Listed below are 5 real Halloween murders that are sure to make you lock your doors and leave your lights on. When we think of Halloween, our thoughts wander to macabre tales of wandering ghosts as well as trick-or-treaters haunting the streets on crisp autumn nights. But there are darker things lurking in the night, real horrors with no regard for human life.
5. The Twisted Preacher
John White was a disturbed individual. By day, he was the pastor for a small church in Michigan, delivering sermons and attending to his flock. But while performing his clerical duties, White also fantasized about his own sickening desires of murder, rape, and necrophilia. His deplorable fantasies lead to one of the most horrific Halloween murders in recent years.
White had previously served time in prison for murdering one woman and stabbing another, but he had been paroled, making his way to Michigan where he took up residence in a small trailer park. It was here that he became involved with Sally Gay. Sally’s 24-year-old daughter Rebekah lived in the trailer park along with her 3-year-old grandson Conway.
On Halloween night 2012, something in White’s mind snapped. He made his way to Rebekah’s trailer. Rebekah had no reason to fear letting White into her home. The man was involved with her mother, and he had even babysat her son. Besides, he was a pastor. Rebekah paid for her trust in White with her life. White struck the woman repeatedly with a mallet and then wrapped a zip tie around her neck, strangling her with it. The demented preacher then carried the body into the forest directly behind the trailer park.
When he returned to the trailer, White dressed Rebekah’s son in his Halloween costume and then delivered the boy to his father’s house. It was 20 hours before Rebekah’s body was found. During the search, White asked his congregation to pray for Rebekah and her family.
White eventually made a full confession to the police about the murder of Rebekah Gay. He explained that he killed Rebekah because he had always had a fantasy about having sex with a corpse, but that he couldn’t remember if he had actually completed the act. White was sentenced to 56 years and three months in prison after accepting a plea bargain that reduced the charge to 2nd-degree murder. Shortly after his conviction, White committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell.
4. The Liske Family
On October 31st, 2010, after having spent the weekend with his father, 16-year-old Devon Griffin stopped by his mother’s house for a clean shirt before heading to church. While he was there he encountered his 24-year-old stepbrother, William Liske Jr. William was particularly upbeat, an attitude that struck Devon as rather odd, but he didn’t think too much of it and made his way to church.
When Devon returned home from church, he noticed that a strange silence hung over the house. Devon searched the house and discovered his family dead. His mother and stepfather Susan and William Liske had both been shot, and his brother Derek had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer. In shock and panicked, Devon called his aunt who in turn called the police.
After interviewing Devon and a brief investigation, the police arrested William Liske Jr. that evening. William had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was known for violent outbursts. In 2004, William attacked his stepmother with a coffee mug and stole her car keys. He was charged with robbery and assault, but the charges were dropped due to an insanity plea. He admitted to the Halloween murders of his stepmother, stepbrother and father and was sentenced to three life sentences without any possibility of parole. In 2015, William was found dead in his cell at Ross Correctional Institution. Investigators listed his death as a suicide, noting self-inflicted wounds as the cause of death.
3. The Death of Lisa French
On Halloween night, 1973, just like all of the other kids in the neighborhood, nine-year-old Lisa French went trick-or-treating. She should have been safe, with her greatest worry being how much candy she would collect but instead, Lisa French wandered into a predator’s lair.
Lisa headed out at around 6 p.m. and made her way around the neighborhood collecting candy. Eventually, she approached nearby neighbor Gerald Turner’s house. When she reached the door, she found it open, so she entered the house. Once inside, Lisa was grabbed by Gerald Turner, who carried her to his bedroom where he raped her and then strangled her. Turner then placed Lisa’s body as well as her possessions in several garbage bags.
A search party of approximately 1500 people gathered to search for Lisa. Police conducted door to door inquiries, in the hopes that a neighbor may have seen something that would lead them to Lisa’s whereabouts. This is when investigators first encountered Gerald Turner. There was already a sexual assault case against Turner involving a babysitter. Turner gave the police details about what he had been up to on Halloween night, but the police weren’t convinced, feeling that there were inconsistencies in his story, making him a definite person of interest.
On November 4th, 1973, a farmer found a trash bag containing the body of a nude little girl on his property. The search for Lisa French was over. In March of 1974, Turner was again questioned, with more inconsistencies occurring about the events that took place on Halloween night, 1973. Turner eventually agreed to provide the police with samples of a bedspread from his home as well as hair samples. After tests proved that the fiber and hair samples provided by Turner matched those found on Lisa’s body, he was asked to take a polygraph but the results were inconclusive.
Turner then began to speak candidly with the police, suggesting that Lisa’s death had been an accident. He admitted to viciously raping Lisa but claimed that he didn’t strangle her. Instead, he claimed that she had died from the shock and injury that had occurred from the rape. He received a 38-year prison sentence for 2nd-degree murder, immoral behavior with a child, the enticement of a child for immoral purposes and sexual perversion. He was granted parole in 1992.
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