The Human Equation

Serial killers, self-reliance, and everything in between

How Much is Your Mother Worth?

Murder, Money and Matricide

Do you believe a 19 year old girl would murder her mother just to get an early inheritance?  According to court documents, that was LSU freshman and biology major Nicole Boover’s motive when she knocked on her mother’s door with a silver pistol in her hand.  Fortunately, her mom quickly shut the door when she saw the weapon and the three shots Nicole fired into the door missed their target.

A Shot out of Nowhere

Apparently, no one saw this coming.  I’ve read two interviews with friends of Ms. Boover and both seemed absolutely stunned that this happened; no warning signs.  One of them, a close friend in high school, said she didn’t think Nicole had a great relationship with her mother but it certainly wasn’t anything that would lead to a spray of bullets.  The other friend, who also attends LSU, says Nicole never said anything that suggested she had evil intentions toward her family.

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However, according to 18 year old Nathan Yuhas, money was the motive. Mr. Yuhas, who has been charged as a principal to first-degree murder, said that Nicole promised him $50,000 if he would help her murder her parents.  The two allegedly purchased gloves, duct tape and masks in anticipation of the murder and planned to leave the state after the dirty deed was done.

Is There More to this Story?

Matricide is rare; only 250 parents are killed by their children each year.  And, even though one out of every six victims of matricide is killed by her daughter, there’s not a lot we know about girls who kill their mothers.   We certainly don’t know much about Nicole at this point.

However, when I read this story, one thing didn’t add up.  If I opened the door and my 17 year old son had a gun, I would be dead because it would never occur to me that he meant to shoot me.  My first thought would be that he’s afraid of something or someone and is carrying a gun to protect himself.  My second thought, given that it was 4:30 in the morning, would be that there’s been some sort of accident and he’s in trouble.  Either way, I would automatically assume he was coming to me for help.

Of course, I didn’t see the look on Nicole’s face when the door was opened.  I don’t know what their relationship was like beforehand or what kind of person Nicole is.  And, if it turns out greed was behind the deed, it won’t be the first time;   remember Christopher Porko and Trinity Copeland?  But neither will I be surprised if we learn that all was not what it seemed when the final story unfolds.

The Bottom Line

Murdering a parent for profit is rare but it does happen.  Still rarer – if ever – does an well-adjusted teen with a bright future and close family relationships suddenly decide that money is more precious than a mother’s love.  Time will tell if Nicole Boover is an exception to the rule.

Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D, is the author of Complete Idiot's Guide to Psychology.

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