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Haunting story of father-daughter incest case that ended in murder

Haunting story of father-daughter incest case that ended in murder

The story has since become a topic of morbid curiosity for podcasters, YouTubers and TikTokers

A harrowing incest case left a small town shaken after it ended with the deaths of three people, having since become a topic of morbid curiosity for podcasters, YouTubers and TikTokers.

Back in April 2018, 43-year-old Steven Pladl allegedly killed three people before turning the gun on himself, having phoned his mother to confess what had happened.

The victims included Steven’s 20-year-old daughter Katie and her seven-month-old son Bennett, who was also his child.

Katie’s adoptive father Anthony Fusco, 56, was also killed.

At the time, Lawrence Capps, Chief of Knightdale Police Department in North Carolina, said: "Events like this are not common in our community.

Steven Pladl.
Wake County Sheriff's Office

"Unfortunately, they are not uncommon in society. We are heartbroken and saddened over the death of this child, and like you, we are trying to make sense of all the factors that led up to this senseless taking of life."

It turned out that Steven’s ex-wide Alyssa had met him online when she was 15 and he was 20.

Speaking to the Associated Press, she explained how they’d had a daughter – at the time named Denise – but they put her up for adoption at eight months as Alyssa believed her husband had been physically abusing the baby.

"It was so hard to give her up, but I had to because I wanted her to live and be happy,” Alyssa said.

After being adopted by Anthony and Kelly Fusco, Denise was renamed Katie, with her uncle Cary Gould saying she went on to lead a ‘very, very normal’ life with the Fuscos.

Pladl killed his daughter Katie, 20.
Wake County Sheriff's Office

However, after turning 18, Katie decided to reach out to her birth parents, and ended up moving in with them.

Alyssa – who said she had suffered emotional and verbal abuse by Steven for years – told Katie privately about the abuse she had suffered as a baby, but claims she wasn’t concerned.

Steven’s behaviour began to change after Katie moved in and he even started sleeping on her bedroom floor.

Eventually, Alyssa moved out, later finding out that Steven and Katie were having an incestuous relationship, and that she was pregnant with his child.

Alyssa contacted the police, but during the investigation Steven and Katie got married – reportedly lying on their application to say they were unrelated.

After Katie gave birth to a baby, the family moved into a house in Knightdale, but were later arrested by authorities in Virginia on charges of incest, adultery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The couple had a child together.

According to Knightdale Police, the baby was placed in the custody of Steven's mother, while Katie moved back with her adoptive parents after being released on bond.

However, just weeks before a preliminary hearing for her case, local police found Katie and adoptive dad Anthony shot to death in a pickup truck.

They then found Steven dead inside his blue Honda Odyssey, before arriving at his Knightdale home to find the baby’s body.

Police Chief Capps said the tragedy was ‘sad and devastating’, adding: "We may never understand the mindset or motives of Steven Pladl, but we do know his actions have shattered the lives of countless people."

The heartbreaking story has since become the subject of various podcasts and TikTok videos, including an episode of RedHanded with Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bal.

Featured Image Credit: Wake County Sheriff's Office

Topics: US News