Parents have a duty to their children to protect them from harm, nurture their minds and bodies, and give them a safe, loving space in which they grow up. However, there are some parents who should have never procreated or taken on the responsibilities of caring for a child because their sick, twisted nature makes it impossible for them to provide the sort of environment that a child deserves.
Evil comes in many forms, but it is perhaps most sickening when it appears in a parent who is supposed to be looking after a child. Children look to their parents as a source of love, but these 15 entries show that some parents prefer to do the exact opposite. Instead of love, they provide torture and abuse, stunting their children in a way that satisfies their own evil desires. Child abuse is a horrifying occurrence that happens far too often. But these pairs and parents take it one step further, inflicting the kind of emotional, s*xual, and physical abuse that goes beyond cruel and unusual to just plain evil. Some of these entries are graphic in nature, so be warned that the 15 following entries may be disturbing to read.
15. John & Sonja Kluth
When a child is adopted into a family, there is often an adjustment period that takes place since the child may be worried that these new parents might change their mind and send him or her back to where they came from. We imagine that the three adoptive children of Yukon couple John and Sonja Kluth, wish that their new parents had done just that.
The children, aged 16, 13, and 10 at the time, were routinely beaten, choked, and burned if they displeased their parents. The eldest son testified against his parents that Sonja bashed his feet in, used super glue and pliers on his genitals, and forced the children to beat each other because “she enjoys watching me suffer.” The children weren’t even considered part of the family and were instead kept in the Kluths’ underground storm cellar, where they were forced to stay in dog crates. After the testimonies in 2012, the Kluths were sentenced, with Sonja serving life in prison (or the Canadian equivalent) and John to serve 20 years.
14. Gertrude Baniszewski
The crimes of Gertrude Baniszewski have been discussed at length and put on screen in the form of the film An American Crime starring Ellen Page. While she never harmed her own children to the extent she did the girl she took in, Baniszewski was definitely one of the most evil parents in history.
In the 1960’s in Indiana, Baniszewski was mother to seven children, miscarried six, and abandoned by her latest boyfriend. To earn some extra cash, Baniszewski took in Sylvia and Jenny Likens, after their father promised to send her $20 a week for their care. For whatever reason, Baniszewski turned on Sylvia, beating her, burning her with cigarettes and scalding water, forcing her to eat her own vomit and feces, forcing her to insert a Coca-Cola bottle into her vagina, and carving “I’m a prostitute and proud of it” on her abdomen.
However, Baniszewski didn’t commit these crimes alone. She called upon her children and neighborhood kids to torture and eventually kill Sylvia, in what has been called “the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana.”
13. Felicia Rae McClure
Parents are supposed to protect their children. So how can we possibly explain a woman who, while not trying to harm her child, was willing to hand her over to someone who would? That’s the case of Felicia Rae McClure who, in 2011, offered to sell her 13-year-old daughter’s virginity for a cool $10,000. In order to further appeal to the seller, who was only identified as “Don” and with whom she had been communicating for two months, McClure would have her young daughter model underwear from Victoria’s Secret so that she could take pictures of her, which she would send to “Don,” as well as to another man for money.
Fortunately for McClure’s daughter, McClure’s boyfriend spotted the text exchange on her phone and alerted the authorities. McClure was charged with two counts of aggravated s*xual abuse of a child and two counts of s*xual exploitation of a minor. One thing we don’t need a jury to decide—that she’s evil and sick.
12. Casey Anthony
She may be a woman who currently walks free, but Casey Anthony is easily one of the most reviled parents in history. Although she was acquitted of the 2008 murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, Anthony’s actions immediately following Caylee’s disappearance is what still convinces much of the public of her guilt.
Initially, Anthony claimed that Caylee had been kidnapped by a nanny, although no such nanny existed. Anthony had also told her parents that she had not seen Caylee in weeks, although she didn’t look like she was too worried. Multiple pictures even showed the young mother partying at nightclubs and even participating in a “hot body” contest. Documents were also released that showed Anthony’s Internet history, which contained searches for “how to make chloroform.” Hardly the picture of sorrow or agony, public opinion turned against Anthony, who many saw as having suffocated her daughter, wrapped her in a garbage bag, and dumped her body in order to rid herself of her parental responsibilities.
11. James & Sandra Davis
Instead of asking for $10,000 for s*xually abusing their daughter like Felicia Rae McClure, James and Sandra Davis were content with a much lower price—just enough to pay off the ’98 Dodge minivan they wanted to purchase back in 2010. The remaining cost on the van? $281.
The couple offered to allow the dealership’s 66-year-old manager to have s*x with their 14-year-old daughter (who was 12 when the negotiations began) in lieu of payments. But the Davis couple, being the sick, twisted people that they were, also helped themselves to their daughter, and were subsequently charged with child molestation. Police in Eastman, Georgia also believe that the couple happily sold their daughter to anyone who would ask, in exchange for drugs. Since pimping out their daughter, both of the Davises have been sentenced to prison while their daughter was put in foster care. Since even inmates have a sense of what is right and wrong, James Davis was beaten badly enough in 2011 by another inmate who heard of his crimes that he was hospitalized.
10. Lacey Spears
There’s doing it for the ‘gram and then there’s people like Lacey Spears, who take their social media obsession and need for approval way too far—with fatal consequences. On Facebook, Spears documented the struggles she and her son, Garnett, endured due to the child’s multiple mysterious illnesses, gaining sympathy and attention from friends and followers. In 2014, 5-year-old Garnett died while in the hospital, after a lethal dose of sodium (in the form of table salt) was injected into his IV. The lethal dose was administered by Spears and was fortunately caught on camera. A forensic toxicologist testified at Spears’ trial that the little boy had the equivalent of 69 bags of McDonald’s salt in his system, which caused his brain to swell and ultimately led to his death.
While Spears was only sentenced to 20 years to life because of the judge’s belief that she was suffering from Munchausen by proxy, which causes a parent of caretaker to purposefully hurt their child for attention, Spears has continued to maintain her innocence.
9. Magdalena Luczak
Called a “campaign of cruelty” by newspapers and networks, the torture of Daniel Pelka at the hands of his mother, Magdalena Luczak, and her boyfriend, Mariusz Krężołek, began when Daniel was only three-and-a-half. Luczak and Krężołek routinely starved the boy, but not his sibling, and encouraged his sibling to lie to authorities about what was going on. They also informed Daniel’s school that he was being treated for a rare eating disorder and that they were not to feed him.
If they had only known what was happening, they would have learned that Daniel suffered from regular brutal beatings, was locked in a room, had his head forced underwater in a bath, and was force-fed salt. He eventually died of a head injury and was so malnourished at the time of his death. He weighed only 23 lbs.
There is no clear reason as to why Luczak committed her crimes and allowed her boyfriend to do the same, but there must have been some guilt. In January of 2016, she hung herself in her prison cell on what would have been her son’s eighth birthday.
8. Megan Huntsman
It takes a sick, disturbed individual to murder his or her own children, and arguably only a person with no grip on reality (or else a truly evil heart) could commit that sort of crime multiple times to children who had just taken their first breath. Such was the case of Utah’s Megan Huntsman, who was charged with killing six of her own newborn babies (another was stillborn) and concealing their bodies in her garage.
It was Huntsman’s estranged husband who made the discovery of the bodies, wrapped in plastic bags and packed into boxes, when he was attempting to clean out the garage. Huntsman said that the murders, which took place over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006, were spurred by her addictions to meth and alcohol, as well as her struggles with depression. At the time of the murders, Huntsman already had other children who were alive and healthy and in fact defended her in court. Despite all this, this murderous mother was given 30 years before the possibility of parole.
7. Rachel Trelfa & Nyomi Fee
The couple had three children together, but biological mother Rachel Trelfa and her civil partner, Nyomi Fee, seemed to take out most of their anger on toddler, Liam Fee. Liam, along with his brothers, was regularly threatened, locked in a cage, forced to eat dog feces and vomit, beaten, and left to endure the agony of broken bones with no medical attention. Ultimately, two-year-old Liam succumbed to his heart injuries, which were said to be similar to those found in car crash victims.
Both Trelfa and Fee showed no remorse for their actions. Fee even claimed that she would be the “top girl” in prison who would be “taking the place over.” ‘Twisted’ would be an understatement to describe the parents of little Liam, who were given the longest minimum prison sentences ever handed out to a woman in Scotland—23.5 years for Trelfa and 24 for Fee. After the horrendous atrocities they inflicted on their child, however, we’d say that that amount of time is hardly long enough.
6. Mansa Musa Muhummed
Considered one of the most notorious child abuse cases in California history, the 19 children of polygamist Mansa Musa Muhummed suffered for decades at the hands of their father. Dubbed as a “reign of terror,” one of Muhummed’s children described their living conditions as being like that of a concentration camp, where they would be locked in a basement for days at a time and beaten, r*ped, and starved. The children were so malnourished and stunted in growth that one daughter was 18 and only 48 pounds, while another who was 19, stood at 4-foot-1 and 56 pounds.
Coerced into abusing the children were Muhummed’s three wives, who feared for their own lives and so would reluctantly take part in the abuse of their own children. The manipulation and fear inflicted on all members of the family by Muhummed was arguably worse than the physical abuse. Muhummed, for his part, showed no remorse for his twisted behavior, even after being handed seven life sentences, with eligibility for parole in 65 years.
5. Mitchelle Blair
As a mother of four, Mitchelle Blair decided to murder two of her children because she considered them to be “demons” and that she would kill them again because of her belief that they were s*xually abusing her younger son. Although there was no evidence of s*xual assault and no police reports were filed by Blair or anyone else on this matter. While all four children were routinely subjected to abuse at the hands of Blair, it was only her daughter, Stoni, and son, Steven, who met their end. Blair strangled both children before suffocating them with plastic bags and showed no emotion or remorse for her actions. She even enlisted the help of one of her children to put the body of Stoni in the freezer.
Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Blair was cold in her explanation of her feelings after the deaths of her own children—“I don’t feel no emotion for the death of them demons.”
4. Unnamed In Australia
In order to protect the identity of the daughter, this disturbed couple in Australia have had their names withheld, although their disgusting crimes speak volumes about the people they are. The mother, a teacher, and the father, an Olympic-level athlete, r*ped and tortured their daughter over a period of 14 years (beginning in 1997), threatened her with a chainsaw to her neck, wrapped her in barbed wire, locked her overnight in a box, and held her head under water. In addition to the physical torture inflicted by both parents, the victim’s mother also coached her daughter on how to best s*xually satisfy her own father. Although there were other siblings in the home, only this daughter was singled out and tortured from ages 5 to 18.
The evil inflicted by these two horrific parents merited the longest jail term in Australian criminal history, with a minimum of 36 years for the father and 16 years for the mother for her participation in the abuse.
3. The “British Fritzl”
Also known as the “Sheffield Case” in England, the perpetrator of these heinous crimes cannot be named for the protection of his victims. Over a period of 25 years, from the late 1980’s until his arrest in 2008, an English businessman repeatedly r*ped his two daughters and fathered 19 children with them (seven of whom survived).
The abuse of the daughters began when they were eight and ten, as the mother of both had left years before due to the abuse she herself suffered. With threats, r*pe, and physical abuse, the “British Fritzl,” as he was named by the press for the resemblance to the Josef Fritzl case, was a tyrannical bully who manipulated the children and the system in order to go undetected for over two decades. A failure on the part of local authorities, medical professionals, and child welfare systems, the father eventually received 25 concurrent life sentences, with a minimum of 14.5 years in prison. He was still unrepentant of his actions at the time of his trial and sentencing, showing just how evil the man with the “one-second fuse” is.
2. Josef Fritzl
It was the case that shook the world for the sheer volume of its victims, the length of the crimes, and the dark secrets that emerged. It has become the subject of documentaries and was rumored to be the inspiration behind the award-winning book and film, Room. The Josef Fritzl case emerged in 2008 when Elisabeth Fritzl informed Austrian police that she had been held captive by her father for 24 years, and regularly r*ped and beaten. She gave birth to seven children while in captivity, four of whom stayed with her, and three of whom joined her father and mother as “foundlings.”
After he trapped Elisabeth in his homemade chamber, Fritzl faked her disappearance by saying she had run away, using letters he’d forced Elisabeth to write as proof. It was only when Elisabeth’s eldest daughter, Kerstin, fell ill with kidney failure that Elisabeth was able to see the outside world and eventually tell police of her time in captivity. Fritzl was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison in 2009.
1. Fred & Rosemary West
There have been a lot of evil parents on this list, and ranking them is almost impossible, since it’s difficult to measure the degree of vile behavior committed by these people who were given a duty to protect their children. However, there is perhaps no pair so despicable as Fred and Rosemary West.
Fred West had begun his life as a serial killer before meeting Rosemary. He was responsible for murdering and dismembering his 18-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Anne McFall. Fred met Rosemary when she was 15 and he was 28. The couple were poison together, going on a spree of murders that included Fred’s daughter with his first wife, his first wife, the couple’s daughter, Heather, and a couple of women hired by the duo to care for their children—10 in all. They also regularly abused their children, with Rose and Fred both feeling that it was their right to inflict such physical and s*xual torture. The house on Cromwell Street, known as a “house of horrors” was demolished in 1996, and Fred asphyxiated himself while in prison the year before. Rose was convicted of 10 murders and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
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