Vivian Lafrance Criner, 43, is the mother of Meechaiel Criner, 17, who is alleged to have murdered 18-year-old Haruka Weiser on the campus of the University of Texas last week. The accused had no fixed address at the time of his arrest, and his mother has yet to make a public comment following the shock Weiser’s murder cause.
Vivian is a producer of pornographic videos, and was arrested in Louisiana in 2015 on prostitution charges. There is still an active warrant for her arrest. She was a member of a prostitution organization that was halted by the sheriff’s department in Caddo Parish, but was released on a $700 bond. Criner is believed to be living in Las Vegas, from where she reportedly sells pornographic videos at $75 each on social media. She goes by the name “De Collecter.”
On the day son Meechaiel's arrest was announced by police in Texas, mother Criner created a Go Fund Me Page to raise fund to publish a book on sexual hygiene. A page of the proposed book offers her “years of research” gained from years as an “adult star” that she says will make "body smell-free zones.”
Criner has five children, whose fathers appear to be unknown.
According to his great-uncle Leo Criner, Meechaiel has health problems that can be traced back before his birth. Leo of Texarkana LA said “His mother, when she was carrying him, she was on drugs real bad. Real bad,” he said. “When she had him, she really didn't want him. She didn't want this kid around.” Meechaiel has long been treated for autism, depression, and schizophrenia. According to Leo, young Meechaiel had not had his medications in the months prior to the alleged murder.
Of Meechaiel’s upbringing, Leo said “Him and his sister were in one foster home after another until their grandmother came into the picture. To my knowledge, as long as they were with their grandmother, they were pretty much alright.”
Further describing the neglect Meechaiel suffered at his mother’s hands, Leo said “She had very little if anything to do with him at all,' he said. “As he grew up, she would have some contact with him. Maybe two or three months at a time. But no extended time to raise him up or teach him anything. She was not that kind of mother.” Leo said that Vivian Criner has no idea who the fathers of her children may be. As far as he knows, Leo said that the kids “could have been brought by the stork for all I know.”
“I don't know who his [Meechaiel's] daddy is,” Leo said. “Never saw him, never even heard his name. Never. I don't know who the daddy of any of her babies is. She got five kids and I couldn't tell you who the daddy of any of them is. Any of them. I know who the mommy is because that's my sister's child.”
Leo refuses to believe that his great-nephew Meechaiel is guilty of the Weiser girl’s murder. “Truly in my heart, I don't believe he really did this,” he said. “It's not in him. He don't have that type of mentality or mindset.” He added, “He's been failed by the system and his grandmother failed him really bad. Now he's paying the price for that.”
Leo said, “He was always an amenable young man, helping me around the yard. He was not no bad kid at all. He was well liked.”
Before Weiser’s death in Austin TX, Meechaiel had been living rough in a dilapidated building in the Texas capital. He ran away from his grandmother, Mary Wadley, 62, in 2015, with whom he had been living since the age of five. Wadley made no effort to find him after his absence in 2015. Wadley had reportedly beaten Meechaiel when he was younger. In 2009, both of his eyes were found swollen shut, while his face bore the marks of a beating, according to a police report.
Wadley claimed to have been disciplining Meechaiel. The police report said that Meechaiel “spoke as if he were mentally handicapped and ‘slower’ than normal children. At no time was he taken for medical treatment.” A children’s protection services worker wrote that Wadley had described the beating as a “whooping” because he had been “acting up.” Criner's grandmother was jailed but then later freed with a warning and a $2,000 fine.
Meechaiel is believed to have arrived in Austin during the latter part of 2015, having pass through Seagoville and McKinley - where he was caught shoplifting.
Left: Meechaiel Criner being led to custody. Right: Haruka Weiser.