When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Joseph Hall
Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.
Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.
In May 2011, 10-year-old Joseph Hall shot his father Jeffrey at point blank range with his father’s own gun. The murder made national headlines not only because of Joseph’s young age but also because the boy’s father was a Neo-Nazi and a regional director of the National Socialist Movement, a white separatist group.
Joseph’s home life has been described as extremely troubling. His parents divorced when he was young and their custody battle raged for years. He experienced years of abuse, being beaten regularly by his dad. Child protective services were called to his family’s home 23 times, beginning when Joseph was only 3 months old. Unfortunately, no abuse could be substantiated.
He began experiencing behavioral and emotional issues and learning challenges in pre-school. His father indoctrinated him into his white supremacy beliefs. Both in public school and at home, Joseph lashed out. He reportedly “hit his sisters and his stepmother, stabbed classmates at school with pencils and once tried to strangle a teacher with a telephone cord.” With “a history of severe aggressive behavior,” he was kicked out of nine schools. Joseph was ultimately withdrawn from public school to be homeschooled. His father was the one to homeschool him, despite having only completed 11th grade himself.
Jeffrey Hall, the father, was part of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jeffrey educated his son on how to “patrol” the Mexican-American border and how to operate guns.
Joseph decided to murder his father because he thought his father was going to divorce his stepmother and break up their family. After the murder, while he was being interrogated, Joseph said that, “I didn’t want to do it. It’s just that he hurts us.”
View the case index here.