Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Rebecca DAVID





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Murder-suicide - The children either jumped or were thrown from the balcony by their mother
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: August 3, 1978
Date of birth: 1940
Victims profile: Her children, Elizabeth, 15,  Joshua, 10, Deborah, 9, Joseph, 8, David, 6, and Rebecca, 5 (Rachel, 14, survived)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Status: Committed suicide the same day

The David Family Suicide: Tragedy in Utah

By Kim Miller -

On August 3, 1978 Rebecca David took her seven children to the eleventh floor balcony of the International Dune Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The older children began to willingly jump off of the balcony. Rebecca threw the younger children off. One of the younger children grabbed the railing and fought, but Rebecca pulled him loose and threw him off.

I remember when this happened. The news reported that the onlookers were shouting "No," "Stop," as the children either jumped or where thrown off the balcony. When Rebecca got to the railing after all of her children were on the ground the onlookers yelled, "Jump! Jump." She then jumped to her death.

One of the children amazingly survived the horrific tragedy. Rachel David, fifteen at the time, sustained severe injuries that confined her to a wheelchair.

Rachel's father, Immanuel David believed himself to be a descendent of the House of David. He committed suicide two days before Rachel and her family jumped from the balcony. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Immanuel David changed his name from Charles Bruce Longo to Immanuel David because he believed himself to be a prophet of God. Many times he even claimed to be God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. He had a small cult of followers called the Family of David. Those who still belong to the Family of David believe that the Star of David belongs to Immanuel, not Jesus. They also believe that when Immanuel killed himself, his family had to be with him because they could not be apart. A former follower said that Immanuel killed himself because he was facing indictment charges of wire fraud or tax evasion. Immanuel's huge ego would not allow him to go to jail so he killed himself.

The children were described and bright, well dressed, and very polite by a family friend. They had absolute faith in their father and his power. It is believed that the family did not think they could function without him so they followed him in death.


Mother, Six children Die in Plunge From Utah Hotel


August 4, 1978

Salt Lake City (AP) - With her husband dead of suicide, a woman and her seven children plunged 11 floors from the balcony of a downtown Salt Lake City hotel Thursday in an apparent of religious zealotry, police said. The mother and six of the children died.

Police and witnesses said the woman, Rachel David, 38, pushed some of the children as they screamed and struggled to hold onto a railing and at least three older children "jumped of their own volition",

A 15-year-old girl survived and was in critical condition.

Police said the bizarre deaths came four days after Immanuel David, 39, a bearded loner who thought he was God, committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide.

"All indications are they were religious fanatics and decided to join the father," said police Lt. Nick Paloukos.

"He believed he was the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and God - all three at same time," said police Sgt. Brent Davis, who said he was a personal friend of David's.

David said the family was "devoted to each other, extremely so." He said, "These people would be completely lost without the father".

Authorities said  the family plunged from the balcony of their $90-a-day suite at the International Dunes hotel. Some jumped from chairs stacked on the balcony.

The FBI said David was under investigation for wire fraud, but spokesman Robert Davenport would not specify any alleged schemes. He said a follower, Matthias David, was convicted of wire fraud earlier this year for soliciting contributions by telling people his stepdaughter was seriously injured in an automobile accident.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Felix Palacios, a delivery truck driver who said he saw the woman throw two children over de balcony said Jason Maxfield, 16, of Salt Lake City. The horror of the incident became apparent when a young girl landed in the gutter, still alive when ambulance attendants picked her up minutes later, he said.

"The people here on the street were furious," said Irvin Rose, of Falls Church, Va. He said several people yelled obscenities at the woman and yelled for her to jump after all the children had jumped or been thrown off.

The dead children were identified as Rybeca, 5, David, 6, Joseph, 8, Debbra, 9, Joshaha, 10, and Rachal, 14. The surviving child was Elizbeth, 13, said police Lt. Roger Kinnersley. He said the children's names were provided by a family friend and it was at first thought Rachal was the one who lived.

Dr. Terry Clemmer of LDS Hospital said Elizbeth was in surgery most of the day Thursday. "I have great reservations about her chances for survival," he said.

Three stacks of hotel chairs were found on the balcony, and Kinnersley said at least three of the older children used them to climb up to the railing for the jump.

"Those older children were too old to be thrown out. They could have restrained the lady easily," said Jim Bradley, the hotel manager.

The mother and four children died as their bodies hit a first-floor roof or bounced to the sidewalk. Two others died later in Salt Lake hospitals.

David was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a borrowed van at the top of a nearby canyon Tuesday. Hotel employees said David was over 6-foot-4 and weighed more than 300 pounds. He wore a beard and braided hair.

Police said Mrs. David learned about his death Wednesday and told police she couldn't pay for the burial.

His family had live in the International Dunes suite for more than a year, paying the bill each day in cash, said Penny MacDonald, hotel clerk.

Police said David was not apparently employed. They did not know how he was able to afford the hotel bill, which would have been more than $30.000 over the past year.

David, also known as Bruce Longo, led a small cult made up mostly of his immediate family, said Police Lt. Roger Kinnersley.

He said David had been excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) several years ago. Mormon officials told police David frequently had tried to warn them of what he believed to be impending calamities and had demanded a share of church revenues.

David's drivers' license listed his home as Duchesne, a small eastern Utah community, but Kinnersley said had lived in various Salt Lake City hotels for years.

Bradley described the family as "loners, complete loners". Other hotel employees said the children did not speak to anyone without their father's permission, did not use the hotel swimming pool and remained mostly in their suite. They said the children were taught in the room by their parents and did not attend the school.


Survivor of '78 family suicide jump says her father will return to earth

April 10, 1993

Rachel David, sole survivor from her family's suicide plunge from a downtown Salt Lake hotel balcony in 1978, says she still believes her father is God and will return to Earth.

"I remember my father said he will be back. I know he will," David said in an interview to be broadcast Monday on the TV magazine program "Inside Edition." "My father never lied," she said. The program said she has continued to try to follow the suicide order and has attempted to kill herself several times.

David was 15 when she, her mother and six brothers and sisters plunged from the 11th floor of the then International Dunes Hotel on Aug. 3, 1978. The family had been living in a room at the hotel for more than a year. The jump came three days after the family's patriarch, self-proclaimed prophet Immanuel David, took his own life by carbon-monoxide poisoning.

The children either jumped or were thrown from the balcony by their mother, Rebecca, before she herself jumped as morning commuters, pedestrians and construction workers looked on in horror. Rachel was hospitalized for months, then state Family Services officials said she was being placed with a foster family.

She had not been heard from until tracked down by "Inside Edition" correspondent Dan Noyes.

She is confined to a wheelchair and lives with an uncle, Lennart Eriksson, according to a release late Thursday. Their location was not disclosed.

David, 39, who had changed his name from Charles Bruce Longo, claimed to be a descendant of the House of David. The children did not go to school and the source of the family's income was never clear, but authorities said it apparently had run out at the time of the suicides.

Rachel, who said she jumped willingly, believed her death and those of her family were ordained, according to the interview.



home last updates contact