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Normally we love young people, but these kids are beyond salvation. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most evil kids in history.
For this list, we’ll be focusing on young people who took up a life of crime, and subsequently crossed one moral line or another. Our focus is primarily on people 18 and younger—yes, surprising as it may be, there are more than a few cases of adolescents and teenagers going down a dark path. So you won’t find the Menendez brothers here, since they were 21 and 18 years old at the time of their parents’ murders.
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#10: Willie Bosket
For some people, there just doesn’t appear to be any option except crime. That’s what Harlem-native Willie Bosket seemed to think; he believed that, like his father, he himself would end up being a murderer. Between March 19th to 27th, 1978, the fifteen-year old fatally shot three people, including one New York Transit employee. Bosket pleaded guilty but was initially sentenced to a mere five years in a youth facility. He later went on to accumulate a sentence of 82 years to life for assault, arson, and attempted escape from a correctional facility.
#9: Josh Phillips
Is it right to call this an error in judgement? Back in November of 1998, a young girl named Maddie Clifton went missing in Jacksonville, Florida. A week after Maddie’s disappearance, her body was found in the waterbed of fourteen-year-old Josh Phillips, who had beaten and stabbed her to death. Phillips has since claimed he regrets the incident, but with a life sentence on first-degree murder charges and no parole in sight, we doubt he’ll be leaving prison any time soon.
#8: Edmund Kemper
Appearing well adjusted can disguise some of your worst qualities. For instance, young Edmund managed to convince psychologists at the Atascadero State Hospital that he was of sound mind, despite having killed his grandparents in the aftermath of an argument when he was fifteen. He managed to avoid serving more than five years in prison and was released in 1969… but tragically, that allowed him to murder six female college students, his mother, and his mother’s friend three years later. It goes without saying that appearances can be deceiving.
#7: Graham Young
Suddenly tea seems a lot less appetizing now. Meet Graham Young, a native of Neasden in London, who had been fascinated with the effects of poison since his childhood. In 1962, Young was arrested after confessing to the attempted poisoning of his family, an act which included serving his own sister tea laced with deadly nightshade. The teen underwent nine years of detainment in the psychiatric facility Broadmoor Hospital before he was released—only to later use his position as a quartermaster to poison approximately 70 people with tea, which earned the nickname “The Teacup Poisoner.” Fitting, but unsettling.
#6: Bryan & David Freeman
Siblings stick together, even in the face of a criminal investigation. Brothers Bryan and David, the eldest children of the Freeman family, were also fervent Neo-Nazis who resented their strict upbringing as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The duo’s resulting violent relationship with their family came to a head in February of 1995, when both brothers were apprehended for the murder of their parents and younger brother Erik. Bryan, David, and their associate/cousin Ben Birdwell conspired to plead guilty and avoid the death sentence. They got their wish... but landed lifetime sentences in the process.
#5: Brenda Spencer
Not liking Mondays doesn’t seem like a valid reason for murder. Yet this is supposedly the excuse sixteen-year old Brenda Ann Spencer gave for committing a school shooting. On January 29th, 1979, Ms. Spencer fired thirty rounds of ammunition at Cleveland Elementary School—the shots killed the school’s principal and a custodian, while leaving eight children and a police officer injured. Upon surrendering to the police, Brenda pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a weapon, earning her a sentence of 25 years to life.
#4: Jon Venables & Robert Thompson
Back in 1993, a two-year-old Liverpool boy was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left on train tracks to be bisected. The culprits were Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, a pair of students who happened to be cutting class that day... and who happened to be no older than ten years of age. The public was shocked when Venables and Thompson were brought to trial and given a minimum of eight years in detention, before being released under heavy restriction. We’re still not sure how to feel about the whole ordeal.
#3: Jesse Pomeroy
In March of 1874, ten-year-old Katie Curran went missing in South Boston —a month later, the body of four-year-old Horace Millen turned up in a marsh. Authorities turned their gaze to Jesse Pomeroy, a local teenager previously convicted of brutally attacking other kids. Convicted by the end of the year for murdering Curran, Pomeroy went down in history as the youngest person ever charged with first-degree murder in Massachusetts. He would spend the remainder of his life in solitary confinement, before passing away in 1932.
#2: Mary Bell
Hard lives make for hardened people—but this seems extreme. Over the summer of 1968, police in the Scotswood area of England’s Newcastle upon Tyne investigated the separate murder of two toddlers, each killed via strangulation. By August, local child Mary Bell and her friend Norma Joyce Bell were charged with both murders, though the ruling was ultimately manslaughter. While Bell’s friend was acquitted, Bell herself would spend 12 years in prison based on diminished responsibility; it was ruled that Mary had symptoms of psychopathy and posed an uncontrollable threat to children. Given the circumstances, that doesn’t seem like a bad call.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- George Stinney
- Laurie Tackett
- Erin Caffey
- Cindy Collier & Shirley Wolf
#1: Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold
We’ve seen more than a few school shootings in history, such as those perpetrated by Mitchell Johnson & Andrew Golden, Jamie Rouse, Kip Kinkel, and Barry Loukaitis, but the one orchestrated by these two is by far the most traumatizing. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, a pair of troubled teens from Columbine, Colorado, began preparations in 1999 to lash out against society. The duo marched into Columbine High School on April 20th carrying homemade bombs and various firearms, proceeding to kill 13 people and injure 24. To top it off, Harris and Klebold simultaneously committed suicide as police entered the school, ensuring that the pair couldn’t be brought to justice.
Do you agree with our list? What sinister kids give you goosebumps? For more emotionally-charged Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.