What do you think of when you look into a child’s eyes? Do you think of innocence and a world of potential? Or, do you think of torture, murder and evil intent? Join your Horrific History Podcast co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, as they look at children in history who have tortured or killed in gruesome ways.
Learn about the case of a child laborer from Boston, Massachusetts with a love of dime novels who tortured his victims in awful ways and may have had an interest in taking trophies. After a period in reform school, mutilation and murder ultimately led to prison break attempts and ethical questions about the application of solitary confinement and the death penalty. What caused it all? Some say the smallpox vaccine, others talk about abuse, bullying and mental illness.
Desperate to stay together, two adolescent friends in New Zealand planned and executed the murder of a parent with a brick in a sock, reminiscent of some medieval duels. The trial included diary accounts from one of the girls recounting their planning of the murder and the question of whether girls so young could be hung for murder. Spoiler: they go on to live long lives…. with one of them becoming a successful and famous author by the name of Anne Perry.
And finally, explore one of the urban legends which has developed around the fear adults have of children! Have you ever seen them yourself? If you did, would it only be because of priming or pareidolia? Tell us your story!
Mutilation, torture, kindred spirits who would kill to stay together, this episode has it all! Whether you have children yourself or consider them evil minions to be avoided, you’ll find something to make your cringe in edition of Horrific History Podcast! So sit back with a nice book while listening to this new Horrific History episode and join us again in two weeks when we cover Part Two of Child’s Play.
Some of our favorite resources from this week’s episode:
- Historical Crime Detective
- Radford University
- Murder by Gaslight
- University of South Florida
- NY Times
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- New Zealand Herald
- Christchurch City Libraries
- Now to Love
- Daily Mail
- Jim Harold
Commercial break music by Dead but Dreaming.