June 19, 2017
'Wife Swap' Family: Double Homicide And Attempted Suicide

A member of a family who appeared in the 2008 season of Wife Swap has allegedly killed his brother and mother and tried to kill himself. Jacob Stockdale is one of four sons. Currently 25 years old, his motive has not yet been confirmed. TMZ reports that the double murder is under investigation. Jacob's victims are his 54-year-old mother Kathryn and his 21-year-old brother James. He was not successful in his suicide attempt and was taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland where he remains in critical condition. Calvin and Charles are the other two sons.

When the Ohio family appeared on Wife Swap, they were described as "devoutly religious" and attempted to control their children's interaction with the world beyond their home. As described by Pop Culture, the Stockdale children were homeschooled and their parents, Kathryn and Timothy, forbade dating, pop music, profanity, and video games. They lived on a farm, and the brothers and their father had a bluegrass band that contributed to Jacob's statewide reputation for his fiddle playing.

Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier said that they went to the Wife Swap family's home in response to a 911 hang-up call. Upon arriving just before 5 p.m., they noticed "suspicious activity" and heard a gunshot that turned out to be Jacob's suicide attempt. Regarding the motive, Sheriff Maier said,

"It's hard to surmise what the motive may have been. There's some speculation."
James was a sophomore studying business management at Kent State University. Fox 8 published this statement from his oldest brother, Calvin.
"My family appreciates the prayers and support we are receiving from our friends and the community. We are mourning the loss of my brother and mother and are waiting to learn more about what transpired yesterday afternoon. We thank Sheriff Maier and his staff for their help through this difficult day as well as the staff at Aultman and MetroHealth Medical Center."

In 2014, the Wife Swap stars competed in the "Heights' Got Talent" competition. Their bluegrass band won first place. Kathryn Stockdale posted their performance to YouTube.

You can see the Stark County sheriff's comments about the incident in the video below.
[Featured Image by Allen J.M. Smith/Shutterstock]