What is it about the worst of human nature that so many people find fascinating? Is it a quest to understand the depravity that roils around in the mind of a psychopath? Or perhaps it’s just a glimpse into the darkest parts of ourselves that makes weird or brutal true crimes so fascinating? Either way, whenever a strange crime or terrible act is committed, there’s some small part of us that can’t help but look at the terror.
Throughout history, normal people have sunk to ghastly depths to handle the world around them. We may not be able to comprehend why exactly people do these things, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s something undeniably alluring about them. Read on for a list of some of the strangest crimes in history.
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala Was a Contestant on The Dating Game - and WON
In 2010, Rodney Alcala was captured by police and brought to trial for an incredibly expansive list of crimes. By the time police had tallied up all of his potential victims, they discovered that Alcala had raped and possibly murdered as many as 130 victims between 1978 until his capture.
The weirdest bit of Alcala’s crime spree, though, was his appearance as a bachelor on The Dating Game, which he won.
Carl Tanzler Lived with a Corpse for Nine Years Before He Was Discovered
Carl Tanzler was working at a hospital in 1930 when he fell in love with a young Cuban-American woman named Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos. When the couple met, de Hoyos was dying from tuberculosis (a terminal condition in the 1930s). Throughout the last year of her life, Tanzler showered the young woman with gifts and even purchased an expensive mausoleum when she died.
After her death, Tanzler visited de Hoyos’s grave, singing Spanish love songs to her. He later claimed that her spirit encouraged him to remove her from the grave and take her home. So, one night, haunted by these ghostly requests, Tanzler carried de Hoyos’s corpse home in a wagon.
Over the next nine years, he replaced her skin with silk, stuffed her body with rags to keep its shape, and used perfumes to disguise the smell. It wasn’t until de Hoyos’s sister, Florinda, stormed into his home with police in tow that the body was discovered. Tanzler wasn’t actually prosecuted because the statute of limitations on his initial crime had already lapsed.
Jasmine Richardson Helped Kill Her Family Under the Influence of a "Werewolf"
In August of 2016, 22-year-old Jasmine Richardson was set free from a Canadian prison, ten years after she and her ex-boyfriend committed a heinous crime. In 2006, then-12-year-old Richardson and her boyfriend Jeremy Steinke murdered Richardson’s family in cold blood.
In the months leading up to the horrible act, the Canadian pre-teen had made a quick transition from a bright, happy girl to a morbid goth kid. Authorities claimed that this transition was a result of 23-year-old Steinke’s influence. Steinke, in fact, believed himself to be a 300-year-old werewolf.
Whatever the reasons, this 12-year-old reportedly slashed her little brother’s throat one evening while Steinke stabbed her parents to death.
Issei Sagawa Might Be the World’s Most Horrendous Case of "Affluenza"
In June 1981, Japanese citizen Issei Sagawa was caught in a Parisian park with two suitcases in his hands. Inside the suitcases were the dismembered body parts of a fellow student, Renée Hartevelt. Three days before he was caught with the bodies, Sagawa had shot and killed Hartevelt and then spent the intervening time eating various parts of her body.
For his crime, the affluent young man spent five years in a psychiatric hospital, after which time he was able to check himself out and return to his native Japan. Over the thirty years since his crime, Sagawa has not only enjoyed freedom, he’s become something of a minor celebrity, essentially crafting his own cottage industry from his notorious reputation. Everything from manga to paintings to macabre re-enactments in which Sagaw plays himself have been created in the wake of his crimes.