UPDATE: ‘Bakersfield 3’ moms discuss ‘their own demons’ on Part 2 of Dr. Phil special

Bakersfield 3

UPDATE: On Wednesday’s episode, Dr. Phil asked Cheryl Holsonbake and her husband to close their eyes and picture Micah: his face, his eyes, the tilt of his head, even to hear his voice in their mind. Then he asked Cheryl Holsonbake to speak to Micah as if he was in the room.

She began crying. “Micah I’m so sorry,” she said. “I miss you so much. I’m just shattered. I want you here with me. It’s very lonely.” 

She said it’s easy to want to stay in bed and not get up. She told him she loved him and has always loved him.

Dr. Phil asked her to express any anger she felt toward him over his death, to get it out of her system. 

“Why in the world did you say ‘yes’ when someone asked you if you knew how to put guns together?” Cheryl Holsonbake said. “What in the world were you thinking?”

Still addressing Micah, she told him he had been raised better than that.

Dr. Phil, who spoke to the moms individually and as a group, told Diane Byrne her other son, Ryan, who had admitted to using drugs and not telling police everything he knew, is thinking about the red flags he failed to see in his brother’s behavior. Dr. Phil told her he will get Ryan into a treatment program for his substance abuse issues if she takes him to investigators to tell them everything he knows.

In a statement taped sometime after the show, Byrne said her son had spoken with police.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The mothers of the “Bakersfield 3” continued their discussion with Dr. Phil on Wednesday in the second of a two-part special focused on their efforts to deal with their grief following the deaths of two of their children, and allegations that the third was involved in a murder, and may also be dead.

Jane Parrent, Cheryl Holsonbake and Diane Byrne formed a bond over their shared grief following the deaths or disappearances of their children in 2018.

Baylee Despot, Micah Holsonbake, and James Kulstad were each killed or went missing that year. They became collectively known as the Bakersfield 3 due to their connections to each other and their unsolved cases.

Parrent is the mother of Despot, Holsonbake of Micah and Byrne of Kulstad.

The 38-year-old Kulstad was shot to death in April 2018. No arrests have been made.

Micah Holsonbake disappeared the previous month, and in summer 2018 an arm identified as his was recovered from the Kern River. The rest of his body has not been found.

Despot went missing in April 2018 and, along with her former boyfriend, has been charged with the torture and murder of Holsonbake. While some, including her mother, believe Despot is dead, prosecutors charged her because there has been no definitive proof of her death.

Despot was 20 at the time of her disappearance.

On Tuesday’s show, the mothers discussed how the strain put on their relationship with the filing of the murder charge against Despot.

Also charged is Despot’s ex, Matthew Queen.

Prosecutors say Queen asked to use an acquaintance’s detached garage to extract information from Holsonbake about a gun stolen from Queen. Queen and Despot arrived at the garage with Holsonbake and placed zip ties on his arms, and Despot retrieved a knife, according to charging documents.

Holsonbake was killed, and Queen and the acquaintance Vandecasteele researched how to dissolve a human body, according to prosecutors. Vandecasteele is charged with kidnapping, among other crimes.

It’s alleged Vandecasteele, Holsonbake and Queen were involved in illegally manufacturing firearms, including AR-15s. Vandecasteele said Holsonbake also sold drugs, and said both Holsonbake and Queen hung out with members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, according to court filings.

Queen has a hearing Thursday to set a date for his preliminary hearing.

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