20 Youngest Killers In History: Their Ages Are Unbelievable

Taking the life of someone with or without justification or valid excuse is classified as murder and has a befitting penalty. People get offended every day and in the excuses given by killers, they have reasons why they took a life. Most times these reasons are based on emotions, psychology, religion, fear, curiosity, and other factors. All humans have emotions and it is only normal to have the instinct to protect one’s interest, irrespective of the age. But for a non-adult to carry out a murder for any reason, something is definitely absurd with that child.

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Majority of recorded murder cases were committed by people over the age of eighteen, yet there are children who have had the urge to kill and had executed it. Most of these killers did not actually plan to murder their victims but were more concerned on how to get the victim out of their life, while a few other murders happened mistakenly. In some other cases, these young people wanted to explore what they saw on TV and possibly around their environment.

In May 2014, two twelve-year-old girls stabbed another girl because they believed that the fictional character Slenderman, had told them to do so. The attacked girl survived the nineteen stabs received, and the attackers were arrested for attempted murder. Most of the youngsters in this article have had dreadful home situations, while others seemed like perfectly normal children, which begs the question – why did they kill someone? Find out in this article.

#15. Daniel Bartlam – 14 Years Old

On Easter day in 2011, Daniel Bartlam killed his mother, Jacqueline Bartlam, in cold blood while she was sleeping. He hit her seven times with a claw hammer and set fire on her body before calling the police to report that a burglar had killed her. Detectives later noticed inconsistencies in Daniel’s claims and searched his computer. They recovered a deleted file which detailed his murder plans in the form of a story. The 14-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years in prison.

#14. Eric Smith – 13 Years Old

At the age of 13, Eric Smith lured Robie, a four-year old, into an isolated park and choked him to death. He proceeded to drop rocks on Robie’s head and finally sodomised him with a tree branch. Smith soon confessed to the murder and was sentenced to nine years in prison. In April 2014, Smith was diagnosed with ‘intermittent explosive disorder’ and has been denied parole seven times.

#13. & #12. Catherine & Curtis Jones

13 & 12 Years Old

Thirteen-year-old Catherine Jones and her brother Curtis lived with their father in Florida, his girlfriend, and a relative of theirs who secretly abused the two kids. The children reported to their father, the father’s girlfriend, and child welfare workers about the abuse. But when nothing was done about it they decided to handle the issue their way. The plan was to kill the assaulter, along with their dad and his girlfriend, since those two couldn’t help them out of their predicament. 

One morning in early 1999, the children took their dad’s gun and fired nine shots; which killed the father’s girlfriend. Without given a hearing, or allowed to testify in court, they were sentenced to eighteen years in prison and will spend the rest of their lives on probation. Catherine and Curtis were the youngest children in the country’s history to be charged as adults for first-degree murder. Curtis was finally released from prison on July 28, 2015, at age 29, while his sister, Catherine, was released on August 1, 2015, at age 30.

#11. & #10. Mitchell Johnson & Andrew Golden

13 & 12 Years Old

Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson were cousins and attended the same school. They were not particularly close but when thirteen-year-old Mitchell asked Andrew to help him frighten a few kids who made fun of him, they got together to plan the best way to get that done. They were both hunters and knew where to get and how to use shotguns.

One Tuesday in March 1998, Mitchell stole his parent’s minivan, picked up his cousin from their house alongside many firearms. They drove to their school, Jonesboro’s West Side Middle School in Arkansas and opened fire. They ended up killing five people – four of their classmates and a teacher. Both boys were not tried as adults, they were jailed and each convict was released on his 21st birthday. Andrew has had a hard time finding employment, and Mitchell was arrested again and is now serving time in an adult prison.

#9. Christian Fernandez – 12 Years Old

Christian comes from a dysfunctional home and grew up an angry child. His mum, Biannela Susana was raped at age twelve and Christian was the result of the incident. Christian’s grandmother is a drug addict and he also has been abused; sexually, verbally and emotionally; as a child he witnessed his stepfather shoot himself. When he was eight years old, his school reported that he had killed an animal. They also said he acts weird in school and does things that a child of that age would not normally do.

One day he was left alone with his two-year-old brother and he ended up beating his brother to death. His mother was also charged for the murder of her young son because she waited eight hours to call for an ambulance after she came home and found her two-year-old beaten to death. Obviously, she took that long trying to figure out the best thing to do so she won’t lose her older child as well.

#8. Lionel Tate – 12 Years Old

Twelve-year-old Lionel Tate was a fan of professional wrestling. In July 1999, while playing with six-year-old, Tiffany Eunick, Lionel tried to imitate some wrestling moves he had seen Dwayne Johnson perform on television. He stomped on Tiffany so hard that it killed her. Two years later, Lionel was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. Three years after his conviction, Lionel’s sentence was reduced and he was set free in 2004, with the understanding that he would be under house arrest and probation for ten years. The freedom didn’t last long for Lionel; he was arrested again in 2006 when he robbed a pizza man who was out on delivery at 2. AM.

#7. Jordan Brown – 11 Years Old

Jordan Brown was a good boy as testified by his neighborhood, family members and friends. He received a hunting rifle one Easter specifically made for young people and that was what he used for the murder, although it was never proven. He allegedly shot his father’s pregnant girlfriend and was sentenced to jail to be released on his 21st birthday. There were evidences that could be argued to prove Jordan’s innocence, but he was convicted all the same for two homicides – his would-be stepmother and her unborn baby.

#6. Mary Bell – 11 Years Old

On May 25, 1968, Mary strangled a four year-old boy because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. She was also convicted of strangling a three year-old within a few weeks after the first murder. At eleven years old, the young girl was sentenced to life detention in the United Kingdom. At 21, Mary was released from prison into an unknown world which she preferred to the real world. She is now a free woman, a grandmother and has a new name and identity, although her whereabouts remain unknown.

#5. & #4. Jon Venables & Robert Thompson

Both 10 Years Old years

Venables and Robert Thompson abducted a two-year-old toddler from a shopping mall in the U.K. The two young boys were skipping school when they spotted young James out with his mom. They decided to torture him and eventually killed him by beating the poor child with bricks and rocks. He was later found on the railroad tracks and the two boys were convicted of murder. The boys were released when they clocked eighteen, but one of them is back in prison for committing another crime.

#3. Amarjeet Sada – 8 Years Old

In 2007 in Bihar India, eight-years-old Amarjeet Sada took the lives of three younger playmates; including his little sister and a cousin. They were all less than a year old when it happened. he killed the first child by taking her into the woods and beating her to death. He then went on to brutally murder his younger sister and his cousin. His family helped him escape charges for a while but when the authorities finally realized that this young serial killer was behind the gory activities he was imprisoned. Amarjeet will be free in 2017 when he turns 18.

2. Dedric Darnell Owens – 6 Years Old


Dedric Darnell Owens used his uncle’s pistol to murder Kayla Raland, his six years old classmate. He threw the gun away after shooting but when the owner of the pistol was charged with involuntary manslaughter, Dedric came up to confess. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

1. Carl Newton Mahan – 6 Years Old

Young Carl Newton Mahan was living in east Kentucky with his family who was poor. In order to make ends meet, the young boy and his friend decided to start picking things to sell and make money. On May 18, 1929, Carl and his friend, Cecil found the same piece of metal on the floor. They started fighting, Carl hit Cecil in the face with it, and ran home. Cecil followed Carl, hoping to get the piece of metal, and Carl ended up using the metal to shoot Cecil. The court was confused on what penalty to pass to the boy since he was so young and adorable. He was finally released to his parents and sent to a reform school.

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Joshua Phillips

Joshua Philips is another teen killer who for an unknown reason murdered his young neighbour when he was only 14 year old. Born on March 17, 1984 (now 31-year-old) Joshua’s murder case was the subject of national TV coverage and even led to a documentary on 48 Hours titled Why did Josh Kill?  The teen killed an 8-year-old neighbor called Maddie Clifton in November 1998. Clifton suddenly went missing, and the first suspect was another neighbor called Larry Grisham, who had formerly been convicted twice for sexual assault. During the search, Phillips willingly offered to help find Clifton in a bid to lead the search adrift.

Fortunately,  Phillips’s mother was cleaning his room after a week of Clifton disappearance, she thought that his waterbed was leaking; Further inspection turned out that Clifton’s body was being held inside pedestal of Phillips’s waterbed. She ran across the street to call the police. It was discovered that the innocent child died after being pierced with a sharp knife and suffering severe blunt force trauma. Phillips was charged with murder for his wicked action.  He is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without any possibility of ever being freed.

Alyssa Bustamante

Alyssa Bustamante was only 15 years old when she planned the murder of her young neighbor. Bustamante’s half-sister who was only six-year-old had a friend called Elizabeth Olten. On one of Elizabeth Olten’s  visits to their house, she crossed the lines of Bustamante. When it was time for the 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten to head home, Bustamante rather took her into the a wooded area where she had already dug two graves covered with leaves (presumably for her twin brothers). Bustamante stifled the neck of the young girl, slashed her throat and wrists, stabbed her chest and then pushed her into the grave. She said the brutal act was to help her find out what it felt like to kill (thrill killing). On a now-defunct YouTube page in her name, one of Bustamante’s hobbies were listed as ‘killing people’
Police found a letter that highlighted her as a suspect, she confessed and led them to the burial site.

Cindy Collier and Shirley Wolf

Another Fifteen year old killer kid, Cindy Collier and 14 year old Shirley Wolf jointly killed an 85 year old woman in her home in Auburn, CA in 1983. The two teens hardly knew each other at the time they committed the brutal murder. They met each other a few hours and started knocking on doors at a condominium development in Auburn, California. They gained access into the old woman’s house under the pretense that needed directions, the younger killer, Wolf grabbed their victim by the neck while Collier gave her a sharp butcher knife she found in the woman’s house and Wolf  did the stabbing. She stabbed her 28 times while she begs for her life. Wolf’s journal entry that day read, “Today Cindy and I ran away and killed an old lady. It was lots of fun.”

Paul Henry Gingerich

Paul was 12 years old when he went to meet with a couple of his friends in the small town of Cromwell near the Michigan border;  after talking, the three friends made up their minds that they were going to run away, but one of the boys told them that his stepfather would never allow it.

The three boys then planned to kill Phillip Danner, the 49 year old stepfather of Colt Lundy  who they believe will their escape plan. All the three boys were sentenced to prison but Gingerich  was given the longest sentence for firing the fatal shot. For his crime, he became the youngest person in the history of the Hoosier State to be sentenced as an adult. Many people have protested the decision to punish Gingerich the most severely, suggesting that Gingerich had really tried to stop Lundy from killing his stepfather, but the judge didn’t buy that and put him away for a long time.

David Brom

In 1988, David Brom murdered his entire family, including his parents, 14-year-old sister, and nine-year-old brother when he was 16 years old using an ax. Rochester, MN native went to school the next day as always but decided to brag about the killings to a classmate. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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