The bond between a mother and her child is generally considered sacred and inviolable, however, there are times in which we must step back and process how weird, creepy, and perverse such a bond may become. It is true that most crimes, at least violent crimes, are committed by men. If there are multiple people involved in perpetrating it, they are generally men. It is most shocking however when a mother becomes an active participant; in fact, it makes it all the most unnerving of all.
Whenever a mother takes an active role with her children in criminal behaviors you can expect the most obscene abuses to take place. This twist on the normal occurrence has led to an explosion of movies depicting mother and child criminal duos as insane, depraved, and violent animals. From the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the House of 1000 Corpses motherly participants in crime are made to appear to be so out there that they might as well be a wholly separate species.
Unfortunately, this is not the case or else these kinds of criminal conspiracies would be stopped more quickly than they are. In reality, the mother-child bond allows for such relationships and activities to go unnoticed to the broader scope of society. From Ma Barker to the Bloody Benders, the role of the mother has allowed for their activities to go unnoticed or unpunished for long periods. Here is a list of 15 of the creepiest mother-child criminal teams out there.
15 Sante Kimes & Kenneth Kimes, Jr.
If you ever needed a reason to worry about insurance fraud, this mother and son duo did you no favors in putting your mind at ease. Sante Kimes and her son Kenneth Kimes, Jr. were well established in the grifter trade by the time that they committed their first murder and racked up a total of 117 charges, including two counts of murder, robbery, insurance fraud, and enslavement. Upon conviction, this dastardly duo received more than a hundred years apiece. The full scope of their crimes may never be known as Sante Kimes died in 2014. Kenneth Kimes, Jr. admitted to a third murder for which they were suspected but never brought to trial.
The closeness of the mother and son was of great interest because they came to share a bed but there is no evidence that they had sex. This behavior has led to much speculation. The efficiency in which they executed their cornucopia of crime showed that Kenneth, Jr. was born and groomed to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
14 Ma Barker & The Barker-Karpis Gang
From the music of Boney M to Mark Lester’s 1996 drama Public Enemies, the exploits of Ma Barker and the Barker-Karpis Gang have become a staple in American folklore. There is a lot of mystery which surrounds the gang. These mysteries are rooted in the FBI position that Ma Baker was an active participant in the gang’s activities; this claim is contested by Alvin Karpis in his autobiography. In either case, Ma Barker’s role with the gang is unnerving because it goes well beyond the standard attempts parents make to protect their criminally minded kids. What we do know is that Ma Barker was more than complicit in hiding the gang and often traveled with them to give them the appearance of being a normal family. What is known of Ma Barker shows that she took delight in her kids’ criminal activities. In 1935 the gang had a shootout with the FBI in Marion County, Florida.
The highly unusual relationship between Ma Barker and “her” gang helped FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to declare that she was their leader. Although Ma Barker’s role in the gang is entirely up to debate, it cannot be argued that her seemingly fanatic devotion to her sons would send a chill through one’s spine.
13 Brandon Glenn & Bettye Adams
If you have ever been in a relationship, you have probably had an argument with your significant other. The argument could have been about anything, but most of us have not killed our partner in a fit of rage. That is what allegedly happened after an argument between Detroit-based wife and husband Melina Moore and Brandon Glenn. In the early morning of January 1, 2014, Brandon Moore shot and killed his wife after one of their many reputed arguments. The history of violence between Glenn and Moore is only a singular factor in this. Brandon Glenn’s mother, Bettye Adams, was on site at the time for the celebration of the New Year. According to Adams’ testimony, she initially attempted to take Melina Moore to the hospital but changed her mind out of fear of the crime being blamed on her. Whatever the reason, Bettye Adams decided to take the body back to her home. When the police arrived, they found the corpse behind Moore’s car in Adams’ driveway. The creep factor here is within the seeming relationship between the three individuals. Fear is a powerful motivator, just like anger, and when they are mixed together terrible events may unfurl.
12 Edith & John McAlinden
A good child is expected to help their parents whenever they can, but sometimes it’s best that the children step away. For Edith and John McAlinden, it would have been the wiser choice. Shortly after her release from prison, Edith was in her boyfriend’s (David Gillespie’s) apartment with two of his roommates, Anthony Coyle and Ian Mitchell. They were drinking and an argument ensued between McAlinden and Gillespie. During this argument, Edith brandished a knife and stabbed her boyfriend repeatedly in the thigh, severing a major artery. As David bled to death, Edith panicked and called her son, John, who arrived with his friend Jamie Gray via taxi. The series of gruesome events was not finished upon their arrival.
John was asked to help clear the scene by his mother, meaning that all witnesses had to be eliminated. John thus stabbed Mitchell and bludgeoned his head. Concurrently, Coyle attempted to barricade himself in his bedroom, to no avail. John and Jamie murdered him by beating him with his own golf clubs. The trio was caught after a neighbor called the police. All three were sentenced to life imprisonment
11 Sharilyn Kae Anderson & Joshua Jerome Davis
There aren’t any words which can adequately describe what Sharilyn Kae Anderson and her son Joshua Jerome Davis did. Few individuals go down such an abhorrent path as these two. The mother and son duo plead guilty to conspiracy to traffic two teenaged girls, 15 and 18 respectively. Both individuals used force and threats of violence to coerce the victims into prostitution. Their crimes were of such a caliber that it brought the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations into the equation. Their sex trafficking activities crossed state lines, which ultimately led to their capture. What one might consider the silver lining to this horrific ordeal is that forceful trafficking a child carries a minimum of 10 years imprisonment; the use of or threat of force when trafficking an adult carries a sentence of 15 years to life. In February 2015, Sharilyn Anderson and Joshua Davis pleaded guilty.
10 Martha "Patty" Cannon & The Gang
Martha Cannon and her daughter are unusual. Not only were they murderers and thieves, but they were also slave runners and this makes them similar to the Kimes duo. Sometime between 1808 and 1821, Martha “Patty” Cannon got involved in the kidnapping and selling of freed blacks in the Delaware-Maryland area. What got her start in the industry was the perfect combination of events; first her daughter (whose name is lost to history) married men involved in the illegal slave trade, not once but twice! Secondly, where she lived was a common place for escaped and freed blacks to pass through or settle down. Both of those aspects made for an easy entrance to the profession.
The efficiency of their crimes was in part due to the unwillingness of law enforcement to investigate their activities. Martha Cannon’s farm would eventually be searched where they found four bodies, one of which was a black child. Although she was indicted, evidence shows that she committed suicide in her prison cell in April 1829. The question then becomes, “what happened to Patty’s daughter?” No one is quite sure, the nameless daughter completely disappears from history around her mother’s death.
9 Shanice Stewart & Children
Shanice Stewart is another unusual entry in this list. She is not a murderess and her children weren’t adults when the crimes were being committed. Shanice Stewart and her children, who shall not be named, were thieves; extremely brazen thieves at that. Shanice trained her young children to steal items which amounted in felony grand theft and credit card fraud charges. Although Shanice was the parent of the children, she did not perpetrate the scheme alone; she had assistance from one Shawnice Adkins. The two women were issued a court order to stay away from the victims and the Tangiers Store.
When you look at it, it seems like something which would be in a movie or something. This may not be the most shocking of the sordid entries on this list, but it is definitely deserving of its spot. I don’t know about you, but the training of children to be criminals is something that I find incredibly unsettling.
8 Daphne & Samuel Pratt
The disgusting crimes of the Pratt duo are similar to those of Sharilyn Kae Anderson & Joshua Jerome Davis in that they forced young women into prostitution. In at least three states, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the Pratts attempted to develop a sex trafficking and gun-running empire. They would recruit girls aged at least 14 years of age to move from state to state for the sick pleasure of various clients. Other charges which they were convicted of conspiracy to sex traffic and possession and distribution of child pornography. Daphne Pratt’s involvement was considered to be secondary to her son, who was already serving a prison sentence at the time of his trial. Daphne Pratt took orders from her son to run his fledgling empire. The mother appeared to treat everything as normal until December 2016, when she pleaded guilty and gave testimony against her son. Samuel Pratt was convicted after a four-day trial and is presently undergoing sentencing. He faces life imprisonment if he is given the full penalty under the law.
7 Mildrey Gonzalez & Milka Alfaro
We all love our families and we all want them to get the best healthcare that they can, unfortunately, there are some who simply see dollar signs here. Mildrey Gonzalez and Milka Alfaro operated a major Medicare fraud scheme in Miami, Florida. This scheme was heavily reliant on their abilities to convince their “patient recruiters” to keep steady business through the acquisition of new “clients.” They built up this scheme with 7 locations! They were highly industrious and defrauded the Medicare of $20 million! That is a lot of money that could have made a difference to people in need. How were these hucksters caught? US Immigration and Customs caught them trying to smuggle $2.4 million in baby diapers as they returned from the Dominican Republic. These two would eventually plead guilty to defrauding government agencies of the money. The story didn’t end there before they pleaded guilty to the charges, they attempted to tamper with evidence and witnesses through an assortment of means. They thought they were living high on the hog, but they were sent to the chop shop in the end.
6 Agnes & Ikechukwu Uchendu
Quite a number of people dream of being able to afford a maid, some of us dream of having multiple maids, Agnes and Ikechukwu Uchendu are no exception to this. In fact, these duos come from a rather affluent background and they were able to afford domestic help. So far, this all of this sounds pretty normal, right? The two procured youthful maids (aged 9 and 11) to work around the house. The employers were fairly abusive towards the staff, going so far as to torture the young girls with electric irons for allegedly stealing 100 Nigerian Naira, which is worth about US$0.33. These acts of abuse were so great that the International Federation of Women Lawyers sent a petition to the Nigerian government requesting their arrest and indictment. After the indictment, the Nigerian government complied and arrested the two individuals. The victims were hastily taken to get medical attention by the police. There have been no specific updates on their condition, but the government has said that they have been taken care of.
5 Tarranisha & Tremaine Davis
Once again we have a case of a parent trying to support their child, but sadly, once again it results in homicide. Tremaine Davis (15) was a normal student at a Detroit high school, and like many teenagers, he had a loving mother. Tremaine was having trouble with another teenager, resulting in a scuffle at the Considine Little Rock Family Life Center; after the scuffle, he went home. Once he got home, Tremaine was still quite angry and he told his mother what had happened. Here is where everything went wrong, instead of trying to console her son, Tarranisha Davis goaded her son to go and get revenge. Davis then proceeded to drive her son back to the community center, gave him a gun, and made him commence firing at the child you hit him. All shots missed the boy who Tremaine got into the fight with, instead he struck 19-year-old Demitry Jackson in the head, killing him instantly. Both individuals were convicted of second-degree murder. Tarranisha was sentenced to 22 and a half to 40 years and her son was sentenced from 10 to 25 years.
4 Leticia & Noel Carrasco
As all of you have probably been told, be wary of strangers, especially if you go out drinking. Leticia Carrasco can be considered an exact reason that you’ve been told that before. Leticia and her son Noel were involved in an armed robbery which turned into murder. On the night of December 22, 2008, Leticia went to a nightclub and met Matias Ojeda Vazquez who she promised to have sex with in exchange for money. Matias thus agreed and went with her to the Covered Wagon Hotel, in which Noel was hiding. Once Matias was securely in the room Noel ambushed him and demanded that he give him all his money but Matias refused. After this refusal, Noel stabbed Matias within the chest and stomach before strangling him with the cord to the landline and fracturing his skull. After the attempted clean up, the two made a hasty getaway. What got them caught? Noel made hundreds of calls and texts to his girlfriend. For only a few thousand dollars’ worth of goods, they made a terrible investment for the rest of their lives.
3 Tarverdiyeva-Podkopaev Gang
As they say, the family that slays together is probably going to mostly killed. The Tarverdiyeva-Podkopaev Gang was a criminal outfit in Russia led by former nursery teacher turned housewife Inessa Tarverdiyeva and her daughter Viktoria. The family of four was completely ruthless, taking great delight in not only the stalking and killing of their victims but also torturing them. There is some debate over what sort of killers they were, some say spree killers and other say serial, in the end, it does not matter because of the wave of carnage that they wrought in Russia. According to Inessa’s and Viktoria’s own count, the gang killed at least 30 people. Among the more notorious incidents of the gang was the torture and murder of two teenage girls whose eyes were gouged out. What made this family of killers more unusual is that they would go out of their way to not commit murders in their own area and instead would travel to neighboring regions. The family would eventually be involved in a shootout with officers in which husband Roman Podkopaev, a dentist by trade, was killed and Inessa was wounded.
2 Diane & Rachel Staudte
Mother like daughter, the saying has a lot of meaning, usually conjuring ideas of sweetness and love, but not here. Diane and Rachel Staudte were the exact opposite of our ideas of how a mother and daughter should be. This pair of Missourian women came to international infamy in 2012 when they murdered members of their family with antifreeze.
Why did they commit parricide? For some reason, Diane Staudte had a deep seeded animosity towards her family, all of them. The only person in her family she seemed to love was her second youngest child, Rachel who was an active participant in the murders. The two were finally caught after Rachel confessed to law enforcement to putting antifreeze in her family’s drinks with the help of her mother, Diane; Rachel was arrested two days after her mother. During sentencing, only Rachel seemed to show remorse as she testified against her mother. In the end, Diane received life without the possibility of parole whereas Rachel, given two consecutive life sentences, will be eligible after 42 and a half years.
1 Lyudmila & Alexander "Sasha" Spesivtsev
I initially hesitated to include Lyudmila and Alexander “Sasha” Spesivtsev, simply because I cannot imagine a mother and son so depraved as these two. From about 1991 to 1996, the devilish duo committed at least 19 murders of young street children. Sasha saw these children as being detrimental to society and thus took it as his mission to purify Russia from the derelict poor. His mother Lyudmila agreed with his mission wholeheartedly and so she helped to lure children to his apartment. After arriving at the flat, he would beat and sexually assault them before stabbing them to death. This was not anywhere near the end of the depraved nature of this pair; you cannot tell how much I wish it was. Lyudmila and Alexander often times partook in cannibalizing their victims and turning parts of them into home decorations. A burst pipe is what led to this mother and son team being arrested. Lyudmila would be sentenced to 13 years in prison for helping lure the young girls to their doom, whereas Sasha was declared insane and committed to a psychiatric ward.