Caroline Young Killed Her 2 Grandchildren After Losing Custody of One to Marine Recruiter Barrington Bruce; Sentenced to Death, Died in 2005 of Kidney Failure (June 18, 1993)

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ID Go: A grandmother caring for her grandchildren, a young girl in love with a boy, a mother protecting her son – are all consumed with intense love. But when that love is threatened, they find it too much to bear and take measures into their own hands. -Deadly Possession, Deadly Women (S5, E10)

In 1993, Caroline Young, 51, was as devoted to caring for 6-year-old Darin Torres and 4-year-old Dai-Zshia Torres as any mother, but they were not her children. Darin and Dai-Zshia were her daughter’s children, but her daughter did not care for them so Caroline had to step in. Twenty-five year old Vanessa Torres never looked after her own children because she had significant problems with drugs and prostitution. Caroline had full custody of the children since they were infants because the courts deemed their biological mother unfit as a parent. The children’s two different fathers had nothing to do with them and that’s the way Caroline liked it. Darin’s parents never married and separated when Darin was very young; Darin didn’t see his father for most of his life. And both his mother and grandmother didn’t want Darin’s dad in the picture. But in 1993, that suddenly changed when Marine Corps recruiter Barrington Bruce received a $12,000 bill from the State of California for back child support. Darin’s father Barrington, who was living in Virginia at the time, had been looking for his son Darin since he was a toddler. After Caroline Young applied for child support, the family support division found the young Marine Sergeant who was thankful they found him because he wanted to be reunited with his son.

Active duty Marine Barrington Bruce was determined to get the child back so he took legal steps to get custody. Caroline Young realized she made a mistake by asking for child support because the move revealed her grandson’s whereabouts. Caroline did not want the two kids she had taken care of since they were infants separated. She started making outlandish threats and even talked about killing the children rather than losing custody, but nobody believed that she would do it. Former FBI Profiler Candice DeLong explained that for some people their attachment to other people is unhealthy because it consumes them. In the process, they lose their sense of self and the prospect of losing the person they are consumed with causes tremendous pain and disruption. Barrington Bruce was determined to get his son back so he went to court and was awarded full custody. Barrington went through all the proper channels and his family situation was deemed appropriate for taking custody of the child. He had a full-time job in the military, he was married, and his wife had just had a baby. But Profiler DeLong cautions that the stress of losing Darin caused something deep-seated in Caroline, something that she had not dealt with, possibly a desertion by someone in her past when she was a little girl.

After years of daily devotion, Caroline Young was shattered by the idea of losing her grandson because Darin belonged to her. Candice DeLong explained that for some women, a person that they love is not so much a person but a possession that they can’t live without. What started out as an idle threat seemed like Caroline’s only option, because some women find it easier to kill then to say goodbye. On June 18, 1993, Barrington Bruce won custody of Darin and was excited to pick him up. Across town, his son and Darin’s sister were asleep. Caroline had no intention of relinquishing custody of Darin back to his father. She was operating under the misguided notion that if I can’t have these children, no one can. She wrote a suicide note directed towards Darin’s father and then proceeded with murdering both children. Caroline slit little Darin’s throat first. Afterwards, Caroline calmly smoked a cigarette, which Profiler DeLong reminded us was evidence that she had time to pause, think about it, put the knife down, and call for help but she didn’t. When you think of a grandmother, you don’t think of someone who’s capable of doing such a heinous act. This crime was motivated by pure selfishness and there’s nothing more despicable then the murder of innocent children. This was a horrendous crime, unbelievable in it’s depravity.

Darin’s mother, Vanessa Torres, woke up and found her son Darin in bed with his throat slit. It was a chaotic scene to say the least. Vanessa reported that she saw her mom’s clothing covered in blood and in complete horror she asked her mother why she did it. Caroline replied, “the children needed to stay together.” After this brief encounter, Caroline grabbed the baby girl Dai-Zshia and slit her throat and stabbed her in the chest as well. Vanessa managed to call 911 in the midst of the chaos. Profiler DeLong reminded us that killing someone with a knife is a very personal thing. It’s one thing to shoot somebody but to hold someone against your own body and slash their throats is an entirely different crime. Profiler DeLong explained that she could have silently smothered them while they were sleeping but she didn’t or she could have shot them and they would have been killed instantly but she didn’t do that either. Instead, she used a knife to end their life until they succumbed. But Caroline wasn’t finished; she stabbed herself multiple times in an attempt to kill herself. This was a horrible crime scene and Caroline may have been disturbed at the time of the murders but she was definitely not legally insane. She knew what she was doing was wrong and slaughtered Darin and Dai-Zshia anyways.

Detective Bill Cooper, one of the detective’s tasked with investigating the homicides, shared that every officer that touched the crime scene was impacted. It wasn’t enough for Caroline to simply murder Barrington’s little boy, she wanted to taunt him from her grave. Barrington Bruce found out his son was dead when he went to pick him up after he was awarded full custody, and this told the investigators everything they needed to know about Caroline Young. She was blinded by selfishness and vindictive. At the crime scene, investigators discovered a suicide note. She wrote the note as if she was already dead. She said she was a very angry spirit and was going to get even with those who hurt her and the children. She also said directed to Barrington, “every baby your wife has, I will come back and get it.” Caroline’s stabbing suicide attempt failed. On October 27, 1995, Caroline Young was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to death. The reason Caroline killed those two children was because she didn’t want to see them separated. It doesn’t make any sense but in her mind murdering them kept them together. On September 6, 2005, Caroline Young died of kidney failure after ten years in jail. Detective Cooper summarized and said there are a few cases in his career that he wished he could forget about and this was one of them.

Source: ‘Deadly Possession’ Deadly Women

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Related Links:
Dai-Zshia Torres (1990-1993) | Find A Grave
Darin Torres (1987-1993) | Find A Grave
Caroline Young (1943-2005) | Find A Grave Memorial
Hayward woman guilty of killing grandkids
Woman sentenced to die for slaying grandchildren
Hayward Woman Is Sentenced to Death / She was convicted of murdering her 2 grandchildren
Kidney failure claims inmate before execution
Caroline Young Murdered Her Grandchildren for Revenge
When Caregivers Kill: Understanding Child Murder by Parents and Other Guardians
Women and the Death Penalty in the United States, 1900-1998
Caroline Young | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S5, E10)
Meet All The Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
List of Deadly Women episodes
Season 5 | Deadly Women | Amazon.com