I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.
If you’re thinking of becoming a parent, or a parent thinking of adding to your brood, be warned: the following killer kids could be your own. Is it really worth the risk?
1. Myron Semunchick of Pennsylvania, USA
In Vandling, Pennsylvania on January 2, 1945, nine year-old Mae Ruth Barrett walked through heavy snowfall towards home. Unknown to the little girl as she struggled against the snow and wind, she was being watched by 13 year old Myron Semunchick.
When Myron saw no one was around to witness his crime, he took the opportunity to render Mae unconscious, drag her unconscious body into an abandoned house, attempted to rape her, and beat her to death before hiding her body in the cellar.
2. Mary Bell of England, UK
Mary Flora Bell was only ten years old when she strangled to death two little neighbor boys in Scotswood, an inner-city suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She was convicted in December 1968, at the age of 11, of the manslaughter of the two boys, aged 3 and 4 years.
Mary was released from prison in 1990 at the age of 23 years. Since then she has lived under a series of pseudonyms. Her identity has been protected by a court order, which has also been extended to protect the identity of her daughter. In 1998, Bell collaborated with Gitta Sereny on an account of her life, in which she details the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her mother, a prostitute, and her mother's clients.
3. Jesse Pomeroy of Massachusetts, USA
Jesse Pomeroy is considered by many to be a natural born fiend. He was raised by his mother in South Boston. Not very much is known about his life before he was eleven years old, the age he began torturing other children.
In 1871, Jesse held hostage and assaulted seven other younger boys. He'd take them to a hidden spot where he would strip them and tie them up. He severely beat some of the earlier victims, then he started to use a knife and even poked pins into one victim's flesh.
Jesse had a cleft lip and a completely white eye, so identifying him wasn't difficult. After being caught he was sent to a reform school and was supposed to be there until he was twenty-one. He understood the jail game, however: if he behaved himself, he'd be released early. He was released after only a year and a half.
Jesse had learned quite a few important lessons during his incarceration; the most important being that a good criminal leaves no witnesses. Jesse was now a homicidal predator. Following the murder of a little girl in March 1874 and the murder of a four year old boy in April of the same years, police finally zeroed in on Jesse, who later confessed to his crimes.
As Jesse was only 14 years old at the time of his sentencing following his conviction, the judge refused to consider the death penalty as punishment. Instead Jesse was sentenced to life in solitary confinement. He spent forty-one years in solitary, before getting some contact with other inmates. He died in 1932 at the age of seventy-two.
4. Eric Smith
In 1993, this thirteen year-old abducted 4 year-old Derrick Robie on his way to a summer day camp. Taking the little boy to a remote location, Eric assaulted him with a tree branch, strangled him, and dropped two large rocks on his head resulting in the preschoolers death.
5. Jasmine Richardson of Alberta, Canada
When this 12 year-old Canadian was told by her parents she wasn't allowed to date 23 year-old Jeremy Steinke - self-proclaimed 300 year old werewolf with a thirst for blood, she was enraged. So angry was she that she convinced Steinke to help her kill her parents and eight year-old brother. Because of laws regarding sentencing of minors, Jasmine was released from prison after serving only ten years and presently lives under an assumed name.
6. Sarah Kolb of Illinois, USA
Sarah Kolb was a self-proclaimed Juggalette and bi-sexual teenage girl living with her parents in Moline, Illinois. When new student Adrianne Reynolds befriends Sarah's best friend Cory Gregory, Sarah is jealous but soon finds herself in love with the very heterosexual Adrianne.
Until she learned Adrianne has a crush on Cory and had asked him out on a date.
Engulfed in a jealous rage, Sarah convinces Cory to lure Adrianne to the local Taco Bell where she kidnaps her romantic interest-turned-rival and drives the frightened girl to a desolate farm,. Once the trio was miles away from anyone who could hear Adrianne's cries for help, Sarah beat her with a wooden paddle about her body before strangling her with a belt and setting her body on fire.
7. David Biro of Illinois, USA
David Biro was a problem child most of his life. At only 16 years old, this Illinois teen landed himself in a psychiatric hospital after attempting to kill his family with poisoned milk. Unfortunately it would have little effect on his murderous urges.
Within weeks of his release, David sneaked into the home of neighbors Richard and Nancy Langert and brutally murdered them. Unbeknownst to him David, Nancy was pregnant and he would later be charged with the murder of her unborn infant.
Today David Biro continues to serve his sentence life without parole sentence in an Illinois prison.
8. Jean Pierre Orlewicz of Michigan, USA
Eighteen year-old thrill killer Jean Pierre Orlewicz wanted to know what it was like to kill someone so in November 2007, the high school senior lured 26 year-old Daniel Sorensen to a remote area of Canton, Michigan. There, Jean Pierre stabbed the older man to death.
Soon after, Sorensen's torso was found along the side of the road. It was clear someone had attempted to prevent identification of the victim by burning the hands and feet and also decapitating his victim.
Orlewick and his co-defendant tried to claim they had killed Sorensen in self-defense but the jury did not believe them. Orlewick is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
9. Alyssa Bustamante of Missouri, USA
When this teenage girl grew bored during a day off from school, she dug two graves in her backyard and waited for a victim.
Alyssa went on with life as usual, she went to school, she hung out with friends; all the while just waiting for the perfect opportunity to murder; which came just four days later, during the evening of October 21, 2009. It was then she spotted her 9 year old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten walking home from a friend's house.
Seizing the chance to kill, Alyssa took it. She grabbed little Elizabeth, beat her, strangled her, and finally, she stabbed her and slit her throat. She then dumped her body into one of the graves she had dug the week before in a nearby wooded area.
A letter soon led police to Alyssa Bustamante and she almost immediately confessed. Following a trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. She must serve at least 35 years before she is eligible for parole.
10. Kipland Kinkel
On May 20, 1998, Kipland "Kip" Kinkel was suspended pending an expulsion hearing from Thurston High School for being in possession of a loaded, stolen handgun. In response, his father told Kip he was going to be sent away to military school if his behavior did not change.
Outraged Kip went to his room, retrieved a handgun, and shot his father twice in the back of the head. He then waited for his mother to arrive and met her in the garage as she exited her vehicle. Telling her he loved her, he then shot six times.
On the following morning of May 21st, Kip drove to Thorton High School in Springfield, Oregon and opened fire on his fellow students, killing two and wounding 25 before a classmate tackled him to the ground.
When investigators went to Kip's home following the school shooting, they discovered his parents' corpses, a recording of Liebestod - the final dramatic aria from Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde as found on the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack, on a loop, and a rambling suicide note which read, in part:
I just got two felonies on my record. My parents can't take that! It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves...My head just doesn't work right... damn these VOICES inside my head... I have to kill people. I don't know why... I have no other choice.
© 2016 Kim Bryan
PDXBuys from Oregon on May 15, 2016:
Oh the other hand... your kid could grow up to be the next Albert Einstein or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Even Steve Jobs was adopted.
LouiseTeach on May 15, 2016:
This IS truly scary. In many murderer cases, abuse during childhood is in the murderer's history, which is why prospective foster parents should also be cautious, and ask many questions, before accepting a child to be placed in their homes. Fostering can be great, but you should be cautious. The kids are in the system for a reason. Were any of the above-named kid-killers in the foster system or adopted prior to these incidents?
Lakeyia from USA on May 15, 2016:
I have seen Deadly women that featured like two of those girls Mary Bell and the other they called her JJ or something like that. I have seen so many of those and I have to say that it is crazy why these things happen. Sometimes it happens for no reason. The Mary Bell case was horrible because of what her mother was doing to her, but that is no excuse to do what she did.
I have two kids and very happy. I don't think this should make people rethink about having kids because this still goes on today but no one talks about it.
Mae Hanson from Geneva on May 15, 2016:
This is so creepy and fascinating! I love learning stuff like this, but then it also makes it harder to sleep...
I loved it!