Trucko Stampley of Baton Rouge was a quiet child.
He was a poor student, who throughout his school years, puzzled teachers with his cold silence. He could hardly read, write or hold down a job.
And the 19-year-old had a history of odd behavior, his parents added Saturday — most notably pounding his head aggressively and frequently — against the walls of the family’s Cherry Street house.
On Monday he was unknown.
But by Friday, he was behind bars with Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff dubbing Stampley a “mass murderer,” accusing him of killing four people in two double slayings.
In an eruption of violence, police say, Stampley shot and killed Marie Pedescleaux, 80, her daughter, Denise Pedescleaux, 46, and Charles and Ann Lynn Colvin, both 73.
It is still a mystery to police who was struck first, but the shootings happened during home-invasion robberies. And investigators haven’t ruled out that more bodies could surface. They urged residents to check in on their elderly neighbors.
“He always isolated himself, he didn’t talk to anybody,” said Sheila Stampley, the teen’s 51-year-old mother. “Not at home, not at school. He was always by himself. And when he would talk, he mumbled. I don’t know what I did wrong.”
A troubled teen
With limited resources, she tried to get her son help through teachers and friends. But nothing worked and he became even more distant.
“His brain is dead, he is gone,” she said. “He didn’t want to be nobody. He’s just gone.”
As some of their grandchildren played in the front yard Saturday afternoon, Sheila and Larry Stampley tearfully described their son as a troubled kid who just couldn’t find his niche in life.
Trucko was born in Baton Rouge and was brought up in a family of six boys and three girls.
“When he was 2 years old his head swelled and we had to drain fluids from his brain,” Sheila Stampley said. “I always wondered about that.”
Nevertheless, the boy went to Greenville Elementary, and although he often got failing grades and sat in special-education classes, Stampley was promoted — first to Prescott Middle and then Lee High School, the family said.
He finally dropped out.
Trucko Stampley had no hobbies, didn’t play sports and by all accounts didn’t have many friends — if any.
“But he would get mad, mad, mad,” Larry Stampley, 55, said. “He’d stand by the wall in this home and bang his head over and over and over. He put a hole in my wall. I’d ask him what’s the matter and he would just stare at me. He’d get hot.”