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Movies Based On True Stories: The Morrison Murders

Jason “Hunter” Culverhouse, 23, was arrested in Oklahoma City and returned to Dale County by the Sheriff’s department in connection with the shooting deaths of his parents and brother in Ariton in 1988. In a plea bargaining agreement, Culverhouse was sentenced to life without parole after a four-hour trial.The following was posted the Internet Movie Database

The Morrison Murders :

I knew the real life killer that the movie is based on., 30 January 2005 Author: cacoffinjr from United States *** This comment may contain spoilers *** I went to high school with him and sat next to him in several classes our senior year due to the fact that our last names were close alphabetically. I felt the movie did a good job telling the story. Only a few major changes were made from the real story (Names were changed.) The real life killer was a much better dresser. He took a lot of pride in his appearance and was always dressed in a button-down shirt not the t-shirts of the movie. The entire town of Ozark, Alabama was socked when the murders happened in the summer of 1988. We were in between high school and college that summer. The real life killer was the member of a popular trio of brothers. I think that he was jealous of their success. He had shot part of his foot off hunting many years before and was never the athlete or ladies man like his brothers. It never occurred to me that he was capable of such a diabolical murder. However, thinking back I now see some clues. He had an anger problem. I remember that he told me once how he beat up another car driver in a case of road rage on the way back from Auburn, Alabama to the point of unconsciousness. I can still remember the morning after the murder. The entire town was shocked and believed that the mafia had to be involved. I went to see him that day but he was sedated. It took many years before the authorities were able to pin the murder on him. I think the final confession to his other brother is fairly accurate from what I read in the papers. I think that he has a sentence of life imprisonment. His wife and child will never see him outside of prison. It has been a long time since I have seen the movie but I want to write the facts of the murders. He came home from his girlfriend’s house late that night. His family was asleep. He had left the back sliding door unlocked. He came in and took one of the phones off the hook. He picked up one of his shotguns and loaded it. He went into the room belonging to his brother who was home from Troy State University. He shot him in the head while sleeping. His father heard the noise and came down the hallway. He shot his father in the hallway. His mother was looking from the bedroom and tried to shut the door. As she was shutting the door, he shot her hand. She locked the door and tried to use the phone in the bedroom to call for help. He had taken the phone off the hook so it was hopeless. He shot his own mother in cold blood. I have heard that she was holding a bible with her one good hand. I’m not sure if that is true. He cleaned his shotgun and put it back in the case. He picked up the empty shells. He missed one that landed between the headboard and wall in his brother’s room. That eventually was his downfall. He went back to his girlfriend’s house and went back to sleep without her parents knowing that he was gone. She lived toward Auburn so that he slept on the couch at her parents place when they had a date. They married not too long after the murders. A wife does not have to testify against her husband! People in Ozark began to get suspicious when he refused to take a lie detector machine. I think it took 3 or 4 years before he confessed to his brother. I know that the FBI did have snipers trained on him in case he found out that his brother was wired. One of the worst tragedies to ever hit my home town. I believe that I read his family members got $250,000 for the rights to the story.

3 Members of Culverhouse family found Murdered September 14 1988
Son Charged In Family Slaying
Son accused in deaths of parents, brother

Movies/Documentaries
The Morrison Murders

Note about comments:

Please read my comment policy before commenting. I will not approve any that are in violation of it, including family members (In fact, Jason Culverhouse’s son has a half-brother (sebbylu@aol.com) who left a vile, nasty comment and I would not approve it. When I sent him an email explaining the policy, he told me to shut up and called me a faggot. Very mature!). But above all, please remember the victims. Always.

INMATE INFORMATION

AIS: 00172944
Inmate Name: CULVERHOUSE, JASON HUNTER
Race: W
Sex: M
Birth Year: 1969
Institution: ST. CLAIR CORRECTIONAL FAC.
(205) 467-6111
Warden: Carter Davenport
1000 St. Clair Road
Springville, AL 35146
Code: LW (life without parole)

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51 Responses

  1. is there a book written on this case? This was very gripping true crime and i would love to read a book about it

  2. Tracie,
    Not to my knowledge, just the movie. Supposedly there was another suspect to be announced (sometime in the last year) but nothing came of it.

  3. I see Jason each week at the prison in Springville. He seems to be doing ok. He is married now to a really nice lady named Rebecca. They’ve been married about 3 years now.

  4. I have been searching the web for photos of the
    Culverhouse family including Hunter without
    success, any suggestions?

  5. Hi Maryann,
    Hmmm, not sure……..but you can check the obituaries for individual pictures of them.
    Why the interest? Just curious.
    Gina

  6. Gina,
    I am a fan of movies that are “based on true stories”.
    The Morrison Murders is one of my favorites and I
    recently found Tracy Currys website that identifies
    who these kind of movies are based on. I wondered if I could find a picture of the real people this movie was
    based on but so far I can’t locate any.
    Thanks alot for your suggestion but I have had no luck
    so far….Maryann

  7. Hi Mary Ann,
    Sorry you can’t find any pictures of the family. I do know that the crime took place in a small town in south Alabama. I believe it was Ozark.
    Like I mentioned before, I see Jason Culverhouse every weekend. I’ve spoke to an inmate regarding Jason at one point and the inmate stated that on Jason’s back, there is a large tattoo. The tatto is of a big red devil hovering over three tombstones that read “Rest in peace, mom dad and bro.” Kinda eery.

    • The actual place where these Murders took place was a small community/Town Called Ariton. In School he was called Hunter not Jason.

  8. The actual news articles from 1988 in Ozark. Explaining the murders and conviction.

    http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ALDATA/2004-07/1089741835

  9. whats the name of the movie i really would like to see i live near Ozark

  10. Where can you but the movie or see it on TV?

  11. Chris,

    Your comment does not make sense. Can you explain?

  12. Deyianna:

    The Morrison Murders

    And there is a link to it in the post above.

  13. Where can you Buy or watch the movie?

  14. You can watch the movie on Lifetime, as it comes on every so often. I do not believe it is available to buy yet.

  15. I personally know … very well actually… robbie culverhouse the brother that wore the recording device and helped the police department to arrest his brother. My dad and him were close friends in highschool… i really want to see the movie so if anyone knows how i can get my hands on it try and let me know thanks

  16. i meant Robin lol… and it took place in Ariton not ozark

  17. Mylifeoofcrime… there was definitely no one else that did it Robin got him to personally tell him about it and admit to doing it… without any remorse at all atleast that is what i was always told

  18. I like Maryann have been trying to see real pictures of the entire family based on the Movie. It is one of my favoorite life time movies and it is nice to Associate the actual faces of true stories. I have had no success either.

    I am also interested if any one knows on the real persons of
    the lifetime movie #Mother Knows Best# Where the socialite mother attempts to kill her son in law.

    Thanks Lynette

  19. Lynnette,

    I can’t believe there are no internet photos available
    for either the victims or the killer in the grisly Culverhouse
    murders. I have been searching for quite a while without
    any success.
    To answer your question, In Florida 1990 Lee Goldsmith
    was convicted in a murder-for-hire plot. She tried to get
    her son in law killed. Read about it at Tracy Curry’s site
    “Movies based on true stories” under “Mother Knows
    Best”.
    I love to watch true crime movies and her site is great.

    If anyone finds a picture of the Culverhouse family
    members or the creep who murdered them, pass it
    on.
    P.S. The killer was able to get married? Who would
    marry that freak?

    Maryann

  20. Maryann,

    Thanks for the quick response and the additional site. I love the True Crime Murders also.

    If I am ever successful at getting the pictures or a site where I can see them I will share the information.

    I plan to to search Lee Goldsmith next.

    Thanks Again!

  21. I have to say to the lot of you that Nina Jo Culverhouse was my half sister and while I suppose I understand the Nancy Grace kind of morbid curiousity about this case, it happened a long time ago and gravely damaged part of my family. is is possible to simply ask all of you to simply drop
    this whole conversation?

    The business mentioned above about Hunter and his Tatoo sickens me, if true. In retrospect, even as a family matter, I think he should have had his appointment with Old Sparky which would have been his just reward. i had visited the family at the house one month prior and had met all of them. Opie, Hunter, Robin (the boys) and Nina JO and Robert (the Mom and Dad) As I said Nina Jo was my half sister and we had a long term relationship concerning our mutual father at the time. Their loss was grevious and not a day goes by when Nina-Jo’s sister, her brother and I dont reflect upon those terrible events.

  22. Mr. Harper,

    I mean you no disrespect and offer you my sympathy.
    That being said, this is an interesting true crime case.

    Also, may I remind you that the rights to this story
    were sold by the family for a hefty sum, it seems as
    though they weren’t concerned about privacy.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss.

    Maryann

  23. lie detector test would not help anyway cuz sociopaths can pass cuz they have no conscience and from what i saw in the movie this was the case with this guy.

  24. I actually went to High School with both the victim and the murderer. The movie is called The Morrison Murders and is somewhat true to the events that took place. I can tell you that this was a loving and respected family and Lee(brother who was shot) was a dear friend of mine and I was at the triple funeral when the killer sat in the front row of the funeral home. Life in prison is too kind for him!

  25. Sep/13/09
    I just watched the show not too long ago and this sec time i seen it.
    I hate to familys like tthat and what he done to his family. He needed help long befor this happen and why wasn’t he getting ang. they should of knowning something was wrong with him. Then when comes to ur son and the love so blind that it couldn’t happen to us.
    I feel sorry those people. My husband a truck driver and he just got of job where the same thing happing and hope nothing ever happen to them as it did there.
    This aday age u never know!

    • What do you mean he needed help? He murdered his family for money plain and simple. A sociopathic act. It did not mean he was mentally ill or slow or anything. He was taught right from wrong and knew better. He was selfish and narcissistic. What do you think was wrong with him, that you claim his family should have known there was something wrong with him? I have seen the movie several times and don’t remember them even implying anything like that. (but remember, the movie is only based on the story, does not necessarily have all of the facts)

      • The movie only shows one side of the story. I know this guy inside and out. I shared a cell with him for years, and yes he did need some help, and money wasn’t the chief motivator for his crime. One day I’m going to write his story, from his perspective. You would be very surprised.

        • James,

          If the story is to come from his perspective, he should write it. And not for profit or gain of any kind. And no offense, but what a person says in prison does not always represent the truth. It usually represents what that person wants others to believe.

  26. Just watched this movie…..found this site, and found a picture of the murderer………..just google his name in images…..

  27. is jason culverhouse still alive i watched the morrison muders last night

  28. David- Yes Jason Culverhouse is still alive, he is at Springville Correctional Facility in Springville Alabama just East of Birmingham

  29. To Ariton Resident:

    Are you aware of any photos of the real people
    involved?
    THX
    Maryann

  30. No i am not aware of any photos that are available to the public but if i do come across some i will let you know.

  31. I found a copy of the movie in a four-movie dvd set at Meijer store for $4.99. It has four true crime movies in it, and I bought it because I was interested in The Morrison murders, a story I hadn’t heard yet. The other three stories I was familiar with. It was still wortth buying. All the movies are Lifetime movies, and were very good. Well worth the five bucks.

  32. I grew up with all of the Culverhouses and was very close to the family. It was a tragic thing that happened. I remember when the bodies were removed from the home and watching them drive away with them. Hunter was not by any means someone that seemed troubled or disturbed beyond having a bit of a temper. He was always outgoing and a very handsome young man. No one knows what goes through someones mind sometimes. It wasn’t anything anyone would have ever expected for sure. I am sure he has had plenty of time to ask himself what he was thinking just like the rest of us have. Obviously money was part of it, but only he knows the full story. My heart aches for the “entire” family to this day; including Hunter. I hope he has found forgiveness and peace in his own life.

  33. I am a friend to Robin and had met the entire family while in college. My heart still goes out to my friend and his family members. By chance I re met Hunter while he was in prison in Jefferson Co. Alabama. Our church had a ministry there once a month. Hunter seemed glad to meet someone who knew his family. He also shared with me a 13 page letter he had written titled “How God has changed my life”.The murders were never mentioned in the letter but he addressed issues in his life that God had dealt with over the years that had set him free from depression and self hatred. These were issues he had faced from the time of childhood and later. From my conversations with him and the letter I it is obvious that he is sincere. He knows he will never get out of prison so he is not using religion as a poise for the parole board. Again I know the grief my friend and his family have endured from their loss and have the up most respect for their privacy.

  34. RJ…Did the killer have any children? Do you have a photo of JHC you can post?

  35. I knew him well, I was incarcerated with him for almost seven years. We associated on a daily basis and I considered him a friend, as much as you can have friends in such circumstances. He discussed, in detail, the murders and the reasons behind them. Of course this was his story, but I imagine that most of the details were true. He did not put himself in a very complimentary light. He was a spoiled, self entitled individual that knew that his reasons for murder weren’t logical. But as with any crime of this nature, there was more to it than most knew.

    • The link to the youtube video is enough, I am not approving the comment with the movie in it so that it violates copyright laws on my blog. Plus, it slows down the loading of the page.

    • I am confused as to why you are posting this in the comments? It is already in the post above. Obviously you did not click on the links. If you read the name on the links, you would have seen it was the same.

  36. Watched the movie ,& I’m truly sorry for the loss of his family, I don’t know if it was true about how his mother treated him & his older brother but he seem to want the love of his mother so bad it turned his heart to pure hate . I will keep him & his wife & child along with the remaining brother in my prayers.

  37. Does anyone know for sure if Hunter (Jason to those that did not grow up with him) is still in Springville? I haven’t seen him since high school and would like to visit him if possible. Any current information on his whereabouts would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Christina

    • Christina,

      I have updated the post with that information. However, please remember that this blog is focused on the victims, not the killer. Remember the victims. Always. You did not even mention them.

  38. With all due respect, having lived through this event personally, the victims have always weighed heavy on my heart. NinaJo picked me up for church on a regular basis as a child. We lived less than 3 miles apart. I spent time with the “victims” and the “killer” my entire life and prefer to refer to them by name rather than those labels. I realize they are in fact victims and he is in fact the killer; but to me they will always just be my neighbors. NinaJo and Robert were hard working, God fearing people. Robin was considerably older than we were so I didn’t know him as well. I have, however, kept up with them to some degree on Facebook. Robin’s wife recently passed away after a very long battle with cancer. Lee and Hunter were closer in age to me. We all attended church together at Center Ridge Baptist Church. All that being said, my previous post was in no way meant to be “focused” in one way or another. I do live close to Springville, AL now and was curious if he is still there. I often think about all of the family and the times spent with each of them. Though Hunter may have done something unthinkable, he is still loved by so many of us from around our home town. I hope this clarifies the intent of my previous post. Thanks, Christina

  39. Saw the movie. think its sad that a person thinks they have kill their family because they feel unloved. but i tell u this we must forgive wrong doings. hope u can get your life right with the lord. will be praying for u and your family.

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