Most people have had a lie get out of hand. Maybe you have to pretend you like olives for the rest of your life, or that you don't know how to swim. But it's nothing like the web of lies seen in the stories here. This list is about (mostly) normal people leading relatively normal lives, until the lies they've been telling finally catch up with them. The only solution? Crimes of passion... and straight-up murder.
What makes these creepy stories so unnerving? They're often about regular people who could be someone you know. Someone having an affair, someone with a gambling debt - we all know people who struggle with the truth or lead something of a double life. But how far would they go if it all caught up to them? We'd like to think, never as far as murder. We'd like to, but the friends and family of the people on this list probably liked to think that none of this would ever happen to them, either. It's amazing what a lie can do.
Jean-Claude Romand Murdered His Entire Family After Claiming to Be a Doctor
Jean-Claude Romand dropped out of medical school in Lyon, France, after just one year, but he was too ashamed to tell his friends and family of his failure. Instead, he simply never told them:
Romand spent a full 12 years pretending to go to medical school. Each September he enrolled in first year medicine, and acted like he was a student when he really wasn't. He borrowed notes from his friends, stayed up late cramming for tests, and even appeared in classes on exam day, but didn't actually sit for the exams.
After "graduation," he told everyone he had been hired by the World Health Organization across the border from Lyon, in Geneva. Every morning he would head into "work," only to put on a visitor's badge and hang around the WHO library. Roman married and his wife never suspected his lies. Roman also had a mistress, and he was lying to her, too.
Of course, because he didn't really have a job, he needed some way to make money, and he did that by acting as a financial manager for friends and relatives while secretly stealing money from them.
Eventually, his lies starting falling apart and Romand knew he'd have to come clean. In 1996, he beat his wife to death with a rolling pin, then shot both his young children in the head. He also shot his parents and even their dog. Finally, he attempted to strangle his mistress, but she fought him off.
Romand attempted to commit suicide but was rescued by first responders. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Years of Lies Led a Girl to Attempt to Murder Her Parents
Jennifer Pan didn't just lie to her parents, she created a total alternate reality. Despite failing out of high school, she had them convinced them that she had graduated, attended a local college for two years, and then transferred to the University of Toronto, just like her strict father had always wanted. In reality, she was staying with her boyfriend, Daniel Wong.
Despite years of maintaining these lies with everything from forged report cards to fake textbooks, she was undone when she claimed to be volunteering at SickKids hospital. Her parents didn't quite trust it because she had no uniform or access card to the building. Pretty basic stuff. When her mother followed her to her supposed volunteer job one day, they realized something was wrong. They confronted her and, while she admitted to not attending University of Toronto, she didn't reveal that she hadn't even graduated high school.
But the strict rules that her parents placed on her (like no cell phone or computer use) meant that her relationship with Wong broke down and he started seeing someone else. This put Pan over the edge. When she and Wong reunited they came up with a way to get rid of the parents and get a $500,000 inheritance. They hired hit men to stage a home invasion, making it look like Pan and her boyfriend were also victims, and kill her parents.
The only problem? Her mother was killed, but her father survived - and was really suspicious of why the robbers had acted so friendly with Pan. Whoops. Pan was sentenced to life in prison, as were the others involved.
Lovers Murdered Their Spouses and Staged a Fake Double Suicide to Cover Up Their Affair
Hazel Buchanan and Colin Howell may have killed to cover up their affair, but you have to give them credit - they very nearly got away with it. Buchanan was married to policeman Trevor, while Howell's wife, Lesley, was pregnant with their fourth child.
Both were very religious and when they were discovered having an affair, Buchanan and Howell asked their church and spouses for forgiveness. They promised to end the affair. Lies, lies, lies.
They kept having the affair, but when they got sick of the charade of being married and worried about their lies being uncovered, they took action. Using a hose pipe emitting carbon monoxide fumes from his car, Howell killed his wife before driving to Buchanan's and doing the same to Buchanan's husband. All while her children slept in the next room. They then drove the bodies off to another location and created a suicide scene, complete with family photos, church music, and a letter that Lesley had written previously threatening to take her own life. The deaths were found to be a double suicide. This was 1991. Buchanan and Howell separated six years later.
But years and years later, Howell had a "crisis of confidence." The truth came to light in 2009 - nearly 20 years after the crime - and, not just outing himself, he brought Buchanan down, too. Though she at first said that she was forced to participate by the manipulative Howell, it became clear that she had been a willing participant. Howell was given life and Buchanan was given 18 years.
Yang Qingpei Murdered 17 People to Cover Up Murdering Two People
Some people kill to cover up a crime. Yang Qingpei killed 17 people to cover up a crime. Oh, and that crime was killing his parents.
Yang Qingpei and his parents had had an argument about money and, trying to keep his gambling debts a secret, he ended up killing them. So far, so normal - as far as murder goes. But then he decided to kill his neighbors - 17 of his neighbors! - to make sure that he didn't get caught for killing his parents. You know, because there's nothing suspicious or attention-grabbing about killing 19 people.
Yang Qingpei was, unsurprisingly, caught and eventually confessed.