A chilly October night in 1979 became a nightmare for the Douglass family when two armed strangers barged into their peaceful Oklahoma home and caused a murderous rampage that forever scarred their lives. The harrowing incident shocked citizens nationwide and left Richard and Marilyn Douglass’ two young kids bereft of their love and care forever. NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Haunting’ chronicles the terrible details of this case as well as how the cruel perpetrators were brought to justice. Now, if you wish to know more, here’s what we can tell you!
How Did Richard and Marilyn Douglass Die?
Richard Douglass was a 43-year-old senior pastor at the Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and lived with Marilyn Sue Douglass, his 36-year-old wife, in Okarche, Oklahoma. The couple was proud parents to two children, Brooks and Leslie. The Douglasses were a loving and helpful family that was quite popular in the community. Moreover, Marilyn was a talented singer and a doting mother who often accompanied Leslie to her beauty pageants.
While 12-year-old Leslie was crowned Miss Teen Oklahoma 1979, 16-year-old Brooks was a high school senior. Things were rather idyllic for the couple until the evening of October 15, 1979, when Richard and Marilyn were home, and the children had just returned from someplace. Later in the night, Brooks and Leslie arrived at a local doctor’s clinic in a heavily injured state; while the latter had two gunshot injuries in her back, her brother had been shot once.
The Douglass siblings told the authorities that their parents had been shot dead by two intruders. Upon arriving at their residence, the police found Richard on the living room floor with two gunshot wounds, whereas Marilyn lay nearby with a single gunshot to the back. Sadly, the couple had long succumbed to their injuries, but their children recuperated in the hospital for the next two and a half weeks. The medical examination further revealed that Richard had also been strangled.
Who Killed Richard and Marilyn Douglass?
Brooks shared with the police that around 7:45 pm on October 15, 1979, the family heard a knock on the door. He found a man standing outside, who introduced himself as 24-year-old Glen Ake and stated he was looking for someone in the neighborhood. The stranger requested to use the phone and returned to his car to get the number. However, Glen soon returned with his accomplice, 26-year-old Steven Hatch, and the two took the family of four hostages at gunpoint.
Earlier that day, the two had reportedly quit their jobs on an oil rig and robbed another family. After getting drunk and drugged, they decided to go on a rampage and randomly landed at the Douglass residence. Glen and Steven proceeded to hog-tie Marilyn, Richard, and Brooks in the living room and forced Leslie to lead them to all the valuables in the house. Not just that, they disconnected every phone in the house and dragged her into a bedroom, where they both took turns raping her at gunpoint.
Afterward, Glen and Steven hog-tied Leslie and brought her to her family in the living area. After eating the family’s dinner, at around 10 pm, Steven went outside and stood guard. Glen shot the family one by one with his .357 Magnum before absconding with $43 and Richard and Marilyn’s wedding rings. Luckily, Brooks and Leslie survived the attack; soon as the men left, the latter somehow untied her brother, and they drove to the nearest doctor.
Following this tragic incident, the police launched a massive search to apprehend Steven and Glen, who had gone on the run since murdering Richard and Marilyn. About 37 days later, both men were arrested in Colorado, where they had broken into a cabin and fallen asleep. Besides, it was discovered that after robbing the Douglass family, they had similarly attacked a house in Hardin County, Texas, leaving two men dead.
Are Glen Ake and Steven Hatch Dead or Alive?
In 1980, Glen Ake and Steven Hatch were convicted for the murders of Richard and Marilyn Douglass and were sentenced to death in Oklahoma. They faced additional charges for the two men Glen murdered in Texas. Still, things took a surprising turn when he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and considered unfit to stand for trial. He was ordered to undergo treatment, and in 1985, the US Supreme Court overturned the previous conviction as he had not had a psychiatrist to aid in his defense earlier.
Surprisingly, even Steven was given a retrial in early 1987, only to be sentenced to death again. Post receiving medication, Glen was deemed fit to stand in court, and in a second trial, he was awarded two consecutive 200-year prison sentences. Albeit, the charges against both men for the Texas killings were dropped in 1994, as the prosecutor supposedly believed they faced execution in Oklahoma. Steven Hatch was incarcerated and executed by lethal injection on August 9, 1996. On the other hand, Glen Ake remained in prison till his death on April 23, 2011, by natural causes.
Read More: Where Are Brooks and Leslie Douglass Now?