There’s a huge crossover between fans of horror and true crime aficionados. Serial killers are a source of vast fascination for many—even those of us who look completely normal. There’s something taboo yet irresistible able about people who live without empathy or fear of consequences. And one of the must terrifying subgroups of serial killers are, ironically, children.
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Seen as innocence personified, children can nonetheless be as vicious as any adult. Below, the folks at The Infographics Show have assembled a list of the most nefarious minors in the history of mankind—at least that we know about. It’s a chilling study that’s somehow easier to swallow because it’s animated. Give it a spin and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
If you can’t stream, the 10 evilest children in history are listed below the video, along with brief biographies. Enjoy!
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Kids can be so cruel,” which is usually in reference to schoolyard bullying. It might also relate to such things as young kids pulling the legs off spiders. Psychologists tell us one of the reasons for such cruelty, especially against animals, is that children have not fully developed their sense of empathy. Sometimes they just don’t understand the gravity of their actions. But then older kids should know better. Psychologists also tell us older kids that tend to be evil might have suffered from abusive relationships. They might also just be little psychopaths in the making, domineering devils with an anti-social attitude, and sometimes it seems there’s no rational explanation for why they are they way they are. Today we are going to introduce you to some of the worst children ever, in this episode of the Infographics Show, The Most Evil Kids that Ever Lived.
Source: Wikipedia Unless Otherwise Noted.
Peter Woodcock 0:49
Bio: David Michael Krueger (March 5, 1939 – March 5, 2010), best known by his birth name, Peter Woodcock, was a Canadian serial killer and child rapist. He gained notoriety for the murders of three young children in Toronto in the late 1950s, as well as for a murder on his first day of unsupervised release from the psychiatric institution in which he was incarcerated for his earlier crimes. An adopted child, Krueger lived in numerous foster homes as an infant and showed signs of severe emotional trauma when he found a permanent foster home at the age of 3. Unable to adjust to social situations, he was bullied by his peers. He would often wander from his home by foot, bicycle or train to parts of Toronto where he would molest dozens, and ultimately murder three young children. Found not guilty by reason of insanity for his crimes, he was sent to a psychiatric facility where he was deemed a psychopath. Experimental treatment programs for psychopathy tried with him proved ineffective when he murdered a fellow psychiatric patient in 1991; after his death in 2010, he was described in the Toronto Star as “the serial killer they couldn’t cure.”
Brenda Ann Spencer 2:02
Bio: The Grover Cleveland Elementary School shooting took place on January 29, 1979, at a public elementary school in San Diego, California, United States. The principal and a custodian were killed; eight children and a police officer were injured. A 16-year-old girl, Brenda Spencer, who lived in a house across the street from the school, was convicted of the shootings. Tried as an adult, she pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was given an indefinite sentence. As of 2018, she remains in prison.
Edmund Kemper 2:49
Bio: Edmund Emil Kemper III (born December 18, 1948) is an American serial killer who murdered 10 people, including his paternal grandparents and mother. He regularly engaged in necrophilia and claimed to have consumed the flesh of at least one of his victims, but later retracted this confession. Born in California, Kemper had a disturbed childhood. He moved to Montana with his abusive mother at a young age before returning to California, where he murdered his paternal grandparents when he was 15. He was subsequently diagnosed by court psychiatrists as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and sentenced to the Atascadero State Hospital as a criminally insane juvenile. Released at the age of 21 after convincing psychiatrists he was rehabilitated, Kemper was regarded as non-threatening by his victims. He targeted young female hitchhikers during his killing spree, luring them into his vehicle and driving them to secluded areas where he would murder them before taking their corpses back to his home to be decapitated, dismembered and violated. At the climax of his killing spree, Kemper murdered his mother and one of her friends before turning himself into the authorities. Found sane and guilty at his trial in 1973, he requested the death penalty for his crimes. However, capital punishment was temporarily suspended in California at the time, and he instead received eight life sentences. Since then, Kemper has been incarcerated in the California Medical Facility.
The unnamed Brit 3:46
Bio: A 13-year-old boy admitted killing his six-month-old brother by repeatedly stabbing him and cutting off his left hand as he lay in his cot. The boy, who had a “wretched” upbringing and cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked the baby after an argument with his mother in January last year. He stabbed his half-brother 17 times in his face, neck, and back. He then changed his blood-stained clothes and walked into a police station in Bristol and told officers he had stabbed his brother. He said he thought the baby may be dead and then produced a kitchen knife. (Source)
Mary Bell 5:01
Bio: Mary Flora Bell (born 26 May 1957) is an English woman who, as a child aged 10–11 in 1968, strangled to death two toddlers in Scotswood, an inner-city suburb in the West End district of Newcastle upon Tyne. She was convicted in December 1968 of the manslaughter of Martin Brown (aged 4) and Brian Howe (aged 3). Since her release from prison in 1980, she has lived under a series of pseudonyms. Her identity has been protected by a court order, which has also been extended to protect the identity of her daughter. In 1998, Bell collaborated with Gitta Sereny on an account of her life, in which she details the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her mother – a prostitute – and her mother’s clients.
Joshua Phillips 6:24
Bio: Joshua Earl Patrick Phillips (born March 17, 1984) is an American convicted murderer from Jacksonville, Florida. He was convicted in July 1999 of murdering an 8-year-old neighbor, Maddie Clifton, in November 1998, when he was 14 years old. He is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without parole. The murder was the subject of national television coverage, including a documentary on 48 Hours titled “Why did Josh Kill?”
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables 7:43
Bio: James Patrick Bulger (16 March 1990 – 12 February 1993) was a boy from Kirkby, Merseyside, England, who was murdered on 12 February 1993, at the age of two. He was abducted, tortured and killed by two ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson (born 23 August 1982) and Jon Venables (born 13 August 1982). Bulger was led away from the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle whilst his mother took her eyes off him momentarily. His mutilated body was found on a railway line 2.5 miles (4 km) away in Walton, Liverpool, two days after his murder. Thompson and Venables were charged on 20 February 1993 with Bulger’s abduction and murder.
Eric Smith 9:18
Bio: Eric M. Smith (born January 22, 1980) is an American criminal, incarcerated for the murder of four-year-old Derrick Robie (born October 2, 1988) on August 2, 1993, in Steuben County, New York. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 and sentenced to the maximum term then available for juvenile murderers: a minimum of nine years to life in prison.
Amarjeet Sada 10:42
Bio: Sada started killing approximately one year before he was finally turned over to authorities. In other words, he was only seven when the murders began. During a one-year time frame, he killed at least three times. All of his victims were babies from the local village, with the oldest being his eight-month-old sister. It’s unknown why he targeted babies, but it seems that it was due to their small size and inability to defend themselves. (Source)
Jesse Harding Pomeroy 11:55
Bio: Jesse Harding Pomeroy (November 29, 1859 – September 29, 1932) was the youngest person in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be convicted of murder in the first degree. He was found guilty by a jury trial held in the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County in December 1874.