Women are drawn to Jeremy Allan Steinke. The unemployed high-school drop out who lived in his mother’s trailer while dating a 12-year-old girl was convicted of murdering her parents and eight-year-old brother in 2008. Young girls flocked to his court appearances, crying and wailing in view of television cameras as teen drama-mamas are wont to do. At his trial nearly three years later, court benches were packed with female students day after day.
One of the most compelling stories to come out of the case is a teenager we called Robin. She is a troubled, but likeable, girl. Her loyalty and willingness to stand in the wings for the Svengali-like Steinke is mind-boggling. He breached a court order to phone her. They chat regularly now. He calls his mother’s home and Robin, who has moved out of her parents home, is there to pick up the phone and comfort him. She’s now 16, still two years too young to visit him in jail. Since his 2006 arrest, she only gets a glimpse of him during court appearances. She bawled at his mother’s side when he was sentenced to life with no chance for parole for 25 years. While many teens have outgrown their interest in goth, vampires and Steinke, Robin appears to be planning for a future with him, conjugal visits and all.
Loyal goth teens stand by Steinke
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Calgary Herald ©
Dateline: MEDICINE HAT
When you’re a disciple of Souleater, it doesn’t matter that it’s the voice of an accused killer.
Last year, Robin (not her real name) considered the young man one of her best friends.
Now 16, she has become an archivist of his press clippings, carefully chronicling in four large binders the coverage of his court appearances on three charges of first-degree murder for the killings of Steinke’s girlfriend’s family on April 23, 2006.
Steinke’s 13-year-old girlfriend was convicted of all three counts by a jury Monday. He has not entered a plea.
Robin hasn’t laid eyes on Steinke for 15 months. She is too young to visit him at the remand centre, and asked that she not be identified for fear people could turn on her.
The girl, who has known Steinke for three years, is one of a band of Medicine Hat teenagers who stand by the 24-year-old man — despite the testimony about him during the trial of his co-accused.
Court heard about his involvement in goth culture.
Since the murders, any teenager dressed in black with piercings and arty eyeliner quickly became the subject of derision, Robin says.
“You feel like you are walking around with a sign on your head that says ‘Steinke supporter,'” she says. “You’ve got this constant extra voice in your head. It is saying: ‘They all hate you. They all hate you.’ ”
To remember his face, she is reduced to flipping through four scrapbooks, which she has labelled Hell, volumes 1 through 4. They are packed with newspaper clippings and photos from Steinke’s vampirefreaks and Nexopia websites, where he called himself Souleater.
“You don’t just want to put a stack of papers in a shoebox,” says the girl.
Although Robin doesn’t condone what Steinke is alleged to have done, she says her friendship is unwavering. She and other young teens looked up to Steinke as the unofficial head of a gothic punk posse of mall rats who didn’t fit in elsewhere. They spent a lot of free time doing nothing and going nowhere, she says.
He is sweet, caring, loud and funny, she says. He’s a good songwriter and a guitar player, she adds.
They weren’t old enough to buy beer and didn’t have driver’s licences. Even though they’re years younger than Steinke, a high school dropout, he accepted them as peers, she says.
The group may vary in age, but they have a common thread, she says.
“Everyone else kicked you out or rejected you (from their group). It makes you better friends.”
The last friends saw of Steinke was at a party house a kilometre down the road from the crime scene on April 23, 2006 — at about the same time the bodies were discovered.
Friends who were at the all-day drinking party testified in court that Steinke showed up with a bloody black eye and introduced them to his 12-year-old girlfriend.
While others were drinking and partying, the couple were seen kissing and cuddling on a couch.
He took a longtime friend aside and told him he and his girlfriend killed a family, court heard.
That night, friends watched the evening news broadcast a story about a family that had been murdered. One by one, the stunned friends trickled into the police station to report what they had heard earlier that day.
Steinke and the girl were arrested at gunpoint early the next morning in Leader, Sask.
If found guilty, Steinke faces a life sentence and a minimum of 25 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.
Robin isn’t letting that possibility dissuade her from pledging her undying friendship.
“I don’t even care how long it is, as long as he gets out some day. I’ll be here.”