There are some truly evil people in the world. Monsters and psychopaths who do unspeakable things. But what happens when evil unites and falls in love? The result is some of the most unimaginable, brutal and shocking crimes to ever have been carried out. Meet the couples that kill...
1. Teenage ‘Twilight’ Killers
In April 2016 dinner lady Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her daughter Katie were brutally stabbed to death as they slept in their home in Spalding, Lincolnshire. When police went to the home they found the killers lying on a mattress. They were just school kids, aged 14. A young couple who’d planned the bloodbath over a MacDonald’s.
When they asked the girl where Elizabeth was, she replied, ‘upstairs’. When they asked the boy what had happened to her, he said, ‘Why don’t you go and see?’
The boy pleaded guilty to murder, while the girl went on trial claiming she had a mental disorder. In court, the jury heard the schoolgirl’s sickening blow-by blow-account of how they’d broken into the house in the middle of the night, and, armed with a 20cm kitchen knife, the boy had stabbed first Elizabeth, then Katie, as the girl watched.
The pair, described as a Bonny and Clyde couple, then planned to kill themselves but couldn’t go through with it. Instead they had a bath, went downstairs and spent the next 36 hours in the house repeatedly watching Twilight before having sex. The girl was convicted of murder at Nottingham Crown Court. The teenagers, both now 15, were jailed for life, and will serve a minimum term of 20-years. They can’t be named for legal reasons, but they’ll go down in history as one of the youngest couples that kill.
2. Murderous newlyweds
In November 2013, Troy LaFerrara’s body was discovered dumped in a back garden. He’d suffered multiple stab wounds. The last call on Troy’s mobile had been made to teenage newlywed Miranda Barbour, 19. Police arrested her.
Barbour claimed she’d killed Troy in self-defence after meeting him through her Craigslist advert offering ‘companionship’ for cash, then panicked and dumped his body.
But when detectives arrested her new husband Elytte Barbour, 22, he confessed. In chilling detail he told police he and Miranda had committed the murder together to celebrate their three-week wedding anniversary.
He said Miranda lured Troy into the car while he hid under a blanket in the back seat. And on his wife’s signal, Elytte had leapt up and wrapped a cord around Troy’s neck. As Elytte was choking him, Miranda stabbed Troy 20 times. After, the murderous couple spent the evening in a strip club. In August 2014, Miranda and Elytte Barbour both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty. They were jailed both to life, without parole
3. Honour Killing
In September 2003, Cheshire teen, Shafilea Ahmed, 17, was reported missing by her teacher. Her parents, conservative Pakistani couple, Iftikhar and Farzana, claimed Shafilia had run away, but six months later her body was found by the river Kent in Cumbria.
Police were convinced Shafilea was the victim of an ‘honour killing’ but couldn’t prove it until August 2010, when her youngest sister confessed she’d witnessed her parents commit the murder.
During the trial it emerged the teen had suffered years of violence at the hands of her parents. Her sister testified that she’d seen her parents push Shafilea on the sofa and heard her mother say ‘just finish it here’. They’d then forced a plastic bag into her mouth, suffocating her, before her father carried Shafilea’s body to the car wrapped in a blanket.
In 2012, Iftikhar and Farzana were both convicted of murder and jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 25 years.
4. Satan’s Orders
It started with an advert in a lonely hearts column.
Pitch-black vampire seeks princess of darkness who hates everything and everyone.
The ad was published in a German heavy-metal magazine by Daniel Ruda, 26. His future wife, Manuela, 23, answered. It was a match made in hell. Manuela truly was a ‘princess of darkness’. She hung out in graveyards, drank blood, slept in a coffin and had two of her teeth replaced with animal-like fangs.
On 6 July 2001, they murdered Daniel’s work mate, Frank Hackert, 33, claiming they had orders to kill from Satan. After luring Frank to their flat in Witten, Germany, they attacked him with a hammer before Manuela stabbed him 66 times. The couple carved a pentagram into his chest and drank his blood before fleeing. Frank Hackert’s butchered body was found at their home under a banner reading When Satan Lives.
They were convicted of murder in 2002, and sent to psychiatric hospitals. Daniel Ruda was committed for 15 years, and Manuela for 13 years.
5. Apocalypse Pact
On the evening of 27 September 2014 Benjamin and Kristi Strack were discovered dead on their bed. On the floor nearby were the bodies of their children, Benson, 14, Emery, 12, and Zion, 11.
Baffled police also found empty cups, and a bucket containing a lethal cocktail of drugs. Kristi and the kids had toxic amounts of drugs in their system, while Benjamin had deadly levels of heroin in his.
After an investigation the parents deaths were rule suicides, while Emery and Zion were ruled homicides because they were too young to consent to die. The death of Benson was recorded as ‘undetermined’ as investigators were unsure if he was capable of deciding to join his parents in suicide.
Friends and family told police the Stracks’ had worried about ‘evil in the world’, and had mentioned ‘leaving’ this world to escape a ‘pending apocalypse’. They’d assumed they were planning to move and live ‘off the grid’. But tragically, they chose suicide, taking their children with them.
6. Toxic Couple
Sexual predator Alton Coleman was on bail for the knifepoint rape of a 14-year-old girl when he met Debra Brown. Eager to please Debra immediately became besotted and the couple embarked on a ‘master-slave’ relationship.
She’d never been violent before. Yet Debra Brown happily joined her new lover in a murder spree that spanned six states and left eight dead. Their horrific rampage began in Wisconsin, in May 1984. They abducted 9-year-old Vernita Wheat, and her strangled body was found weeks later in an abandoned warehouse.
The following month they murdered Tamika Turks, 7. A 9-year-old, who’d been abducted with Tamika, survived, but the depraved couple had made her watch them kill Tamika.
Another six brutal murders followed, and the twisted couple would torture their victims. But with Alton on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, they were eventually spotted and arrested.
Alton Coleman was sentenced to death. Debra Brown was handed a death sentence, later reduced to life in prison. Alton Coleman was executed by lethal injection in April 2002, after 17 years on death row.
7. Faked Abduction
In September 2013, Asunta Basterra Porto, 12, was reported missing by her adopted parents, Rosario Porto, 46, and Alfonso Basterra, 51. A few hours later her strangled body was found on a forest trail.
Asunta was a bright, gifted girl, pushed on by her proud middle-class parents. Only, in 2013 the couple had divorced and Rosario suffered a breakdown. Three months later, Asunta was dead. Her parents were arrested, charged.
They were both accused of planning their daughter’s murder and making it look like a random act of violence. A post mortem revealed Asunta had been dosed with sedatives for months. The prosecution claimed, after giving her a dose powerful enough to knock her out, Rosario strangled her with rope, and dumped the body.
Alfonso’s computer contained provocative photos of Asunta and his DNA ‘from a bodily fluid other than semen’ was found on her underwear. The pair were convicted of murder and sentenced to 18-years. Both have appealed their convictions.
8. Fred and Rose West
In 1972, newlyweds Fred and Rose West moved their family into 25 Cromwell Street.
The house had a large basement, was big enough for lodgers. Only, the seemingly ordinary family hid a dark secret. By then, Fred, at least, was already a murderer – and both warped Wests had insatiable and sadistic sexual appetites.
Over the years, many young women were invited into the home. Either as nannies, lodgers, family or friends. Many of them never left again.
For nearly 25 years the Gloucester house was place of torture, depravity and ultimately death. Fred used the large basement as a ‘torture chamber’. Horrifically, the cellar became so full of their victims’ remains, the back garden became the ‘overflow’ burial ground.
In February 1994, the police got a warrant to search the property following a tip-off. They were looking for the couple’s eldest daughter, Heather West, 16, who’d disappeared in 1987. The search soon turned into a hunt for bodies. As Fred looked on, the patio was dug up, and more and more female remains were uncovered.
Fred killed himself in prison on New Year’s Day 1995. Later that year Rose was found guilty of 10 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.
9. The Moors Murderers
In January 1961 peroxide blonde Myra Hindley, 19, met Ian Brady, 26 at work. They soon became a killing team. Between July 1963 and October 1965 they murdered five children aged between 10 and 17.
Hindley would abduct the youngsters. They were then tortured by Brady, sexually assaulted or raped, had their throats cut, were beaten to death with an axe or strangled. They were then buried on the windswept wilderness of Saddleworth Moore. The sadistic duo had even recorded 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey’s dying moments.
Their sickening crimes were discovered when Hindley’s brother in law witnessed their final murder. Terrified, he went to the police.
Brady and Hindley were both jailed for life. Hindley died in November 2002, aged 60, while Brady, died in May 2017.
Sadly, victim Keith Bennett’s remains have never been found.