Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Today in Crime History: The Abduction of Polly Klaas

Polly was 12 when she was abducted from her bedroom on October 1, 1993, during a slumber party by Richard Allen Davis, with promises that he would not hurt her the other girls if she went with him quietly. He raped and murdered her. This infamous case inspired hundreds of people, most prominently her father Marc Klaas, to work on behalf of America’s children.

Today in Crime History: John Joubert Kills His Second Victim

On September 18, 1983, Danny Joe Eberle, 13, failed to return home from his job delivering papers. Investigators followed the trail to a young enlisted man, a budding serial killer of boys.

Convicted Murderer Jon Venables Released From Prison, Again

Jon Venables convicted at age 10, of the 1993 murder of James Bulger, 2, in near Liverpool, England, has been released from prison yet again. Though he has received counseling over the years, many, including the victim’s parents, do not agree with the parole board’s controversial insistence on keeping Venables at large in the general population.

Slideshow: The Jessica Lunsford Case

This charming Florida child was abducted from her home in February 2005 by drugged-out, repeat-sex-offender John Couey. A look back at the case in photos.

Slideshow: The Samantha Runnion Murder Case

Samantha Runnion, a 5-year-old southern California girl, was snatched July 15, 2002, by a stranger outside her apartment while she played with a friend. Samantha went kicking and screaming, as her mother had taught her to do, but her efforts were for naught.

Guess Who’s Working at Walmart?

In 2004, Texas mom Dena Schlosser called 911 and said, “I cut her arms off.” She was talking about her 10-month-old daughter Margaret, whose arms she amputated with knife during a religious frenzy. When police got to Schlosser’s Plano home, the woman was covered in blood and singing Christian hymns. Baby Margaret died the next [...]

Today in Crime History: The Trial of Susan Smith Begins

July 10, 1995, marked the beginning of the murder trial of Susan Smith, a South Carolina woman accused of getting her two young children out of the picture by securing them in her vehicle, and pushing it into a lake in a vain attempt to seem more desirable to the man who had rejected her. The case gained national attention because Smith claimed her sons were kidnapped when her car was carjacked by a black man.

Teen Boy Killed Little Sister by Practicing Wrestling Moves, Say Police

A 13-year-old New Orleans area boy is accused of killing his 5-year-old sister by practicing WWE-style wrestling moves on her. According to a press release issued by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the girl suffered blunt force trauma, broken ribs and internal bleeding. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Carl Panzram, Too Evil to Live, Part II

On June 20, 1929, Panzram, incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison, was working a detail in the laundry when, without warning, he picked up an iron bar and used it to beat a fellow inmate’s brains out in front of the other working inmates. Then, covered in blood and brains, he turned his rage on them, hitting as many as he could with the bar in an attempt to kill everyone in the sealed laundry room.

Today in Crime History: Child Killer Marc Dutroux Found Guilty

On June 17, 2004, a panel of jurors in Belgium returned a verdict in the trial of child killer Marc Dutroux, convicting him of six rapes and three murders.