Every single day, somebody gets murdered. Throughout the storied history of crime all over the world, there have been several cases of murder that have not only transcended headlines but have also shaken nations across the globe. Out of the thousands of murders committed in history, there are a few murder stories that have become so ingrained in our collective conscience because of the ways through which they were committed. Here is a list of the 25 most shocking murders ever committed in history:
American musician Dimebag Darrell was shot on stage while he was performing with DamagePlan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004. The gunman, Nathan Gale, shot him three times in the head using a 9mm Beretta 92FS handgun.
Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa was a Mongolian national who went missing on October 19, 2006 and whose fragments of bones were later found near the Subang Dam in Malaysia. It was revealed that she was shot twice before C-4 explosives were used on her remains by two members of the Unit Tindakan Khas Police Force; Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar. Both men were sentenced to death.
Judith Eva Barsi
10-year old American child actress Judith Eva Barsi and her mother were shot by her father; József Istvan Barsi, in 1988 after years of suffering severe physical and mental abuse. The murderer then poured gasoline on the bodies, set them on fire, and shot himself in the head.
Pakistani businessman and politician Salmaan Taseer was shot 27 times on January 4, 2011 by Malik Mumtaz Qadri. According to the assassin, the reason for the assassination was Taseer’s vocal opposition to the blasphemy law in Pakistan. On that same year, Qadri was sentenced to death by a Pakistani Anti Terrorist Court.
American actress, director and screenwriter Adrienne Shelley was found dead on November 1, 2006. The death initially appeared to be suicide, but investigators discovered that 19-year old Ecuadorian illegal immigrant Diego Pillco, had killed Shelley when she caught him robbing her apartment. Diego was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole.
On the night of October 7, 1998, American student Matthew Shepard was the victim of a hate crime based on sexual orientation. Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson’s hatred of homosexuals led them to rob, pistol-whipp and torture Shepard in what would later be influential in the Matthew Shepard Act which extended the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation. Shepard died shortly after the assault.
Rudolph Moshammer; one of Germany’s most successful fashion designers, was found dead in his mansion on the morning of January 14, 2005. Iraqi asylum seeker Herisch Ali Abdullah admitted murdering Moshammer after the latter had refused to pay 2000 euros in return of sexual favors.
Kelly Anne Bates
Kelly Anne Bates was brutally tortured and murdered by her partner Patterson Smith in what has been described as “a catalogue of depravity by one human being upon another”. For a period of about four weeks, Patterson inflicted numerous injuries to the imprisoned Kelly which included burns, beatings, stabbings, and even gouging of the eyes. The scene of this crime was so horrific, that the jurors had to receive professional counseling to help them deal with the distress of seeing the photographs of Bates’ injuries and the “sickening violence” of the case. Smith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1997.
The abuse and murder of Sylvia Likens by Gertrude Baniszewski began when Sylvia’s parents, who were carnival workers, left Sylvia and her sister Jenny in the care of the Baniszewski family in exchange for $20 a week. But after the stipend was late, Gertrude began taking her anger out on Sylvia with beatings, burns, confinement and a host of other abuses resulting in death. Gertrude (along with other accomplices) was charged and convicted of what has been described as the most terrible crime ever committed in Indiana.
On February 2, 1986, Australian registered nurse and beauty pageant winner Anita Cobby was abducted from a train station in Blacktown, New South Wales. She was brought to a hidden paddock and raped repeatedly while being beaten by five men. The suspects, including three brothers, were convicted of her murder and were sentenced to life in prison.
On September 8, 2009, Vietnamese American Annie Le; a doctoral student at the Yale School of Medicine, was found hanging upside down inside a building wall cavity in the basement of the Yale laboratory. A week after, Raymond J. Clark, a Yale lab technician, was arrested and found guilty to the heinous crime and was sentenced to 44 years in prison.
Carlie Jane Brucia
Joseph P. Smith sexually battered and murdered Carlie Jane Brucia on February 1, 2004 after kidnapping her from a car wash near her home in Sarasota, Florida. Five days after, Smith was arrested and eventually tried for first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Catherine Susan Genovese was murdered near her home on March 13, 1964. Due to the lack of reaction by her neighbors, her death prompted an investigation into the social psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect or “Genovese syndrome”. Her killer; Winston Moseley, was found guilty and sentenced to death on June 15, 1964. This was later reduced to lifetime sentence.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. was the son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. He was a 20-month old toddler who was abducted from his family home in New Jersey on the evening of March 1, 1932. After two months, his body was found near Hopewell Township owing his death to a massive skull fracture. Bruno Richard Hauptmann was charged with the senseless murder and following a two-year trial was sentenced to death by electric chair.
In 1975, Martha Moxley was murdered by 15-year old Michael Skakel. Martha’s body was found under a tree in her back yard with her jeans and underwear pulled down, but there was no apparent evidence of sexual assault. She had been beaten so hard, that the 6-iron golf club used in the murder; shattered. Skakel was sentenced 20 years to life in prison in 2002 but was later granted a new trial by a Connecticut Judge and was released after paying $1.2 million bail.
Eight-year old Sandra Catu attracted national attention after she went missing on March 27, 2009. Several days later, her body was found inside a suitcase in a nearby irrigation pond. The murderer; Melissa Huckaby, was charged murder and rape which she plead guilty to in order to avoid the death penalty.
William Desmond Taylor
Irish-born American actor and director William Desmond Taylor was found dead with a shot in the back of his head inside his bungalow at the Alvarado Court Apartments in Los Angeles. Due to his rising popularity, the media created a frenzy of sensationalistic and often fabricated newspaper reports which resulted in the murder being used as the basis for subsequent “true crime” fiction.
Andrew Jackson Borden
Andrew Jackson Borden was savagely struck 11 times with a hatchet-like weapon by his own daughter, Lizzie Borden. Together with him was Abby Borden, whose skull was also crushed with 19 blows. Lizzie was arrested on August 11, 1892 and was indicted on December 2.
American actress and sex symbol Sharon Tate was murdered on August 1969 by members of the Charles Manson’s family. Her body, together with her friends’, was found in the living room of her home with a long rope tied around her neck and multiple stab wounds. All of the culprits involved in the crime were sentenced to death.
British army officer and politician Airey Neave was killed on March 30, 1979 after a car bomb exploded his Vauxhall Cavalier with him in it. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) took responsibility for the crime.
Three-year old James Bulger was abducted, tortured and murdered by ten-year olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. The two young murderers were charged on February 20, 1993 and found guilty on November 24, 1993 making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history.
Lesley Whittle was murdered on January 1975 after being kidnapped from her home by Donald Neilson, who by that time had committed over 400 burglaries and three fatal shootings. Neilson held a naked and hooded Whittle in a reservoir drainage shaft and tethered her there by a wire noose. He was later convicted and was sentenced to life in prison.
Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia, was the victim of one of the most gruesome murders in history. On January 15, 1947, she was found mutilated and sliced in half at the waist. Her murder remains as one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in the history of Los Angeles.
Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall
Christian camp counselors Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall were shot in the head with a .45-caliber Marlin rifle while camping on Fishhead Beach, California. Investigators believe that this shocking and brutal double-murder took place on the night of August 14, 2004 or in the early morning hours of August 15, 2004.
Marilyn Reese Sheppard
In 1970, Marilyn Reese Sheppard was brutally murdered in what can only be described as a savage and horrific assault. Her husband; Dr. Sam Sheppard, was immediately accused and sentenced to life imprisonment but was later acquitted.