What Does a Family Portrait With a Python Tell Us About The Hadleys?

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A photo of the Hadley family puzzles me endlessly. It shows Blake Hadley, 54, Mary-Jo Hadley, 47, and Tyler Hadley, 17, smiling in a fairly traditional family portrait. The only problem, however, is that a huge python twines about the father and son as they pose a grin. Some kind of prank, no doubt, but it leaves you with an uneasy feeling. Am I reading too much into it? I don’t think so!

The particulars of this loathsome and unfathomable teenage angst of a crime have been widely circulated on TV and the internet. The instrument of demise, a claw hammer, a wild party with 60 youngsters, that gets so punchy, the police were called out. Then there’s Michael Mandell, Tyler’s best friend, who tells a harrowing tale of seeing a foot sticking out on the bedroom floor.

hadleys with python

Now we hear of three ecstasy pills taken by the deviant youngster before he kills his parents. Normally, ecstasy has been associated with peaceful euphoria, but an excessive ingestion of the drug (Tyler took three pills) may have tipped over an already troubled kid to the depths of psychosis.

There’s a question about the time when Tyler killed his parents. He posts the party invitation on Facebook at 1:30 PM, on Saturday (July 17, 2011). One wonders whether he had already killed his parents then, or whether he does it after he sets up the party? We do know he had a terrible time of it, mopping up the blood and hiding the bodies in their bedroom, then covering them with books, file-folders, and towels.

tyler hadley

Evidence is conflicting about what people think about Tyler. Michael Mandell says he was okay, normal and a good friend. Another neighbor contradicts this. He says the kid gave him an uneasy feeling. He (name not disclosed) would pay attention whenever Tyler was walking around the neighborhood. And Hadley got his own son involved in an incident of arson.

There was a mention of glassy eyes. Eyes void of any feeling. A zombie-like stare. This is detectable from film footage and stills that have been projected by the media. All indications are his parents were normal, respectable people. Mary-Jo was an elementary school teacher. Blake Hadley worked for the Florida Power and Light. Ordinary People.

hadley home

I open up my National Geographic map of Florida; I’m looking for Port St. Lucie, where the Hadley’s lived. There it is, just off the Atlantic coast, between Fort Pierce and Jenson Beach. The Hadley home looks nice, quaint, but neat and tidy. Yet the photos from news footage have yellow crime tape twined about the breezy palm trees.

Well, maybe I’m grasping for straws when dwelling on the (Florida) environment, but it has to examined when we are confronting issues of cause and effect. I return to the aforementioned family portrait with the gigantic snake. This is most confounding (for me)! Had the Hadley’s gone to the circus or to a state fair? Did they pay a visit to a snake farm one day? Or did they know there was a snake in their midst already?