Adult serial killers are creepy enough, but what’s all the more jarring is kids who kill. Like something out of a horror movie, it’s unnatural and terribly frightening. We think of children as innocent and pure, and while many are, every year there are kids who commit horrific crimes. Wicked Horror lists ten terrifying cases of kids under the age 16 who kill. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
GEORGE JUNIUS STINNEY JR.
Born October 21st, 1929, George Junius Stinney was, at age 14, the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th Century.
There has been a great deal of political and racial debate and overall distrust surrounding the Stinney case. It’s widely “accepted” that despite the uproar over executing such a young boy, George Stinney did in fact kill two young girls.
Back in 1944, South Carolina, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7, were found murdered, laying side by side in a shallow grave. The girls had been gathering flowers when they were followed, attacked and beaten so severely their skulls were fractured. The bodies of the girls, both white, were found on the “black side” of town. Suspicion fell on 14-year-old Stinney, who had apparently wanted to rape the 11-year-old Betty, but couldn’t do so with the younger girl present. He decided to kill Mary to get her out of the way. Both girls fought him, but he grabbed a large railroad spike and began bludgeoning them to death, repeatedly striking their heads with the heavy iron.
Although no physical evidence was ever found, police said that Stinney had confessed to the crimes. Stinney was tried, convicted and executed by the state–all in the space of 83 days. His siblings, three of whom are still alive, believe his confession was coerced and they say they were with him when the murders occurred, evidence that was never presented at his trial.
Born November 29th 1859 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, Jesse Pomeroy is the definition of a kid who enjoyed seeing others suffer.
Jesse specialized in torturing, and sometimes killing, young boys between the ages of four and eight. At age 11 he was sentenced to a children’s reform school for the sexual torture of seven boys, his weapons ranging from rope, knives, and pins. Released early in 1874 he went on to mutilate and kill a 10-year-old girl who came into his mother’s store. Jesse was then arrested at age 14 for the horrific murder of a 4-year-old boy and quickly received the label “The Boston Boy Fiend.” He had kidnapped the boy, took him to a swamp outside of town and slashed him so savagely with a knife that he nearly decapitated him. When he was shown the body and asked if he’d done it, he responded with a nonchalant, “I suppose I did.” The girl was then found buried in his mother’s cellar and he confessed to that murder, as well.
Most people wanted Jesse killed for his crimes, but the governor wouldn’t allow it. He instead decided on giving him a lifelong sentence in solitary confinement. He spent forty-one years in solitary, before getting any contact with other inmates. He died in 1932 at the age of seventy-two.
Mary Bell was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, on May 26th 1957, and caused a sensation in 1968 when she killed two small boys in her home town.
Mary Bell suffered from an early age. Born to a prostitute mother named Betty, she was forced to have sex with men by her mother when she was as young as four years old. It has been said Betty also tried to kill Mary several times while trying to make the deed look accidental. Her father’s identity was always questionable, though the man that most evidence pointed towards was a habitual criminal.
The day before her 11th birthday Mary Bell strangled four-year-old Martin Brown in a derelict house in the Scotswood area of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. A short time after on the 31st July 1968, Bell and a friend, Norma Joyce Bell, who held no relation to Mary, took part in the death by strangulation of three-year-old Brian Howe on wasteland in the same Scotswood area.
Police reports conclude Bell had later returned to his body to carve an “N” into his stomach with a razor, which she then changed to an “M”. She also used a pair of scissors to cut off some of the boy’s hair, mark his legs and mutilate his penis.
As the girls were so young and their testimonies contradicted each other, each accusing the other of “squeezing” Brian Howe’s throat, with Mary accusing Norma of making the cuts on his body with a razor blade. Both girls were arrested on August 5th 1968 and when charged with murder, Mary replied, “That’s all right by me.”
After nine days of evidence Norma, who had appeared confused and over-awed during the proceedings, was found not guilty. Mary was, because of diminished responsibility, found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment. She was released with a new identity in 1980. In 1998 a biography called Cries Unheard: The Story of Mary Bell was published.
Joshua Earl Patrick Phillips, was born March 17th 1984 in Jacksonville, Florida. In November 1998 he was convicted of murdering an 8-year-old neighbor, Maddie Clifton.
Maddie vanished from her Jacksonville neighborhood on November 3rd and thousands searched for her whereabouts. After seven days, Josh’s mother started to notice an unpleasant odor emanating from underneath his bed. What she found was the missing girl, dead, bloody and leaking fluids. She had been beaten to a pulp and stabbed multiple times.
Josh told police that while playing, he had accidentally hit Maddie with a baseball and in a panic and afraid of getting in trouble, he hit Maddie with a baseball bat and stabbed her to stop her screaming.
In the early ’90s, most states (including Florida) changed their laws, making it easier to try juveniles as adults. It was in this climate in 1999 when Josh was sentenced to life without parole.
Born February 26th 1981, Barry Dale Loukaitis is a convicted murderer who killed three people in a high school shooting at Frontier Junior High in Washington at just 15 years of age.
On February 2nd 1996, Loukaitis dressed up like a Wild West gunslinger and walked into his algebra classroom armed with 2 concealed pistols, 78 rounds of ammunition and a high powered rifle. He opened fire right then and there, his first victim being 14-year-old Manuel Vela. Seconds later, another classmate was hit with a shot to the chest, followed by the teacher with a shot to the back. Next was a 13-year-old girl, shot in the arm.
Loukaitis had planned to take one of the student’s hostage and to use him to get out of the school. Instead, a gym teacher heard the gunshots and offered to be the hostage when he stumbled upon the scene. The teacher then wrestled the gun from Loukaitis’s hands and subdued him until police arrived.
In all, 3 people died, and Loukaitis blamed mood swings on his attack. Loukaitis had thought it would be “fun” to go on a killing spree. Loukaitis was convicted of 2 counts of aggravated 1st degree murder and sentenced to 2 mandatory life terms without parole with an additional 205 years on top of that.
Born in October 1993, Jasmine Richardson planned and committed her family’s murders along with her boyfriend, 23-year-old Jeremy Steinke, when she was just 12-years-old.
On April 23rd, 2006, the bodies of husband Marc Richardson, 42, and wife Debra, 48, were found in the basement of their home. Both parents had been stabbed so many times that Marc had next to no blood left in his body. Even worse, the couple’s eight-year-old son, Jacob, was dead upstairs with his throat cut. Absent from the home at that time was the couple’s 12-year-old daughter. Though it was initially feared that Jasmine had been abducted, she was soon found in the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, 81 miles away from home, with her 23-year-old boyfriend. The couple had apparently watched the movie Natural Born Killers shortly before the murders, after which Jasmine’s boyfriend, convinced the young Jasmine to marry him, help kill her parents and then proceed to run off with him.
Both were charged with the three murders with Steinke’s friend Kacy Lancaster, 19, charged with being an accessory for driving them away and disposing of evidence. On November 8th, 2007, Jasmine was sentenced to the maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, currently serving her time in a psychiatric hospital. On December 15th, 2008, Steinke was sentenced to three life sentences on each of three counts of first-degree murder. The sentences are to be served concurrently. But Steinke will be eligible for parole after serving twenty-five years. The accessory to murder charge against their friend Kacy Lancaster was dropped and she pleaded guilty to an obstruction charge in Medicine Hat provincial court. She received one year house arrest as part of the plea bargain, and was ordered to refrain from drugs and alcohol.
Daniel Bartlam, born November 11th 1986 is a convicted murderer from Nottingham, United Kingdom. Dubbed as the “Coronation Street Killer” by the UK media, Daniel displayed disturbing behavior, such as defecating and hiding his feces around his room. He developed an obsession with horror movies, became increasingly reclusive and began posting violent clips online. Furthermore, he developed a knack for writing extremely gory short stories, which he would show his mother, Jacqui, with great delight.
On Easter Sunday, April 2011, Daniel decided to commit what he saw as the perfect murder by killing his own mother. After spending the day indulging in Easter chocolate, Daniel sneaked into his mother’s bedroom that night with a claw hammer and bludgeoned his mother to death as she slept. He then wrapped her in newspaper and doused her in petrol before setting alight to her, helping his younger brother and the family dog out of the house as the blaze took hold. His mother was burned so severely that she had to be identified using her dental records. Initially, he claimed that a burglar had hurt his mother and set fire to the house. However, as investigators searched through his computer, they found evidence that he was searching key phrases like “how to get away with murder” and other similar topics. The murder weapon was found wrapped up and hidden in his room. He was immediately arrested and tried. Daniel Bartlam was sentenced to 16 years in a juvenile detention facility.
Kipland Kinkel was born August 30th 1982 in Oregon. He was expelled from Thurston High School in 1998 at the tender age of 15, for bringing a gun to class with him.
Instead of taking proper measures, the school simply sent him home. Kinkel soon returned and this time brought an assault rifle with him. He made his way to the cafeteria and opened fire, instantly killing a classmate and critically wounding several others. Witnesses said 15-year-old Kinkel, dressed in a trench coat, ran through the cafeteria firing his rifle from the hip.
As Kinkel was trying to reload, 17-year-old wrestler Jake Ryker, despite gunshot wounds to his hand and chest, tackled the boy. Several others quickly helped and piled on Kinkel to end the terror. “Just shoot me, shoot me now,” one of the students, Ryker’s brother Josh, quoted the boy as saying.
When police arrived, Kinkel was disarmed and taken into custody. Kinkel acted suicidal and claimed he wanted to die, and when officers raided his home they found that both his parents, who were teachers at different schools, were already dead—and that the boy had booby trapped the house with explosives. To make the scene even grizzlier, he had rigged his own mother’s corpse with a bomb.
The Thurston High School shootings left a total of two students dead and 25 others wounded. Kipland Kinkel is serving a 111-year sentence without the possibility of parole.
Eric Smith born January 22nd 1980, in Steuben County, New York, brutally murdered a boy of just four when he was only 13-years-old.
In 1993 four year-old Derrick Robie was walking from his house to a recreation program a block away when Smith grabbed and dragged him to a nearby wooded area. He beat Robie with rocks and sodomized him with a stick. Smith even kept mutilating and abusing the young child’s body once he was dead. It was one of the most heinous acts on record ever to be committed by a child in the United States.
Smith is currently serving the maximum sentence for juvenile murderers, nine years to life in prison. He has been denied parole seven times since 2002, most recently in April 2014. One of the scariest details of the story is that everyone who has interviewed him since he committed the crime has said that they couldn’t believe that they’re speaking with a murderer–the general sentiment being that he just seemed so normal and sincere.
Jon Venables (born August 13th 1982) and Robert Thompson (born 23rd August 1982) are two of the most infamous child killers in the UK. On February 12th 1993, both at just 10-years-old coaxed 2-year-old James Bulger away from his mother while in the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.
The boys had been stealing things all day at the shopping centre—candy, a troll doll, some batteries, a can of blue paint, and other incidentals. CCTV evidence from the shopping centre showed Thompson and Venables casually observing children, apparently selecting a target. They approached 2-year-old James and spoke to him, before taking him by the hand and leading him out of the shopping centre.
Venables and Thompson took James on a 2.5 mile walk to a semi-secluded area in Liverpool, along some railroad tracks by an old cemetery. The boys threw paint into his left eye, hit him with bricks, beat him with an iron bar, and shoved batteries into his mouth. They beat him so severely that a coroner could not determine which of the blows was the fatal one. Before fleeing the scene, the boys laid Bulger out across the train tracks and weighed him down so that he couldn’t move, hoping that a train would come and cut him in half. It did.
James’ mutilated body was found on a railway line two-and-a-half miles (4 km) away in Walton, Liverpool, two days after his murder. Thompson and Venables were charged on February 20th 1993 with Bulger’s abduction and murder and found guilty on November 24th 1993, making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history. They were sentenced to custody until they reached adulthood, initially until the age of 18, and were released under new identities and on a lifelong license in June 2001. In 2010, Venables was sent to prison for violating the terms of his licence of release, and was released on parole again in 2013.