Stepparents can help create a healthy family dynamic, foster a sense of belonging for a child, and contribute to the overall well-being and development of the child. This is not always the case for some.
*This story was drafted with some help of AI and is a work of nonfiction based on actual events; used with permission
Heather Leavell Keaton is currently on Alabama‘s Death Row for the homicide of two young children. The children were duct-taped, their lives taken at separate times, discarded, and the biological father helped Heather commit both acts.
According to police records, Heather was the stepmother to Chase(3) and Natalie (5) DeBlase. Heather first ended the life of Natalie, and the father, John DeBlase, dumped her body in the woods in Mobile, Alabama around March 2010. In June 2010, Chase's life ended with the father also discarding his body into a plastic bag in the woods.
Further investigation provided authorities with details on the lives the children lived with their father and stepmother.
Natalie and Chase were subject to unimaginable abuse and neglect before their lives were taken. According to the arrest warrant, the father allowed Heather to abuse Chase at night from time to time. One encounter was explained in the case documents. It stated:
“Allowing Heather Leavell-Keaton to duck-tape the childs hands to the side of his legs, tape a broom handle to his back, placing a sock in his mouth and duck-taping it to his mouth, then making the child stand in a corner all night when they went to bed,”
Heather did not care at all.
While being incarcerated, she would often express her dislike towards Natalie. She also admitted to adding antifreeze to the kids' spaghetti.
As of 2023, she is currently on death row at Julia Tutwiler Prison in Alabama. Her story is a chilling reminder of the depths of human depravity and the consequences that can follow.
Her AIS: 0000Z801
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