Michael “Mucko” McDermott was the gunman responsible for the Wakefield massacre of 2000. The morning after Christmas McDermott went through the offices of Edgewater Technology with an AK-47 assault rifle, shotgun and semiautomatic pistol, immediately gunning down two receptionists and made his way to the HR department. He killed three employees there, and then headed to accounting where he blasted through the door and murdered three other people. When he was apprehended by police he was sitting calmly in the lobby surrounded by his guns and a bag filled with ammunition.
McDermott attempted to plea innocence by reason of insanity, claiming “he was born without a soul and that God had allowed him to earn a soul by traveling back in time to kill Nazis.” But many reports of money troubles made it easy for the prosecution to prove why he really shot up his former employer. The two departments he targeted—accounting and HR—had recently decided to garnish his wages to pay overdue taxes to the IRS. A request for a cash advance by McDermott had also been denied. And the morning of the shooting, McDermott received a call that his car was about to be repossessed to which he replied, “I won’t be needing it. Come pick it up.”
McDermott is currently serving 7 consecutive life sentences with no possibility for parole.
Benjamin Tony Atkins
Benjamin Atkins was a serial killer active in Detroit who murdered 11 women over the course of a 9 month period between December of 1991, and August of 1992. Atkins would rape and strangle his victims, many of whom were prostitutes, and leave their bodies in abandoned buildings around the Highland Park area of Detroit. Once apprehended, Atkins said he was motivated by his hatred of prostitution. It was revealed during his trial that Atkins was a victim of abuse and rape, and while growing up would often witness his own mother engage in prostitution. He was sentenced to 11 life sentences, and died while in prison in 1997 due to an infection related to his HIV.
Lawrence Scott Dame
Lawrence Scott Dame is a Minnesota man who murdered his sister, her husband, and their three children just a day after he was released from prison for stealing a car. As part of his release, Dame was supposed to be checking it with a mental health facility due to the fact that he was incredibly paranoid and admitted to hearing voices. He at one point told his mother, “The spirits said your family is going to kill you. Well, I better kill everyone before they kill me.”
The night before the murders Dame’s sister called 911 saying, “”Um, it’s regarding, OK my brother got discharged from the um jail today and the consequences were that he was supposed to go to the hospital because he hears voices and he stole my car and all this stuff. My husband brought him to the hospital and the hospital will not take him, and so my husband is bringing him back here because we can’t get ahold of his parole officer. Well, I can’t have him stay here. He has to go back to jail or something.” Because she hadn’t officially evicted Dame from her home, police couldn’t legally arrest him.
On the night of October 18th, 2000, Dame murdered the family while they were asleep in bed. He beat them all with a hammer, and stabbed his brother-in-law and stabbed his nephews (ages 12 and 22 months) and niece (age 9). When his brother-in-law didn’t show up for work, a concerned co-worker called the police who discovered the massacre. Dame confessed to the crimes but offered no motive. He was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002.
Carla Ann Hughes
Carla Ann Hughes is a former middle school teacher from Jackson, Mississippi. Hughes became romantically involved with another teacher, Keyon Pittman, from her school in 2006, despite the fact that he had a live in fiancée, Avis Banks, who was pregnant.
On November 29, 2006, Pittman found Banks’ body in their Mississippi home. The perpetrator had kicked in the back door, and fatally shot and stabbed Banks in the garage. Hughes initially tried to hide her relationship with Pittman, and the fact that she had borrowed her cousin’s pistol (which at the time was loaded) and returned it with an empty chamber. Police later matched Hughes’ shoes with prints on the backdoor. Hughes plead the 5th and did not testify during the trial.
After eight hours of deliberation, the jury announced they had reached a verdict on October 13, 2009. Hughes was found guilty on both counts of capital murder. Although she could have faced the death penalty, Hughes is instead serving two consecutive life sentences without parole.
Also known as “The Butcher of Kansas City”, Robert Berdella was a serial killer from 1984 to 1988 in Missouri. Berdella was the owner of Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre, a novelty shop that specialized in occult artifacts. Berdella would pick up young men, sometimes who were prostitutes, and hold them captive raping, sodomizing, and torturing them for days, even weeks, in his home. He would electrocute the young men, give the acupuncture, and even admitted to gauging out a victim’s eye to “see what would happen.” Berdella kept a diary of his activities, including each time he would rape his victims.
In 1988, one of the Berdella’s would-be victims leapt from the second story window of the home in order to get help. He ran to a neighbor’s house wearing nothing but a dog collar and the neighbors immediately called the police. Inside the home they found torture devices, a satanic robe, and over 200 photographs of men being strung up. When police realized that one of the men in the photographs was likely dead, they did more investigating and found a human skull and other remains in the backyard. Berdella avoided the death penalty by giving a full confession.
Jordan Linn Graham
Jordan Linn Graham was married to Cody Johnson just 8 days before pushing him off of a cliff in Glacier National Park. After pushing him off of a popular spot called “The Loop” on the Going to the Sun Road, Graham drove home to Kalispell but told no one what had happened. She later would try to fabricate an email from a friend called “Tony” saying that Johnson had fallen during a boy’s trip. Police later concluded that Tony was a fake account set up by Graham. Graham later admitted that she was having doubts about her marriage, and during an argument she pushed him, he fell, and then she “took off and ran.” Mishandling of the evidence made solidifying a first degree charge difficult (prosecution claimed Graham had blindfolded him and led him to the spot but the alleged blindfold wasn’t properly handled by police) so Graham plead guilty to second degree murder, and is currently serving 30 years.
The inspiration behind films like Natural Born Killers, Badlands, and The Sadist, Charles Starkweather was an American spree killer from Lincoln, Nebraska who went on a murderous road trip with his underage girlfriend that ended in Wyoming during early 1958.
19-year-old Starkweather met 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate through her older sister, who was dating one of his friends. The two became a couple but due to Starkweather’s known troubled past, her family highly disapproved of their relationship. Some people believe that Starkweather convinced Fugate that by killing her family they could finally be together no questions asked.
On January 21, 1958, Starkweather went to the Fugate home without Caril Ann. There, he shot her mother and stepfather, and strangled and stabbed her two-year-old baby sister. When Fugate came home, the couple hid the bodies behind the family home. They lived there until the 27th, when Fugate’s grandmother became suspicious and called the police.
They then fled to the farm of a family friend, who Starkweather shot as well. They abandoned their vehicle and were picked up by two local teens who said they would give them a ride. After forcing them to drive to a storm shelter, Starkweather shot the boy and attempted to rape the girl. When he was unsuccessful he became enraged and shot her as well. Later, he would attempt to pin the murder of the girl on Fugate, who adamantly denied she killed anyone during Starkweather’s murderous trip.
Fugate and Starkweather drove to a wealthier part of Lincoln and broke into a home, killing both the woman who lived their and her maid. The bodies were found with multiple stab wounds and Starkweather snapped the neck of the family dog. When the woman’s husband returned home for the evening Starkweather shot him as well. The couple then stole their car and fled.
Needing to get rid of the vehicle, they came across a traveling salesman asleep in his car. After waking him, Starkweather shot him and stole his car. The car had a push-pedal emergency break, something Starkweather was unfamiliar with, and the car stalled. An altercation with another driver provided enough time for a deputy sheriff to arrive on the scene. Fugate fled claiming Starkweather was going to kill her, and a high speed chase ensued. Starkweather was hit by a police bullet deep enough that he pulled over and surrendered, thinking he would bleed to death.
Starkweather was convicted of only the murder of Robert Jensen, the teenaged boy who offered him a ride, but was sentenced to death in June of 1959. Caril Ann served 17 years of her life sentence, and was released in 1976.
Zane Michael Floyd
Zane Michael Floyd was an Ex-Marine convicted of murdering 4 people during a spree killing at a Las Vegas supermarket in 1999. Floyd was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, but told he would not be able to reenlist due to his alcoholism.
On June 3rd, 1999, after raping and sodomizing an escort in his home, Floyd entered an Albertson’s supermarket wearing Marine camouflage and opened fire with a shotgun. He killed four employees with point blank shots, and fired at another who pretended to be dead. As he was leaving the store, he whispered at that employee, “Yeah you’re dead.” When he realized the supermarket was surrounded, he threatened suicide but was convinced to surrender.
Floyd was convicted of 4 consecutive death penalties. His first appeal is still waiting in the federal court system.
Carl C. Drega
Carl Drega from Bow, New Hampshire had a long history of conflict with his local police department and government, usually involving code enforcement for what he could and could not do on his property. After a dispute over a tax assessment on the property, Drega began equipping his land with early-warning electronic noise and motion detectors, as well as purchased armored vests and an AR-15.
On August 19th, 1997, Drega was stopped by a state trooper in the parking lot of a supermarket for having “too much rust” on his pickup. Drega got out of his truck with a rifle and began firing at the officer. When the officer fled to a field, Drega followed him and murdered him. When another trooper arrived on the scene, Drega shot him from several hundred feet away before the officer could even exit his vehicle. Drega stole the police car and drove the office of the Colebrook District Court judge, and shot and killed her. A newspaper editor at the office tried to disarm him, but was shot and killed as well.
Drega then returned to his property and set his house on fire before setting up his final stand on a dead end road on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. He wounded three more officers before ultimately being shot by police.
Richard Francis Cottingham
Richard Francis Cottingham was convicted of murdering six women in 1980. Despite also murdering a mother of two as his first kill, Cottingham was known for murdering and mutilating prostitutes at various hotels – although he had an affinity for the chain ‘Quality Inn’. Cottingham’s victims were often found with their heads cut off, covered in bite marks, with their hands and wrists bound.
In May of 1980, Cottingham picked up an 18-year-old prostitute and brought her to a Quality Inn. When he offered her a massage, he then drew a knife and handcuffed her. He brutalized her body before leaving, and her muffled screams became so loud that the hotel staff notified the police. Cottingham was convicted based on the testimony of three surviving victims, and is currently surviving almost 200 years in prison.
Cottingham has claimed to have killed between 80 and 100 women, despite only being prosecuted for the deaths of six.