Top Ten Most Horrifying and Gruesome Murders

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Posted on January 10th, 2008


Out of all the species in the world, only man has the capacity to be inhuman. The ability to be cruel to members of the same species and to rationalize this cruelty are traits that are heavily underlined by news reports of gruesome murders and bloody rampages.

The media knows that there is nothing more captivating and titillating than the news of a murder. Sure, it’s atrocious and horrifying—but for some reason, once a murder is reported, the public can’t seem to get enough of the morsels of information provided through television, newspapers, radios and gossip.

The following is a list of the top ten most gruesome murders in the past couple of centuries.

#1 Lizzie Borden’s Trial

Lizzie Borden
A black and white photo of Lizzie Borden
Lizzie Borden took an axe,

Gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done,

she gave her father forty-one.

For the sake of historical accuracy, it might be well to point out that Lizzie actually only gave her stepmother and her father a total of 29 whacks, instead of the ditty’s suggested 81. This clarification, however, does not change the unthinkably brutal way that 33-year old Lizzie allegedly murdered her parents.

The murder that happened over a century ago, in 1893, is still considered one of the most controversial murders in history. A reporter who went to the crime scene even described the massacre to have been absolutely “sickening.” Her father’s face was hacked to pieces with his left eye dug out. There was also a huge wound on the man’s temple as if his skull had been pounded continuously with the blunt part of an axe.

Lizzie Borden was acquitted after a brief trial.

#2 Ed Gein’s House of Skin

ed gein
Edward Gein
Edward Gein is without a doubt one of the most notorious American murderers in history. Although only two murders were proven against him, he has become legendary due to his strange necrophiliac behaviors. He dug up corpses, skinned his victims and created furniture and clothing from their bodies.

Strange items found in his house include a collection of shrunken heads, a human skin-sheath, a box containing preserved vulvas that Gein wore, socks made of human skin, a belt of nipples, human skullcaps being used as soup bowls, lampshades and chair seats made from human skin and a mammary vest made from a woman’s torso.

#3 Ted Bundy’s Killing Rampage

ted bundy
The mugshot photo of Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was an American serial killer that murdered numerous young women across the United States. His killing rampage happened in a span of four years, from 1974 to 1978. After years and years of adamant denials, Bundy later confessed to having murdered 29 women, but to this day, his actual number of victims remain unknown.

#4 The Tate-LaBianca Murders by the Manson Family

charles manson
A mug shot of Charles Manson
Led by their charismatic leader Charles Manson, the Manson Family proceeded to commit various crimes including murder. A group of youngsters, namely Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian, were instructed to commit the back-to-back Tate and LaBianca murders.

On August 8, 1969, the group headed to the home rented by the actress Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski. The only people in the home were eight and a half-months pregnant Sharon Tate, her good friend Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and his lover, Abigail Folger, the Folger coffee fortune’s heiress.

While Sebring was shot and stabbed seven times, Frykowski was beaten and also stabbed around fifty-one times. Sharon Tate, who pleaded for the life of her unborn baby, was stabbed repeatedly, totaling sixteen stab wounds altogether. Meanwhile, Folger was also stabbed multiple times, giving her a total of twenty-eight stab wounds.

Once done, Atkins wrote “pig” on the front door of the house using Sharon Tate’s blood.

The very next day, the LaBianca murders happened. Leno LaBianca suffered a total of twelve stab wounds. He had also been stabbed with a chrome-plated bayonet that went right through his throat. Rosemary LaBianca was also stabbed with the bayonet and was finished off with a knife from their own kitchen.

The word “WAR” was carved on Leno LaBianca’s stomach, and the words “Death to pigs”, “Rise” and “Healter [sic] Skelter” were also written on the refrigerator door with the couple’s blood.

#5 Murders By Mary Bell

mary bell
A photo of Mary Bell taken in 1968
When it comes to the murder of children, people around the world are up in arms against such a horrifying idea. What happens when the victims are children and the killer is a child as well? What makes this murder particularly grisly is that during the time of the killings of two boys, aged four and three respectively, the main suspect was an eleven-year old girl named Mary Flora Bell.

This little girl was convicted for killing four-year old Martin Brown and three-year old Brian Howe. The crimes happened in the late 1960s. Martin Brown and Brian Howe were both strangled by Mary Bell in 1968. The crimes were two months apart.

Brian Howe, who was strangled, was also found with an “N”, that was later changed to an “M”, carved on his stomach. Broken scissors were also used to hack and cut at a part of the boy’s genitals. Bits of his hair were also taken out by Mary Bell and her friend Norma Bell.

#6 The Black Dahlia

black dahlia
The Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short
The case of the Black Dahlia was one that happened in the early days of January, 1947. The victim was a young aspiring Hollywood actress named Elizabeth Short. The 22-year old woman was a victim of this highly publicized and particularly grisly murder. To this day, the murder remains unsolved, making it one of the greatest Hollywood mysteries.

Short was discovered severely mutilated, with her body cut in half. Her blood had been drained, and her beautiful face disfigured by a slash that was made from each corner of her mouth towards her ears.

#7 The Boston Strangler

desalvo albert
Albert DeSalvo, the suspected Boston Strangler
Between the years of 1962 and 1964, there were 13 women who were found murdered in the Boston region. Their ages ranged from 19 years of age to 85. Most of these women had been sexually assaulted before they were killed in their apartments. What is most peculiar about this case is that in all 13 cases, there were no signs of forced entry to their homes.

In 1964, a man was arrested after posing as a detective and raping a young woman. In the middle of the rape, the man stopped, apologized and simply left. Through the woman’s description, the police arrested Albert DeSalvo.

DeSalvo was already known for committing various sexual assaults. Rumor has it that he had raped more than 300 women in four different states. While incarcerated, he admitted to being the Boston Strangler, although speculations still remain on whether or not he truly was the infamous murderer.

#8 The Moor Murders

moor murders
A mugshot photo of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady
The Moor Murders are considered to be some of the most ghastly and gruesome crimes in Great Britain. From the year 1963 up until 1965, Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley were sexually abusing and killing young children and teenagers.

All the killings were committed around the west Yorkshire and the southeast Lancashire area of England. Four of the bodies were discovered buried along Saddleworth Moor, giving the murder spree its nickname. Two of the couple’s victims were teens, while the other three were young children.

#9 Dear Mother: Andrea Yates and Fillicide

andrea yates
Andrea Yates
It was 2001, around 10:00am in Texas. While most mothers would be taking their young ones to daycare or preparing fun activities for the kids, Andrea Yates was making a calm call to her husband. She told her husband, “you need to come home.”

Her frantic husband rushed to their Houston, Texas home to find police officers and ambulances on the scene. His wife had also called 911. She let them in the house and calmly told them that she had killed her five kids. She had drowned them in a bathtub. Four corpses, including her youngest, were laid out on the double bed in the master bedroom, each one with eyes still open, fully clothed and soaking wet.

In the bathtub was her eldest, submerged in the murky water filled with feces and vomit, already dead.

Andrea Yates was suffering from postpartum depression during the time of the killings.

#10 The Serial Couple: Ray and Faye Copeland

faye copeland
A photo of the old murderer Faye Copeland
Capping off our top ten list is one of the most bizarre cases of murder in history. The wrongdoers? Ray and Faye Copeland. What sets this serial couple apart from other serial killers has to do with their age than anything else.

They are known as the oldest couple in the United States to have been given the death sentence. They hired and killed unskilled drifters that they took in as farm hands. Five bodies were found, although there are speculations that there may have been around twelve victims in all.

These are only some of the world’s goriest murders, showcasing another facet of human rationality and another side to human cruelty.

Death and destruction may be the name of the game, but in order to be a major player, you have to familiarize yourself with the Top Ten Torture Methods and Devices Throughout History and of course History’s Most Tragic Accidents.




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  1. Top Ten Unsolved Mysteries - Crunkish said,

    on 2008-12-29 at 16:54:21

    [...] (Think this is gruesome… then read about the Top Ten Most Horrifying And Gruesome Murders.) [...]

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