Tragedy to tranquility: City turns site of horrific murders into memorial park

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – Following a horrific crime that shocked an Oklahoma community, neighbors will be able to remember those lost at a new park.

On Wednesday afternoon, officials with the City of Broken Arrow will cut the ribbon on Reflection Park, located at 709 Magnolia Ct.

The park is dedicated to the members of the Bever family who were killed, and the first responders who arrived at the tragic scene.

On July 22, 2015, authorities arrested Michael Bever and his brother Robert Bever for the murder of five people.

Authorities discovered the bodies of 52-year-old David Bever, 44-year-old April Bever, a 5-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy inside the family’s home.

A photo of the Bever family provided to Fox 23

A 13-year-old girl, who was stabbed but survived, told police that her eldest brothers had attacked her family.

The boys’ 2-year-old sister was found unharmed in the home, but investigators say their plan to kill her was interrupted. Robert also told detectives that Michael coerced their siblings out of locked rooms during the attack by pretending he was in danger.

According to testimony at the hearing, detectives say that Robert Bever wanted “to have some sort of fame or notoriety for being a serial killer.”

Robert Bever, 18, and Michael Bever, 16

In 2017, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to the murder charges and was sentenced to life without parole.  In 2018,  a jury found Michael Bever guilty on all charges and he was sentenced to five life sentences.

Two years after the murders, private donors raised $50,000 to purchase the house where the crime was committed. The house was torn down and the property was turned into a memorial park and garden. The city used mostly donated supplies and labor to construct a small walking path, garden and gazebo on the site.

“We can never erase the tragedy that occurred here, but we are making a statement with Reflection Park that we will not allow evil to define who we are and the high standards we hold as a community,” City Councilor Mike Lester said. “Thanks to the generosity of so many people in Broken Arrow and the metro area, we have built a place of peace and serenity.”

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