Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

12 alarming cases of vigilante justice

Real people who took the law into their own hands.

Fetish priest arrested by angry ghost

In a move that reportedly threw a small town in the African country Ghana into chaos, the ghost of a dead man possessed a woman and performed a citizen’s arrest of the fetish priest who was allegedly responsible for his mysterious and untimely demise.

The kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart

The 1933 kidnapping and subsequent murder of popular, attractive young man Brooke Hart, 22, so angered the people of San Jose, California, that on November 26, a mob over 5000 strong stormed the jail and lynched the suspects.

Anti-Pedophile Vigilantes Lash out at Their Critics With Online Threats

From our friends at The Daily Dot: When two sisters slammed an anti-pedophile group for naming-and-shaming a suspect who later took his own life, the vigilantes turned their attention towards the siblings with threats that left them fearing for their safety.

Today in Crime History: Police Save Life of Serial Killer Richard Ramirez

On August 30, 1985, “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez tried to steal a car, but was captured and beaten by an angry mob, who recognized his photo from a police handout. Ironically, it was the police who, by arresting him, rescued the serial killer from the people. He was charged with thirteen murders.

Mississippi Madness: The Story of Emmett Till

Emmett Till, a Chicago teenager who went to visit relatives in Mississippi and wound up lynched for whistling at a married white woman. His case would become a rallying symbol for thousands of Americans hungry for justice.

Villagers in Bolivia Bury Murderer Alive with his Victim

Villagers in Central Bolivia’s Town of Colquechaca have taken justice into their own hands, burying a suspected rapist and murderer alive, alongside his alleged victim.

Teen Falsely Accused of Rape Beaten to Death by Gang of Four

The trial is ongoing in the case of four people from Romford, Essex, in England, charged with brutally beating a man to death, exacting vengeance for a rape that seems never to have occurred.

Another Washington State Vigilante Sentenced for Killing Sex Offenders

In a crime reminiscent of that of vigilante Michael A. Mullen, also from Washington State, Patrick Drum, who said he was standing up for a belief by seeking out registered sex offenders and killing them, was sentenced after hearing from the victims’ families. As did Mullen, Drum stands by his actions.

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