Ten year anniversary of the Harper family murders

Ten year anniversary of the Harper family murders

It has been ten years since one of the biggest mass murders in Bakersfield history. Vincent Brothers was convicted of killing five members of his own family in their southeast Bakersfield home.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - It has been ten years since one of the biggest mass murders in Bakersfield history. Vincent Brothers was convicted of killing five members of his own family in their southeast Bakersfield home.

The family who now owns the home, says there are still reminders of the tragedy, including the past sighting of a spirit of one of the victims.

Brothers, a former local school vice principal, is on death row for murdering his wife, Joanie Harper, her mother, and the couple's three children on July 6, 2003.

The murders happened inside the home on 3rd and P Streets.

Ten years later, the yellow stucco home is filled with pictures of the Palomar family.

"I never met the family that lived here, but knowing the history, I feel something. It's more of a sadness because they were kids," said Juan Palomar.

Two years ago, Juan Palomar moved his family from Riverside to Bakersfield to start a new life in the home, where the Harper family was murdered.

"Once we saw it, we liked it. We didn't care what happened," said Palomar.

Palomar's 13-year-old daughter, Martha, struggled with the move.

"I didn't want to move here. I was scared," explained Martha Palomar.

Her first nights in the house were difficult. "I was just quiet and I wouldn't sleep for three days straight at night," she explained.

Martha Palomar said she felt the spirit of a young boy. "Something was like on my bed," she continued.

She never said anything to her family. Her father said he doesn't believe in spirits.

"We had a priest bless the house, but that's something we would have done anyway," he explained.

Palomar said ten years later, strangers still stop in front of the home. "Sometimes people pass by the house and they're asking questions about it," he noted.

He said they are constant reminders of a past his family had no part of, and  a tragedy that forever changed the neighborhood.

Vincent Brothers sits on death row at San Quentin prison. His death sentence was automatically appealed, but a decision is still likely several years away.

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