We all go a little crazy on Halloween. It's to be expected. Its trick or treat, or just dress up, party and bask in mock witchery. But, while most of us enjoy this scary night, there are some monsters that actually bring evil to light. Here are the most chilling real life horrific stories of crimes committed on Halloween.
In 2014, just days before Halloween, witnesses saw a man drag a decapitated body out of a Long Island apartment. He laid the body in the street then kicked the head to the opposite curb. It had all the signs of a macabre Halloween prank, and thats what everybody thought it was.
For a while, nobody did anything about it—one witness even said the whole thing looked fake. The horrifying truth only came to light when a Good Samaritan tried to move the corpse out of the middle of the street and realized that it was a real body. It didnt take long for police to deduce that the body belonged to Patricia Ward, a 66-year-old professor at New Yorks Farmingdale State College.
Even before discovering her body, police had received another call about another dead Ward. This one had been run over by a train about a mile down the road.
Soon, the tragic details of the murder came to light. Patricias son, 35-year-old Derek Ward, had a history of mental illness, but he seemed to be on the road to recovery when he moved into the small Farmingdale apartment with his mother. Then, for some reason, he snapped. He beheaded his mother then dragged her body out of the apartment, down the stairs, and through the front door of the building. After leaving the body in the street, he calmly walked away and leaped in front of an oncoming train. As to why he did it, well never know.
Chris Jenkins, who was a 21-year-old student at the University of Minnesota, left a keg party with some friends and headed to the Lone Tree Bar and Grill in downtown Minneapolis to celebrate Halloween in 2002. The group arrived a little after 10:30 pm and parked just south of the bar.
An hour and a half later, two off duty police officers working security for the bar, ejected Chris and instructed staff to not allow him back inside. Chris found himself on the street in 20-degree weather wearing only an American Indian costume. He did not have his coat, wallet, cell phone, or the keys to the car and his apartment. No one is sure exactly what happened to Chris after that.
Four months later, his body was discovered in the Mississippi River, still wearing his Halloween costume. Since Chris was intoxicated that night and his cause of death appeared to be drowning, authorities initially believed his death was either an accident or suicide.
But his parents refused to believe this and pressed for a more thorough investigation. Finally, in 2006, the death was reclassified as a homicide.
Police claimed that an incarcerated suspect told them he was present when Chris was murdered, then thrown off a bridge into the river. While the story is credible, there's never been enough evidence to file charges. However, one possible theory is that Chris Jenkins could have been a victim in the mysterious and unsolved "Smiley Face Murders."
"Smiley Face Murders." were these bizarre killings which involved approximately 40 male college students in the United States who all died of drowning. In some of these cases, unexplained "smiley face" graffiti was found near the body of water where the victims turned up. While no "smiley face" graffiti was ever found in connection to Chris Jenkins's death, the scenario does have a number of similarities to these killings. However, the case still remains unsolved.
In 2009, three teenage girls were abducted by a man with a gun on their way home from trick-or-treating in Woodbridge, Virginia.
All three were crossing a parking lot when they were taken at gunpoint to a wooded area, told to drop their bags of candy and were forced to follow him down a hill before two of them were sexually assaulted. The third girl managed to text her mom "Man raping my friend in the woods behind CVS call 911," causing the rapist to flee.
Two years later, police arrested Aaron Thomas, who was already suspected in dozens of sexual assaults from 1997 until then. Thomas, also known as the East Coast Rapist, pleaded guilty in 2012 to the three kidnappings and more than a dozen other attacks.
Yoshihiro Hattori was a Japanese exchange student living in Baton Rouge as part of the American Field Service program. On Halloween night 1992, Hattori and the young son of his host family went to a Halloween party for AFS students. Unfamiliar with the neighbourhood, the boys rang the doorbell of the wrong house.
When they got no answer, they started walking back to their car. The owner of the home, Rodney Peairs, then opened the door armed with a 44 Magnum revolver. Hattori turned around and said "we're here for the party."
Claiming he feared for his life and that the exchange student was "scary," Peairs shot Hattori at point blank range, hitting him in the chest and killing him.
Peairs and his wife then went back into their house and waited 40 minutes for the police, who questioned him and let him go. Only when both the governor of Louisiana and the Japanese consulate got involved was Peairs actually arrested, after which he was acquitted of manslaughter.
"He tried his best to adapt to life as an exchange student," recalls Yoshihiro's mother Mieko. "Sometimes I feel like he's still in America," his father, Masaichi, remarked wistfully. "Some day he'll come back home, I say to myself."
Penn State grad student Cindy Song disappeared after leaving a party on Halloween night, 2001.
It was a Wednesday, and Cindy and two of her girlfriends, Stacy Paik and Lisa Kim, showed up at their favourite bar dressed in costumes. According to Lisa, Cindy wore a rabbit outfit - "She had bunny ears and a tail that she had bought. It was a very cute outfit. She liked to look cute."
The girls partied until 2 a.m. Afterwards, they stopped at a friend's to play video games for a few hours and left for home around 4 a.m. Stacy dropped Cindy off at her apartment, waved goodbye and drove off. She doesn't remember seeing Cindy enter her apartment and has not seen her since. Unfortunately, neither has anyone else.
Brian Sprinkle was a detective for the Ferguson Township Police Department at the time of Cindy's disappearance. "It seems like she just vanished into thin air," he said. No trace of her has ever been found and the case has taken a number of bizarre twists, and for a while, the investigation focused on a man named Hugo Marcus Selenski.
Selenski had been arrested after five corpses were found in his backyard. A police informant linked Selenski and another man to Cindy, claiming the duo had kidnapped, raped, and murdered her. To make things even weirder, the other man named in the kidnapping was found dead - in Selenski's backyard. More bodies have been found there, but none have been proven to be Cindy, and the case remains open.
In 2011, Taylor Van Diest was leaving a party in the small town of Armstrong, Canada and around 6 p.m. she began walking along the tracks, dressed like a zombie for Halloween.
Taylor was texting back and forth with her friend at the time and in the last text her friend received, she wrote about "being creeped," or followed. She never came home that night, and was found beaten to death near a set of railroad tracks. Her death traumatized the town, especially when it was revealed that her attacker intended to sexually assault her before smashing her head with a flashlight when she fought back.
Police eventually used DNA found under Taylor's fingernails to arrest Matthew Foerster for carrying out the murder, and his father, Stephen, for helping him cover it up.
On Halloween 2010, Ohio teenager Devon Griffin returned home from Sunday church services and began playing video games before realizing that the house was unusually quiet. He then went upstairs to find the corpse of his brother Derek, mother Susan, and Susan's new husband William Liske.
The killer had bludgeoned Derek with a claw hammer, shot William five times with a .22-caliber pistol, and sexually assaulted Susan before shooting her three times. Devon was traumatized. He could only say it was "like a haunted house."
The killer was found to be William Liske's son from a previous marriage, William Liske Jr., who had a history of schizophrenia and violence. Liske was picked up at a halfway house, and pleaded guilty to all three murders. The murder came just a day after Liske and William went hunting and had a few beers with friends.
"I loved my dad very much, and it makes me feel sick every time I think about what I did," Liske, 25, said in court. "I can't really explain why this all had to happen, but I think most of all it had to do with my mental illness." Liske committed suicide in prison in 2015.
Seven-year-old Las Vegas boy Tony Bagley went trick-or-treating in a skeleton costume on Halloween night in 1994 with his sister, aunt, and mother. Walking ahead of his family, he approached the street corner at approximately 6:15 p.m. when a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt ran into the road and opened fire on the Bagley family.
Tony, a second-grader at Fitzgerald Elementary School, was shot in the head. His 10-year-old sister Shanell Bagley, his mother LaShelle Cooper and an aunt who asked to remain unnamed were also sprayed with the gunfire.
Shanell required surgery to remove part of her liver, while the aunt, who was shot in the leg, and mother, who was struck in the chest, were treated and released. Tony was placed on life support and later died. The killer jumped into a waiting car, drove away, and was never caught. Police speculated that the shooting was revenge against Tony's father for a drug deal gone wrong, but that's never been proven either.
Los Angeles hair stylist Peter Fabiano was shot dead on Halloween night 1957, when he opened his door for what he thought was a trick-or-treater, but was actually a grown-up in a costume. The adult shot Fabiano in the chest with a .22 in a brown paper bag before fleeing the scene.
Several weeks later, Goldyne Pizer and Joan Rabel were arrested in what turned out to be a deftly plotted crime of passion. Pizer was friends (or possibly in a relationship) with Rabel, and Rabel was apparently in love Fabiano's wife, Betty. The two women conspired to get Peter out of the equation, planning the murder for months in advance. They played out each variation in the script again and again until every detail was polished and perfect. They thought of everything. One was the brains behind the killing and the other was the willing, gullible stooge. Neither could have done it alone, but the odd chemistry formed a murderous bond between the two women.
The first step took more than a month as Joan laid the groundwork for the killing, continually telling Goldyne that the victim deserved to die. "She painted him as a vile, evil man who wanted to destroy all people around him," Goldyne said. "Although I had never seen him, I built up an intense hatred for him."
Next, they had to choose a method. They decided they couldn't use poison or a knife. They needed a gun. Carefully, they rehearsed the final details as they waited for Peter to turn out the lights. Goldyne was wearing the costume Joan had selected for her: Bluejeans, a khaki jacket, red gloves and makeup. She had the gun in a paper bag as if she was trick-or-treating. Just two weeks later, both women were caught. The arrests kicked off a firestorm of lurid coverage. The two were proven guilty of murder, and served long prison terms.
On Halloween night 1993, a group of five Pasadena Bloods gang members drove out to the suburbs and opened fire on trick-or-treating teenagers returning from a party, killing three and wounding three others.
The gang members were soon arrested, and police determined they had fired at the wrong people. Their intended targets were members of the 'Crips' gang. Three 'Bloods' were found guilty of randomly shooting a group of kids.
Late on Halloween night 2004, roommates Leslie Mazzara, Adriane Insogna, and Lauren Meanza went to bed after handing out candies. Lauren (who lived in the basement) was woken up at 1 a.m. by the sounds of a person entering their house and assumed it was one of her roommate's boyfriends. She was woken again just a few minutes later to the sound of a terrifying scream.
"Adriane kept screaming, 'Oh my God, someone help. Please help.'" recalled Lauren.
In total darkness, Lauren opened her door and took one step out, but then she was overcome with fear. She stood frozen, listening, until the intruder came bounding down the stairs. "He was just flying down the stairs, breaking stuff as he came around," Lauren said. So she ran into the backyard and hid until it got quiet and all she could hear were Adriane's cry for help. Without knowing if the intruder had left, Lauren went back into the house and tried to call 911, but the line in the kitchen was dead. Nevertheless, she tiptoed up the stairs, to Adriane's room and found her other roommate, Leslie, facedown in a pile of clothes with stab wounds all over her upper body and arms. The floor was covered in blood. A few feet away, Adriane was crouched behind her bed, alive, but no longer able to speak and rapidly bleeding to death from multiple stab wounds. Lauren went back downstairs, her bare feet slipping in her roommates' blood, and got her cell phone. She called 911. She fed the operator some information until that line went dead too. She realized the intruder could still be near, and dashed to her car and called 911 again while driving away.
In the course of the investigation, FBI agents found cigarette butts near the scene of the crime that matched blood evidence inside the house, but found no known matches in any DNA databases. Officers and FBI agents spoke to nearly 1,500 persons of interest during the investigation of the double murder, including one of Adriane's friends, Lily Prudhome. Lily's husband, Eric Copple, became a person of extreme interest during the investigation when he refused to give his DNA sample to exclude him from the suspect pool. Nearly a year after the commission of the crime, Copple turned himself in and confessed to the deaths of his wife's friends while giving no motive for the execution of his crime.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, consider the fact that Copple was, at the time of the murders, only engaged to the friend of one of his victims and carried on with the wedding thinking he would get away with his crimes.
Adriane's mother, who attended Copple's wedding, had this to say: "You are the man who is so cruel as to invite me, the mother of the woman you murdered, to stand up for you at your wedding, to read scripture to you of love and death and to bless your union. Throughout that weekend you brought me into the heart of your family, knowing all the while it was you who destroyed mine."
The night before Halloween 1975, 15-year-old Martha Moxley left her house in Connecticut to attend a Halloween party at the Skakel home across the street. According to friends, Moxley began flirting with and eventually kissed Thomas Skakel, the brother of the suspected killer. Moxley was last seen "falling together behind the fence" with Thomas Skakel near the pool in the Skakel backyard at around 9:30 p.m.
The next day, Moxley's body was found beneath a tree in her family's backyard. Her trousers and underwear were pulled down, but she had not been sexually assaulted. Pieces of a broken six-iron golf club were found near the body. An autopsy indicated she had been both bludgeoned and stabbed with the club, which was traced back to the Skakel home.
Twenty-five years went by until Michael Skakel, who was also 15 at the time, was arrested, charged, and convicted of her murder. The case drew worldwide attention since Skakel was a nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Because of his family's wealth, he had lived life in and out of rehab for alcohol, trying out for the Winter Olympics, and flunking out of multiple schools.
Skakel's alibi seemed bizarre - that he had been masturbating under that tree earlier the same night (accounting for DNA found on the body), but that he had no connection to the crime.
He, however, was convicted in 2002, almost 25 years after the crime, but then was given a new trial in 2012 on grounds that he had a poor counsel and was released in 2013.
He's currently out on bail, and is still fighting the case.
Bronx resident Karl Jackson was a 21-year-old data entry clerk at Morgan Stanley. On Halloween night 1998, Jackson went with his girlfriend to pick up her young son from a party. While there, some teenagers threw eggs at their car, but Jackson wasn't having it.
Jackson got out of his car, exchanged words with the pranksters, and got back in the car. Then one of the teens pulled a gun and shot Jackson through the head, killing him instantly.
Police arrested 17-year-old Curtis Sterling for the murder, and New York cracked down on egg-throwing pranks (which have surprisingly high links to violent crimes in NYC). Every October, Sterling receives a Halloween card in the mail. The cards read: "I'm glad you're still there." They are from Karl Jackson's mother.
Sometime in the early hours of Halloween 1981, Manhattan couple Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman were murdered in their Chelsea apartment. The young couple was severely beaten before being shot in the head, execution-style, with the apartment completely ransacked.
The police initially believed that Mr. Sisman may have known his murderer, since there was no sign of forcible entry to the apartment and that drug money may have been the motive, but then the case took a crazy turn when a prison informant claimed that one of his fellow inmates had predicted the crime weeks before it actually happened. That inmate turned out to be the "Son of Sam" killer, David Berkowitz.
Berkowitz had long been rumored to be involved with a satanic cult that helped him with some of the murders. According to the informant, Berkowitz had told him that his cult was planning to enter a residence near Greenwich Village (Chelsea would qualify for that) on Halloween to carry out a ritual murder. When questioned, Berkowitz claimed that Sisman had video footage of one of the "Son of Sam" shootings and was planning to hand it over to the authorities in exchange for dropping some drug charges, but no evidence was ever found to support Berkowitz's claims. He did, however, provide an eerily accurate description of Sisman's apartment. The killings are still unsolved to this day.
Fort Dodge, Iowa, resident Marvin Brandland and his wife were handing out candy to trick-or-treaters in 1982, when a man wearing a mask came to their door.
He said, "Trick-or-treat. Give me your money or I'll shoot." The Brandlands thought it was a Halloween prank, and tried to remove the man's mask. Instead, he barged into the house and pulled out a gun, demanding that the couple give him the money they had stashed in their basement safe.
Marvin made a grab for the masked man's gun, and the robber shot Marvin in the throat. He then ran away, but left the mask behind. In the years that followed, Marvin's wife died, and the mask was tested for DNA evidence.
As virtually nobody knew about the safe, suspicion fell on the Brandland family. And even though a family member did brag about committing the robbery, there was never been enough evidence to charge him.
A few days before Halloween 2005 in Frederica, Delaware, decorations were abundant. The town was ready for the holiday, with cobs webs, Jack-O-Lanterns, rubber monsters, and one very grisly hanging body amid the decor.
As it turns out, a 42-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree in a very public residential area. The body hung 15 feet high without alarm for hours before residents started to notice that the body looked spookily realistic and was not rubber-made.
In 2012 Halloween, A paralyzed former U.S. Army veteran in uniform was assaulted by a Marine in a pink tutu who thought he was pretending to be a wounded soldier in Halloween costume.
Daniel Priotti, 35, who served in the U.S. Army between 1996 and 1998, was left in a wheelchair 10 years ago after an unrelated accident. But each year as part of his Halloween celebrations, the Florida man wears his army uniform.
He was waiting in line at a restaurant in Gainesville at 2.20am on Thursday morning when the 22 year old marine, Christopher Dabney, dressed in the tutu as his Halloween costume, hit him twice, knocking him out of his wheelchair.
He should be stripped of being allowed to be called a Marine, Priotti told the press. This is not something a Marine does - they have more self control.
"I started watching Rob Zombie's Halloween. In the movie a 12-year-old boy murders his stepfather, sister, and his sister's boyfriend. It was the third time this week that I watched it," Jake Evans, 17, wrote in a 4-page confession the day after the killings.
Apparently Evans empathized with fictional serial killer Michael Myers' complete lack of empathy. "While watching it I was amazed at how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had afterward. I was thinking to myself, it would be the same for me when I kill someone," he wrote.
While his mother and sister watched the presidential debate, Evans was preoccupied with how he would murder them in their Aledo, Texas home. Then he grabbed a kitchen knife like the film's killer.
But Evans ultimately decided to kill his family with a gun so that they would, he said, not experience as much pain and so he stole a .22 revolver from his grandfather.
After over an hour of nervous pacing, Evans knocked on his 15-year-old sister Mallory's door and said their mother Jami needed her. "She came out and out of the corner of her eye she saw me pointing the gun at her," he said. "She thought I was joking and told me that I was freaking her out. I shot her in the back and then the head. I ran down to the study and shot my mom three times."
He said he went back into his bedroom to empty the shells on his bed and heard his sister making noises outside his room. He reloaded the gun and hurried back to his sister to kill her before returning to his mother's body to shoot her once more to make sure she was dead.
Evans is on trial for these slayings but, according his confession, his murderous spree was cut short because he intended to kill his grandparents and his two other sisters.
"I know now that I'm done with killing," Evans said. "It's the most dreadful and terrifying thing I will ever experience. And what happened last night will haunt me forever."
Ronald O'Bryan gave his 8-year-old son Timothy one last piece of candy before trick-or-treating ended for the night. Almost immediately after eating the Pixie Stix, Timothy started convulsing and died less than an hour later.
The death sent the O'Bryan's small Texas town into a panic, and the police determined that the Pixie Stix that Timothy ate were laced with cyanide. At first people thought it was a stranger who had poisoned Timothy, but when Ronald's story kept changing, police began investigating him. They found out that he was over $100,000 in debt at the time, and that he'd taken out massive life insurance policies on his children. Police discovered that O'Bryan had also given poisoned candy to his daughter and three other children in an attempt to cover up his crime, but none of his other children had eaten them.
Ronald O'Bryan, who was later nicknamed The Candy Man and The Man Who Killed Halloween, was found guilty of murder, sentenced to death, and executed in 1984.
John White. One one hand he delivered sermons to the small congregation of his Michigan church, while on other dreamed of necrophilia.
On a bitterly cold Halloween night in 2012, White took a mallet and a zip tie and went to the home of Rebekah Gay, his fiancees 24-year-old daughter.
Rebekah lived alone with her three-year-old son, and she happily let him inside—White often babysat her little boy, so it wasnt uncommon for him to stop by. But she wasnt expecting what came next. White bludgeoned her repeatedly with the mallet before wrapping the zip tie around her neck and tightening it. Then, White stripped her down and carried her body into the woods behind the trailer.
When he returned to the house, Rebekahs toddler son was still there, waiting. While Rebekahs body grew cold out back, White calmly dressed her son in his Halloween costume and drove him over to his fathers house. The body wasnt found for another 20 hours, and while police searched, White asked his congregation to pray for the woman.
White was convicted and later committed suicide in prison, but the real horror of the story is perhaps that hed ever been free at all.
In 1981, John White was 22 when he tried to kill his neighbour, 17-year-old Theresa Etherton. White invited her into his basement, and while she was looking at a race track hed built, White stabbed her in the back. Then he kissed her, smiled, and kept stabbing her. Teresa survived the attack with 15 stab wounds, and White spent two years in prison.
In 1994, White struck again, this time killing the woman he was having an affair with and leaving her naked body in the woods. But without evidence that hed intended to kill her, prosecutors could only convict White on manslaughter charges. And by 2007, he was again a free man, free to live his life, free to become a minister, and free to kill once more.
Did we scare you??
Well, Happy Halloween.
While it's a fun night, one should always be aware of what's going on around and not go nuts in the dark. Keep it scary but safe.
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