Remember Tommy Sullivan, the Teen that Killed his Mother with his Boy Scout Knife?

What would make a child want to kill his own mother?

Demonic Possession to Blame. 

On January 8th, 1988 in Jefferson Township, New Jersey, a boy only 14 years of age interested in the occult and heavy-metal music, killed his mother using his Boy Scout knife, stabbing her 12 times then after writing a suicide note full of Satan-like symbols and cult references, set fire to the family's house by igniting the chesterfield, hoping to kill his father and brother while the two slept, then he killed himself, slitting his throat and wrists, with the same knife he killed his mother. 

After killing her, he put all his occult books in a circle around the living-room couch and set them on fire. His father woke and put the fire out before it spread and before he realized what really had happened.

The boy, Thomas Sullivan Jr. was found dead, the next morning on the next door neighbours lawn.

In the boys bedroom investigators discovered several books on the Occult and Satan worship along with the suicide note. He had been arguing with his mother that evening over his obsession with the Devil. After killing her, he put all his occult books in a circle around the living-room couch and set them on fire.

If only the parents would have heeded Thomas's teachers concerns about demonic possession. They reported to his mother that he was acting quite strange prior to killing her. It only took 2 weeks for the boy to turn from toy trains to a satanic killer.  

Thomas's friend, another young boy interested in the occult, told investigators that Thomas wanted to form an occult group at school, he confided in him, saying that the Devil has been visiting him for awhile and is telling him to kill his parents.

About 700 towns people organized at the school, after becoming alarmed an unknown force may be behind Thomas Sullivan Jr.'s actions, associating devil worship with heavy drug use, heavy metal-music and the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons.  

Years later, similar drawings and graffiti to the ones found in Tommy's bedroom were found in an abandoned resort painted on the walls, including drawings of a half-man, half-goat figure with cloven hooves, a pentagram and the "666" insignia of Satan. A head of a dismembered goat was found at a ritual site in a thickly forested area, near the Jefferson township.

One book found in Tommy's room, The Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey is in heavy demand and usually sold out.

In a way, I'm glad I don't have kids, eh?


Anonymous said...

this whole story is bullshit,they should re open this case to find the true murderer of Tommy and his mother,my partner and myself just finished watching a documentary called satanic panic devil worship in the 80s, my partner and i looked at each other in disbelief when the story of Tommy was being told,i my self was no different than Tommy at 14 years i can not believe that Tommy killed his mother and then himself, in the way that detective paul hart describes, Tommy slices his cardioid artery, also the tendons to the point that his hand has snapped back on it self,Tommy should be finished here, he should have lost conciousness within seconds (not minutes)but Tommy still manages to slice his own throat from ear to ear to the point that he almost completely severed off his own head with a three inch pocket knife given to kids in the scouts ?,this is detective paul harts own words, Tommy's suicide note looks to neatly written for a boy who's gonna kill his mother father and brother then himself ? why didnt he kill his brother and father they were asleep in the house ? the writings on Tommy's table look like it was written in a rage,it says die mother father,now if you ask me the real killer(s) wrote this on the table,easily done just hold a pencil in a clamped fist and walla,how did paul hart become a detective this guy is a nuff nuff either way its all to fishy to believed ,look into Tommy's father very suspicious character)i have some theory's but would take to long to state. in peace Tommy..feel free to email ( )

Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Tommy's. I rode his Kx125 motorcycle and hung out with him. I am sure he killed his mother but his father killed him. There is no way to slit BOTH of your wrists and your own neck. Impossible. He was found in our football coaches' backyard. (Chris Eastman.) in that condition. He may have started to kill himself but his father finished the job. (allegedly) as far as we allknew

Anonymous said...

I was asked to be on Geraldo at the time. I refused.

Los Angrlez said...

Worship Almighty Satan! He Knows Your True Heart!

Monday said...

Anonymous, you're a moron. Tommy Sullivan, his Mother, Brother and Father, did indeed exist. I know this because I knew Tommy from the time we were 5 years old, until the day of his death in 1988, when he was 14 years old. We attended church, Boy Scouts and Catholic School together from Pre-School through 8th Grade. Our Mothers were friends and I have intimate knowledge of his entire childhood, as well as his personality deterioration and his downward spiral into an obsession with the Occult. At the bottom of his descent, in the months before the tragic story played out, he expressed his intentions, numerous times, to cause harm to those around him, specifically, his parents. Measures were taken to counsel Tommy, but no one understood the seriousness, extent or potential reality of his threats. The truth is, he often showed signs of recklessness and aggression his entire life. He often moved against the grain and his words came across as the rumblings of an angry, troubled, young teenager who felt a sense of empowerment by his alignment with the "Devil". My personal belief is that his parents, while concerned, deemed it a pubescent "phase".

People can speculate as to what happened in this boy's life, or in his home, to drive him to these extremes. His Mother was a decent, faithful woman, who was involved in her sons' lives. She often hosted play and sleepovers for us boys and was a volunteer at school and church. Was there an issue in this household that drove the outcome? I can't say for certain; we were kids. No one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors, especially in 1988, as compared to today. I can say, though, there was never any evidence of such an outward dysfunction that would indicate this type of result. It makes much more sense to conclude that Tommy may have carried mental health issues his entire life, and they grew worse over time, as they do, and these issues are what drove him toward dangerous, dark and, ultimately, evil choices. None of us were involved in drugs at that time. However, I also don't rule out the potential that Tommy had been introduced to substances that year and they could have compounded his existing issues and played a part. That is my own speculation, though.

As for the medical dispute regarding the details of Tommy's demise, that has been a point of contention from the time this occurred. Who knows if the facts are even correct in that regard? He was obviously in a psychotic state and people are capable of incredible things. Did his Father discover what he did and destroy him in a fit of rage? I don't know and neither does anyone else. And, we most likely never will, because they're all gone.

What I DO know, however, is that the accusations by Anonymous that this story is fictitious and the Sullivan Family never existed, is not only disrespectful to their memory, but also a blatant representation of misguided idiocy, ignorance and paranoia. At some point in your life, Anonymous, you may have to stop blaming the Government for fabricated absurdities and face the fact that people can be complex, depraved and violent creatures. They think and do terrible things sometimes, and the results are tragic and difficult to understand or accept. Nonetheless, they are real occurrences in our lives, not Media theater or Government conspiracies. Like in The Wizard of Oz, your Yellow Brick Road is fictional.

For those who took the time to read this, I hope you appreciate the consumption of something factual and genuine on the internet...for once. Thank you for taking the time.

Anonymous said...

I wish this was all fake. It is true that Tommy killed his mother with the boy scout knife. Either he killed himself which is unlikely as he cut both of his wrists and then his neck as deep as the knife could go, or his father caught up with him as he paced around in the snow behind his neighbors house. God have mercy on their souls.

Anonymous said...

I have first hand information from the morning after the murder, having lived in the same town, and subsequent information shared by most trustworthy sources, that this did occur. As hard as it is to believe, there are situations that do not fit into normal scientific lanes.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the story is fake is completely wrong. I personally knew Tom. It was a tragic event in our town/school.

Anonymous said...

You are in correct. I live next to them for years

Relocated American said...

Ok, I was originally from West Milford and remember when this happened. This caused such a wide spread panic all of the local schools where holding counseling sessions for the kids. The police who investigated this case came to my primary school to talk to us about this and brought items from the crime scene, ie. Tommy's notebook, pictures from his bedroom, his suicide note, etc. After the talk, we were allowed to come up and look at the note, and picture etc, which they had in police scrap books. Unfortunately I didn't realise that these "scrapbooks" contained everything from the crime scene, including photos of what Tommy did to himself and his mother. 30 years later and I still remember this and will never get the images I saw out of my head.

Anonymous stated that this entire story is a fake, I can assure you it's not. What they failed to mention in any news stories that were published was that after Tommy killed his mother, he cut the skin from her face and tried to peel it off like it was mask. So you can only imagine what the pictures looked like.

Just saying said...

You are 100% right it took police over 1 hour to get there it was tom sr.was there paul hart no detective just a small town wanabee cop

Anonymous said...

Anonymous..this story is not a fake and I actually knew Tommy Sullivan and grew up with him. This, I can assure you, was not a fabrication but did cause wide-spread panic through the community, which also led to the police coming to local schools to speak to both parents and students about practicing Satanism.

I have also mistakenly seen the photos of what Tommy did to himself and his mother and I can assure you, this is not something that I will every forget. 30 years later and I still cannot get these images out of my head.

Anonymous said...

This story is not fake. My brother went to high school with Tommy. Period.

Anonymous said...

Also...the father is still alive