Nikolas Cruz had reconnected with his biological mom only to lose her to cancer
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz made up with his crack-smoking biological mother over a zoom call from prison – only to lose her to cancer, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
Ex-criminal Brenda Woodard didn’t know the son she put up for adoption 23 years ago was the shooter until his lawyers tracked her down after the February 2018 school massacre.
Friends told DailyMail.com that Cruz’s legal department had relayed the news that he was dying to meet Woodard, who had agreed to a video chat in the months before her death.
Nikolas Cruz (23) (pictured in court last week) was able to reconcile with his birth mother Brenda Woodard via video chat months before her death from cancer
Cruz was put up for adoption by Woodard (pictured left in 2019), who spent most of her life in and out of prison and recorded dozens of arrests for crimes such as battery, burglary, resisting arrest, theft, trespassing and panhandling
Any further attempts to bond, however, were cut short when 65-year-old Woodard died earlier this year after battling cancer for more than a year.
“Nikolas reached out to her and said he wanted to talk, and the lawyers came over and set it up so she could speak to him in prison,” revealed her neighbor and close friend Doug Clark, 61.
“That was what he wanted, and that’s why she agreed. She said they had a good time, but I gave her privacy. It was something she thought was necessary. ‘
Cruz pleaded guilty on Wednesday of murdering 13 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as 17 other attempted murder cases.
In a rambling statement, he told a Broward County, Florida courtroom that he regretted the rampage that began at the age of 19, before apparently blaming drug use for his rampage.
“I hate drugs and I believe this country would be better off if everyone stopped smoking marijuana and using all those drugs and causing racism and violence in the streets,” said Cruz.
His admission of guilt opens the trial phase, in which the jury is due to decide in January whether the spoiled outcast faces the death penalty or life without parole.
The Sagittarius (pictured as a baby) and his brother Zachary were adopted by Lynda Cruz (pictured), who died in 2017 – three months before his murderous rampage
Cruz and his brother Zachary put their mother’s urn in a grave before the mausoleum was sealed
Defense attorneys are expected to tell his story of mental illness and traumatic childhood, and to trace his troubles until Cruz was abandoned by Woodard as a baby.
The mother of three has been to jail throughout her chaotic, drug-ridden life and recorded dozens of arrests for crimes such as assault, break-in, resisting arrest, theft, trespassing and scaremongering.
In fact, she is said to have been so familiar with the functioning of the court system that an acquaintance called her “The Judge”.
Her explosive temper once saw her accused of attacking a friend with a tire iron.
In June 1998, Woodard was six months pregnant with Nikolas when they were arrested by Fort Lauderdale police for possession of crack cocaine.
The highly addictive drug is known to increase the risk of miscarriage and can cause developmental problems in babies.
Woodard refused to accept responsibility for the murderous life of her armed son when DailyMail.com found her in January 2019 at a government-funded shelter in Dania Beach, Florida
However, her friend and former neighbor Doug Clark told DailyMail.com that Woodard was privately shocked by the massacre and he felt it played a role in her deteriorating health. She died a few months ago after battling cancer for more than a year
Woodard spent six days in prison but was released on three years probation subject to a urine test, and Nikolas, their second child, was born on September 24, 1998.
Her decision to put the boy up for adoption meant that Cruz appeared to have escaped the malevolent inheritance of his illegitimate mother.
The same applied to his brother Zachary, who was born around a year later and was taken in by the same couple, insurance director Roger Cruz and his wife Lynda.
One daughter, Danielle, stayed but was placed in foster care at the age of 12.
Danielle is now 34 years old and has chalked up 16 felony convictions herself. She is currently behind bars in Miami awaiting trial for violent car theft.
Woodard refused to accept responsibility for the murderous life of her armed son when DailyMail.com found her in January 2019 at government-funded accommodation in Dania Beach, Florida.
“You already cooked me. You fried me in a pan. I’m the one-woman demolition team, ”she hissed at our reporter before asking us to leave.
But Clark said that his ex-boyfriend was privately shocked and upset about the massacre, and he felt that it played a role in her deteriorating health.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 murder and 17 attempted murder in a Florida court last Wednesday in the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
In a rambling statement, Cruz told a Broward County, Florida courtroom that he regretted the rampage that began at the age of 19, before apparently blaming drug use for his killing spree
“Brenda knew she’d made mistakes in life, mostly minor things, but she wasn’t trying to hide it,” Clark told DailyMail.com.
‘His [Cruz] Birth was not planned. She told me he was the product of rape. She thought he would have a better life if she adopted him. ‘
Clark said she video chat with her estranged son in her final months.
She is said to have died three months ago.
Cruz and his brother Zachary actually enjoyed a stable, affluent suburban upbringing that was interrupted by the loss of their adoptive father, Roger, to a heart condition in 2004.
In November 2017, three months before Cruz began the worst school shootings in history, housewife Lynda died of pneumonia.
Cruz had argued regularly with his adoptive mother because of his love for firearms and his violent tantrums.
There was ample evidence of his behavior problems, but the warnings went unchecked until he walked to his former high school with an AR15-style automatic rifle on February 14, 2018.
A surveillance video recorded Cruz, now 23, who was following the corridors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, at the age of 19
Cruz fled the scene but was arrested without incident in nearby Coral Springs later that afternoon. He has reportedly identified himself to the police as the responsible shooter
“We followed the shooting on the news. Little did Brenda know then that it was her son. She didn’t know him, she didn’t know anything about him, “added Clark.
“When the lawyers came here to speak to her, she was shocked, she was upset. If she didn’t care, she wouldn’t have agreed to speak to him about the video. ‘
In the last few years of her life, Woodard stayed out of trouble for the most part after undergoing programs to overcome her alcohol and drug habits.
According to court records, she had jobs at Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and The Fresh Market.
“I liked Brenda and will miss her very much. But she is better off where she is now, ”added Clark. “The woman was in severe pain.”