10 Heinous Murders Committed By Minors
There was a time when we thought it was unimaginable that a child could be capable of murder. What was once a rare event that shook society to its core now seems to be commonplace. Such a topic brings up much debate about why kids kill and what we should do with children who kill. Theories about why kids kill include violence in video games, television shows, and movies, as well as a lack of positive role models, love, and nurturing. While some think the focus should be on rehabilitating the child, others think children—like some of their adult counterparts—are able to commit serious acts of horror and need to be punished severely for their crimes.
US, Age: 16
In March 2009, 16-year-old John Katehis placed an ad on Craigslist offering sex in exchange for money. Forty-seven-year-old ABC News Radio reporter George Weber responded to that ad. He and Katehis began exchanging e-mails, and agreed on a $60 fee for Katehis to bind Weber, and suffocate him, while Katehis performed oral sex on him. Katehis said that when he arrived at Weber’s apartment, Weber gave him alcohol and cocaine.
When it came time for the rough sex to begin, Katehis said that’s when things got out of hand, and Weber pulled a knife on him. They struggled over the knife and Katehis, in fear for his life, grabbed it and stabbed Weber once in the neck. Katehis, now covered in blood, changed into some of Weber’s clothes and fled the scene.
While attempting to take the train, the conductor saw his bleeding left hand and called police. Katehis told police he had cut his hand on a bottle and was going to the hospital. The police, not having evidence of anything sinister, believed him and let him go.
Weber’s body was found later that day after coworkers became worried when he did not show up for work and was not answering his phone. Katehis quickly became a suspect after his correspondence with Weber was found. Katehis was arrested after his father, who was working with law enforcement, told his son to meet him and he would give him some money.
Autopsy and toxicology reports discredited Katehis’s version of events. Weber was not stabbed once in the neck as he claimed, but was stabbed over 50 times in the neck and torso. His feet were bound, and his underwear was at his feet. He had defensive marks on his hands as he tried his best to fight off his killer. There was also no cocaine found in his or Katehis’s system.
Katehis was charged with second-degree murder and tried as an adult. The first trial resulted in a mistrial. In 2011, he had a retrial and was convicted. He was sentenced to 25 years to life.
France, Age: 17
Seventeen-year-old Mathieu Moulinas lured a 16-year-old friend into the woods on August 2, 2010 under the premise that he had the money he owed her. Once the two reached the forest, he sexually assaulted the girl with a vibrator he found in his parents’ room. He was sentenced to four months in a treatment facility. He was released after therapists stated he was no longer a threat, on the conditions that he would seek treatment for his drug abuse and anger issues and move to another area. This leniency would later be determined to be a huge mistake.
On November 11, 2011, Mathieu and a 13-year-old schoolmate, Agnes Marin, went for a walk in the forest. Once Mathieu had her in the forest, he sexually assaulted her, stabbed her multiple times, and set her body on fire with gasoline. The prosecution called the murder “particularly violent and brutal.”
After Agnes’s murder, there was a huge controversy and public outrage at the school that had accepted Mathieu after his sexual assault conviction. The school, Cevenol International, denied any knowledge of his past, but his father stated that he told the school his son had “acts of sexual aggression.” Prime Minister Francois Fillon was outraged at the school and demanded that it no longer be possible for a student with a criminal history to be admitted, unless the exact criminal record was explained in detail to the headmaster.
Mathieu was sentenced on June 28, 2013 to life imprisonment. The jury listened to the prosecution’s plea that they not the grant the benefit of minority.
Scotland, Age: 14
This case has the distinction of being Scotland’s longest single-defendant trial and, at the time, the longest sentence to be given to a minor. On June 30, 2003, 14-year-old Jodi Jones was viciously murdered by her boyfriend, 15-year-old Luke Mitchell.
That evening, Jodi left her home in Easthouses, Scotland, around 6:30 PM, telling her parents she was going to meet up with Luke. When Jodi failed to return home, her parents reported her missing around 10:30 PM. Her parents and Luke began looking for her. Luke “discovered” her body on a path which ran from her home in Easthouses to Mitchell’s home in Newbattle.
She was found stripped of her clothing, bound, her body mutilated. While details have not been released publicly, the judge who presided over the case said it was the worst he had ever seen. Suspicion immediately fell upon Luke, but it took several months for the police to gather enough evidence to arrest him. He was finally arrested on April 14, 2004.
Though the case was circumstantial, a guilty verdict was reached on January 21, 2005. He was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years before he would be eligible for parole.
During his incarceration, in what can only be described as bizarre, a video of Mitchell taking and passing a polygraph from his jail cell was posted on YouTube. He also filed requests to have satanic materials, including The Satanic Bible and The Devil’s Notebook, citing religious reasons. His requests were denied. Mitchell still maintains his innocence and is fighting to have his case heard again.
India, Age: 15–16
In one of the most horrific murder cases in India’s history, 15-year-old Sajal Barui—and four of his friends—murdered his family. They said it was an act of revenge for the abuse Sajal suffered at home.
The night of terror began on November 22, 1993, when the five youths hacked Sajal’s father, stepmother, and half brother to death over the span of several hours.
After committing the murders, the teens cleaned their weapons, ate snacks from the fridge, and left money on the counter as payment for the snacks. After his friends left, Sajal stayed at home all night, alone with his mutilated family. He called his neighbor the next day while his friends returned to school. He initially told police that people had broken in, knocked him unconscious, and killed his family. However, under heavy police questioning, he admitted what he had done and named his accomplices.
The teens were arrested, tried as adults, convicted, and received the death penalty. Their death sentences were later overturned, and they received life imprisonment. Sajal managed to escape prison by faking an illness in 2001, and was only apprehended again in 2003 after committing a robbery. He later tried to commit suicide in prison by attempting to set himself on fire.
In 2010, Sajal and his attorneys filed a plea under the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Amendment Act of 2006. Sajal was released on bail pending his new hearing. He was granted permanent release. That release, however, lasted only a few years, as he was arrested again in 2011 for allegedly committing another robbery.
France, Age: 16
In the days leading up to this tragic event, Eric Borel told his classmates, “I’ve had enough.” He expressed his wish to commit suicide, but before he did, he was going to kill a few people. No one is sure what exactly made Eric snap, but there is speculation that his stepfather beat him, his mother was controlling, and he just had enough.
On the evening of September 23, 1995, Eric entered the kitchen in his family’s home in Sollies-Pont, aimed a .22-caliber rifle at his stepfather, and shot him four times. He then beat him in the head with a hammer. Eric then walked into the family room where his 11-year-old half brother was watching television and killed him in the same manner.
He cleaned up the mess and waited for his mother to come home from church. As soon as his mother entered the home, he shot her once in the head, killing her. Eric cleaned up again, covered the bodies with sheets, and packed a book bag with supplies. Then he took the gun, filled his pockets with bullets, and left the family home.
Around 7:00 AM, Eric arrived at his friend’s house, in Cuers, approximately 6 kilometers (4 mi) from his home, where he and the friend got into an argument. When the friend turned to walk back into the house, Eric shot and killed him. Eric then proceeded to walk through the community, shooting people at random. About half an hour after his killing spree started, police arrived, and surrounded Eric, who took the .22-caliber rifle and shot himself in the forehead.
Witnesses later remarked how calm Eric was when he pointed the gun and opened fire on his victims. He killed 13 people that day, including his family. Two more victims later died in the hospital from their wounds. He wounded four others.
US, Age: 12
Christopher Pittman did not have the most stable life. His mother had run out on him twice, and he claims his father was abusive. He was 12 years old when he began experiencing mental health issues. He ran away from home, was suicidal, and sent to a home for troubled youth. While at this care facility, he was put on the prescription Paxil.
He was later sent to live with his grandparents. His grandparents made him see the local doctor in their community, who changed his medication from Paxil to Zoloft. This decision would be blamed for the events that transpired on November 28, 2001.
That evening, Christopher was disciplined by his grandfather for misbehaving. Later that evening, after his grandparents went to bed, he grabbed his grandfather’s shotgun and killed both of them. After murdering them, he took some money, the gun, and his dog, and drove away in his grandfather’s vehicle after setting fire to the home.
He did not know how to drive very well, resulting in the vehicle becoming stuck, which led to the police picking him up. After initially telling police he had been kidnapped, he confessed to killing his grandparents. Showing no remorse, he stated they got what they deserved.
His defense was the medication Zoloft. According to the defense’s expert testimony, Christopher was on too high of a dose—200 mg daily. After originally being put on Zoloft, Christopher began to complain to his doctor about side effects, but the doctor kept him on the medication. Expert witnesses also stated that it was harmful to suddenly stop taking Paxil and substitute it for Zoloft. Zoloft also has dangers for anyone under the age of 18, according to some psychiatrists. The dangers include “aggravated depression, abnormal dreams, paranoid reactions, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and delusions.” Risks from overdose include potential “manic reactions.”
On February 15, 2005, Pittman was found guilty and sentenced as an adult to 30 years in prison. He appealed for a new trial in 2010, but instead took a plea deal with a reduced sentence of 25 years in prison.
While Zoloft’s manufacturer, Pfizer, has denied this medication causes anyone to become violent, the US Food and Drug Administration has since given a warning concerning minors and anti-depressants. They state that with these types of drugs there is “an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term studies of adolescents and children” with depression and other psychiatric disorders.
4Kevin Madden And Timothy Ferriman
Canada, Age: 16
Kevin Madden, his friend Timothy Ferriman, and another friend—who cannot be named due to Canadian laws—were hanging out at Kevin’s house on November 25, 2003. They called Ferriman’s girlfriend, who decided to tape the call once the boys started talking about committing a mass murder. After the phone call, the boys drank some wine that they found in the house and began to vandalize the home.
When Kevin’s 12-year-old brother Johnathon entered the room the boys were in, Ferriman handed Kevin a knife and egged him on to attack his brother. Kevin stabbed his brother so viciously it severed both his voice box and carotid artery. He drowned in a pool of his own blood. The boys moved Johnathon’s body to the basement. When Kevin and Johnathon’s father came home, he was attacked with a knife and baseball bat but was able to flee the home with only minor injuries. All three boys were arrested shortly afterward.
The first trial resulted in a mistrial due to Ferriman’s girlfriend committing perjury. The second trial resulted in guilty verdicts for two of the boys and an acquittal for the third. Kevin Madden was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his brother and attempted murder for the attack on his father. Timothy Ferriman was found guilty of manslaughter, and the third boy was acquitted.
The sentencing occurred on September 29, 2006, with the judge stating the boys will be sentenced as adults, allowing their names to now be made public as well as the name of their families and the victim. Kevin was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for the first 10 years. His first two years were served in a youth facility, then he was transferred to an adult prison. Because Ferriman seemed remorseful, he was sentenced to a youth facility for two years, less a day, and three years of probation.
3Rachel Shoaf And Sheila Eddy
US, Age: 16
On July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Skylar Neese sneaked out of the window of her family’s home shortly after midnight. Apartment video surveillance cameras showed Skylar walking across the parking lot and getting into a sedan at 12:35 AM. The following morning, her father discovered her bed had not been slept in. He figured she must have sneaked out of the house when he found her window screen was removed from the window. He called the police to report her missing.
Later that day, Skylar’s friend, Sheila Eddy, called Skylar’s parents to tell them that Skylar had, in fact, slipped out of the house to meet her and another friend, Rachel Shoaf. According to Sheila, the girls picked Skylar up at around 11:00 PM but dropped her off again around 12:00 AM.
The FBI soon joined the search and began to interview Skylar’s friends at school. They were told about a rumor that a student by the name of Rachel Shoaf had told a few classmates she had killed Skylar with another girl. Upon interviewing Rachel, she confessed to killing Skylar with the help of Sheila Eddy. They lured Skylar out of her home, counted to three, and stabbed her to death, leaving her body in the woods.
Their reason for killing Skylar was that they no longer wanted to be friends with her. After Skylar’s disappearance, Rachel helped the family hand out missing person flyers, consoled them in their time of grief, and often called or went over to their home to get updates on her missing friend.
Shoaf pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced on February 26, 2014, to 30 years in prison. Sheila Eddy changed her plea from not guilty to guilty, in exchange for a lighter sentence. As a result, she was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
Prior to Skylar’s murder, Amber Alerts in West Virginia were not issued if it was thought that the child was a runaway. After Skylar’s murder, her parents worked to get a law passed in her name—Skylar’s Law—that allows an Amber Alert to be issued even if authorities believe the child decided to run away.
Japan, Age: 11
On June 1, 2004, a teacher at Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan noticed two students were missing during lunch hour. Worried, the teacher put a message out over the public address system for them to return to their classroom. A short time later, one of the two missing girls entered her classroom, with her clothes covered in blood. The teacher went looking for the second missing girl and made a shocking discovery.
She found the body of 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai. Her throat had been slashed, and her arms were cut with a box cutter. By the time police and paramedics arrived, it was too late. The girl had bled to death from her injuries.
The second girl, an 11-year-old student—whose name cannot be released due to Japanese laws—was interviewed by police. She confessed saying, “I have done a bad thing. I am sorry. I am sorry.” She initially told police she had no reason to kill her classmate, but after further interviewing she admitted that she and the other girl had a falling-out over comments made online where Mitarai made fun of her appearance.
Though the girl cannot be named, she’s been called “Girl A” by the courts and media. An online site became fascinated with her and dubbed her “Nevada Tan” because she was allegedly wearing a Nevada hoodie. The site turned her into a popular meme, posted a photo, and what they believe her real name to be. She was sentenced on September 15, 2004 to two years in a reformatory. In 2006, she was given another two years of involuntary commitment. On May 29, 2008, authorities announced they would not seek any additional sentence.
1Melinda Loveless, Laurie Tackett, Toni Lawrence, And Hope Rippey
US, Age: 15–18
Melinda Loveless was jealous of the friendship forming between 12-year-old Shanda Renee Sharer and her former girlfriend, Amanda Heavrin, so the 16-year-old decided to do something about it.
On the evening of January 10, 1992, four teenage girls—Melinda Loveless, Laurie Tackett, Toni Lawrence, and Hope Rippey—hatched a plot for Loveless to seek revenge against Sharer. The four girls drove in Tackett’s car to Sharer’s home. Loveless had Lawrence and Rippey go to the door, advising Sharer that they were friends of Heavrin, saying that Heavrin wanted to meet up with her that evening. Sharer told the girls that her parents were still awake but to come back later—once they were asleep—and she would sneak out of the house.
The girls went back to the Sharer’s home around 12:30 AM. Tackett and Rippey went to get her while Loveless hid in the backseat, clutching a knife under a blanket. Once the vehicle pulled out of the driveway, Loveless jumped out from the backseat. That is when the night of unspeakable torture began.
Loveless held the knife to Sharer’s throat and began accusing her of having a sexual relationship with Heavrin. They drove to a garbage dump where Loveless and Tackett pulled Sharer out of the vehicle and began to torture her. The two other girls stayed in the car, refusing to participate. Sharer was forced to strip naked as the girls beat her and attempted to slash her throat with a knife, but the knife was too dull.
Rippey then came out of the car and held Sharer down so Loveless and Tackett could take turns stabbing her. They strangled her until she fell unconscious. Once unconscious, the girls put her in the back of their vehicle. Sharer later began to scream, so Tackett went to the truck and began beating Sharer with a tire iron until she was unconscious again. She then sodomized her with the tire iron, while she cried out for her mother.
The girls drove to Tackett’s home where they had snacks, drank soda, and laughed about what they had just done, all while Sharer lay unconscious in the trunk. The girls then decided to go to the gas station. They poured gasoline on the vehicle, and also filled up a Pepsi bottle with more. They drove to a field where Tackett and Rippey took Sharer out of the trunk, wrapped her in a blanket, and carried her into the field. They poured gasoline on her—while she was still alive—and set her on fire. Later that day, two hunters found her body.
Later that evening, accompanied by her parents, Lawrence went to the sheriff’s office and confessed to everything that had happened. The girls were arrested and all took plea deals. Lawrence served nine years and was released in 2000. Her parole ended in 2002. Rippey served 14 years and was on parole until 2011.
Tackett and Loveless had their 60-year sentences reduced to 35 years. They are eligible for parole in 2022. Loveless currently is one of the best dog trainers in the ICAN program, a program that has inmates train dogs for service. One of the puppies Loveless trained was donated by Shanda’s mother, in honor of her daughter and for a new beginning for Melinda.