Michelle Lynn's Law
On September 13, 2004, Carl “Charlie” Brandt, Jr., murdered our daughter Michelle Jones and his wife, Teri Brandt, in our daughter’s home in Maitland, FL. He stabbed his wife numerous times. He also stabbed our daughter — once through the heart — then decapitated and dismembered her beyond recognition. Afterwards, he cleaned up by taking a shower. He then placed a ladder between two cars in our daughter’s garage, which he then climbed, tied a sheet to the rafter and hung himself. Investigators on the scene said that they recognized, almost immediately, that this was likely not the first time that Charlie had killed.
It was then that they learned, from Charlie’s older sister, that he had killed before. On January 3, 1971, at age 13, Charlie Brandt, Jr. murdered his mother, who was 7-months pregnant, shot his father several times, and then tried to shoot his older sister, but the gun wouldn’t fire. He was hospitalized in a mental institution for approximately one year, and was then released to the custody of his father, Carl Senior. (Yes, the same man he shot and left for dead.)
When the Grand Jury released Charlie to his father, they felt strongly that Charlie, Jr. should be monitored on an ongoing basis, as they believed he was capable of committing a similar crime again. Because Charlie was never charged with a crime, and there were no records, when he turned 18 years old, he had a clean slate. NO RECORD! Charlie, his father and older sister kept his crime a secret. Even his younger sisters were told that their mother died in a car accident.
Several years after Charlie murdered Michelle and Teri, it was found that Charlie was also responsible for two additional ‘cold case” murders, also involving women. His mother, our daughter and the other two women were all 37 years old. His wife, Teri, was 46. There were, at one time, 26 cases under investigation. The Dade County profiler said they would never know how many people he murdered, but they were sure there were more.
Our daughter, Michelle, was a loving, caring person with a heart of gold. She loved family, friends and children. She was 37, a sales manager at the Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida. She loved her work and those she worked with. She loved the beach, the Florida Gators and many other things. Basically, she loved life. Teri was a bubbly, fun-loving person. She loved family as well, and always tried to enjoy life to the fullest. We miss them both to no end.
Why was Charlie Brandt, Jr. ever permitted back into society? Why did his father not get him the help — and monitoring — that was recommended when Charlie was released to his custody? Why was his childhood murder kept a family secret all those years? Why didn’t Charlie tell Teri? Why didn’t the father or the older sister tell Teri? His two younger sisters were devastated when they learned what he had done, as they were never told before. WHY?
Sexual predators are registered in all states now to some degree under Megan’s Law. We believe it’s time that ALL violent criminals who are put back on our streets are registered as well.
We believe there needs to be a call for enhanced education of professional services, education of the clinical/scientific community, educators, law enforcement and the judicial system related to the egregious nature of violent crimes committed by juveniles, including murder and rape. We believe there needs to be increased focus on the long-term implications for individuals and families if and when crimes are erased. Where do these criminals go? Who do they become?
Their crimes should not be kept secret — especially from those who stand to be affected most.
We are proposing the need for a comprehensive database of criminals who have committed a violent, heinous crime without regard to their age. We propose this database be mandated and available to law enforcement, with details of the criminal profile. When violent criminals are released, their movements should be tracked — and both law enforcement and communities notified. My personal preference would be to keep these criminals incarcerated, but if they are let go — especially when there are no signs of remorse — they should be under constant monitoring and under consideration for removal from society. Perhaps with remorse, they could be monitored for rehabilitation, but in all cases, we should ALWAYS know where these previous offenders are at all times.
If these past offenders are registered, and a new crime occurs, law enforcement could enter information related to the current case into the database, and be quickly notified of anyone in the area who fits that particular profile. It is our hope that communities have access to this information as well, but most importantly law enforcement. All too often, past offenders, when released back into society, commit the same crimes again — some almost immediately, some later on. It has been shown that some even plan later crimes while they’re still incarcerated.
Why should a parent ever have to wonder if his/her son or daughter is about to marry someone who has committed such a heinous crime his/her their knowledge? They shouldn’t!
Why should any family member ever have to worry about a relative in their midst who committed a heinous crime? They shouldn’t!
Why should anyone have to worry about working with or living next door to someone who has committed a heinous crime? They shouldn’t!
Proposed Michelle Lynn’s Law
This law would mandate the enactment of a secure database designed, managed and for use by law enforcement during investigation of crimes that is accessible in all communities through remote/wireless information technology.
Included in this database should be all individuals, regardless of age, who have been charged with or strongly suspected of a violent crime. The data/information for each individual would include the persons name, age, date of birth, sex, and other pertinent information as well as details of the suspected/confirmed crime. Details would include the method of the crime, weapons/instruments used, and the information of the victim.
With approval of the law, an implementation plan will be developed to create such a database or expand an existing database to accommodate the profile of these suspected/confirmed criminals.
A communication plan will be prepared in conjunction with the creation of this database, for investigating officers. As these officers prepare/enter data from investigations into this database, they will demonstrate competence in the completeness of information entered.
The database will become an operational structure to be used in the process of investigations to facilitate timely apprehension of criminals and result in the outcome of promoting safer communities. This database will evolve and be used in collaboration with other law enforcement communities throughout this state and hopefully eventually in all states.
Michelle Lynn’s Law!!
— Bill and Mary Lou Jones