1. ARSON, MURDER, & PEDOPHILIA
Alex and Derek King were a pair of pimply, scruffy Florida boys on the cusp of adolescence. Their troubled youths and broken family had them bouncing around from place to place until they finally both wound up living with their father in 2001.
Alex was 12 and Derek 13 when the boys struck up a friendship with an adult named Rick Chavis, a friend of their dad’s. Alex and Rick embarked on a homosexual relationship that had 12-year-old Alex declaring in notes found later that “Before I met Rick I was strate [sic] but now I am gay.” Investigators also found a photo of Alex placed over Chavis’s bed.
Neither King brother liked their father, so a murder plot was hatched whereby they’d kill him so they could move in with Chavis. When firefighters responded to a call at the King house in November 2001, they noticed 40-year-old Terry King dead on a couch, his face bashed in and his skull split open. Testimonies conflicted over multiple trials, and it was unclear who actually swung the bat that killed Terry King. Both brothers eventually pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and arson. Alex was released from prison in 2008 and Derek in 2009. Chavis will be eligible for parole in 2028.
2. HE SHAVED, PUT ON A SUIT, WALKED DOWNSTAIRS, AND SHOT HIS FAMILY
Bespectacled and doughy, Lowell Lee Andrews appeared more like a stamp collector than a mass murderer. His hometown newspaper in Kansas even dubbed him “The Nicest Boy in Wolcott.” While visiting his family for the Thanksgiving holiday in 1958, the 18-year-old zoology major read a Dostoevsky novel upstairs while his mom, dad, and sister huddled around a TV downstairs. After he was finished reading he shaved, put on a suit, and walked downstairs with a revolver and a rifle.
He shot his sister Jennie Marie right between the eyes, killing her with one bullet. He planted six bullets in his mother and another seventeen in his father, who finally succumbed while crawling to the kitchen for safety.
Lowell then went to see a movie, tossed his guns in a river, then came back home and notified police that his parents had been shot. Officers became suspicious at his emotionless demeanor. A family minister who was visiting the crime scene finally persuaded Lowell to confess. He did, adding that he felt absolutely nothing while killing his parents and later claiming, “I just don’t know why I did it.” He was executed by hanging in November 1962.
3. ARGUMENT OVER PUNK-ROCK CASSETTE LEADS TO AXE SLAYING OF FOUR FAMILY MEMBERS
Friends at his Minnesota high school described David Brom as a sweet guy who “wouldn’t step on a flower.” But his gentle façade masked a dark side, which he indulged by listening to hardcore punk and thrash music such as Suicidal Tendencies. One evening in February 1988, after allegedly quarreling with his father about the music on one of his cassettes, Brom grabbed a large axe and with 56 mighty blows bludgeoned his father, mother, sister, and brother to death. He appeared the next day at school with a new black-dyed Mohawk haircut and bragged to a female student that he’d killed his family. A judge accused Brom of having a “pathetically sick, depressed mind” while sentencing him to life in prison.
4. HER THREE-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD VAMPIRE BOYFRIEND TOLD HER TO DO IT
Little Jasmine Richardson of the Canadian burg of Medicine Hat, Alberta was only 12 years old when she fell in love with a 23-year-old man named Jeremy Steinke, who allegedly claimed to be a 300-year-old werewolf who loved the taste of blood. Naturally, Jasmine’s family did not approve, so naturally Jeremy and some friends watched the film Natural Born Killers, in which a pair of gun-toting, lovestruck goofballs murder the girl’s parents. Hours later on that evening in April 2006, Jeremy and Jasmine would leave her parents and her little brother Jacob dead from stabbing and slashing. Her father had been so severely gutted, there was almost no blood left in his body when police found him.
Both Jeremy and Jasmine were found guilty of three counts of murder. Jasmine is thought to be the youngest person ever convicted of murder in Canada. Due to her age at the time of the murders, she received a maximum 10-year sentence, of which she served only four years before her release. Jeremy will be in prison for the rest of his life—which, since he’s a werewolf, could be forever.
5. THE WORLD’S ONLY FATAL ATOMIC WEDGIE
Giving one another “wedgies” is an odd, anally focused, and possibly homoerotic male-bonding ritual performed among a select group of sadistic, douchey males. A regular wedgie involves pulling up your dudebro friend’s underwear so high that it causes him pain. An “atomic wedgie”—which is thought to be so difficult as to defy the laws of physics—involves pulling the underwear all the way up over the victim’s head.
In 2013 when Brad Lee Davis of McCloud, OK got into a fight with his stepdad Denver St. Clair after the latter allegedly made snide comments about Davis’s mom, Davis knocked him unconscious, gave him an atomic wedgie, and then took photos of his handiwork. But the underwear’s waistband would prove fatal for St. Clair, as it choked him to death.
“There’s no way I ever thought that could have happened,” gasped Davis. “I was panicked, mad, scared. Things got out of hand.” (Technically, things got out of ass, but I’m not one to quibble.) Davis pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in what is quite possibly the world’s only recorded case of a fatal atomic wedgie.
6. KILLER BROTHERS BLAME IT ON DADDY’S DIDDLING
Joseph Lyle Menendez and his brother Erik seemed to have it all—all, that is, except everything that their parents owned, which was a lot, seeing as their dad was a wealthy entertainment executive and they lived in a Beverly Hills mansion formerly inhabited by Elton John and Prince (no, not at the same time, silly, not that there’d be anything wrong with it).
But having little success in their personal lives, these two parricidal jet-setting rich boys grabbed a shotgun one night in August 1989 and pumped so much lead into their parents that they were unrecognizable. Their demeanor seemed a trifle iffy at their parents’ funeral, as did the fact that they blew an estimated $1 million of their inheritance within the first six months of murdering their folks. After finally being charged with murder, their female defense lawyer opened a smelly can of worms by accusing Erik and Lyle’s father of having anally and orally abused them for years until they finally exploded in a fatal act of rape-survivor rage. The defense strategy didn’t work, and both brothers are serving life imprisonment.
7. STABS THREE FAMILY MEMBERS TO DEATH, FABRICATES A HATE CRIME
The member of an Asian family living in Australia, Sef Gonzales displayed strange behavior that pegged him as an odd bird indeed. He posed topless on a “tribute” website to him that he pretended was set up by a family friend but was entirely done by him. He was also a liar who’d told friends for years that he had cancer.
He found himself a failure at age 21 and decided to kill his family ostensibly to get his grubby paws on their fortune. One afternoon in July 2001 he came home, grabbed two long knives from the kitchen, walked into his sister’s bedroom, then strangled, bludgeoned, and stabbed her until she was dead. About an hour later when his mother came home, he killed her, too. Then a little over an hour after that when his dad arrived home, Sef stabbed him to death, puncturing a lung and partially severing his spine. To cover his tracks, he painted “Fuck off Asians KKK” on one of the walls. But his pathological lying led to several contradictory statements and the discovery of a previous bungled plot to kill his family with poisonous beans. Gonzales was arrested and convicted of murder.
8. RAPIST DAD ‘DOESN’T DESERVE TO LIVE’
According to Stacey Lannert, her father started molesting her when she was in third grade. It quickly developed into full-on sexual intercourse, usually when her dad was so drunk that her mom would kick him out of her bedroom. He would often perform oral sex on Stacey, which sometimes brought her to orgasm, adding another queasy layer of shame and confusion. He also became violent toward her when she resisted his advances. Even when her mom found Stacey’s blood-streaked underwear or heard her crying while down in the basement with her father, she did nothing.
When her dad began abusing her younger daughter Christy in 1990, Stacey decided it was finally high time to kill daddy. On July 4, she grabbed a rifle and shot at him while he was asleep, hitting his collarbone. He bolted awake, unaware he’d been shot, and yelled at Stacey to call 911. When he started berating her for taking so long to make the call, she says she thought to herself, “He doesn’t deserve to live” and shot him fatally in the head. In 2009, weighing Christy’s abuse at her father’s hands, Missouri’s governor commuted her life sentence to 20 years. She was released after serving 18 years.
9. DUMPED MOM IN A DITCH, THREW ONE BROTHER OFF A BRIDGE, TOSSED ANOTHER BROTHER IN THE TRASH
In June 2015, after arguing with his mother about whether he put his girlfriend and kids above the rest of his family, 25-year-old Roberto Martinez-Marinero of Omaha, NE beat his mother with a baseball bat and repeatedly stabbed her before dumping her still-living body in a ditch. His mother would die of the wounds she sustained. During his psycho tantrum, Marinero also threw his four-year-old brother off a bridge above the Elkhorn River and tossed his 11-month-old half-brother into a dumpster. Not exactly the best way to illustrate you put your family above your girlfriend.
10. ARGUMENT OVER BAD GRADES LEADS TO FATAL HEAD BLOW
Tyler Blansit was a struggling college biology student who argued with his mother in May 2015 about his crappy grades at the University of Alabama. The argument escalated to where he killed his mother with a single strike to the head. It is unknown whether he plans to continue his biology studies while in prison.
11. SHE POURED GAS ON DAD AND SET HIM ABLAZE
In 2011, Indiana native Nina Holbrook poured gasoline on her 50-year-old father, lit him on fire with a candle, and left him to flail about in agony until he finally died of burn wounds. When authorities asked Nina what she’d done, she matter-of-factly said, “I torched him.” She tried using a mental illness defense—after all, what sane person pours gasoline on their daddy and sets him ablaze?—but she was sentenced to 55 years in prison for murder.
12. PUSHED TOWARD A MURDEROUS SORT OF PERFECTION
Esmie Tseng was a sensitive teen living in the boring and square town of Overland Park, KS. In various blog postings, Esmie complains that her success-driven Chinese parents were so overbearing that she felt suffocated—for instance, she says they grounded her for scoring 96% on an exam, told her they would move to another school district to punish her because she got three Bs on a report card, and threatened to sell her piano if her behavior didn’t improve. Then one day in August 2005, Esmie grabbed a knife and stabbed her mother to death.
13. KILLS HIS PARENTS AT NIGHT, SHOOTS UP THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA THE NEXT MORNING
Kipland “Kip” Kinkel lived with his family above a trout stream in the bucolic town of Springfield, OR. But despite his freckly face and veneer of normalcy, something troubling burbled beneath the surface—in his middle school yearbook, he was selected “Most Likely To Start World War III.” He reportedly boasted of lighting firecrackers in cats’ mouths and skinning a squirrel alive.
Kip’s obsession with guns and violence led his father—fatally—to decide it could be managed by purchasing him guns in order to re-channel his unhealthy fixation into a benign hobby. One night in May 1998, Kip used a .22-caliber rifle his dad had bought him to murder both his parents. Before shooting his mother, he allegedly told her, “I love you, Mom.” The next morning, he drove his parents’ car to school and fired 51 rounds in the school cafeteria, killing one and injuring 23 others.
14. TRIED TO PASS OFF THE CHOPPED-UP, SALTED CORPSES AS ‘BARBECUED PORK’
One would think that if you’re going to murder your parents, you would have the taste and discretion not to brag about it on social media. But that’s exactly what Henry Chau of Hong Kong did on a WhatsApp group after he murdered his parents in 2013. After being indicted for murder, Chau explained to police he instructed his dimwitted friend Angus Tse to chop up his parents’ corpses, salt them, and bake them in the hopes it would all look like “barbecued pork” rather than dead human bodies. Investigators would find microwaved human flesh and the victims’ heads in two separate refrigerators. In videos shown to the jury, Chau spoke of persistent difficulties communicating with his parents and gave an oddball explanation for the murder: “I thought that if I could resolve the emotional connection with my parents, it would be a solution. If they died, I could be reborn.”