Alan Hruby is a young man who was, in his own words, “striving for the best life has to offer” and decided, at some point, that killing his family was the quickest way to get it. He was a student of political science who liked to travel and liked to spend money; mostly, his parents’ money and when they finally turned off the tap, he killed them, along with his younger sister.
Hruby, 19, was the eldest child of John and Tinker Hruby, who lived in Duncan, Oklahoma and were respected members of the community. John, 50, was the owner and publisher of a local newspaper, the Marlow Review. Alan Hruby had a sister, Katherine, who was two years his junior.
Alan did not outwardly appear troubled in any way, but he seemed driven by material things; to the point of having a shopping addiction and owing money to a loan shark. On his Facebook page, he described himself as “an up and comer from Oklahoma. Striving for the best life has to offer.” He also posted statements that might have betrayed narcissistic tendencies, but could be chalked up to the exuberance and indomitable spirit of youth: “If you are tired of your dreams you simply are not dreaming big enough,” he posted on April 25 and, on Jun 4, he wrote “Life is all about taking chances. Live a life full of positive chances, don’t be the person to look back 10 years later regretting a decision.”
In July, 2013, Alan Hruby took a vacation to Europe, visiting London, Paris and Rome. He reportedly obtained an American Express credit card, in his grandmother’s name. After returning to the United States, he was charged with fraud after his father brought the matter of the credit card to the attention of police. Whilst in Europe, he had run up charges on the card, totaling more than $4,800. Hruby’s spending continued to be a cause of some concern to his parents.
Last week, Hruby planned to travel to Dallas, Texas to watch Oklahoma University’s football team play Texas. His parents refused to give him any more money for the trip. The teenager also owed $3,000 to a Oklahoma loan-shark. He had already decided, at some point, that the answer to his money problems was to kill his family and inherit his parents’ estate. On Thursday, October 9, Hruby walked out to his dad’s truck and retrieved a 9mm pistol. He went back into the house and waited for his family. When Tinker Hruby, 48, came into the house, her son shot her twice, killing her with the second shot. A short time later, his sister, Katherine, walked inside and was killed with one shot. Alan Hruby then waited for his father to return. After about an hour, John Hruby came back to the house and Alan shot him twice.
Within hours, Alan Hruby had checked into the Ritz Carlton hotel in Dallas and was hanging out with a friend from OU. Andrew Bormann, who had driven down to Dallas with Alan’s ticket for the game, said later “There was nothing I could detect that was wrong with him,” in reference to their meeting in Hruby’s hotel room. “…I was with him alone in his room, less than 24 hours after he shot his family and that I could tell nothing was wrong, that he was completely normal, is also terrifying.” Bormann added.
On the morning of Monday 13, the Hrubys’ housekeeper arrived at the house and discovered the three bodies. The following day, Alan Hruby was detained by police on a parole violation. He initially appeared distraught at the news of his family’s slaying but, when his account of his own activities did not appear to add up, police decided to hold him for further questioning and, by that evening, he had confessed to the killings.
Speaking with a local news channel, Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks described Hruby’s demeanor as unrepentant. “The only remorse we’ve seen is because he got caught,” Hicks said.
The communities of Marlow and Duncan are still in shock over the killings. The Hruby’s were, seemingly, well-liked and appeared almost to fit that ‘perfect family’ image. Alan Hruby, however, was a young man who appears to have felt that he was entitled to the “best life has to offer” and, in order to get it, he killed his parents and sister in cold blood. Hicks could seek the death penalty for Alan Hruby but has not revealed his intention to do so. With regard to the killer’s disposition – and his fate – Hicks said the only remorse shown by Hruby was “crocodile tears.” “It wasn’t remorse because ‘I’ve lost my mom, my dad and my sister,’ it’s remorse because he knows that his life is basically over.”
Opinion by Graham J Noble
Saturday, October 11 Texas