Austin Harrouff had a typical upbringing and a loving family. Austin’s parents, Wade and Mina divorced in 2010 but were able to continue co-parenting with no major issues. Both had significant others by the time Austin began his freshman year at the University of Florida.
He primarily lived with his mother in Jupiter, Florida.
As a high school student, his grades never dipped below a C, he was a football player and was a participant in his high school’s International Baccalaureate program.
His father Wade was a dentist and his grandfather was a doctor. His college goal was to enroll in the university and follow in his family’s medical footsteps. He planned to enroll as a pre-med student to eventually earn a doctorate.
Though he was interested in med school, Austin also had a creative side and at times would dream of becoming a songwriter.
Austin was a freshman at Florida State University in 2016. In the first few months of his attendance, all seemed well. He was an active member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and his grades were within the range of a B average.
‘AustiFrosti’ was a nickname that he used on his YouTube channel, he used the channel to record freestyle raps, offer fitness advice, and overall be a silly college student online. Austin often used his cell phone to make notes throughout his freshman year at Florida State University, many stated the notes resembled do-to lists. His family described Austin as a quirky, sometimes odd individual.
Though his oddness would increase significantly. During his freshman year at college, friends and family watched Austin become erratic and obsessed with helping others. He was barely sleeping at this time.
During the summer before his second year in college, he went home for summer break. While in South Florida with his family, his behavior increasingly became erratic. He was using his phone to document statements or write poems. Some of the statements on his phone appeared to be regarding his life and the lack of direction in it.
A few particular statements were, “I don’t want to be worshiped but I know I will be” another read, “Keep running even when they say you crazy.”
His YouTube rap lyrics became darker, “got a psycho side and a normal side. I’ve lost my mind. Help me find it.”
His mother Mina found his journal and said the rap lyrics and poems she found were disgusting. In one entry he wrote:
“What I want to be is to become more confident, and social. I also want to be more well-known because right now I feel as though I am unknown.”
His behavior terrified his family, causing his sister to begin locking her bedroom door at night. Austin began to take an interest in religion and stated to many that he was immortal and had superpowers. Often he would walk through the family home stating he needed to guard them as he felt an evil presence.
Days before the murders, Austin was searching the internet. Specific phrases were searched on August 10th, between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Phrases such as:
“how to relax my mind”
“auditory hallucinations when falling asleep”
“Is it was OK to overthink things.”
“Must I sleep?
“I think I’m going crazy, am I?”
“How to know if you’re going crazy”
“Hearing things in my sleep”
“Exploding head syndrome”
It is believed he also hypnotized himself and was searching the internet to learn how to reverse it.
Between August 12th and 13th of 2016, he typed into Google search, the word, ‘Satan’ as well as statements such as, “What exactly is hell”. There were searches for the biblical figures Adam and Eve and how to sell his soul to the devil.
On August 15th, 2016, the morning of the murders, Austin arrived at his father’s home to pick up the car that he’d left there. His father attempted to discuss Austin’s sleeping issues and offered him some of his Valium, which Austin threw to the ground and stated his father couldn’t control him. The elder Harrouff was so concerned at this point, that he took his son’s car keys away, which caused Austin to go into a rage and begin damaging the car.
He was then given the car keys back.
He also told his sister and a friend that he believed himself to be immortal and half-human and half-horse. His sister told him he needed to seek therapy. Austin’s family was extremely concerned by this point and had been discussing having Austin evaluated under the Florida Baker Act.
The Florida Mental Health Act referred to as the Baker Act, focuses on crisis services for individuals with mental illness, much like an emergency department is for individuals experiencing a medical emergency.
That evening, Austin was at a popular restaurant, “Duffy’s Sports Grill” with his family. According to his family, he left twice. His father reported that he’d gone to the restroom the first time and did not return. Though he did turn up at his mother’s doorstep when she was making dinner.
When in his mother’s home, he attempted to drink cooking oil from the bottle and she stopped him and he ate parmesan cheese. She offered him a ride back to Duffy’s and he accepted. During this encounter, Austin’s mother called the police and made a report.
During the ride, his mother discussed counseling and he agreed he would go. Once arriving back at Duffy’s, he and his father fought. His father insisted on knowing what Austin was doing, and when he wouldn’t respond, his father grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, causing Austin to leave the restaurant once more. Austin’s sister described him as aggressive and threatening during that dinner at Duffy’s.
Austin never went home that night.
By this time, Austin Harrouff was not sleeping at all. Friends stated he may have been using marijuana to help him sleep, but no other drugs that they were aware of.
Just before the slayings, Austin was searching the internet, typing in questions, ranging from, Satan, and murders, to the pursuit of happiness. Some of the searches included, “Must I sleep?”, “I think I’m going crazy, am I?”, “What am I?”, “How to know if you’re going crazy”, “Can we really control more than we think,” “What is white magic”. He even searched for the murderer Paul Michael Merhige, who killed four of his family members and injured three others.
He also began searching, for ‘centaurs’, the mythical creature that is half human and half horse. Searching the internet with phrases, “What’s the weakest thing about a centaur”, and “What’s the biggest help to a centaur.”
After leaving the restaurant Austin wandered around the streets near Southeast Kokomo Lane.
On this evening issues were occurring with Austin at the restaurant ‘Duffy’s’,
John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, were in their garage that night. John and Michelle had situated their garage to be a hang-out spot. With chairs and a TV, neighbors said the two would have drinks in their garage and wave to others, simply just enjoying their time together and entertaining guests in their garage.
Austin who had been wandering throughout the area on the way back to his father’s home approached their garage, entered, and began beating the two victims. Unfortunately, their garage was open and attracted Austin as their house was on the route he had taken to get to his father’s home.
A neighbor, Jeff Fisher heard screams and woke. He looked out and saw an agitated Austin slamming Michelle’s car door, then entering the garage, grabbing Michelle, and throwing her to the ground.
During the attack, he stabbed and attacked the couple, and at one point drank something hazardous. There were household chemicals in the couple’s garage.
The neighbor Jeff Fisher attempted to intervene but was also attacked and injured. He retreated and called authorities.
By the time the police arrived, it took four officers and a K9 attack dog to remove Austin from John Stevens. Officers found him entangled with his victim making animal noises and aggressively biting the victim’s face, only wearing underwear.
An officer remembers, “He had John Stevens in a side mount grappling hold, his legs intertwined, his arm wrapped around the male and he had his fingers like a fish hook in his mouth pulling his face …Trying to pull his cheek apart.
Law enforcement began to use a taser on Austin, but it didn’t phase him. John Stevens was screaming for the offers to help him as Austin was eating John’s face… Officers witnessed Austin growl like an animal and spit out chunks of flesh and bite some more.
The officers were able to end the attack by overpowering him and using a police dog.
Both John and Michelle had died. Jeff Fisher was transported to treat his stab wound and Austin… He was also transferred to the hospital.
Once officers removed him from the victim, Austin stated, he’d eaten something bad and was sick and said he deserved to die. Begging officers to kill him. Officers could see pieces of the victim’s flesh in Harrouff’s teeth.
After his arrival at the hospital, it became clear he had ingested something toxic from the garage, possibly gasoline or insecticide, as his kidneys and liver began to fail. It’s also reported that he had pneumonia and one thumb was almost severed off.
Austin was drug tested for multiple substances, including FLAKKA, Bathsalts, or cocaine. He tested negative for all substances, though he did have trace amounts of marijuana and alcohol in his system.
After the murders, both Austin and his father appeared on the “Dr. Phil” TV show. In March of 2017, an edited version of the show was released to the public, but there was more to the interview than what the public saw. The court ordered all the tapes to be released to the court for review as there may be key points to determine the case. An attorney for Austin indicated that the differences in the unedited videos, came from her client being gravely ill and on multiple medications.
Two years later in August 2018, the family of Michelle Mischon filed a civil suit against Austin Harrouff.
In 2020, Dr. Gregory Landrum performed a psychological exam on Austin. The findings are shocking. You’ll be able to find the full report at HERE
Within the report, Austin remembers only a piece of the night of the murders. This comes directly from the evaluation report.
“On Monday, August 15th, the day of the murders, Mr. Harrouff recalls putting on a Michael Vick jersey which he believed that “dog spirits told me to put it on” and, in doing so, felt invincible. He recalls buying a FitBit and felt like he was a “Terminator”. Mr. Harrouff reports that he went to the beach and while petting dogs observed that the dog hair was blowing on his face and body and felt a special connection.
Mr. Harrouff reports that he went to a fraternity brother’s house earlier in the evening and that they wanted him to smoke and drink, he recalls feeling “super hype!'” and indicated that he poured beer on his hand. He believed that he was at the party for about an hour and denied any drug or alcohol usage. While at the Duffy’s restaurant with his father, Mr. Harrouff stated that he felt as if time was standing still and like he was “the grim reaper”.
He indicated that he does not recall running to his mother’s house or drinking Wesson oil. He did recall that his mother wanted him to return to Duffy’s at which time he had a confrontation with his father, He reports that he left the restaurant and was running to his father’s house “and following the stars” and was hearing voices in his head that said “I am sin … I am in control”. Mr. Harrouff reports that he saw a figure that he perceived as having a white face and black clothes that frightened him.
He then recalled seeing a light which he ran toward and was crying out. He remembers having a machete in his hand and stabbing her “and it was like she was covered in darkness”. He also remembers seeing a man and “he was like glowing white”.
Mr. Harouff remembers drinking a bottle of liquid and calling out to God to save him. He also remembers stabbing the man with a machete, falling to the floor, and putting a dog in a white truck for safety. He also recalls having a machete in his mouth and biting. He reported that he felt like a dog. Mr. Harrouff reports that he then blacked out and the next thing he recalled was waking up in the hospital.
As I said earlier, you can find this full report on HERE
There was no evidence of drugs in his system and the courts have now deemed him insane. Stating he had a psychotic break…
What do you think? Could this all have been part of a psychotic break? Or something else? I suppose we leave this to the Realms of the Unexplained….
Our mental health is so fragile and important. If you or someone you know are experiencing mental disturbances and are not sure who to turn to… You can contact the mental health hotline. It’s a 24-hour hotline that is FREE and completely confidential! Whether you struggle with depression, or anxiety or are having a mental health crisis, all you have to do is call 866-903-3787