Jurors saw video of murder defendant Anthony Todt, 46, telling police that he killed his entire family then attempted suicide for weeks while living with the corpses. As seen on the footage, the defendant told detectives he “chickened” out of using a knife and instead tried to take overdoses of Benadryl. When asked why he did not use a gun, he cited Florida’s three-day waitlist for firearms.
Todt said he killed his children Alek Todt, 13, Tyler Todt, 11, and Zoe Todt, 4, before Christmas of 2019. Law enforcement found him with their bodies, the body of wife Megan Todt, 42, and even the dead family dog Breezy at their home in Celebration, Fla., on Jan. 13, 2020.
The defense is waiting until later in trial to deliver an opening statement. The prosecution said Monday that Todt confessed to the murders and told detectives he plotted the killings with his wife under the belief that the apocalypse was coming.
Anthony Todt is describing in detail how each child was killed. He says his wife was chronically ill, had become interested in apocalypse. Todt says they asked their children what they would do if their mom and dad died and they said they didn’t want to live without them. pic.twitter.com/eOHYHnjyDv
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) April 12, 2022
Todt told detectives in detail how he killed his children and Breezy. For example, he said he held a pillow over Zoe’s head for 10 to 15 minutes.
“How long did she kick and scream?” a detective asked.
“Only for a couple of minutes,” Todt said.
He claimed that he and wife Megan consulted with each other over the murders. Todt said that he stabbed then smothered Alek as the boy fought. Megan left “midway” through this murder, he said.
“It went quickly,” he said when asked how long it took to kill his eldest son.
Megan was “doing meditations” as he killed Tyler downstairs, Todt said.
He maintained that they “love” their children.
“We had salvation in mind,” he said of the reason for killing them.
Todt said that he spend the weeks at the home with his dead family while trying (and failing) to kill himself. He said he left home several times, including for alcohol and Benadryl, checking the mail, and also for fast food, going to McDonald’s “once or twice.” He said he also left for a separate cottage to get his daughter’s Mickey Mouse necklace, which he could not find.
He reportedly took a complete 180 with this alleged confession, later writing his estranged father that Megan alone killed the kids and then herself. He alleged that she fed the children a poisoned pie.
“Long story short, she gave them the Benadryl/Tylenol PM pie, separated them, woke up at 11:30 [p.m.], stabbed and then suffocated each one,” he wrote in a letter dated June 19, 2020 and obtained by The Orlando Sentinel. “At the news of this I ran to the bathroom and puked — I was weak.”
The only major similarity with his prior alleged confession is that he said he tried and failed to die by suicide in the weeks after the deaths.
In video, however, defendant Todt described himself as carrying out the killings with his wife’s support.
He claimed that Megan drank wine and took Benadryl to die by suicide, but that failed. She laid there for what “seemed like hours,” and did not die, he said. According this version of events, she eventually pleaded with him to smother her with the pillow. She said she wanted to be with her “babies.”
“If you love me,” she allegedly said in the defendant’s now-recanted confession, “you can do this.”
As a general rule, one cannot legally consent to being killed; the law simply does not countenance consent in such matters. The only exceptions are physician-assisted deaths in a minority of states as palliative measures when natural death is near, and those statutes require very specific legal proceedings in order for the death to not be considered homicide.
[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]