Desiree Staperfene
Desiree Staperfene

The Story of Desiree Staperfene’s Double Murder-Suicide

After breaking in, Brian proceeded to brutally kill Desiree's mother, Angela Staperfene, and her new boyfriend, Jacob L. Burns, using an axe.
6 mins read

The Desiree Staperfene story is a harrowing tale involving the tragic loss of two lives in 2012. These lives were taken at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Brian Douglas.

Driven by a morbid fascination with death and gruesome murder, Brian horrifically ended the lives of Desiree’s mother, Angela Staperfene, and her new boyfriend, Jacob L. Burns.

desiree staperfen
Desiree Staperfene

Desiree witnessed the horrific event unfold as Brian brutally attacked Angela and Jacob with an axe before taking his own life. The shocking incident shook the city of Livonia, leaving the community in shock and disbelief.

Through this tragedy, the story of Desiree Staperfene serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers of unhealthy relationships and the importance of recognizing the warning signs of potential violence.

Livonia, Michigan, is a suburban area located approximately 20 miles from Detroit and is considered a safe and affluent community. Compared to other cities in the United States, Livonia is safer than 87% of them.

Desiree Staperfene’s 911 Call Tapes

Operator: 911, What’s the address of your emergency

Desiree: Right now there has been a murder-suicide, please send help.

Operator: Okay, what’s going on?

Desiree: My ex-boyfriend broke into my house and killed my current boyfriend then killed himself.

Operator: Did you just find them?

Desiree: No… He killed my current boyfriend and then he held me hostage and he just shot himself in the head.

Operator: Just now?

Desiree: Yeah

Operator: Okay, stay on the line with me 

Desiree: And he kind of beat me up, so my parents aren’t home it’s just me and I’m 17.

Operator: What’s his name?

Desiree: Brian White and Jake Burns are the victims.

Operator: Okay, Jake Burns?

Desiree: B-U-R-N-S

Operator: Okay, where’s the weapon right now? Where’s the gun?

Desiree: The ax is in Jake’s head and the gun is in Brian’s hand

Operator: Where (are) you inside the house?

Desiree: I’m sitting in our breakfast nook. Brian’s in the living room, there’s the kitchen between us, he’s dead, he is gone.

Operator: So Brian killed Jake?

Desiree: Yeah

Operator: Don’t touch anything okay? Can you do me a favor? Can you go sit on the porch?

Desiree: Yeah

Operator: What’s your name?

Desiree: Desiree Staperfene, I can’t walk

Operator: Okay, you stay there, are you still tied down?

Desiree: Oh my God.

Operator: Desiree?

Desiree: Yes

Operator: Okay, what happened?

Desiree: I put too much pressure on my leg

Operator: How long did he hold you guys captive?

Desiree: God, since like eight o’clock 

Operator: Since eight o’clock this morning?

Desiree: Yeah

Operator: Did he break into the house?

Desiree: Yeah, my mom, he watched my mom leave.

You can listen to the full audio of the 911 call here: 

Incident Overview

The horrific murder case involving Desiree Staperfene took place when her ex-boyfriend, Brian Douglas, broke into her house intending to cause harm.

After breaking in, Brian proceeded to brutally kill Desiree’s mother, Angela Staperfene, and her new boyfriend, Jacob L. Burns, using an axe. The tragic event concluded with Brian committing suicide, making it a double murder-suicide.

Victim Profiles

Desiree Staperfene: A young woman who had recently ended her relationship with Brian White due to his toxic behavior.

Following their breakup, Brian persistently tried to maintain contact and intimacy with Desiree. Despite her refusal, he continued to harass her, eventually escalating into the tragic murder of her mother and new boyfriend.

Angela Staperfene: Desiree’s 46-year-old mother who became a victim in the double murder committed by her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, Brian White.

Jacob L. Burns: A 19-year-old male who was Desiree’s new boyfriend at the time of the incident. He, too, fell prey to the violent rage of Brian White.

The aftermath of this tragic event left Desiree dealing with the immense grief and trauma of losing her mother and boyfriend to her ex-boyfriend’s violent actions.

The 911 call made by Desiree, where she reported the gruesome incident, demonstrated the extent of the horror she experienced during this dark period of her life.


On the tragic night, Desiree Staperfene experienced unimaginable horror when her ex-boyfriend Brian Douglas broke into her home.

He brutally murdered her mother, Angela Staperfene, and her current boyfriend, Jacob Burns. In response, police were immediately called to the scene, as heard in the 911 tapes released online.

Evidence Collection

Upon arriving at the crime scene, investigators found the victims, Angela and Jacob, murdered in a gruesome manner, with blood spattered around the room.

The killer’s fascination with death was evident from his Facebook cover photo, which portrayed a macabre scene. The police collected valuable evidence to piece together a narrative of what happened that fateful night:

  • Weapon: a bloody ax, believed to be the murder weapon, was found at the scene
  • Blood: spatters were present on the mattress, wooden nightstand, and across the room
  • Social media: Brian Douglas’s disturbing Facebook posts prior to the crime

Suspect Identification

After a preliminary investigation, the police identified the killer as Brian D. White, a 19-year-old ex-boyfriend of Desiree Staperfene. As a result, the authorities explored possible motives for the crime:

  1. Jealousy: Brian’s inability to accept Desiree’s new relationship with Jacob Burns
  2. Obsession: An unhealthy fixation on his ex-girlfriend and her life
  3. Infatuation with death: A fascination with death and vicious murder

Arrest and Charges

After the tragic incident involving the murder of Desiree Staperfene’s mother and boyfriend, the police conducted a thorough investigation.

A courtroom scene with a judge, lawyers, and jury, as well as the accused and spectators. The atmosphere is tense and somber, with a sense of anticipation and scrutiny
The Story of Desiree Staperfene's Double Murder-Suicide 5

The suspect, Brian Douglas, was found to have committed suicide after the violent acts. As a result, no arrests or charges were filed against him in this case.


Due to the suspect’s death, no trial took place. The case was closed as a double murder-suicide.


As the perpetrator, Brian Douglas, died by suicide, there was no opportunity for court proceedings, and thus, no verdict was given.

Impact on the Community

In the aftermath of the tragic event involving Desiree Staperfene, the community was deeply affected. The loss of Angela Staperfene and Jacob L. Burns significantly impacted their families, friends, and the town of Livonia.

The crime scene: a dimly lit alley with scattered evidence and a pool of blood near a discarded weapon
The Story of Desiree Staperfene's Double Murder-Suicide 6

Community members came together to support Desiree and her family, offering assistance and empathy in their time of need.

Various events were held to honor the victims, showcase unity, and promote healing. The incident highlighted the importance of addressing issues like domestic violence and mental health in society.

Media Coverage

The media extensively covered the double murder-suicide that occurred in Livonia, sparking a discussion on mental health, violence, and relationship issues.

Articles, news reports, and interviews highlighted the victims’ lives and the shock of such an act occurring in a tight-knit community.

The emphasis was placed on providing accurate information and identifying resources for those struggling with similar circumstances.

Memorials and Tributes

Following the tragic loss of Angela Staperfene and Jacob L. Burns, several memorials and tributes were held in their honor. Friends, family, and community members gathered to remember their lives, express their condolences, and celebrate their memories.

Commemoration events such as candlelight vigils, memorial services, and fundraisers were organized. These events allowed attendees to share their grief and support Desiree Staperfene, helping her navigate the difficult healing process.

Criminological Insights

The Desiree Staperfene murder story is an unfortunate example of a violent crime involving intimate relationships. The circumstances of the case shed light on several criminological aspects, such as the role of jealousy, possession, and the extreme nature of violence in a domestic setting.

  • Jealousy: The perpetrator, Brian Douglas, was fascinated by death and vicious murder. His actions were triggered by jealousy, arising from the fact that Desiree Staperfene was dating another person.
  • Possession: The violent nature of the crime highlights the concept of possession within intimate relationship dynamics. The murder of Desiree’s mother and boyfriend led to a tragic double murder-suicide. Such violent acts suggest a deranged sense of entitlement and understanding of love.

Legal Implications

The horrifying events in the Desiree Staperfene case prompted various legal implications.

While the perpetrator committed suicide, the case provides an analytical point for understanding the potential legal consequences in a similar context.

  • Homicide charges: Had the perpetrator survived his suicide attempt, he would have potentially faced multiple homicide charges for the deaths of Desiree’s mother and boyfriend.

In the case of Desiree’s boyfriend, Jacob Lee Burns:

  1. First-degree murder – Pre-meditated murder, defined by intentional acts.
  2. Second-degree murder – Unplanned, deliberate murder committed without premeditation.
  3. Manslaughter – Unintentional murder with negligence or provocation.
  4. Domestic Violence Laws: In addition to charges relating to the homicides, the perpetrator could have faced consequences under domestic violence laws, given the nature of his relationship with Desiree.

It was a terrifying experience for the young woman, whose dad, David, was unaware of the events happening in their home that killed his wife and daughter’s boyfriends.

By the time Desiree was able to call 911, both her ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend were already dead.

Her life had been turned upside down in a matter of hours, and the incident left her reeling with trauma, grief, and distress.

Desiree Staperfene Now

Desiree Staperfene has moved on from the tragic events in late 2012. She has since married and started a family, having a daughter.

Although Staperfene left Livonia, Michigan, after the incident, her current location remains unspecified as she appears to value her privacy​.

Let her live her life and give her the good time she deserves…

Avatar of Lauren Casper

Lauren Casper

Lauren Casper is a best-selling author and activist who exposes fraudulent businesses through in-depth investigations. When not fighting scams and reviewing, she enjoys being a wife, mom, and amateur baker.

1 Comment

  1. It makes me wonder why Desiree Staperfene’s story hasn’t received more attention in documentaries or even a Wikipedia page. It’s pretty dramatic and sad.

    Stories like hers usually end up highlighting stuff like domestic abuse, mental health problems, and issues with the justice system – topics everyday folks care about, and filmmakers and internet encyclopedias want to cover to understand this messy world we live in.

    Nobody’s done much on her case because other similar awful stuff is happening constantly, so it has to compete for attention.

    Maybe Desiree Staperfen and her family wanted privacy, or the media didn’t think it matched their priorities. But somebody should look into telling her full story someday or at least have a documentary or Wikipedia page detailing this horrifying tale.

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