Shawn Bentler, a resident of Bonaparte, Iowa, was convicted of mass murder. Bentler, who was 22 years old at the time, murdered his parents and three sisters on October 14, 2006.
Shawn was the oldest of the four children of Michael and Sandra Bentler. He was born and reared in Iowa’s Bonaparte. His three sisters, Sheena, Shelby, and Shayne, rounded out the remainder of the family.
Michael’s thriving lumber yard and grain elevator enabled him to provide for his wife and children.
His parents provided him with all he required for a happy existence, but he yearned for more without having to work for it. He had his sights set on his parents’ wealth and made preparations to obtain it.
After graduating from high school, Shawn attended a community college, but he dropped out before the end of his first semester. He worked at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Both ended as a result of his absence. As a pretext for not going to work, he once told one of his supervisors that his father had died of a heart attack.
During this time, he had two children with two different women. In order to assist his son, the boy’s father allowed him to build houses for him. After that, he began selling automobiles.
Shawn enjoyed bragging about his income, but he never had enough to pay his responsibilities. When his housemates requested him to pay his half of the rent, he would drive at least an hour to his parents’ home and return with jewels.
He was extremely reliant on Michael and Sandra, yet he stole from them. His parents were unable to give up on him, so they frequently gave him food. Yet his sloth was becoming tiresome to them, and Shawn was aware of this.
He informed the mother of one of his girls that his parents were going to gift him a substantial amount of money. Then he would have nothing to worry about. Yet because he lacked the work ethic of his parents, he determined he would have to take it by force.
On the morning of October 14, 2006, Shawn borrowed his roommate’s car and traveled for an hour and a half to his parents’ home. He entered the house, obtained a firearm, and made his way quietly to the basement.
He shut the door behind him to ensure that no one else in the house would awaken. The oldest of the three girls was Sheena. Shawn aimed the revolver at her and fatally shot her.
As he returned to the upper floor, where the rest of his family slept, his mother awoke. She was shot by Shawn, but she survived and was able to wake up her husband.
Michael approached his kid, and they engaged in a battle for the gun. Shawn gained the upper hand and executed his father by striking him with the barrel of the gun to the skull. Sandra attempted to flee while screaming for the girls to contact the police. Shayne was able to speak with an operator around 3:38 a.m.
Sandra’s screaming are audible over the phone. She constantly yelled, “Shawn, please don’t!” Then gunfire rang out, ending her life.
A few minutes later, Shawn discovers Shayne hiding in her closet as she is on the phone with the 911 operator. She pleads Shawn, “please don’t!” Then the call goes dead when Shawn fatally shoots her.
Shelby dials 911 a minute later, but it’s too late by the time someone answers. Shawn murders her to end his family. He went hurriedly since he anticipated the arrival of the police, but he neglected to collect his cell phone.
He took a side road, threw the gun in a ditch, and drove as fast as he could back to his place.
It didn’t take the police long to figure out who was behind the crime. On the 911 call, his mother and sister call out for him by name. Nothing was taken or set up to make it look like the house had been broken into. And he forgot his cell phone.
Shawn Bentler was found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder in May 2007.