The Lonely Hearts Murders seductively entwined voodoo magic, kinky sex and personal ads, making it one of the most sensational cases of the 1940s. It was also the inspiration for several films. Lonely Hearts Killers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez were convicted of three murders, but suspected in as many as 20.
On July 13, 1966, Richard Speck raped, stabbed and all but one student nurse in a Chicago group house. The next day, reporter Joe Cummings walked down the second-floor hallway, his stomach churning, counting bodies. He saw four in the first bedroom, three more in another bedroom, and realized, “Oh my God.” Seven upstairs and one downstairs. Eight total.
It’s commonly believed that serial killers cannot stop because their compulsion is so strong that they’re literally addicted to murder. In some cases, however, they’ve turned themselves in to stop the killing. On April 23, 1973, serial killer Edmund Kemper called police and confessed his crimes. An examination of what motivates the few who stopped themselves.
Inventing an evil alter ego is not uncommon for serial killers, in fact some of the most famous ones have claimed that one or more persons living inside them either made them kill, or actually did the killing. Most, however, who tried this multiple personality defense, abandoned it, after discovering that this particular brand of crazy doesn’t get them off the hook.
“It was an urge. … A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people — risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn’t take because they could lead to arrest.” — Edmund Kemper
Artist Anji Marth, who has painted a series of striking serial killer portraits, spoke to Crime Library about her work, her favorite true crime stories and why she’s fascinated by the dangerous and depraved.
In a case disturbing for those who hope that tracking sex offenders will stop sex-offender recidivism, two registered California sex offenders, who each attended regular visits with police, and wore GPS ankle trackers, are suspects in at least 5 murders, and police believe there are more victims.
On March 27, 1969, Karen Sprinker, 19, disappeared, the third victim of serial killer Jerome “Jerry” Brudos, a married father of two and one of the most disturbing serial killers known. Brudos abducted, tortured, and mutilated his victims before killing them. Brudos saved body parts for his post-mortem high-heeled rituals.
On March 4, 1980, Angel Lenair, 12, finished her homework, left her family’s apartment and disappeared. Their worst fears were confirmed on March 10 when her body was found tied to a tree, gagged with another’s underwear, an electrical cord around her neck. She was the fifth victim of the controversial Atlanta Child Killer.
Crime writer Denise Noe discusses why she writes letters to famous inmates like Charles Manson, Eric Rudolph and Carlton Michael Gary.