Whether it's because of a friend, an ex, or a family member, we've all felt the familiar sting of jealousy. "Thou shalt not covet" might be a good rule and all, but jealousy is a human emotion that's often hard to turn on and off. The following people held so little control over their envious feelings they ended up killing because of them. In many cases, the jealousy started out small and grew to increasingly monopolize their every thought and action. This particular set of crimes demonstrates that getting bit by the green-eyed monster can sometimes end in horror.
These jealous murderers targeted family members, lovers, and friends for their crimes of passion. And like a slew of other terrible crimes, these are real-life crimes that ended in a bloody and horrifying way.
In one of the more disturbing murder cases ever, now infamous Gertrude Baniszewski, alongside her teenage children, viciously tortured and murdered 16-year-old Sylvia Liken in 1965. Liken and her sister were placed under Baniszewski's care by their parents, who worked in a carnival, for several months.
During this time, Baniszewski repeatedly "punished" Sylvia Liken for prostitution and pregnancy, though she was actually a virgin, while delivering bizarre sermons about the filthiness of women. She encouraged her children to torture Liken as well, including pushing her down the stairs and making her eat human feces, until Liken finally died of brain hemorrhage and shock.
Baniszewski later claimed she was on drugs the entire time, but it's been theorized she was jealous of Liken's beauty and youth, while Baniszewski herself had been marred by many troubled relationships in her past. She was let out on parole after just twenty years in prison.see more on Gertrude Baniszewski
In one of the craziest love triangles gone wrong, Belgian woman Els Clottermans murdered her skydiving partner and rival lover by the same name, Els Van Doren. Buckle up, this story gets a tad bit confusing: Clottermans and Van Doren both met and fell in love with the young and handsome Dutchman Marcel Somers at their parachute club in Zwartberg. Though the 38-year-old Van Doren was married, both she and Clottermans began sleeping with 25-year-old Somers according to a strict schedule: Clottermans had Fridays, Van Doren had Saturdays.
About a week before the murder in 2006, Clottermans spent the night on Somers's couch, where she overheard Van Doren and Somers, well, not sleeping. Spying Van Doren's parachute within reach, she tampered with the release strings. When the trio all went on a sky-diving trip together the following week, Van Doren plummeted to her death. Clottermans is eligible for release after 10 years.
When 60-year-old business woman Sadie Hartley got back together with her old boyfriend Ian Johnston, she had no idea the jealous rivalry she ignited. Sarah Williams, 35, had slept with Johnston while he was single and seemingly became obsessed. The pair continued to communicate through occasional sexting once he was back together with Hartley.
But Williams saw one roadblock, and that roadblock was Hartley. So she enlisted her longtime friend, Katrina "Kitt" Walsh, to plan the perfect murder. The two women spent a year plotting up ways to kill Hartley, which Walsh documented meticulously in her diary. In January 2016, after enacting a "dry run" of the crime with a fake flower delivery, Williams entered Hartley's home, used a stun gun on her, and stabbed her to death.
Despite all their planning, the two were apprehended not long afterward, and both were found guilty of murder.
In 2013, Melanie Smith was convicted of five counts of murder and branded by headlines as "Britain's Most Evil Woman" after she set fire to her flat building, killing the upstairs residents. Smith had grown jealous and resentful of her upstairs neighbor Lee Anna Shiers and her happy relationship with partner Liam Timbrell, particularly because of Smith's tempestuous relationship with her own boyfriend who she often suspected of cheating.
After hearing Shiers and Timbrell having sex one night, Smith became increasingly angry and lit the pram Shiers often left in the hallway on fire. The ensuing blaze killed not only Shiers and Timbrell, but her young son, nephew, and niece, who were all staying with her that night. Smith was sentenced to 30 years.