January 28, 2004
Mass Murderer/Serial Killer Research Paper
Aaron Michael Hodge
We little knew that morning; God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly; in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you. You did not go alone; for part of us went with you the day God called you home. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one the chain will link again (As qtd. Debra Prohaska). In a small town called Rector, three tombstones
lay side by side. On the back of the stones, that poem is engraved. Their families had it
placed there, because they hoped that it would be the best way to say goodbye to their
Every day a family is torn apart because of death. Sometimes death comes quickly, just as it did for these three people. They didnt get in a car crash or plane wreck; instead, they were murdered. It happens more and more every day. What kind of person could consciously murder someone else? What makes a murderer? In most cases studied, a murder will have a personality of its own, reflected by the murderers condition mentally. Taken together they present a panorama of human behavior under extreme stress and inevitable commentary on good and evil, innocence and guilt, expectation and surprise (Douglas and Olshaker 13). We expect multiple murderers to look like monsters. It often comes as a surprise that people who kill not only look very ordinary but often lead apparently respectable lives(Taylor). Like many other murderers, Aaron Micheal Hodge was driven by something in his past, his present, or his future; therefore, he murdered his whole family and, in return, received a very shocking punishment.
The seventeen year old Micheal Hodge grew up in Rector, AR using the name Aaron Flick although he was never adopted by his stepfather. His natural father, Gary Hodge, is originally from Rector, but now he lives in Cape Girrardeau, MO. He lived with his little sister, Andria Flick, 11; his mother, Barbara Flick, 34; and his stepfather, David Flick, 36. Barbara and David were very well known people in their community. Barbara was a nurse, and David was the friendly neighborhood transmission guy. Andria was a very popular girl. She played basketball and even won a few beauty pageants (Prohaska). Aaron was described by his friends as a normal teen. Aarons friend, Mia Boren says that Aaron was pretty much normal. He had some bad days occasionally, but he wasnt a monster. He was liked by everybody, except for other boys becausehe was quite attractive (Ashlock). At first glance, they look like the perfect family, right? Wrong! Aaron was such a problem for his parents that they wanted him placed in jail( Mitchell Parents Wanted). Hodge had frequent problems in school; he began to act like he knew everything. He was suspended for a day for making an obscene gesture while the class picture was being taken (Rengers). Many people said that Aaron had alcohol and drug problems. Aarons grandmother described him as being a mild mannered person (Rengers). Hodges parents were in the process of having him placed at the Arkansas Baptist Boys Ranch at Harrison, a facility for delinquent teenagers (Mitchell Jury Selection). So while the rest of Hodges family might sound perfect, it is obvious that Aaron was definitely not.
Aarons normal teenage actions turned into violence with no motive behind them. Aaron murdered his mother, sister, and stepfather. On October 14, 1995 the three bodies were found at their home, 302 McNabb in Rector. Aaron was found and arrested just a few hours later. Barbara, Hodges mother, was found in her bedroom. Andria, Aarons sister, was found in her bedroom with the door locked. David was found lying in Barbaras bedroom floor, but it looked as though he had been drug there from the living room. When the police arrived at the house, their bodies were so badly decomposed that the police couldnt even determine how they were killed. The family had been left dead in the house for a week before authorities rolled around. After extensive research they discovered that Barbara and Andria were both shot once at close range, but David had been shot three times in the head (Kemp, Triple Murder). The signed officer that discovered the Flicks said that he forced open the door the kitchen dining area and saw evidence of blood on the living room couch. He said that Andrias door was locked, but Aarons door was wide open with a 38-calibre shell case in the floor. Davids body was lying face down on the floor while Barbara was lying on the bed covered with a white sheet, said the officer. When he returned to Andrias locked door, he forced it open and found Andria lying on her back. All three victims were bloated and large blisters were filled with fluid (Leach).
When asked why he had not reported his familys deaths, Aaron said that he thought he would have been considered a suspect; so he was scared. Aaron left the bodies pinned up in the house for a week. What was he doing in the meantime? He threw parties in the garage. He drove Davids truck around town and spent his money. He told friends and neighbors that his family was on vacation in Florida (Kemp Triple Murder). Aaron maintained the idea that David had killed both Aarons mother and sister and then killed himself. When Aaron returned home to find what David had done he shot him two more times because he was so angry with him. Very few people, if any, believed Aarons story. Aaron said that David had been cheating on Barbara and Aaron told her about it; in just a few days they were planning to pack up and leave Dave. His mother and Andria were going to Florida and Aaron was to join them when his probation was up. Until then, he was to stay with his grandmother. Aaron said that on a Saturday night he broke into his dads shop because Dave owed him some money. He said he took a gun and money from Daves shop. He said that when he got home, Daves truck wasnt at the house, but for some reason Aaron thought that he was there. He said that he went in his bedroom and locked the door. Then, he began counting the money and putting bullets in and out of the gun. He was just so happy that they were leaving him. He said that Dave walked in his room and caught him. The two then went into the living room and Aaron told Dave that Barbara hated him and that they were going to live him. Aaron told Dave that he always wished him dead but leaving was even better. Then, Dave started to try and get Aaron to fight him, Aaron claimed. Aaron got mad and left. When he returned, he heard a gurgling noise coming from Dave. He saw blood pouring off the couch (Kemp Hodge Convicted). Aaron told everyone that he did not kill his family.
Seventeen year old, Aaron was arrested and charged with capital murder for the triple death of his family. He was being held in the juvenile detention facility in Jonesboro (Search For Weapon). He was arraigned on a Friday morning in a juvenile court session that was held in Corning. Aaron pleaded not guilty to Judge David Goodson, and he said that he understood the charges against him as he stood in the courtroom surrounded by his two attorneys, David and Alan Copelin (Wilder). The state waived the death penalty for Aaron so the most he could face if convicted would be life in prison without the chance of parole (Mitchell Jury Selection). The only defense that Aaron had in his case was a story that could not be proven. He could not prove that David killed his mother and sister, but Aaron agreed to testify in his defense. The trial was held in Craighead County Circuit Court on November 13 (Mitchell Accused). Aaron stated in court that he was in a drunken state and cant remember much on the night his family was murdered, but Aarons friend, David Gunn, told the jury that Aaron was acting normal that day and had consumed no drugs or alcohol. Aaron also told authorities that he and his friend broke into his stepfathers garage, but David said that Aaron told him that he just wanted to try out a set of keys on the shop because his family was going to Florida. Hodge told David that he needed the money for when his parents were gone. Aaron told Gunn that if they asked him what he did with the gun to say that he threw it in the river. David said that Aaron told him of a plan. It stated how he was going to kill Dave, his stepfather. He said that while Dave was working late Aaron would hit him in the back of the head with a wrench and then bury him in the country (Mitchell Defendants). During the trial a plea agreement was offered by the state, but Aaron refused it saying, I always said that I would not plead guilty to something I didnt do (Mitchell Defendants). Hodge said that he couldnt wait to tell his side of the story because he was already guilty in everyones eyes. Aaron testified with his story, but several times he acted up while court was in session. When asked if he had any concern about being held in contempt of the court, Aaron said, Im already in jail, so what can they do to me? I just dont care. What am I supposed to do, sit there and act like none of this bothers me?(Mitchell Teenager). It took a nine-man, three-woman jury less than three hours to return three guilty verdicts in the Tuesday trial. At 8:35 on Tuesday evening the judge read the verdict and sentences Aaron to the Arkansas Department of Correction to serve three consecutive life sentences without the chance of parole (Mitchell Jury Finds). Hodge sat at the defense table and showed no sign of emotion as the verdict was read (Mitchell Jury Finds). Hodges friends and family gathered in tears as Hodge was led away (Kemp Hodge Convicted). When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Aaron replied: Im not guilty (Mitchell Jury Finds).
As far as anyone knew, Aaron had no one motive for killing his family. They knew that he hated his stepfather, but why did he kill his whole family? According to Dr. John Liebert, a mass murderer is a paranoid personality who blows over his threshold which is often crossed because a string of defeats and rejections. They dont limit their revenge to a specific person (Taylor). Some believe that Aaron found out that his family was going to send him away to the boys home and got mad. We may never know why Aaron killed his family, but in most mass murder cases there are always many questions left unanswered.