It was called the worst crime in Fresno's history: what started as a custody dispute ended with the death of nine children. Marcus Wesson was convicted of killing seven of his kids and two grandchildren, who were born from an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters. After his arrest, the sordid stories came out about the incest, abuse and brainwashing that occurred under his guidance.
Dr. Phil asks Kiani, "What's your reaction to all of this now as you look back on it?"
"It was horrible, and I had fear. It's just very gruesome and ugly," she says.
Marcus met Elizabeth when he was 21 and started having sex with her when she was 12. Elizabeth gave birth to her first child at 15. He started molesting Gypsy and Kiani when they were 8.
Gypsy escaped the house five months before the shootings. Dr. Phil asks her, "How did you find the strength to get out, to run?"
"I really did hate him a lot and everything he was doing to us. I did not like the way he treated us. What he did to us was very wrong. I was tired of it," she says. "I had nowhere to go. We didn't have any education at all, and I just wanted to leave. He beat us every day, and I just didn't want to do it anymore. So I just left."
Kiani had two daughters with her father, both of whom were murdered by Marcus. She testified at his trial. "I told them everything," she says.
"Were you intimidated by him being there in the courtroom?" Dr. Phil asks.
[AD]"I felt very awkward and I didn't want to say anything," she says, wiping away tears. "I just felt weird and awkward because it was my first time saying something against my dad, my first time being outspoken in public. It was very humiliating. I just wanted to hide."
Kiani was at the house when the murders took place, but she didn't know they were happening. "What's the hardest thing for you?" Dr. Phil asks.
Kiani says that the first two years she didn't eat and rarely slept. "I left Fresno after a year, because I just couldn't take it anymore. I was dying inside, mentally and physically," she shares. "I left to another place, and from there it was pretty hard to make it and deal with everything."
Serafino, one of Marcus' sons, shares his memories.
"I had five brothers, and since I was the youngest one, my father said I was going to have it the hardest in life," Serafino says. His normal punishment was what his father called a month of punishment. "The month of punishment came at one spanking in the morning, and one in the afternoon and one before I went to bed." This cycle continued every day for one month.
"Sometimes I would be so sore, and my wounds would be so deep, I would just hide for the rest of the day under the couch or behind the bed and just try to stay, so hopefully, he would forget. The next day, he would see me and say, â€˜You didn't remind me. I'm going to add on an extra 10 days.' It was kind of never-ending for me," he remembers.
[AD]Serafino says when he was 12, his room was next to his sisters' room, the same room where their father molested them. "I could hear them fornicating," he reveals. "Something deep down inside made me sick to my stomach. I didn't know what it was at the time. It just made me want to puke, so I would cover my ears with my pillow and hum a tune until I fell asleep."
The scars are still with Serafino. "Here I am, 24 years old, a grown man. I've got a black belt in Aikido, an armed security advisor at work, and the chances of my dad getting out are like one in a trillion, but yet, you mention his name, and I feel like literally hiding under a table," he says. "It's not just I'm afraid of him. I can't even describe a word of it. Just hearing his name makes me feel like a kid again."
Serafino joins his sisters onstage, and Dr. Phil says, "I think this really gives a lot of insight to the power of mind control, and how you learn what you live."
[AD]Although the family went through horrendous times, they are starting to get their lives back. Gypsy received her high school diploma and is now going to college and working. Kiani is also working.
"I hope you take a minute to be so proud of yourselves and forgive yourselves, because you've done nothing wrong," Dr. Phil tells them.