justin helzer


“The Children of Thunder”, a religious fanatic group lead by former stockbroker Glen Helzer with his brother, Justin Helzer and Dawn Godman as accomplices, sought to bring about the destruction of the Mormon Church and reign a new era of Christianity, with Glen leading the way. Seeking ways to fund this crusade, Glen, and Justin began selling drugs, when this was not enough, Glen Helzer preyed upon elderly clients from his days as a stockbroker. Ivan and Annette Stineman were forced to write $100,000 in checks. Afterwards, The Children of Thunder drugged, beat, and dismembered the Stineman’s on August 2, 2000. After a failed attempt to cash the checks by using Selina Bishop for fear of being exposed, daughter of musician Elvin Bishop, the brothers bludgeoned her to death, and then targeted Selina’s mother, Jennifer Villarin and her boyfriend was murdered as well due to being a witness.

The Children of Thunder were arrested on August 7, 2000, to which Glenn Helzer tried to take all of the blame for the crimes. Dawn testified against the brothers in exchange for 38 years to life with the possibility of parole, Glen and Justin were sentenced to death. Justin Helzer was found dead in his cell on April 14, 2013 by hanging. Glen Helzer and Dawn Godman remain in prison.


The Children of Thunder was a cult founded by Glenn Taylor Helzer (photo above on the left), who went by his middle name Taylor. Both him and his younger brother Justin Helzer, who Taylor had talked into his cult, killed five people in the summer of 2000. Accomplice of the brothers was also Dawn Godman who had met Justin before his brother founded the cult and later on became his girlfriend. According to some sources, Justin had always been fascinated by his older brother and looked up to him. Both Taylor and Justin were raised Mormons and Taylor even held speeches and preached the rules and beliefs of Mormonism. However, Taylor’s life soon consisted of drugs and changing sexual partners which resulted in him being excommunicated from the Mormon church. The combination between his risky lifestyle and excessive drug use may have played a role in Taylor’s decision to start a cult since he had been claiming that he could hear God talking to him. After recruiting his brother Justin and girlfriend Dawn, Taylor needed money to fund his cult. To achieve that, he began to plan a heinous act involving the death of an elder couple. On August 10, 2000, the plan was put into action. 85-year-old Ivan Stineman and 78-year-old Annette Stineman, who had been married for almost 55 years. The group forced the Stinemans to write out two checks totaling $100,000 to Selina Bishop, who personally had not been involved with the cult but had been dating Taylor. After receiving the checks, the trio gave them drinks mixed with Rohypnol. Still alive after the attack, Taylor and Justin lead the couple to their bathroom where they were finally killed. Taylor slashed Mrs. Stineman’s throat at the same time Justin bashed Mr. Stineman’s head against the floor. The following three victims of the group were Taylor’s girlfriend Selina, for fearing that she might discover the plot and her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. They disposed of the bodies with stuffing them into black duffel bags and tossing them into a river. Taylor Helzer was sentenced to death as was his brother Justin. Dawn Godman only received a 37-year sentence after testifying against the brothers. On April 14, 2013, Justin Helzer hanged himself in his cell at San Quentin Prison. Taylor Helzer currently sits on Death Row in San Quentin.

Those kinds of headlines tell part of the story. Someone whose mother was an accessory can tell the rest.

7 Things I Learned as an Accomplice to Mass Murder

#7. You Could Be Right in the Middle of It and Not Even Know

Brothers Glenn and Justin Helzer and their friend Dawn Godman murdered five people. … July 30, 2000: Glenn, Justin, and Dawn abduct elderly Annette and Ivan Stineman and bring them back to the Helzer house. The Stinemans are then drugged and forced to write out checks to Bishop totaling $100,000. My mother’s role in all this? She was responsible for the trio’s alibi: receipts for us all for dinner and a movie. At first blush, that seems like the most innocuous crime ever committed, but it gets bad in a hurry.

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