Chris Hobsen, aka Christen Hobson, the 13-year old Overland Park, Kansas, teen who was made to dig his own grave before he was shot and killed by his stepbrother will be the next tragic true-crime story on Wednesday’s Evil Stepmothers. The Investigation Discovery (ID) show highlights wicked stepmothers who have committed the most ungodly acts imaginable. The episode, “Hitmom,” chronicles how a stone-cold stepmother orchestrated the murder of her own stepson so she didn’t have to buy him Christmas presents. It will be interesting to see who Investigation Discovery producers have lined up to give commentary on this very old case. The killers, Jimmy Crumm and Paul Sorrentino, have since been released from prison. Sueanne Hobson, the wicked stepmother, who arranged the murder of her stepson, was set free on parole in 2011, according to Kansas Department of Corrections.
It was April, 1980, when 13-year old Chris Hobsen (Christen Hobson) disappeared. His worried father, Ed Hobson, was beside himself with worry over why the young boy hadn’t returned home. What the unsuspecting father didn’t know was that his own wife, a pretty redhead named Sueanne Hobson, held the key to what happened to Christen.
Days went on before there was finally a break in the case. Detectives knew that Suzanne Hobson, Sueanne’s 15-year old daughter, knew more than she was letting on. Eventually, her conversation with police led them in the direction of Jimmy Crumm, aka James Crumm, Sueanne Hobson’s 17-year old son.
It didn’t take long before Jimmy Crumm confessed to police that he had shot and buried the body in a shallow grave on the outskirts of town. And there was one more chilling fact — his mother made him do it. That’s right. Police say 39-year-old Sueanne Hobson hounded her son to get rid of his stepbrother before Christmas, so she didn’t have to buy him any gifts. The situation at home between the stepbrothers hadn’t been good. And Christen Hobson didn’t get along with his stepmother, a rigid woman who liked everything a certain way. It seemed that everything Christen did annoyed her to no end. Disgusted with him, she devised a plan to get rid of him, court records reveal.
In the middle of the night in April, 1980, Chris Hobson was lured to a remote location by Jimmy Crumm and Paul Sorrenino, where he was instructed to a dig a grave so they could stash some drugs in the hole. They had convinced the young man that he was helping them. After Chris dug the hole, Jimmy Crumm and Paul Sorrentino shot him to death at close range. Then they covered over the grave and vowed to keep it a secret. They would also be receiving something good for their evil deeds. Sueanne Hobson promised to give Jimmy a car and Sorrentino a few hundred dollars in cash to fix his motorcycle.
At trial, Sueanne Hobson showed very little emotion. And her husband, Ed Hobson, the natural father of Chris Hobson, stood by her side. His deep love for Sueanne had overridden his sense of loyalty to his own blood son. Andy Hoffman, author of the book Family Affairs, states the following about Sueanne and Ed at his website.
“Ed Hobson, initially divorced Sueanne shortly after the killing, but remarried her before her trial. He subsequently divorced her again while she was in prison, but again remarried her a few years later while still in prison. He remains married to her today.”
Thomas O’Donnell’s book, Crazymaker, also gives a detailed account of the murder. Sadly, the death of his son wasn’t the only death that Ed Hobson had endured. According to an old newspaper article found in the Lodi News Sentinel, his first wife died of cancer in 1976, and one of his daughters was found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest in 1972. Her murder was classified as a suicide, though Ed Hobson always believed that someone had murdered her. At last check, Paul Sorrentino was said to be living somewhere in Florida, and Jimmy Crumm (James Kennedy Crumm Jr.) in Texas.
You can watch ID’s dramatization of the Sueanne Hobson, Chris Hobson murder case tonight on Evil Stepmothers at 10 p.m./9 p.m. central. The Sharon Nelson case was featured on the show last week.
[Image via Twitter]