Behavior: Brutal Treatment, Vicious Deeds

Cheryl Pierson is only one of America's troubled parent killers

High School Cheerleader Cheryl Pierson had often fantasized about having her father killed. Her resentment and rage came to a head one day in November 1985 when Pierson and Classmate Sean Pica, both then 16, were sitting in homeroom at Newfield High School in Selden, N.Y., discussing an article in a local paper about an abused wife who enlisted someone to murder her husband. Pierson wondered aloud who would be crazy enough to undertake such a deadly commission. Pica promptly said he would volunteer -- if the price was right. Three months later, as James Pierson, a 42-year-old electrician, left his...

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