Unspeakable Times

People Who Killed Their Victims to Assume Their Identities

Police estimate that hundreds of thousands of dead people have their Social Security numbers and other aspects of their identities stolen every year, mostly for purposes of fraud. But a few identity thieves take their crime to the ultimate level: killing people just to steal their lives. Murdering someone and stealing their ID is rare, but when it happens, it is often the result of a long and involved con.

Killers who became their victims include a woman who murdered her sister after pretending her house was firebombed by drug dealers; a career fraudster who sent his victim off to another country, then killed him when he came back; a convicted rapist who killed a homeless man in order to fake his own death; and a serial killer known as the most-wanted woman in America. 

Here are some of the stories of people who killed others to assume their identities.