Murder is a tough thing to rationalize. While there are certain cases where the act might be justified, it is seen as an atrocious and taboo action that goes against our nature. However there are those who feel the need to do it, regardless. Those who choose to kill obviously have a lack of respect for human life. We as a society are bound by a set of rules and trust in one another. It isn’t anything major, but we ourselves follow these rules and trust that others like us – complete strangers – will do the same. We can’t live our lives thinking the people around us are madmen, and the majority of them aren’t.
However, the sad truth is that there are a number of people capable of killing off complete strangers, and even loved ones. Some justify it with a motive and others do it for the thrill of taking another's life. These are people that operate outside the rules of our society and we have measures in place to ensure that such acts won’t be repeated, at least not by the same person once they’re caught. Sadly, there isn’t much to do to prevent these things as you can’t imprison someone based on the assumption that they might kill. This list compiles some of the most disgusting murder cases in human history highlighted by gruesome violence, twisted actions and a total disregard for human life.
These are the top 10 most disturbing murder cases in modern history.
10 Robert Hansen’s Murder Cabin
Robert Hansen took big game hunting to an extreme in a sick display of cruelty and complete disregard for human life. Hansen would lure women to his isolated cabin in the Alaskan woods via his very own private plane, where he would then assault and bind them. The poor women would then be let go into the wilderness while Hansen stalked and hunted them down. The murder shack was quickly closed down when a woman escaped Hansen’s reach, tipping off local authorities. Though initially planning to charge him with four counts of murder, the count sprung up to somewhere around 21 after Hansen finally confessed to the crimes.
9 The Rostov Ripper
Andrei Romanovich – often referred to as the Rostov Ripper – was a brutal madman who took the lives of over fifty people, most of them young girls. His victims varied in age (9-31) with the majority of them being under 20. Romanovich tortured, sexually assaulted and stabbed his victims and often took part in cannibalism. His first reported kill was in 1978, while he was working as a teacher in a small school near Rostov. He’d reportedly lured a nine year old student into a shed and slashed her. Though he was initially suspected by authorities his wife gave police a solid alibi, giving him the opportunity to continue for the next twelve years. The police finally put a stop to his twisted crimes in 1990 and he was executed four years after.
8 The Manson Murders
One of the most well-known killers out there, Charles Manson orchestrated one of the most shocking crime sprees in American history. Manson and his followers – known as the “Manson Family” – attempted to provoke a race war he thought was prophesized in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter”. The murders took place between July and August of 1969, and while Manson himself was never directly involved in any of the murders, he was recognized as the leader of the group that took nine lives under his influence. Among those killed was Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, who at the time was eight months pregnant. Tate, along with the majority of Manson’s victims was stabbed multiple times and had her blood used to write derogatory graffiti around the crime scene. Manson and the rest of his “Family” were tried and sentenced to death for their crimes. However California soon after dismissed the death penalty, converting their initial sentences to life imprisonment ones.
7 Ted Bundy Serial Murders
Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who preyed on young women and at the time of his arrest, confessed to the murder of 30 – though the exact number remains unknown. His spree lasted five years throughout six states. In that period of time, Bundy was apprehended three times, escaping twice. Sadistic and unsympathetic, Bundy raped, bludgeoned, strangled and sometimes decapitated his victims. He gradually earned the trust of his targets, preceding to overpower them when they’d let their guard down. Bundy was executed via electrocution ten years after his third and final arrest.
6 Keddie Cabin Murders
On April 11th, 1981 the bodies of three people were found in the small community of Keddie, California. In the last three decades, no one has been held responsible for the crime and it’s highly possible the murderer(s) still walk free.
The murder took place in cabin 28, home to 36-year-old Sue Sharp and her five children. On that night Sue, her eldest son Johnny and his friend Dana Wingate were brutally murdered, while the Sue’s youngest daughter, Tina, was kidnapped and is thought to have been killed soon after. Sue’s eldest daughter, Sheila, discovered the bodies the morning after she’d returned from a friend’s house. The two youngest Sharp boys, Ricky and Greg, were in another room with a friend and slept through the entire incident.
The attacks were so vicious that the steak knife used in the murders was bent 25 degrees backwards. The victims were tied with tape and electrical cord, and were found lying together on the living room floor. Tina is thought to have been abducted while sleeping and her skull was found three years after the murders. Although suspects were named, nothing came of it. The investigation itself was said to have been botched due to the fact that one suspect was close friends with the County Sheriff. Nonetheless the case still remains cold with little chance of it being solved.
5 The Blood Countess
Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian noble who was fixated with beating, torturing and killing young women. Bathory was exposed to acts of extreme violence from a young age, so it’s not too surprising to find that she herself grew to be deranged. Her victims ranged from local peasants, to her very own servants. While the number is disputed, Bathory is said to have kept a registry of her victims which totaled up to around 650. A famous rumor surrounding her is that she’d bathe in the blood of her victims, thinking it would sustain her youth. While it seems a little far-fetched the enormous body count does allow for the idea to be entertained. Bathory herself was never formally charged with any of these crimes, instead she spent four years confined to her bedroom till she was found dead of unknown causes.
4 The Jack the Ripper Killings
“Jack the Ripper” terrorized London’s East End for a short span of time in late 1888, but his methods were so gruesome that the murders are still discussed today. Occurring within the poverty stricken Whitechapel district, the murders took place between August and November and claimed five victims, all of them prostitutes. While there is the possibility that other prostitutes murdered in the Whitechapel area around the same time as the Ripper killings could’ve been Ripper victims themselves, the general consensus is that the killer only took five victims.
The poor women were strangled to death, then had their necks cut from ear to ear and were then mutilated horribly. The last victim, Mary Jane Kelly, was butchered beyond recognition. The nature of these killings brought to light the dangerous conditions these women were forced to live in. The media had a field day exploiting the case, the public was gripped in fear and anti-Semitic groups were quick to exploit it and use it to their advantage.
With an abnormally large list of suspects, coupled with the media interference and false accusations, it’s no surprise that the killer was never apprehended. To this day the case has inspired a number of books, television specials and theories as to what the identity of the real Jack the Ripper might’ve been.
Another gruesome cold case, the Hinterkaifeck murders occurred within the small village of Kaifeck, Germany on March 31st, 1922 and left a small farm family and their maid dead. Andreas Gruber, his wife Cazillia, daughter Viktoria, her two young children Cazillia and Josef as well as the family maid, Maria were all killed using a mattock. Andreas along with his wife, daughter and granddaughter were all murdered inside the barn, while Maria was murdered in her room and Josef in his bassinet.
The victims all had major damage done to their skulls and were beheaded after they died. According to police Andreas had told neighbors of strange goings-on during the last few weeks before the murders took place. There were footprints found coming from the forest, but none going back. Keys went missing, and the toolshed lock was damaged, as though someone had tried to pick it open. They also had heard noises similar to footsteps in the attic and received unfamiliar newspapers.
What’s even stranger about this case is the killer's actions after the murder took place. He took no money but stayed in the home sometime after he’d slaughtered its residents. He fed the livestock, warmed up the chimney, ate food in the kitchen and was even comfortable enough around the family dog to keep him in his company during his stay. There were some suspects, including Viktoria’s lover. But the police never had anything concrete to go on. In fact it took them a year to find the murder weapon, despite aid from K9 units.
2 Ed Gein
Ed Gein’s notorious actions went on to inspire the characters of Norman Bates (Psycho), Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs). Gein has only confirmed to killing two victims – though it is believed he’d also murdered his brother and covered it up – with a .22 caliber rifle and .32 caliber pistol. However, it isn’t the way in which he murdered his victims that is so appalling, but what he did afterwards.
His first confirmed victim was 54-year-old Mary Hogan who ran a local tavern. His next victim, 58-year-old Bernice Worden was killed three years later. Gein robbed graves and took whatever he could find as trophies. When police arrested him they first found his latest victim –Worden – hanging in the barn off a meat hook, decapitated along with several organs having been taken out and washed. Her head was found in a burlap sack while Hogan’s was found in a paper bag.
Once they entered the house they found a number of other horrors. Noses, bones and boxes of human organs were just a few of the shocking items found. Among the most disturbing were skulls converted into bowls and bedposts, masks made of human flesh and “female body-suits” Gein had made out of tanned female skins. Eleven years after he was caught, Gein was sentenced to life imprisonment but was later assigned to a mental hospital when he was ruled insane.
1 The Murder of Junko Furuta
This next case exposes a hell no human being should be forced to endure, and shows just how cruel and disgusting some people are capable of being. Junko Furuta was a 17-year-old high school Junior who was kidnapped walking home on the evening of November 25th, 1988 by a group of young men, roughly her age. What followed was 44 days of hell for the innocent girl.
She was brought to the home of one of her abductors in the Ayase district in Tokyo, where she was forced to call her parents to mislead them into believing that she was staying at a friend’s house. The ringleaders’ parents – who were home throughout – did nothing to help the girl in any way and mind-bogglingly allowed this to happen with at least partial – if not full – knowledge of what was going on.
Furuta was raped, beaten, starved, assaulted and mutilated. She endured unimaginable physical and mental anguish over the course of 44 straight days. On the last day she was burned alive and held on for two more hours before she passed. The four assailants then attempted to hide her body in a 55-gallon drum they’d filled with concrete. During the trial the boys’ identities were hidden, though they were tried as adults. Instead of being charged with murder they instead pled guilty to a reduced charge and served shorter sentences.
The ringleader, Jo Kamisaku ran into more trouble with the law years later and is apparently somewhat connected in the underworld. The group got off with fairly short sentences, and what’s worse all now walk free. After all the atrocities committed to her there is still no justice for Junko Furuta.