All week long, Vulture is exploring the many ways true crime has become one of the most dominant genres in popular culture.
While Serial famously inspired a wave of true-crime storytelling on podcasts, HBO’s The Jinx and Netflix’s Making a Murderer arguablymade the boom real on television. Now, after three more years of stories involving murder and mayhem
In 2001, Andrea Yates drowned her five children in her home’s bathtub. The children ranged in age from six months to seven years. In 2002, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She isn’t the other mother to kill her own children. Filicide, the killing of one’s own child by the mother, happens daily in the United States, statistically speaking. There are roughly 500 cases a year, according to a 2014 study from Brown University. Here are five mothers convicted of killing children that were just barely born.
1. Tiona Rodriguez
Tiona Rodriguez of New York City was sentenced to 16 years in prison in February after being convicted of smothering her newborn son to death and then carrying his corpse around in a bag while shopping around Victoria’s Secret in 2013. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to manslaughter under extreme emotional disturbance. The mother told prosecutors that after she gave birth to the child
The North Carolina man accused of leaving his marriage for his biological daughter, who he later impregnated and married, is now suspected of murdering her, their baby and her adoptive father before killing himself.
Police believe Steven Pladl, 45, committed the triple murder-suicide that spanned several states over the past week.
Police first found Pladl’s 20-year-old daughter, Katie Pladl, and her adoptive father, 56-year-old Anthony Fusco, shot dead in Connecticut. Both were found buckled up in a black pickup truck near an intersection in New Milford. The driver’s side window had been smashed, according to the News-Times in Danbury, Connecticut.
Police said the body of Steven Pladl was found shortly afterward in New York. He died of a gunshot wound.
Hours after those deaths were discovered, 7-month-old Bennet – the son of Steven and Katie – was
A woman’s decomposing legs were covered in maggots and cockroaches and she was still alive.
Last week, a local fire department was dispatched to a home in Sugar Hill, Georgia after a call that a woman was unconscious.
According to an incident report written by the Gwinnett County Police Department, obtained by Oxygen.com, that woman was found unconscious but alive in her bed, partially decomposed and turned black from rot.
“Maggots and roaches were attached to her and eating at her flesh,” the incident report states.
The same fire crew was at the home just one month ago, to transport the woman there from a nearby hospital. They had used a “Mega Mover,” a tarp that used for moving obese patients. That tarp was still under the woman, covered in feces. The tarp, once white, was completely black and brown.
“The Gwinnett County Fire Department stated that they did not believe she would live much
A married couple from Indiana is accused of some pretty disturbing allegations of both incest and bestiality.
Keylin Lee Johnson, 52, and Sheila Lynn Johnson, 44, are accused of having sex with their three children, and even their dog.
After a woman told police that two of the three children told them of alleged sexual abuse, police approached the oldest child. That child allegedly told police that their dad told them that “incest was a normal way of life” and “the best way to build a family bond was to have sex with your parents, particularly your mother,” according to WISH-TV in Indianapolis.
“He (the father) also advised it was safer to have sex with people in your own family, rather than strangers,” police claimed the child said. It is unclear how old the children are but the alleged abuse has been going on since 2012.
When actress Heather Locklear was arrested for domestic violence and battery charges, the veteran actress was allegedly combative and threatened her arresting officers—and their children. “You f*cking deserve your kids to die! You f*cking deserve it,” the 56-year-old told authorities, according to People. “And when you find yourself in that position, think of me!”
The interchange was documented by Senior Deputy Sheriff Keith Hall based upon accounts by a Sergeant and two deputies who were all on the scene, as well as body cam footage from the Feb. 25 incident. Authorities came to Locklear’s Thousand Oaks, California home based upon a call by the actress’ brother. Whil there, Locklear told them that her boyfriend, Chris Heisser, had attacked her.
“Locklear told Deputy Alldredge that [Heisser] had strangled her and that she was afraid he would kill her,” Hall said. “Locklear stated she did not lose consciousness, but was strangled for a long time
A man from Youngstown, Ohio, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars for rape after he impregnated a pair of 14-year-old twins and their 12-year-old sister. Arnold Perry, 34, was sentenced to 27 years on Thursday, CBS News reported.
Before his sentencing, Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Jennifer McLaughlin told the court that Perry manipulated the family into letting him move into their home before he sexually abused the children, according to The Youngstown Vindicator. The girls’ mother let Perry stay with them when he needed a place to live, the Associated Press reported. They were trying to help him out, and he took advantage.
McLaughlin said one of the twins had an abortion. The other two girls were unable to terminate their pregnancies because they were discovered too late.
“These girls will suffer the rest of their lives because of this,” McLaughlin said.
A Missouri man has been charged with the gruesome killing of a toddler and her entire family. According to Fox News, 24-year-old Drew Atchison of Williamsville, Missouri has been charged in the deaths of 23-year-old Samara Fontaine Kitts, her high school sweetheart and boyfriend, 24-year-old Harley Michael Million, and their toddler daughter, 17-month-old Willa Fontaine Million (all seen above from their 2018 holiday photo).
Atchison reportedly fatally stabbed the two parents on Thursday at their home, per court documents. He then placed the bodies in the truck belonging to Million. The toddler was kept locked in a room overnight with dogs. The next day, the suspect returned to the home to apparently destroy evidence of the crime. At that point, he kidnapped the toddler and took her to the woods nearby. He disposed of the murder weapon, which was the knife he used on the parents, and then fatally shot the
Whether someone is live-streaming their killing spree or murdering in the name of an online mythical creature, it’s clear that social media is now a very present factor when it comes to the way people kill. Death by social media was the topic of a recent episode of Mysteries Scandals, airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
Lori Andrews, a Social Media Expert who appeared on the episode “Death By Social Media,” recently talked more with Oxygen about the disturbing new trend of “performance crimes.”
Andrews is a professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law where she teaches a law school classes on social media. She’s also the author of the book I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.
Andrews cites the fact that everyone wants to be famous as the reason people are posting their crimes to social media. “It’s