There have been hundreds of different murderers and serial killers, and being a killer seems like it could get lonely. But some couples are just made for each other in the most sinister of ways. These couples have a one of a kind chemistry that complete each other in a way that leads to rape, torture and murder. The commonality between these duos is that they almost always turned on each other when they were caught, blaming the other for their crimes.
Here is Wicked Horror’s list of some of the most horrifying killer couples to date. Providing proof that sometimes, when two individuals meet, it can provide a recipe for murder. Let us know your thoughts in the box provided below!
PAUL BERNARDO AND KARLA HOMOLKA
Paul Bernardo, born August 27th 1964, and Karla Homolka, born May 4th 1970, are known as the “Ken and Barbie Killers” of their home country of Canada. Paul Bernardo, also known as Paul Jason Teale was born into a life of sexual misery, as his father had been a child molester who raped his own daughter. By the time Bernardo attended University of Toronto Scarborough, he had developed his own dark sexual fantasies and enjoyed stalking and humiliating women in public by raping and sodomising them, all while stuffing dirt off the ground into their mouths.
Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale and Leanne Bordelais had a good upbringing and was a typical teenager, getting work as a veterinary assistant after her graduation. Homolka met Bernardo at a restaurant in Ontario on October 17th 1987, while they were both attending a convention in Toronto. She was 17 years old; he was 23. They became sexually interested in each other almost immediately and Bernardo proposed to Homolka on December 24th 1991. Homolka was the first girlfriend to encourage Bernardo’s sadistic sexual behavior. Together their sex was described as “animalistic” with no restrictions, though Bernardo was unhappy with Homolka for not being the virgin he so desperately craved.
Bernardo was a multiple rapist on his own but his wife went on to help him kidnap girls, videotaping their rape and sexual assault. Their wedding photographs are picture perfect but handsome accountant Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka had a distorted view of life and death. They formed a beautiful but deadly team and had already killed before their fairytale white wedding near Niagara Falls in Canada.
The first violent act that they committed together was against Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. Apparently, Bernardo was not happy that Homolka hadn’t been a virgin on her wedding day so to make up for it, Homolka drugged up her sister, Tammy, 15, and offered her virginity to Bernardo. The couple even videotaped the rape with Homolka also performing a sex act on her own sister. During the night, Tammy ended up choking to death on her own vomit, as a result of the drugs that the killer couple had given her. The pair initially escaped detection because they cleaned up so well, claimed Tammy had suffered an accident and police could not believe it was possible for a sister to inflict such cruelty.
The pair then raped a young girl together, whom Homolka had obtained for Bernardo as “a gift”. Things soon escalated to murder, as the duo raped, and killed, three women in an 18-month span–videotaping their crimes along the way. The victims were dismembered and the body parts weighed down with concrete blocks before being thrown into a lake.
They were finally caught in 1993, and naturally, both blamed the other for the killings. Homolka testified against Bernardo and received a lighter sentence. Bernado, now 51, is still in prison, but Homolka, 46, is now free and reportedly living in the West Indies with her new family.
The Moors murders were five notorious killings that scandalized the 1960s in England. The murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around what is now Greater Manchester.
Ian Brady was born in Glasgow as Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2nd 1938 to Maggie Stewart, an unmarried 28-year-old tea room waitress. The identity of Brady’s father has never been reliably known, though it has been claimed he was a reporter working for a Glasgow newspaper, who died three months before Brady was born. Myra Hindley was born on 23rd July 1942 and raised in Gorton, then a working-class area of Manchester. Her parents, Nellie and Bob Hindley beat her regularly as a young child. She was not only used to violence in the home but rewarded for it outside. In 1961 an 18-year-old Myra Hindley joined Millwards as a typist where Brady worked. She soon became infatuated with Brady, despite learning that he had a criminal record. In the year of 1963 Hindley claimed that Brady began to talk about “committing the perfect murder”.
The victims were five children aged between 10 and 17. The first victim was 16 year-old Pauline Reade. Hindley talked her in to getting into her van so Brady could brutally attack and rape her. She was then buried on the Moor. They repeated this pattern four more times, all with children they lured out to the remote Moor. All were tortured, sexually assaulted or raped and then had their throats cut, were beaten to death with an axe or strangled and buried on the windswept wilderness of Saddleworth, outside Manchester. With their last killing, they got Myra’s 18-year old brother-in-law, David Smith in on the act. As Ian killed a young boy with an axe, David helped Brady hide the body, but David proved to be the gruesome pair’s undoing as he contacted the police and told them what he had seen. The disturbed couple even taped some of their victims’ dying cries which were played to the jury at their trial. The body of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, who went missing in 1964, has never been found.
On May 6th, 1966 Ian Brady was found guilty of three murders, and Myra Hindley was found guilty of two. Hindley died aged 60 in a Suffolk hospital from a chest infection after suffering a heart attack at Highpoint Prison in November 2002. Brady, now 76, is in frail health at Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside. Last year he lost a legal bid to be allowed to starve himself to death.
Gerald Gallego, born 17th July 1946 grew up physically and emotionally abused by his mother and her numerous boyfriends. His father was a convicted murderer who was executed for the murder of two policemen. By the age of thirty-two, Gerald had left numerous women. He also had a daughter, whom he abused sexually. Charlene Gallego (born Charlene Adelle Williams, 10th October, 1956) had a respected father and loving mother. By high school Charlene had begun using drugs and drinking heavily. Charlene had two failed marriages by the time she met Gerald, and married himself six times by the age of 30, Gerald was a violent and unstable man.
The couple fell insanely in love and enjoyed rough sex, renting a house together within a week of meeting. Charlene accepted that he was interested only in his own sexual satisfaction and was very submissive to his needs. Gerald would bring home women for threesomes with Charlene and even sodomized his own fourteen-year-old daughter and her friend, but it is unclear whether Charlene was in the same room or just in the apartment. Sources suggest that Charlene broached the idea of kidnapping women to become sex slaves, but together the couple were responsible for a two-year reign of terror that began in 1978, killing 11 teenage and young adult victims after using them as sex slaves.
Charlene, who was utterly dominated by Gerald, would lure the girls into their Dodge van by promising them marijuana, and they’d find Gerald waiting there with a gun. Gerald would rape the girls, then shoot them and dump them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Charlene herself later got involved in the raping. It was a pattern the couple repeated until their van registration number was connected to one of the murders. Finally, after killing a man and kidnapping his girlfriend, police tracked them down.
Charlene turned evidence against her husband at their 1984 trial in return for a 16-year, eight months sentence. Gerald died from cancer in 2002 at Nevada State Prison Medical Centre. Charlene was released in 1997 and lives in California under a different name.
Fred and Rosemary West are responsible for eleven murders between 1967 and 1987. Their home, nicknamed the “House of Horrors”, at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, was later demolished.
Frederick Walter Stephen West was born September 29th 1941 into a poor family of farm workers in Heredfordshire. It has been suggested that incest was an accepted part of the household, and that his father taught him bestiality from an early age. In police interviews, Fred recalled that his father had said on many occasions “Do what you want, just don’t get caught doing it”.
Rosemary Pauline West born November 29th 1953 grew up into a moody teenager and performed poorly at school. Rose’s parents split up in her youth and she went to live with her father at the age of 16. Her father, who was a paranoid schizophrenic, repeatedly abused her both physically and sexually. It was around this time that Rose met and began dating a previously married Fred. Her father disapproved of the relationship, threatening to call social services and threatening Fred directly. By 1970, Rosemary became pregnant by Fred and they moved to Midland Road, Gloucester.
In 1971, Fred went to prison for theft, and Rosemary murdered Fred’s stepdaughter because the girl wouldn’t cry during the beatings she gave her. When Fred’s ex-wife showed up to get her daughter, she disappeared. Once Fred got out, Rosemary began to prostitute herself out with the permission of her husband and even willingly slept with her own father on some occasions. In 1972, Fred raped his 8-year old daughter for the first time. The Wests had a nasty habit of abusing their daughters and filming it.
Fred had found the perfect partner in Rose who shared his ability to use young, often homeless women as playthings before strangling them, dismembering their bodies and concealing them under the cellar floor. These women included hitchhikers, children in their neighborhood and their own daughter, Heather West. Their home was often full of their children and lodgers with Rose in control of increasingly bizarre and perverted sexual activities as well as working as a prostitute from her bedroom.
In 1994, the police received a tip that “Heather was buried under the patio.” During their search, they found the remains of 10 women. In 1995, Fred hanged himself while awaiting his trial. Rosemary ended up being convicted of ten murders and was sentenced to life in prison. She is currently an inmate at HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham.
Charles Starkweather was 19 and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate only 14 when the pair went on a two month killing spree that shocked the nation. Charles Raymond Starkweather born November 24th 1938, suffered from poor vision and a speech impediment and was bullied at school, but as he grew older and stronger he took revenge by beating up the bullies. Caril Ann Fugate, born July 30th 1943 is the youngest female in United States history to date to have been tried for first-degree murder.
During a bungled raid in 1957 Starkweather killed a garage attendant and later claimed that after killing, Starkweather believed he had transcended his former self, reaching a new plane of existence in which he was above and outside the law. On January 21, 1958, Starkweather went to Fugate’s home in rural Nebraska, she was not there and was thrown out by her mother and stepfather and told to stay away. He shot them both and then strangled Fugate’s two year old half-sister. When Fugate arrived, they hid the bodies behind the house. They remained in the house until shortly before the police, alerted by Fugate’s suspicious grandmother, arrived on January 27th.
Over the next two months, they raped, robbed and murdered almost at random, including two High School teenagers in their car for just $4. They were finally caught when, after needing a new car and having trouble with it, they had a fight with a passing motorist who had stopped to help them. While attempting to drive away in a car with a push-pedal emergency brake, which was new to Starkweather, the car stalled. He tried to restart the engine and a passing motorist stopped to help. Starkweather threatened him with the rifle, and an altercation ensued. At that moment, a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene. Fugate ran to him, yelling something to the effect of: “It’s Starkweather! He’s going to kill me!” Both were arrested and a trial began.
Charles Starkweather was executed by electric chair at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska, at only 20 years old on June 25th, 1959. He is buried in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, along with five of his victims. Caril Ann Fugate was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled in 1976; having served just 17 years. She currently lives under an assumed name in Michigan.
The events inspired the 1973 movie Badlands, starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen.
Ray Copeland was born December 30th 1914. Faye Della Wilson Copeland, born August 4th. The pair became the oldest couple to be sentenced to death in the United States after they were convicted in 1990 of killing five drifters. Ray was 76 and Faye 69 when they were convicted of the mass murder.
As a young man, Ray began a life of petty crime, stealing livestock and forging checks, until he was caught and served a year in jail. After his release in 1940, he met Faye Wilson, and they were married soon after. They quickly had several children and money became tight. Ray continued to steal livestock and forge checks, but his increasingly bad reputation meant that the Copeland family had to keep moving around. During this time, Ray served several jail sentences, until he finally came up with a new plan: A way of improving his illegal money-making methods so as to be undetected. The couple used crime to help feed their several children and used drifters to sell the cattle they stole as they had become too easily recognized at livestock markets around Missouri. Ray then decided on a foolproof way of making sure each hired hand did not inform on them by marching them into the barn and shooting them in the back of the head with a .22 rifle before moving on to the next one.
They were finally caught when a drifter told police he’d seen the remains of human bodies on their property. While Ray had a long history of crime, Faye swore that she had nothing to do with the murders and even claimed that she had no idea that her husband was committing them. However, after the police found a list of their murder victims with X’s written by each name, they chose not to believe her lies. The two were eventually sentenced to death.
James Clifford Carson (also known as Michael Bear Carson) was born in 1950, and Suzan Barnes Carson, who was born in 1941, became famous as the San Francisco Witch Killers. They have at least three known victims, and may have killed as many as a dozen people (who they claimed they had “evil energy”) between 1982 and 1983 in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1980, James Carson, who had a master’s degree in Chinese studies, was married and living with one child in Phoenix, Arizona, when his wife noticed severe behavior changes and left for California with their child. James met and began a relationship with Suzan, who had two teenage sons and had recently been divorced. The two married and descended into a life of hard drugs. They started a killing spree in 1981 by attacking their roommate, clubbing her with a pan and stabbing her 13 times before hiding the body wrapped in a blanket in the basement. They killed at least two more people, attempting to rid the world of witchcraft. They had a list of others to kill, some people who were acquaintances, and others in the celebrity world. They were eventually caught, and held a press conference admitting to the murders, which they claimed were done to break evil spells that had been cast on them. The Carsons were sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1984 and are suspects in nearly a dozen other deaths in the U.S. and Europe.
Douglas Daniel Clark, born March 10th, 1948 and his accomplice Carol M. Bundy, born August 26th 1942, were known as the “Sunset Strip Killers.” They were accused and subsequently convicted of a series of murders in Los Angeles during the late spring and early summer of 1980.
Clark was the son of Naval Intelligence officer, Franklin Clark. The family moved a lot during Clark’s childhood due to his father’s work and Clark later claimed to have lived in thirty-seven different countries. His life began to unravel when he was discharged from the Air Force and drifted around for the next decade, often working as a mechanic. Clark’s real concentration was his “vocation as a sexual athlete: ‘the king of the one night stand’ as he liked to call himself. One of the bars Clark frequented in the area was called Little Nashville, where he met Carol Bundy in 1980. Bundy had a troubled childhood. Her mother died when she was young and her father sexually abused her. Then, when her father remarried, he put her in various foster homes. When Bundy was 17 years old, she married a 56-year-old man. By the time she met Clark at the age of 37, she had just escaped a third marriage to an abusive man, by whom she had two young sons. Bundy had begun an affair with her apartment block manager Jack Murray around this time. She had even attempted to bribe Murray’s wife into leaving him, but she wasn’t pleased and told Murray to evict Bundy from the block.
Soon after meeting, Clark and Bundy they were living together, and sharing their dark sexual desires. In June, Clark murdered two prostitutes, then murdered two more a few weeks later, this time bringing a trophy back–one of their heads. Bundy put makeup on the head and they used it for sex games, cleaning it afterwards and placing it in a box. Bundy still had an infatuation with Jack Murray, and drunkenly confessed her crimes to him. Clark wasn’t a fan of this, and put together a plan for Bundy to kill Murray by luring him into a van for sex. Bundy did just that, then shot and decapitated the guy.
Bundy finally broke down and confessed to her co-workers who called the police. Bundy gave to them a full and to-the-point confession about her and Clark’s crimes. Bundy was charged with two murders: Murray and the unknown victim whose killing she confessed to having been present for. Clark was charged with six murders. Clark acted as his own lawyer and pinned all of the murders on his girlfriend, trying to portray himself as an innocent dupe. The jury was not fooled and Clark got the death penalty in 1983. Bundy made a plea bargain and in return for her testimony and received a life sentence, but died in prison in 2003. Clark remains on California’s death row.
Amanda Baggus and her partner David Lehane were jailed in 2007 for 10 years for the imprisonment of Kevin Davies at the couple’s home in Badger’s Way, Bream, which eventually led to his death. Scott Andrews, who helped Baggus and Lehane keep Mr Davies prisoner, was sentenced to nine years.
It is alleged that the epileptic Mr Davies was locked inside their shed, apparently as a punishment for failing to pay a minor debt. The couple had “befriended” Davies when he moved to the village of Bream in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and quickly escalated his role from helping Lehane repair cars to that of a domestic slave. Lehane and Baggus, who had an 11-year-old son, tortured and humiliated the defenseless man, helped by accomplice Andrews. Davies suffered regular beatings, was forced to drink weed killer and given potato peelings to eat. The trio also branded his buttocks with a knife, broke his ribs and scalded his thighs and testicles with corrosive liquid. Mr Davies plight was recorded on videotape in hostage style clips, filmed against a black curtain backdrop. Baggus kept a diary detailing the abuse. One entry stated: “Made sure Kevin has a good night by getting Dave to beat him up.”
On September 26th, Davies collapsed and died, his bloodstained body was dragged into the kitchen by the couple before an ambulance was called. When the paramedics peeled back his clothes they found that his weedy frame was dotted with cuts, bruises and burns. The trio were jailed at Bristol Crown Court in July 2007 with Mr Justice Gray describing their actions as “utterly inhumane”.
Steven Hoskin, 38, of St Austell, Cornwall fell from a viaduct in 2006 after being tortured by Sarah Bullock and Darren Stewart.
16 year old Bullock and her older lover Stewart had moved into Hoskin’s flat and fleeced his benefit money as they indulged in daily humiliation of their trusting friend with special needs.
They would burn him with cigarettes, make him wear a dog collar and make them fetch them beer. The nasty pair’s final act was a sustained beating to make him falsely confess to being a pedophile before forcing him to swallow 70 paracetamol tablets. They then marched him to the Trenance Viaduct on the outskirts of St Austell, Cornwall, in the middle of the night. They rolled him a final cigarette before forcing him to climb over the safety rail. Bullock laughed as she stamped on the man’s hands as he desperately clung to railings. The 16-year-old also delivered a kick to Steven Hoskin’s face before he lost his grip and plunged 100ft. Hoskin, with a reading age of six and described as a child in a man’s body, landed on parked cars and suffered horrendous injuries. Bullock calmly strolled back to the flat with Stewart where she demanded sex before dialing 999 and reporting Hoskin missing.
They were found guilty of murder at Truro Crown Court in July 2007. Stewart was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Bullock got 10. She lost an appeal against her sentence in 2012 claiming that Stewart was a malign influence. She will be eligible to apply for parole in June 2016.