When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Chevie Kehoe
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.
Chevie Kehoe is the oldest of eight sons born to Kirby and Gloria Kehoe.
He was named after his father’s favorite brand of automobile. Born in Orange Park, Florida in 1973, Chevie’s family moved in 1985 to Stevens County, Washington. They lived there for years in “isolation and poverty.” Chevie was enrolled in a public junior high in 1987 and was an honor student who dreamed of joining the Air Force. But his parents withdrew both him and his younger brother Cheyne one year later to homeschool them. His father saw school as a threat, and his parents urged him “to become a white warrior instead.”
Chevie’s family raised him with extreme anti-government and white supremacist views. They pressured him and his brother to bow to their beliefs, resisting their children’s desires to have driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers. Eventually, Chevie himself became a self-identified white supremacist. He formed a plan to take down the U.S. government with a militia for the “Aryan People’s Republic.” He married two women, claiming that polygamy furthered the Aryan race. By the age of 24,
Mr. Kehoe was one of the most notorious white supremacists in the United States, having engaged in a kidnapping, three robberies, three murders and two police shootouts, all in a quest to establish an Aryan republic for white people.
In 1995, Chevie and his father Kirby robbed a man in Tilly, Arkansas. The man, William Mueller, was a friend and an unlicensed gun dealer. A year later, Chevie and another individual robbed the Mueller family again, but this time tortured and murdered William, his wife Nancy, and his 8-year-old stepdaughter Sarah. They dumped the bodies in the Illinois Bayou. The bodies were later discovered by a woman who hooked a shoe and bone while fishing. In 1997, Chevie and his brother Cheyne were involved in a shootout with police officers in Ohio, video from which aired on World’s Scariest Police Shootouts. In 1998, Chevie pled guilty to felonious assault, attempted murder, and carrying a concealed weapon relating to the shootout. Finally, in 1999, Chevie was convicted of murdering William Mueller and his family. He received 3 life sentences in prison without parole. Chevie’s own mother Gloria and younger brother Cheyne testified against him.
In the only interview Chevie gave after his 1997 arrest, he blamed his family for his life path. He said,
In my entire life, my dad always hated this or hated that and never gave me something to love or something to work toward.
View the case index here.