A fascinating hand-picked collection of 10 unbelievable true crime stories that are guaranteed to blow your mind!
1. When Spousal Abuse Leads To Murder
On February 29, 2000, 45-year-old Australian woman Katherine Knight decided to do the unthinkable. After a series of physical assaults against her husband John Price, Knight’s reign of terror culminated with her stabbing Price in the chest.
While it may sound like a textbook example of mariticide, the circumstances surrounding the murder were way more disturbing.
On the day of the murder, afraid that Knight might hurt his kids, Price took out a restraining order in an attempt to keep his wife away from the house. That afternoon, Price told his co-workers that if he did not come to work the next day, it would be because his wife had murdered him.
Little did he know, Price had just predicted his unfortunate fate.
Later that night, Katherine Knight entered Price’s house and woke him up for sex, after which he fell asleep. Katherine then took one of her recently sharpened knives and stabbed Price over 37 times.
But Knight didn’t stop there; otherwise, she wouldn’t be one of the most notorious killers in Australian history.
After Price had died, Knight used her skills from the slaughterhouse to completely skin her husband. She then decapitated the body and dumped the head into a pot with vegetables in it.
Knight cooked up a few parts of his body and placed it on two plates, alongside a serving of baked potato, vegetables, and gravy. She put two name cards with the names of John’s children. Then, she positioned the rest of his body on the victim’s favorite chair and crossed his legs.
When police entered the crime scene, officers got the shock of a lifetime. The victim’s skin was hanging from a butcher’s hook in the lounge room, his head was on the stove, and slices of his buttocks had been still lying on the table as a meal intended for his children.
Knight initially pleaded not guilty, claiming that she remembered nothing from that night. However, later she changed her plea to guilty but has not admitted to the crime.
Because of Knight’s grotesque actions and lack of remorse, the judge sentenced Knight to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, making her the first and only woman in Australian history to receive that sentence.
2. Legendary Profiler Gets Accused of Missing the Chance To Capture Gary Ridgway
In February 1984, Seattle Post-Intelligencer received a graphic confession letter from a man claiming to be the Green River Killer.
Amid the nation’s worst serial-killing spree, the King County detectives reached out to an FBI profiler John Douglas for assistance in assessing the validity of the letter. Douglas advised the detectives that the message was “an amateurish attempt” by someone who has “no connection with the Green River murders.” King County detectives were perplexed because the letter contained information about the crimes that had not been released, such as the killer eliminating trace evidence by cutting off victim’s fingernails, post-mortem sex, and the fact that one victim was posed with a wine bottle and fish.
Douglas did not think much of it, reportedly saying: “If this subject has made statements relative to the investigation which was not already released to the press, he would have to have ACCESS to this information (Task Force).” Detectives followed Douglas’ advice and did not pursue it as a lead.
Little did they know was that Douglas got it all wrong.
In 2003, as a part of his confession to police, Gary Ridgway revealed that it was, in fact, him who mailed the letter to the newspaper.
Following Ridgway’s confession, the legendary profiler first denied he’d ever written such an opinion. Upon being shown a signed copy of his response to the King County Sherrif’s Office, he conceded it was his signature but said remembered nothing about it.
The profiler said the fact that the lack of follow-up communication from the killer might have made him believe at the time that the letter was a fake.
He also doubted it would have helped the investigation even if he had said the letter was undoubtedly or possibly written by the real killer. “Let’s say I say that is him. Now, what do we do? It’s typewritten. If it was handwritten, we could release information publicly. … Did I hold up the investigation? There was never another communiqué. He never did anything again after that, other than to continue the ways of his killing.”
3. Charles Manson Openly Threatens a Journalist During an Interview
On March 11, 1988, daytime talk show host Geraldo Rivera conducted one of the most bizarre interviews in true crime history.
Known for his sensationalistic reporting, Rivera was granted an interview with Charles Manson at the San Quentin Prison.
From the moment Rivera’s team began filming, Manson took over the leading role and immediately confronted the journalist about his show being a “crime factory” and “selling death, blood, and fear.” Within an hour-long meeting, the two spent a lot of time arguing, and Manson kept bouncing around the room. Eventually, he openly threatened Rivera by saying that he will cut off the journalist’s head and give it to his wife as a present.
After this interview, Rivera declined Manson’s invitation to revisit him, saying the cult leader was “tiresome and not interesting.” This was one of the last interviews Manson ever gave to the mainstream media.
4. Is JonBenet Ramsey’s Brother Burke Responsible For Her Murder?
Thirteen days after JonBenet Ramsey’s Christmas Day murder, her brother, Burke Ramsey, was brought in to speak with a child psychologist about what had happened.
He told the psychologist and police that his mother was “going psycho” looking for JonBenet and that “she was overreacting.” Burke seemed happy and carefree the whole time and joked about being too busy playing video games to worry about his sister.
Another disturbing thing that made the behavioral experts cast suspicion over Burke Ramsey’s involvement in his sister’s murder was his childhood scatological obsession. Crime scene evidence found feces smeared on a box of candy he gave JonBenet for Christmas.
The family housekeeper recalled Burke covering a bathroom wall with his excrement. During the murder investigation, she also recounted finding “fecal matter the size of a grapefruit” in JonBenet’s bed, which the housekeeper believed was left there by Burke.
According to a forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, who has worked on several high-profile cases, Burke showed signs of having a mental problem.
A former neighbor also said Burke had a temper and hit JonBenet in the face with a golf club about a year before her murder.
Although JonBenet’s parents were exonerated in 2008, and Burke was reportedly never considered a suspect, the grand jury wanted to indict both John and Patricia Ramsey on identical charges of “child abuse resulting in death and being accessories to a crime.” Prosecutors felt differently, though, saying that “there was insufficient evidence” to charge Ramseys.
5. A Murderer Gets Gagged For Disrupting Court Proceedings
On August 15, 1995, after continually disrupting court proceedings, murderer Christopher Charles Lightsey was gagged during the sentencing phase of his trial for the killing of William Compton, a 76-year-old cancer patient. He stabbed Compton 42 times and stole his gun collection, a jar of coins, and other items.
Lightsey was also considered a suspect in the 1990 killing of 4-year-old Jessica Martinez. That case has never been submitted to the District Attorney’s office due to a lack of evidence.
In 1995, the killer was sentenced to death and currently spends his time in California’s death row.
6. A Drug-Induced Delusion Leads To a Torture Session
On December 28, 2013, at 3 AM, 35-year-old Bonita Lynn Vela instructed her daughter to invite her boyfriend to the family’s trailer in Franklin, Indiana. “Why?” you might ask.
Vela suspected her daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend had molested her 2-year-old son.
The man arrived around 3 AM, and Vela, with the help of two unnamed individuals, held him against his will for three and a half hours.
When the 18-year-old started adamantly denying the molestation accusations, Vela became increasingly agitated and was “out of control” and “extremely mad.” During the torture session, Vela threatened to tie him to a tree, shoot him in the head and leave his body to be eaten by animals before giving him an ultimatum of choosing “his life or his penis.” The teenager chose his life, and Vela allegedly “cut him deep” with a box cutter, then let him go.
The police report stated that the victim believed Vela had “wanted to scar him so that he would have to look at it every time that he had sex in the future.” However, the 18-year-old said he thought the trio would “go to great lengths to hurt or kill him,” and that one of them had filmed the incident.
The woman admitted to being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident and eventually made a deal with the prosecutors to avoid jail time. Nearly a year later, in November 2014, Vela was sentenced to ten months of home detention and six months probation and anger management counseling.
Although there are no further reports regarding the validity of the molestation accusations, it is widely believed that it was merely a drug-induced delusion.
7. A Well-Known Meme Figure Is a Registered Sex Offender
While you may recognize this man from a popular meme, he was, in fact, involved in a criminal act.
On June 18, 2017, 33-year-old Wilson Kenney was arrested for exposing himself to a teen lifeguard at a public pool in Wantagh, New York.
According to a police report, Kenney sat on a bench near a 17-year-old lifeguard by the kids’ pool and began “acting in a very sexual manner, rubbing his legs and groin area.” The lifeguard said Kenney then unzipped his shorts and exposed himself.
People who frequent the Forest City Park pool said the 33-year-old was a regular. Some said he “stuck out” because he wore a full face of makeup, had his nails done, and didn’t have any children with him.
Kenney was arrested without incident and charged with public indecency. He signed an order of protection to stay away from the lifeguard and was later released to probation so he could undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
8. A New Orleans Local Threatens To Blow Up a Restaurant Toilet
On November 13, 2018, 30-year-old Arthur Posey entered the famous New Orleans restaurant Willie’s Chicken Shack and asked the manager what time the restaurant closed.
The manager told Posey that she did not know when the restaurant closed to which the man replied, “Y’all about to close right now because I’m going to get a bomb and blow this place up.” According to a police report, the manager “took the threat very seriously” and notified her general manager, who instructed her to call the police.
However, when Posey was in police custody, he claimed that the whole situation was just a big misunderstanding.
Posey explained that he never meant that he was going to detonate an actual bomb in the restaurant, but instead told police that he was going to “blow the bathroom up” with a bowel movement.
The police did not find the threat funny and charged Posey with two counts of communicating false information of planned arson.
Although the outcome of the incident is unknown, one thing is clear – some things are better kept to yourself.
9. Family Killer Resurfaces As an Award-Winning Professor of Psychology
On August 4, 1967, 15-year-old James Gordon Wolcott grabbed a .22 long-barrel rifle and killed his father, mother, and 17-year-old sister in cold blood.
Wolcott appeared distraught and hysterical when police arrived, but when he was interview by a ranger, the teen immediately confessed to the murders.
Wolcott was arrested and booked into the Williamson County Jail. His murder trial got underway in October the same year.
Wolcott’s defense was that he had known for a while that he had a mental illness, which was made worse by his addiction to airplane glue. Doctors later diagnosed his condition as paranoid schizophrenia.
Why did he do it?
During his psychological evaluation, Wolcott said that he hated his family.
At the end of the six-month trial, the jury acquitted Wolcott by reason of insanity. He was admitted into Rusk State Hospital on February 2, 1968, where he spent six years.
Two years after his release from the hospital, Wolcott legally changed his name and vanished.
Nearly 40 years later, Wolcott resurfaced as an award-winning professor of psychology!
In 1976, after changing his name to James St. James, the teen went on to earn a Ph.D. in psychology and joined the Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
Described as an “older hippie” by his colleagues, St. James has now been teaching at Millikin for over 30 years, and won the college’s Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award in 1997. Soon after, Dr. St. James was offered the position of chairman at the department of behavioral sciences.
After learning about the professor’s dark past, local officials, including the mayor of Decatur, were calling for his removal. Still, the university stood by St. James’ side and refused to let him go.
To this day, Dr. James St. James remains the chair of Millikin’s Behavioral Science Department, and his experimental psychology classes continue to receive excellent reviews on social media.
10. Was Ted Kaczynski Involved In the Zodiac Murders?
In 1996, San Francisco detectives investigated the possibility that the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski could also be the infamous Zodiac killer.
The new twist in the investigation was spurred by amateur sleuths, who discovered the similarities between Kaczynski’s profile and the Zodiac’s behavior.
According to investigators, the Unabomber lived in the Bay Area from 1967 to 1969, during the time the Zodiac claimed at least five lives in late 1968 and the summer and fall of 1969. Also, a man similar in appearance to Kaczynski was seen near one of the crime scenes. Also, Kaczynski once signed a high school yearbook with a symbol similar to the Zodiac’s infamous logo.
However, both the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department eliminated Kaczynski as a suspect using scientific fingerprint and writing comparisons. Robert Graysmith, the author of Zodiac, said that the similarities are fascinating but undoubtedly purely coincidental.