Memorial To Replace Bever Family's Broken Arrow Home
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - This summer will mark two years since the Bever family murders in Broken Arrow and a city councilor wants the home where five people died torn down and a memorial built in its place.
Prosecutors say Robert and Michael Bever stabbed to death their parents and three of their siblings inside their Broken Arrow home.
Robert is in prison for the rest of his life after pleading guilty. His younger brother is scheduled to stand trial this summer.
A group in Broken Arrow wants to demolish the home and replace it with a memorial garden. The City of Broken Arrow and the people who live in the neighborhood say they want the property to transition into a place of peace and healing.
Their first step is to buy the home on Magnolia Court where five family members were stabbed to death on a July night in 2015.
Broken Arrow City Councilor Mike Lester said, "That's all they remember when they see this house."
Neighbors and the city want it gone.
"It's just a sad reminder because we do, we miss that beautiful family so much," neighbor Matt Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen lives across the street and uses the words "empty" and "tragic" to describe the house.
Lester said it has traumatized neighbors, and left him with a question.
"How could we create something good out of the evil that happened in this house," he said.
So, nearly two years later, first responders went back on to talk about the city's plan to help the neighborhood move forward. They want to build a memorial garden with a gazebo and a monarch butterfly waystation.
They're also discussing a plaque to honor the family, surviving siblings and first responders, like Sergeant Stephen Garrett who was there that night.
"There are images engrained in our minds that we saw that night that can never be removed," he said.
Jacobsen said the murders changed the neighborhood, making them “closer and stronger.”
Now the neighborhood is ready to change how it looks at the memories of the Bever family.
"A beautiful, serene place that invites warmth and healing," Jacobsen said.
Lester started a foundation to raise money to buy the house. Once that happens, the foundation will deed it to the city to take over the project.
A local wrecking company has already volunteered services to demolish the home when its time, a project that would otherwise cost about $20,000.
You can donate to the foundation by clicking on the Tulsa Community Foundation website and select "Bever Family-First Responders Memorial Garden Fund or make out a check to the "Bever Family -First Responders Fund" and mail to the Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 South Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136.