April 5, 2004 by

Frances Schreuder


Categories: Criminals

In 1978, Frances Bernice Schreuder was a New York socialite. She sat on the board of directors of the New York City Ballet, lived in a luxury apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and was known to buy $40,000 earrings at Tiffany’s.

Her father, Franklin Bradshaw, preferred to live frugally in Utah. Although the Salt Lake City oil and auto-parts magnate was worth at least $10 million, he drove a rusty pickup truck and bought his clothes at thrift stores. When he tired of his daughter’s extravagant spending habits and threatened to cut her out of his will, Frances decided to kill him.

At the high-profile trial, her 17-year-old son Marc Schreuder testified that Frances ordered he and his brother Larry to steal $200,000 in cash, checks and stock certificates from their 76-year-old grandfather. Marc also said his mother gave him drugs to poison Bradshaw’s oatmeal, but he refused to carry out the plan.

Frances then hired a hit man for $5,000, who also backed out of the deal and disappeared. So she threatened to kick Marc out of the house if he didn’t murder Bradshaw. The teen acquiesced, and on July 23, 1978, he shot and killed his grandfather with a .357 Magnum handgun.

The case was chronicled in two true crime books, two TV miniseries and a documentary on Court TV. In 1982, Marc Schreuder was convicted of second-degree murder. He was paroled 12 years later and reconciled with his mother.

Although she denied any involvement in the crime, Frances Schreuder was convicted of first-degree murder in 1983. She was a model inmate at the Utah State Prison and earned two degrees while incarcerated. She was paroled in 1996. Prior to the murder, Schreuder attended Bryn Mawr College, but was suspended in 1958 for stealing and forging checks.

Schreuder died on March 30 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 65.

100 Responses to Frances Schreuder

  1. Jeanie

    We all have people that affect our lives. Frances changed mine by trusting me with her daughter…I will always be grateful for that. Her daughter was an amazing child and she has grown into an amazing woman. I adore her and love her as if she were my own child. I feel sad about Frances’ life. There was the “side” of her that they write about….and there definately another side…that even under the worst of circumstantces could make you laugh…There is so much more of her story that has yet to be told…

    • Denise Lepore

      Hi Jeanie! What you wrote is very touching. Thank God for you! You saved Lavinia. I’m sure Frances had two sides I just hope she lived her final years truly sorry for what she did and reunited with her children. Amazing how God chose you to step in. :)I wonder what more they need to tell. I’m sure we only heard a portion. I feel bad for her sons.

    • Sarah Isaac

      Hi Jeanie,
      I am currently researching a story about frances and would be most interested in talking to you about your take on the story that you mentioned ‘hasn’t been told” would you be interested in having a chat with me?

      Warmest wishes

      My contact details are

  2. tammy

    I am a very good friend of Larry Bradshaw. He is an accomplished artist and a wonderful person that has helped me tremendously throughout the years. His many works of art and magazines he has been writing for years called the “divan” are incredible as is his manuscript called “the haldol man”. Larry has struggled with his own demons just being a part of the family that has affected him. But it has also helped him and allowed him to experience many different things in life. I am so glad that Larry wasn’t chosen or asked to kill his grandfather because it would be so sad for him to be burdened with that. He has been stigmatized enough as it is already. After spending years in a mental institution and actually being ripped off by these mental institutions that won’t let you leave so they can have access to your money they ended up stealing over $150,000 from him and only let him back on the street after his money was gone. May his mother rest in peace and learn from her mistakes in the hereafter.

  3. ginger white

    I can’t imagine a more wicked woman than Frances. I remember her story. She was truly evil. It sounds as if her children overcame her meaness to them. I hope so.

  4. mary

    I read both books several times. I was fascinated by the whole thing and felt that I knew this family. I have been thinking of them all this year wondering what became of them. I am glad to hear that Larry is doing well. Would like to know if her mother and father are or were still living when she got out of prison. And what happened to Marc, and especially what happened to the daughter.

  5. tammy

    Hi, I think that lavinia is living in California along with Larry, though, they are not close, they are 1/2 siblings. Marc, after spending 12 years in prison is now married to a beautiful Filipino girl, I don’t know if she knows of his past or not. I think that Bernice, Frances mother, died shortly before Frances was released from prison. She forgave her daughter but the rest of the family really didn’t, even Larry didn’t go to his own mom’s funeral, even though he did love her. Truthfully, I wouldn’t really trust either of the two sons. Though I love Larry, he is diagnosed as a schizophrenic but also has a very high IQ, is a great artist, writes a magazine several times a year called the Divan. Marc I would never trust and I don’t know him. His facial appearances are rather spooky.

  6. tammy

    The interesting dichotomy is the psychology behind Frances Schreuder. From the time she was a baby she commanded more attention than the other siblings and was just “different”, though I have respect for her because she is my friends mother, I feel that she was born with a mental illness. If her son is a diagnosed schizophrenic then more than likely the mother could very possibly had some type of dementia or otherwise could not be so narcissitic to be able to have her own father killed.

  7. tammy

    Another side point that makes this story even more fascinating is that Lorenzo in the book, my friend “Larry” sat back innocently in his world of intricate mental tasks and received quite a hefty inheritance because the mother and marc were not allowed to receive the money after the death of the grandfather. So ole Larry was living the life of riley in his headquarters in austin tx. Then one thing lead to another and his medication got a little off kilter and the next thing you know they throw him in austin state hospital. Well, this is an allegation in which I will take an oath in court to its truth. Austin State Hospital found out that larry had over $225,000 in a trust fund and they KEPT HIM LOCKED UP AND WOULD NOT LET HIM OUT. They let all the other nutcases out. There are more homeless mental patients walking the streets of austin than you can imagine. But my friend Lawrence Bradshaw was CAPTURED and HELD HOSTAGE by Austin State Hospital and he was capable of taking care of himself and also had a beautiful apartment totally paid for waiting for him. But Austin State Hospital kept him there and then got a judgment or charged him over $100,000 for his stay there. I want to sue them on behalf of my dear friend. My cell phone number is 501-915-2929.

  8. Wayde Wood

    no tribute i was in prison with marc and he was not a innocent in all that i also know of his mother and how she was caught with drugs as well not a model inmate – marc stole while in prison and was fired from a prison job for forgery – they both got less than they deserved –

  9. Chris

    I met Frances in prison. She was an extremely intelligent woman and during two years we were very good friends. Other women picked on her and wickedly sent her Father Day cards to see her reaction. She was funny and the only inmate who was studying for her degree; she was committed to obtain her Psychology degree but planned to open a bookstore when she was out of prison.
    I could see, however, how sneaky she was. She kept a journal with notes about other inmates and I read it once – very well written…but rather vicious. All and all, I liked Frances in spite of her crime. I always wondered how Lavinia is doing. Well, I hope.

  10. Jaime

    I just saw her stoy on Court TV and all I have to say is that I’m glad that a bitch like that is dead. She should of been executed for what she did. Killing a hard working man so that she could endulge herself with 40k dollar earings from Tiffany’s. I hope she and her mother rot in hell for what they did because , if think of it, her mother was just as guilty of her husbands murder. It’s sad to have seen this man die for such a greedy self indulgent cause.

  11. linda

    Did the other sisters of Frances get any inheritance? In one of the books, Bernice didn’t want them too. It’s a miracle that Lavania survived and is doing well. How did Frances make a living after prison if she was denied inheritance?

  12. denise

    I have always wondered what happened to all the money Marc received from his forgeries of Berneice’s account. The book stated that he was trading stocks in $10,000 blocks but was living in rat hotels. This does not seem right. No one ever questioned how much and where all his money went, because when he hooked up with Mary in Salt Lake he once again was forging B’s checks to get a better apartment.
    As an afterthought I think the cruelty that parents inflict on their children will never be understood unless one lives through it and is determined to change the future and not repeat life learned behavior patterns. I know form experience how difficult this daily committment is.

  13. chloe

    there are a few people who i feel terribly for franklin bradshaw, robert bradshaw, and at times both marc and larry. i think that frances was a horrible person and that berneice made everything a lot harder for everyone besides frances.

  14. jeanie

    In response–to Denise.-Lavinia forgave her mother. She took responsibility for her when she became ill -stayed with her until she passed–Lavinia is and always was a remarkable human being.

  15. An Old Aquaintance

    Marc was a schoolmate of mine back in the 1970’s. I recall him as a very intelligent social misfit given to loud rants and frequent explosive espisodes.
    The school had a bank of public pay phones, and Marc’s “conversations” with his mother were legendary. Imagine a serene New England prep school setting with everything in its place, except for a short, fat kid in a filthy corduroy jacket, wild uncombed hair and bits of food down his shirt and tie SCREAMING obscenities at his mother over the phone while others students stood by, gaping at him. That was Marc’s world, and it was bizzare.
    Prep school was a very cruel and harsh environment for someone like Marc, because he absolutely did not fit in. He suffered there. He was incredibly sloppy, overweight and ill-kempt. He was into photography, comic books, chess and keys. During his years there he collected (stole) keys to most of the buildings on campus. He was busted for breaking into the administration building near the end of his senior year and expelled. The school has essentially purged him from their records – it’s as if he was never there.
    A quick google on Marc shows that he’s in Provo now, hocking natural health supplmements in an in-your-face marketing style that is absolutely in keeping with the brash kid I remember. He has posted several movie reviews as well. His name still crops up in the context of comic book dealers, and not without controversy.
    He was always a disturbing character, and I think most of his classmates understood that he would come to some notorious end. But murder was a bit of shock, and knowing that he was back at our school having done such a thing remains distrubing to this day.

  16. an old chtmate

    I am a chatmate of Marc before……I was surprise with what I read about him.I even know her wife……hopefully he is a good man now and will not commit the same mistake just like in the previous years of his life……. he chose her instead of me but i do pray she is in good hand with Marc.I doubt her family know about his background if then they may be afraid.I hope Marc confess everything to Connie and she accepted him of his shortcoming before.I do pray that he is a nice and good husband now especially they have a kid as what i know……….Marc take care of Connie……..please……

  17. MJ

    As I read about Larry it is very interesting to me that his friend Tammy feels he has been victimized by the State Mental Health Facility. I attended college at Lehigh University with Larry and was in the dorm the evening he took a hammer to his roommates head because he said that he was “emmitting gamma rays to turn him into a woman” and beat him to a pulp. I watched his victim cling to life and that was the most disturbing image to see as a 17 year old. I can sympathize with his upbringing but let there be no mistake that Larry had serious mental issues which in 1979 landed him in jail and then a mental health facility. Unless you are a physician and have reviewed all of his history, I would not pass judgment on the institution where he was housed. After all, for attemted murder, he should have at least been in jail for 10 years.

  18. tomevans

    I am a true-crime fanatic, I admit, but this case has eluded me until recently and I found it both tragic and fascinating. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall inside the dysfunctional backdrop of Frances and her children. Was she really that controlling of those kids? Amazing.

  19. Jen

    My mom and I became fascinated with the Schreuder/Bradshaw case after reading the books when they came out. We often wondered what became of Lavinia and how she dealt with her family tragedy while growing up. It was said in the Alexander book that Lavinia had great talent in ballet–was she able to continue on with her dance studies after Frances was incarcerated?
    Thanks to all who have given updates on the family–a very interesting and sad story.

  20. Muiruri

    I am from kenya and i came accross a tattered, old novel(nutcracker) about this story. I had actually never heard about it and decided to invesigate by checking in the internet.
    To me it was a very sad story and Frances should have been jailed for life.

  21. jeff

    this hideous excuse for a woman should have gotten the death penalty….glad she died fairly soon after she was let out of prison….she was in prison for a good thirty years though…hope they treated her horribly as was said….

  22. Tim

    I have been fascinated with this story for years. I’ve just read the blogs, for someone to say that Berenice should burn in hell is absurd, Frances maybe but Berenice? C’mon. Berenice spent her whole life trying to make Frances happy. Frances was mentally ill, look what she did to her sons. What a shame, this woman ruined so many lives, destroyed her own family.

  23. Patti

    I just have to know if Elaine and Marilyn ever got any of their father’s money from their mother Berenice. I think that it would be horribly unfair for Francis to get money and not them. I think that Elaine and Marilyn were a victim of Berenice. Berenice would have to be dysfunctional to not share their father’s wealth with them. My heart goes out to Elaine and Marilyn and I hope they inherited something from their father via Berenice….after all Berenice sure was generous with her husbands executioner.

  24. David

    Again this was on tonight (CourtTV) and first time I have seen it. From all evidence shown, Frances was the evil woman they portrayed her as, her mother was just as culpable by enablement, and apparently disconcerned about her husbands fate, as she encouraged his killer to flee the Country. This is dysfunction at its best. Frances’ mother started the evil from birth, in giving everything to Frances, to hell with the rest of the family apparently. I think Marc got the short end of the stick tho….how can he and his mother receive the same sentences when both were not equally guilty.

  25. Lisa

    I was Frances’ roommate at the halfway house we were both living at. I was unaware of the nature of her crime and of the things she was accused of. (something you don’t ask people when you are serving time) We became friends and I found her to be a very personable woman. She picked and chose what she would share about her life, but I believe everyone does that to some degree or another. It is true that she was shunned by the other woman and there were times when I took some flack for being her friend but she had done nothing to me and I had no reason to judge her. She had one picture of Lavinia on a shelf and there were times when I would come back to our room and she would be watching Ballet on TV. She only watched PBS and KUED never anything else. She had gotten a job, and had learned as all of us had how to manipulate the world we lived in to satisfy us and our needs. (Break the rules and not get caught) She was released from the halfway house at like 12:30am so that there would not be a media frenzy and I remember the day she was to be released the reporters were everywhere waiting around when I left for work at 5am. She didn’t keep in touch as she had said she would but I didn’t think to much about it because nobody in that sort of setting does keep in touch. I liked her, I later read the book “at mothers request” and I am glad that I did not know those things at that time, I would have been frightened. I still like the woman I knew. The woman portrayed in that book is not the woman I knew or grew to be friends with.

    • Sarah Isaac

      Hi Lisa,
      My name is Sarah Isaac and I am currently researching the Frances Schreuber story. I am looking for a friend that can give people a different point of view of the type of character that Frances was.
      I am most interested in having a talk with you.
      Is this something that you might consider?

      Warmest wishes
      Sarah Isaac

  26. Kathy

    My sincere respect and honor to Jeanie, who seems to be the answer to the question that haunted me when I first read the books about the crime: given her experiences at Frances’ hands, how could Lavinia ever grow up not only normal, but exceptional? Jeanie is proof that love and selflessness can heal.
    The question will always remain whether Frances’ life could have been different if she had grown up in a different environment. She is beyond the judgment of mere mortals now, and I hope that her children find happiness and fulfillment in life.

  27. Patsy

    I don’t care how “overwhelming” the evidence is. As far as I’m concerned, Frances had NOTHING to do with this, it was done by her son, and Marilyn Reagan was behind the whole thing. In answer to someone’s question, Marilyn and “Elaine” (snobby bitch doesn’t want the world to know her name, I sometimes question her motivation, too), got nothing after berniece died, she gave it all to Frances. Say what you want, Marylin and “elaine” deserved nothing, they cared nothing about the family at all. As far as the murder goes, the only one behind this is Marylin Reagan, and Frances went to prison for her. May Marylin and “elaine” rot in hell.

  28. Dave Jr.

    I’m curious to where some of you are getting your information from? Pasty seems to know nothing factual about Elaine & Marylin but is making damning claims about them. It’s easy to spread rumors, hard to find the truth. I’m looking for truth and I’ve been working on writing another book about this from the time I was a young buck and our family got the call that Frank Had been murdered. I’m not a blood relative but this affected my family for all my life.

  29. Suzy

    This is no “tribute” to Frances Bradshaw Gentile Schreuder. I recently finished reading “At Mother’s Request”. What a horrible, despicable woman; a poorer excuse of a mother would be hard to find. Where this woman got off believing anyone, especially her parents, owed her a living is beyond me. She made me sick; I feel absolutely no sympathy for the fact she is finally dead. She isnt taking up valuable air that someone else deserves. I hope she is right where she belongs: HELL.

  30. Heather

    I just found this book ,At Mother’s Request, in a basement of one of my relatives and could not put it down. I just had to see what had happened to everyone since so I googled Mark. Dave if you do write a new book I think we would all be intrigued to anymore insight to the lives of these strange people. I think it is a shame that the people that murdered Frank were the only ones that benefited from his will and I wish someone would have miraculously found the mystrious 2nd will. However, maybe Marilyn and Elaine were better off, this just goes to show you that money can’t buy happiness or in this case love.

  31. Mercy

    It is hard to judge people if you don’t know them in person. We are not perfect in this world. We all have a chance to change the mistakes we made in the past. If God forgives us for all our sins, then why shouldn’t we also forgive??? I understand those people who judge them but judging so harshly is not good especially since we are all sinners here in this world. Is there anybody here did not commit sins in this world??? If no, then quit judging—especially those people who did not know them in person. I am close to this family, and I felt so sad about them. Past is past. Forgive and forget. Let them have peace.

  32. LJ

    It’s very sad that Marc, Larry and Lavinia had to live through this ordeal and that all of it was brought about by their own mother. All of Frank’s faithful employees and the remaining family members paid the price for this murder as well as Marc and Frances. Transcripts of all of the tapes made by Frances and her sons would probably shed light on more truths. I too, am surprised by Patsy’s information. After all of the facts that were brought out in both trials, to claim that Frances was not involved but that Marilyn was – is beyond me. I wish the now grown children happy lives.

  33. AA

    Reading the story was interesting, following up on the people was interesting too. you have to remember these are real human beings with real stories to tell. we should learn from their errors and not repeat them; live our lives with more meaning and care towards one another. I feel sorry for Lavinia; the real victim in all of this. Everyone else made choices with their lives that seem to have only hurt and alienated each other.

  34. jeanie

    Thank you to ‘Kathy’ for her kind words about me in 2007. Obviously~I haven’t checked this blog often. I am grateful that Lavinia has kept me in her life. She’s a new Mom & seems happy. I am so proud of her.
    Thank you so much again to Kathy!

  35. Jean Hines

    I just read “At Mother’s Request” and wonder where all the money went. Who inherited under Berenice’s will? How much money did Marilyn and Elaine get from the Franklin Bradshaw Estate before Berenice’s death?
    This was a fascinating book based on a truly disfunctional family and dreadful circumstances. I wish someone would write a followup book tracking this family from the time of the trials until now.

  36. Rebecca

    I met Larry in a mental institution in Dallas back in ’89 (I believe that is the correct year. Not a time in my life that I want to recall). He was the first person I encountered and to be frank, he scared the hell out of me. There is no doubt in my mind that he is schizophrenic. He was nice enough, however, it was obvious that he had a serious condition. It is also true that the overseers of the place kept you until your insurance funds ran out that then you were instantly cured. The senior staff would play head games with you while the interns desperately tried to help. I remember taking a test about our mental state and we had to share the results with everyone. The new intern scored worse than any one of the patients and broke down right then and there. Larry always claimed that his “father would be here any day to get him out”. I didn’t know what to think about this as I knew nothing of his history. He talked often about the book (At Mother’s Request) and the movie. True to his word, Larry’s father came to retrieve him in the wee hours of the night not long after I arrived. Knowing what I know now after reading the book, I feel it is a wonder that any of the children are able to function at all. I am glad to know that Larry is alive and well and proceeding with life. He and Lavina are true wonders of strength. Please wish him well for me, Tammy. Thank you~

  37. Carol

    Just looking at the face of Frances in photographs scares me. Evil. Insane. And her mother was her enabler in all the evil that she did. I am curious as to how long Lavinia continued her involvment with dancing. Thank you, Jeanie, for all you did for her. And from the mental abuse they suffered it is a miracle the boys have not killed more people beyond Marc’s “erasing” of their grandfather.

  38. Terry C

    I read both books.
    Her mother was a piece of work – she stayed married to a man she hated for 54 years, catered to a daughter who had nothing but contempt for her, and paid the legal fees for the people who’d killed their father and grandfather.
    Franklin Bradshaw should never have married. He cared more about his work and his money than his family.
    I don’t blame Frances for not wanting to live in Mormon Utah. Not a woman-friendly place.

  39. eileen cline

    I would like to get in touch with Jeanne.
    We knew each other as ushers at the NYS Theater, and she often told me how sad she was about her Dads remarriage.
    Ho owned the Colonial Funeral Home in SI

  40. sari

    I am in the middle of reading At Mothers Request, which I found in my friends basement, and find it fasinating.As far as I am concerned it should have been only Francis to go to jail. Look how many lives she destroyed.Her sons could not help what they did. She screwed them up royaly.

  41. Kewan Woodard

    All Frances ever gave a damn about was her fathers money that was all she ever cared about she never should have put her own son and manipulated him took to have her father whacked in the firstplace.Frances Schreuder brought the whole thing up herelf including the plot to have Franklin Bradshaw killed that was pretty stupid and as for her son he should have went to the police to avoid oing to prison.

  42. Mark Smith

    Have read both books and more. Interested in knowing more of the Bradshaw geneology, as a family member of ours is “engaged” to a Bradshaw who claims a large trust awaits her at age 18. As concerned relatives, we can make no connection to her and the Bradshaw nightmare (other than she shares the last name of Bradshaw) and are just trying to look out for his best interest. Was there a Michael Bradshaw, or Michael J. Bradshaw in the clan that ended up changing his name later on? If so, the one I am looking at would be 73 years old approximately. Thanks in advance if you can share information.

  43. tammy mears

    Hello everyone, I haven’t posted here in a while and am surprised to see this blog is still alive.
    Larry is doing very well and unscathed by these tragedies. Our justice system grants leniency to people with a mental illness who commit crimes. I still love Larry, this guy helped me so much pay all of my bills every month when I was pregnant and is fantastically generous and helpful. I understand that he has had more serious bouts with schizophrenia from time to time and yes, became dangerous then but he has been out of trouble for nearly 20 years and has traveled the world. Dave, if you need help with your book, please contact me. Larry and I are still in contact and I have information about the crime and other details for you. historicpark@hotmail.com

  44. Sheryl

    I have read goth books and seen the miniseries and the Dominic Dunne story. I’m very curious about what Frances, Lavinia, Marc and Larry are doing now?

  45. trish

    There were so many enablers in this woman’s life starting with the parents who bowed to her every wish. To say that it was easier to say yes to her does not alliveate their responsibility. It is never plesant to say no to a child any child. But disicpline (and not the kind that Frances handed out..mercy is a key ingredient) is necessary. I wonder if they had just let her cry herself to sleep and not jump at her every whim as she was growing up if things would have turned out better not only for her, but for her family. Perhaps a lesson for us all?

  46. lis

    It was most fascinating how that Franklin and Frances seemed to be two opposite sides of a coin. Franklin’s attitude towards money was extreme on one side and Frances’ on the other. They both served money but in different ways. Such a sad story.

  47. Syl

    I read The Nutcracker many years ago and found this case absolutely fascinating. One of the best true crime novels ever. Just watched a repeat on TruTV and decided to Google Frances. Did not realize she had died. It was very interesting to read comments on this blog and the updates about the family. I always felt sympathy for the boys and am so very glad someone wonderful raised Lavinia and saw she had a “normal” life. I hope she realizes how lucky she was and truly appreciates what Jeanne did for her. Thank goodness Frances did not have a chance to ruin her too.

  48. Tammy

    Hello to all and thank you for your comments. Larry is doing fabulously. I look back at what has been written in the last four years and my views have changed some. I am still friends with Larry and receive his magazine the Divan which he has written for as long as I have known him, close to 20 years. He is an excellent artist. But as you know, mental illness is genetic. Francis was mentally ill and so is Larry. He is diagnosed as a schizophrenic and is still highly medicated. He has hooked up with a woman in the Western US who is his caseworker for lack of a better term. She plans trips all over the world and takes these other patients with her and she is their chaperone. Larry has been to almost every country in the world! He has lived a very full life and will be turning 50 soon! His apartment is over $1000 a month and the bank pays it out of his inheritance. He continuously sends me chocolate covered cherries and tells me he is doing great. I will call him so I can let you know more about him and I will post his medication that he is on for your information and curiousity. Thanks for reading!

    • jeff

      This is how I feel,first the woman who thinks the other two sister’s are behind the murder I see you in prison. I am the youngest and more spoiled. Frances was not mentally ill just spoiled.I had to learn to take care of myself after my parents death.Larry I feel can be forgiven for his attract no death.I don’t believe in the death penalty but more time should have been spent in prison by mother and son.They will answer in the after life.Franklin had no responsibility to take care of Frances she was an adult.THE whole story is tragic and let’s not forget this really should be about Franklin he was the victim. I am glad Lovina is well.The rest brought this on to them selves.

    • Pam

      I, too would really liked to know how the remaining family is doing. I feel so heartbroken that Larry, Marc, Lavinia had to endure. Not to mention Marilyn, Elaine, Robert and the rest of Franklin’s family had to endure….all because Bernice wasn’t happy and had to make everyone else miserable leading up to Frances being a spoiled brat to make up for Bernice’s own selfishness.
      Thank you for the updates on Larry!

      I hope Larry finally received help and eventually the love he deserved as a child and had been able to move on and know that not all mothers are like his was.

  49. Mercy

    They are all in peace and in process of healing and forgiving… It has been a long time and hope people will stop saying bad about this people. you don’t know what’s really going on.. Tammy Mears,, I am going to verify this if you still have contact with Larry. Past is past. Please leave this people alone in peace and let them live happily… Where ever the money goes that’s not our business.. One thing for sure Marc did not receive anything from the Bradshaw and I don’t think so that Marc is NOT the victim in here. Try to study hard who is really the victim in here.. This family is coping, forgiving each other and soon be united.. So please give them a chance to be happy and let us learn from their mistakes. We are lucky our mother is not like their mother…The only thing we could help them is pray for their peace and happiness instead making books that makes it worst. I am sorry if I say like this.. I feel bad about this family of what happen to their life. People change and hope you too!

  50. Patsy

    Do you want to know what really happened? Seeing how i have less than a month to live, i’ll tell you. The one who should have been in prison all along is Berniece Bradshaw. She was as guilty as marc was, and frances was only guilty for harbouring her. Marilyn was right behind the whole thing.

  51. Caroline

    I have just finished Nutcracker and had never heard of the book before. I was so sick to my stomach reading this book that I couldn’t go on and yet I couldn’t put it down. The abuse that Larry Marc and Lavinia (who was called Ariadne int book and I didn’t know reading these blogs that is who you were talking about) How a mother could treat her children like Frances did is unbelievable. I know what it is like to be abused but this book just made me sick. I am glad to hear that they all are doing fairly well under the circumstances.

  52. Bernadine Rodriguez

    This family has interested me since 1978.I can still remember the small details such as mark getting to eat Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets before his imprisonment. You know, I was thinking about it, Mark got a hug from his mom for doing this. I can only feel pity and sadness for this individual because I know what it feels like to want and need approval from others.Mark didn’t get anything back but a hug and food for what he did. That is sad and messed up.

  53. tammy mears

    Hello again, I still am fortunate enough to speak with Larry. He will be 50 years old in February 2010. He is doing very well and is still traveling the globe italy, rome, spain, hawaii etc. He is enjoying is life but is disabled from the medication, mentally disabled. He has a hard time speaking normally but he has a very loving heart. I wish that he had been able to find a true love in his life and that he badn’t been sick. He still jogs for 30 minutes 3 times a week and cleans his california apartment and goes to classes and parties. We have not talked about lavinia and mark lately, larry keeps pretty much to himself.

    • Pam

      I have been praying for Larry since I started reading this book and am so sad to hear about his health problems. What a beautiful life he could have had with a truly loving family.

      My best regards,

  54. Patrick

    This whole Bradshaw/Shreuder saga just tells me that mental illness is real, and that it can jump from one family generation to the next. I think the Bradshaw family tree just proves it (does anyone remember Robert B.’s condition ! the son of Berenice & Franklin ?) In our 21st century, all over the world, mental illness is even more acute in general and in greater numbers of cases. Unfortunately, it is not “cared” for by our selfish society. And it is a shame, since so many “efficient” drugs are now available … but it all comes back down to MONEY, just as it was in the Bradshaw saga …

  55. Laura

    It is wrong of anyone to say negative things about Marc and Larry. If you’ve read the two books, you can see how they were treated. Larry was locked out of his home and refused entry. Imagine what that would do to you, your own mother leaving you out in the cold. One thing I can’t understand is why they, especially Marc, felt so attached to her. I’d also be curious to know if Frances felt any regret for what she did. I’d like to think so, but I tend to doubt it as I don’t think she would even be able to feel things like guilt, remorse, and regret.

    • Pam

      I agree. What a promising future for all could have been had, if not for Bernice and her selfish need to talk to her children instead of a therapist.

  56. Erica

    In response to Laura:
    I lived with a bipolar mother who also kicked me out the house and acted almost as bizarre as Frances. I first saw the mini-series when I was in high school and I couldn’t help but relate to the children’s story. I know that it seems illogical for a child who is abused to seem so attached to their abuser. My mother used to do awful things to me one day and then the next be sweet, like nothing had ever happened. I believe it is this type of behavior that confuses children and they will do anything to get those few moments of kindness. I believe that this is what Marc had to endure and that is what led him to kill his grandfather. The psychology behind all of this is fascinating. I only have a glimpse of what these boys had to suffer and I hope that they will one day find peace.

  57. Genevieve

    Responding to Laura Are you crazy? They did plenty on their own before all hell broke loose. My parents were alcoholics and abusive and that would not be a reason to kill them regardless who told me to or put pressure on me. Marc wanted to stop but then thought of mommy dearest. Yes there was serious issues but they were at an age where they knew wat was right and wrong. They did belong in prison and marc and mommy didn’t serve long enough. Larry should stay locked up and charged with his part in the disaster. Grandmommy enabled this entire saga and let Frances rule and ruin everyone’s life she encountered so shame on her.

  58. Frances Cummings

    I read Nutcracker years ago – and have always wondered how come Frances got off so easy. She should have been convicted of child neglect and abuse – as well as first degree murder and spent the rest of her life in prison.
    Is this mini series on DVD ?? How could I find it??

  59. carol patterson

    I’ve been a avid true crime reader since my teen & I’m now pushing 70. “At Mothers Request” is one of my old time favorites. I’ve had the book since it was first released—it’s now brown with age,torn & tattered, but i still pick it up & reread it on occasion. I’ve always felt that Bernice was as quilty as Frances by enabling & bowing to her every desire. i’m not sure Bernice wasn’t a little touched in the head also.
    When did Bernice die???? I am sad to hear about the continuing mental problems Larry has had to live with, but glad to hear Lavinia & Marc have a good life. What a MONSTER Frances was.

  60. grady

    Have just checked out this site having seen a re-broadcast of “Nutcracker” on the True Movies Channel. Never heard of this story before, even though I am a fan of true crime, especially Anne Rule. This saga is amazing!! While certain posters have views about Berniece and Marilyn’s involvement, no one has mentioned Richard Berhens potential involvement. The movie hints early that he was the one that informed Frank Bradshaw of Frances’ shameful behaviour in New York. To what end? And DID he split the 5K hit money Frances gave to the low life guy “Dickie” got ahold of to initially kill Frank Bradshaw? Why else would Dickie keep the gun all those years and not dispose of it in the world’s hardest to trace city?

  61. Fred

    Hey Tammy ? Is Larry aware of this blog ? Do you still speak with him ? I went to military school with Larry. The books do not mention much about the time that he spent there. A lot of the students were unkind to him. I was one of those.I wish that i could tell him how sorry i am. He was a brilliant guy. He was the class Valedictorian.
    After all that he has been through..,how could he NOT have mental problems ? I am glad to read that he is doing better.

  62. Pat

    Im a little confused because in the book I just read by Shana Alexander, the daughter’s name was Ariadne, not Lavinia. When was it changed?

  63. Bekkah Sarah Payne

    Hi Tammy

    I saw the mini-series Nutcracker, Money, Madness & Murder. It was a very powerful film indeed, was shocked to see that Frances told Marc not to implicate her in her fathers murder as in her words “I can’t do anything for you if I am incarcerated”.

    I found the story very disturbing indeed, to ask your own son to murder your father just for money and to have a son so devoted to his mother to actually go ahead and do the deadly deed. I also found Larry’s story with him suffering from Schizophrenia very touching, it is very heart-rendering to see someone suffer so.

    I hope that you do get justice for Larry, I am going to try and find copies of Divan because I am very interested in reading articles written by him.

    Good luck to you again


  64. Wendy

    Just watched this mini series and it had me hooked from start to finish. Then after doing a bit of research about the case and reading the comments on this blog it really gets you thinking just how much of an influence people, parents, environment etc can have on children.

    It’s made me take a long hard look at my own life & impact of my own behaviour on my children. As well as the impact on me & my sisters from a narcissistic father.

    It just shows that the cycle can be broken if you are aware something is wrong.

    I am pleased that Lavina has managed to have a relatively ‘normal’ life, plus that both Marc and Larry in their own way are getting by. They were all let down by the ‘adults’ in their lives. Their mother, fathers, grandparents and aunts. They all knew what their mother was like, but let those children grow up in that environment. So really no one in the family is totally innocent.

    By the way was surprised that no one commented on ‘patsy’ disappearing from the blog following the comment they only had a month to live in Oct 2009. RIP Patsy.

    If we can all learn from this sad story then we will all be better people for it. 🙂

  65. Michael

    “Nutcracker” is an excellent mini-series. Lee Remick is terrific and terrifying but engaging as the narcissistic and deranged mother. Elizabeth Wilson plays the creepy grand-mother and is key to the totally sick and neurotic scene. In the book Nutcraker the young girl’s name (Frances’ daughter) was changed from her real name.

  66. Julia La Grua

    I read At Mother’s Request many years ago and it really hit home. My mother and younger sister have a sick relationship similar to that of Berenice and Frances. No murder thankfully but the same mother/daughter folie a deux, same mom guilt over not really wanting the last child, same child manipulation of mom guilt, same lazy good for nothing money grubbing daughter joining forces with mom against dad.

  67. Cherie

    Don’t you see that Berenice ENABLED (and perhpas sometimes encouraged) Frances in her evil schemes. A mother who doesn’t admonish a child is culpable in creating a sociopath or psychopath.

    • Jeff

      You can’t “create a sociopath or psychopath”, you get that gene at conception. Now her mother may have passed down her evil gene to her disgusting twat of a daughter, but you can’t make someone evil. Her mother is definitely a sickening and abhorrent pig (actually calling her a pig is wrong as it’s an insult to a pig to be compared with her) for enabling her daughter throughout the entire process.

  68. Jeff

    I’ll never understand this country’s ignorant, inept, wimpy, foolish, in denial, and severely lacking in common sense excuse for a justice system. This grotesque and evil witch of a woman spent only 13 years in prison for a 1st degree murder. Only here, in this dipwad country does something such as that make sense. She should have been behind bars until her last breath. At least, thankfully, she died fairly early, at 65, before she would be able to collect one social security check. That’s the only place where she got what she deserved.

  69. Kathy

    Rereading the book (I first commented above in 2007) and now it seems likely to me that Frances suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, possibly inherited from her mother, who (in my humble non-professional opinion) had a less destructive version of the same problem. Individual cases vary tremendously and most cases of BPD are responsible to treatment, and the vast majority of sufferers are not violent; but if Frances had the genetic predisposition for it, and was raised in a highly dysfunctional family atmosphere where the disordered thinking was reinforced, that might account for it being so serious and entrenched when she was an adult. All in all, a sad story, and I hope all connected to it today are at peace, and happy.

    • Pam


      I think you said it all in a nutshell!

      While reading the book, it seemed to me also that Bernice had problems that she pushed onto her children for sympathy, creating a very unhealthy environment.

      • Jane

        Unfortunately without the appropriate background and interaction with the family, none of us are qualified to diagnose anyone in the family. I have enough experience with mental illness and would suggest that Frances was likely bipolar or a malignant grandiose narcissist. There could be mental comorbities too. These kind of illnesses are genetic and multi generational. From the little I have researched the family, there is mental illness in the family. Mental illness and dysfunction are two very different situations. These cases show how the most ordinary or sophisticated or “good” families can fool us. In his book “People of the LIe” Dr. Scott Peck discusses exactly this. In my opinion everyone in that family has been a victim of genetics and errant psychological and emotional conditioning passed on generationally.

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