How many people do you trust on a daily basis? We all want to give others the benefit of the doubt, believing at the core they’re basically good people. However, once in a while, we might run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a person who seems innocent but is secretly doing horrific things. Curious about a few examples? Here are 25 Seemingly Innocent People Who Were Secretly Monsters.
Thomas Mair was born in Scotland in 1963 and was raised by his maternal grandmother. For most of his life, he was just an average person, seemingly innocent, until he brutally attacked and killed the British politician Jo Cox over the Brexit referendum. When police raided his house, they found a slew of Nazi and White Supremacist propaganda.
In Victorian Britain, Amelia Dyer trained as a nurse but soon grew tired of it and found an easier way to make money. She took in unwed mothers and their illegitimate children and farmed out the babies for adoption. She started adopting babies herself as well, but for a price. After a while, she started to starve out the babies, strangle them, or murder them in other ways to get rid of them. She’d dispose of the bodies carefully to not gain attention. Eventually, she was caught, convicted, and sentenced to death. She’s believed to have murdered over 300 babies and some believe she may have been Jack the Ripper.
Jerry Sandusky was a well respected Penn State football coach and founded a foster care program called Second Mile. He seemed like a stand-up guy until it was discovered he molested and raped eight boys over a period of fifteen years. Despite several whistleblowers coming forward and investigations, it took years before anyone prosecuted him for his actions.
Born in 1915 in Hungary, Laszlo Csatary immigrated to Canada and became a citizen with his wife in 1955. He worked as an art dealer for most of his life, but many didn’t know about his dark, insidious past. A manhunt was underway by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization that hunts down former Nazi war criminals. Csatary was one of those criminals who regularly beat German Jews with a dog whip and participated in deporting 15,700 Jews to Auschwitz. He was awaiting trial when he died at the age of 98.
Ahmad Suradji was a mere cattle-breeder in Indonesia before anyone knew the truth. Claiming to be a shaman who could cure any disease, people came to him for help, believing he was a good man. They were very wrong. He would bury their bodies sometimes up to their necks, pretending this was part of the cure, and then strangle them. He’d face their heads toward his house because he believed it would increase his power. He was arrested and admitted to murdering 42 women.
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In 1960, Catholic priests were much more revered than they are today, and you rarely spoke poorly of them. The thought of a priest murdering someone was out of the question. So, when Homecoming queen and Miss All South Texas Sweetheart, Irene Garza visited John Feit, the local priest, to make a confession and was never seen again, no one wanted to believe it was Feit. Her body was found days later in a canal. Despite failing a lie detector test and the evidence against him, the case went cold for fifty years. Now a seemingly innocent grandfather living in Phoenix, Feit was recently arrested for her murder after all these years.
Jane Toppan was an unsuspected nurse just taking care of her patients in 19th century America. Except, when no one was around, she would do horrific experiments on them, giving them all kinds of opiates to see how their body would react. Gradually, she began murdering them. Right as they were on the cusp of death, she would have sex with them for the thrill of it. According to her own testimony, she killed 33 people.
Mark Berndt was an elementary school teacher for 30 years in Los Angeles. No one had any idea what he was up to until a photo technician found blindfolded children appearing in Berndt’s photos. The technician quickly called the police. Later, they found a spoon with traces of his semen on it. The horrors continued to mount, and they determined that he was spoon-feeding semen-laced cookies to the blindfolded children. He’s faced 23 charges and plead guilty to all of them.
John Wesley Elkins
In 1889, eleven-year-old John Wesley Elkins was working the farm. His parents required him to take care of his infant step-sister, something he was angry about doing. Most people would consider a child of his age to be fairly innocent, but they’d be wrong about Elkins. While his father was sleeping, Elkins took a rifle and shot him in the head. He went to his room to reload, but when he went back to kill his step-mother, she was standing over his dead father’s body. He took a club and beat her continuously with it until she died; then he fed and dressed his sister and took her to his grandpa’s house. He claimed someone else had come to kill them, but of course, they determined he was the one that did it. At a young age, he served time in a maximum security prison.
Arthur Schirmer was a Pennsylvania Methodist pastor in 1999 when his wife was found at the bottom of a basement in a pool of her own blood, bludgeoned to death. He claimed to be out for a run when it happened, and the coroner never determined if it was an accident or not. However, in 2008, he was arrested for the murder of his second wife with a crowbar and the other investigation was re-opened. Already serving a life sentence, he was also given 40 years more for the murder of his first wife.
The stereotype of the nice little old lady is pretty common. No one really expects to find a 68-year-old lady serial killer. So, of course, no one gave Tamara Samsonova a second thought. A resident of Saint Petersberg, Samsonova was arrested for allegedly killing eleven people over a period of twenty years. However, the more gruesome fact is after she murdered one, she’d cut up the body and boil it in a saucepan.
Most people hope their doctor has their best interest in mind. Unfortunately for the residents of Hyde in Manchester, they had Harold Shipman. He was a respected general practitioner in the area and would make house visits. The odd thing was anytime he visited a patient, they rarely lived afterward. One of those patients was an 81-year-old woman who, before she died, left her entire estate to Shipman. Her family didn’t understand how she could have died so suddenly as she was in good health. Authorities investigated and convicted Shipman of murder. They determined he had killed over 215 patients using high dosages of diamorphine. In 2004, he hung himself while in prison.
A nurse at Marymount Hospital in Kentucky, Donald Harvey did the exact opposite of taking care of people. He murdered them. In 1987, he plead guilty to murdering 37 people. Most of them were chronically ill and close to death, so he wanted to put them out of their suffering. Sometimes he would use cyanide or just let their oxygen tanks run out without refilling them. He claimed to like the thrill of choosing who lived and who died.
In 1961, Jerome Brudos settled down, got married, and lived in Portland, Oregon. No one had a clue about his violent past or his apparent fetish for women’s shoes. After suppressing those feelings, he’d get horrible migraines and even blackouts. The only way to relieve them was to go out and steal women’s shoes and underwear. In 1969, he was convicted of killing four women and sentenced to life in prison. He died in March 2006.
Born in 1906, Edward Theodore Gein was a devoted son to his mother. However, her religious fanaticism and consistent preaching about sin and human wickedness warped him. He never dated other women, and after his mother’s death, he started grave robbing. He’d take certain body parts of the corpses of women and keep them as trophies, practicing both human taxidermy and necrophilia. Eventually, this obsession turned to murder. He was arrested for the murder of two women but plead insanity. While he initially received the plea, years later he was considered fit for trial and convicted of murder. He died of cancer at the age of 77. His story was the inspiration for the characters Norman Bates, James Gumb, and Leatherface.
During his college years, Ted Bundy was a bright, handsome, charismatic guy everyone loved to be around. He graduated from the University of Washington and went on to law school and working for political campaigns. No one knew about his dark side until he was convicted of the rape and murder of 36 women. Many believe that number is over one-hundred, however.
Like stories about insane serial killers? You should read 25 Evilest Serial Killers You Have Ever Known.
As an aspiring fashion mogul, Salvatore Perrone had great ambitions to pursue his dreams of being a successful shopkeeper, but all that fell apart when he broke down, took a gun, and went on a killing spree. He was convicted of murdering three Brooklyn shopkeepers with a knife and rifle. Many believe after his divorce and floundering financial situation, he snapped.
Born in Milwaukee in 1960, Jeffrey Dahmer was just a seemingly average and normal teen going through what most teens do at that time. However, not many knew of the dark turmoil brewing within. At age 18, he acted out on his urges and committed his first murder. After that, his father convinced him to join the military, and he was stationed in Germany. Upon returning home, he started killing again, practicing necrophilia and taking pictures. His murder spree continued for years until his luck ran out and was captured and convicted. He served a life sentence and was killed by another inmate in 1994.
Peter Caruso and his wife Rosa had been married for a seemingly happy fifty years. No one, not even his son, expected what would come next. The 76-year-old Peter took a hatchet and brutally murdered his wife with it, hitting her 36 times. No one understands why he did it as there was no motive. He was sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
Dr. George Doodnaught
Doctor George Doodnaught was a popular anesthesiologist at North York General Hospital for 26 years. Yet, at 65, he was discovered to have been abusing his position of power for many of those years, molesting and raping women on the operating table under sedation. While 21 patients came forward against Doodnaught, many believe the number was much higher.
In 1992, Ariel Castro bought a house in Cleveland, Ohio on 2207 Seymour Avenue and lived with his wife and four children. However, after she left him and took the kids, he proceeded to commit one of the most horrible atrocities in recent time. From 2002 to 2004, he kidnapped three young women, kept them all in his basement, and frequently raped them. During this time, however, he acted as if nothing had changed. He had family over regularly, continued working his job as a bus driver, and even attended one of the vigils for the missing women he had kidnapped. All three women were close friends to Castro’s children. In 2013, one of the women escaped and was able to call the police. The police freed the others and Castro was quickly arrested and sentenced to a life in prison. He was found hanged not much later.
Louis Lamonica Jr.
Louis Lamonica was a well-respected pastor in the small town of Hammond, Louisiana. For twenty years, he built a thriving and loved church, Hosanna Church. However, when his son, Louis Lamonica Jr. took over as the pastor, no one expected how things would take a horrible turn for the worse. Lamonica Jr. walked into a police station and confessed to sacrificing babies to Satan. He claimed the church had converted to Satanism. The police feared up to 25 children may have fallen victim to this horrific ring of pedophile killers. Lamonica Jr. is serving four life sentences. As for the church building, the community wanted to knock it down, but Hurricane Katrina did that for them.
In 1984, Josef Fritzl told his wife their 18-year-old daughter ran away to join a cult. Over the course of several years, babies started showing up on their doorstep and Fritzl explained they were their daughter’s children she couldn’t take care of. Except none of that was true. Fritzl secretly kept their daughter in a dungeon, raping her thousands of times, fathering several children with her. He kept his daughter down there for 24 years. His horrific crimes were only uncovered after one of their children was sent to the hospital for an illness. He’s now serving several life sentences.
Dolly Oesterreich was not happy with her marriage to her husband, Fred. One day she asked him to send over a repairman to fix her sewing machine. He sent 17-year-old Otto Sanhuber, and she quickly seduced him. During their affair, they came up with a plot to put Sanhuber in her attic rather than meeting in hotel rooms. He agreed, and for years, Sanhuber lived in her attic without her husband knowing. Even when she and her husband moved, Sanhuber would move with them. However, when Dolly and Fred got into a violent fight, Sanhuber came down from the attic and shot him three times in the chest. They tried to cover it up, but eventually, it came out and Dolly was arrested. Sanhuber disappeared, smeared by the newspapers, calling him a “Bat Man.”
Jimmy Savile was a popular British celebrity, raising millions for philanthropic goals. He raised $5.2 million dollars for a hospital in Leeds and volunteered countless hours helping out the needy. While some rumors circulated about his darker behavior, most turned a blind eye and didn’t do anything about it. After his death, however, it was revealed he was a sexual predator and pedophile, sexually abusing at least 500 boys and girls. One 16-year-old girl recounted the time he sexually assaulted her. He told her, “You won’t talk about this. Nobody will believe you. I’m Jimmy Savile. I can get you.” She told her mother about it, but her mother didn’t believe her. Psychologists believe the power of celebrity can be so strong that people refuse to believe the celebrity in question is capable of doing something so horrible.
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