Woman Prayed with Four Family Members Before Killing Them

COLUMBIA, S.C. -  Hours before she killed her two sons, her ex-husband and her stepmother and tried to frame it on one of the slain children, Susan Hendricks gathered her family together to pray. She said she was worried about her older son, Matthew, because he seemed so down after several people forgot his birthday the day before.

"I know it sounds pretty fricking bizarre, but we pray a lot as a family," Hendricks told investigators in a room at the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, just hours after authorities discovered the bodies.

They all got on their knees and held hands, Hendricks said. Less than 12 hours later, she said, she found Matthew, 23, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. When paramedics who rushed to the home found the bodies of her other family members, Hendricks claimed Matthew had first killed them before turning the gun on himself.

In April, Hendricks pleaded guilty but mentally ill to all four of the Oct. 14, 2011, slayings and will spend the rest of her life in prison with no possibility of parole.

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