Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Youngest Killers of All Time until 2017. Murder… What greater bad deed could you commit against another person? When someone decides to take the life of another person it’s often horrifying, saddening, and in many cases shocking. Most of the time when a murder is committed the shock comes from the revelation that the murderer was someone close to the victim. Many of the cases I’m about to share don’t diverge from that common trend. The shocking thing about these cases is the age of the perpetrators. Today we are going to explore some of the youngest killers in history. A lot of these cases will upset you. All of them will shock you. Let’s start our list with this depraved premeditated murder.
List of Top 10 Youngest Killers of All Time till 2017
10. Alyssa Bustamante (15 years old)
Although she is the oldest kid on our list, she was still only 15 years old when she committed this heinous act. Known around her town as a teen with a particularly dark personality Alyssa was always looked at by residents as a bit more than a trouble maker…people thought she was dangerous. Their suspicions were confirmed when Alyssa led her six year old half sister’s nine year old friend into the woods, where Alyssa had already dug a grave. Alyssa strangled the nine year old then slit her throat and wrist, then tossed her into the grave. She eventually confessed and led police to the burial site.
9. Andrew Wurst (14 years old)
School dances. A place for fun, excitement, kids getting to know each other. Well, Andrew Wurst turned his 8th grade graduation dance into a terrifying nightmare for all in attendance. Andrew walked into the restaurant where the dance was being held and opened fire with his father’s .25 caliber pistol, killing John Gillette, and wounding another teacher and two students. He pled guilty to third degree murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
8. Joshua Phillips (14 years old)
Joshua Phillips became the focus of national news when he murdered his eight year old neighbor Maddie Clifton in 1998. It all began when Maddie went missing, the initial suspect was a neighbor with a seedy background that included two sexual assaults. The case turned upside down when a week later Joshua’s mother was cleaning Joshua’s room. His mother noticed a strange leak in his waterbed, upon closer inspection she found little Maddie Clifton’s dead body hidden inside the bed, she had been stabbed and beaten to death. As a result of the crime, Joshua Phillips was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
7. Eric Smith (13 years old)
This is one of the most disturbing stories on our list. Erik Smith lured his four year old neighbor into the woods. Once deep into the woods, Smith strangled Robie to death then dropped a large rock on his head nearly crushing his skull. Unfortunately, things got even more disturbing after the violent murder. Eric Smith stripped the four year olds dead body naked and sodomized him with a tree branch. Eric was convicted of second degree murder in 1994. He has been denied parole more than half a dozen times since then.
6. Curtis & Catherine Jones (12 & 13 years old)
This brother and sister duo brings new meaning to the phrase “I hate my stepmom.” Curtis and Catherine Jones were both sentenced to 18 years in prison after they admitted to killing their father’s fiance? How did they do it? They snuck up on her and shot her. The original story was that the siblings murdered 29 year old Sonya Speights because she planned to marry their father. It was later alleged that the two children were being sexually abused and they planned to kill their father, his fiance, and another man that was living in the home. The two young killers have since been released from prison after completing their 18 year sentences.
5. Paul Henry Gingerich (12 years old)
This 12 year old became the youngest person in the history of Indiana to be sentenced as an adult after he was convicted of killing his friend’s stepfather. The story goes that 3 boys including Gingerich planned to run away from home, but one of the boys said his stepfather would never allow. The three boys conspired, and eventually shot the stepfather, 49 year old Phillip Danner to death. All three boys were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences, with Gingerich receiving the longer sentence of 30 years because he was the one that fired the fatal shot. He is one of the Top 10 Youngest Killers of All Time till 2017.
4. Lionel Tate (12 years old)
Lionel Tate holds one of the worst records a person could ever hold. Lionel Tate is the youngest person in the United States to ever be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Tate was only 13 when the sentence was handed down, but the murder happened when he was only 12. In 1999 Tate murdered Tiffany Eunick, a six year old girl that his mother was babysitting for a friend. The story goes that Tate’s mother was upstairs while Tate and the girl played downstairs. It wasn’t long before Tate came upstairs to tell his mother that the little girl wasn’t breathing. He said that the two were wrestling, however, an autopsy later revealed that he had forcibly stomped on the girl so hard that he lacerated her liver and fractured her skull. Tate’s life sentence was eventually overturned and he was placed on house arrest. It wasn’t long before Tate was in trouble again. In 2005 he was charged with armed burglary, battery, and armed robbery after robbing a Pizza delivery man. The charges violated Tate’s probation. He eventually accepted a plea of 30 years in prison for the probation violation and 10 years in prison for the robbery.
3. Mary Bell (11 years old)
Now a 58 year old grandmother herself, Mary Bell was only 11 years old when she was charged with luring a 4 year old boy into an empty house and strangling him. A crime that earned her the nickname “The Tyneside Strangler.” However, one kill wasn’t enough. Later on during that same summer Mary committed another murder, but this time, she recruited an accomplice. Bell and her friend Norma teamed up to kill three year old Brian Howe, the cause of the child’s death is still a mystery, what we do know is that Mary returned to the dead body to mark her kill by carving an “M” into the boys stomach, followed by mutilating the body with a pair of scissors. Bell was eventually charged and convicted of the crimes. She was released from prison at the age of 23, and like I stated earlier, she’s now a mother and grandmother herself.
2. Jon Venables & Robert Thompson (both 10 years old)
James Bulger was only two years old when he was murdered. The two prime suspects were immediately identified as 10 year old boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. It all began when Bulger went missing from a shopping center, his body was later found on a railroad track. Once convicted of the crime the boys became the youngest people in British history to be convicted of murder. The crime all began when the two boys skipped school with the nefarious plan to abduct a child, lead him to a busy roadside, and push him into oncoming traffic.
1. Carl Newton Mahan (6 years old)
Carl Newton Mahan was barely old enough for elementary school when he killed his friend 8 year old Cecil Van Hoose. The murder happened in 1929 in Eastern Kentucky, and it all happened over a piece of scrap metal. The boys both came from poor families so they were both out collecting scrap metal to sell at a local junk yard for money. The two boys were fighting over a piece of scrap metal when Cecil hit Carl in the face with it. Carl ran home while Cecil chased after him. Carl grabbed his father’s shotgun and shot Cecil. Carl went to trial for the murder and was eventually found guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years in reform school, but the sentence was later overturned by a judge who instead gave Carl the much lighter sentence of probation. Carl Newton Mahan never did one day in reform school for the crime.
These are the Top 10 Youngest Killers of All Time till 2017. Wow… Some of the crimes on this list are so shocking they are almost unbelievable. What pushes an adult to kill? Jealousy, revenge, financial gain. There are a host of reasons that could lead an adult to commit such a heinous act. On the other hand, what pushes a child to kill? That’s a lot harder to answer. Bad parenting? Violent movies? Violent video games? Those are some of the answers you might hear when you pose the question. Although many would argue that the root cause when a child commits murder is some form of mental illness. Maybe we will never truly know.