Ever wonder if Minnesota has been terrorized by a serial killer? Or perhaps Minnesota is where a serial killer calls home? This blog series will explore potential serial killers that either have roots in Minnesota or have been accused of preying on Minnesota residents. Part three covers David Francis Brom.
David Francis Brom was born on October 3, 1971, in Cascade Township, Minnesota. David’s parents, Bernard and Paulette, had four children: Joe, David, Diane, and Rick. Both before and after the incident, David was described as a polite, skinny boy who looked young for his age.
On the morning of February 18, 1988, David’s friend said David convinced her to skip school with him. While skipping school, she said David told her he had killed his parents, Diane, and Rick, that morning. The friend said David told her he had gotten in an argument with his dad about music the night before and David stayed up until 3 a.m. that morning. She said David went into his parents’ room first and killed his father. At trial, she testified, “He said he hit his dad with an axe, he kept hitting his dad and his dad kept on getting up.” She said David proceeded to kill his mother, then Rick, then Diane.
On the same day, school administrators heard the rumor that David told another student he had killed his family with an axe that morning, so they notified the Rochester police. Upon arriving at the Brom house, police found the bodies of Bernard (41), Paulette (41), Diane (13), and Rick (11). The four Broms sustained a total of 56 gashes to their heads and upper bodies. The police also located a two-to-three feet long, blood-stained axe in the basement. Subsequent forensic tests indicated this was the axe used to kill all four victims, and David’s palm prints were found on the axe.
On February 19, 1988, David was arrested without incident after someone in a post office reported seeing him using a nearby payphone. David admitted to killing his family and said he was “having trouble with his father” over a music tape.
While originally charged as a juvenile because he was 16, David’s case was certified to adult court by the Minnesota Supreme Court based largely on the severity of the crime. At his trial, David’s defense was insanity. Medical records and testimony at his trial showed that David was severely depressed and had talked about killing his family for at least the past six months. Seven experts found David mentally competent, but one expert testified that David had visual hallucinations and three alter egos. Nevertheless, David’s insanity defense was unsuccessful, and David was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder on October 16, 1989. A few days later, David was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.
David is currently an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. He is 51 years old and will be eligible for parole in 2041, when he will be 70.