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Help us keep a dangerous murderer from being released!

This petition had 3,197 supporters

30 years ago, on a cold winter’s night in Big Bear Lake, California, my aunt Jill Swafford and her unborn babies Caren and Christopher were brutally murdered by her husband (and the children’s father) deputy sheriff Samuel Leon Evans. He was convicted on three counts of first degree murder and sentenced for seventy-five years to life with an earliest parole date in 2036. This year however, he has been granted eligibility for parole. If released, he will have only served ten years for each of his victims. Please help us serve justice by persuading governor Jerry Brown to deny his eligibility.

Jill was nearly nine months pregnant when she was murdered on March 21, 1986. Sam was a deputy sheriff for the city of Big Bear Lake, California, and at the time of the murder had already been guilty of prisoner abuse, animal cruelty, and other miscellaneous violence, all of this by his own admission. Sam had also been having an affair, which was, unfortunately, common knowledge to everyone including my aunt Jill.  She wanted to keep their marriage, however, because she loved him and wanted to have him in her life.  Around 3:00 a.m, she followed him to talk to him. They both pulled over to the side of the road, where an argument concerning the affair broke out.


By his own admission, he pulled his gun, but then realized that it wouldn’t look like an accident if he shot her. He bludgeoned her in the head with his gun, and she fell to the ground after the first blow and begged for her life. He continued to beat her head in with the weapon, a piece of her skull chipping away in the process. Thinking he had killed her, he tried to cover his actions by trying to make it look like a terrible car accident. She was still alive when he put her into her car and pushed it off an embankment near the dam. After her car crashed to a halt, he climbed down the hill.

He bludgeoned her again and again at the bottom of the embankment, and then cut up her face, presumably with his knife. After this, he placed a hydraulic car jack on top of her head. He left her wedged tightly on the floorboard, face down with her abdomen pressed down on the transmission lever and her head slightly out the right front door. Sam then called the incident in on the police radio in his squad car.

Too many details did not add up for Jill’s death to have been an accident, and it soon became apparent that Sam had murdered her, and their twin babies. The doctor who performed the autopsy on Jill and the twins stated that it would have been more humane for Sam to have shot her. Her brain was mush.

Jill was a loving, vivacious person to everyone who knew her. She cared deeply for all the people in her life. Her greatest desire however, was to be a mother, a dream that would never be fulfilled. Caren and Christopher, two innocent little babies weren’t even thought of or considered by Sam when he decided to murder his wife. Along with Jill, their lives were taken much too soon.

On April 5, 2016, a parole hearing was held for Samuel Evans (Inmate ID: CDC#D-89387) , and we the family of Jill, Caren, and Christopher attended as well. Despite our pleas, the parole panel insisted that Sam is ready to rejoin society because of several commendations and his longstanding record of good behavior. They stated that the “crime was inexplicable”, and that because of his good record, the crime was a “single anomaly” in his life. They also expressed that the justice system is no longer about punishment, but in determining when inmates are ready to rejoin society. Their ideals have proven that the destruction of a human life is worth only ten years of incarceration at best, which is a very dangerous attitude for our society.

As a deputy sheriff, Sam was supposed to be a model citizen; his job was to protect and serve. Instead of upholding his duty, Sam showed that from a mixture of being embarrassed and his authority being questioned, that he would pour all his wrath out on whomever angered him. He committed an abhorrent act of violence on not only the one who trusted and loved him the most (his wife), but on his unborn son and daughter, and this shows what he is capable of.  We do not believe that he has been rehabilitated, and that he is still a danger to society.

If they are so easily releasing people like Samuel Evans, what types of other people are they releasing into our society? We must take a stand against the release of such dangerous individuals, if not for a sense of true justice, then at least for the safety of our society. Please stand with us in preventing Sam’s freedom, and to help us set an example for others to stand up against similar lapses in justice.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing. -Edmund Burke

Sincere thanks from the family and friends of Jill, Caren, and Christopher Swafford.


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