Holly Harvey is still in jail, serving two life sentences for the brutal murder of her grandparents in 2004. The teenager admitted to stabbing both of her grandparents in their Georgia basement after they vocalized their disapproval of her girlfriend and their relationship.
Harvey’s case captured national attention while she explained the details of the murder and how she got “the biggest knife” she could find and attacked her grandparents when they came down the stairs.
The crime will be profiled in Monday night’s episode of Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen on Discovery ID. Here’s what you need to know about the case:
1. Harvey Plead Guilty to Two Counts of Murder in 2005
Harvey was just 15 years old when she plead guilty to killing her grandparents, Carl, 75, and his wife 53 years, Sarah, 73, inside their Fayetteville, Georgia home. Carl was a retired airline supervisor while Sarah was a retired bank teller. The couple were stabbed, in total, over three dozen times by their granddaughter.
Their past, Reverend Glenn Stringham condemned the deaths, particularly after taking in their granddaughter telling People:
Many times they could have throw up their hands up and said, ‘I quit.’ They chose, basically, to give their life to their granddaughter because of their love for her.
Harvey admitted to killing both of her grandparents during a Georgia court hearing that captured the nation’s attention in 2011. Harvey told Fayette County Superior Court Judge Pascal English that she killed the Collier’s because she wanted to be with her girlfriend, Sandra Ketchum, who her grandparents did not approve of.
Harvey and Ketchum were in the basement of the Fayette house on the morning of the murders when they decided to steal the grandparent’s truck. Harvey told the judge that she responded by saying, “We’ll have to kill them to do that. But I didn’t mean nothing by that.”
2. Carl Collier Told His Son Kevin That Harvey ‘Was Going to Kill Us’
The Collier’s took in their granddaughter three months before the tragic murders and, from the very start, trouble started brewing. In fact, Carl Collier told his son Kevin, “She said she was going to kills us.” Kevin, who knew his niece was troubled, told his father to call 911 for any issue.
Five days later, on August 2nd 2004, police found the bodies of Carl and Sarah.
Harvey came to live with her grandparents while her mother, Carla, was serving a three-year prison sentence for marijuana possession with intent to sell. The new living arrangement was difficult from the beginning as Harvey and her grandparents clashed over rules and a disapproval over her new girlfriend, Sandra Ketchum.
3. Harvey & Ketchum Ran Away in June 2003
Despite rules set down by her grandparents, Harvey continued to see Ketchum and the two ran away together on June 10, 2003, turning up four days later in Griffin, Georgia at the home of Sandy’s birth mother, Sandra. Harvey returned home but just a few weeks later ran off again with Ketchum.
As far as the Collier’s were concerned, enough was enough. They reported Harvey to the authorities and she was placed on probation. Kevin Collier explained:
As soon as they walked out of court, she fired a cigarette up. Dad was ready to carry her right back inside. Mom said, ‘No, she’s been through enough today.
4. The Pair Were Arrested 17 Hours After the Murders
It didn’t take long for police to catch up with both Harvey and Ketchum. In fact, the two girls were both arrested just over 17 hours after the slayings. Police found them at a beach house on Tybee Island, about four hours away from the Collier’s home.
Authorities said that they found a to-do list scrawled in ink on Harvey’s arm when they arrested her. It read, “kill, keys, money, jewelry.”
Despite what Harvey told police, Ketchum maintained that it was her idea to go through with the murders. Ketchum said that Harvey “had been discussing killing her grandparents for days,” according to a written summary of the interview she gave police after her arrest.
5. Harvey Was Convicted to Two Life Sentences in Prison
After describing the murders in open court, Harvey was sentenced to two life sentences in prison. Because of her age she was not eligible for the death penalty, however she will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least 20 years in prison.
Ketchum, who was 16 at the time of the murders, was sentences to serve three life sentences consecutively. Her father, Tim, told reporters “I can’t explain it. I’m not that type of person. I didn’t raise her to be that type of person. I want to say to the community I’m very sorry this happened.”
Although police said that the girls did not seem upset at the initial time of their arrest, authorities said that the pair were remorseful afterwards. Judge English asked Harvey at her sentencing if 20 years in prison “was a good deal” for killing her grandparents. She responded no, before adding, “I think I should be dead.”