
Muskegon, Michigan on November 29, 1998.
On July 15, 2010, Privacky was shot and killed during
a failed prison escape attempt at Kinross Correctional Facility in
Michigan's Upper Peninsula Privacky in a prison escape attempt. Privacky
and two other inmates overpowered the driver of a facilities semi-truck
around 9:10 a.m. (ET) and tried to drive it through the double fence.
Guards from the prison quickly apprehended two of the inmates but
Privacky tried to flee the truck once it stopped and was shot, resulting
in his death. All three escapees were serving murder sentences.
Muskegon murderer shot in prison
Seth Privacky murdered his family in 1998
Thursday, 15 Jul 2010
KINCHELOE, Mich. (AP) - An inmate serving life in
prison for killing five people was fatally shot Thursday while trying to
escape with two other convicted murders from a northern Michigan prison,
Seth Privacky, 30, was killed by a corrections
officer at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, about 275
miles north of Detroit, the state Department of Corrections said. The
other two inmates surrendered.
The three men overpowered a man driving a
tractor-trailer at the prison just after 9 a.m., then crashed the truck
through a double chain-link fence topped with razor wire. The truck
traveled about 100 yards before the men jumped out and began running,
and Privacky was shot after ignoring guards' warnings to stop, prison
"It got wrapped up in the fence," Warden Jeffrey
Woods said of the truck. "Although there's a ton of damage, the fence
stopped the truck. It did its job."
The minimum- and medium-security Upper Peninsula
prison holds more than 1,800 prisoners and was placed on lock-down, but
all inmates were accounted for, said Corrections Department spokesman
John Cordell. Michigan State Police were investigating.
"The alarms go off all the time with testing and that,
but this morning when they were going off, it was a little bit longer
than usual," said Brian Shepard, who lives near the prison.
When he heard the news that there were three
murderers on the loose, Shepard said he thought, "that is scary," he
said. "That's what's scary. I'm just glad they got 'em. We got a lot of
little kids out there."
Privacky was sentenced to life in prison without
parole for a 1998 shooting spree that killed his parents, grandfather,
brother and brother's girlfriend near Muskegon. At the time, prosecutors
called it "the worst mass murder in west Michigan history."
The other inmates who tried to escape were Brian
Davidson, 31, who was convicted of beating a man to death, and Andrew
Ross, 25, accused of killing his parents and older brother. Both could
face charges related to the escape attempt and have been transferred to
a segregation unit within a high-security prison, prison officials said.
The three inmates attacked the truck driver at a food
service delivery loading dock at the prison and took his keys, Cordell
said. The driver was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries. No other
injuries were reported at the prison.
The warden said it wasn't immediately clear how the
escape was planned. He praised the prison staff for stopping the attempt
and securing the prison.
"The staff did a wonderful job responding," Woods
Privacky had been at Kinross since August 2007, while
Ross arrived in April 2009 and Davidson was transferred there in
February, Woods said. Between 600 to 700 of the prison's inmates are
serving life sentences or have at least 20 years left behind bars.
Authorities said Privacky's shootings were triggered
when his father asked him to move out. Privacky, who was 18 at the time,
pleaded no contest to five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths
of John J. Privacky, 78; Stephen C. Privacky, 50; Linda Privacky, 49;
Jedediah J. Privacky, 19; and April A. Boss, 19. A no contest plea is
not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
Davidson was serving life in prison without parole
after being convicted in the 2002 fatal beating of Jerry Steinberg. In
an apparently random attack, the 38-year-old was knocked off his bike
and beaten near Grand Rapids. He died about a week later.
A message seeking comment was left Thursday with
Davidson's former attorney.
Ross pleaded guilty but mentally ill for the 2003
fatal shootings of his parents and older brother in Macomb Township. He
was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.
His attorney in that case, Neil Rockind, said
Thursday that he'd hoped Ross would get treatment for mental illness in
"Andrew was a deeply conflicted and troubled young
man," Rockind said. "I can't imagine that he somehow magically got
better while he was in prison and decided to hatch a plan."
Seth Privacky: 10 years later, and
still no answers
By Lisa Medendorp - The Muskegon Chronicle
Tuesday November 25, 2008
Ten years after he killed his family
and his brother's girlfriend, Seth Privacky remains an enigma.
Some police officers recall him projecting a kind of
flatness. "It was like 'nobody's home,' " recalled Dennis Edwards, who
took Privacky's confession in 1998 while a detective captain with the
Muskegon County Sheriff's Department.
The lanky 6-foot-4 Reeths-Puffer senior had troubles
at home. He'd been caught stealing and used drugs. But a lot of other
teen-agers have similar problems, and they don't kill five people,
Edwards points out.
Privacky, then 18, told Edwards that his father,
Stephen, "never had anything positive to say to me," and it was as if
his brother, Jed, and his mother, Linda, had turned against him, too.
On the Sunday the murders occurred: "My father told
me he didn't love me anymore ... and that he wanted me to move out ...
My mom and brother didn't say anything," Privacky said in his confession.
"What does it say about a person who takes out his
anger, not just on one individual, but on everyone else?" asks Edwards,
who is today director of Grand Haven's Public Safety Department.
Privacky gave his confession on Nov. 30, 1998, a day
after gunning down his parents Stephen and Linda Privacky, his
grandfather John Privacky, his brother Jedediah Privacky and Jed's
girlfriend April Boss minutes before they were all to sit down for a
belated Thanksgiving dinner.
Privacky has been in prison for nearly 10 years --
sent away at age 18 to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Theories abound about why Privacky killed his family.
Was it a reaction to the court-ordered prescription
anti-depressant Wellbutrin he was taking since shoplifting months before?
Was he whacked out on LSD as he stated in a
testimonial letter to a relative last year?
Or was he simply an angry young man with no
conscience who wanted to get rid of his family because he didn't get his
Privacky did not respond to letters from The
Chronicle and reporters cannot visit prisoners in Michigan unless the
convict places them on a visitor's list.
Many questions, few answers
Police who interrogated Privacky 10
years ago have ideas of why Privacky murdered his family.
A family friend told police after the slayings that
Privacky's father believed his son did not have a conscience. His mother
said he was out of control -- an angry Privacky once broke the
dishwasher in the family home by standing on it.
Privacky shot everyone in the head at close range,
and police had no indication that he spoke to the victims at all.
In a "testimonial" letter written in 2007 shortly
after becoming a Christian, Privacky said that when taken to jail after
the slayings, he found himself "coming down off a strong dose of LSD."
He wrote that he threw up and wanted to kill himself.
Law enforcement officials today are skeptical
Privacky was using drugs because he never mentioned them during his
Some people remember Privacky at his court
arraignment on five counts of open murder not long afterward, asking the
judge for a break on his bond. "I would just like a chance to get out
and see the world before I go away for a long time," Privacky said to
Judge Michael J. Nolan.
Privacky 28, attributes his prior aloofness to his
"My parents raised me with an atheistic, or agnostic,
view to life," he said in his testimonial letter. "I never had a lot of
friends and was antisocial as early as grade school," he writes. "I was
considered a troublemaker and often found myself in the principal's
Privacky wrote that becoming a Christian has changed
"Everybody who goes to prison gets religion," Edwards
Privacky said that he began experimenting with
alcohol and marijuana when he was 14, then LSD and "speed" by the time
he was 16, according to his letter.
"I started selling drugs to support myself and my
habit. I played bass in a rock band and was promiscuous throughout high
school," he wrote.
Christian volunteers first began visiting Privacky at
the Muskegon County Jail. "After a few months, my heart had started to
turn to Christ," he wrote. He was baptized in the cellblock shower.
When he was transferred to the state prison system,
there were different rules and a different life. "Prison is viewed by
the convicts as a predator-prey environment, where the strong take
advantage of the weak," he said in this testimonial.
"I've been involved in fights, and assault. I have
extorted other convicts for money, and I was involved in the drug trade."
He was caught using a tattoo gun and moved into
segregation for a week.
A week later he was returned to a two-man cell, but
less than 48 hours later, an officer found a razor blade among his
belongings. He ended up spending four months in segregation.
Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said
that Privacky has 29 "misconducts" on his record. They include theft,
fighting, assaulting another prisoner, possession of a weapon, substance
abuse (marijuana) and gambling.
A guarded life
Home for Privacky is Kinross
Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula, which has the largest
fenced area of any prison in Michigan. He shares a cell with three other
He works on an afternoon yard crew, performing
general grounds maintenance, such as raking leaves, cutting grass,
shoveling, etc., according to Marlan.
Privacky has access to a television set in the
housing unit dayroom, or in his room if he's purchased one. He can take
a variety of educational and vocational courses, and he can get books
out of the prison library. There is also a gym and access to other
outdoor recreational activities.
So far this year, Privacky has had 36 visitors.
Last year, Privacky exchanged at least two letters
with a Chico, Calif., woman who sold the letters on the Supernaught Web
site, which resells items for profit involving notorious murderers like
Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson.
One of the letters he wrote has a butterfly drawn
next to his signature and says it is like a tattoo he has. Some people
believe the butterfly symbolizes a new life made from an old one, or
rebirth after death.
There is no word about how Privacky and the woman met
-- she could not be reached for comment -- but both were interested in
art and Privacky seemed very involved with his work.
He asked her if she had ever seen Bob Ross, who
hosted the PBS series, "The Joy of Painting," until his death in 1995.
The show is still rerun on many stations.
"He drives me crazy! He'll do a complete 18X24 oil
landscape that looks bad ass in like 20 minutes," Privacky wrote. "And
here I am spend (sic) 40 or 50 hours on a piece."
He asks the woman: "Do you live alone or have
roomates (sic)? I have to deal with cellmates and that can really suck
The two exchanged photographs, and in a rather
adolescent sounding postscript, he tells her: "Damn Girl, you're gorgous
(sic), but you're not telling me much about yourself. I want to know
His taste in music last year included alternative
metal groups such as Godsmack and Evanescense. He also liked "older"
Nine Inch Nails.
Intelligent and an avid reader, Privacky wrote to the
woman that he enjoys Anne Rice and that he started reading her Vampire
Chronicles while in high school.
He likes "old" Stephen King books, but noted: "His
new stuff (is) mostly garbage." He told the woman if she likes (Mark)
Twain, that she should check (John) Steinbeck out.
He also wrote that he plays a lot of sports, "almost
anything that's physically demanding." He lifts weights and jogs on a
Those who have had contact with him said Privacky
rarely mentions his crime.
In his testimonial he wrote that coming to terms with
the fact he was going to die in prison was a struggle for him. Through
reading "God's Word, ... I found a glimmer of peace and comfort ..."
Seth Privacky's confession
By The Muskegon Chronicle
Saturday November 22,
Editor's note: The
following is a transcript from the Dec. 1, 1998, confession of Seth
Privacky to police after he murdered five people at his home at 1301 W.
Riley Thompson. He gave his confession at 1:37 p.m. to Detective Sgt.
Dennis Edwards, of the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department.
Edwards: Okay. If you can start from,
uh, just prior to the incident, what led up to the incident. If I have
any questions, I'll stop you.
Privacky: Okay. Me and my dad never
really got along the last five or six years and we'd always argue, just
stupid stuff. And my mom would take his side no matter what, she'd
always take his side. It's just been getting worse the past six months
... when he talked to me, he just yelled at me. Never had anything
positive to say to me.
I used to be real close to my brother, we used to get
along so well. In the past six months to a year he was beginning to take
sides with my parents more. He used to tell me how bad I was doing in
school, that I wasn't going to go anywhere in life. And then on Sunday,
my parents told me that they didn't love me anymore.
Edwards: Which one told you that
they didn't love you anymore?
Privacky: My father told me that he
didn't love me anymore.
Privacky: And that he wanted me to
move out. He didn't want me to live there anymore. My mom and brother
didn't say anything.
Edwards: What happened then?
Privacky: Out of anger and rage I
went upstairs in my dad's closet and got his .22 caliber pistol and
loaded the clip and went downstairs. And my dad had left. We was
supposed to eat dinner at 1:30. This was about quarter after one. I came
up behind my brother, he was sitting in the living room, and I shot him
once in the back of the head and I dragged his body downstairs so no one
would see it. And then my dad got home with my grandpa. I didn't know my
grandpa was supposed to be here. But, when they got in the door, I shot
them both in the back of the head.
Edwards: Where were you at the time
when they came in the door?
Privacky: I was in the living room
and I heard the car pull up so I knew they were coming in and ...
Edwards: OK, did you hide somewhere
when they came in the door?
Privacky: No, I acted like I was
just walking out the door and I had the gun behind my back and they were
facing the opposite direction and I shot him in the back of the head.
And then I shot my grandpa again because he wasn't dead yet.
Edwards: I need you to speak up a
little. Your voice is dropping a little bit. What happened after that?
Privacky: Um, my mom was in the
shower while this was taking place and then she had just gotten out of
the shower and I went upstairs and I went in the bathroom and shot her
in the back of the head. And then when I was coming back downstairs
April came through the front door before I could stop her. And she saw
my grandpa and dad. And she thought it was just a joke. She walked into
the kitchen and I shot her in the back of the head. I didn't know she
was going to come to dinner.
Edwards: What happened after that?
Privacky: Then I called Steve (Wallace)
because I didn't know what to do.
Edwards: What'd you tell Steve?
Privacky: I told him I killed my family. And he was
just in shock and I asked him to come over.
Edwards: Speak up please.
Privacky: I asked him to come over
and he did. He came over like a half an hour later. I begged him to help
me clean up.
Edwards: Did he help you clean up?
Privacky: At first he didn't want to, but I begged
him and used our friendship against him.
Edwards: Okay. And what did you do
at the time?
Privacky: I asked him to get rid of
it for because he was leaving. After we cleaned up the bodies downstairs,
we wrapped them up in sheets. He took as little involvement as he could
Edwards: I can't understand you. He
took as little involvement ...
Privacky: ... as he could. He did, I
did most of the work. He just ...
Edwards: Um, why did you wrap the
bodies in sheets?
Privacky: Because I was gonna bury
Edwards: Where were you going to
bury them at?
Privacky: I hadn't decided.
Edwards: What happened after that?
Privacky: We wrapped the bodies up.
We wrapped my grandpa, my dad, April in sheets and we dragged them
outside in the workshop off the garage and left them there. Steve had to
go, get back. He didn't tell his parents where he was going. He took the
gun with him and I don't know where he threw it. He didn't tell me, I
didn't want to know.
Edwards: And then?
Privacky: And then I cleaned up all
the blood downstairs.
Edwards: How'd you clean up the
Privacky: With towels and rags.
Edwards: What'd you do with the rags
Privacky: Threw them in garbage bags
and put 'em all in the workshop.
Edwards: Okay. And then what
Privacky: And then I cleaned up the
downstairs to make it look like nothing happened. At first glance.
Edwards: Okay. And where was Steve
while you were cleaning up downstairs?
Privacky: He went back to his house.
And he went to a church group, youth group meeting or something like
that that night. And I asked him if he could come back after that and
help me and he said he would. And we came back later that night. I left
to go over to my friend's house, because I couldn't be there. And I
picked him up at his girlfriend's house later that night after he got
dropped off by his friends and we went back to my house. We cleaned up
all the stuff. We couldn't get the bodies out.
Edwards: Why not?
Privacky: Too heavy. We couldn't
Privacky: So we just decided to
leave them where they lay and make it look like a robbery.
Edwards: OK. What'd you do to make
it look like a robbery?
Privacky: We took all the sheets off
them and put them in plastic bags, thinking I'd burn those, put them in
the trunk of the car. And we were gonna take the TV and VCR and stereo
and make it look like somebody just robbed the place.
Edwards: What happened then?
Privacky: Then we made every, bagged
it up in the trunk. We noticed a car pull up, so I quick ran out and
shut the trunk and ran back inside and we went out the slider door. And
we were looking out through the back garage door just to see who it was.
And I thought it was a cop so we both ran. We ran across to the empty
lot next door and we waited for a couple of minutes and then I decided
to go back and check to make sure it was a cop.
And then I went back and it was. And I was making my
way back, I was walking down the road to where Steve was at and there
was a car coming down the road so I jumped in a ditch just to make sure
it wasn't another cop and it was and I saw his sirens go off. About
15-20 yards before the spot where Steve was hiding, so I thought they
saw him and I just ran back in the woods. I didn't know what to do. I
ran back to the spot to where he was and I didn't see him anywhere so I
went a little further ways back in the woods and I was looking for him
and I couldn't find him.
And then I just went back a little further and waited
to see what was going to happen. I could see cop cars going up and down
the road. And then I made my way across the creek. I was gonna circle
around the house to see what was going on from the other neighbor's yard.
And then I heard dogs and I knew they were search
dogs and they were gonna start searching for us so I ran. I ran straight
to Whitehall Road and across Duck Lake Road and down Duck Lake and then
I turned on Gibson and then I could hear dogs following so I kept
running and ran across the golf course and I circled back around and
came back up on Duck Lake again.
And then from there, I just made my way west,
crossing over roads, criss-crossing my direction. I could always hear
dogs and see lights and I would always avoid them and keep making my way
west. And then I got to Weber Road and I couldn't hear any more dogs and
I couldn't see any police cars so I thought I lost them. So I kept going
north a couple of blocks and the around where Weber meets Riley-Thompson
again I just laid down and tried to sleep under a pine tree.
And then I woke up the next morning and I stayed
there for a few hours and I thought that they weren't pursuing me
anymore. So I was going to make my way back to Jason Fitz's house where
I planned to commit suicide. But no one was home so I went in the back
pole barn and waited for them to come home and the police found me and
Edwards: So, is there anything
further that you would like to say? How do you feel about what you did?
Privacky: I feel awful. I wished I'd
never done it. It was all a mistake. I'd take it back a thousand times.
When I ran, it wasn't to get away. In a way it was to get away so I
could kill myself cause I couldn't live with myself for doing this to my
Edwards: Did you buy any ammunition?
Edwards: Did you steal some
Edwards: Why did you go to Meijer's
to get ammunition? (Privacky was shown on surveillance tape at the
Meijer's in north Muskegon, just hours before the murders, trying to buy
Privacky: Cause I planned on going
small game hunting on Sunday. I never thought about killing my parents
until that morning.
Edwards: OK. This statement is
concluded at approximately 1:51 (p.m.).
On November 30, 1998, police arrested 18-year-old Seth
Stephen Privacky and accused him along with a friend of methodically
shooting to death five people -- his father, mother, grandfather,
brother and his brother's girlfriend.
Authorities said the shootings were stretched out
across Sunday afternoon, with the victims probably shot one by one at
the family's home. The crime was discovered around midnight Sunday, when
the body of the father, an elementary school teacher, was found in his
Familicidal teen, Seth Privacky, pleaded no contest to
shooting five people to death before his family's Thanksgiving dinner,
guaranteeing himself a lifetime prison term with no chance at parole.
Seth will be formally sentenced May 27 for the Nov. 29 shootings of his
father, mother, grandfather, brother and his brother's girlfriend.
Police said Privacky confessed to systematically shooting each victim
point-blank in the head, then calling best friend Steven Wallace, also
18, to help him move bodies around the house to make it look like a
Privacky has said he was angry because his father had
threatened to kick him out of the house. Like one of the homicidal
Columbine teens, Seth had been prescribed anti-depressant medication at
the time, but it was not known if he was taking it.
The father, Stephen
Privacky, 50, taught fifth grade. His wife, Linda Privacky, 49, was a
receptionist at a medical office. Her father-in-law, John Privacky, was
78 and lived nearby. Seth's brother, Jedidiah Privacky and April Boss,
both 19, were studying at Muskegon Community College to be teachers.
The brother was shot while watching television, the
mother when she got out of the shower, the father and grandfather were
killed when they arrived home, and the girlfriend died when she arrived.
Wallace remains charged with being an accessory and disposing of the
firearm Privacky used in the killings. He faces up to five years in
prison if convicted.
"I feel awful. I wished I'd never done it. I'd
take it back a thousand times. When I ran it wasn't to get away. In a
way it was ... so I could kill myself' cause I couldn't live with myself
for doing this to my family."
On Sunday, Nov. 29, 1998, the Privacky family, in
Muskegon, Michigan, were preparing for a late thanksgiving dinner when
youngest son Seth decided to give them a thanksgiving day surprise.
The first to receive a ‘gift’ from Seth was his
brother, Jedidiah, 19. He was shot point blank to the head while
watching television. Unfortunately I don’t know what type of gun was
used, but I do know that it did it’s job and Jedidah died instantly.
After killing his big brother Seth went to the shower
and waited for his mother, Linda Privacky, 49, to finish cleaning
herself for the big family dinner. As she got out of the shower she was
dropped from a bullet to her head. Once again the gun did it’s job
perfectly (not that guns are designed to kill, are they?)
Then Seth waited patiently until his dad Stephen
Privacky, 50, got home. One guess at what happened to him upon entering
the house.. Yep - BANG! Point blank to the head, and another family
member bites the dust.
Then Grandpa John Privacky, 78, popped around for his
big thanksgiving dinner and, you guessed it, he very quickly joined the
rest of his family in the bullet in the brain club.
At this point Seth could well have been ready to call
it a night, but was he in for a surprise when someone knocked at the
door. It was April Boss, 19, Jedidah’s girlfriend. Well, maybe Seth
got a surprise but I bet it was as big as the one April got when she saw
what Seth had in his hand. But at least it was over quickly for April.
Now Seth was faced with one hell of a problem. He
couldn’t get up the nerve to kill himself, but if he didn’t he would
be faced with life in prison. So, he chose option three, make it look
like a robbery. But he must have been pretty tired by the days work and
decided he needed some help. So he called his best mate, Steven Wallace,
18, and asked for some help.
I don’t really know what went through Steven’s
mind upon entering the house, but he did make sure that Seth’s firearm
was safely in his hands while he helped rearrange the bodies so it
looked more like a robbery. After helping out with this rearrangement he
also kept the gun and disposed of it on the way home.
Naturally it didn’t take police long to figure out
that there was no robbery.
I’m not sure what led them to this conclusion, but I
think it may have had something to do with the bloody fingerprints and
drag marks everywhere. It also came out during investigation that Seth
had been prescribed anti-depressant medication at the time of the
When Seth finally confessed he said that he was angry
because his father had threatened to kick him out of the house.
Seth Privacky pleaded no contest to the charges and
was sentenced to life in prison in late May, 1999.
Interestingly it came out that Seth's father had once
described him as being a "psychopath without a conscience." If
he knew this why didn't he get better help for the kid?
Wallace was charged with being an accessory and
disposing of the firearm Privacky used in the killings. He faced up to
five years in prison if convicted, but luckily the juror found enough
sense to throw the charges out.
Some interesting bits to come of of the court case
against Wallace include:
"I wasn't using the best judgment that day after
I saw what I saw," The Muskegon Chronicle quoted Wallace telling
jurors. "I figured he'd be caught one way or another, and I tried
to pretend I didn't know about it. I wish now I would've contacted
"He just simply said his problems would be solved
if his parents were dead ... and he would kill them," Wallace said,
who testified he didn't take the statement seriously. "I thought it
was nothing outside the typical relationship of teen-age kids with their
On the day of the killings Privacky called Wallace
about 1 p.m., then again later at about 2:30 p.m. The first call was
just to chat, but in the second Privacky said something strange.
"He told me he'd 'made a big mistake,' " Wallace said.
"He didn't specifically say what the mistake was. I asked about it
and he simply said 'come over.' "
Arriving at the Privacky home, Wallace was met by
Privacky, who had been crying.
He asked Wallace to drive to a nearby store for
garbage bags. "He was standing in the front yard smoking a
cigarette and crying," Wallace said. "This was typical.
Frequently when he got into fights with his father he'd end up crying."
Wallace said when he returned, he decided to go in the
house, even though Privacky had advised him not to. Once inside the
dining room, Wallace tripped over a body. He ran to the basement where
he found Jedediah, then upstairs where he found Mrs. Privacky. "I
couldn't believe (it)," he said. "I'd never seen something
like that ... I had to see for myself." As he walked down the
stairs, he passed out, Wallace said. Privacky shook him awake.
Wallace testified he was scared he might die because
Privacky told him he had killed Ms. Boss because she walked in on the
killings. But Privacky was begging for Wallace's help, and Wallace
agreed to help him get rid of the murder weapon -- Stephen Privacky's
.22-caliber pistol by throwing it in a nearby lake.
Wallace said he eventually returned home. A short time
later, he said, Privacky arrived and asked Wallace to return with him.
Instead, Wallace went to a church youth group bonfire.
May 7, 1999
18-year-old boy from Muskegon, Michigan, pleaded no contest to shooting
his family to death just before Thanksgiving dinner. Seth Privacky will
be sentenced to an automatic life term without parole for the November
29 shootings of his father, mother, grandfather, brother and his
Privacky confessed to systematically shooting each victim point-blank in
the head, then calling best friend Steven Wallace, also 18, to help him
move bodies around the house.
A timeline of the Privacky murders
By Local reports - The Muskegon Chronicle
Saturday November 22, 2008
Sunday, Nov. 29
• Noon: After an argument, Seth Privacky, who said
relations with family members had been deteriorating in the previous six
months, is told to move out by his father, Stephen Privacky, 50. Seth
Privacky, 18, a senior at Reeths-Puffer High School, decides to shoot
• 12:30 p.m.: Privacky goes upstairs to his father's
closet, grabs his dad's .22-caliber pistol, inserts the clip and goes
downstairs, hiding the pistol behind his back.
• 12:45 p.m.: Stephen Privacky leaves to pick up Seth
Privacky's grandfather, John Privacky, 78, in Roosevelt Park for a
belated Thanksgiving dinner. Shortly thereafter, Seth Privacky walks
behind his brother Jedediah, 19, who is sitting on the couch watching TV
and shoots him in the back of the head. He drags the body into the
basement so no one will see it.
• 1:10 p.m.: Stephen and John Privacky return home,
where Seth Privacky is waiting. He claims he didn't know his grandfather
was coming for dinner. He shoots both men in the back of the head in the
garage as they are heading for the door. He shoots his grandfather a
second time because the first bullet didn't kill him.
• 1:15 p.m.: Privacky goes upstairs where his mother
has just gotten out of the shower. He enters the bathroom and shoots
Linda Privacky, 49, in the back of the head.
• 1:20 p.m.: Privacky comes downstairs as April Boss,
Jedediah's 19-year-old girlfriend, enters the home. She walks into the
kitchen and Privacky shoots her in the back of the head. He claims he
didn't know April was coming for dinner.
• 2 p.m.: Privacky calls his friend, Steven Wallace,
also a senior at Reeths-Puffer, and, according to Privacky's later
confession to police, tells Wallace he killed his family. He begs
Wallace to come over and help him clean up. Wallace goes to Privacky's
home, helps him wrap the bodies in sheets, and they plan to bury the
• 6 p.m.: Wallace attends a church youth group party
and agrees to return to Privacky's home afterward.
• 11 p.m.-midnight: Wallace returns to Privacky's,
they decide the bodies are too heavy to bury, and try to simulate a
robbery. But as they are moving furnishings, April's mother and
stepfather -- Julie and Tom Cooper -- pull into the driveway because
they are concerned that their daughter did not show up for her job.
Privacky and Wallace flee the home and hide in the woods.
Monday, Nov. 30
• Midnight: Tom and Julie Cooper call police. While
they are on the phone, police respond and apprehend Wallace, who
surrenders. Privacky remains hiding in the woods.
• 7:15 a.m.: Schoolmate Janavive Simonelli picks up
Seth hitchhiking and drops him at Jason Pitts' house, 1737 Duck Lake,
and then calls police. Pitts is a friend of Privacky's but he isn't home.
Privacky hides in the pole barn where he said he wanted to commit
suicide. Police arrest Privacky in a pole barn on the Pitts' property.
In jail, he confesses to the killings.
• Privacky and Wallace each are charged with five
counts of open murder; Wallace's charges later are reduced to accessory
• Privacky is sentenced to five life terms in prison
without the possibility of parole after pleading no contest to five
counts of first-degree murder.
• Wallace is acquitted by a jury.
• Wallace, 27, is sentenced to prison for 28 months
to 71/2 years for violating probation on a June 2007 felony conviction
of receiving stolen property. Previously, he also was convicted of
vandalism at age 19, domestic violence at ages 22, 24 and 25, and
attempted resisting and obstructing police at age 24.