A Suburban Teen Who Murdered His Family

Anne Marble
6 min readAug 11, 2021

Unless you live in Maryland, you might not have heard about Nicholas Waggoner Browning: a teen-aged boy from a respected family who murdered his parents and two younger brothers. While he claimed he did it because of abuse, the murders were cold-hearted. Also, nothing excused murdering his two younger brothers.

A Privileged Life?

Try to picture a nice house in the suburbs of Cockeysville, Maryland, in the late winter of 2008. Photographs in the local newspapers show a large home with an enormous lawn. Murders are rare here.

The Browning Home in Cockeysville, Maryland. (Source: The Baltimore Sun; photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor.)

The father, John, is a local attorney, working at Royston Mueller McLean & Reid in nearby Towson, Maryland. The mother, Tamara, is a stay-at-home mom. The oldest child, Nicholas, is approaching his 16th birthday. He has two younger brothers, Greg (14 years old) and Benjamin (11 years old). The family often vacations at their vacation home at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland.

The Browning Family at Their Vacation Home at Deep Creek Lake. (From a photo handed out by the family. Source: Baltimore Sun.)

Nicholas is an honor student at Dulaney High School in Timonium, Maryland, where he is on the varsity lacrosse team. He plays golf, and he also skis, and he’s a Boy Scout. His father is involved as a Scoutmaster and is also a church leader.



Anne Marble

I’m a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles. Click Lists to find my most popular articles. And hidden gems.