Love can do weird things to our brains sometimes. Those of us who have been lucky enough to experience true romantic love with another ideal human being knows that the feeling is one of a kind. It’s a feeling that makes us feel as though our brains have been completely re-wired to fit our lovers’ needs and keep them around longer. We become willing to do any and everything for and with our partner, almost to a fault. Love can drive us all a little crazy, that is, unless a person is already crazy to begin with, in which case love just makes that person even more homicidal and deranged.
Believe it or not, there is such thing as loving someone too much, especially when love convinces someone to commit acts of murder, theft, assault, or other crimes either for their partner or with that partner. This kind of love is commonly referred to as hybristophilia, sexual arousal stemming from knowing that a partner has committed a terrible offense or crime. In other words, a guy or gal can get the hots for someone just from knowing that this other has committed a heinous crime. For some reason, just knowing how much the act the other is doing or has done is frowned upon by society is an incredible turn on. Whether the act is murder, petty theft, sexual assault, or even incest, evil deeds have often brought couples closer together. A lot of the couples on this list fit into that same category. To us, everything done between these couples is proof that both parties are way too close to one another, and that disturbs us to no end. But as far as the couples themselves are concerned, they often truly believe that they’ve done nothing wrong as long as they can justify their actions with love.
15. Fred & Rosemary West
Like many of the killers on this list, Fred West had one messed up childhood. After being raised by a father who regularly sexually abused his sisters and a mother that often sexually abused him, Fred West thought that incest was a normal thing that everybody practiced with their families. When he met and married Rosemary Letts and built a family of his own, he continued his unique family tradition with help from Rosemary. The two also managed to terrorize the outskirts of Britain for the better part of two decades. The duo would pick up young women, assault them, kill them, and bury them underneath the West household. Their body count ran up to about 8 people (with an additional 3 killed by Fred prior to meeting Rosemary). When they were finally caught, both were given life sentences in prison, but Fred would kill himself before having to serve any amount of time in the slammer.
14. Carol M. Bundy & Doug Clark
While Carol M. Bundy shares no relation to the more notorious Ted Bundy, she can be argued to be just as disturbed as The Angel of Decay. Almost like being born out of the Co-Ed Killer’s bloodline, Carol M. Bundy came from two alcoholic parents and a sexually abusive father. By the time she was 37, she had just escaped her third abusive marriage. This is also around the time she met Doug Clark. The two moved in together and quickly learned they shared some dark sexual fantasies. After sharing prostitutes with Bundy, Clark confided in her his obsession towards an 11-year-old neighbor, whom Bundy helped Clark kidnap and sexually assault. Afterward, Clark picked up a couple teenagers off the Sunset Strip and shot them while performing fellatio on him. Then, he had sex with their dead bodies. At first, Bundy was deeply disturbed by this and her first thought was to call the police, but after Clark said he would take full responsibilities for his crime in hopes that Bundy wouldn’t get arrested as well, he gained her sympathies. When Clark killed again, he took his victim’s head home with him and Bundy put makeup on it. Their final victim was a part-time country singer that Bundy was having an affair with. After being consumed with guilt for shooting and decapitating the man, Bundy confessed to her crimes 2 days later. Both she and Clark received life in prison.
13. Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo
Beautiful, handsome, wealthy, charismatic: these are all words that have been used to describe the seemingly perfect couple of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. However, perfection can only stem so far on the surface. Inside, both parties were rotten to the core. The real life Ken and Barbie dolls had collaborated in sexually assaulting and murdering at least three young women, including Homolka’s own 15-year-old sister. After Bernardo had taken an obsessive liking to the young Tammy Homolka and had failed in attempting to assault her previously, Karla helped her husband drug Tammy with animal tranquilizers. The couple assaulted Tammy, who would subsequently die after choking on her own vomit. The couple would then hide the evidence, redress Tammy, move her to the basement, and call 911. Initially, her death was ruled an accident, but when the duo’s schemes were brought to light, Homolka convinced investigators that Bernardo had forced her to commit these crimes. However, when videotapes surfaced of Homolka telling Bernardo how much she “loved it when [he] f*cked [her] sister,” Homolka was revealed as the master manipulator. Following a plea bargain, Homolka received 12 years in prison. Her husband, on the other hand, received life in prison.
12. Charlene & Gerald Gallego
Gerald Gallego was born into a dark life of crime and pain. After his father was executed for killing two police officers, he would spend his childhood constantly getting beaten by his mother and her boyfriends. Upon meeting and falling madly in love with Charlene, Gerald entangled her into his seedy life of crime. It all started when Gerald coerced his wife to agree to have a threesome with a 16-year-old dancer on the condition that the women didn’t touch each other. The next day, he returned home from work to find both women having sex in the couple’s bed. Enraged, Gerald chucked the dancer out the window and beat Charlene mercilessly. This wasn’t enough to convince Charlene to leave her husband, though, as she decided to ease his rage by convincing him to bring in female sex slaves. In between 1978 and 1980, the two stalked 10 teenagers and young adults before bringing them into their van, keeping them captive for sex, and eventually killing them. When the two were finally caught, Charlene took a plea bargain against Gerald for the sake of minimizing her sentence to 16 years. Gerald received the death penalty but died of cancer before execution. Charlene remains alive to this day and after serving her time, went on to live in secrecy.
11. Michelle Michaud and James Daveggio
“You’re pure evil and you deserve to die.” Those were the words spewed by the brother of victim Vanessa Lei Samson as he convinced the jury to condemn the couple who had slain his sister. That couple was Michelle Michaud and James Daveggio. The pair picked up local college student, Vanessa, then took her inside of their van and sexually tortured her to death before dumping her body in a snowy area. Inspired by the famous murders committed by Charlene and Gerald Gallego, this was the sixth murder and sexual assault committed by the duo before getting caught. A day after murdering the girl, the couple were arrested on charges stemming from a previous murder committed in Reno. Michaud and Daveggio would have served, respectively, 15 and 25-year sentences if the Reno charge was the only one to their name. When authorities learned of the incident involving Vanessa Lei Samson, the two were sentenced to death.
10. Bruce McMahan & Linda Hodge
Stories where long-orphaned children are reconnected with their estranged parents usually make for heartfelt, uplifting, and touching stories. This one just makes us feel icky. In 1987, after being raised by a California couple, Linda Hodge, at age 18, decided to search for her biological mother. Her search brought her to the doorstep of one Myra Westphall, who brought Hodge in contact with her biological father, Bruce McMahan. Linda quickly changed her surname to McMahan, and the two hit it off as if no time had passed. They got along nicely as the ideal father-daughter relationship blossomed, but when 1998 rolled around and Linda was 29 and single while McMahan was 63 and married to his fourth wife, something changed. They couldn’t settle on just being father and daughter as the two became lovers after McMahan proposed that he and she were married in a past life. In 2004, the two were married in a secret wedding.
9. Raymond Fernandez & Martha Beck
Some people believe that there’s a sort of magical quality to love that comes from natural chemistry. For Raymond Fernandez, he took the idea of love magic all too literally. While serving a year-long prison stint, Fernandez served time with someone who taught him about voodoo and black magic. These teachings made Fernandez think he had developed the abilities to woo any woman that he came in contact with, just like a prideful Cupid or a snake charmer. Fernandez’s charms must’ve worked marvels on one Martha Beck after he answered her lonely hearts ad in the newspaper. After she left her children for him, Fernandez recognized this as unconditional love. The two embarked on an odyssey of scams and murdering. With Beck posing as his sister, Fernandez answered other lonely hearts ads in hopes of swindling lonely women out of their money. This led to the pair committing at least 20 murders. Their last murders saw the two shoot an unsuspecting lonely gal and drowning her daughter before police arrived at the scene. Both were sentenced to death by electric chair.
8. Alton Coleman & Debra Brown
Alton Coleman and Debra Brown took the term “partners in crime” to a whole new level. As lovers, the two went on a road trip throughout several states of the midwest and went on a rampage filled with sex and murder. Together, they both sexually assaulted and killed a total of 10 people. Coleman himself was already a notable criminal for racking up 6 charges of sexual assault before he had even reached the age of 19, but with girlfriend Debra Brown by his side, he took his crime spree to a whole new level. He sought to take his sordid ambitions to a statewide and national level. In between all of the killing and sexual assaults, the two also managed to string up 14 armed robberies and 3 kidnappings before being arrested following 2 months of debauchery. Both were sentenced to death by lethal injection.
7. Michael & Suzan “Bear” Carson
When most people think of hippies, they usually visualize a group of stoners who believe in peace, love, and flower power. However, this pair of hippies are a gruesome exception to the rule as they were about anything but peace. When they first met, James and Suzan Carson were your typical hippies brought together by their love of each other and of hallucinogens. Whatever dope they were smoking convinced the two to not only change their names to Michael and Suzan Bear, but also converted them to becoming self-proclaimed “vegetarian Muslim warriors.” The two went forth on a journey to cleanse the planet of anybody who they deemed to have “evil energy.” They were basically hunting for witches, hence the media dubbing them “the San Francisco Witch Killers.” Their journey led to them to kill 3 people before they found themselves in a high-speed chase that ended with the duo being arrested. Now, they are both serving life sentences.
6. David & Catherine Birnie
When a 14-year-old Catherine Harrison started dating David Birnie, her parents forbade her to see him. However, her parents’ disapproval only made Catherine love him more, and the two lived a married life (though never actually married, she merely changed her surname to match his). The two shared wild fantasies of sexual assault and murder. They first started acting on those desires when David kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered 22-year-old university student, Mary Neilson. The Birnies buried her in a shallow grave. A couple weeks later, both parties took part in sexually assaulting 15-year-old Susannah Candy before killing her. The couple killed 4 women altogether and planned to kill a 5th before their last victim, Kate Moir, escaped while David was at work and Catherine was carrying out a drug deal. The Birnies were subsequently arrested and given 4 life sentences each.
5. Pearl Carter & Phil Bailey
In 2010, the world went aghast when news broke out of 72-year-old grandmother Pearl Carter, who not only revealed to the world that she was having sex with her grandson, Phil Bailey, but also announced that the two were planning on having a baby together. The two would have never even met each other if Phil hadn’t tracked her down. This was because when she was 18 years of age, Pearl gave away her daughter, Lynette, for adoption because she was too young to raise the child herself. Decades later, Lynette learned of her birth mother, and in turn, Phil Bailey found his grandmother. The grandson and grandmother duo found a unique kind of chemistry with each other, and before they knew it, they were having sex about three times a week. The last anybody heard of the two, they were living off Pearl’s retirement money in Indiana and had hired a surrogate mother named Roxanne Campbell to have the couple’s baby. Details seem to be sketchy, and some speculate that this might be a hoax. If there was any crazy story we wished was a hoax, it would have to be the one about a grandmother having sex with her grandson.
4. Antony & Barbara Daly Baekeland
Once upon a time, Barbara Daly Baekeland was a socialite and actress with big aspirations for a career in Hollywood. One of the things that led to her untimely downfall was her unhealthy obsession with her son, Antony. Upon finding out that her son was gay (or bisexual), she made it her life’s mission to “fix” him. At first, this was as simple as her buying female prostitutes for him and forcing him to have sex with them. When that didn’t work out, things got weird when Barbara decided to literally take matters into her own hands. She manipulated and forced her son to have sex with her. The mental and physical strain of sleeping with his mother left a heavy toll on Antony, especially in adulthood, when he exhibited signs of paranoia and schizophrenia. In 1972, he couldn’t take the mental or physical abuse from his mother any longer as he stabbed her with a kitchen knife, killing her instantly. He was then institutionalized at Broadmoor Hospital until 1980.
3. Jeremy Steinke & Jasmine Richardson
When 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson introduced her family to her boyfriend, 23-year old Jeremy Steinke, they reasonably flipped out as any sane parent would upon finding out that their underaged daughter was dating a goth guy who claimed that he was a reincarnated 300-year-old werewolf. Even if he wasn’t 23, the whole werewolf thing might have thrown the Richardson family for a loop. Understandably, her family forbade her from seeing the little weirdo ever again. However, the young lovers were madly in love and refused to take no for an answer. Thus, the two stabbed both of Jasmine’s parents, as well as her 8-year-old brother, to death. The plan was for the couple to kill her family and then start anew by living together. That plan backfired when police found the lovers the next day 100 miles away from the scene of the crime and charged them with first-degree murder. Jasmine was sentenced to 10 years in prison but served only 4 years, being released in 2012. Steinke is still serving a life sentence in prison.
2. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
The names of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are synonymous with the Moors Murders of the mid-60s. From 1963 until 1965, these 2 lovers killed 5 children who were all between the ages of 10 and 17. A Nazi enthusiast and critic of the novel Compulsion — which argued against capital punishment and which Brady studied to learn what the killers did wrong to get caught — Brady was keen on producing the perfect murder. Hindley was a happy and willing cohort of his. This led to their first murder, 16-year-old Pauline Reade. The murders would persist afterward as what started as a sick curiosity turned into an ugly habit. Brady was the man with the perverse ideas while Hindley was his cooperative accomplice. Eventually, their horrible crimes caught up to them when they were arrested and both given the death penalty.
1. Sarah Bullock & Daniel Stewart
In 2006, 39-year-old Steven Hoskin — who suffered from learning disabilities — let 16-year-old Sarah Bullock and her 30-year-old boyfriend Darren Stewart live in his flat. Hoskin did so out of the kindness of his heart and out of the belief he had actually made new friends. To return the favor, Bullock and Stewart bullied the man to death. These mischievous lovebirds made him wear a dog collar, forced him to fetch them chocolate and beer, beat him, burned him with cigarettes, and made him bow and call them “sir.” After torturing Hoskin for an hour and a half on the night of July 5th, along with accomplice Martin Pollard, they force-fed him 70 acetaminophen tablets and made him falsely confess to being a pedophile. Following Hoskin’s confession, they dragged him to Trenance Viaduct in the middle of the night and made him dangle over the edge. Bullock stomped on Hoskin’s hands until he plummeted to his death, falling on a parked car. Showing no remorse for their victim after killing him, the couple returned to Hoskin’s apartment and had sex. Afterward, they called the police to report that Hoskin was missing. It didn’t take long for authorities to see right through the charade these couples were playing, and the two were quickly charged with murdering Hoskin. Bullock received a 10-year prison sentence while Stewart got 25 years. Pollard was convicted of manslaughter.