Robin Doan’s Story: How She Survived The Murder Of Her Entire Family

Robin Doan was 10 years old in the fall of 2005 when her entire family was murdered. The culprit had been the 23-year-old Levi King, a young Missouri man. The horrific event made for a chilling 911 call from the child, injured and scared half to death. But what’s worse is this had not been the first time King went off on a family.

In what was later described as a vicious 24-hour killing spree, Levi King first shot an elderly man and his daughter-in-law in Missouri. He then took their truck and drove to Texas, where he committed the heinous crime of killing an entire family.

Here is the whole story of Robin Doan, the only person to survive Levi King’s murder spree.

Robin Doan's Story
Kailey Hudson / CBS News

Picture Perfect Family In Their Isolated Farmhouse

Robin Doan and her family lived in a nearly isolated farmhouse in the small Panhandle town of Pampa, Texas. The family consisted of Robin’s mother, Michell, her stepfather Brian Conrad, and her older brother, Zach.

What makes the tragedy more heart-wrenching is that Michelle had been 6 months pregnant at the time of the shootout. The all-American family also had a dog, Molly, and she too did not escape the man’s rage.

When Levi King came attacking the members, somehow his bullet missed Robin. The rest of her family members had not been so lucky. Later in the police report, Doan recalled having heard 15 shots.

Her stepfather had been shot three times, her mother six, and even the dog was shot twice. Robin escaped by playing dead, when in fact the bullet aimed at her had hit the plastic drawer by her bedside. The 10-year-old had to play dead for almost two-and-a-half hours before calling 911.

Playing Dead To Survive The Shootout

The family had been taken by surprise when Levi King barged into their home and attacked them. But little Robin had a presence of mind that may have saved her life, apart from sheer luck. When the 10-year-old heard the perpetrator approaching her bedroom, she ran and hid under the covers.

King had not shot her once, but twice, and somehow the shots were not lethal. One of the shots had grazed her left arm and leg, while the other missed her completely. But she did not let King know that. As she groaned and slid from the bed, the killer assumed her dead.

The little girl had to play dead for a long while, not knowing if her family had survived. Doan decided to stay as she was on the floor, in case the killer came back.

She even heard King rummage about in the kitchen, but couldn’t be sure if he had left. After more than two long hours, she decided it was time to seek help.

After getting out of the house, calling 911, and getting the help she needed, Doan finally came to terms with the reality.

Robin Doan's Family
Robin Doan / CBS News

Law Enforcement Comes To The Rescue

When Robin Doan finally realized that she had to move, she ran out of the house and called 911.

Throughout the whole ordeal, Doan maintains that law enforcement was a big support. The area was a pretty isolated one, but the first responders were able to arrive quickly and secure the place.

Chad Brook had been the first officer there, and he made sure that Doan was safe and secure before proceeding. The 10-year-old had her heart broken when it was confirmed by law enforcement that she alone had survived the shootout.

The other part of their job was to make sure the shooter couldn’t come back and harm Doan, so they placed her under tight protection.

Law enforcement was then able to match the shell casing to the number of shots reported by Doan. The shell casings belonged to an AK-47, and after further investigation, the Missouri murders were also linked. When the shells were matched with some stolen gun records, the suspect was confirmed.

Levi King
McDonald County Sheriff’s Office / CBS News

King Gets Life Imprisonment Instead Of The Death Penalty

Levi King, the murderer came into the possession of the guns from his father. He had broken into his father’s home and stolen them from his collection before going on a murder spree.

His first victims were the McCools, whose Dodge Dakota pickup he stole to drive to Doan’s farmhouse.

King was later arrested when he tried to reenter the U.S from Mexico. Due to his outstanding warrant from Missouri, the el Paso police detained him.

Soon after his interrogation began, he confessed to the murder of the McCools. It was a few weeks till he admitted to the murder of 4 people in Texas, not knowing that Robin had survived.

King’s acceptance of the plea deal in Missouri had saved him from getting the death penalty. He had also pleaded guilty to the murders in Texas, but in the end, he received life imprisonment.

Doan had been okay with pursuing the death penalty charges, but the jury was ultimately not convinced. The unanimous vote was not achieved, as the defense blamed King’s disposition on his unhealthy upbringing.

Robin Doan hadn’t wanted to testify in the trial but felt that she owed it to her family to go through with it. She had broken down during the trial, but in the end in her victim impact statement, she mentioned that she’d forgiven King.

Inside The Head Of Levi King; The Murderer

Levi King’s murder spree had been gruesome because there had been no method to his madness. His victims were arbitrary, but this had not been the first time King had snapped and landed himself in jail.

Before these murders, he was convicted of arson and burglary and had been sentenced to 14 years in prison. But after serving for around 3 years, he was sent to a halfway house.

At the time of the murders, King had escaped from the halfway house and had been on the run for a week. He went to his father’s house in Pineville, Missouri, where he took the guns from a safe.

After he had been caught, King did not show visible remorse. In fact, according to the former McDonald County Deputy Sheriff, he seemed to have enjoyed the act of shooting people.

While examining King’s home, the defense put forth the factor of upbringing that affected his state of mind. The King’s home was full of ceremonial knives, guns, and ammunition. As Defense Attorney Joe Marr Wilson said, the family often had more ammunition than food.

Levi King did not kill with a plan in mind. He mostly chose his victims randomly. However, investigators believe that King killed the McCools for their car. But the Doan/Conrad farmhouse had been randomly chosen by him, solely because he wanted to kill again.

Doan Is Still Trying To Move On From Her Haunting Past

It has been many years since the Doan/Conrad family murder, and little Robin Doan has grown up. Doan had suffered a tragedy in her life but had tried to live a normal life. Going to school, playing basketball, and joining the cheerleading squad had been okay. She also pursued relationships and found employment.

But the local people had always thought she would implode due to her trauma. But she had kept her head straight and fought the nightmares that were sure to ensue.

In her struggle to survive, the law enforcement community of Pampa had been a great help to her. They also contributed a generous amount of $10,000 for her junior college and encouraged her constantly.

Her life cannot go back to how it was before her terrible experience, but she is moving on and trying to figure it out herself.

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Bottom Line

Robin Doan witnessed a terrible tragedy when she was just 10 years old. Her whole family had been murdered by a madman on a killing spree, Levi King.

The event happened in 2005 but is still impactful even today. Only Doan had survived the massacre of her family but had lived to see justice being prevailed and the murderer is sent to prison for life.