Richky Abeyta was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and 4 other people, and two police officers in Chiamyó, New Mexico in January of 1991. When Abeyta arrived at his trailer that morning, he found his ex-girlfriend moving all of her things out with a group of people including her new boyfriend and their 6 month old baby. Abeyta opened fire killing every at the scene, including the infant. Two officers arrived to his trailer to deliver a restraining order served by his ex-girlfriend, only to find the massacre that had taken place and were also gunned down by Abeyta. After a 24-hour manhunt, he self-surrendered to the State of New Mexico. Abeyta claimed all of the killings were either accidental or self-defense, but was convicted and sentenced to 146 years in prison.
Richard Kuklinski was an American contract killer active for just shy of 40 years in New York. Nicknamed “Iceman”, Kuklinski’s trademark was freezing a body in order to mask the time of death. While Kuklinski is said to have killed anyone who could have potentially testified against him, he grew messier in the late eighties which lead to his eventual arrest.
Kuklinski claims his first murder was in adolescence, when he beat another boy to death with a coat hanger for bullying him. He then became a notorious pool shark, who would beat or kill those who he lost to. Kuklinski’s reputation for being a brutal shark garnered the attention of the DeCavalcante crime family, who hired him for his first gangland killings in the early 50s. Kuklinski was also tied to the DeMeo crew and the Gambino family.
According to Kuklinski, DeMeo took him out one day and parked on a random street. DeMeo then ordered Kuklinski to kill an random passerby who was walking his dog. Without hesitation, Kuklinski got out, walked towards the man and shot him in the back of the head. From then on, Kuklinski was DeMeo’s favorite hitman.
Kuklinski claimed part of the reason he was able to avoid detection for so long was his varied methods of executing victims. He used guns, knives, explosives, tire irons, fire, poison, asphyxiation, bare hands “for the exercise”, and favored using cyanide in various methods as well. He also disposed of bodies in many different ways. He would dismember people, place them in 55 gallon oil drums, or place the bodies on top of cars that would be crushed at a junkyard.
Little mistakes with some of his final kills, especially the fact that the bodies were found, eventually lead police to Kuklinski. After an elongated undercover sting, Kuklinski was arrested. He claimed to have murdered over 200 people during his 36 year career. His wife and children said they had no idea about his double life.
Jeffrey MacDonald was a former doctor convicted in 1979 of murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters in 1970.
At 3:42 AM February 17, 1970 dispatchers at Fort Bragg (a military installation of the US Army located in North Carolina) received an emergency call from MacDonald reporting a “stabbing.” When four MPDs arrived on the scene they found MacDonald’s two daughter (ages 5 and 2) dead in their beds, and MacDonald’s pregnant wife dead on the floor of their master bedroom. Kimberly MacDonald was clubbed over the head and stabbed in the neck between 8 and 10 times, and Kristen MacDonald had been stabbed 33 times with a knife and 15 times with an ice pick. Colette MacDonald had been severely beaten (both of her arms were broken) and stabbed 21 times with and ice pick and 16 times with a knife, and was draped in Jeffery’s torn pajama shirt. Written above the couple’s bed in Colette’s blood was the word “Pig.” Jeffery MacDonald was found in the room with minor injuries; one clean stab wound to the chest and a minor concussion.
MacDonald claimed four assailants broke into his house, bound and beat him, and a woman in the room was chanting, “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.” Eventually he says he was knocked unconscious, which is supposedly when these attackers went upstairs and murdered the rest of the family.
However, despite the charges against MacDonald being dropped during his Article 32 hearing, the blood analysis of the scene would prove differently.
Every member of the MacDonald family had a different blood type, and this anomaly lead prosecutors to a very, very different story. Investigators theorized that an argument between MacDonald and his wife broke out, and after his wife hit him with a hairbrush (causing his minor head injury) he began beating her with a piece of lumber. Kimberly, hearing the commotion, came into her parent’s room and was accidentally struck and killed by her father, explaining how her blood and brain matter ended up in the master bedroom. Believing his unconscious wife was dead, MacDonald carried his daughter to her room where he stabbed her to death – explaining how her blood got on his shirt despite him claiming he wasn’t wearing it when he found her body. When he went to Kristen’s room to dispose of his last remaining witness and complete the illusion of a mass murder, Colette (who wasn’t dead and woke up) ran into her room and shielded her daughter with her body, which is how her blood got into the two-year-old’s room. After killing them both, MacDonald wrapped his wife in a sheet and dragged her back to the bedroom, leaving a smudged footprint of her blood again on his way out of the room.
After several citizen complaints to the Justice Department, a grand jury in North Caroline indicted MacDonald in 1975 and within an hour he was arrested in California. Several court appeals and denials of double jeopardy and speedy trial arguments later, the murder trial began on July 16, 1979. After six hours of deliberation, the jury convicted MacDonald of one count of first degree murder, and two counts of second-degree murder. As of 2015, MacDonald is serving time at a federal institution in Maryland.
He still maintains that he is innocent.
Charles Bannon (pictured right) was the last lynching in North Dakota in 1931. Bannon was a hired hand on the Haven Family Farm. The Haven’s had lived on their farm for over 10 years, and had livestock as well as feed and machinery. None of the family members were seen alive again after February 9th, 1930. Bannon claimed that the family opted to move, and allowed him to rent the farm after their departure. When Bannon was arrested in December of that year on grand larceny charges, the investigation lead the discovery that the family had been murdered.
Bannon eventually confessed that after accidentally shooting the Haven’s oldest son, he killed the rest of the family out of fear. An angry mob broke him out of jail, put a noose around his neck, and demanded he tell the truth about what happened to the family. They tried to hang him on the Haven farm property, but the new owner chased the mob off. The mob eventually lead Bannon to the bridge on Cherry Creek, and pushed him off the ledge, hanging him to death.
Lawrence Hensley was found guilty of killing three teenaged girls and a 37-year-old Bible study teacher in Sidney, Ohio in the summer of 1999. According to his pastor, Hensley was reportedly “wrestling with the devil” and trying to leave his life practicing the occult behind. However, it was suspected that Hensley was a sex addict and pedophile, as several teenaged girls said he would try to lure them to his house and pay them to watch sex acts. After a wounded 22-year-old girl was found outside of his home and identified him as the shooter, police found the bodies of two 16-year-old girls in a bedroom who had been shot with a shotgun. In the basement was the body of a 14-year-old girl, who had been shot, stabbed, and hidden in a cupboard. Many believe Hensley was afraid his sex secrets were about to be exposed, and thus he killed the girls to cover it up. Hensley drove his wife the the house of Brett Wildermuth, a Bible study teacher, and shot Wildermuth in the back and left his wife behind. After a two hour standoff at a gas station, Hensley surrendered. Hensley took a plea deal of four life sentences with no possibility of parole to avoid the death penalty.
Gary Alan Walker
Gary Alan Walker was the spree/serial killer responsible for the 19-day terror of murders that claimed the lives of 6 people in the Oklahoma area in 1984. Walker first killed a man who unfortunately picked him up as a hitchhiker and revealed to Walker where he lived. Walker then broke into the man’s home and strangled him with vacuum cord and bashed his skull in with a brick. Walker confessed to the kidnappings, rapes, torture, and murders of 4 other women. He also attempted to rape another woman and when he was unsuccessful, he strangled her with her bra. Walker was given the death penalty, which was carried out in the year 2000. More than 30 people watched Walker’s execution by lethal injection.
Diane Downs was the Oregon mother convicted of shooting her three children in 1983. Downs was involved in an affair with a man in Arizona who said he did not want children in his life, and in order to be with him Downs believed she needed to rid herself of her two daughters and son.
On May 19, 1983 Diane pulled her car to the side of the rode and shot her children before shooting herself in the arm. She then drove them McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, claiming that they had been the victims of a carjacking. Her daughter Cheryl was dead on arrival, her son Danny would become paralyzed from the waist down, and her daughter Christie suffered a massive stroke. Eye-witnesses stated that they saw Diane driving slowly towards the hospital, contradicting her statement that she rushed her children there. Furthermore, there was blood spatter all over the car but none on Downs. Nine months after the shooting, Downs was arrested and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder and criminal assault.
The prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of 9-year-old Christie, who survived the attack. After she regained her ability to speak Christie testified against her mother. When asked how she knew her mother shot her and her siblings she said, “I watched her…my mom did it.”
Before her arrest and trial, Downs became pregnant with a fourth child. A month after her trial, where she was found guilty on all charges, she gave birth to a baby girl. Just a week and a half before her sentencing, the state of Oregon seized the baby and she was adopted. Downs was sentenced to life plus 50 years for the murder and attempted murders of her children. The judge who sentenced her made it clear he intended for Downs to never be free again.
Michele Kalina was 45 in 2011 when she was brought up on murder charges for the bodies of five babies that were found in a closet of her Pennsylvania home. Kalina had been having an affair since 1996, and stated her boyfriend was the father of the five children. When he would notice her stomach growing, she blamed the change on cysts and would tell him she’d get the cysts removed. It was unclear when exactly she gave birth to the babies, and officers reported that Kalina was incredibly removed and disassociated from the events. The bodies of the babies were found in various states; some in concrete, others in coolers. When Kalina’s husband and teenaged daughter found them they had been told “not to go in the closet.” Kalina admitted to maybe “wrapping the baby too tightly in a towel” but never explicitly confessed to anything malicious. Kalina was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
Jeffrey Mailhot is an American serial convicted of stranging and dismembering three prostitutes in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. During the summer of 2003 Mailhot picked up a woman and brought her back to his apartment to have sex with him. Mailhot began strangling her until he felt her stop struggling. When he noticed she was still breathing, he smothered her with a pillow before passing out in a drunken stupor. The next morning, shocked at what he had done, Mailhot dragged the body and left it in the tub. Two days later, Mailhot cut her up into pieces, put her into separate trash bags to avoid suspicion, and dropped them in various trash containers. 14 months later, he killed another woman in the same fashion, and a third 2 months after her. Though two of the bodies were never found, police did find the remains of one woman in a plastic trash bag 12 days after Mailhot’s arrest. Mailhot is currently serving two life sentences, plus 10 years, and will be eligible for parole at age 77.
Dylann Roof is the neo-nazi responsible for the Charleston Church Shooting of 2015. Roof claimed that, “Blacks were taking over the world” and said that he shot up the church in the hopes of enticing a race war. On June 17, 2015, Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a routine Bible study. As the group began to pray, Roof pulled a Glock out of his pack and began shooting people saying, “Y’all want something to pray about? I’ll give you something to pray about.” He shot and killed 9 people, and injured one other.
Three days after the shooting, Roof was identified through a website that he operated dedicated to hate speech, and his neo-nazi views. Police aprehended him at a traffic stop where he was then arrested and questioned by the FBI. On January 11, 2017, Roof was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection. He is currently on death row.