If you think October 31st is the day the ghouls and spirits come out to play, think again because the stories you are about to read prove that the real monsters aren’t hiding behind masks. Read a collection of horrifying Halloween murders that will make you question what could have possibly driven these individuals to commit such gruesome acts.
5 Horrifying Halloween Murders
5. Taylor Van Diest
Taylor had been walking alongside a railroad track, so authorities were quick to scan that area first. They stumbled upon Taylor, who suffered brutal blows to head. She died in the hospital, and her DNA was sent to forensics for investigation. After an extensive search, the police arrested a man named Matthew Foerster.
Foerster eventually confessed to the crime after an intense two-hour interrogation. He failed to give the exact details on why he murdered Taylor other than his desire to have “sex with her.” Foerster would also confirm that he was heavily intoxicated with alcohol and drugs during that night.
Foerster was quickly found guilty of the crime. He was convicted of first-degree murder and received a life sentence without parole.
4. Rebecca Cade
Police were quickly called to the area, where they were greeted by a grotesque scene. The corpse, which belonged to Rebecca Cade, was badly beaten up and hardly recognizable. Cade was a down-on-her-luck single mother who often dabbled with drugs and hung out with the wrong people. But even so, she did not deserve what happened to her.
Donnie Cochenour Jr. was named the primary suspect for Cade’s murder. Cochenour would confirm that he and Cade did have an argument that day. When Cade made a run from her killer, she somehow got caught up in the fence and was struck by Cochenour using a rock. The murder weapon was recovered around the area, and Cochenour was arrested for the crime.
3. Rebekah Gay
All fingers were pointed at John White, who at that time was a minister at a small congregation in Michigan. He confessed to the murder and added that he had been fantasizing about killing Rebekah and later having sex with her body for two weeks before committing the crime. White often babysat Rebekah’s son, so she had no problem with letting him in her home. But that day, once inside, White bludgeoned the young woman and wrapped a zip tie around her neck. He then stripped her of her clothes and later dumped her body in the woods.
But this was not the first time White had committed such crime. Police would later uncover a sinister history involving violent outbursts, brutal attacks, and necrophilia. In 1981, a then 22-year-old White tried to kill his 17-year-old neighbor but received a mere two-year sentence for his actions. A few years later, he struck again, this time killing the woman he was having an affair with. But without enough evidence to incriminate him, authorities were forced to let White go.
It is tragic to think that if only the court handled White’s initial attack on his neighbor better, none of this would have happened. White was found guilty of the murder of Rebekah Gay, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012. A year later, he committed suicide in his jail cell.
2. Shirley Lynette Ledford
In addition to suffering several blows to the face, breasts, and her left elbow, an autopsy report revealed that Shirley was subjected to brutal sexual assault. Investigators were left clueless at first and initially dismissed the case as a random act of violence. It was not until weeks later when a man by the name of Jimmy Dalton came forward with a harrowing account of what happened to Shirley and four other girls. Turned out, Norris had confided with Dalton regarding his exploits over the last five months, including details of the gruesome murder of Shirley Redford.
Investigators were shocked with what they would find next: hundreds of photos of young girls, bloodstained tools, and morbid recordings of the victims begging for mercy. It wasn’t long before the Tool Box Killers were convicted and tried for multiple accounts of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder.
As soon as both Bittaker and Norris were captured, more details about the night Shirley was murdered surfaced. The men admitted that while Norris drove the getaway van around the bustling streets of Los Angeles, Bittaker was beating Shirley up with both his fists and a sledgehammer. In addition to that, he sodomized her with a pair of pliers. Shirley later died after Norris strangled her with the use of a coat hanger. All these horrendous acts were caught on a tape recorder.
The Tool Box Killers were arrested and put on trial. Bittaker received the death penalty while Norris was sentenced to 45 years in jail.
1. Lisa Ann French
“I doubt that I could ever fully realize the terror you experienced at my hands. I can still see you standing the doorway with that felt hat beaming at having recognized me. Then I see the delight in your eyes turn to fear as I close the door behind you . . . “
These were the words in Gerald Turner‘s letter to his victim, 9-year-old Lisa Ann French. It was Halloween night and the young girl was dressed as a miniature hobo, complete with ragged jeans, a parka, and a battered felt hat. She knocked on Turner’s door, in hopes of getting some candy—but never made it out alive.
Earlier that night, Turner and his live-in girlfriend, Arlene Penn, made plans to go see Arlene’s mom. At the last minute, Turner urged her to go ahead without him. Arlene had just gotten home from work at this time, so she wondered what was bothering her boyfriend so much. She had to drive all the way back after realizing that her mom wouldn’t be home for another hour. All the while, she continued to wonder why Turner would not let her head up to the bedroom.
Little did Arlene know, her own boyfriend had just committed an unthinkable crime. Turner lured Lisa into his room, raped her, and then strangled the young girl to death. It is unclear if Arlene was home at the time of the actual murder, but it is horrifying enough to know that she slept in the same bed where Lisa was killed that same night.
As the evidence against Turner continued to mount, it did not take too long for the jury to find him guilty of murder. He was sentenced to 39 years in prison but was released on parole in 1998. In 2003, a parole violation put him back behind bars.
In the aftermath of the brutal crime, the city of Fond du Lac, where the murder transpired, officially restricted trick-or-treating to daylight hours.The Lisa French case also prompted lawmakers to require sex offenders to remain in jail until they are no longer considered to be a danger to society.