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10 Most Evil Children in History

“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.” - Henry Ward Beecher. 

But what if some exceptional ones show us the shadow of the hell? Step into the most bizarre stories of the Top Most Evil Children in World History. Beyond the usual tales of heroes and triumphs, this journey delves into the haunting stories of young minds that took a sinister turn.

Buckle up as we navigate the murky waters of juvenile malevolence, questioning societal norms and wrestling with the discomforting truth that darkness can lurk within the most unexpected corners of childhood.

1. Mary Bell (United Kingdom):

Mary Flora Bell is a woman from England who did something unthinkable when she was very young. Back in 1968, in a place called Scotswood, near Newcastle upon Tyne, she killed two little boys who were not even old enough to go to school. Mary was just ten years old when she did the first murder.

Here's what happened: Mary told the boys they had a sore throat and pretended to help them by massaging it. But then, instead of helping, she did something really, really mean – she strangled them to death.

In December 1968, when Mary was only 11, there was a trial, like a big court meeting, in Newcastle. They said Mary did these savage misdeeds because something in her mind wasn't right. They didn't say she was fully responsible for what she did. She was found guilty of causing the boys' deaths but not of murder. That means she was responsible, but not as much as if she were a grown-up.

2. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson (United Kingdom):

On February 12, 1993, in a place called Merseyside, something terrible happened. Two boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who were only 10 years old, did something unbelievable. They took a little boy named James Bulger, who was just two years old and treated him obnoxiously.

These two boys were seen on CCTVs at a shopping center, watching other kids and picking someone to hurt. They had skipped school that day and stole things from shops, like sweets, a doll, and paint. They even planned to take a child to a busy road and push him into traffic.

On that same day, James Bulger was at the shopping center with his mom. She let go of his hand for a moment, and that's when Thompson and Venables took him away. They led him to a canal, hurt him, and joked about pushing him in. They walked a long way across the city, and many people saw them, but no one stopped them.

Finally, they took James near a railway line, where they did very cruel things to him. They even threw heavy things at him and dropped a big piece of metal on his head. Later, they left him on the railway tracks, hoping a train would hit him and make it look like an accident.

Sadly, James Bulger's body was found by some kids a few days later. The boys who did this terrible thing, Thompson and Venables, were found guilty and sent to a special place for a long time. However, in 2001, they were released, but one of them, Venables, went back to prison later for committing more crimes. The case made a lot of people talk about how we should handle young people who commit such horrible misdeeds.

3. Joshua Phillips (United States):

Joshua Earl Patrick Phillips, born on March 17, 1984, is an American who committed a horrible misdeed when he was just a kid. Back in November 1998, when he was only 14, he hurt and killed his 8-year-old friend and neighbor, Maddie Clifton.

After getting caught, Joshua stated on November 3, 1998, that one day, Maddie came over to play baseball, but something went wrong. He accidentally hit the ball into Maddie's eye, and she started bleeding and crying. Scared of getting in trouble with his dad, Joshua did something awful. He took Maddie into his house, hit her with the baseball bat to make her stop screaming, and then placed her under the base of his bed. When his father came back home, Phillips talked to him for a while before going back to his room. Later, when Phillips found out that Clifton was still alive and moaning in pain under his bed, he took off the mattress, cut her throat, and stabbed her in the chest seven times with a knife from a Leatherman tool, and ultimately she died.

Maddie's family couldn't find her for six days, and everyone was looking for her. Joshua even pretended to help search for her. But then, his mom found Maddie's body in Joshua's room. The police arrested him. 

After the confession, he claimed himself living in denial, the week followed by the incident, saying, "I was putting myself in a fantasy world that nothing had happened. That was my defense mechanism for everything when I was a kid. I never made the decision to ignore it. I just did."

Joshua was sent to prison for life without any chance of getting out. He said he did it because he was scared of his dad, who was not nice to him. Some people think there might be more to the story, but it's really unfortunate that a kid could do something so abhorrent.

4. Lionel Tate (United States):

At the age of 12, Lionel Tate made headlines for the brutal beating death of a 6-year-old playmate in 1999. Tate's trial raised complex issues surrounding juvenile justice, mental health, and the blurred lines between childhood and criminal responsibility.

On July 28, 1999, Tate was with another kid named Eunick. They were playing while Tate's mom was watching them. Tate's mom told them to be quiet. After a while, Tate went to his mom and said that Eunick wasn't breathing. Eunick had big bruises on her legs, feet, and neck like she was hit by a really fast car. She also had a broken skull, hurt liver, broken rib, and a swollen brain. The people in charge said these injuries were like what would happen if someone fell from a super tall building.

They said it was first-degree murder, and he was given a tough punishment: life in prison without a chance to get out. People didn't like this because he was so young. They thought the rules for kids like him in Florida were not fair.

After Tate was told he had to stay in jail forever, the people who said he did wrong things changed their minds. They even said sorry and wanted him to get a lighter punishment. The judge in charge didn't like this change and said it was not fair to play with the rules like that. Later, another court said Tate's brain should have been checked before the trial. Because of this, Tate got a different punishment and could go home but had to follow special rules for a long time.

5. Jordan Brown (United States):

In 2009, 11-year-old Jordan Brown became one of the youngest individuals in U.S. history to be charged with homicide as an adult. He was accused of fatally shooting his father's pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, in New Beaver, Pennsylvania. This happened on February 20, 2009, in the morning. Kenzie was eight months pregnant, and she was shot while sleeping in bed on their farm.

Kenzie's little girl, who was 4 years old, told some people cutting trees nearby about the scary thing that happened around 45 minutes after Jordan and Kenzie's older daughter got on the school bus. The police found a shell from the gun Jordan got as a Christmas present near the path they took to the bus. Jordan got arrested for it.

Some important group called Amnesty International didn't like that they wanted to treat Jordan like an adult in court. They said it's against the rules of the whole world to give someone so young a punishment like life in prison without any chance of getting out. Lots of people, around 4,000, signed a paper saying they didn't agree with how they treated Jordan.

On the weekends, Jordan used to go hunting with his dad, Chris Brown. The gun they thought was used in the shooting was bought by Jordan's dad. He didn't talk about the problem in public until nine years later, in July 2018, when the big court in Pennsylvania said Jordan was not guilty.

Now, Jordan is in college, studying computer science. He talks about having some problems in his head from what happened but says he's working hard to make his life better.

Brown's case blurred the lines between juvenile and adult justice, forcing a reexamination of legal and moral boundaries.

6. Alyssa Bustamante (United States):

15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante shocked the nation when she confessed to the brutal murder of her neighbor Elizabeth Olten, a 9-year-old girl from St. Martins, Missouri, on October 21, 2009. Bustamante tricked Olten into going into the woods, where she then strangled and stabbed her. It's really sad because Bustamante didn't have a good reason; she just wanted to know what it felt like to hurt someone.

Later, Bustamante admitted to what she did and said sorry in court. She got in trouble and was told she had to stay in prison for a long time. They said she could maybe leave prison in 2024, but she'd have to follow special rules. Because she did something else really bad, too, called armed criminal action, she might have to stay in prison until 2054, when she'll be 60. It's a sad story about a young girl who did something really disturbing and has to face the consequences.

 Such chilling details of the crime and the apparent lack of remorse left a lasting impact on the community, raising questions about the factors that can drive a teenager to commit such atrocities.

7. Eric Smith (United States):

Eric M. Smith, born on January 22, 1980, committed something extremely dangerous when he was just thirteen. On August 2, 1993, he hurt and killed four-year-old Derrick Joseph Robie in New York. Eric was riding his bike to summer camp when he saw Derrick walking alone to the same camp. Eric tricked Derrick into going into the woods, where he terribly hurt him. He strangled Derrick, hit him on the head with a big rock, and did even more bad things.

Derrick's mom, Doreen, went to pick him up from camp but couldn't find him. It took four hours of looking, and they finally found Derrick's body. The news of this unfortunate event spread all over the country because Eric was so young, and Derrick was just a little kid.

Later, Eric told his mom that he did something brutal, and his family told the police. Experts checked Eric's brain and hormones but couldn't find a reason for his violent actions. Eric was often alone and got picked on because of how he looked. Some doctors said he had a disorder that makes people do violent things, but others disagreed because it's rare in someone as young as Eric. It's a very strange story that makes us think a lot about why such things happen and how we can help kids who might be struggling.

The heinous crime and Smith's subsequent trial brought attention to the complexities of juvenile justice, mental health, and the potential for rehabilitation in the face of such complex acts of violence.

8. Jesse Pomeroy (United States):

In the late 19th century, Jesse Harding Pomeroy, born on November 29, 1859, became the youngest person in Massachusetts history to be found guilty of serious murder.

In 1872, at only 13 years old, Jesse attacked several younger kids. One time, he beat a seven-year-old named Tracy Hayden, leaving him on a hill. Another time, he hurt eight-year-old Robert Maier, leaving him in an old outhouse. People got really scared because of what Jesse was doing to these kids.

After a few more attacks, the police finally caught him. Jesse admitted to being the one who hurt those kids, and everyone who got hurt said it was him, too. So, on September 21, 1872, Jesse Pomeroy went to court. He confessed, was found guilty, and was sent to a special school for boys for six years.

In February 1874, when Jesse Pomeroy was 14, he went home to live with his mom and brother in South Boston. His mom had a shop making dresses, and his brother sold newspapers.

Then, in March 1874, a 10-year-old girl named Katie Curran disappeared. On April 22, 1874, they found the body of 4-year-old Horace Millen by the marsh in Dorchester Bay. Even though there was no proof, the police suspected Pomeroy. Later, they found Katie Curran's body hidden in the basement of Pomeroy's mom's dress shop, thrown in an ash heap carelessly.

9. Nehemiah Griego (United States):

It's really shocking when kids do terrible things without any clear reason. Meet Nehemiah Griego, just 15 years old. On a regular day in 2013, he took a rifle from his house and did something unimaginably horrible.

Nehemiah went into his parents' room and shot his sleeping mom. When his little brother came to check, he shot him, too. Then, he went to where his 2 and 5-year-old sisters were hiding, and he shot them as well. After that, he got an even bigger gun, an AR-15, and waited for his dad to come home from work. When his dad arrived, Nehemiah shot him, too.

Initially, Griego got a juvenile sentence, but when he turned 21, the court said he wasn't fixed and still dangerous. So, they gave him a life sentence. His lawyers tried to change that, saying it was too harsh, but the court said no.

Then, in 2019, a judge decided he couldn't be treated like a kid anymore and gave him an adult sentence to state prison. Griego is 25 now and might get parole at 52. Tough break for him, showing that sometimes the justice system makes big decisions about people's lives.

10. James Fairweather (United Kingdom):

Beware of James Fairweather – a 15-year-old you wouldn't want to cross paths with! Run fast and far if you see him, or you might face a sharp object. This teen, labeled one of the world's most dangerous kids, took the lives of two people in Essex, England.

In 2014, he brutally stabbed two people, James Attfield and Nahid Almanea. James was 33, and Nahid was a 31-year-old student. Unfortunately, both of them died. Fairweather got caught, and at 17, he got a life sentence with at least 27 years behind bars. It's a chilling tale of a young person gone terribly wrong, leaving us to wonder how innocence can take such a dark turn.


These stories of young hearts gone astray leave a heavy ache. The thought that kids could do such terrible things is tough to bear. It's a reminder that we need to figure out how to stop the darkness from taking hold in innocent hearts. 

As we reflect on these heart-wrenching tales, may it fuel our determination to understand, guide, and heal troubled young souls. Let's hope for a world where every child finds light and love instead of being lost in the shadows of their innocence.

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