Greetings "Sally": :)
I've been at work exclusively on this topic since last night and I
apologize for it taking so long but I wanted to be thorough. This has
been a most interesting search as I am already familiar with over 70%
of these cases. As a former psychology major, I had previously delved
into serial murders and such because I am so perplexed and fascinated
as to the "why" of this type of behavior. Although you requested
"instantly recognizable ones" you may see some that are not that
recognizable to you. However, I recognized them and then I included a
few other examples I found so that you would have a larger amount of
cases from which to choose.
I've separated them into headings and titles as best as I could for
your ease of view given that this program doesn't enable bold or
KILLED BOTH PARENTS
***The Brothers Menendez
On August 20, 1989, Jose and Kitty Menendez were brutally murdered in
their home. Their sons, Lyle and Erik, were later charged and
convicted of the gruesome crime.
***Ronald Butch DeFeo, Jr. [the real Amityville horror]
On November 14, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. killed his parents and four
siblings in Amityville, NY. Later, the book The Amityville Horror
was written by people who purchased the house where the murder took
Kipland Kinkel, 15, had just been expelled from school in
Springfield, Oregon, for carrying a gun to class. He returned with a
He killed one student and wounded eight others,
one of whom later died, and he also caused a stampede that resulted in
Police officers who went to his home discovered that
hed killed both of his parents and had booby-trapped the house with
five homemade bombs---one of which he'd placed underneath his mothers
corpse. His classmates had once dubbed him the student most likely
to start World War III.
"On July 15, Walker pleaded guilty to killing his parents. He is
expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of
parole for 25 years. The sentencing of 17-year-old Blake Walker for
killing his parents, scheduled for tomorrow, may bring closure to
some, but others in this small college town say they have to know why
it happened before they can get any peace."
Stalked Olivia Newton-John
"Michael Perry also fell for the winsome Australian singer's charms
that year. Security consultant Gavin de Becker's people caught him on
his way to her California house and encouraged him to leave the state.
As soon as he got home to Louisiana, he killed his parents, his
cousins and a baby nephew. He's currently on death row."
"Officials said Billington has been offered life without parole on a
guilty plea in the murders of his father, Nigel, his mother, Geradina,
and his sister, Amanda in their Apison home. The state is expected to
ask for the death penalty should the case go to trial."
***Saeed Al Qashash
"Teenager Saeed Al Qashash, who was found guilty of murdering 12
members of his family including his friend, in June 1998, was executed
on Sunday. Al Qashash shot 11 members of his family: His mother
Thuria, his father Amin, sisters Karimeh, Wafa, Mervit, Insaf, her
husband and their two children. His brothers Mohammed and Mostafa and
victim number 12, his close friend, Atta Shalan."
POPULAR OPINION AND SPECULATION:
On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden allegedly killed her father and
stepmother with an axe. She was charged with their murders and a
trial was held. The verdict was not guilty yet it is popular
opinion that she did do the dirty deed.
As the mysterious murder of JonBenet Ramsey unfolded, evidence led
many to speculate that her parents were somehow involved in her
murder. Much speculation arose that JonBenet was killed by one parent
while the other covered for the spouse or that the son did it and the
parents were trying to protect him.
Alice Crimmins was arrested and charged with the murder of her
children but was not convicted. Her sons badly decomposed body was
found several days after his sisters body. Then, within a week of
the funeral, Alice Crimmins, mother of two small dead children,
appeared to simply resume her normal life. Normal life, in this
case included not just doing housekeeping chores and cooking for
herself and her husband - she and Edmund had reconciled - but evenings
at bars and nightclubs where she drank and danced the nights away.
Professing that a dingo had taken her baby, Azaria, Lindy was brought
to trial for killing her infant daughter. She was not convicted.
KILLED ONE PARENT:
Charles Whitman killed his mother and wife before climbing to the top
of the University of Texas clock tower on August 1, 1966, to began
sniping from there with a rifle. Various sites report different death
totals from the sniping - one example is 12 dead, 34 wounded.
Convicted of various deaths including her own mother. The judge in
the case was Henry McKinnon. He ruled that the evidence linking Velma
to the deaths of John Henry Lee, Dottie Edwards, and her own mother,
Lillie Bullard, be admitted.
***John List - Killed his wife, three children and mother - see below
in child section
"Jason MacLennan was "scared to death" of his father and despised his
family's wealth, which he felt drove his father away, his girlfriend
and other witnesses testified Tuesday. MacLennan, 18, is on trial for
first-degree murder in the Jan. 14 shooting death of his father,
Kenneth MacLennan, at their St. Cloud home."
***Henry Lee Lucas
"After Lucas served 10 years in prison for the murder of his mother,
he was released on parole ¾ free to kill again. And he did. During
Lucas second murder trial, in 1983, he shocked a Texas courtroom when
he not only confessed to killing the elderly Rich, but then announced:
"And Ive got 100 more out there somewhere."
"After less than four hours of deliberation, a jury in Philadelphia
found Woodham, 17, guilty of murder in the death of his mother. He
will not be eligible for parole until he's at least 65."
"Murder For Breakfast: The True Story Of Alma Petty And The Preacher
Who Betrayed Her by writer, painter and journalist Phil Link is the
extensively researched and meticulously pieced together true story of
murder and betrayal. Set in the late twenties, it tells of Alma Petty,
a young woman who confesses to Tom Pardue, an evangelist priest, that
she murdered her own father with an ax at the breakfast table; yet
when Pardue tried to bring the story to the authorities, he was
dismissed as a crackpot -- until the murdered man's body was finally
discovered and dug up."
"After a 4 day trial in Chesapeake Circuit Court, Jeter, 26, was
convicted in the 1st degree killing of her mother. Jeter faces life in
"After deliberating for almost 18 hours, more than three days, the
jury finally reached a verdict: third-degree murder.
Seventeen-year-old Valessa Robinson could have been sentenced to life
in prison but instead received 20 years."
KILLED HIS/HER CHILD/CHILDREN:
Saying he wanted Marilyn Lemak to ponder her "terrible acts" the rest
of her days, a DuPage County judge Monday sentenced the Naperville
woman to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1999
drugging and suffocation of her three children.
According to police, shortly after her husband, Russell Yates, left
for work at the Space Shuttle Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center
on June 20, Andrea Yates methodically drowned her five children in the
bathtub of their home. Police found the bodies of John, 5; Paul, 3;
Luke, 2; and 6-month-old Mary in the master bedroom, covered with a
sheet. The body of 7-year-old Noah was still in the tub, police said.
Police said Yates told them that she held Luke under water in the
bathtub, then Paul, John, and Mary. Noah walked in while she was
holding Mary under the water and tried to run away, but Yates said she
caught him, and drowned him too. When she finished, she called 911
and told police to come to her home, where they found her and the
The most bizarre character in this chapter is Bucharest's Vera
Renczi. She differs from most Black Widows because her motive was
jealousy, not profit. Her obsession was not her men's money, but their
devotion. This Hungarian beauty had many suitors and trusted not one
of them. Before she was apprehended, Vera had killed two husbands, a
son and an estimated thirty-two lovers.
In March, 1932, Daisy killed her son. Motives vary, depending upon
the version of the story one reads. Some authors blame Daisy's want of
Cecil's life insurance policy, but the Sunday Times Online (of South
Africa) cites other interesting prospects: "(The son) seems to have
been under the impression that he would come into an inheritance at
the age of 21. Perhaps he was demanding more than (Daisy) could give
him...(But) the most obvious answer is that she simply didn't like
Muswellbrook Local Court was told that Kathleen Megan Folbigg, 33,
was heard on listening devices placed by police after one of the
deaths to "rehearse" lines she believed she would later need to give
at a hearing. According to a police statement tendered to the
Muswellbrook Local Court, near Newcastle, Mrs Kathleen Folbigg's
diaries "indicate that she is responsible for the death of her
Convicted of beating his child, Elizabeth Lisa Steinberg, to death.
His wife, Hedda Nussbaum, was also frequently battered by him.
Susan Smith released the emergency brake and softly closed the
drivers side door. Michael and Alex were asleep in the back seat,
strapped into their car seats. As the car drifted into John D. Long
Lake, the headlights were on. The car entered the water slowly and did
not submerge immediately. Instead, it remained on the surface, bobbing
peacefully, while slowly filling with water.
Killed his four children because he tired of
On August 6, 2002, Maryland's Court of Appeals overturned Garrett E.
Wilson's 1999 conviction for the murder of his baby son Garrett
Michael who died in 1987. The Washington Post reported "Garrett
Michael's death was initially attributed to sudden infant death
syndrome, and Wilson collected more than $150,000 in life insurance.
Police began investigating the child's death after Wilson's former
wife came to them in 1994. Wilson was later charged in the 1981 death
of his first child, Brandi Jean, in Prince George's County."
In 1997, a court found Darlie Lynn Routier guilty of probably the
worst of human crimes: killing two of her natural children in
cold-blood. Motive is still a mystery, but the prosecution painted her
as a shrewish, materialistic young woman who, sensing her lavish
lifestyle crumbling, slew her two sons Damon and Devon in a mad
attempt to resuscitate her and her husband's personal economy.
As a result, the indictment against Pandy and his daughter named only
the five victims who had been bound to him by blood or marriage -- his
two former wives and his three children. Of them, not a trace
remained. What's more, his stepdaughter Timea, who had carried his
child and survived his alleged attempt against her life, refused to
testify against him in court. She told authorities that even after
nearly twenty years, she still feared the man.
Killed his wife, three children and mother. He talked about how List
believed that if he killed his family, he was sending them to heaven,
but he could not kill himself because that meant going to hell. He
claimed that once he started killing, there was no more control. Once
he left, he put it behind him and finally reached the point where he
only thought about what he had done on the anniversary of their
deaths. The trial on five counts of murder in the first degree lasted
seven days. On April 12, 1990, List was found guilty on all counts.
He was given life in prison, five consecutive terms. He would never
"In the morning of Feb. 21, 1978 -- Bob Rowe, a Mill Basin, NY, an
out-of-work Brooklyn lawyer, stood by the bed watching his teenage son
sound asleep, lifted a baseball bat and, with a deliberate blow
smashed his son's head. Jennifer, 8, was worried her brother was
sleeping so late, her father coaxed her into bed with her 12-year-old
brother, Christopher. ''We're going to play a game,'' Rowe told them.
''Close your eyes.'' With swift blows, he used the bat to kill them
both. At 5 PM, Rowe called his wife, Mary, at work, urging her to
hurry home. When she arrived, he told her: ''Stand in the middle of
the room with your eyes closed. The children have a surprise for
you.'' Rowel killed his wife by bashing their head in with the bat. He
was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and after several years in
a mental institution was released."
"Christian Longo tossed his family's belongings and stuffed the bodies
into luggage and pillowcases records say. Shedding a family can be
seen as a way to start over. Christian killed his wife and 3 children
then dumped their bodies into the Pacific, was captured at a beach
resort in Mexico, where he was living in a grass hut."
"The murders of Kim, Brad and Jill Camm have gripped this small
Indiana town. And as the trial begins, defense attorney Michael
McDaniel knows all eyes are on the courthouse, and on his
client...David Camm was sentenced to 195 years in prison - 65 years
for each of the three murders, with no chance of parole."
PENDING***Vartasha White and Kevin Bennett
"Police have charged the parents of a 4-year-old girl reported missing
in late September with homicide by child abuse. Vartasha McCollough
White, 23, and Kevin Bennett, 28, were arrested Wednesday. The two
claimed Kynande Bennett disappeared from a Kmart in Whiteville, N.C.,
on Sept. 29."
"One by one, between 1949 and 1968, each of the 10 children Marie Noe
bore died. One was stillborn, one died at the hospital just after
birth, the others expired at home, just infants, in their cribs, where
Noe said she found them blue, limp or gasping."
***Anthony John Allen
"Anthony John Allen, 68, from Poole, Dorset, had denied murdering
39-year-old Patricia Allen, and their children, Jonathan and Victoria,
who disappeared in May 1975...Allen was convicted by a unanimous
verdict at Exeter Crown Court after nine hours of deliberations
following a 12-day trial."
"On the evening of July 1, 1970, Emler Crawford methodically murdered
his family. He started with his pregnant wife. Stunning her with a
blow from a home made baton, he then attached alligator clips to her
ears and hands and plugged her in to the electricity. He'd even gone
so far as to replace the fuses with heavy duty electrical wire, so
they wouldn't blow. After killing his wife, he murdered his two girls,
Kathryn 12 and Karen 6. Kathryn was struck twice in the head with
savage hammer blows, shattering her skull. Karen, he struck once. For
reasons not known, he also used his electrocution device on Kathryn.
His only son, James was last, who it is believed was disturbed by
noises, had gotten out of bed and started towards his parents room.
James also had his skull fractured by hammer blows and then
electrocuted. Crawford then put his master plan into action."
"The Adversary, first published in France under the title
LAdverssaire, is a look into the life of Jean-Claude Romand, who
murdered his wife, children and parents in 1993. The question of who
done it is never a question at all; in fact, Romands guilt is
acknowledged in the very first sentence."
"Nine months ago, the bodies of Robert Bryant, his wife Janet, and
their four children were found inside their McMinnville-area home.
Bryant told several people that he had come to Oregon to start a new
life after being expelled from the Jehovah's Witness church in
California. Police believe that he murdered his family, then shot
"The last multiple-murder in Portland happened in 1983, when Robert
Galloway killed his wife, their four children and the family dog
before turning the gun on himself. Some think he did it because his
business was failing."
Other examples may be found at http://www.karisable.com/parentmur.htm
ATTEMPTED TO KILL CHILDREN:
The subject of the book "Small Sacrifices," Diane Downs was convicted
of attempting to murder her children Christie Downs, 8; Cheryl Ann
Downs, 7; and Danny Downs, 3, by shooting them.
KILLED PREGNANT WIFE:
Convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Leann.
Currently charged with killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn child
"Charles Stuart was probably a sociopath. Only a sociopath could lie
to his wife and everyone he knew the way he did, commit murder, and
play the role of distraught husband almost perfectly. This murder was
literally months, if not years in the planning. He showed no remorse
for the murders of his wife and son. His suicide note only said he did
not have the strength to go on. Apparently, he wanted the insurance
money to open a restaurant. A few days after his suicide, someone dug
up a commercial the fur store had made. It showed a smiling Charles
Stuart, admiring a model in a fur coat."
Other unborn children homicides may be reviewed at
It is suggested that Catherine Tramell, the character played by Sharon
Stone, murdered her parents. It was the theme of one of her fictional
***A Killing in Beverly Hills - Account of the Menendez murders
***Honor Thy Father and Mother: The Menendez Killings
"...his [Marcus Aurelius] power-hungry, jealous son Commodus learns of
the plan, murders Marcus Aurelius, and plans to execute Maximus in
order to secure his claim to the throne."
***Beyond The Clouds
"In the second story the narrator meets a young shopgirl (Sophie
Marceau) in off-season Portofino. She tells him in their first
conversation (done in English) that she murdered her father, stabbed
him twelve times."
"Seventeen year old slacker Anton Tobias wakes up one Halloween
morning to discover that both of his parents have been turned into two
headless Halloween decorations. After speaking to his equally
irresponsible friends, Mick and Pnub, he discovers that his right hand
has a blood-thirsty mind of its own and is hell-bent on wreaking havoc
whether he likes it or not."
"Kit Carruthers, a young garbage collector and his girlfriend Holly
Sargis from Fort Dupree, South Dakota, are on the run after killing
Holly's father who disagreed with their relationship."
***God Told Me To
"The storyline of this movie involves a series of motiveless murders
committed by various New York residents: a sniper shoots people from a
water tower; a father murders his entire family; and a cop (Andy
Kaufman) opens fire during a St. Patrick's Day parade."
"In an act of devilish boldness he even kidnaps the son of the
investigation team's leader, Seok. Then, in a stakeout, Seok manages
to shoot dead one of the murderer's underlings. Cloaked in the man's
clothes, however, is Seok's son, now dead by the hand of his father."
"As Jack is being interviewed and told the tale of a caretaker who,
many years ago, flipped and murdered his family, Danny's vision is
filled with torrents of blood and gore. Already a psychic link has
been established with the hotel's past, although Danny tells no one;
thus the family are soon on their way to Colorado."
"In his brilliant new film, Time Out, Laurent Cantet has taken a
tragic and sensational true story and turned it into a profound and
understated work of art. In January 1993 a man called Jean-Claude
Romand killed his wife and children; he also murdered his parents. He
had lied to them all. They thought that he was working for the World
Health Organization in Geneva, in fact, he was living off money stolen
from them and other friends. He murdered his family because the money
had run out. This, I assume, was the inspiration for Time Out. "
LINK BETWEEN A THEATER PIECE AND A TRUE CRIME OF ABOVE NATURES:
Menendez: In a true/fiction twist, Erik Menendez had co-authored a
screenplay with a friend, Craig Cignarelli, about the killing of
parents before the murders of his parents were committed.
I was not able to locate a theater piece except for Oedipus regarding
a true crime about these topics.
***Oedipus - Greek Tragedy
He discovers that he killed his own father.
I noticed that Pinkfreud was kind enough to answer in my absence while
I was away for a few days and Im glad she was able to assist you. If
you require any clarification of the links or information I have
provided, please request it and I will be happy to respond. :)
famous murders killed parents
"she murdered her children"
she murdered her child
she murdered her son
she murdered her daughter
she murdered her family
"she murdered her father"
"she murdered her mother"
"she murdered her parents"
[I also performed searches with the "he" and "his" in the same areas
as well as using the word "killed" - to save space, I have not listed
all the related terms with the male pronouns.]
killed his pregnant wife
murdered his pregnant wife
movies about killing parents
play theater true murder
I also conducted separate internal searches at Court TV's Crime
Library online using the above terms. Their website main page is
http://www.crimelibrary.com - I searched the archives of
http://www.crimemagazine.com as well
For film, I internally searched the Internet Movie Database with the
same terms as mentioned above. Their main page is http://www.imdb.com