Dallas Community Shaken by Bizarre Killings of Mother and Two Children

Did revenge killers murder a mom and her two children? Or was it murder-suicide?

December 22, 2008, 4:48 PM

Dec. 23, 2008— -- Police know a Dallas mother and her two young children each died from a single gunshot wound to the head. And they know that she reported two bizarre attacks in the days before the deaths.

But the circumstances of how Jeanmarie Geis and her children were killed is a mystery that apparently has police stumped as speculation in the community rises.

Dallas Police Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse called the last week "quite the maze of events" for the family. Among the theories circulating around the police department and local media -- Geis killed her children and then herself or the family was killed by men getting revenge for one of the high-profile cases Geis' father, a state district judge, presided over.

Just days before the killings, Dallas police already investigated two reported assaults on Geis, 49.

They were first called to the posh Blairview Drive home of Jeanmarie and Frank Geis on Dec. 13, three hours after Jeanmarie reported that two men in ski masks broke into the home at about 8:30 a.m. and attacked her husband before attempting to rape her, Janse said.

According to the police report, Geis first saw her husband Frank that morning walk in from the garage, wearing only a sweatshirt. He then said to her, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," according to the report.

Geis told police that she then saw the two assailants break in through a rear patio door. One then hit Frank in the right side of the head with a hammer or "mallet-type" instrument, Janse said, and she was put into a car.

She was then driven away from her home, but was able to jump out of the car into an alley and escape, according to the police reports. Frank was taken to the hospital and reported that he had no recall of anything that happened before 12:30 p.m. that day.

But the call to police didn't come until 11:30 a.m. that day, three hours after Jeanmarie told them the home invasion occurred. When asked about the time lapse, Janse responded, "that's the million-dollar question."

"There's a bunch of million-dollar questions in this whole week of events," he said.

Another Attack

The next day, Geis called police again, Janse said, reporting that she was attacked again by the same two men, described as being white and in their 20s. According to the police report, Geis said she was put into the car's backseat while some of her clothing was removed.

Janse, who said police have not been able to corroborate these claims with evidence, said Geis reported that one of the men put a gun to her face and said, "You're going to be mine. This is for what your sweet daddy did to my family."

According to the police report, Geis also reported being asked, "How do you like what your husband looked like yesterday?"

The suspects were scared off shortly after by a nearby garage door going up. The police report noted several scratches and scrapes to Geis' back and cheek.

Janse said police have no idea which of Judge Mark Tolle's cases could have prompted such an attack, as there were several notable judgments during his career and he had a reputation for handing down tough sentences.

Tolle died last year.

On Friday, police were called again to the Geis home after a co-worker at the Geis Group, a real estate business owned by the couple, and a neighbor called authorities, concerned they hadn't seen or heard from the family.

Inside, Janse said, police found the bodies of Geis along with Matthew, 8, and Sydney, 4. The police report does not indicate where the bodies were found, but Janse said a gun was found in "close proximity" to Geis.

It's that discovery, he said, that has led local news media to speculate about the murder-suicide theory.

"We can't confirm that," he said.

Police are now waiting on ballistics tests on the three bodies and the gun to determine if Geis killed herself and/or her children. Those tests, Janse said, could take six to 10 weeks to come back.

Continuing Questions

A woman who answered the phone at Geis' mother's house and identified herself as her aunt said the family was "not wanting to speak to anyone at this time."

Janse said police had never been called to the Geis house before Dec. 13 and that Jeanmarie Geis did not have any known medical problems.

"Until we can confirm, there is that chance there is a murder suspect running around," he said.

The neighborhood, he said, is an upscale, quiet one a couple of miles away from the house recently purchased by President George Bush.

But one person not being looked at is Frank Geis. Janse said he has been interviewed and is not a suspect at this time.

Frank Geis did not immediately return messages left at his office or home numbers. The home answering machine still bears a message from one of the children.

Frank Geis, Janse said, was determined to be at a doctor's appointment at the time of the murders.

"I think his story has been corroborated," Janse said.

But the community is not so sure.

Amy Smith has worked for a year and a half as a caregiver for the elderly owners of the house across the street from the Geis home.

"There's a lot of mixed emotions," she told ABCNews.com. "Everyone is just trying to figure out what happened."

But there is another twist to this story -- Eric Hansen, the son of local ABC affiliate sports anchor Dale Hansen, told the Dallas Morning News that he had been dating Jeanmarie Geis for about three months.

Hansen, whose son was friends with Geis' son, did not return messages seeking comment, but told the Dallas Morning News that he had thought she was divorced.

While Hansen described Geis as a stable person, he told the Dallas Morning News that he came to doubt her version of the attacks in the days before the deaths.

"The stories themselves made no sense," he was quoted as saying, "but the person telling them didn't have a history of telling these kinds of stories."

Hansen, Janse said, is also not a suspect or person of interest in this case.

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