Seven billion people share the inhabitable landmasses of planet Earth. Seven billion unique personalities, beliefs and personal preferences. Seven billion pet peeves, annoying habits and deep-seated personality complexes. Needless to say, chances for peaceful worldwide co-existence are slim. From an early age, children around the globe begin cultivating their destruction fetish. It starts with stolen lollipops, transitions into teenage rebellion and, for some, culminates in freakish acts of wild, uninhibited tabloid fodder. The fifteen acts listed below have achieved a level of maniacal pedigree that few sane individuals could even begin to muster.
Dana Sue Gray And The Dangerous Allure of Ever-Expanding Credit
What thrills Americans more than uninhibited, impulsive shopping sprees? Dana Sue Gray enjoyed it enough to kill. Targeting elderly women, Gray murdered her victims using a variety of household tools ranging from fillet knifes to telephone cords. Her motivation was simple: although most living people take offense when their credit cards are used for someone else’s extravagant spending, dead people don’t seem to mind. Each of Gray’s three victims were found stripped of cash and credit cards. The residents of Canyon Lake, California were terrified. Elderly widows began congregating at one another’s houses in order to sleep as a group. Dana’s greed eventually led to her demise. Various retail vendors gave matching descriptions of the impassioned consumer, and Gray was arrested in her home on March 16th, 1998. She is now imprisoned for life without parole in California.
Vadim Mieseges and “The Matrix”
In all fairness, it was a fantastic movie. Mixing kung-fu, gunplay, and Keanu Reeves into one film produces guaranteed box office success. Who could have predicted that it would also lead to one of the strangest rationalizations for homicide? In San Francisco, Vadim Mieseges savagely murdered his land lady and dumped her body parts in Golden Gate Park. After turning himself in on May 04, 2000, Mieseges explained to authorities that his criminal behavior was the result of being “sucked” into The Matrix. Authorities were immediately skeptical. After all, where were his designer jacket and expensive pair of sunglasses? Mieseges was later acquitted of all charges and admitted to a mental hospital for the criminally insane.
Oddly enough, Mieseges’ rationale for homicide has been used by other killers as well. Lee Boyd Malvo, a member of the infamous sniper duo, urged his non-incarcerated peers to free themselves from the Matrix. All in all, maybe it’s time to trade your DVD copy back in. Who knows what that movie is capable of?
William Burke, William Hare and the Business of Murder
In any profession or trade, practice makes perfect. In medical school, practice usually takes place with a cadaver.
Free market economics detail a philosophy of commerce known as “supply and demand.” When a product is demanded by the public, those who can supply the demand stand to profit. William Burke and William Hare realized that the increasing demand for corpses in medical institutions around Ireland may become their ticket to financial success. Typically, corpses of deceased inmates were used as teaching tools for medical students. With an increase in students and and a shortage of dead prisoners, bodies were becoming scarce. Burke and Hare began murdering homeless vagrants and selling their corpses to anatomy schools. Although their plan was initially very profitable, the business plan had one very large flaw: what to do about witnesses. Neighbors reported seeing a corpse in the home of William Burke, and the duo was promptly arrested. Hare eventually agreed to testify against Burke, guaranteeing his own freedom while sentencing Burke to death.
Kenneth Parks, The Homicidal Sleepwalker
Sleepwalking is not uncommon. Many people engage in a variety of activities while still “asleep”. Few, however, bludgeon their mother-in-law to death. Kenneth Parks was acquitted of murder charges after a team of scientists explained that it was scientifically possible for a man to drive fifteen miles and commit murder while still asleep. According to sleep experts, a small minority of individuals retain motor function during sleep, allowing them to move and physically respond to their dreams. Whether or not these mindless motor functions can allow someone to drive a car and brutally murder a relative is left for the jury to decide. This case has since become a textbook example of “automatism”, in which a killer has no awareness of the actions they are committing.
Colin Ferguson and “Black Rage”
Although race has been a divisive factor in American society since the birth of the country, few have propelled their own racial hatred into the media like Colin Ferguson. Entering a commuter train in Long Island with the intention of killing “white devils”, Colin Ferguson killed six people before he was forcefully subdued by other passengers on the train. Needless to say, Colin Ferguson is currently spending the rest of his life in jail. An absurd example of race-driven pseudoscience, the “black rage” experienced by Ferguson has led people from a variety of other racial backgrounds to commit racially motivated crimes. In case you hadn’t noticed, Colin, people in every ethnic group carry hatred and prejudice towards others. Quit thinking you’re special.
Rabbits’ Paws Are Better Than Body Parts
The rarity of albinos in many African cultures has led many to believe that they possess magical powers. Sadly, albinos are often murdered for their “magical” body parts. This rare genetic condition seems to baffle African citizens. A significant majority of albinos are born into single mother households due to the fact that their fathers attribute their condition to spousal infidelity with a Caucasian partner. Not only are they murdered for collection, albinos are often the victims of human sacrifice in an effort to ward off “demons.” The National Federation for the Red Cross estimates that 44 albinos were killed in Tanzania last year. If albinos do indeed posses magical powers, it may be time to seek vengeance on those who have so greatly wronged them.
Man Vs. Robot
Although ethics committees have not yet had to tackle the question of robot killers, death by mechanized automaton is not entirely unheard of. In 1979, a Ford Motor assembly worker was killed when a robotic arm slammed into him. Malicious intent was entirely ruled out; it was eventually deduced that Robert Williams stepped into the operational area of the robot and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ironically, Williams’ death occurred on the 58th anniversary of the introduction of the word ‘robot’ to society. Roberts’ family was financially compensated for their loss and the plant received fierce criticism for their lack of appropriate safety measures. Although this event marks the first instance of automated homicide, the future of human/robot relations has yet to be revealed.
Never Slam the Hell’s Angels
It’s hard enough enduring critique and scorn of our family and friends. Mick Jagger’s disdain may just be too much to handle. The global superstar hired the Hell’s Angels to act as security during a 1969 concert appearance. After the notorious biker gang killed an enthusiastic fan, Mick Jagger publicly denounced the group and vowed never to engage their services again. Enraged by their public humiliation, the Hell’s Angels began plotting an assassination attempt against the rock star. According to authorities, members of the gang attempted to reach Jagger’s Long Island home by boat. After a storm knocked the gang members overboard, the would-be assassins canceled their mission and have since left their critic alone.
Never Get Between A Man And His Starcraft Match
In the world of computer gaming, Starcraft is a religion. Although it was released over a decade ago, players around the world flock to this strategy epic. The best players in the world are given celebrity status and their online duals are broadcast on television stations in Asia. For the aspiring Starcraft champion, winning is worth everything. This includes human life. After losing his Internet connection during a match, a frustrated Swedish teenager left his den and proceeded to stab a young female teenager he encountered in the street. The young girl survived, and the gamer was placed in psychiatric care. Whether or not he is still playing Starcraft is unknown. A word of warning to those patients who may consider challenging this young man to a checker duel: he’s a sore loser.
It’s Best To Keep Your Mouth Shut During A Movie
Almost every patron of movie theaters has at some point muttered harsh insults and expletives directed towards an inconsiderate guest chatting loudly on their cellphone. Sometimes, however, it may be better to stay silent. During a showing of “Shutter Island”, a frustrated guest complained loudly about a woman talking on her cellphone during the film. Although the women immediately left with her two male companions, the confrontation was just beginning. The two men returned and stabbed the angry patron through the throat with a meat thermometer. The man was immediately rushed to the hospital along with two other guests who were also attacked by the two men when they attempted to help the impaled victim. Although the price of theater tickets steadily rises, no movie is worth dying for.
Although Art Carries A Message, It Shouldn’t Be An Illegal One
Although rap artists often boast about their criminal exploits in pursuit of wealth and meaningless sex, very rarely are these tales true. 50 Cent, however, bleeds credibility. The rapper’s controversial song “Ghetto Q’ran” hurled a variety of insults and denigrating remarks towards Kenneth McGriff, a New York drug lord. McGriff quickly began organizing an assassination attempt in response to the song. Authorities believe that McGriff orchestrated a murder attempt in which 50 Cent was shot nine times in 2000. In 2003, documents were discovered that confirmed McGriff’s murderous intentions and continued plans for killing the rap star. McGriff was eventually incarcerated, and 50 Cent has not been shot for over a decade. Sadly, many celebrity rap figures have been gunned down by their musical rivals. One can only speculate if similar violence would have occurred in the Classical era had guns been available.
Before iTunes, There Were Mail Bombs.
Life as a celebrity must be exciting. The obscene amounts of money combined with a global lust centered on your toned abdomen must make the sun shine a little brighter each day. Until you gain the attention of a stalker, that is. Ricardo Lopez was an enthusiastic Bjork fan. So enthusiastic, in fact, that he mailed her an improvised acid spraying package and shot himself on video. His rationale? Apparently, Lopez aspired to become THE most important person in Bjork’s life. Lopez could not live knowing that he was anything but the highest priority for Bjork. This became his motive for attempted homicide. When letters didn’t get her attention, he resorted to more drastic measures. Thankfully, the package was intercepted before it was delivered to the singer’s doorstep. Ricardo Lopez was right: Bjork is an incredible musician. But that doesn’t mean he has the right to kill her. Maybe a personalized autograph would have calmed the guy down.
Another Frustrated Romeo
After watching ‘Taxi Driver’, John Hinckley knew that Jodie Foster was something special. Had he not watched this film, he may never have developed his obsession with the female actress. Had this obsession never been cultivated, he probably wouldn’t have attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in order to impress her. Attempting to murder a government official as an act of flattery towards a celebrity certainly is unique. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for his assassination attempt and placed in a psychiatric hospital in Washington D.C. Due to the severity of his offense, Hinckley remains under state supervision indefinitely. A warning to all up and coming starlets: be very careful before accepting a role as a child prostitute and working along Robert DeNiro. This magical combination may lead to something catastrophic.
“The Voices Told Me To”
Any article worth its salt concerning strange homicide motives must include the obligatory “demonic voices” excuse. Although this rationale for murder has sprung up several times in recorded human history, the conviction with which killers describe their invisible friends never fails to shock. In 2010, Alan McMullan stabbed and killed Claire Wilson of Grimsby, England after voices had repeatedly urged him commit murder. Although McMullan has resisted these urges several times in the past by turning himself into police stations and confessing his violent thoughts, he could not resist murdering Claire Wilson. McMullan’s condition is not unique. Strange voices have caused many unforgettable acts, including Joan of Arc’s military campaign to liberate France. Her voices, however, cemented her place in history. McMullan’s invisible friends will inevitably lead him into a lifelong prison sentence.
Although his actual cause of death has yet to be determined, many historians believe that W.A. Mozart was
poisoned by his jealous colleague Antonio Salieri. Continually awed by the genius of Mozart, Salieri’s frustration transformed into a homicidal rage. It is suspected that Salieri poisoned Mozart prior to the young composer’s final compositional effort, the famous ‘Requiem.’ Salieri had worked in Mozart’s shadow since the young composer’s formal introduction in Vienna. Had Mozart not been killed, the world would be blessed with several more brilliant compositions. Instead, we must make do with a partially completed ‘Requiem’ and an excellent movie starring F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce. Better luck next time, Wolfgang.