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Rachael Scarlett MULLENIX





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (17)
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 13, 2006
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: 1989
Victim profile: Barbara Anne Mullenix, 56 (her mother)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife (more than 50 times by at least two different knives)
Location: Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on October 9, 2008
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Rachael Scarlett Mullenix, 16, is an American teenager who stabbed her mother to death and then dumped the body in Newport Harbor, California, on September 13, 2006.


Teen sentenced 25 years to life for killing mother

October 10, 2008

A 19-year-old Huntington Beach woman who, with her boyfriend’s help, stabbed her mother to death and then dumped the body in Newport Harbor two years ago was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday.

Rachael Scarlett Mullenix was convicted July 17 of one felony count of murder in connection with the slaying of her mother, Barbara Mullenix, Sept. 13, 2006. Rachael Mullenix’s boyfriend at the time, Ian Westleigh Allen, 23, Huntington Beach, was also convicted of a single felony count of murder Sept. 18. He also faces a maximum 25 years to life in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14.


O.C. teen gets 25 years to life for killing mom

She expresses grudging remorse in conspiracy with boyfriend to stab her and put the body in Newport Harbor

By Christopher Goffard - Los Angeles Times

October 11, 2008

Rachael Mullenix, the Huntington Beach teenager who conspired with her love-struck boyfriend to murder her mother and dump the slashed body into Newport Harbor, expressed only grudging and limited remorse Friday as a judge sentenced her to 25 years to life in prison.

"I don't care what the jury thought. I did not do that to my mother," Mullenix, 19, told Orange County Superior Court Judge David Thompson. "I can't even believe this is happening to me."

Despite a jury's verdict of first-degree murder in July and her admission that she helped cover up the slaying of her 56-year-old mother, Mullenix continued to insist that she did not inflict any of the 52 wounds found on Barbara Mullenix's body, which included a slashed jugular vein and a butter knife in the eye.

Still, as tears rolled from her eyes, Mullenix described her mother as "my world" and "my life" and said she woke with guilt in her jail cell every morning. "Even though I didn't do it," she said, "I feel like I didn't do enough to prevent it."

To prosecutor Sonia Balleste, the words reflected a killer who was an expert in displays of emotions designed to elicit pity. This was the same cold-hearted teenager, Balleste had argued in court, who manipulated her smitten boyfriend, Ian W. Allen, into taking part in the murder.

"It's just chilling to hear a sociopath talk like that," Balleste said after Friday's sentencing hearing. "If you ever get used to it, there's a problem. I hope I never do."

Instead of showing true remorse for the crime, she said, Mullenix remained fixated on herself. "It's all about her and what she feels," Balleste said. But as for her mother, "I don't think she's capable of feeling anything at all."

Balleste argued that Mullenix, who was 17 at the time of the murder, decided to kill her mother in September 2006 after being grounded for breaking her 1 a.m. curfew, and that the abundance of slashes on Barbara Mullenix proved that she and Allen attacked her together.

Bruce Mullenix, the victim's ex-husband and the defendant's father, characterized Barbara Mullenix as an abusive alcoholic and told the judge he refused to believe his daughter was a killer.

"I know in my heart that she didn't do this," he said. "Her mother had problems. No one knows how bad it was other than Rachael and myself."

No friends or family spoke on Barbara Mullenix's behalf during the "victim impact" portion of Friday's sentencing hearing.

A law clerk from the district attorney's office rose to read a prepared statement from an anonymous friend of the victim. The statement described Rachael Mullenix as a narcissist with a "black heart" who disposed of her mother like "a piece of garbage."

In handing down the prison term, Thompson pointed to the number of wounds on Barbara Mullenix's body and noted that she was especially vulnerable, given that she was attacked in her own bedroom by someone she trusted.

Her former boyfriend, Allen, 23, was convicted last month of first-degree murder for his role in the killing. He faces 25 years to life when he is sentenced in November.

After the murder, Allen and Rachael Mullenix dumped the body in Newport Harbor and fled toward Florida on Interstate 10, where they were stopped in Louisiana.


Killer of mother gets 25 to life

Judge said the teen did not appear remorseful during trial for fatal stabbings executed with help of her boyfriend

By Joseph Serna -

October 10, 2008

A Huntington Beach woman who, with help from her boyfriend, killed her mother two years ago and dumped the body into Newport Harbor before running away with him, insisted she was innocent Friday as a judge sentenced her to a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

Rachael Mullenix, 19, was convicted in July of taking part in her mother’s slaying.

Her mother, Barbara Mullenix, was found wrapped in a bloody blanket with a butter knife stuck in her eye and floating in Newport Harbor Sept. 13, 2006. She had been stabbed more than 50 times by at least two different knives, officials said.

“I’ll never take responsibility for it. Every day without her is a struggle. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Everyone was always against my mom; I was always there to protect her,” she told the judge. “How can you do that to your own mother? I couldn’t; there’s no way I could. She was my life. If I supposedly did this, my family would be the first to know.

Mullenix’s father, Bruce Mullenix, continued to fight for his daughter, as he did while testifying in her trial.

“I know her better than anybody on this planet. I know in my heart she didn’t do this,” he said. “In this world, sometimes just because you’re convicted of something doesn’t mean you did it.”

Mullenix’s then-boyfriend, Ian Allen, 23, was convicted for his role in the killing last month. The pair fingered the other during their separate trials, each arguing that the other killed Barbara while they only helped clean up the aftermath.

Character was a central theme during Friday’s sentencing. Rachael Mullenix’s character, and that of her mother — who was divorced and whom defense attorneys portrayed as an abusive alcoholic — were brought up periodically during victim impact statements.

Before Judge David Thompson sentenced Mullenix, he pointed out that she did not appear to be remorseful.

She countered during her statement that jail, and before that a fear of getting hurt, trained her to not show emotions. But she did softly cry as her father defended her before Mullenix faced the judge.

“Her mother had problems. No one knows how bad it was other than Rachael and myself,” Bruce Mullenix said of his ex-wife. “I loved Barbara. I married her, I had a daughter with her, but yeah, she was that bad.

No friends or family were there to speak on behalf of Barbara, so a victim’s advocate from the district attorney’s office did.

“Barbara had some challenging times in her life. Somewhere along the way she developed an alcohol problem ... but not once were her children ever taken from her. Not even an investigation into her parenting skills, yet she has been portrayed by her ex-husband and her daughter as some out-of-control drunken abuser,” Angela Tietzer said.

Tietzer continued: “Barbara Mullenix may have been far from perfect, but there is nothing that can be said about her faults that would remotely begin to justify this horrific crime.

Thompson had rejected a motion by defense attorneys earlier in the afternoon for a new trial. Defense attorney David Cohn said many of prosecutor Sonia Balleste’s statements and the evidence she presented despite the court’s orders to not use them prejudiced the jury enough to warrant a new trial. Balleste addressed those concerns before Mullenix was sentenced.

“This is not about what was said or not said by me. This is about the evidence presented to a fair and impartial jury in our community,” she said. “They’ve spoken. That verdict, by those 12 people, is what convicted this defendant. Twenty-five-to-life is the appropriate sentence.”

Allen is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14.

Editor’s note: Angela Tietzer, a victim’s advocate from the D.A.’s office, read the following statement during Rachael Mullenix’s sentencing.

Barbara Mullenix was murdered because it was her daughter’s wish — a daughter who put her own selfish and narcissistic wishes above all else, including her mother’s life.

Barbara Mullenix was a 56-year-old woman who had some challenges in her life. At the age of 18 she was the victim of a sexual assault that resulted in a pregnancy. Barbara carried her baby to term and put her up for adoption so she could have a good home. Barbara was married twice. She had a son, Alex Hagwood, from her first marriage and the defendant from her second marriage. Throughout her life she was a wife and mother. She cared for her children and her home. She loved movies. Her favorite was “Gone with the Wind.” She never gave up on pursuing the Hollywood dream.

Barbara had some challenging times in her life. Somewhere along the way she developed an alcohol problem. This resulted in her at times behaving erratically and irrationally. Not once were her children taken from her by the authorities. Not even an investigation in to her parenting skills, yet she has been portrayed by her ex-husband and her daughter as some out-of-control drunken abuser.

Yet the evidence presented showed a child who had the better things in life, including big birthday parties and the larger room in the house. A teenager that dictated where she wanted to live and with who, including being allowed to go to an alternative school once a week leaving her the rest of her free time to spend with her boyfriend — a boyfriend that she secured an overnight pass for and a signed permission slip. Her only job was working as a background actress with her mother. Does this really sound like abuse? Barbara Mullenix may have been far from perfect, but there is nothing that can be said about her faults that would remotely begin to justify this horrific crime.

More importantly her tragic death has left a shadow on her legacy. She was more than just a lady in the water with a butter knife in her eye. She was a mother. A betrayed mother. A mother who suffered the ultimate punishment for attempting to do what she was expected to do. You discipline your children because you love them and want them to learn important life lessons so they can be responsible, loving and productive adults. This is completely lost on this defendant. In 25 lifetimes Rachael Mullinex would not be able to begin to understand the enormous impact of her crime much less 25 years. One of the few comforts this community can take away today is the comfort that this defendant will never be a mother.

This community has suffered. The disturbing conduct of this defendant has left parents with a child colder than the waters of Newport Bay. The suffering of the families involved, the Allens and the Mullinex families, are evident and inconsolable. They have lost the dreams they once had for their children. Instead of college graduations, weddings and grandchildren they now look forward to prison visits, mail and an occasional phone call for a lifetime.

What would Barbara Mullenix say if she could? She would want to know why her daughter does not have a single injury in response to her cries for help. Maybe Barbara would want to know how Rachael could have allowed her not only to be killed in the manner in which she was, but to be disposed of as a piece of garbage — her life reduced to a few bags of trash and a cardboard box as a coffin. ... What kind of black heart a human being has to have to do what Rachael Mullenex even admits to doing much less what she actually did? This is precisely what makes this defendant so dangerous. Not only, as the evidence proved, is she a master manipulator, but she is also without a conscience. Such individuals should never be allowed back into society.

A mother ... would do whatever it took to protect her children. Barbara Mullenex ... would have stood in line to take a butter knife through the eye to save her children. Sorry to say, this child is not worth it. We can only hope that this image of her mutilated mother haunts her for the rest of her days.


Woman guilty of killing mother, putting body in Newport Harbor

Rachael Mullenix cries loudly as jury's verdict is read. Her former boyfriend awaits trial in the 2006 slaying

By Christine Hanley - Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2008

Shaking and sobbing loudly as the verdict was read, a Huntington Beach woman was convicted Thursday of killing her mother and dumping the body in Newport Harbor in a crime she blamed on her former boyfriend.

Rachael Mullenix, 19, buried her head in her hands on the defense table as a judge polled the jury of seven men and five women. They deliberated about 2 1/2 days before finding her guilty of murder in the death of Barbara Mullenix, 56.

Rachael Mullenix's boyfriend at the time of the slaying, Ian Allen, 23, of Huntington Beach, is awaiting trial on murder charges.

Mullenix's grandmother and grandfather broke into tears as the verdict was read.

"I love you," the grandfather said, breaking the momentary silence that filled the courtroom after the judge summoned Mullenix's attorney and the prosecutor to his chambers for unknown reasons.

Mullenix never looked back to see her family before being led away in handcuffs. "She's innocent," her grandmother said on her way out of court.

Barbara Mullenix was stabbed more than 50 times and wrapped in a blanket before being dumped off a dock near the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in September 2006.

At the time, a neighbor recalled witnessing fiery disputes between the mother and daughter, and seeing someone dragging a large object out of Mullenix's apartment, then watching as two people threw it into the back of a car with a Florida license plate.

Rachael Mullenix and Allen were taken into custody within days in Louisiana. They were on their way to Florida, where they had friends. Police said they were linked to the crime by evidence found at the apartment that Mullenix shared with her mother in Huntington Beach, and by statements from witnesses.

Mullenix, who took the witness stand in her own defense, said Allen was the person who killed her mother. She admitted that she helped clean up the crime scene, but only because she was afraid of Allen.


Trial offers glimpse into rocky, alcohol-tinged life of teen killer

But Huntington Beach teen, convicted of first-degree murder, often fought with her mother, described as a 'crazy, mean drunk.'

By Rachanee Srisavasdi -

July 18, 2008

Rachael Mullenix called her mother her best friend, her life, her everything.

If this were true, how could the teenager murder her?

On Thursday, the panel of seven men and five women determined the 19-year-old woman helped stab Barbara Mullenix with her then-lover Ian Allen and dumped her mother's bloodied corpse and belongings in Newport Bay.

She faces 25 years to life when she is sentenced Sept 5.

The September 2006 crime was bloody: The mother had more than 50 stab wounds inflicted by three separate knives. One of the weapons, a butter knife, was found in the victim's right eye when her corpse was pulled from the ocean. The teen, who testified in her own defense, told jurors she sponged up her mother's blood from the bedroom and staircase.

The trial provided jurors and watchers with a glimpse into the rocky, alcohol-tinged life of Barbara and Rachael Mullenix.

"She's a broken young woman coming from a highly dysfunctional family," juror Don Apodaca said Friday.

Rachael was born in Oklahoma City in 1989 - the only child of Barbara and Bruce Mullenix - and lived there until she became a teenager. She grew up with her half-brother Alex - Barbara's son from a prior marriage. Her parents gave her the largest bedroom in the house, choosing to take a smaller room.

Her parents' marriage turned rocky. They began fighting in front of Rachael when she was about 10.

Her father began drinking, followed by her mother, she testified. Barbara had "met someone,'' the teen told jurors, but the relationship didn't work out. She never got over it - causing her to drink more.

Rachael contends her mother used to get physical with her - including pulling her hair and scratching her. One time, Oklahoma police were called in July 2002 after the teen said her mother bit her. But charges weren't filed because she ended up retracting her story, and investigators didn't believe the abuse actually happened.

She also accused her mom of belittling her with comments suggesting she "would never amount to anything."

"She would say things to really get to me," the young woman testified.

When she was about 13, Rachael's parents divorced. Bruce moved to Corona for work; Rachael and Barbara eventually moved to Tampa, Florida. There, her mother ran out of money to support them, she told jurors.

Bruce wanted his daughter to join him in California. The teen agreed - but insisted her mother move in with them. Mother and daughter moved to Bruce's Huntington Beach home in the fall of 2005.

"I didn't want my mom alone," she told jurors. "I didn't want her to be homeless. I wanted her safe. I loved her."

The divorced parents, now living together again, often argued.

Bruce called his ex-wife a "crazy, mean drunk" who often picked fights with him and their daughter.

"Their overall relationship was good," he told jurors. "But when Barbara drank, their relationship was not so good."

Rachael agreed with her father, and told jurors she tried to steer clear of her mom when she was drinking.

"When my mom drank, you shouldn't even try to talk to her," she told jurors. "You should leave her alone."

In May 2006, Ian Allen came into the picture. Rachael and Allen, then 21, began dating. Still, mother and daughter remained fairly close. During that summer, they spent a lot of time together, Bruce Mullenix testified, sometimes getting jobs together as movie extras.

Barbara wanted to live with her daughter, then 17, when she became a legal adult, he told jurors.

Rachael's parents eventually accepted Allen -- even giving him a written permission slip to show authorities that he was allowed to date their daughter, a minor. In return, she needed to abide by her parents' rules, including a curfew that required her to be home by 1 a.m.

But as summer wore on, Rachael's relationship with Allen began to create greater problems.

"As Rachael became closer to Allen, there was more stress between Rachael and Barbara," Bruce testified.

On Aug. 31, Rachael didn't come home. Her mother was frantic. She kept calling her daughter's cell phone, but there was no answer.

She drove over to Allen's home. The teen was there, sleeping. Barbara dragged Rachael home - then grounded her from seeing her beau.

A few days later, Barbara mother relented to Rachael's pleas and allowed the couple to see a movie.

Then, the crime occurred: Sept. 13, 2006.

Prosecutors allege Rachael wanted her mom dead because she was upset about being grounded.

Rachael said she wasn't that upset about the grounding, and blames the killing on Allen. She told jurors Allen killed her mom because she threatened to call police after finding that he had snuck into their home. The couple was planning to run away the night her mom was killed, she testified.

Barbara - and her abilities as a parent - was a frequent theme during the trial. Bruce called his ex-wife a "disciplinarian."

"Mr. Mullenix, how do you feel about your ex-wife being dead?" asked prosecutor Sonia Balleste.

"I feel very bad … it was very hard to love her. I was glad to be divorced from her … even with all the conflicts. … I would have never wanted anything to happen to her. I'm very sorry she's dead," he replied.

"Would you consider her a good mother?" the lawyer asked."Yes. Definitely," he replied.


Accused teen: Messaged 'I love you' to accused killer after slaying

Under cross-examination, Rachael Mullenix also could not recall details of attack and did not call police to report killing

By Rachanee Srisavasdi -

July 10, 2008

Hours after her mother was brutally stabbed to death, Rachael Mullenix sent a text message to the man accused of her killing: “I love you. Am I going to see you soon? Are you in trouble? Can I call you?”

“Out of all the people you can call … you call your mother’s killer? You don’t call dad, 911 or friends?’’ asked Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste during cross-examination Thursday.

“Correct,’’ the Huntington Beach teenager said.

Mullenix - who claims Ian Allen, 23, murdered her mom and then kidnapped her - testified about the attack Sept. 13, 2006, which she said was prompted when her mother threatened to call police after finding him in their home.

She told jurors that she did not recall details such as what kind of knives Allen used to kill her mom. Barbara Mullenix had more than 50 stab wounds on her body - including a butter knife embedded in her eye.

The teen also admitted that she did not try to get help although she had several chances to alert others to her alleged abduction.

At one point, Mullenix cried as she was peppered with questions about the stabbing.

She said she tried to shove Allen away from her mom, but added she didn’t try to fend him off in any other way, such as wrestle the knife away or try to hit him.

“Did it ever occur to you to whack him with lamp?” Balleste asked.

“No,” she replied.

Afterward, she said she did not check to see whether her mother was alive or call police.

Mullenix also admitted helping Allen - whom she says acted alone in killing her mother - clean the crime scene by sponging up her mother’s blood, packing her mother’s belongings in trash bags and dumping them.

She also accompanied Allen as he dumped her mother’s corpse in Newport Bay.

“Did it ever occur to you: ‘I can't believe I'm doing this?’” Balleste asked.

“It was more along the lines of, ‘I can't believe this is happening,’” she testified.

Mullenix, then 17, claims Allen, after killing her mom, kidnapped her. He drove her to Florida, she says.

Balleste pointed out that Mullenix could have alerted someone when she and Allen stayed at two motels and visited a convenience store. The lawyer also said Mullenix had access to Allen’s phone - but only called her friend in Florida from the road.

If convicted, Mullenix faces 25 years to life. Allen faces the same charges but has yet to go to trial.

Balleste paints Mullenix as a “manipulative killer” who wanted her mother dead after she was grounded from seeing her Allen. The teen, though, counters she wasn’t that angry about the grounding - though she has said she had a tumultuous relationship with her mom.

In a diary entry the day before the killing, Mullenix wrote: “I feel like I have to choose between my family and my love. i don't know what to do. Am I making the right decision?”

Mullenix testified the entry was about running away.

At the end of the day, Mullenix stuck to her defense.

“Do you hold any responsibility for the murder of your mother?” Balleste said.

“The actual murder of my mother? No,’’ she said.

Closing statements are scheduled for Monday.


Father: Daughter charged with killing mom was physically abused

Father of Huntington Beach teen Rachael Mullenix also says his ex-wife was often 'crazy, mean drunk.'

By Rachanee Srisavasdi -

June 19, 2008

SANTA ANA - The father of a Huntington Beach woman on trial for killing her mother and dumping her body in Newport Bay testified Thursday that the teen's mother physically abused the girl - and once warranted a call to authorities.

Bruce Mullenix also called the victim - his ex-wife, Barbara Mullenix - a "crazy, mean drunk."

He was testifying on the second day of the murder trial of his 19-year-old daughter - Rachael Scarlett Mullenix of Huntington Beach.

Her long brown hair pulled half back in a ponytail, Rachael Mullenix cried on and off during her father's roughly two hours of testimony. The teenager is accused of stabbing her mother in their Huntington Beach home on Sept. 13, 2006, with the help of her boyfriend, 21-year-old Ian Allen. Allen has yet to go to trial.

Authorities allege that the couple wrapped Barbara Mullenix's body in a blanket and dumped it near the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Bay.

Bruce Mullenix said that while he and Barbara Mullenix were married, the family lived in Oklahoma City. There, he said he once called social workers because his ex-wife hit their daughter.

He did not elaborate, but said he never saw Rachael hitting her mother back.

He told jurors his ex-wife often drank alcohol - which led to fights. Bruce Mullenix said the drinking strained his ex-wife's relationship with their daughter.

"She was a completely different person when she was drunk," he said.

The pair ended up getting divorced. Barbara and Rachael Mullenix lived in Florida, but asked to move to Bruce Mullenix's home in Southern California in 2005, he testified.

He moved to Huntington Beach that August, and allowed Barbara and Rachael to live with him in his condominium. He and his ex-wife were simply roommates.

During the summer of 2006, tensions grew as Rachael Mullenix became more serious with Allen, he said. Rachael was then 17 - and Barbara Mullenix was concerned she may move in with her beau, he added.

During opening statements, prosecutor Sonia Balleste said the teenager decided to kill her mother after she was grounded after breaking a 1 a.m. curfew a few weeks before the murder.

Barbara Mullenix - whom Bruce Mullenix described as a "disciplinarian" - also forbade her daughter from seeing Allen.

"Rachael was very upset … she was caught in the middle of two people controlling her," he told jurors. "She loved her mother, she loved Ian. She didn't know what to do."

Bruce Mullenix was away on a business trip at the time of his ex-wife's murder. He called her death "shocking and disturbing."

The father left the courtroom without looking at his daughter. Outside, he said he didn't want her to be convicted.

"All I can tell you is that this is the hardest time in my life," he said.

The jury trial is expected to wrap up next week. If convicted, Rachael Mullenix faces 25 years to life in prison.


Pair held in stabbing death

Louisiana officials arrest 17-year-old girl and boyfriend, 21, in death of woman, 56

By Cindy Carcamo - The Orange County Register

September 16, 2006

Out-of-state officials arrested a Huntington Beach couple heading to Florida on Friday on suspicion of killing a Huntington Beach woman and dumping her body in Newport Bay, Huntington Beach Capt. Dan Johnson reported.

At about 3 p.m. Friday, Louisiana officials arrested a 17-year-old girl and Ian Allen, 21, on suspicion of fatally stabbing Barbara Anne Mullenix, 56, in her Huntington Beach condominium and dumping her body in the bay near the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Mullenix's 17-year-old daughter, who lived with her, was reported missing Thursday.

Police declined to say whether the teen suspect is Mullenix's daughter. Police do not identify juveniles who have been arrested. They did say that Mullenix's daughter had been found.

Mullenix's body was spotted floating in the bay near the Yacht Club. Newport Beach investigators also found bloodied bedding in a trash bin nearby.

Newport Beach officers passed the investigation on to Huntington Beach police after an autopsy revealed the identity of the woman, who lived at the Millstream Condominium Complex on Warner Avenue.

Earlier Friday, investigators obtained a probable-cause arrest warrant for the couple who Johnson said were making their escape to friends in Tampa Bay, Fla., in a black Ford Ranger. A special national bulletin was put out, and investigators called troopers in Louisiana and Texas.

Crime-scene investigators worked through the night Thursday and into Friday to find fingerprints at the condominium, Johnson said. The motive for the killing is unclear, he said.



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