After being arrested for raping and murdering his 14-year-old stepdaughter along with her mother, defendant Jacob Sullivan, 45, was candid with police about his motives and thoughts on the murder.
The torture and execution was “a weird fantasy kinda thing,” Sullivan told police in a 97-minute taped confession played by Bucks County prosecutors at an evidentiary hearing this week ahead of Sullivan’s trial, adding: “It was not to be mean. Obviously, it was mean.”
Sullivan and wife Sara Packer, 43, are charged with raping, murdering and dismembering Packer’s adopted daughter, Grace Packer, inside a Richland Township, Bucks County home in July 2016.
Bucks County prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty against both adults in the coming trial, scheduled for September.
It’s unclear what prompted Sullivan and Packer to rape and murder the child, but police have said it was a shared fantasy plotted by the couple since 2015.
Sullivan said he thought Grace would enjoy it, describing her as a “very sexual person” in the alleged confession, which his lawyers want thrown out, saying he was not “mentally fit” at the time he spoke to police.
“I didn’t want this to make it just a terror show for her,” Sullivan told police, according to the Morning Call newspaper. “I wanted to make sure she had some fun.”
The demented plot was enacted when the couple brought Grace to the Richland Township home on July 8.
Sullivan told police he began punching her as he brought her in the house, causing her to bleed, then brought her upstairs to rape her as Packer watched.
Packer allegedly left to buy painkillers, returned and gave them to Grace, telling her it was for the pain, with the secret intention of overdosing the girl. They allegedly both confessed to leaving her bound in a hot attic closet, expecting her to die from the heat or the pills.
When the couple returned a day later and found her still alive, Sullivan strangled her to death, before dismembering her body using bow saws, and hiding it in kitty litter packed with moth balls. Sullivan allegedly compared the dismemberment to carving a 20-pound turkey in his confession to police.
Packer, who was caught on video buying the saws used to dismember Grace, reported the girl missing to authorities a few days later.
After they moved the remains to woods in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County, they were discovered by hunters in October, leading to criminal charges against the couple.
Both Sullivan and Packer attempted unsuccessfully to kill themselves in December after the body was identified.
Her rape and murder wasn’t the first time Grace experienced abuse after being placed in foster care by the state.
Removed from her parents’ custody at the age of 3, Grace was housed along with 30 other foster children living with Grace and her husband David Packer. David Packer was convicted of sexually abusing Grace and another child, but despite that and more allegations of abuse by other children, Grace remained in the home.
Grace’s birth parents, Rose and Rodney Hunsicker, of Reading, Pa., are currently seeking access to Grace’s estate and seeking to sue Berks County Children and Youth Services, the agency that removed Grace from their care and put her in the home where she was tortured and murdered.