We’ve all seen adults who kill, but what about the interesting phenomena of child killers? From kids who killed their parents, to children that murdered other kids, here is a list of some of the most well-known child killers.
Alex and Derek King Murdered Their Father
These two Florida brothers, 12 and 13, beat their dad, 40-year-old Terry King, to death with a baseball as he slept on a recliner couch in their home in 2001 and then set their house on fire. They lived briefly with their father together, when the murder occurred, after having previously lived in separate foster homes.
Alex and Derek King
The boys pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and arson as part of a plea deal. Derek was sentenced to eight years in prison, while Alex received seven years. Alex King was released in April 2008 and Derek King was released in March 2009 after serving their time in separate prisons.
Alyssa Bustamante Strangled Her Neighbor
This Missouri 15-year-old lured her 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten into the woods where she strangled her before slitting Olten's throat and wrists. She then buried her in one of two holes that she’d dug in the ground earlier that week.
Alyssa eventually pleaded to guilty to first-degree murder, saying she wanted to know what it was like to kill someone. She was sentenced to life in prison.
Daniel Bartlam Beat His Mother to Death
He was 14 years old when he beat his mother to death with a hammer and then burned her body in their England home. Police later found a document on Daniel’s computer where he had written a story featuring a character named Daniel who murdered his mother.
He changed his story on why he killed his mom at least twice. Bartlam was later sentenced to life in prison and the judge set a minimum term of 16 years.
Eric Smith Strangled a Young Boy
Smith lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods while both boys were walking to summer day camp. Smith strangled Robie and killed him using a large rock. He was later convicted of second-degree murder.
Mary Bell Murdered 2 People
The 11-year-old killed not one, but two children, months apart. A day after her 11th birthday, she strangled 4-year-old Martin Brown to death in an abandoned home. Two months later, Mary, along with a friend, strangled 3-year-old Brian Howe. Mary later returned to the scene to carve an "M" into the child's stomach.
Mary and her friend, Norma Bell (no relation), were charged with two counts of manslaughter. Norma was later acquitted. Mary served her time and was released from prison at the age of 23.
Lionel Tate Murdered a 6-Year-Old
Tate was 13 years old when he killed 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick, who his mom was babysitting at the time. He said he was practicing wrestling moves but Eunick’s injuries were severe.
She'd been stomped on and beaten forcefully and died of multiple lacerations and fractured bones. Tate was sentenced to life without parole.
Joshua Phillips Hid a Body in His Water Bed
Phillips was 14 when he killed his 8-year-old neighbor Maddie by hitting her over the head with a baseball bat and stabbing her multiple times. He said he did it so she would stop screaming after he had accidentally hit Maddie in the eye with a baseball because he was afraid of his alcoholic fathers’ reaction.
Phillips hid Maddie’s body inside his waterbed before his mom discovered it a week later. He was later convicted of her murder and is now serving life without parole.
Craig Price Killed Multiple People
Price, known as the "Warwick Slasher" stabbed four of his neighbors to death in their own homes at 13 years old. He got away with the crimes for two years, and then killed a mother and her two daughters. Price confessed in 1989.
Barry Dale Loukaitis Killed His Teacher
Loukaitis was a 14-year-old student at Frontier Middle School in Washington state when he shot and killed his algebra teacher and two students in 1996. He then held the class hostage for an hour until a gym teacher swooped in, tackling Loukaitis and helping students escape.
Catherine and Curtis Jones Shot Their Dad's Girlfriend
The brother and sister, 13 and 12, gunned down their dad's girlfriend in 1999. The kids claimed that a person who lived in their house sexually abused them and that their father and the father’s girlfriend didn’t protect them, according to reports. They have both since been released but served 16 years behind bars.
David Brom Murdered His Family
Brom was 16 when he murdered his mother, father, his 11-year-old brother, and 13-year-old sister. Brom reportedly planned the killings far in advance and had joked about it with friends who didn't think he was serious. After the murders, he went to school briefly and then slept outside to evade police. He was later arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Phillip Chism Brutally Murdered His Math Teacher
Chism was 14 when he followed his ninth grade algebra teacher, Colleen Ritzer, into a school bathroom, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times and raped her in 2013. Ritzer’s body was found in the woods near the school. Chism's lawyers had argued he was mentally ill. He was later sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years.
Carl Newton Mahan Shot His Friend
The 6-year-old and his friend Cecil Van Hoose, 8, were looking for scrap metal to sell for extra money in 1929 when Van Hoose reportedly stole a piece of iron that Mahan had found and hit him with it. Mahan ran home, grabbed his father's shotgun and fired at Van Hoose, killing him.
The case went to trial and a jury convicted him of manslaughter. But following public outcry and appeals, a Circuit Court judge set aside the conviction, arguing that Mahan had been too young to be tried before a jury.