Chilling Photos Reveal Lives of Killers When They Were Young
Childhood Photos Of Serial Killers And Mass Murderers
Do you feel it? The chill in the air. The scent of fireplace smoke drifting along dark streets and still, moonlight drenched forests. It can only mean one thing: Halloween is right around the corner, and we felt like this was the perfect opportunity to ring in the season and share a few extra unsettling photos of what some would label as ‘notoriously evil people’ when they were still young; when they were still “innocent.”
According to his own confessions, between 1974 and 1978, Ted Bundy, one of America’s most infamous serial killers, who also dabbled in kidnapping, rape, and necrophilia, left a trail of bodies in his wake — imagining every form of sadistic torture wouldn’t do the case justice. He confessed to 30 homicides committed in 7 states, although the true victim count remains unknown. According to former defense lawyers and interviews surrounding the investigation, it could be more than 100.
The reason for so many unknowns is because in reality, the whole Ted Bundy case was a game in the killer’s mind. He backtracked, ran questioning around in circles, confessed, redacted confessions, and essentially, knowing that he would be convicted, decided to extend his twisted version of fun into the court room; a case infected with dysfunction as notorious as the haunting murders themselves.
Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of Bundy’s last defense team wrote, “Ted was the very definition of heartless evil.” You couldn’t tell by the innocent Christmas photo above.
John Wayne Gacy
Often called nightmare fuel, John Wayne Gacy was known as the Killer Clown, on account of his day job working as a party clown. He was a serial killer and rapist who assaulted and murdered at least 33 between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. His main method of homicide was through asphyxiation or strangulation with a tourniquet.
Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space under his home, 3 more were buried elsewhere on his property, and the bodies of his last 4 known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River.
In 1984, Sam Amirante, one of Gacy’s two defense attorneys at his 1980 trial, authored the Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984, eliminating the mandatory 72-hour period police in Illinois had to allow to elapse before initiating a search for a missing child. Other states subsequently adopted similar measures before a national network aimed at locating missing children was gradually formed, known today as the Amber Alert System.
The subject of the Oscar winning film Monster, Aileen Wuornos was a serial killer who took the lives of 7 men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, claiming that a fantastic and unfortunate series of events led to her needing to use extreme self-defense in each of the suspected deaths. Although the general belief is that her first killing was indeed a case of self-defense, it is also considered the catalyst, a final straw on the camel’s back that, aided by a life of abuse and prostitution, led to a mental breakdown that further caused the slayings.
Nearing her execution and facing a possible appeal to prolong the date or change her conviction to life imprisonment, she suddenly redacted her previous statement and confessed to all the crimes as being intentional and premeditated. During an interview with filmmaker Nick Broomfield, when she thought the cameras were off, she told him that, “it was, in fact, self-defense, but she could not stand being on death row—where she had been for 10 years at that point—and wanted to die.”
The image above was reportedly around the age when she was experiencing significant abuse from family members, schoolmates, and neighborhood acquaintances. A truly tragic failure of society to protect its youth or further ravings of a mentally deranged serial killer? You be the judge.
An American criminal who led what became known as the Manson Family, Charles Manson was convicted of conspiracy to commit the murders of 7 people, including actress Sharon Tate. Often called charismatic and manipulative, he believed in the philosophy he called “Helter Skelter,” or an impending race war which he felt the murders committed by his “family” would help precipitate.
Manson in recent years has become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon due to his unusual antics throughout his time in prison, including carving a swastika into his forehead and showing up to court hearings spewing gibberish while on the stand in order to delay or disrupt the proceedings.
Possibly the most charming photo on this list, it’s really hard to imagine that this baby would later grow up and cause the deaths of millions of innocent people and send the world into chaos during his quest of global domination. Books have been written, songs performed, and countless movies and television shows have been produced showing the full extent of his atrocities and to better understand them I’d recommend the films Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, The Pianist, and most recently Fury as well as the television shows Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and of course the documentary series WWII in HD.
Herb Baumeister was an alleged serial killer from Westfield near Indianapolis, Indiana who committed suicide before he could be brought to trial, and never officially confessed to the crimes he was alleged to have committed. The Indianapolis Police Department began investigating the disappearances of gay men in the area and in 1992, investigators were contacted by a man claiming that a gay bar patron known as “Brian Smart” had killed a friend of his and had attempted to kill him.
Investigators approached Baumeister and told him he was a suspect in the disappearances. He denied the allegations and refused to allow police to search his 18-acre estate named “Fox Hollow Farm”, raising further suspicion. Baumeister’s wife, growing more and more concerned over her husband’s eratic behavior and mood swings, finally allowed investigators on the property while Baumeister was away on vacation. The search of Fox Hollow Farm turned up the remains of 11 men, 8 of whom were identified.
Baumeister escaped to Ontario, Canada, where he committed suicide and the case was closed.
Osama Bin Laden
Similarly to Adolf Hitler, there is little need in explaining the full extent of the chaos, and the repercussions of that chaos, that Osama Bin Laden created for mankind the world over. The only necessary caveat here is seeing, as in the image above, the anger that existed in this man. A burning need to kill and punish and dominate through fear.
Haven’t had enough? Need something a little more chilling? Just do a wikipedia search of “American Serial Killers” and see how long it takes you to scroll to the bottom of the page.
What are your thoughts? Is it unsettling seeing these seemingly normal children? Does this give you a new found respect for daycare owners and employees? Join in the conversation: comment below, share on Facebook, and find us on Twitter using the hashtag #DMTalk.