Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Today in Crime History: The Villisca axe murders

In the wee hours of June 10, 1912, eight people –six of them children — were murdered with an axe in the town of Villisca, Iowa. That crime remains a mystery. A century later the town would be once again rocked by a mass murder.

Today in Crime History: Martin Appel pulls off deadly ‘D-Day’ heist

On June 6, 1986, the 42nd anniversary of the historic D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II, Martin Appel executed a bloody massacre at the First National Bank in Bath, Penn. A WWII buff, Appel considered himself to be a genius master of war, and called his car ‘the USS Lexington.’

Today in Crime History: Killer cult leader Jeffrey Don Lundgren is born

Cult leader and self-proclaimed prophet Jeffrey Don Lundgren was born on May 3, 1950. After a life of religious confusion, Lundgren became the leader of a fanatically loyal sect. His followers were prepared to do anything for him. It all began to unravel when Lundgren demanded the sacrifice of an entire family, the Averys, some of his most ardent followers.

Slideshow: Trail of the Capital Beltway sniper

A look back at the shooting spree that began on October 2, 2002, claimed 13 victims and terrorized the D.C. area.

Today in Crime History: The Virginia Tech Massacre

On April 16, 2007, between 9:30 and 10 a.m., Cho Seung-Hui opened fire in a dorm and then a classroom at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, killing at least 30 people in the deadliest shooting rampage by a single gunman in U.S. history.

Mass and spree murders of 2012

Chardon school shooter T.J. Lane, ¬†who pleaded guilty to avoid death and then told victims’ families in court, “The hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory,” is appealing his life sentence without possibility of parole, after a failed appeal attempt. A look back the other mass murders and spree shootings of 2012.

So why are school shooters always white guys?

With few exceptions, the school massacres we suffer in America are perpetrated by white boys in suburban areas. We try to understand why.

Amy Bishop, deadly professor

Anything but academic, a tenure dispute in Alabama became a blood bath when professor Amy Bishop opened fire at a faculty meeting on February 12, 2010. After the murders, further investigation into the 1986 "accidental" shooting death of her brother Seth, led to Bishop’s being indicted for murder in Massachusetts for that crime.

Today in Crime History: Police find the bodies of the Avery family

On January 3, 1990, following a tip, police searchers found the bodies of the missing Avery family. They quickly made the connection to cult leader Jeffrey Lundgren, who claimed his authority came from God, but who embraced acts of violence and sexual assault that culminated the murders of five of his followers, two adults and three children.

Fathers Who Kill, and Why

On December 28, 1987, Ronald Gene Simmons went on a rampage shooting five people, killing two. On investigation police found that the rampage had started days earlier when he had killed his entire family — 16 people, including infants. A look at fathers who kill and what motivates them.

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