On Sept. 27, 1995, Mindy Berenyi, then 16, broke into her father's bedroom and took his shotgun. When her father came home, she shot and killed him. Her decision to pull the trigger has bitterly divided her family, pitting grandchildren against grandparents, as well as brothers against sisters.
48 Hours Correspondent Susan Spencer reports on a killing that split a family. One side thinks that Mindy Berenyi is a calculating murderer; the other believes that she was driven to kill by her abusive father.
Mindy says that her father Andy abused her, physically and emotionally. Andy's wife, Mindy's stepmom, says that he was strict but that he never crossed the line. Spencer reports on both sides.
Mindy's defense rests on a theory called "battered child syndrome." She claims that her father's abuse had left her in such terror that one look from him sent her over the edge.
Aired: 17 Feb 2000