15 Most Disturbing Crimes Committed By Children

Any vicious and brutal crimes are hard for us to stomach. Most people wonder how anyone can kill another person, even in situations when they have to. Finding out that there was an element of torture involved is extra sickening. It’s always hard to imagine what causes a person to commit such vicious acts. A lot of the times, we can blame it on their upbringing, or something tragic that happened to them. Maybe they were abused as a child? Perhaps they were too often exposed to violence? Or maybe they developed a psychological disorder as they grew up.

Some crimes are committed as acts of lust or passion. Others are built up over the years because of ongoing conflicts and jealousy. Although murder is never acceptable, some people enjoy investigating things such as these to figure out why evil humans act the way they do. When the situation involves a child, it can be all the more confusing to us.

Children are the most innocent and pure individuals. Many of us would like to believe that we are all born good and that we only do bad things because of our inability to handle or process certain traumas that happen to us. But when you have a child committing such violent and brutal acts, thoughts like these have no merit. What causes a child to murder or harm someone else in a brutal way? Perhaps looking at cases like these will help, or maybe it will always remain a mystery. Here are the 15 most brutal crimes ever committed by children.

15 Lionel Tate


In the above picture, Lionel is much older than he was at the time of the crime. Lionel Tate is believed to be one of the youngest boys ever sentenced to life in prison without parole for the brutal murder of a 6-year-old girl. A young girl, Tiffany, was found dead in the home of Lionel Tate, after his mother agreed to babysit the girl. At first, no one was sure why the child had been found not breathing in their home, but two days later, an autopsy proved that there might be a sinister reason for her death. The results showed that the young girl suffered fractures to her skull as well as a ton of internal bruising. Lionel claimed that he had only been wrestling playfully with Tiffany, but the jury didn’t buy it. After being convicted of life in prison, he was eventually granted a new trial and given short terms of house arrest and probation.

14 A 13-Year-Old Girl Killed Her Entire Family


If you found out your 13-year-old daughter wanted to hang out with her 23-year-old boyfriend, you probably wouldn't permit it, right? Would you do so if you knew it would result in your murder? Unfortunately, this was the case for the family of a young girl from Alberta. The girl had had an ongoing relationship with the older man. Obviously, because of their age difference, many problems occurred. The two would often joke about killing the girl’s family, but she claimed she was never serious about it. One night it became a reality when the man came over to the young girl's house. He then killed her mother and father and urged the young girl to stab her little brother. She did so, but was unable to finish the job, so he finished him off. The girl wasn’t tried as an adult, as she didn’t actually commit any murders. Aiding was enough to still have her sentenced to prison until she reached 18, with years of supervision after.

13 Three Young Chicago Boys Assault A Woman 


Chicago is known for being a pretty violent place. With such a high murder rate, it’s no surprise to hear about shootings daily. But this crime committed by Chicago criminals wasn’t a gang-related shooting like most. Three young boys, ages 12, 15, and 16, broke into a woman’s house in this quiet neighborhood while she was sleeping one night in the south side of Chicago. They first broke in through an open window to rob the apartment, but upon finding the woman sleeping, they decided to do something much more sinister. Each of the three boys took turns raping the 30-year-old woman in her own bed while the other two boys held a gun to her. The woman’s young son slept in the room just next to her. Luckily all three boys have been arrested and will most likely be tried as adults. The poor victim thankfully lived, but she’ll probably have a hard time finding peace in her own home again.

12 Sara Madrid Shot By Her 12-Year-Old Son

We’ve all had times when our parents told us what to do and it made us mad. No one likes doing the dishes or cleaning their rooms, but they still have to when mom asks. Well, one child thought he had the ultimate way out of doing chores – shooting his mom. The boy was taught how to use the gun by his mother’s boyfriend in case of any emergencies. Instead, he used it against her because he did not feel like doing the chores she asked him to do. It was later discovered that the young boy was often subject to physical and verbal abuse from his mother, who slapped him only moments before being shot by him. The boy will be tried as a child, as many believe his abuse led to the incident and that he will have the ability to be rehabilitated while imprisoned.

11 Christopher Pittman 


Christopher Pittman was a young 12-year-old boy who was convicted of murdering his grandparents while they slept. The matter of the case was what made it very disturbing. Christopher was a troubled child who had issues with anger and depression. After he made an attempt to run away, he was put on anti-depressants to help with his behavior. After having an argument at school and later with his grandparents, Christopher murdered his grandmother and grandfather while they slept. He then took the gun, his dog, some cash, and set the house on fire with a candle. He claimed that a large man kidnapped him, but later confessed to what he actually did. Christopher’s defense claimed that the use of the anti-depressant Zoloft made him commit his crimes. He was still convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

10 Jamarion Lawhorn


The case of Jamarion is quite a disturbing one. At the time of the crime, he was only 12-years-old when he chose a random victim on the playground to stab and kill. He chose 9-year-old Connor, who hadn’t known who Jamarion was at the time. After he stabbed Connor, he simply asked to borrow someone’s cell phone and called the police on himself. When asked why he had chosen to commit the crime, he claimed that it was because he wanted to get arrested and sentenced to death. He simply no longer wanted to live anymore. It was discovered that he was subject to a lot of physical and mental abuse from his mother and stepfather, and that he had often talked about wanting to die. He will now sit behind bars in a juvenile center and be put up again for trial when he turns 18.

9 Jordan Brown 


Jordan Brown was only 11-years-old when he opened fire on his soon-to-be stepmom. At the time of her murder, she was also pregnant with Jordan’s future half-brother. After he murdered his father’s fiancée while she slept, Jordan boarded the school bus like it was any other morning. Apparently, Jordan was heard before the murder stating that he would like to shoot his future stepmom and the woman’s daughters. Unfortunately, it was one of the woman’s daughters who found her dead in her bed. The baby inside of her died as well. Family members claimed that Jordan was a troubled kid who had anger issues. His father maintained the son’s innocence throughout the trial, claiming someone else had committed the crime. Many suspect that Jordan was jealous of the new baby and new marriage so that was his motive for the gruesome murder.

8 Andrew Golden And Mitchell Johnson 


Mitchell Johnson, 11, and 13-year-old Andrew Golden were just middle school students when they decided to open fire on their classmates. They loaded up a car with supplies and weapons stolen from their parents. They went to school like any normal day and pulled the fire alarm. Then, everyone lined up outside in the proper protocol for a fire. There, Mitchell and Andrew opened fire on the classmates waiting outside. They killed several teachers and students as well as injuring many in the process. They both attempted to flee the scene but instead were caught. They were tried as adults; both being released from prison when they turned 18. Golden has gone on to live a fairly normal life while trying to maintain his anonymity. Johnson is still in prison, as he was arrested and charged several times after being released for various crimes. We’ve heard of plenty of school shootings, but when it comes from an 11 and 13-year-old, it can be extra unsettling.

7 Mary Bell 


Mary Bell is one of the most infamous children on the list, as she was known for being one of the first famous child murderers. She is responsible for murdering two different young boys within a 3-month time span. Both children were murdered with her bare hands, the second time with a 13-year-old accomplice. The murders took place in the '60s, and since then Mary has been released from prison and has had a daughter. The nature of the crimes was brutal, as after Mary strangled the second child, she went back to carve her initials into the stomach of the dead boy. She also mutilated different body parts. It’s very interesting to imagine where she could be right now and what she thinks of her vicious crimes. Does she feel remorseful every day or has she been able to move on and forget her own brutal past?

6 10 And 11-Year-Old Boys Beat Two Children 

Two Yorkshire boys subjected two other young men to brutal torture and abuse on a playground. During the trial, the two perpetrators claimed that the only reason they stopped the brutal treatment was because their arms were tired. The two victims were walking together when they were stopped by the Yorkshire boys. They were then robbed, beaten with bricks and bits of glass, and forced to perform sexual acts with the 10 and 11-year-old criminals. The boys stopped after claiming it went on long enough and that their arms were tired. Luckily they stopped in time, and the two victims were able to escape and live. The criminals were immediately arrested and they soon learned that the boys were from various foster homes. The boys had a history of beating up other children, but until now, it had never gone this far.

5 A 9-Year-Old Girl Stabbed Her Playmate

A 9-year-old girl once stabbed an 11-year-old girl in the chest and killed her. The two were playing together when the mother of the 9-year-old stepped out to borrow something from a neighbor. When she returned, she found 11-year-old Queen Washington with a knife stuck in her chest. Apparently, the fight was just over a ball and quickly escalated into a murder. People around the area who knew the young girl claimed that she was a very troubled child. Some even described her as a “thug.” The murder took place in 2005, and because of laws that protect the identity of children, it is hard to know for sure where her whereabouts are now. Unfortunately, cases like these are difficult, as many children have fights without getting in legal trouble. But not many children stab their playmates.

4 An 8-Year-Old Boy Shot His Father And Father's Friend

These gruesome murders from an 8-year-old boy shocked the public. The 8-year-old boy took a .22 caliber handgun and shot and killed his father as well as his father’s friends. The case was very unsettling, as the motive remains a bit unclear. At first, many suspected that there was abuse involved. They found records that the young boy kept of how many spankings his father had given him. This was the only indication of any sort of abuse in the household, however. When the boy gave his confession as to why he did it, he stated that he saw that his father was suffering and didn’t want him to suffer anymore. The boy was not sentenced to life, but rather to a treatment facility to track and monitor his behavior. In cases involving such young children it can be hard to determine what actions to take for punishment.

3 Dedrick Owens 


We’ve already heard about the disturbing case of young boys who brought guns to school, but this one is even worse. Dedrick Owens decided to take a gun and a knife to school when he was only 6-years-old. There, he pulled a gun on 6-year-old Kayla Rolland, pictured above, fatally shooting her. Before he shot her, he stated that he didn’t like her. He only shot her in the arm, but it still hit a major artery, resulting in her death. He ended up not being charged, as anyone under the age of 7 cannot be held responsible for murder. His father was charged with manslaughter and served a short prison term for allowing Dedrick to have easy access to the gun. We have to wonder, is it OK that he did not serve any time in juvenile court for the murder? What was going on in this little boy’s brain when this happened?

2 Young Saudi Boy Shot His Father At Only 4 Years Old

One of the craziest cases on the list involves a 4-year-old with a gun. We often hear of many cases that involve children getting a hold of a gun and accidentally shooting it off. However, this was no accident. Because of protective laws, the name of the child has not been released. But we do know that this brutal crime occurred in Saudi Arabia. Before going to the store, a young boy asked his father to buy him a new PlayStation. The father, like any normal adult, didn’t immediately give into the child’s demands. After the father returned home empty handed, the child grew angry that he didn’t get what he wanted. He then found his father’s gun and shot him to death. A crime like this is utterly tragic. Obviously the child isn’t capable of knowing how serious his crime was, and yet what drove him to think it was OK for him to handle the gun?

1 Robert Thompson And Jon Venables 


The murder that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables committed has to be the most brutal on the list. The two look like such innocent children in the picture, but in reality, they committed crimes more gruesome than most adults. The victim was 2-year-old James Bulger, who was taken by the two while shopping with his mother. Robert and Jon then took the boy to a secluded area, threw paint in his eye, beat him with bricks and stones, forced batteries into his mouth, and dropped a 22-pound iron onto his head. He suffered over 40 injuries in total. After murdering the innocent James, the boys placed him on a train track hoping many would assume it was the train that caused the incident. The train did slice him in half, though autopsies revealed the traumas he suffered. Robert and Jon only served short terms, since they were each only 10-years-old at the time. Since being released, Robert has maintained his privacy with a new identity, however, Jon has been in and out of prison since.

Sources: DNAinfo, criminaljusticedegreesguide

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15 Most Disturbing Crimes Committed By Children