When we think of the holiday season, we think of the most wonderful time of the year, don’t we? We think of spending time with family, giving and getting awesome gifts, and maybe even getting a little drunk at the office Christmas party. It’s the time of good tidings and good will to all. It’s the time of year that often brings the family together, even the disgruntled ones. The last thing we imagine could happen over Christmas is tragedy, but that’s what we’re getting with these dark stories. Not everyone has fond Christmas memories, in fact, some people have horrific memories. The kind of memories that will haunt you for a long time, maybe forever. No one wants to think that terrible things could happen during such a festive time, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
We’re not sure why someone would think of committing a crime during the holiday season, it would seem like the worst possible time to do so. It seems just too hard to believe that such madness springs around Christmas. Then again, while some of us see it as a happy time, others dread the holidays. But as you will see through these dark tales, there are friends, family members, and even lovers who have done dark deeds during the Christmas season that will shock you to the core.
15 A Drinking Party Gone Wrong
Sometimes, getting together with friends and getting bombed isn’t always the best idea, especially if one of the guests is murderous. At a quart house in the 1900s, a few patrons got together, including the owner and decided to celebrate the season together with a few drinks. This particular bar was the kind that loved to sell unlicensed moonshine, so maybe that was half the problem because not everyone can handle it. They decided to dip into the bar's homemade whiskey until they were hammered. As five o’clock came around, a man named Marion Henderson decided to join the festivities. Things went bad over virtually nothing. Bob Morris accused Henderson of blocking his light. Gasp! Morris pulled out his revolver and shot Henderson in the chest. The bullet lodged near the man’s heart and he died immediately. His poor wife had to come out at Christmas to identify his body.
14 The Community Wanted Justice
The 1800s were ripe for lynching mobs who didn’t agree with the justice that was doled out in the courts. We’re not sure why George Ellis and his buddies decided to murder three people in their home and then burn the place down, but they did. Fannie Gibbons, Robert Gibbons, and Emma Thomas were brutally murdered in their home on Christmas Eve. Ellis was a bricklayer who brought his coworkers Ellis Craft and William Neal with him that night. Ellis eventually confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison. For some reason, Neal and Craft were sentenced to death and were hung while Ellis rotted in prison. That wasn’t okay with the community, however, who wanted blood. A lynch mob was formed and they abducted Ellis from his jail cell and murdered him. We’re thinking they must have had some help on the inside.
13 The Police Covered It Up
This is a creepy and unsolved murder that happened on Christmas Eve in 1973. Kevin Showalter and his girlfriend were in their 20s when they were driving home that night. They got a flat tire and Kevin got out to change it. While doing so, he was struck by a passing vehicle and killed. The vehicle didn’t stop and the crime got more mysterious when Kevin’s mother showed up to find the cops there. Not only did they say that his personal items were lost mysteriously, but they were convinced that his murder would never be solved. What a weird thing for a cop to say. The Mayor of London, Harvey Mallove was the original suspect because he actually drove on the street that same night. They couldn’t prove he killed Kevin, however. A man named Paul Hansen came forward six years later and confessed to the crime. The statute of limitations was long passed so he couldn’t be charged, nor did police think he did it. That opinion changed in 2005 when Hansen committed suicide and confessed to the murder once again in a note he left behind. The case is still considered to be unsolved. We wonder why the girlfriend couldn’t identify the car that drove by.
12 Evil Couple Ruins A Life
Owen Kerry was stabbed to death on Christmas Eve. Brain Cahill and Lyndsey Harper were recently found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the murder. On the night of Christmas Eve, Kerry was murdered while at the Cramlington Workingmen Club. Paramedics arrived at the scene and took Kerry to the hospital, but he died the next day on Christmas. Both were accused of murder, yet they deny ever being around Kerry. Hayden Brown, a friend of Owen’s, claimed to have seen Brian deliver the fatal blow when he saw his friend fall to the ground. It seems that it’s an open-and-shut case. We would love to know why these two people would kill this young man on Christmas Eve.
11 Holiday Party Murder
In 1984, Amy and John Johnston decided to have a Christmas party. They invited Daniel Herron, a neighbor, to the party along with his wife. As is the case with most holiday parties, there was a lot of alcohol and people drank till the wee hours. John and Daniel had some bad blood in the past and drinking together led to arguing. Things got ugly pretty quickly and Daniel pulled a gun on John. He fired at John but instead shot his wife, Amy on the right side of her body when she jumped in front of John. Talk about a loyal wife. She died that night trying to protect her husband. Daniel was, of course, arrested for Amy’s murder.
10 Spousal Dispute
Sometimes, infidelity can push people over the edge. John Bell was married to Margaret for fifteen years. She went to Scotland on a trip and when she returned, she told her loving husband that she was pregnant. It should have been good news, but for whatever reason, John thought that his wife might have cheated on him. He took his anger out on her in the form of verbal abuse, threatening and bullying her however he could. Despite it being Christmas, John was in a miserable mood and one night, Margaret told him he was being silly. That made him snap and he threatened her with a gun in the basement, with the intention to kill her and then himself. The two struggled with the weapon and in the end, John shot his wife in the face. He later decided he didn’t want to kill himself and he confessed to police.
9 We'll Never Know What Really Happened
In 1929, Charlie Lawson almost killed his entire family right before Christmas and no one knows for sure why he did it. Just before the murders, Lawson took his family into town, bought them new clothes, and posed with them for a family portrait. It was strange behavior for someone who would then kill his wife on Christmas day as well as six out of their seven children. After his killing spree, he went into the woods and killed himself. Many people believe that he was having an incestuous relationship with his older daughter Marie and that she was pregnant with his child. It’s unclear whether it was Marie that lived through the massacre or not. It’s a creepy tale of a man trying to cover his own mistakes.
8 Accidental Killing
This is a tragic reminder of why we shouldn’t play with guns. In 1878, Sarah Hayden was only 16 years old and married. She also had a male acquaintance who lived in the neighborhood whom she enjoyed flirting and playing with named Felix Lavelle. During the Christmas season, she ran into him and one of their games involved Sarah searching in his pockets for candy. She pulled out a six-shooter and Lavelle removed the revolver and gave Sarah a cartridge as a keepsake. He then pointed the gun at her playfully, cocked the hammer, and accidentally pulled the trigger. He claimed he meant to just give her a fright, but instead, he shot her in the chest point blank. In shock, Lavelle helped Sarah to a doorstep and waited for the police to arrive. He spent life in prison for his Christmas stupidity.
7 Revenge Against His Family
In 2002, Ernest Wholaver was prohibited from seeing his family after allegations that he sexually assaulted one of his daughters. Not happy with that ruling, he showed up at his wife’s home and proceeded to kill her and his daughters Elizabeth and Victoria. He broke into the home with his brother who helped him with the killings. The attack was brutal and the only survivor was the nine-month-old child Madison. Why he spared her is hard to say. Wholaver was sentenced to death and has been on death row since 2004, while his brother is serving a 25-year sentence. These crimes are tragic and disturbing.
6 Insulting A Man’s Wife
You should never insult a man’s wife or you may have to face the barrel of a revolver. Three men by the names of Don Sullivan, Buck Hannon, and Jack Doyle decided to go out drinking on Christmas Eve. Like most guys, they started talking about their sexual prowess. Sullivan made the mistake of making inappropriate remarks about Doyle’s wife. The two got into a fight and instead of just parting ways, they pulled out guns instead. Doyle killed Sullivan over a stupid comment about his wife. When he headed home, Hannon decided to take revenge for his friend’s death. Hannon shot and killed Doyle, making it a double homicide. Realizing what he did, he jumped on his horse and rode himself out of town.
5 Designated Driver Left On The Side Of The Road
This is an unsolved murder that has mystified the police in North Carolina. Rhonda Hinson was only 19 years old when she was at a company Christmas party in 1981. After dropping her friends off that night, she headed home. Someone shot at Rhonda’s vehicle from a distance with a high-powered rifle. The person peppered her car with bullets until they managed to hit her in the heart. Rhonda was found outside of her car with the door left hanging open. No one knows why someone would want to kill Rhonda, though her mother said her daughter was alluding to a terrible secret she was keeping that possibly involved a married man. A witness claimed that she drove by Rhonda’s vehicle that night and saw a man standing outside of the car and Rhonda was slumped over the wheel. At the time, the woman didn’t realize that Rhonda was dead. Her murder is still unsolved.
4 We'll Never Forget The Case Of JonBenét Ramsey
It’s been over 20 years since the murder of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey, and yet, we are still haunted by it. The young girl was found murdered in her own home and shockingly enough, they still don’t know who killed the poor girl. There was a lot of speculation that it was her mother, although the police were never able to prove it. There was also a ransom note that was left behind by the supposed killer, but many believe that it was fabricated. There was a lot of weird details about the case that never seemed to add up like the 911 call, interviews with JonBenét’s brother, and even DNA evidence that did point to a family member being involved. Unfortunately, the case remains unsolved.
3 Unhappy About The Divorce
Patty Vaughan left her home in Texas and never returned. The next day, her van was found 15 miles from her home with a flat tire. There was blood in the van and a red workman’s jumpsuit. It is said that before she disappeared, she had an argument with her estranged husband. That was the last time anyone saw Patty alive. Patty had her two children had also left him two months earlier. Her husband was upset because she had started dating and he was jealous. The fact that her husband filed for divorce literally the day after she went missing basically put a spotlight on him as a suspect. They couldn’t prove that he killed her, so no charges were laid. Her husband got custody of the children and he left Texas with them. The case remains unsolved to this day.
2 Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
Tracy Mertens was murdered brutally two days before Christmas because her heroin-addicted boyfriend owed people money. In 1994, Tracy moved to Rochdale, England but had to return to her former residence in Birmingham to pick up her belongings. While she was there, she was surprised by a knock at the door. Two men came bursting through and asked her when Joey was. She told them that Joey was not there and instead of just leaving, they abducted the poor girl and then dropped her off on the steps of a church. But before leaving, they poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire. She had burns covering 90 per cent of her body when she was found and she only lived long enough to get to the hospital. She left behind two children and when police asked Joey if he knew the attackers, he claimed that he had no idea who killed his girlfriend.
1 Dead Mother, Missing Child
During Christmas of 1994, Latricia White was spending it with her boyfriend Lee “Dub” Wackerhagen and his son Chance. When December 27 came around, Latricia’s father thought it was weird that he hadn’t heard from his daughter, so he went to her house. He found her dead in her bed after being shot six times. Neither Dub or Chance were in the house at the time. Dub was known to have a violent temper, so he became the prime suspect in the murder. They put a warrant out for his arrest but were never able to find him. They had to wonder if something happened to Dub and Chance as well. Dub’s truck was found abandoned on the highway with a bunch of unopened presents in the back covered in blood. The creepiest part is that Chance’s grandmother received a mysterious call from a young boy a few months later saying “Help me.” The call was cut off, but she thought it might have been Chance. No one really knows if Dub and Chance are hiding somewhere or if they were murdered as well.