1. Harpe Brothers
Labeled the nation’s first serial killers, Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe wreaked havoc in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi in the late 1700s. The murderous outlaws were actually cousins whose criminal careers began with the American Revolution. During the war, the duo sided with the British, but seemed to be more interested in burning farms, raping women, and harassing the American patriots.
After leaving the army in 1781, the Harpe Brothers, along with the two women they kidnapped and called their “wives,” headed for Tennessee, leaving a trail of victims in their wake. The foursome stayed in Tennessee for several years, and then began to move around the southern part of the country, with the murderous pair continuing their killing spree. In August of 1799, Big Harpe was shot while trying to be apprehended. While he lay dying from his gunshot wound, he was decapitated. Several years later, Little Harpe met a similar fate when he was hanged and decapitated.
2. Ouida Keeton
Pictured above is the McNeill Class of 1910, including Ouida Keeton, who is the first person on the second row.
The inspiration behind the book “The Legs Murder Scandal,” the story of Ouida Keeton is definitely one of the most infamous in the state’s history. It all began in 1935, when Ouida and her businessman boyfriend, W.M. Carter, killed her mother, Daisy. The two then chopped up the body and disposed of the remains by burning them in the fireplace and flushing them down the toilet. Well, most of the remains; Daisy’s legs were wrapped in cloth and left on the side of the road. Eventually, Ouida and her boyfriend were convicted of murder; however, Carter was granted a new trial, which never took place and Ouida was later found to be non compos mentis and lived out her days at Whitfield State Hospital.
3. Samuel “Wolfman” Mason
At one time, Samuel “Wolfman” Mason was a decorated militia captain, justice of the peace, and associate judge; however by the late-1700s, he had developed a penchant for criminal activity. Mason and his group of outlaws, which were known as the Mason Gang, frequently robbed and killed unsuspecting travelers along the Natchez Trace. In 1803, Mississippi Governor William C. C. Claiborne offered a $2,500 reward for the capture of Mason. Hoping to cash in, Wiley Harpe and another criminal promptly delivered Mason’s head to the authorities.
4. Glen Rogers
Considered the state’s most notorious serial killer, Glen Rogers’ reign of terror lasted one year, claimed at least five victims, and spanned four states, leading to him being dubbed the "Cross Country Killer." From 1994 to 1995, the serial killer targeted women with red hair. Rogers often met the women over drinks and, before long, would stab them to death, which is exactly what happened to Linda Price. The unsuspecting woman met Rogers at the Mississippi State Fair in October of 1995. Not long after Halloween, a deceased Price was found in her bathtub. Glen Rogers was eventually apprehended and sentenced to death.
5. Samuel Bowers
Former leader of the KKK’s Mississippi White Knights, Samuel Bowers is responsible for not one but two infamous murders of civil rights activists in Mississippi. The first of the two took place in 1964, when Bowers along with several other KKK members killed Freedom Summer workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney. Two years later, Bowers killed Hattiesburg store owner Vernon Dahmer because he allowed African-Americans to vote in his store. Although it took several years, justice was eventually served when Bowers was sentenced to life in prison.
6. Byron De La Beckwith
Born in California in 1920, Beckwith moved to Greenwood, Mississippi at a young age and soon became an active member in the KKK and the segregationist Citizens' Council. In June of 1963, Beckwith took his allegiance to a new level when he shot and killed NAACP field secretary, Medgar Evers. Beckwith went to trial in 1964; however, the jury was unable to reach a verdict. A second trial later that year yielded the same results. Evers’ widow remained persistent that justice be served, and in 1994, she received her wish – Beckwith was sentenced to life in prison.
7. Carolee Biddy
The Ross Barnett Reservoir is often associated with good times, but in 1970, the beloved Rez took on a whole new image when the body of young Mona Biddy was discovered by two fishermen. Since autopsy results revealed that Mona had suffocated, investigators knew young girl’s death was no accident. The discovery became even more horrifying when police named Mona’s stepmother, Carolee Biddy, as the sole suspect. Biddy underwent psychiatric testing at Whitfield and was eventually convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in jail.