Sunday, February 24, 2019

Today in True Crime: The Murder of Michael Howell, at the hands of his 17 year-old daughter Crystal Brooke Howell

Crystal Brooke Howell (pictured right) was only 17 years old when she murdered her father, 50 year-old Michael Howell (pictured left) on February 24th, 2014. 
Crystal's parents got a divorce when she was 12 years-old, and Crystal ended up living with her father. For the next five years, the two lived in a remote cabin on Sheepback Mountain located in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. On the day of the murder, Michael and Crystal went shopping together in Ingles. Crystal allegedly attempted to shoplift, but was caught by Michael. Investigators theorize that after this incident, Crystal began to think about killing her father. 

Crystal Brooke Howell in 2014
When the two returned from shopping that day, Michael took a nap while Crystal took a shower and allegedly continued to think about killing her father. Once she got out of the shower, Crystal grabbed a shotgun and shot her father once in the head as he napped on the couch. She then hid his body in a plastic container inside the family’s storage shed. Then, she dumped the couch he was laying on and sold the shotgun that she used. Life seemed to just continue for Crystal after that–she began to drive her deceased father’s car, spend his money, and damage his house. Her friends moved in, and they often threw parties at the house. Crystal even had a stripper pole installed in the kitchen. When asked about her father’s whereabouts, Crystal told her friends that he moved to Georgia and then killed himself.

Crystal continued her new lifestyle for almost a month before her secrets were uncovered. On March 22nd, 2014, two of Crystal’s house guests decided to move a pinball machine into their storage shed. While doing that, one of the men noticed the plastic container and found Michael’s body inside. The police were called, and Crystal was eventually arrested and charged with murder. 


In October 2016, Crystal pleaded guilty to the murder of her father and was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. She remains behind bars today. 

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