Serial killers are terrifying when it's just one person - but when it's a whole family? That's beyond creepy. When most people think of serial killers, they think of men, or maybe killer couples or seriously troubled women.
What you might not think of are serial killer families. What's more horrifying than a family of murderers who kill together? These families are ruthless killers who you absolutely wouldn't want living next door!
The Bean Clan Ambushed And Ate Unwitting Travelers
Historians tend to believe that the notorious Bean clan is legend rather than real. Nevertheless, the story of this murderous family has a lengthy history and continues strong to this day. The Beans supposedly lived during the 16th century in Scotland. As the story goes, Alexander "Sawney" Bean, a Scottish farm worker, and his wife took up residence in a cave called Bennane Cave just after they were married. Mr. Bean then decided to support his family by robbing travelers who passed by.
Bean soon determined he had to kill the victims he robbed so he wouldn't get caught. The decision to murder the robbery victims quickly led to the idea of eating them, as well. Mr. and Mrs. Bean started a family - reportedly 14 children and 32 grandchildren - all through incest. They sustained their family on a diet of human meat, and as the children grew up, they supposedly began to take part in the murdering and the cooking. The Bean clan was said to have killed half a dozen victims all at once in an ambush. According to legend, the family killed and consumed as many as 1,000 victims within a span of 25 years.
Purportedly, the family finally met its end when King James VI of Scotland sent a party of 400 royal soldiers, accompanied by bloodhounds, to find and execute the brood. While no evidence has been discovered to support the lore of the Bean family, it's often said that there's a grain of truth in every story. It's been suggested that the tale of "Sawney" Bean is based upon the real-life 14th-century cannibal-murderer, Christie Cleek, a butcher who preyed upon (and ate) unsuspecting travelers.
Either way, the thought that a cannibal-murderer (or murderers!) was lurking in our midst is terrifying!
The Tarverdiyeva Family Went From Regular Day Jobs To A Life Of Killing
The Tarverdiyeva family was allegedly responsible for at least 30 murders in the Rostov region of Russia from 2007 to 2013. The matriarch, Inessa, gave up her job as a nursery school teacher in favor of robbing and killing people. She, her dentist husband, and her two daughters purportedly robbed and killed people while traveling under the guise of going on family camping trips. The youngest daughter was only 13 at the time the family was apprehended, but was not charged with the crimes. Family members of Inessa's husband, Roman Podkopayev, were reportedly also involved.
The family typically broke into homes to rob and kill its victims, although some victims were killed in their cars. Among the family's victims were six policemen, murdered for their weapons and money.
Inessa showed no remorse when she was finally arrested, saying, "I am a gangster by nature," and that killing was a "means of earning money."
The González Sisters Set A Murder World RecordVideo: YouTube
The González sisters killed at least 90 people in the 1950s and '60s in the state of Guanajuato, north of Mexico City. Delfina and María de Jesús González Valenzuela ran a brothel, called Rancho El Angel ("The Angel Ranch"), featuring prostitutes they kidnapped and enslaved. The sisters recruited women, promising them jobs as waitresses or maids, but then forced them into prostitution.
When the enslaved women became sick or refused to have sex with customers, the González sisters killed them by starving or beating them. When some of the women became pregnant, the sisters forced them to abort their babies. When the property was eventually raided, the bodies of several fetuses were found along with adult victims.
The sisters also killed male customers who brandished a lot of money. Their body count of 90 earned them the Guinness World Records title of "Most prolific murder partnership." In 1964, each sister received a 40-year prison sentence (the maximum sentence in Mexico). As many as 19 other members of the slave ring, some of them family, were reportedly also sentenced to jail time.
The Harpe Brothers Were Likely America's First Serial Killers
The Harpe brothers were likely the first serial killers in America. Although they were actually cousins, they grew close over time and became widely known as "brothers" Micajah “Big” Harpe and Wiley “Little” Harpe (due to their difference in size). In 1775, they left their homestead in North Carolina in search of money and adventure. Traveling through the wild and lawless backwoods of Kentucky and Tennessee after the American Revolution, they quickly became outlaws and murderers.
From 1781 to 1799, the Harpes murdered dozens of victims from Tennessee to Illinois, often teaming up with other outlaws along the way. Their victims were mostly travelers or pioneers in small settlements or inns. Their signature was disemboweling the bodies of their victims, filling them with rocks, and throwing them into the river to sink.
In 1799, one of the brothers was shot by the father of one of his victims. The other brother escaped but was finally captured and executed in 1804. The two men confessed to killing at least 39 people, however it's believed to be closer to 50.