It would appear that James Urban Ruppert didn’t stand a chance in hell from the very beginning. His father, Leonard, was abusive, with a violent temper who wanted nothing to do with his two male offspring. His mother, Charity, throughout his earliest years and into adulthood, had constantly remind him (James) that she had wanted a daughter when he was born. She had never wanted a second son. His father died when he was only 12 years old. His only sibling, Leonard Jr., his mother’s pride and joy, was only 14.
Leonard Jr. was suddenly thrust into the roll of ‘man of the house’ and subsequently the new father figure to James. And it would appear that he (Leonard Jr.) stepped in and took over with the same abusive attitude as his dead parent. Charity likewise was relentless in her verbal attacks, belittling and berating James and encouraged Leonard Jr. to pick on him as well.
By the time James reached 16, he’d had enough. He decided death would be better and tried to hang himself with a sheet. He failed miserably! And life went on for the quiet young man from Hamilton, Ohio.
But the quiet was only on the outside. A rage was growing deep inside that had not yet found it’s release.
After attempting, but flunking out of college, James bounced from a few meaningless jobs, that he was unable to hang onto, and eventually returned home to live with his now 65 year old mother. He took up residence in his old childhood room and his rage bubbled closer to the surface of his being.
Charity grew quickly frustrated with her worthless, unemployed 41 year old son, who drank constantly, slept well into the afternoon and owed her, and her prize child, Leonard Jr., who was extremely successful in both his professional and personal life, a lot of money. She threatened constantly to kick him to the curb. Leonard Jr., of course, was as relentless with his abuse as his mother. James slipped into a state of depression.
Then, on March 29th, 1975, the day before Easter, James went out to a favorite haunt to drink. He left at closing time and went home to bed.
He slept until 4:00 pm the next afternoon. He got up, loaded his .357 magnum, his two .22 caliber hand guns and a shot gun. He headed down stairs to the Easter party that Charity was throwing for her eight grandchildren (ranging from 4 – 17 years), Leonard Jr. and his wife Alma. The whole fam damnly was downstairs and Uncle James was about to the set off the fireworks!
When James entered the kitchen, Charity was standing at the stove, Leonard and Alma were sitting at the table and the children were playing in the living room and hallway at this time.
James entered the kitchen and immediately shot his brother Leonard, killing him instantly. He aimed the gun at Alma and fired, sending her to the floor dead. Without hesitation, he turned the gun on his own mother, who by now realized exactly what was taking place. He pulled the trigger. He next shot his nephew David and his nieces Teresa and Carol, all of whom were in or near the door of the kitchen.
James then walked into the living room and killed his niece, Ann, and his four nephews, Leonard, Michael, Thomas, and John, who all played close to each other on the floor.
The family massacre took no more than a few minutes and 35 rounds were fired in all. A bit of overkill was obvious and would later appear that James would fire first to wound then approach the victim and fire another shot into the head or chest.
James changed his clothes and spent 3 hours with the corpses of his family before calling the authorities and reporting his crime. He stood at the door and awaited their arrival. He surrendered quietly.
He was charged that very day with 11 counts of aggravated homicide but refused to answer any questions posed. He did however repeat often that he would be pleading insane.
The prosecutor for the case viewed the horrific crime scene and stated that “there was so much blood on the first floor, it was dripping through the floorboards into the basement.”
James was found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his mother and his older brother but was found not guilty, by reason of insanity, on the other 9 counts of murder. He received life sentences for each of the two charges to be served consecutively.
James had finally succeeded at something and would now have consistency in his life till death.
pic credit- murderpedia.