In horror, we’ve become accustomed to seeing terrifying and violent children. From Damien Thorn in 1976’s “The Omen,” to Isaac Chroner of 1984’s “Children of the Corn” to Esther of 2009’s “Orphan,” there are countless killer kids in horror that have petrified generations. However, these fictional villains can’t hold a candle to the killer children of true crime. These children committed unspeakable acts by murdering their victims before turning the age of 14. Take a look at 5 of the most notorious murderous minors in all of true crime in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on these crimes in the comments section on social media.
In 1968, Newcastle’s Mary Bell was 10-years-old and she committed her first murder by strangling a toddler in an abandoned house. Following her first killing, Bell and her 13-year-old friend Norma Joyce Bell (no relation) got together, broke into a Scotswood nursery and vandalized it, leaving behind notes alluding to murdering the child. The police dismissed this incident, believing it to be a prank, but just a few months later Mary killed again. This time, both Bell girls brought a three-year-old boy to an abandoned wasteland in Scotswood, strangling him to death and later mutilating his body. Mary was brought in for questioning and accused another boy of mutilating the victim with scissors, despite that boy having an airtight alibi and information of the mutilation not yet disclosed to the public. In December of 1968, Mary Bell was convicted of manslaughter and in 1980, she was released from prison at the age of 23.
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables
On February 12th, 1993, 10-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables skipped school to visit the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, England. CCTV footage caught the two boys scoping out the children at the mall and throughout the day they stole various items, including batteries and blue paint. Meanwhile, a mother and her two-year-old son were shopping at a butcher shop and when she went to pay, the two boys lured her son away from the store. Thompson and Venables first brought the toddler to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, threatening to push him into the water. 38 bystanders saw them, however, when approached the boys said that the toddler was their brother. They eventually brought him to the Walton & Anfield railway station, where the torture began. They threw the stolen blue paint into his eyes, put the stolen batteries into his mouth and proceeded to throw bricks at him. The toddler sustained 10 skull fractures before being killed by a blow from a 22-lb iron bar. The boys then laid the toddler’s body onto the tracks to make it look like he’d been killed by the train. After they left, his body was cut in half by an oncoming train and was found by some school children two days later. Upon discovering the CCTV footage, the search of the two boys began and when the footage was released on national television, the two were eventually identified. Both Thompson and Venables were soon arrested and charged for murder. They were both released in 2001.
In 1993, Eric Smith was 13-years-old and was riding his bike home from a local summer day camp, where he’d been told to leave early for bad behavior. Along the way, there was a four-year-old boy walking alone to the same camp. Smith lured the boy to a nearby wooded area before killing him by strangulation and dropping a large rock onto his head. The boy’s mother went to park later that day to pick up her son, however, soon learned that he’d never arrived. About four hours into the investigation, his body was discovered. Less than a week later, Smith confessed to his mother that he’d murdered the young boy. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to the maximum term then available for juvenile murderers: a minimum of nine years to life in prison. He’s currently still incarcerated, as he’s been denied parole 10 times since 2002. He’ll be eligible for parole in October, 2021.
On April 23rd, 2006, the bodies of husband and wife Marc and Debra Richardson, as well as their eight-year-old son were discovered in their home in Medicine Hat, Canada. Their 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine Richardson was not found on the scene and initially it was believed that she was also a victim. However, the next day she and her 23-year-old boyfriend Jeremy Allan Steinke were arrested 81 miles away from the home. They were both charged with the three murders. The pair was motivated to commit the murders after Jasmine’s parents had punished her for dating Steinke, who was not only 11 years her senior, but told his friends he was a 300-year-old vampire. The pair claimed to have been inspired by the 1994 film, “Natural Born Killers.” In November, 2007 Jasmine was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and was released after completing her sentence in 2016.