When he was 19 years old, Austin Harrouff wasn’t shy about his recent obsession for singing and writing his own rap songs, but newly-released cellphone records show he was hiding something else.
Thousands of pages of cellphone records, released by the 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Martin County, show Harrouff was quietly struggling with “going crazy."
The records were obtained by detectives after Harrouff allegedly beat a Tequesta couple, John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon, to death. Deputies say they found Harrouff chewing on the man’s face when they got to the scene.
Harrouff often wrote notes to himself during the year leading up to the attack. Many of the notes contain rap lyrics written by the teen.
“I sip drank on a Sunday // I smoke weed on a Monday //I get money everyday // I'm getting’ faded with my bae // and i just took me a little molly,” Harrouff wrote in July 2016, a few weeks before the attack.
But in the hours leading up to the horrific event, Harrouff’s notes to himself take a turn.
“Try to be as normal as you can be. What goes up must come down. That doesn't mean fulfill any specific role yet. I still have time. I wish to be normal just a normal guy. Not too nice not too mean. But I can still run because I can't be tamed. I can do whatever I want, just know it has consequences (sic). I was called the silent killer for a reason. I can't go around talking to random people.”
Another note, hours before Harrouff would allegedly attack the couple: “Centaur you are awoken. Don't let them kill you.”
A doctor later confirmed Harrouff believed he was “half-man, half-dog” and “actively psychotic” when he allegedly beat the couple to death.
Harrouff appeared to have superhuman strength and resisted the effects of a taser. Despite initial suspicions from some, FBI reports later showed Harrouff had no detectible hallucinogenic drugs in his system.
However, cell phone records show Harrouff often talked about drugs, and got together with friends to smoke. In the year leading up to the attack, different drugs were referenced hundreds of times, including: “weed”, “molly”, “Vyvanse”, and “shrooms” (or mushrooms).
Records also show Harrouff tried to sober up days before the attack.
“I quit doing every drug,” Harrouff texted his mother, Mina Harrouff, on August 11, four days before he would attack Stevens and Mishcon. “I realize I feel better when I don’t smoke…I realize my partying is enjoying the company of other people. Being sober.”
“I'm very proud of you. I hope you know that, and whatever life brings your way, I will always support you,” Mina Harrouff wrote back.
While Harrouff didn’t have any hallucinogens in his system the night of the attack, he did have trace amounts of marijuana.
Cellphone records also reveal Harrouff’s web search history on his phone. Topics jump around as he searches different things. During the early morning hours the day of the attack, Harrouff’s searched for “5 tips to end insomnia and get restful sleep”, what is “the weakest (sic) thing about a centaur”, “Sagittarius daily horoscope”, “Arnold Schwarzenegger” and “Ferrari”.
In the hours leading up before the attack, Harrouff searched for “Medusa”, “Fitbit setup” and “blade lighting”.
Harrouff pleaded not guilty to the crimes. His defense attorney, Nellie King, filed paperwork to pursue an insanity defense early in the case. King said Harrouff “did not know what he was doing or its consequences … or he did not know it was wrong.”
Harrouff’s jury trial is scheduled to being in November 2019.