Murder of Mark and Dolores Stepp by daughter Francine Stepp examined on ID

Mugshot of Francine Stepp
Francine Stepp decided that the only way t be free of her parents was to murder them. Pic credit: OK Dept. of Corrections

Where Murder Lies on ID is investigating the double homicide murder of Oklahoma couple Mark and Dolores Stepp who were savagely butchered to death by their teenage daughter Francine Stepp with the help of her best friend, Cindy Sue Wynn.

Francine and Cindy had become frustrated with the Stepp’s strict parenting style and decided that the only way to be free of their rules was to murder them in their home in Stillwater, OK.

On June 8, 1988, 18-year-old Francine Stepp ran to her neighbor’s house and hysterically told them that her parents had been murdered.

When the police arrived, they found the bodies of Mark and Dolores in their bedroom. They were both naked and had been shot and stabbed. There was a large kitchen knife still protruding from Dolores’s ribcage.

Dolores had been stabbed 18 times and Mark 8 times, and there was no sign of forced entry to the house. This led the investigators to conclude that they had been murdered by someone who knew them, someone close to them. Forensic detectives also found two sets of footprints at the crime scene which led them to suspect two perpetrators.

Francine told the cops that she had spent the night with her best friend, Cindy Sue Wynn, and had come home to find the door ajar and her parents dead. However, the police became suspicious when a neighbor told them they’d seen Francine drive up to the house during the night.

Francine Stepp and Cindy Wynn spoke of killing parents

The police then learned that the two teenage girls had been quite vocal with their school friends about wishing to kill Francine’s parents. Francine and Wynn had even approached local man Jackie Phillip Myers and offered him money to kill her parents. He had assumed they were joking and laughed them away.

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Through interviews with Francine and Cindy, the cops gradually learned that the pair wished to be free of their parents and had hatched a plan to kill each other’s parents. They accelerated their plans when Mark and Dolores forbade Francine to see Cindy anymore.

Mark and Dolores had both served in the Navy, and many would later comment that their military background meant they imposed a strict and regimented upbringing on their daughter. A former classmate of Francine’s, Julie Reid, once said: “Her parents seemed like they were very controlling of everything that she did, who she could be friends with, where she could go.”

Finally, Francine admitted to killing her parents and stated that their controlling behavior had become too much for her to bear. She admitted that Cindy had been with her during the murders but insisted her friend hadn’t done any stabbing or shooting. Both teenagers were arrested on a charge of first-degree murder.

The murderous duo later admitted that they had planned to wait until the police attention over the Stepp’s murder had died down so they could then kill Wynn’s parents.

Francine Stepp pleaded guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Cindy Sue Wynn was convicted on charges of being an accessory to murder and soliciting for murder in the first degree and spent 10 years behind bars.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more horrendous crimes profiled on ID.

Chadwick Scott Willacy broke into the home of Marlys Sather, and when she returned home unexpectedly, he murdered her in the most brutal way imaginable.

Everyone thought John du Pont was just a harmless stereotypical eccentric millionaire until he gunned down Olympic athlete Dave Schultz in the driveway of his Pennsylvania mansion for no obvious reason.

Where Murder Lies airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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2 years ago

I just watched the episode. It’s weird that you didn’t mention the abuse Francine suffered as a child with her parents forcing her to walk around nude at home and her parent’s freaky lifestyle. The girl was abused growing up.

2 years ago

Why do all of these reports edit out the fact that the parents sexually abused Francine? I disagree with her harsh sentence. If that case was heard today (and if she had a good lawyer), there is no way she would have received that much time.

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