Pennsylvania May 31, 2015
10 Famous Homicide Cases In Pennsylvania That Will Never Be Forgotten
A few days ago, National Geographic
reported that evidence of the oldest known homicide has been uncovered– literally. Paleontologists in Spain found a 430,000 year-old skull that bears evidence of traumatic injury. Homicide has been around as long as the human race, yet we understand what drives some to kill as poorly as we ever have.
Every community has their gristly tales of murder. Below are ten of the most famous and bizarre homicide cases to occur in the state of Pennsylvania.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Harvey Miguel Robinson
Harvey M. Robinson is one of the youngest serial killers in American history and the only serial killer from Allentown, PA. From 1992-1993, he raped and killed three women in the city who ranged in age from 15 to 47. He is currently on death row.
2. Miranda Barbour
Miranda Barbour was a 19-year old newlywed when she confessed to slaying over 20 victims. The confession came after she and her husband, Elytte Barbour, were arrested for the murder of a man that Miranda lured on Craigslist. Barbour claimed that she started murdering people across the country as part of a satanic cult that she joined in Alaska.
3. Adam Leroy Lane
Adam Leroy Lane is nicknamed the "Highway Killer" because he was a truck driver and usually attacked his victims while on duty. He went on a murderous rampage in 2007, taking the lives of victims in Harrisburg, York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and is currently serving life in prison.
4. Babes in the Woods
The notorious murders of three siblings occurred in 1934, but has yet to be forgotten by the community. Elmo Noakes and his niece fled California after their family objected to their moving in together-- when they ran out of money, Noakes smothered his three children and buried them in a shallow grave in Cumberland County. After the children's bodies were discovered, the couple used the last of their money to purchase a handgun and they shot themselves.
5. Grady Stiles, Lobster Boy
Gary Styles was a traveller in a carnival throughout the duration of his life thanks to a genetic deformity that made his hands look like lobster claws. He was notoriously bad-tempered towards his family, a quality that culminated the day he shot his daughter's fiancee in the face with a shotgun. Eventually, his wife paid a fellow carnival worker $1,500 to kill her menacing husband.
6. Lillian B. Thorman
Thorman was a thirteen-year old servant when she fatally burned a two year old child on the stove. When she was caught by the infant's aunt, she confessed to slaying three other children in the same manner, claiming that, "I did it because I have the devil in me."
7. Charles Cullen
Charles Cullen was a nurse who is often considered to be the most prolific serial killer in American history, with over 300 victims. Though he was from New Jersey and worked there, he spent parts of his nursing career in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. Eventually Cullen was arrested in connection with a patient's overdose. He confessed to 40 murders, but investigators estimate the actual number to be much higher.
8. Robert Wayne Marshall
Robert Wayne Marshall knew that his crime was so heinous that he killed himself before the police could catch him. The 37-year old man would have been under arrest for dismembering and disemboweling two men in 1988 and 1992.
9. Harrison Graham
Harrison Graham's is a case that begs the question whether an insane person can be responsible for his or her actions, or if the shortcomings of the mental health care system should be held accountable. Friends allegedly repeatedly tried to get help for the 28 year-old mentally disabled drug addict who also had multiple personality disorder and a fervent attachment to his Cookie Monster doll. After Graham was evicted from his Philadelphia apartment, police discovered the bodies of seven women in his apartment, all in various stages of decay.
10. Jordan Brown
In 2009, 11 year old Jordan Brown was arrested for the murder of his father's fiancee, Kenzie Houk, and her unborn child. The fifth grade boy, an avid reader and football player, allegedly shot the woman before leaving for the school bus. He was tried as an adult and currently is being held in juvenile detention and may be granted a new trial due to spotty evidence.
What lurid news stories keep you awake at night? Tell us in the comments below!