The House on Glenscott St. Where Mama Fell and Couldn’t Get Up

A bit more on those twin brothers over in Meadowbrook Freeway who spent the last 3 months living in their home at 8402 Glenscott St. with the rotting dead body of their 89-year-old mother. Turns out Sybil Berndt was not found decomposing on the floor of the living room for all that time, as was first reported — her corpse was lying face down in the foyer, right behind the front door pictured here. Which might explain why Edwin Berndt thought it would be wiser to let in the police officer who came to investigate reports of concern about his mother (she wasn’t responding to her voicemail messages, a neighbor had reported) through the side door. Oh — and one more thing: Edwin and his brother Edward left their mother on the floor right where she fell for 3 whole daysalive — before she started in with that dying and decomposing bit.

The story of the 48-year-old couldn’t-be-bothered twins and the stench of their mother’s corpse has now been reported in newspapers, on teevee news, and on websites all over the world. But no retelling of the events we’ve come across so far has managed to surpass the deadpan drama of the Probable Cause affidavit prepared by HPD sergeant R. Torres, who was called to the scene shortly after Berndt’s body was found. Torres’s writeup brings together brilliantly the many themes of multigenerational family life the story so shockingly cartoons: fears of falling among the elderly, the selflessness of mothers, unacknowledged (or at least uncelebrated) birthdays, incapacitating miserliness, the difficulty of meal preparation, a parent’s financial support, bluffing, and of course, the ungratefulness of children:


Edwin said on January 10, 2011, they were trying to watch the BCS Championship football game when the Complainant came in ranting and raving and she then fell down and did not get up. Edwin Berndt said he and his brother Edward Berndt both discussed the fact that they did not have the financial means to provide medical treatment for their mother so they decided to leave her there on the floor. Edwin Berndt said when his mother fell on January 10, 2011 she was conscious and able to speak for approximately a day but did not ask for any help. Edwin Berndt said that after three days lying on the floor, on January 13, 2011 his mother died. He stated that he specifically remembers that she died on January 13, 2011 because it was the day after her eighty ninth birthday.

. . . Edward Berndt confirmed what his brother had said regarding the fact that their mother fell on January 10, 2011, was alive for three days on the floor, then died on January 13, 2011. Edward Berndt stated that they did not seek medical attention for her, nor did they provide her with food or water. He stated that they left his mother on the floor initially because they didn’t have any money to get her medical treatment and that after she died they didn’t have any money for a funeral.

Torres also reports having

observed the Complainant laying face down in the foyer of the residence and her body was clearly in the stage of advanced decomposition. The Complainant had a nightgown on and it was pulled up to just under her arms ad she did not have any underwear on. Affiant [Torres] observed insect activity around the body. Affiant located at the residence the Complainant’s bank statements from JP Morgan Chase which totaled approximately seven hundred thousand dollars.

Photos: Abc News

16 Comment

  • “Edwin did mention there was enough money to buy matching mini-bikes, cowboy hats, and a crapload of Funyuns.”

  • This is one MOD we know hasn’t been renovated.

  • I can see my sons and husband just relieved that I finally quit talking during the game. But please, for heaven’s sake, cover my bum before the police find my rotting corpse. Is that so much to ask? I think that leaving her exposed makes this a capital offense.

  • Not to belittle this in any way, but doesn’t this kind of thing (family members living with the decomposing corpse of an elderly relative) happen surprisingly often in Houston? I seem to remember one in an apartment on Banks Street and one other one in like the last twenty-five years. Small sample size, I know.

  • Aren’t the loving sons on some sort of psych old? Can’t remember where I saw that, but it rings a bell.

  • I assume they will find some sort of mental illness in the twins as this is not normal asshole behavior. The fact that they were 48 year old twins living at home speaks to some sort of mental deficiency at the very least. the fact that they left their mother on the floor for months (even psychotic killers hide the body damnit) says they are so disassociated from reality they must be atleast incredibly autistic.

  • 1. She had twins at age 41?
    2. She named them both “Ed” (win/ward)?
    3. She had 700k in the bank at age 89?
    4. Bank account statements were found in the home, but sons didn’t think they could afford to get medical treatment or pay for a funeral?
    If there is no will or other siblings and the sons were due 350k each when their mother passed away, then the sons had to either have been criminally insane or criminally stupid.


    I’m thinking both.

  • I think they have already determined there was some “mental illness” at work but you also have to wonder why it took the neighbor three months to realize something was wrong.

    So much for neighbors I guess.

  • “So much for neighbors”.
    If you read any info on this case from other sources, you would know that the woman left for weeks at a time to go to a ranch she owned. I live in a condo and it is not uncommon for me to
    not see my next door neighbor for weeks on end due to varying schedules. If Gladys Kravitz lived next door to you charting your every move, you’d be peeved about that.

  • From JT:
    “So much for neighbors”.
    If you read any info on this case from other sources, you would know that the woman left for weeks at a time to go to a ranch she owned.


    I see. Well, did she just twitch her nose to get there?

    If she drove herself, someone might have noticed her car was still there.

    If someone drove her, that someone might have wondered where she was since she wasn’t with them.

    If the twins drove her, well, they were there. So where was she? Maybe they just drove her and dropped her off. An 89 year old out on a ranch all by herself?

    The advantage to Gladys Kravitz next door, unless you twitch your nose, is that she notices things like someone going through your mailbox or crawling through one of your windows or notices that you haven’t been seen for awhile and don’t return phone calls. And she calls the police. Sometimes while you’re still alive on the floor in the foyer.

  • Matt Mystery = Gladys Kravitz. No mystery there.

  • We had a Gladys Kravitz (really Grandpa under the carport) call the police when he saw someone he didn’t know walking up to houses and looking in the windows after ringing the bell. Turned out to be someone with a rather lengthy criminal record for burglary and other hobbies out on parole.

  • From JT:
    Matt Mystery = Gladys Kravitz. No mystery there.

    Here’s to you coming home to an empty home after some burglars emptied it. And to you looking around wondering why none of the neighbors noticed anything and why none of the neighbors called the police.

  • Why real issue is how you seemingly blame the neighbors for this situation. Maybe Mrs. Berndt was not
    a neighborhood favorite. Maybe she kept to herself. Maybe she spent all of her time in the house with her sons. The point is you don’t know what the H#&& went on in Meadowbrook Freeway. Regardless, the woman is dead. If Gladys barged in the house on day 4, the woman still would have been dead. By the way, thanks for wishing that my home be burglarized. Talk about a witch….