Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jesse Harding Pomeroy

Death of a Little Boy

Jesse decided to torture and kill Horace Millen the moment he saw him. This time, he decided, there would be no neighborhood bully to interfere. After Horace bought the cupcake and shared it with his new friend, Jesse suggested they head to the harbor to see a steamship docked there. Leaving the familiar neighborhood, the "feeling" that Jesse said was the driving force behind his hostility grew stronger until he could barely contain his bloodlust.

Heading across the marsh, Jesse stopped to help Horace across a wide ditch and met 15-year-old Robert Benson who had been digging clams near the shore. Benson lived in South Boston but did not know Jesse Pomeroy or his reputation. Jesse eyed Benson warily, unsure of whether the teen would confront him or not. As the two closed the distance between them, shots rang out from across the marsh.

Startled, Jesse asked Benson what was the hunters' target and Benson told him several men were hunting wild ducks. Benson then moved past what he thought was an older brother leading his overdressed younger brother to some adventure.

Jesse moved away from the direction of the hunters and away from the open water to a more deserted area. The two boys stopped in a swale, which afforded them a bit of privacy.

"Lets rest for a minute," he told Horace, who was still unaware of the danger he was in.

When Horace sat down, Jesse took out his pocket knife — the same blade that had killed Katie Curran — and in a white hot rage, grabbed Horace and slashed the boy's throat. There was a great deal of blood, but Horace was still alive. Angered that his first attack had not succeeded, Jesse went berserk and repeatedly stabbed the helpless youngster over and over. Horace fought back, but a wounded four-year-old is no match for a psychopathic teenager with a knife. His hands and lower arms showed signs of defensive wounds, suggesting that he was alive during much of the assault.

Eventually Jesse managed to slice through Horace's windpipe, which ended the battle. But Jesse wasn't finished. He continued to hack at the body, especially in the genital area. Jesse punctured the boy's right eye through the eyelid, and the coroner would eventually count no less than 18 wounds to the boy's chest. Jesse had also attempted to castrate the boy, mutilating his scrotum.

The deep gouges in the sand made by his flailing legs, the dozen cuts to the boy's arms and hands, as well as the condition of the hands themselves — the fists were clenched so tight in agony that the fingernails were embedded in the palms — indicated that Horace Millen had died an excruciating death.

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