Two 16-year-old twins did everything together. They got straight A’s in school, took dance classes, and according to police, killed together.
Inside a suburban home in Conyers, Georgia, a horrifying crime scene so bloody, it looks like a slaughterhouse. Slumped in the bathtub, the naked body of a middle-aged woman.
Police are baffled. Who would want Nikki Whitehead, loving and devoted single mom, dead?
Nikki Whitehead was literally born in prison, her mother doing time for drug possession.
Nikki was raised by her grandmother, who had a tough time keeping her on the straight and narrow. At only 17 years old, Nikki ended up pregnant with twins, naming the girls Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah Whitehead, known as Tas and Jas.
For 12 years the trio lived with Nikki’s grandmother, the girls’ great-grandmother. But Nikki dreamed of giving her daughters a better life. So Nikki and the twins moved about 20 miles away, to Conyers, Georgia. The young mom made sure her girls had the advantages that eluded her, putting them in dance and music classes. The girls were straight-A students with hopes of one day going to Harvard.
But their path to success was dramatically diverted when the girls hit high school. Tas and Jas bitterly resented their mother’s discipline. And soon the rage would boil over, when Nikki took away Tas’s cellphone. It was clear that Nikki was losing control.
Nikki made a frantic 911 call when she discovered Jas had snuck out in the middle of the night to meet her boyfriend. Two once-sweet girls had suddenly morphed into twin terrors.
Conyers Police Officer Myra Scruggs responded to a call from Nikki after yet another blowout. At the time, the twins told the officer they didn’t want to live with their mom and insisted on moving back with their great-grandmother, where the rules were relaxed.
But after interviewing Nikki, Tas and Jas, Officer Scruggs says she had an unsettling feeling.
“The girls seemed very innocent, very sweet, but the look in Nikki’s face, she was fearful of those children. She knew that they worked together,” said Officer Scruggs.
After a few hours, everything appeared to have calmed down.
“The girls were just ready to, ‘OK we’re going to go to our rooms and we’re going to go to bed and maybe we’ll just call our great-gradma tomorrow and we can go see her,” said Scruggs. “And they left it like it was all OK.”
But Officer Scruggs had a gnawing feeling that something just wasn’t right. Instead of leaving the subdivision, she stayed close.
“I just knew it wasn’t over,” said Scruggs. “Within I would say three or four minutes, I could hear screaming coming from the direction of the house. Both of them jumped on her and began to beat her.”
Nikki manages to get away, and calls 911. Officer Scruggs rushed back to the house.
“Nikki is running out of the house with a cordless phone in her hand, hysterical,” said Scruggs. “I pulled up, asked her what happened. She said as soon as I left, that the girls had attacked her.”
Tas and Jas tell an entirely different story.
“The twins said that once they went back in the house after we left, that their mother became abusive with them, told them they were not going anywhere, and started to beat them,” said Scruggs.
Scruggs said the physical evidence clearly showed that Nikki was the victim.
“She had scratches on her neck, scratches on her chest, and she was hysterical,” said Officer Scruggs. “The girls, on the other hand, had no marks on them, no indication that really they had been in any kind of altercation. Talking with them, I didn’t believe a thing that the girls had said. You could have been two strangers and there would have been more emotion shown.”
This time Tas and Jas are taken into custody and charged. They are in and out of court for years, and ordered, along with their mother, to undergo counseling.
Family members knew the twins resented Nikki, but most chalked it up to a rebellious teenage phase.
But these mother-daughter spats are nothing compared to the next time the cops are called to the house, on January 13, 2010.
The girls are in an absolute panic. The twins tell police they came home from school to find their mother dead, lying in a blood-soaked bathtub.
Police say Nikki Whitehead was stabbed 80 times with a kitchen knife, her spinal cord nearly severed.
Nikki and her daughters had a history of arguments and trouble, but it was unfathomable to think these two petite 16-year-olds were capable of murder. True crime daily