A child who starred on Wife Swap’s most notable episode in 2008 ended up killing his family nine years later.
Jacob Stockdale, who murdered his mum and youngest brother, was only a teen when he appeared on the show alongside his momager Kathy, dad Timothy, and his brothers Calvin, Charles and James.
The Stockdales were memorable because of their strict Christian faith and because they had formed a band together, describing themselves as a “wholesome family bluegrass band”.
Their parents were quite strict, and the kids were not allowed to have friends of the opposite sex – or in general – and would work hard in order to earn their radio time.
They swapped with The Tonkovics – a laid-back family that consists of mum Laurie, dad John, their son T-Vic and daughter Meghan.
In 2018, Jacob went on trial for murdering his mum Kathy and his youngest brother James in 2017, before attempting to take his own life.
Two of his brothers and his father were not at home when he opened fire.
In September this year, Jacob was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the crime.
After the murders, Calvin Stockdale released a statement on behalf of the family which read: “James, our youngest brother, has always been a catalyst of family fun. He leaves behind many friends and a family that loved him dearly. My brother, Jacob, is still in critical condition and we are praying for his physical recovery as our family makes funeral plans and begins the healing process.”
His father Timothy added: “She [Kathryn] had a strong love of learning and was passionate about her Christian faith, natural health, and organic farming.”
Following the murder, Laurie Tonkovic, who looked after Jacob during the show, told TMZ that his “strict upbringing” caused him to “snap”.
She told the publication: “When I switched the rules and I was going to let them have fun, let them have a television and video games, and experience life a little bit, [Jacob] ran outside crying.
“And when I went out after him, I asked him what was wrong, and he said that his mom and dad would tell him that he would “burn in hell.”
“God gives you free will. Free will, they didn’t have.
“They weren’t allowed to make choices. I think it just caught up to him.”
The American version of the programme has been on air since 2004, and first broadcast on ABC.
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