Maybe people shouldn't be surprised that a boy who had to endure the nickname "Pissy" because of a tendency to wet his pants would grow up to be one of America's most savage spree killers. And it certainly didn't help that Pissy would go to prison on a robbery charge and emerge two years later with a tendency to dress in women's clothing and a desire for rough sex. Whatever the reasons, Alton Coleman and his girlfriend Debra Denise Brown will go down in history as a short-lived U.S. version of Great Britain's multiple sex-slayers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
Anything but academic, a tenure dispute in Alabama became a blood bath when professor Amy Bishop opened fire at a faculty meeting.
Good looking, suave, erudite and glib, Andrew Cunanan possessed what it took to own the world as his own at a very early age. By the time he was 21 years old, his brilliant mind had captured the fluency of seven languages and the essence of conversation in a circle of friends much older than he. More, he could recite the encyclopedia of designer labels, outwit the most clever of society sophisticates, and steal the attention of a room with a nod of his devil-may-care nonchalance. He was gay and proud of it, and his attitude shrugged off those who didn't understand his sexual preference. Nothing seemed to bother Andrew Cunanan. Nothing.
But, underneath, waiting to explode, hell smoldered. And when it burst it spewed blood from the corners of a Pompeiian decadency that was his brain. In its wake were the small and the mighty, the lava of hot blood burning several, from a tranquil grounds-keeper to Versace, the world's top fashion designer.
Trial of Dr. Wouter Basson focuses on alleged attempts to use chemical and biological weapons on African rebels
A fascinating study of the religious terrorist cult that attracted some of Japan's brightest young people and created a billion dollars in assets, much of which was used to fund development of anthrax and other weapons of mass destruction.
The 1963 KKK bombing of the Sixteen St. Baptist Church during Sunday service resulted in the deaths of four teenage girls. It altered the course of history and stirred the conscience of a nation.
Test your investigative skills with this new interactive story and work alongside the police as they try to solve the brutal murders of peace-loving people who made the Arizona desert bloom.
The barbaric history of lynchings in America.
Cathouse star Brooke Phillips was brutally killed with five others. Phillips may not have been the target, but who was and why?
James Dean wannabe and his teen girlfriend tour the MidWest murdering as they go. The inspiration for movies Natural Born Killers, Badlands, and Wild At Heart.
Ex-Marine Charles Joseph Whitman, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, went on a shooting spree that began around midnight on August 1, 1966, with the murders of his mother and his wife. The next day he went to campus and dispensed death to 16, leaving 31 others wounded before being shot down by police.
A savage home invasion rocks a peaceful Connecticut town.
Two career criminals murdered Ian Lamb, a complete stranger for $20, a package e of cigarettes and a couple of gallons of gasoline. Then, for no other reason than that one of the men had once worked for her family as a farm hand, they kidnapped Virginia Morse, a young mother of three, from her home. Morse was raped and tortured repeatedly while Crump and Baker drove to neighboring Queensland. Next, they tied her to a tree and shot her in the eyes.
Recently, Australian courts have struggled with the constitutionality of real life imprisonment where particularly horrible killers are "never to be released."
He was a young man on the road to destruction. He and his companions some called them hostages while others say they were accomplices cut a swath of carnage across the South and then descended on the hamlet of Grainfield, Kansas, like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, leaving death, pain and misery in their wake. His homicidal cruelty left an indelible mark everywhere he went.
Was he a manipulative psychopath who exploited the opportunity that Waco presented, as many FBI agents claim, or was he just a deluded religious leader whose private play was suddenly exposed on the world's stage?
First person account of the ATF raid at Waco by former ATF agent, Chuck Hustmyre.
Something terrible happened at Duffy's Cut. Historical records describe the disease-related deaths of some eight railroad workers, but their mass grave may tell the story of 57 deaths, a cover-up and murder.
The freight train rumbled to an agonizing stop on the rails inside of the Auschwitz compound. The human cargo that was packed tightly into its bevy of cattle cars continued to groan and clamor, suffering as they were from a four-day journey without food, water, bathroom facilities, or even fresh air.
When the journey ended, the Jewish prisoners were led before an SS officer. His handsome face was set with a kind smile, his uniform impeccably tailored, cleaned and pressed. He was cheerfully whistling an opera tune, one of his favorites by Wagner. He carried a riding crop to indicate which direction he selected them to go in left or right. Unbeknownst to the prisoners, this charming and handsome officer with the innocuous demeanor was engaging in his favorite activity at Auschwitz, selecting which new arrivals were fit to work and which ones should be sent immediately to the gas chambers and crematorium.
Mengele occupied his time with numerous acts of extraordinary cruelty, including the dissection of live infants; the castration of boys and men without the use of an anesthetic; and the administering of high-voltage electric shocks to women inmates under the auspices of testing their endurance. He is most famous for his monstrous experiments on sets of twins, resulting in their death and mutilation. Mengele's imagination knew no bounds when it came to devising physical torments for his victims.
For 30 years, Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran a women's clinic, where prosecutors say untrained employees killed viable babies, overdosed women with sedatives and operated in heinously unsanitary conditions. He now faces eight murder charges.
Pedophile active in scouting & boys clubs murders 16 children & teacher when his crimes are exposed.
What kinds of pressures drive fathers to murder their children? Dr. Katherine Ramsland provides some answers and looks at some high-profile cases.
Many people think of mass murderers as men and most of them are, but here are some famous women mass murderers. Some of the psychology and motivations are different from male mass murderers.
An excellent example of an intelligent and talented man driven into criminal behavior by horrible parents. When he was sentenced to death for murder, the Supreme Court had already halted executions in the US. His insistence on being executed opened the door for the reinstatement of the death penalty.
Mentally unbalanced prison guard goes on a murderous shooting spree, killing his numerous girlfriends and his children.
During the year leading up to the tragedy, George Emil Banks' mental state had greatly declined and one can only speculate as to what was going on in his mind before the carnage. In the early morning hours of September 25, 1982, Banks awoke from a self-induced haze. The 40-year-old prison guard had taken a cocktail of prescription drugs and straight gin around 11:30 p.m. the previous night.
Called the "Cross Country Killer," this good-looking, smooth-talking extrovert "always got what he wanted" and took extraordinary risks as he traveled all across the country to murder and rob the redheaded women that especially appealed to him.
37 people in a mass suicide sacrifice everything for the impossible dream.
Insane anger spurred Andrew Kehoe to secretly wire the Bath, Michigan school with over a 1,000 pounds of explosives, which he detonated May 18, 1927. Forty-two people, mostly children, were killed and 61 injured, creating the worst school massacre in the history of the U.S.
On January, 8, 2011, Loughner opened fire on Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically injuring her and killing six others. Not surprisingly, there were significant warning signs of mental illness that went unheeded by the administration at the community college Loughner attended.
Jeffrey Lundgren was a self-proclaimed prophet of God who announced to his flock that the Scriptures were commanding him to move to Kirtland, Ohio, in order to receive his true power from God. But there in the quiet pastoral community, he became drunk with power and his teachings became extravagant, embracing acts of violence and sexual assault. His orgy of power culminated in the slaughter of five of those who had trusted in him.
The first reports out of Guyana on November 18, 1978 were that Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other members of his party were shot and killed. Then came the shocking announcement that 408 American citizens had killed themselves at a communal village they had built in the jungle, known as "Jonestown. " The dead were all members of a group known as "The People's Temple" which was led by the Reverend Jim Jones. Nine hundred and thirteen of the 1100 people believed to have been at "Jonestown" at the time had died in a mass suicide.
Youngsters shooting up their classmates -- school violence is the epidemic of our time. What turns kids into killers? Experts take a look at Kip Kinkel, the killer at Thurston High, in a new chapter.
Child serial killers and thrill killers. Katherine Ramsland takes a look at the most famous cases and what forces can turn youthful aggression into murder.
A doctor, his family and secretary are horribly murdered and Californians fear a Manson copycat after a threatening note mentions Tarot cards.
New information sheds controversial light on the behavior of Columbine school shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that should have been a red flag to parents, school authorities and law enforcement.
Francis Crowley, 19 years old and the face of a choir boy, created havoc wherever he went. His heart-pounding story inspired the Jimmy Cagney classic White Heat.
No one made eye contact with the thin young man in the baseball cap as he entered the classroom at the University of Montreal, and offered a slight smile, as if to apologize for the interruption. Used to students arriving late, the professors ignored him. He looked at the women, as if to make certain of where they sat, and then, grinning, ordered 10 female students to get up and move across the room. "I'm fighting feminism," he said. Feminists needed to be taught their place, he added, then lifted his rifle and fired again and again, as they screamed for mercy.
Fast-paced thriller about young Black Panther & Muslim-convert who goes on a murder rampage in New Orleans.
The grinning fool who became the world's most notorious spree killer responsible for the Port Arthur Massacre.
Peaceful Santa Clara community is shocked by the murder of a prominent family.
Incensed by the horrific crimes of killer pedophile Joseph Edward Duncan III, he poses as FBI agent to gain access to house with three sex offenders, killing two of them for revenge. Are offender registries really protecting the public from monsters like Duncan?
It was a balmy Wednesday on August 19, 1987, and residents of the small market town of Hungerford, England. Just after noon, it all began.
Susan Godfrey was on a picnic with her children in Savernake Forest, a few miles west. Mr. and Mrs. Roland Mason were enjoying a quiet day at home, Ken Clermont was out walking, and Abdul Rahman worked in his garden. Since more people were in town for the open market, Officer Brereton was making rounds in his patrol car. Francis Butler was walking his dog in the Memorial Recreation grounds, Douglas Wainwright was house-hunting, and Ian Payle was enjoying a shopping trip with his wife and two children.
To these people, as well as others who would soon cross paths with a rampaging killer, it seemed like a perfectly fine day. The weather was good and there was no particular reason to worry about anything. Someone needed shoes, others sought fresh air, and still others were simply relaxing.
Except, perhaps, for Dorothy Ryan, who was home in South View, not far from Hungerford. She was concerned about her 27-year-old son, Michael. Unemployed once again, he seemed irritable and restless. Lately, he'd been tense but she'd been unable to learn what the trouble was. The incident that was about to unfold would make it a day that Britain would never forget. Mrs. Ryan went out shopping before going to work as a waitress, unaware of what she would face when he returned.
A large group of settlers pass through Morman-controlled Utah on their way to California and are attacked. Only a few very young children survived. Was it a random Indian attack or were the Mormons responsible?
Mark Gado's "Into the Dark" chronicles one of the darkest chapters in American military history where ordinary soldiers committed awful crimes against defenseless women and children.
Movie by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone pits him in court against best selling novelist John Grisham when two drug-addicted young adults are inspired by the movie to go on a killing spree that leaves a man dead and a mother permanently disabled.
One of America's first workplace massacres.
Patrick Mackay was known in school as a liar and troublemaker, and he also turned his violence against small animals, including the family's pet tortoise, which he reportedly set on fire. He pinned birds to the road and then stood back to watch cars come by and crush them. He stole from people on the street and entered the apartments of elderly women to take what he could find. He also set fire to a Catholic church (as well as other buildings).
Mackay had a fascination with death. Apparently his father had regaled him with stories from the war about seeing his comrades shot down or blown up. Mackay himself spent a lot of time with the corpses of animals and birds. A neighbor saw him toss dead birds into the air and play with them. It's likely that he developed fantasies that involved the death process, which may have then become eroticized for him.
The British health system kept giving him a pass, permitting him to escalate his violence into repeated murders, including a priest who befriended him.
A quiet World War II veteran made his list: the barber, the shoemaker, the breadman, the druggist. The lean and quiet man was about to make history. He would become America's first single-episode mass murderer.
Phoenix's Serial Shooters hunted humans for fun.
Judy Dykton decided to get some early morning studying done for a neurology exam. She heard a sound like an animal crying outside. Ignoring it, she decided to do some laundry before hitting the books. Once more she heard something. This time she thought it sounded like a child crying out. She pulled open the blinds and saw a woman across the street at 2319, perched on a ledge. Judy pushed open the window and heard Cora's tearful cry. "Oh, my God, they are all dead!"
Reporter Joe Cummings went up to the second floor, looked down the hall and turned right. It was still dark, the sun had begun to rise. He walked down the hall. To his right, he saw bodies of the nurses inside the bedroom, their skin a sickly ochre. A little further down the hall, he saw another bedroom with three more bodies and said. "Oh my God." That made seven upstairs and one downstairs. Eight in total.
Can we predict extreme fatal violence? Dr. Katherine Ramsland explores the causes of incidents of mass murder.
Jealously causes the death of a nightclub full of people. The Happy Land tragedy.
Alcohol & drug-fuelled binge results in the brutal murder of two women. Instead of serving his two life sentences, quirks in the Oregon prison system let this dangerous man out after a few years.
United Flight 629 explodes in the air outside Denver, killing 44 people. Intensive FBI investigation yields the murderer who sabotaged the plane.
By now, Americans are virtually unshockable. When we hear of the latest workplace shooting, the latest school shooting, the latest loner who snapped and took others with him to his final rest, we are saddened, certainly, but not shocked. It has happened so often that we've long since lost count of the shooters and the victims, long since forgotten which towns bear the indelible marks of random violence.
Three students die in the worst dormitory fire in the U.S. Worst of all, it was deliberately set.
Many young men are brutally murdered at a gay massage parlor. Was it a mob hit, hate crime or theft?
An international secret society based on the belief that the Knights Templar, the medieval order of warrior monks founded after the First Crusade, still exists. This Christian cult was quite different from other cults because the members were mostly affluent, accomplished and middle aged. Some were high-level executives in important companies. The Solar Temple's apocalyptic tendencies burst into public consciousness when murder and mass suicide suddenly became the practice of a few leaders.
Mentally disturbed woman goes into a crowded Phildelphia mall with a semiautomatic rifle and starts killing.
The men responsible for one of the most shocking terrorist attacks within America - the Oklahoma City bombing. Update of the Nichols' trial.
As chief inquisitor of the infamous Spanish Inquisition, Torquemada was responsible for the torture and execution of thousands.
Pedophile active in scouting & boys clubs murders 16 children & teacher when his crimes are exposed.
One of the first terrorist cases in the U.S. dealt with the poisoning of medicines. Tremendous investigative efforts and preventive techniques did not completely stop copycats from continuing the initial reign of terror.
Unsolved rural ax murders seemed almost epidemic in parts of the Midwest. Were they related in some way or committed by one depraved individual who murdered indiscriminately without any clear motive and moved along to the next community to wreak his havoc there?
Dracula's real-life persona.
Traces the long history of the belief that men could become wolves and rip apart their victims. Shocking recent cases are profiled as well as classics like Vacher the Ripper and the Monster of Florence. Psychologists debate the nature of the mental disorder responsible for werewolf killers.
On the chilly night of December 8, 2000, the strapping bachelor feared his life would come to an abrupt end.
He was at a convenience store when two young men approached him and brandished a gun. They ordered him into his own car. As his heart hammered, the men told him to drive to various ATMs where they forced him to withdraw $800. Later Andrew Schreiber said, "I was just hoping if I did what they said, they'd let me live."
They did. The assailants released him in a field, physically unharmed but badly shaken. They shot out the tires of his vehicle, then jumped in another car and sped away.
But this was just the beginning. Soon the city would be shocked by the brutal murders of a teacher and several college-age young people and then plunged into a crisis when the case was finally solved.
The bad news is that it is increasing. A few key cases are analyzed to point to the types of workplace homicide and the reasons for it. Is there any truth to the myth of "going postal"?
An elite corps of young Black Muslims set out to exterminate the white people of San Francisco, so called "blue eyed devils," to earn themselves a special place in heaven.