11 Most Disturbing Kids in History

As evidenced in movies like The Omen and We Need to Talk About Kevin, the evil possibilities of children have never been far from our thoughts. In movies, we use the trope of a disturbed child as a metaphor for purity and goodness being corrupted by evil influences. However, it shouldn’t shock you to find out that there are real children that have committed evil, despicable acts that have forced adults to reckon with the prospect of punishing a person under the age of 18 — a legal child — for a horrific crime. How do you treat a criminal who hasn’t yet determined right from wrong?

Today, we’re going to reveal the 11 most disturbing children in history and attempt to figure out how they came to commit their terrible crimes.

1. Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden

When it comes to children who have committed mass murders, we unfortunately have several cases to choose from. While most of the school shootings that have become a regular occurrence in our country have been committed by young men, some of the youngest perpetrators are Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, who were 13 and 11 years old respectively when they killed five people and wounded 10 others at their middle school.

They were children barely out of puberty when they loaded up a car with nine firearms and 2000 rounds of ammunition, with the intention of shooting into the school to scare their classmates. Instead, they pulled the fire alarm to drive people outside, and opened fire. They were among the youngest people in the history of the United States to be charged with murder.

2. Pierre Folliot

In 2004, the story of Pierre Folliot murdering his entire family in cold blood became one of the most troubling cases of juvenile murder in history. During the sensational leadup to the trial, it was revealed that Folliot calmly and without passion loaded his father’s hunting rifle, brought it into the house, and put the movie Shrek into the DVD player while he waited for his parents and siblings to get home. He shot his mother as soon as she walked in the door, then shot his sister and brother, before sitting down to watch Shrek and wait for his father to get home. He then cycled off calmly down the street and called the police from a nearby payphone to report the crime.

Enzo D / Getty Images

3. Mary Bell

One of the few child murderers who is currently living a free life is Mary Bell, who was 11 when she strangled two young boys to death in her hometown of Scotswood, a suburb of the northern English city Newcastle upon Tyne. Over the course of a single summer, Bell strangled a four-year-old named Martin Brown, then recruited a friend to help her murder three-year-old Brian Howe. She later returned to Howe’s body alone and used scissors to desecrate his corpse.

She served 12 years in a secure facility after she was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and has since sold her story to a journalist for a generous sum.

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