When Sandra Cantu, 8, vanished on March 27, 2009, people feared that something bad had happened to her. They were right. Sandra had been kidnapped, drugged and allegedly raped before being murdered by the pastor’s daughter who taught at her Sunday school.
On March 24, 1988, hunters found the remains of what was initially thought to be a serial killer’s first victim, but which turned out to be his third. There would be 11 more before he was done. Disturbingly, the killer, Arthur Shawcross, already had a prison record and an early parole despite two convictions for child murder.
On March 18, 1974, three weeks after being let out on parole, 14-year-old Jesse Pomeroy was opening his mother’s store when little Katie Curran walked in looking for a notebook to buy. With the promise of more notebooks downstairs, Jesse took her to a cellar where he brutalized and killed her.
A man and his son were found dead with a note, “I received a warning [on my computer] that said I have to pay [$22,000] or go to prison for 11 years. … I don’t want Nicusor to suffer because of me…I can’t stand going to prison. I can’t.” The threat was bogus; generated by malware.
A look in photos at the Texas mother found not guilty by reason of insanity after drowning each of her five kids in the bathtub, one after the other. In all the murders took under and hour, and when she was done, she called her husband saying, "It’s time."
Joseph Smith sat in a car in Sarasota, Florida, on Superbowl Sunday 2004, a bag of coke and a syringe on his lap. Future prospects: zero. He saw Carlie Brucia, 11, hurry past, and lunged. He grabbed her and forced the terrified girl into his Buick for the last ride she would ever have.
The mother who beat her baby to within an inch of his life and took a selfie with him, has been found guilty of murder.
During the peak of the Jazz Age a series of child murders rocked the Los Angeles area—not just for their brutality, but for the web of lies that surrounded them, and for what was revealed about power and justice in the City of Angels.
Mary Bell was convicted of strangling toddler Martin Brown on May 25, 1968, the day before her 11th birthday. She later left notes that claimed responsibility for the murder, but police dismissed the incident as a prank. After all, who could look at the angelic face of this child and ever imagine her to be one of the youngest serial killers ever discovered.
When a child goes missing, investigators often don’t have to look far from the family home to find their suspect.