Michael Thornton and Janeen Marie Synder
Michael Thornton and Janeen Marie Synder are two American killers who murdered two young girls, 14-year-old Jesse Kay Peters and 16-year-old Michelle Curran. Both girls were abducted by the murderous couple, sexually assaulted, and then killed. They targeted young girls as sexual targets, the objects of Michael's sexual fantasies, and Janeen Synder acted as the bait to get the girls to Michael Thornton. Once she got them to him, he made sure the girls never escaped, abused and exploited them sexually, and then murdered them. For their roles in the murders of the two girls, both Michael Thornton and Janeen Marie Snyder were sentenced to death.
Michael Thornton was born in 1955 in a standard middle class family. His first job was as a grocery bagger and when he was 18, he joined the air force. In the early 1970s, he gets married and begins a family. He and his wife have a son together. However, soon his wife discovers some disturbing things about Thornton. She notices him sexually molest a 6-year-old girl. After this event, she divorces him. A custody battle then ensues over their child, and Michael Thornton wins the custody over their son. Soon after, he meets a new woman, Pamela, and the two marry and have a daughter. Thornton moves in with Pamela in Rialto, California, and begins a new life with her. However, just as the previous marriage, things again turn dark. In the marriage, Thornton physically abuses his wife, strangling her at times. He even put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. He was also abusive to his two children, his son and daughter.
In 1996, his daughter, then 16, asks if a troubled friend can stay with them in the house, whose name is Janeen Snyder. Michael Thornton allows Janeen to come into the house and the two form the beginning of what would be a a sick sadistic duo. Michael Thornton and Janeen Snyder, both meth users, feed off of drugs and sex. Michael Thornton, a sexual sadist, has fantasies that he wants to fulfill with young girls. He decides that Janeen would be the perfect partner of his to lure young girls to him for his sexual pleasures. The two plot it out and then put the sick plan into reality.
Later that year in 1996, the first gruesome incident occurs. Cheryl Peters works for Michael Thornton in a hair salon that he owned in California. She made her living doing other women's hair and was content working for Michael for a while. However, one day, Cheryl has an argument with her boss, Thornton, and, in rage, quits the job on the spot. The other hair salonists in the shop follow suit and walk out with her. Angered by the event, Michael Thornton scopes out Cheryl's house and goes after her one and only daughter, 14-year-old Jesse Kay Peters. Michael uses Janeen to lure Jesse out of the house. Janeen's charm works as planned and they're able to get her into the car. Once Michael has custody of Jesse, the couple take her to his house. While Snyder watched, Thornton handcuffed Jesse to his bed and raped her. He then took her to his baththub in the bathroom that was half full of water and dunks her head in the bathtub and keeps it down until she is dead. He then dismembers her body and puts the parts into containers and dumps her into the Pacific Ocean.
Michael and Janeen become deadly partners in crime. They continue to feed on drugs and sex. They become filled with sexual passion for each other. But soon tire of the routine. Michael gets bored with Janeen alone and decides they should seek out some other young girls to spicen up the action. They scout out local places, looking for a target.
5 years after the death of Jesse Peters, in 2001, Michael Thornton spots 16-year-old Michelle Curran in Las Vegas, Nevada and decides that she is the one who will be his next chosen target.
Janeen gets out of the car. Being a girl and young just like Michelle Curran, she gains instant rapport with Michelle. The charm and deceit work as Michelle eventually is coaxed and follows Janeen into Michael's vehicle. Once in, there is no escaping for Michelle. Michael tells her he has a gun. From then on, the two have Michelle as theirs. The couple keep Michelle for several weeks, sexually molesting her all the while. After a while, they decide that Michelle knows too much about their inner circle and must die. Michael and Janeen trespass on a horse's ranch in Ribidoux, California, and decide to kill Michelle there. They first torture her in a room on a ranch which was laced with all types of ropes, ties, and other paraphernalia. Michael then gives Janeen a gun and she delivers the fatal blow to the head of Michelle curran.
For their roles in the crime of Michelle Curran, Michael Thornton and Janeen Snyder were given death sentences.