No matter what state you live in, people do horrific things. And sometimes they’re so insane that they become the stuff of legend.
Today we’re going to start sharing the worst, most notorious crimes in each state in the U.S., starting with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas.
Warning: the following post is NOT for the faint of heart.
You have been warned…
1. ALABAMA: The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing
The Ku Klux Klan are a despicable organization, responsible for many of the most heinous crimes in Alabama’s history, including this one. Three 14-year-old girls and one 11-year-old girl were killed, and 20 others were injured when the Birmingham church was bombed in a terrorist act by the Klan.
Unfortunately, justice wasn’t served until decades after the senseless killings. The bombing occurred in 1963, but FBI ended their investigation two years later with no resolution. What’s more, they even blocked impending prosecutions. Eventually, the case was reopened, which led to Robert Chambliss being convicted in 1977. He was sentence to life in prison.
However, two of the remaining three bombers, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry, weren’t convicted until the early 2000s. The fourth, Herman Cash, was never charged.
2. ALASKA: Robert Hansen the Butcher Baker
Robert Hansen was a ruthless serial killer who actually hunted his victims down.
During the ’70s and ’80s, Hansen was a baker in the Anchorage area, but his personal menu of mayhem consisted of much more than rolls and muffins. He preyed mostly on sex workers in the Anchorage area, later admitting to killing at least 17 women and raping 30 more.
Why sex workers? Because, as he puts it, they were “harder to track and less likely to be missed.”
His modus operandi was to abduct these poor women, release them into the woods, and then systematically hunt them with a rifle.
Thankfully, this monster was sentenced to 461 years at trial.
He finally died in 2014 at the age of 75.
3. ARIZONA: Robert William Fisher
Although Robert William Fisher has never been formally charged with a crime, he stands accused of murdering his family in cold blood and then blowing up their house to cover up the killings. He’s currently on the FBI’s list of the Ten Most Wanted fugitives in America.
On April 10, 2001, the Scottsdale home of Robert and Mary Fisher exploded. Fire crews responded and found a home that was completely destroyed by fire. The house contained the severely burned bodies of Fisher’s wife Mary, who had been shot in the back of the head, and their two children, Brittney, 12, and Bobby, 10, whose throats had been slit from ear to ear.
10 days later, on April 20th, Mary’s Toyota 4Runner and the family dog were found in the Tonto National Forest. Fisher has not been seen since.
4. ARKANSAS: The West Memphis Three
The year was 1994.
Three teens were convicted for the murder of three young boys in West Memphis, AR. Part of the prosecution’s case was the idea that the killings were all part of a ritual with Satanic purposes. Why? Because the three defendants, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin listened to heavy metal music.
Yeah, that was actually part of the case.
The infamous trial and conviction West Memphis Three became a cause célèbre after the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills was released in 1996, and the case spawned numerous other documentaries.
In 2010, the three were released after serving 18 years in jail, but not before having to enter an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to assert innocence while acknowledging that enough evidence exists to back up the previous conviction.
The real killer(s) of Steve Edward Branch, Christopher Mark Byers and James Michael Moore have never been caught.