On January 20, 1998, the Crowe family—parents Steve and Cheryl, 14-year-old Michael, 12-year-old Stephanie and 9-year-old Shannon—spent the evening visiting with their grandmother at their Escondido, California, home. According to news reports, the night was fairly ordinary—the family spent time with one another and the kids watched some television. After everyone had gone to bed, Cheryl said she heard a pounding noise, then heard her bedroom door open and close. At the time, she thought the noises were from her cats.
The next morning, the family was horrified to discover Stephanie stabbed in her bedroom. Police and paramedics arrived on the scene, but there was nothing they could do.