Jacob Stockdale: Wife Swap Star Murders Mother, Brother; Turns Gun on Self

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Tragic news out of Ohio today, as TMZ is reporting that 25-year-old Jacob Stockdale has murdered his mother and brother at the family’s home in Stark County. Stockdale then turned the gun on himself, but reportedly survived the blast. The renowned fiddler, who appeared in a memorable episode of the ABC reality series Wife Swap, is currently in critical condition. A police spokesperson says Jacob shot himself in an apparent suicide attempt just as deputies arrived on the scene. There is no official word on what led to the murders. Jacob’s 54-year-old mother, Katherine, and his 21-year-old brother James were pronounced dead on the scene. Jacob was trasported to a nearby hospital via helicopter and is expected to survive. The Stockdales made their living traveling throughout the Midwest, performing as a family bluegrass band. When they were at home, however, they pursued a lifestyle of rural isolation and self-sufficiency, homeschooling their children on a secluded farm where television, Internet, and other modern conveniences were banned for religious reasons. Jacob Stockdale was found at the door of the home, where he had apparently been on the lookout for police. Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier declined to comment on where the other bodies were found. Stockdale also did not comment on whether or not the remaining members of the Stockdale family – a father and two sons – were at home at the time of the murders. The father, Tim Stockdale, issued a statement about his late wife moments ago: “Kathy has been my beloved wife of 32 years and a wonderful mother to our four sons,” he told local media outlets. “She loved nothing more than being a mother and grandmother. She had a strong love of learning and was passionate about her Christian faith, natural health, and organic farming.” Since 2004, the Stockdales had been traveling and performing as a band that, according to their website, “prides itself on sharing bluegrass north of the Mason-Dixon line.” They performed as recently as Tuesday, and had concerts scheduled throughout the summer. Friends of the family say Jacob never gave any indication of having any hostility toward his parents or a tendency toward violence. We will have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
The Hollywood Gossip