crimesider

Mohler Family: Relative Questions Tales of Rape, Sodomy, and Murder

(AP Photo)
Photo: Left to right on top row - Jared Leroy Mohler, David A. Mohler, Burrell Edward Mohler Sr. Left to right on second row - Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., Roland Neil Mohler, Darrel Wayne Mohler.

LEXINGTON, Mo.(CBS/AP) Dark, sordid, tales of a rural Missouri man and his four adult sons raping, sodomizing, sexually abusing children, and even murdering, in a house of horror, are coming to light two decades later.

As authorities work to piece together exactly what happened, Burrell Mohler Sr., 77, and his four adult sons appeared in court in western Missouri on Tuesday where they were charged with sex crimes including rape and sodomy. A new search warrant claims one of the suspects even forced his victims to help kill and bury a man.

Hell on earth. But is it true?

"These fellas have all had respectable jobs," Ron Gamble, a relative of the accused men, said after Tuesday's hearing.

"In this country, you're innocent until proven guilty. ... Have they found any evidence? I haven't heard of any," he said. "Believe me if these things would have happened when Alice was alive, she would have been on top of this."

Alice Mohler was Burrell E. Mohler Sr.'s wife and died in 1991, he said.

Still, police are convinced they have uncovered perhaps the worst sex crime case in Missouri history.

The original complaint, which has allegations that date from 1988 to 1995, includes charges of rape with a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance. One court document alleged some of the children were assaulted with sharp objects and one girl was forced to have sexual contact with a dog.

A search warrant, filed Nov. 9, but released to The Associated Press on Tuesday, stated three of the alleged child victims observed "several murders" and they were forced to help stab a man to death and bury him in April 1988.

Search crews have combed the Mohler's former property outside Bates City in search of buried glass jars they believed contained notes written by children that documented sexual abuse. The children were told to write down bad memories and bury them there and "the memories would go away," said Sgt. Collin Stosberg of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Despite the growing list of alleged crimes, Stosberg said, "We are focusing on the sex crimes investigation."

On Tuesday, relatives of the Mohler family were in the crowded courtroom as a judge read 15 new sex charges against the five men.

The charges added to 14 filed last week, accusing Mohler Sr., of Independence, of rape, sodomy and the use of a child in a sexual performance. His four sons, Mohler Jr., 53, of Independence; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, of Columbia; Roland Neil Mohler, 47, of Bates City; and David A. Mohler, 52, of Lamoni, Iowa, were charged with rape.

During their brief court appearance, four of the five men said they still were trying to find attorneys. Jared Leroy Mohler said he had hired a lawyer, who did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

No additional charges were filed against the sixth person accused in the case, Darrel W. Mohler, 72, who was being held in Marion County, Fla., on two counts of rape stemming from 1986. He agreed to be extradited to Missouri, but the status of his arrival wasn't immediately clear.

Various documents in the case identify the relationship between the child victims, who were siblings, and the suspects. CBS is not revealing that relationship to avoid identifying the alleged victims of sexual assault.


  • Ryan Smith

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