According to the FBI’s crime clock, a murder occurs in the United States every 35 minutes and a rape every 6 minutes. What drives someone to think that claiming another man or woman’s life will put them at rest or justify their actions? Almost all of us will agree that nothing could ever warrant the murder of another human being. With that being said, there have been several cases throughout history where people have committed the most horrendous crimes for the stupidest reasons. This list and the crimes are no laughing matter but the reasons they had for carrying out the crimes… well, you be the judge.
Warning: This article is graphic and reader discretion is advised.
1. Richard Trenton Chase, “The Vampire of Sacramento”: Believed that Nazis were trying to turn his blood into powder and in order to protect himself, he had to drink other people’s blood and eat their flesh.
The “Vampire of Sacramento”, Richard Chase, was a serial killer who was confined to a mental hospital on numerous occasions during his life. Richard killed six people in the span of one month, cannibalized their remains, had sex with their dead bodies and even drank their blood. He believed that Nazi’s (or perhaps UFOs) were storing poison under his soap dish in order to kill him, by turning his blood into powder. This delusion made him commit horrific crimes; including murdering a 22 month old baby and consuming him. The FBI, however, had him under radar and finally arrested him in January of 1978.
Richard was found guilty of six counts of first degree murder, and sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Due to his completely psychotic nature, he was even feared in prison. On December 26, 1980, a guard doing the rounds found Richard dead in his cell. An autopsy revealed that he had overdosed himself on prison issued antidepressant medication.
2. Joshua Davies: Beat his ex-girlfriend to death with a rock after his friend jokingly said that he would buy him breakfast if he killed her.
In 2011, then 16-year-old Joshua Davies was meeting his friends at a local cafe when he started talking about killing his ex-girlfriend Rebecca Aylward. When one of his friends heard this, he jokingly offered to buy Davies a meal if he goes through with it. Davies then lured his ex-girlfriend into the woods where he promised to get back together with her. Aylward bought new clothes to please Davies and went to the secluded location.
Upon seeing Aylward, Davies grabbed a rock nearby and bludgeoned her to death. Davies was arrested and sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in prison. Davies still maintains his innocence and believes that he will be released from prison before his term is completed.
3. Man locked in a pigeon cage for 20 years by his siblings.
A Spanish man, 59, was freed in 2015 after spending almost 20 years caged in “inhumane conditions” in a three meter pigeon coop, allegedly by his own family members. The man’s brother, 76, and sister, 61, were arrested on suspicion of unlawful detention and abuse. Police suspect the pair of holding their sibling captive since 1996, as that was the last year he attended a medical checkup. Authorities were unable to determine the exact reason to why the man was confined in such horrible conditions.
4. Ashley Hunter: Stabbed his friend over dispute during threesome.
While serving time in prison, Ashley Hunter met Orlando DeWitt and they became prison buddies. After their release, they continued their friendship and often spent their time at bars. One day, the duo met Mary Rose and decided to invite her back to Hunter’s house for some fun. All was going well until DeWitt started getting intimate with Rose. Hunter decided that it was enough time for DeWitt and that it was his turn with Rose.
DeWitt disagreed, so Hunter snapped and pulled out a butcher knife that was hidden inside a couch. The two men ended up in an argument, resulting in DeWitt getting stabbed in the arm. The police were called in and Hunter was arrested for aggravated assault.
5. Robert Lyons: Stabbed his mother to death because she wouldn’t buy him Skybox tickets for an Avril Lavigne concert.
In 2011, a suburban Chicago man admitted to stabbing his mother to death. His actions stemmed not from his bipolar disorder but from anger that she refused to get him tickets to an Avril Lavigne concert. When she refused to call a friend to arrange skybox tickets, Lyons flew into a rage, hitting his mother twice in the head with a bottle of champagne and stabbing her nine times in the back. He was 39 at the time.
6. Brenda Spencer: Killed two adults and wounded eight children and one police officer at an elementary school, later saying, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day”.
Almost every one of us hates Mondays but no one has ever hated the start of a school week as fatally as this American teen. On January 29, 1979, at about 8:30 am, just as classes were about to start at Grover Cleveland Elementary in San Diego, Brenda Ann Spencer, 16, opened fire on staff and students. Her actions cost the lives of two and wounded eight children along with a police officer. The teen then went to her house which was surrounded by police, leading to a six-hour long standoff. When a reporter from the local newspaper phoned the house, the freckle-faced red-headed teen revealed her motivation.
“I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
She was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to life, with a possibility of parole after 25 years.
7. Jenelle Potter: A social Media feud led to the murder of a young Tennessee couple.
Jenelle Potter lived most of her adult life on social media. In 2015, when an online feud erupted between two of her friends, Potter wanted to win them over. The 30-year-old made fake Facebook accounts and pretended to be bullied by Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne, a young Tennessee couple who unfriended Potter on Facebook. Potter then convinced her parents, Buddy Potter and Jamie Curd, that she was being harassed by the couple. The protective parents decided to act and ended up shooting them in the face and killing them. Authorities determined that Potter fabricated the story and pretended to be the victim of online harassment in order to get revenge towards a couple who barely knew her in real life.
8. Fergus Glen: Hacked his brother to death because he failed to thank him for making dinner.
In 2003, a 36-year-old New Zealand man hacked his sleeping brother to death with an axe because he was annoyed that he had not been thanked for cooking dinner. According to court documents, the brothers had a long-running feud between them. The mealtime slight was the final straw for Fergus Glen, who selected the axe from several in the basement of his parents’ house, stood in the open doorway of the room his brother was sleeping in, and “swung the axe over his shoulder and brought it down on to the victim”. After the murder, Glen returned the axe to the basement. Meeting his mother on the stairs, he calmly told her:
“I’ve done him … [with] an axe”.
9. Tan Teck Soon: An argument over chopsticks with his girlfriend ended with him pushing her off a 12-story building and then jumping after her.
19-year-old Tan Teck Soon had quarrelled with his 20-year-old girlfriend Chong Kar Yin over a pair of chopsticks. This led him to believe that she was breaking up with him. When they went upstairs to talk in the Bedok Hawker Centre in Singapore, he decided they should die together. In a fit of anger, Soon pushed Yin from the 12th floor, then jumped after her. He survived the plunge after some scaffolding broke his fall but his girlfriend wasn’t as lucky. The 19-year-old was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
10. Dana Sue Gray: Killed three elderly women in 1994 and took their money to support her shopping addiction.
Twenty four years earlier, Gray, now 60, had a different way of making money. She murdered old ladies and stole their credit cards. However, her fourth victim managed to escape and inform police about Gray, leading to her arrest.
“I got desperate to buy things,” she told detectives. “Shopping puts me at rest.”
According to Gray, by 1994, she went bankrupt and was living in a trailer with a divorced machinist and his 5-year-old son. This forced her to murder others and take their money. She was sentenced to life, without parole. She remains at the women’s prison in Chowchilla, where she sometimes sends collectibles to murderabilia websites.