On May 16, sheriffs arrive at a sinister crime scene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. There they discover the bludgeoned bodies of Brenda Groene, her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, and her 13-year-old son Slade. The horror is magnified as Brenda's ex-husband, Steve, is hit with more gut-wrenching news: his youngest children, 9-year-old Dylan and 8-year-old Shasta, are missing. Within hours, a nationwide search is underway for the children and the depraved predator who killed their family.
Six agonizing weeks after the murders, a surveillance camera captures Shasta in a convenience store with a man named Joseph Duncan. Later that night, Duncan enters a Denny's restaurant with Shasta. The manager calls 911. Within minutes, police descend upon the restaurant and capture Joseph Duncan. Two days later, detectives find young Dylan's charred remains at a remote Montana campsite.
The police report of Shasta's ordeal is a parent's living hell. Shasta told police that she was in bed when her mother woke her up and told her to come to the living room. Her mother, mother's boyfriend, and 13-year-old brother Slade were bound with zip ties and duct tape while Shasta watched. Then she and Dylan were tied up outside near a swing set. She told police that she could hear screams from inside the house as the three were bludgeoned to death.
Shasta says that she was taken to a remote campsite in the mountains. Shasta said Joseph Duncan bragged to her about the killings. Shasta said he even showed her the hammer that he had used to bludgeon her family. Shasta told police that she was repeatedly sexually molested.