Death is scary for most people. The sense of one's mortality can be downright terrifying. Even more so, is the thought that that life can be taken from an individual, by someone else, not by an accident, or health concern. Most people are fascinated in some way either in books, TV or movies, by people who take the lives of others. Killers.
There are so many different breeds of killers, which we have been taught to recognize by shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, and Law and Order: Special Victims Units. You have spree killers, premeditated killers, those who kill someone based on extenuating circumstances (think a jealous rage of finding your spouse in bed with another) and then the scariest and yet most fascinating of all, the serial killer.
What about when that pure evil, that sociopathic tendency, the psychotic rage comes from someone young? There are countless stories of kids who have turned killer. Kids have killed in just as many ridiculous ways as adults. Children and teenagers have killed their parents, siblings, classmates, best friends, pets and even complete strangers. They have committed these brutal acts for some of the same reasons as adults; jealousy, rivalry, hate, fear, pride, or just plain evil.
The brutality of these child killers is actually worse than that of most adult crimes. I think that is because they use the same methods, shooting, stabbing, sexual assault, and beating. However, because they are children, we don't associate those types of behaviors with them. Making the fact that they have committed these crimes that much more heinous.
14 A Sick Game
Christopher Marquez was only 6 years old when he was tortured to death by 5 other children in Mexico. This group of 12 to 15 year olds lured Christopher to play with them. They decided to play a sinister kidnapping game. First, they beat him with a thorn covered stick. The gang then allegedly threw stones at him, and held the cane against his neck with great force. Once the young child was dead, one of the gang of killers stabbed him in the back.
This group was made up of a 12 year old boy, two 13 year old girls, and two 15 year old boys. While they were playing the game, one of the 15 year olds suggested that they kill Christopher. It became the new outcome of their sick little game.
His body was found in a shallow, hand dug grave. The 15 year old will be charged for their crime, while the other 3 are too young to accept criminal responsibility in Mexico. Christopher's mother stated that if justice was not served for her son, that her family would take justice into their own hands.
13 BFF's Turn On One Of Their Own
Skylar Neese and Sheila Eddy became best friends when they were only 8 years old. The girls were inseparable, always together or on the phone with one another. In high school, at age 16, the duo met another girl Rachel Shoaf, and they quickly became a trio.
Skylar had a 4.0 GPA, a part time job at Wendy's, and was very social and popular in school. One morning, her father noticed that her door to her room was still shut long after the time that she normal would wake. He knocked, then opened her door, to find her bed had not been slept in.
After noticing the screen was removed from the window, and the apartment camera footage showed her getting into a car at 12:30 am, Skylar's parents enlisted the help of her best friend Sheila to find her.
An officer investigating felt that Sheila's behavior was weird, and that Rachel was scared to death. Nearly 5 months later, Rachel had a nervous breakdown and confessed that she and Sheila had stabbed Skylar to death. When asked why they would do this, Rachel simply replied, "Because we didn't like her."
12 Over An Accidental Injury
Joshua Phillips was playing baseball outside with his neighbor, 8 year old Maddie Chifton. She pitched the ball, he hit it, and it struck the young girl in the face. This caused her to bleed, and scream and cry. Joshua, apparently fearful as to how his dominant and abusive father would react, decided to drag Maddie into his house and strangle her with a phone cord. After this, he beat her several times with a baseball bat. His father then came home, and he stashed the girl under his waterbed.
Upon realizing that she was still alive, Joshua then stabbed her 11 times, and then hid her back under his bed. He participated in the neighborhood canvas in search of the missing girl, all the while knowing that she would never turn up.
When cleaning Joshua's room, his mother noticed what appeared to be a leak under his water bed. She took it apart in hope's of repairing it, only to find the body of 8 year old Maddie Chifton. She contacted police immediately, and Joshua was arrested that day at school.
11 Deadly Wrestling Match
Tiffany Euncik, age 6, was being babysat by Lionel Tate's mother. The children were playing downstairs together, and Lionel's mother called for them to quiet down. Nearly 45 minutes later, Lionel came to get his mother, and to tell her that Tiffany was not breathing. He stated the two had been wrestling, and she had hit her head on the coffee table.
Tiffany was dead, that was for sure. The injuries she sustained were far worse than Lionel let on. She had been stomped on so forcefully that her liver had been lacerated, her skull was fractured, her ribs were broken, and her brain swollen. Her injuries were compared to what may occur if someone fell out of a three story building.
Lionel Tate was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was extremely controversial for his young age. His mother turned down a plea deal in hopes of going to trial and getting an acquittal. During his sentencing the judge exclaimed that "these were not the playful acts of a child, but that the acts were instead cold and indescribably cruel."
10 Over Jealousy
Colleen Slemmer was found dead in the woods at the University of Tennessee, badly beaten. It was clear that she sustained hundreds of cuts on her chest and stomach. Her throat was then slashed, and a piece of tarmac was used to bash in her skull, resulting in her death.
Dorm records show that Colleen and three other students had signed out at the same time, those other students were arrested, and the truth quickly emerged. Christa Pike, a troubled teen with an abusive past, had felt certain that Colleen was after her boyfriend. This was a claim that Colleen and her friends all vehemently denied.
Christa and her friends lured Colleen into the woods with promises of marijuana, but they were leading Colleen to her death. Christa reenacted the scene for police, playing both herself and the victim has she described in gruesome detail the manner in which Colleen was killed. When arrested, Christa had a piece of Colleen's skull in her pocket. Christa was found guilty, and sentenced to death. She was the youngest woman ever to be put on death row.
9 Not One But Two
On the day before her 11th birthday, in 1968, Mary Bell strangled a 4 year old child, Martin Brown in an abandoned house. It is believed that she committed this crime alone. She then vandalized a nursery, and left a note claiming responsibility for the murder. Police at the time, thought it was a prank.
Two months later, Mary Bell, now joined by a friend, Norma, killed again by strangulation, this time the victim was a 3 year old boy, Brian Howe. His body was discovered in a wasteland, with an M carved into his chest.
Mary Bell was convicted of her crimes, and sentenced to psychiatric care. She remained there until 1980, when she was released at age 23. She has detailed the abuse from her childhood, which occurred at the hands of her mother, a prostitute, and her mother's clients. This seems to be the explanation for her otherwise inexcusable acts.
She was granted anonymity upon her release to protect the identity of her daughter.
8 Frontier Middle School
This event would become known as the Frontier Middle School shooting, and occurred in 1996. Barry Dale Loukaitis stormed his classroom and open fired, killing two students, Arnold Fritz and Manuel Vela, Jr., both fourteen years old, and wounding a third. He then killed his algebra teacher, and held the rest of the students hostage for over an hour.
He was reported as having said, "This sure beats the hell out of Algebra, doesn't it?" A gym teacher and coach entered the classroom, and volunteered to be the hostage that was used to make an exit out of the school. The coach, Jon Lane, grabbed the weapon from Barry and wrestled him to the ground.
He was convicted of his crimes, and sentenced to two life sentences, without the possibility of parole.
7 Half Her Size
Alyssa Bustamonte was 15 at the time that she murdered her 9 year old neighbor Elizabeth Olten in cold blood. Alyssa lured the girl into the woods, where she strangled her, slit her throat and stabbed her. Alyssa then went home to recount the murder in her diary.
"I just f***ing killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead. I don't know how to feel atm [at the moment]," Bustamante wrote in her diary.
She later added: "It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable. I'm kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now...lol."
On the first day of her trial, her own mother called her an "evil monster" and said she hated her. Alyssa was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
6 Teacup Poisoner
Graham Young was 14 years old when he first tested out poison on a fellow classmate. The classmate suffered extreme vomiting, and was lucky to escape with his life. However, Graham was unable to watch the after effects of the poison, so he needed another target. He began testing out poisons on his family. Eventually, this poisoning led to the death of his stepmother.
While he was suspected, nothing could be proven, until his father was rushed to the hospital with vomiting and cramping, and was diagnosed as having been poisoned. At this point, Graham's chemistry teacher came forward regarding items he had found in Graham's desk. Graham was sentenced to a psychiatric hospital, where he remained for 15 years.
Once out, he began poisoning again, the employees where he was working. When one of the employees died, Graham was arrested. He was sentenced to 4 life sentences, and dubbed "The Teacup Poisoner."
5 Scrap Of Iron
In 1929, two young boys Carl Newton Mahan, 6, and Cecil Van Hoose, 8, had a fight over a scrap piece of iron. It is said that Cecil took the scrap of iron away from Carl, and then slapped him in the face with it.
Carl reportedly ran away, and went and got his father's 12-gauge shotgun. He used a chair to get the gun, which was hung above the door. He came back outside with it and yelled, "I am going to shoot you," and then immediately pulled the trigger.
He was put on trial for murder, and convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter. This charged remanded that he spend 15 years in a reform school. Public outcry occurred, as many thought this sentence was too light, while other's felt that it was way to severe for his age.
4 Sibling Jealousy
Ronald Salazar was abandoned in El Salvador by his parents, as they made their way to the United States. Allegedly they left him with abusive relatives, and he ran with street gangs. They finally sent for him at age 10, but Ronald says he never felt welcome in his own family. His father would tell stories of how hard they had it, and say that they boy had no reason to complain of what he endured.
Ronald claims to have had a mental breakdown due to his time away from his family and the abuse that he endured. His "mental breakdown" led him to murder his 11 year old sister Maria. He killed her by slitting her throat, and then later admitted that he raped her, as he knew he would never be with another woman once he was arrested for his crimes. He did try to cover it up, wiping the knife clean and making up a story about someone breaking in.
After a decade behind bars, he sought another trial, and stated that his abusive upbringing was not an excuse for his horrific actions.
3 Stalks Small Town
Harvey Miguel Robinson is thought to be one of the youngest serial killers in all of history. He was the first serial killer in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Harvey is responsible for the rape and murder of 3 women.
His first victim was Joan Burghardt, a 29-year-old nurse's aide, who he raped and bludgeoned in her home. Then, only 10 short months later, he raped and murdered Charlotte Schmoyer, a 15 year old newspaper carrier. She was found in a wooded area, stabbed nearly 20 times,
As times lessened between victims, Harvey waited only 1 month before killing again. This time his victim was a 47-year-old grandmother Jessica Jean Fortney. He attempted a fourth victim, Denise Sam-Cali. She was raped and beaten, but left alive.
He returned to the home of Denise to try and finish the job, but upon coming to her home he encountered a police officer, and the two exchanged gunfire. Ultimately, this led to his arrest at a nearby hospital.
He was found guilty, and sentenced to death by lethal injection. His execution has since been stayed by another judge, and he remains on death row.
2 Teen Vampire Cult
When the nude body of 16 year old Jacob "Jake" Hendershot was found in a drainage ditch, it was very clear that something had gone horribly wrong. Jake was in Parker, Florida visiting his biological mother, when he ran into a path of sadistic teens. Stephanie Pistey, 18, was one of the first people Jake met in Florida. She is a girl that everyone said, "lived by a dumpster."
Jake's mother did not want him hanging around this girl with blue hair, and goth clothes who was known for consuming alcohol and doing drugs. Jake disappeared, and no one seemed to know where he was. Then, a local mom gave police the heads up to check Facebook for conversations regarding his whereabouts.
In the end, 5 people, including Stephanie, were arrested for the murder of Jake. The motive was an apparent defense of Stephanie who made up a lie and claimed Jake had raped her. This was untrue, but she had been dating him behind her boyfriend's back. She also stated that she was a vampire and wanted to drink his blood.
The accounts are unclear, while some remain firm that she did in fact drink his blood after the murder.
1 Youngest Person Legally Executed
In 1944, a 14 year old George Stinney was charged with the accused beating of two girls, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7, to death. The jury in this case deliberated for only 10 short minutes before returning a verdict that he as guilty and sentenced to death by electrocution. His execution was carried out that very same year.
Years later, research has exonerated George in these crimes. His due process as violated, and there are too many conflicting stories to confirm whether or not his confession was coerced. A witness said the girls came by selling flowers, and then left. George apparently went back to tending to the family cow, and police merely used him as a scapegoat.
If, in fact, George was not guilty of this crime, no one else has ever been named as the accused, and George remains the youngest person ever legally executed in US history.
Sources: Murderpedia.com, NYDailyNews.com, ABCnews.com