An investigation was launched into father who murdered his 4-year-old son and himself for stalking his ex-wife
The Florida father who police say killed his four-year-old son before committing suicide last week was investigated for stalking after his ex-wife discovered a tracking device attached to her car and went to police.
According to investigators, John Stacey, 47, who was reportedly a former member of the ‘Moonies’ cult, committed the murder-suicide on Thursday just hours after the Plantation Police Department launched a criminal investigation into him.
Police conducting a welfare check found the bodies of Stacey and his son, Greyson Kessler, in the father’s apartment building in Fort Lauderdale Friday night.
John Stacey, 47, who had reportedly been a ‘Moonie’ cult member for five years, killed his son Greyson (right) in a murder suicide after attaching a GPS device to the car of his ex-wife, Alison Kessler (Turn right )
Kessler went to police on May 20 after a mechanic working on her Lexus found the tracking device attached to her car with magnets
Officials have said that both the father and son died of gunshot wounds.
Records quoted by the Sun-Sentinel indicate that Alison Kessler became suspicious that her jealous ex-husband was stalking her when she took her Lexus to an auto center to get her tires running, and an employee there asked her if she knew there was a GPS device attached to the bottom of the vehicle with magnets.
The device was an Optimus 2, a lower-end model that costs about $ 50.
Kessler went to the Plantation Police Department on Thursday afternoon to report the finding and told investigators that she felt Stacey was following her movements because he told her she had been to the courthouse and other places.
Kessler had filed a motion for an emergency pick-up order to have her son taken from Stacey’s house, which was only denied after the murder-suicide
Based on Kessler’s complaint, police investigated the possibility of accusing Stacey of stalking, unlawfully installing a tracking device and domestic violence.
Kessler had filed an emergency pick-up order to get her son out of his father’s house after receiving a series of increasingly threatening and disturbing text messages and emails from him in the days leading up to the murder-suicide.
‘You are not allowed to date other people. It’s me or nobody. Or I remove the child benefit and the fivefold text volume. The choice is yours, Ali, ” Stacey wrote in a text message on May 14 after coming to believe his ex-wife had a new boyfriend, according to court documents.
Four days later, Stacey wrote to his ex-wife, ‘you get what you deserve. You’re not even human. You deserve to separate your head from your body. But I am not the violent type. God will take care of you. ‘
Kessler had become concerned that Stacey had placed a tracking device on her car based on a text message she received from him on May 19.
Kessler said Stacey was stalking her and sending threatening texts and emails. One message read: ‘You deserve to separate your head from your body’
Police said both Greyson and his father died of gunshot wounds in the man’s Fort Lauderdale apartment
“Obviously you’re trying to take legal action against me while hanging out in court. What is the status?’ Stacey wrote. ‘Probably [sic] should tell me now instead of waiting to find out something else. ‘
The next day, Kessler found the GPS device and went to the police.
Kessler also said that Stacey had spent five years in a cult called the Unification Movement Church, whose members are commonly known as ‘the Moonies,’ reported NBC6.
According to Kessler, Stacey had not received therapy to deal with his trauma because he was in the cult, where he was married to a Japanese woman chosen for him by the founder of the religious movement, Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
An article published in The Washington Post stated in 1997 that Stacey, then 23 years old, left the controversial church and his wife earlier that year, after coming to the conclusion that he was trapped in a cult.
Kessler revealed that Stacey had been a member of the ‘Moonie’ cult for five years, and he even married a Japanese woman in a mass wedding ceremony (Photo: 4,000 brides and grooms at the world’s largest mass wedding in Madison Square Garden, New York)
Florida Judge Michael Kaplan denied Kessler’s motion to request the fetch order for Greyson, saying it “is not an emergency as it addresses the issue of child attendance.”
Kaplan’s verdict came Saturday, 12 hours after the four-year-old was found murdered.
The 17th Judicial Circuit is aware of the tragic situation reported in the news last weekend. Judges are prohibited from commenting on pending proceedings and cannot discuss the details of warrants, ”the court said. It cannot be stressed enough that if anyone has reason to believe that a child or other person is in danger, he should call the police – in all cases. We offer our deepest condolences to the family and the mother of this horrific event. ‘
In a GoFundMe set up Sunday morning to help the grieving mother, Kessler’s family blamed the agencies they said were ready to make death happen.
“ Police, child protection services and the criminal justice system have failed Greyson and Ali, who had filed multiple emergency orders to get Greyson safely away from the father, who had sent threatening texts and emails to Ali, and engaged in frightening behavior, ” read the fundraising page.