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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Body Shifters -- Tess Damm


Pssst! Going to jail, buying documents, and everything else it takes to get this kind of info for the blog takes time and money! Every time you make a purchase here, it helps me be able to do more for you! 

This is not the face anyone expects to see when picturing the mastermind of a ferocious stabbing murder.  The target? Her own mother.  This murder mastermind, Tess Damm of Colorado, was 15 years old when she instigated 3 older boys to slaughter her mother and/or help dispose of the corpse.  Fifteen. Barely out of middle school.

.. in My Photos by

Linda Damm, the mother, was never a contender for Mother of the Year. With a reputation as an ill-tempered alcoholic, Linda was not the warm and cuddly mom in the kitchen baking after-school snacks.   But Tess had a roof over her head and continuous infusions of allowance money to indulge her whims. Linda even allowed her daughter's boyfriend to move in, hoping to keep the party girl home. Plenty of kids have home lives far worse.

Tess had a Romeo and Juliet style fantasy passion going with 17 year old Bryan Grove, a boy who was tempted by violence and obsessed with his own origin as an orphan adopted from India. Once these two strong-willed adolescents met, no one else in the world was of much interest or value. They set their sights on creating their own tiny world, population 2.

Which meant that Linda, who had an irritating way of wanting Tess to go to school and Bryan to pursue getting a job, had to go.

You can see the details of how the pair removed Linda from their lives, but not from the house, by watching for the Wicked Attraction episode called "The Body Shifters."  Here is a bit of video from the show. I'm not in this clip, but I am in the hour long episode first aired July 28.



Within a relatively short amount of time after the murder, Bryan, who had put on great displays of bravado and machismo for his little blond vixen, began crumbling under the weight of regret. His curiosity and taste for violence not only sated but turned to repulsion, he never successfully finished his original plans for disposing of Linda's body.

But Tess's regrets only surfaced upon getting caught and having to trade in her mother's house for the Big House.

Tess Damm in the Colorado Dept. of Corrections






At
At 6'1", Bryan is still a great deal taller than his erstwhile teen love, but at 210 pounds, according to the prison, he no longer outweighs her.

Bryan will stay behind bars for most of his adult life, not being eligible for parole until 2035 and not due for outright release until 2045.

Tess, now 21, will be pushing 30 when she comes up for parole. Tess did not wield the knife, but as the TV episode demonstrates, she was present for some very ghoulish proceedings.  Her sentence will come to an end in 2029.

The two other boys involved received much, much lighter sentences and have already served their time.

Photo of [[Wordd]]Tess+Bryan=xxx[[Yeah duhh]]Bryan had once threatened his own mother, but the incident came to nothing. Tess had spent her teen years bickering with and provoking her mother and winning the sympathies of others over Linda's imperfections. Producers for Wicked Attraction asked me what was the "wicked attraction" between these two young killers?  In my opinion, the facts show that Bryan had a desire to indulge what he believed to be the dark nature he had inherited from his biological and allegedly criminal father. Tess gave him the perfect excuse to unleash that desire.  After the stabbing frenzy was over, he found he didn't like it as much as he thought he would.

But Tess was more sinister. Many other young girls have difficult mothers and pursue academics, dance, arts, or any of  a million other activities or resources to escape. What Tess wanted was not a better life but to win. In the puppy-dog devotion of her hulking and brooding boyfriend, she found the perfect weapon for the ultimate battle with her mother.

That was the Wicked Attraction.

To see The Body Shifters next time it airs, follow Wicked Attraction on Facebook or visit the Wicked Attraction home page. Or! Try out the new IDAddict! 

To see the Wicked Attraction crew who shot this episode, click on this post. 

Airs back-to-back tonight (Sat Sep 1, 2012) with this episode.


Pssst! Going to jail, buying documents, and everything else it takes to get this kind of info for the blog takes time and money! Every time you make a purchase here, it helps me be able to do more for you! 

26 comments:

  1. I wanted to point out that we only have Bryan's word for it that Tess said, "You're not even one of us!" just before he murdered her. Bryan is not only a murderer, but has told many different versions of what happened that night. It's pretty convenient that she would just happen to say something so perfectly pat as a trigger.

    If she did say it, we don't know what she might have meant by it. I think in most families, the statement would more likely refer to the fact that he was not a member of the family, not an actual resident of the house, not a "Damm."

    But Bryan instantly took this alleged statement as a slur upon his status as an adoptee, a dark-skinned orphan from a foreign country, This was an alleged insult that he was obsessed with anyway, most of his school years. And it has the added benefit that it makes Linda look cruel and apparently deserving of being murdered.

    But whatever she said in the last moments of her life, it cannot account for the weeks of planning that led up to her murder nor the all night session at the restaurant working out the details immediately before the attack. She would have been killed that night no matter what she said.

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    1. The first line in my comment above should say "Linda" not Tess. It was Linda who purportedly said "you're not even one of us." But we still only have Bryan's word for that and I have grave doubts.

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  2. Ummm I was in juvenile detention with Tess and over the past year she showed a lot of remorse for her actions and often did cry. Alsobfor the record I was there when she transferred to DOC in July and she is extremely fit from running 3 miles a day. She is tiny and left and her thinnest and fittest. The picture of her in the orange was taken in July 2012 and she looks as pretty as ever. Not that it matters much..but you made a reference to her being over weight twice and you could not be further from the truth.

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    1. YOUR JUST AS SICK AS SHE IS THEN

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  3. Anon of Sep 9, I appreciate your information. Do you have any insight as to why the prison records listed her at 213 pounds? I don't doubt your account. But since you were in there yourself, do you know if it's common for the vital stats to be so off base? Or did Tess bulk up at one point and has since come back down?

    As for Tess's crying in prison, it would be good to hear these tears are for her mother. Since Tess was implicated in the plot to strangle a guard and was always good at getting others to feel sorry for her, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume the tears might be more for herself or for show.

    But she was and is awfully young. Perhaps your observations are just. Perhaps she has learned some empathy. That would be very good news.

    Thanks for speaking out here and I do hope you will return with more answers.

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    1. I too know Tess and while I have yet to visit her in person at the Denver Women’s Correctional facility I do have a recent photo of her and she is far from overweight. As the other writer commented Tess is very athletic and she participated in nearly every sport during her stay at the Betty Marlor Youth Service Center. If anything Tess was for a time under weight, which is not that, uncommon for women athletes with such a demanding training schedule.

      I can honestly say that the whole strangle the guard and escape plot that Tess was implicated in was completely and totally sensationalized. You have to remember these girls are at treatment facility not a youth prison. It is not uncommon for the girls at the BMYSC to plan to escape and while there is serious security issues at that facility that could be exploited none of the girls during the time of Tess’s stay had the critical thinking ability or physical strength to exploit all the security issues and escape from the fenced in campus. There are girls that do escape but they typically run while on home pass or a professional offsite leave. The latest incident happen when a girl ran from a pass where some of the girls from BMYSC were doing volunteer work. Tess was not allowed offsite for such passes and when she went to court she was under guard by local government policing agencies.
      As far as strangling the guard is concerned first off BMYSC does not have guards in the prison sense of the word. They have a few people who carry radios and that is it. Some of these individuals’ who work overnight are experienced and athletically fit and some are very inexperienced and completely out of shape. The girls know this and routinely exploit it. None of the girls back then would have to strangle any of night watch to escape the facility nor would they have to strangle anyone to escape the fenced in campus. However like I stated before none of the girls during the time of Tess’s stay had the critical thinking ability or physical strength to exploit all the security issues and escape from the fenced in campus.
      Tess is good at manipulating people but she wouldn’t be the only girl in that world with that skill. Most teenagers with her background have developed that as a survival skill. Tess has learned some hard lessons in life most of which have occurred and will continue to occur while being incarcerated. She is remorseful of past events and continues to work on her issues. Few people really know Tess’s entire story and for the most part the generally public only gets bits and pieces from a biased media hungry for a sensationalized story. Personally I believe that one of the other boys who directly participated in the event poses more of a danger to society then and now far more then Tess ever will.

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    2. I can not believe what you have wrote. Not only have you minimized her actions, but you are also blaming others. Tess is not remorseful, but also tries to play pity on herself for the "death of her mother". I sure hope you were not working with Tess, otherwise you are so not beneficial to her.

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    3. I did 11 years at P.V.Y.S.C for 8 separate commitments, i spent nearly all of my time with Tess (during her stay anyway) and she was clearly remorseful. When I planned to Kill Amber Atkins she told me a lot about how she felt about her mothers murder and how she had thought she hated her mother. She told me how she never imagined she would miss her, that she didn't really think there were good times with her mother that would haunt her, but that they did haunt her. she tried every thing to talk me out of killing Amber, in the end it was Amber being a cry baby little bitch that saved her she took a time out in the last minutes of class just seconds before I was going to stab her in the back of class. Acadia[the living unit we were on] was "in trouble" so I had to ditch the knife[just sharpened metal found in the grass lands]. Tess though the whole thing had blown over when later that evening i heard the staffs radio die and took my chance. i beat Amber's head against the floor and even used the heavy single seating chair to try and crush her head. 10 minutes later a staff walked onto the unit and called the code [the women on our pod never touched me or tried to restrain me she just stood there begging me to stop like a little bitch]. by the time staff arrived I just stood up and walked to the room and let the staff open the door I walked in without staff having to go hands on at all. Anyway, E. Larson was a shift supervisor at the time and he came in asking who put me up to it saying he knew it wasn't my idea because my complete lack of emotional response and that if it had been my idea i would of been to angry to just get up and walk to my room and then sit silently on my bed as i had. the thing was no one put me up to it I was board Amber was very annoying and she pissed me off already earlier in the day.
      well when E. Larson told the unit that the unit would be put on look down if the person/s involved where not identified. Tess came forward on her own even though no one knew that i had told her. she felt guilty about assuming I wouldn't go through with it. the odd thing was Tess got put on 23/1 while I was put straight on to phase 2 of the SMP. they were way harder on her than me and I was always doing things that got me on SMP and i was also a violent offender from my first charge at the age of ten.
      I still don't get how they really believed Tess had put me up to it, I am nobodies Bitch If I want you dead your dead if someone else wants you dead they can do it themselves or fuck off.

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    4. I escaped from BMYSC Using the fence pole in the corner. I didn't know the area at all though being from fort collins and just ended up running around the golf course and jumping the fence again from another side. I remeber thinking dam how many fences are there before dropping into the MVYSC. It seemed like there were a dozen fences. my parole officer thought it was hilarious that I had completely escaped onto community property only to break into the jail next door. sort of next door.

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    5. Abigail when you faught amber it didn't last 10 minutes and you did get retrained from multiple staff members melissa couldn't touch you because her wrist was broken. And tessa said many times that she was happy her mom was gone and she got her ass rocked for saying that. And due to her weight maybe she did gain weight no one knows because we are not in jail with her prison is so much different then juvy. You get more food and less gym. And you were not in platte for 11 years. I spent 2 years in platte straight and saw you like 2 times and you wernt there for long at all. Js.

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    6. Your stupid.... You don't need to try n make yourself look tough.... Idiotic bitch

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    7. The only time I left plate was when I went to ROP. Got kicked out. Went to Cleo got kicked out. As for the 10 minutes with the Amber thing that came from the IR it's not like I had a watch. Though I was restrained many times at Platte I was not restrained during that inccedent also clearly stated in the IR. As for Melissas are it was not broken at the time that happened right after. She claimed it happen during that code and I was charged for it. That is why she was in the bubble. As for the idiotic bitch part I have a tested IQ of 173 and a mensa membership so think what you want.

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  4. It seems like you are more worried about her weight than the sick crime. I know Tess and KNOW that she is not remorseful for her actions. Instead she STILL plays on the pity of "her abused little self". She has asked people "how do you cope with losing your mother" on MOthers day......the answer? "Well its alot different losing a mother than murdering". Tess is a master manipulator, and will always have others do her dirty work. As far as having a "guard" strangled? HM was her mothers murder sensationalized? Please don't tell me her actions weren't serious......the plot was not serious. Quit minimizing the fact that she is a danger to society!

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  6. While this murder initially shocked me, I've noticed that based upon the comments from Tess's supporters and friends, which appear after numerous articles, her cavalier attitude about murder must not be so unusual her neck of the woods. Wake up call guys, she did not simply shoplift a candybar. She plotted to murder someone and then proceeded to party while coexisting with the corpse and then plotted to kill someone else.
    As far as her weight goes, I highly doubt that she is thin at 213 pounds, no matter how muscular she may have become. Nor do I believe that the detention center has a habit of releasing false information. Regardless, I must object to Tess Damm ever being referred to as beautiful. While some of her pictures are more flattering than others, she is, at best, plain. When you add in the atrocities she was involved in, her desirability level plummets to hideous.

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    1. Tess is thin or at least was arround the time that it is said she was"213" pound. it was wrong she may have been 123 but not 213. and the same facility that said she was 213 recorder me as being 4' 11" and 270 I am 5' 3" and have never in my life weighed more that 150 and at the time was very bulimic (as in getting medical treatments for my low weight and nutrition).

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  7. I worked with Tess at the time of her transfer. She was underweight and a vegetarian. Who knows why the record says she was 213? Perhaps a typo and she was 113.

    As far as her condition, to this trained professional, she still had several thinking errors and saw herself as a victim. She would sometimes talk about her mother as if she were still living. There's concern that since the adult system does little to no therapy or treatment that she will not be able to explore and overcome these issues.

    The adult corrections system needs to have more treatment because we just have a revolving door with people who don't "get" why they keep getting in trouble. We tend to think adults ought to know better. This is not the case always. They need to have treatment to figure it out.

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  8. Camille, you imply that Tess should have been happy because she had a roof over her head and a regular allowance. That's like saying a woman who gets emotionally (and especially physically) abused by her husband should be happy as long as he gives her a nice big roof and plenty of spending money. We have to believe that Tess's mother was very emotionally abusive, ramming scathing and scourging comments down the girl's throat since day one. There are actually mothers who call their daughters "whore" and "bitch" from the time they're seven years old.

    Though Tess may have, indeed, plotted to have the guard strangled, where did she get this kind of mind? Imagine being raised by an alcoholic, emotionally abusive woman...hearing from the time you're two that you're worthless, stupid, will never amount to anything, never receiving any pats on the back, tender words, words of encouragement, warm tight hugs...just nothing but a woman who's mean to you from day one for no good reason. This is the only explanation for what Tess did.

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    1. Sadly it's not the only explanation by far.

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  9. I wouldn't doubt it Linda was a bitch and got what she deserved. And Tess is not as cold heartened as she is made out to be in this article. She cried over her mother plenty of times when she thought no one was looking. I could hear her at night through the vests and I saw it many times. And when I planned to kill another inmate she tried to talk me out of it when that didn't work and All of Platte was put on lock down she felt guilty that she knew and so she went and told the unit staff the entire plan. making it a lot more difficult and ultimately sabotaging it at least for the time I was there.

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  10. I was also locked up with Tess in bothe Platte Valley and Betty marler. She is a manipulator. She only acts like she feels bad so that people will pity her for what she knows was wrong. There were several times that myself and others heard her say " I'm glad that bitch is dead" or " she deserved it". So she doesn't care about it or truly feel remorseful. What she feels is regret only because she's gonna be like 35-40 years old when she gets out. I gives a fuck....she needs to be in prison. If her mom was soooo abusive then why didn't she report it and press charges? Because it was all for some young love bullshit in reality and for some dick and privacy she and her man killed her mom....then stuffed her in a trunk of a car and let her rot for several weeks while her and her friends partied in her house. That shows no remorse. How can u kill your mom and then party while she's sitting in a car day after day and not grow a conscious? Ummm can u say...off her rocker....?

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    1. Heidi Alps! WTF this is Abe Willis from Acadia.

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  11. I was also locked up with Tess in bothe Platte Valley and Betty marler. She is a manipulator. She only acts like she feels bad so that people will pity her for what she knows was wrong. There were several times that myself and others heard her say " I'm glad that bitch is dead" or " she deserved it". So she doesn't care about it or truly feel remorseful. What she feels is regret only because she's gonna be like 35-40 years old when she gets out. I gives a fuck....she needs to be in prison. If her mom was soooo abusive then why didn't she report it and press charges? Because it was all for some young love bullshit in reality and for some dick and privacy she and her man killed her mom....then stuffed her in a trunk of a car and let her rot for several weeks while her and her friends partied in her house. That shows no remorse. How can u kill your mom and then party while she's sitting in a car day after day and not grow a conscious? Ummm can u say...off her rocker....?

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  12. I knew her for 2 years in Betty Marler & I can say she deff felt remorse. It's been 5-6 years since I've seen her and I just hope she doing better. She was very sweet & many looked up to her at ROP. I know if she could do it all over again she wouldn't.

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  13. I was in spring Creek with her and honestly had NO IDEA what she was in for (since we get put in them stupid yellow shirts for war storying") any ways....to me she looked like an innocent preachers daughter. She was super quiet and respectful and really nice. I figured she was in for shoplifting or something. Wasn't til I got out that I saw the show in TV "killer kids" or some shit like that. My point In this comment is that everyone makes mistakes whether the mistake be intentional or not is unimportant. Some mistakes are worse than. Others and can't be taken back. Had I not found out what her crime was a Nd putting all that aside she is actually a very sweet person I think she just snapped as we all have before but her break in mental reasoning had more dire consequences. And she was influenced by outside forces. All in all her role in her mothers murder is her burden to carry for the rest of her life and not one of us can judge or speculate in how she feels or what's she's going threw in her mind because we are not her. This is her burden and her burden alone.

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