Friday, January 31, 2020

Sarah Gerber, 14-Year-Old Murderess – South Carolina, 1852

FULL TEXT: On Saturday morning, in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Sarah Gerber aged 14, was convicted of murder in the second degree, in causing the death of Florence Miller, an infant, ten months of age, by making it swallow pins and needles. She was the nurse of the child, and gave it the deadly articles to make it fretful, in order that its mother might be obliged to nurse it instead of her.

[“A Youthful Murderess.” The Charleston Mercury (S. C.), Jan. 17, 1852, p. 2]


Hattie Irene Hyden, 14-Year-Old Murderess – Kentucky, 1935

FULL TEXT: PRESTONSBURG, Ky., July 20. – A mountainside tragedy came to light here today with the announcement by county officials that 14-year-old Hattie Irene Hyden had confessed slaying her brother, Thomas James Hyden, 9, while they were picking berries.

Officers said the girl, apparently crazed by the sun beating down on the mountainside, slashed his throat with a butcher knife with which she had been whacking at the undergrowth as they climbed the mountain.

Described as pretty, the girl was held in jail awaiting trial In Juvenile Court here next Thursday on a murder charge. If convicted she would face sentence to a State reform school for girls. The body was found by the father,

M. Hyden, a coal miner at Weeksbury, In the undergrowth at Caleb Fork. Officers said the girl at first maintained she knew nothing of the tragedy, but that later confessed she cut her brother's throat in a "mad fit."

Officers said she gave this explanation: "He was dragging along behind as we climbed the hill, and it was so hot I could hardly stand It. I flew into a mad fit and cut his throat."

~ Finds Blood-Stained Dress ~

Deputy Sheriff Willie Johnson said he found a blood-stained dress Inside a bundle of clean clothes at the Hyden home. The dress, he said, was worn by the girl when she and her brother left home together.

The girl’s parents were said to have been separated since she was eight months old. The mother was said to live in Ohio.

Mrs. Emma Hunt Krazeise, director of the Kentucky children’s bureau, announced at Louisville she would go to the trial “to look after the interests of the girl.”

[“Girl, 14, Murders 9- Yea R-Old Brother " - Flew Into Mad Fit" and Slashed His Throat With Butcher Knife Because He Couldn’t Keep Up With Her In Climbing Hill.” Owensboro Messenger Inquirer (Ky.), Jul. 21, 1935, p. 1]


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Veronika Molnar, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – Slovakia, 1930

FULL TEXT: Bratislava, Czechoslovakia – Under arrest for murder of her new-born baby Veronika Molnar, a working girl, confessed that in 1928 and 1929, as well as this summer, she had given birth to illegitimate children and had strangled each to escape the disgrace of being an unmarried mother. Bodies of the first two were sunk in a swamp and the third was buried in a garden.

[“Bratslava Girl Admits Killing of Three Children,” The Evening Times (Sayre, Pa.), Aug. 30, 1930, p. 5]


FULL TEXT (translated from German): Pretzburg, July 9. – The 22-year-old worker Veronika Molnar from Bake was brought to the local court. Over the past three years, she has killed and buried three children she had given birth to.

[Das Kleine Blatt (Vienna, Austria), 10. Juli 1930, p. 6]


FULL TEXT: Pretzburg, 9, Juli. – Die 22jährige Arbeiterin Veronika Molnar aus Bake wurde dem hiesigen Gericht eingeliefert. Sie hat im Laufe der letzen drei Jahre drei Kinder, die sie zur Welt gebracht hatte, getötet und die Reichen verscharrt.

[Das Kleine Blatt (Vienna, Austria), 10. Juli 1930, p. 6]


For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.


Madeline Allred, 18-Year-Old Murderess – Michigan, 1957

FULL TEXT: Jackson, Mich., March 14 – “I don’t especially like babies,” an 18-year-old baby-sitter explained today in revealing that she had taken her charge, a 3-year-old baby girl, to Detroit especially to drown her.

Following the directions of Madeline Allred of Pontiac, a former mental patient, police found the body of Patricia Tiernan in a hotel bathtub.

“I like to choke and kill people and animals,” police quoted the teenager as saying.

~ First Thought of River ~

Mill Allred said that while she was baby-sitting with Patricia Tiernan at the Pontiac home of the baby’s parents., Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Tiernan, she decided to take the child to Detroit “and drown her in the river.”

But when they arrived in Detroit, she said, the baby began crying, so she decided to take her to a hotel and drowned her there.

Miss Allred said she held the child under water for about two hours before leaving the hotel room and going back to Jackson. In Jackson she was picked up on a loitering charge. Shortly afterward she volunteered her story of the drowning to police.

Police said despite the girl’s talk of liking to “kill people,” there was no evidence that she had been involved in previous trouble.

Police said they would charge the girl with murder tomorrow. They said they would charge the girl told them she had been in three mental hospitals.

[“Teen Sitter Drowns Baby in Hotel Tub,” Daily News (N.Y.), Mar. 15, 1957, p. 6]





Sharon Dahl, 16-Year-Old Double Murderess – Nebraska, 1961

FULL TEXT: With little show of remorse a 16 year old girl admitted Friday night she killed her mother and father with a double-barreled shotgun, because they objected to her dating.

Cedar County Attorney Max Goetz said the girl, Sharon Dahl, signed a statement describing how she stole downstairs at daybreak Friday, found her parents asleep and shot each in the head.

The attorney said he would file charges against the girl Saturday.

Sharon, a Coleridge. Neb., high school sophomore, had been brought to State Safety Patrol headquarters for questioning a few hours after the bodies of her parents, 45-year-old Victor Dahl and his 34-year-old wife, Rosa, were found in their blood-soaked bed.

The girl was given a lie detector test and afterward Goetz and Cedar County Sheriff John H. Riibe took a statement from her. Newsmen at the patrol headquarters could hear her sobbing during the questioning.

Sharon is oldest of 7 Dahl children. A brother, Lester, 12, also was brought to Safety Patrol headquarters.

~ Under Davenport ~

Officers also brought to Lincoln the shotgun which they said was found beneath a davenport in the Dahl farm home near Coleridge.

Goetz said the girl told them she killed her parents because they objected to her activities and taking privileges away from her.

She said this had been going on for two years and for a week she had been considering taking their lives.

The county attorney said the girl did not show normal remorse.

~ Describes Slayings ~

Goetz said the girl have this description of the slayings:

She came down stairs about 6:15 a. m. Friday, found both parents asleep. She loaded both barrels of her father’s shotgun, shot her father and then her mother.

About 15 minutes later she called her grandparents and told them something had happened to her parents and told them to come to the Dahl farmhouse.

Later she called a neighbor. The sheriff and county attorney arrived about 7 a. m.

Goetz said after the girl arrived in Lincoln with the officers Friday she freely admitted the shooting.

He said the girl might be given a psychological examination.

Sharon was taken back to Cedar County Friday night to be lodged in jail in Hartington.

Goetz said she would be the only prisoner in the Hartington County jail.

The Dahl’s survivors, in addition to Sharon and Lester, include 5 other children: Doris, 10; Vickie, 9; David, 8; Donna, 5; and Gene, 2.

Mr. Dahl is also survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Dahl of Laurel; a brother, Darrell of Laurel; and a sister, Mrs. Wayne Lund, also of Laurel.

Mrs. Dahl’s survivors include her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Madsen of Laurel; sisters, Mrs. Burnell Grosc of Wakefield, Mrs. Sam Young of Chambers and Mrs. Pete Nielsen of Worland, Wyo.; brothers, Martin and Jens, both of Worland, and Verner and Fred, both of Laurel.

[“Girl Admits Killing Sleeping Parents . . . Teenager Confesses After Lie Test,” The Lincoln Star (Ne.), May 20, 1961, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Coleridge – A tractor sits motionless in a greening farmyard

A tractor sits motionless in a greening farmyard 5 miles northeast of here. " It was to have been used Friday in planting corn from sunup to sundown.

But it had no driver!

The machine's master Victor Dahl and his wife Rose, were shot to death early Friday.

"Vic planned to spend all Friday in the field planting. He had hoped to make up for the time he had lost because of rain," related the dead man's brother - in - law, Wayne Lund of nearby Laureh

~ Attended Party ~

Standing on the back porch of the Dahl home. Lund said that he saw the entire Dahl family Thursday night.

"We had them (the Dahls) over for a special party in honor of my son, Jim, who had just graduated from Laurel High School.

"Vic and the family all seemed happy. I just don't know, Lund added.

In fact, Lund said "Vic seemed anxious to get into the fields on Friday." The Dahls are well - known in Coleridge and described by locals as "upstanding neighbors.

Two high school classmates of Sharon Dahl describe her as "always laughing and never too serious." Both are girls and neither claim to know Sharon too well.

"She was very nice to be around and I've never seen her lose her temper," said another classmate, this one a boy.

Sharon is a sophomore at Coleridge High School.

Among the town's older citizens, Sharon is known just as "Vic's oldest kid."

One farmer, who said that he has known the Dahls for 15 years, disclosed that "all of the Dahl kids were well mannered.”

A businessman remembers Sharon as always having a little brother or sister at hand. "She always impressed me as being a real mother's helper."

Other Dahl children and ages are:

Lester, 12; Dora, 10; Vicki, 8; David, 7; Donna, 5; and Gene, 17 months.

All but Sharon and little Gene attended the country school less than a half mile south of the Dahl farm.

~ 2 Years ~

The Dahls have resided at the white frame farmhouse for not quite two years, according to Lund.

Before, they farmed south of Coleridge.

Their present dwelling, sheltered by a heavy clump of elms, is located off the road (about 30 yards. It appears to be wearing a fresh coat of paint.

East of the house are a barn and tool shed, both tomato in color.

The yard is rich in green with young pullets circling the grounds.

[Gene Budig, “Silent Tractor is Death Symbol,” The Lincoln Star (Ne.), May 20, 1961, p. 20]


FULL TEXT: Laurel – Mourners overflowed the United Lutheran Church Monday afternoon when funeral services were held for Mr. and Mrs. Victor Dahl, slain last Friday by their 16-year-old daughter Sharon.

Sharon, who used a shotgun to kill her parents as they slept, declined to attend the services. All of the other six children did attend.

The Laurel American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post also held military rites for Dahl, 45, holder of the Silver Star for his service in Europe during World War II.

Sharon, held in the Cedar County jail at Hartington, told Sheriff John Riibe she did not want to attend the funeral.

She is charged with first degree murder.

The high school sophomore signed a statement late Friday saying she killed her parents because they objected to her dating and wanted her to baby-sit with the six younger children when they went out.

[“Sharon Dahl Stays Away From Funeral,” Fremont Guide and Tribune (Ne.), May 23, 1961, p. 5]


FULL TEXT: Hartington – Sharon Dahl, 16-year-old sophomore, was bound over to District Court Monday to be tried on first degree murder charges for the slaying of her parents while they slept May 19.

The attractive blonde girl appeared composed. She waived the reading of the complaint and stood mute. She did not utter a word during the 20-minute hearing before County Judge Edward Husse.

She appeared without an attorney, by Clarence Haley of Hartington, consented to act for her at Monday’s hearing only.

~ Sheriff Testifies ~

The only evidence taken was the testimony of Sheriff John Riibe, who had been called the farm home the morning of May 19. Following his testimony Judge Hesse found that Mr. and Mrs. Victor Dahl were victims of homicide and there was “reasonable and probable cause” to believe that Sharon committed the acts.

The slaying of Mr. and Mrs. Dahl were discovered early May 19 when Sharon called relatives to report something was wrong.

At first she said she had discovered the deaths when they failed to awaken when the alarm rang. But Goetz said that night at Safety Patrol headquarters in Lincoln she admitted she had slipped downstairs about daybreak, loaded both barrels of her father’s 16 gauge shotgun and shot both parents in the head while they slept.

Goetz said Sharon complained that her parents restricted her dating and made her baby-sit while they went out.

Sharon is the oldest of 7 children orphaned by the death of the Dahls.

~ Name Not Changed ~

(Although Sharon’s last name is listed as Madsen on her birth certificate, on file with the Nebraska Department of Vital Statistics, the name on the complaint has not been changed and remains as Dahl, according to Cedar county Attorney Max Gates, Madsen is Mrs. Dahl’s maiden name.)

[Sharon Mute During Her Arraignment,” The Lincoln Star (Ne.), May 30, 1961, p. 13]


FULL TEXT: Hartington – Cedar County Attorney Max Goetz reduced charges against Sharon Dahl from first degree murder and the 16-year-old girl entered a plea of guilty.

She has admitted she killed her parents with a shotgun as they slept May 19 in the family farm house near Coleridge.

Sharon stood mute earlier this year when she appeared in court on the first degree charges.

District Judge John Newton heard testimony from several persons after Goetz reduced the charges in an amended information.

Sharon, a pretty high school sophomore, signed a statement saying she shot her mother and father because they objected to her dating and wanted her to babysit for 6 younger brothers and sisters while the parents went out.

Sharon, held since she admitted the shootings, was returned to the county jail to await sentencing. Judge Newton did not set a date for sentencing.

Witnesses at the hearing including Sheriff John Riibe; Mr. and Mrs. Chis Dahl and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Madsen, Sharon’s grandparents; Vernere Madsen, a brother if the slain woman, and Carrell Dahl, brother of Victor Dahl.

[“Sharon Dahl, 16, Enters Plea Of Guilty; Charles Reduced,” The Lincoln Star (Ne.), Sep. 27, 1961, p. 24]


FULL TEXT: Hartington, Neb. – Sharon Dahl, 16-year-old Coleridge, Neb., farm girl, was sentenced to 30 years in the Nebraska Women’s Reformatory for the shotgun slaying of her parents last May 19.

She pleaded guilty Sept. 25 after the charges were reduced from first to second degree murder.

The parents, Victor Dahl, 45, and Rosa, 34, were shot, the girl said, because they objected to her dating and wanted her to baby-sit with 6 younger brothers and sisters while they went out.

[“30 Years," Des Moines Tribune (Io.), Oct. 6, 1961, p. 15]








Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Helen Joyce George, 15-Year-Old Murderess – California, 1950

FULL TEXT: Helen Joyce George ran screaming from the classroom at Santa Rosa Junior High School one day in February, 1949.

She was fleeing in terror from the voices which kept her to kill people.

Yesterday the 15-year old girl told Mendocino County authorities she had at last obeyed these cruel, compelling voices.

“I wanted to kill somebody awfully bad,” she said, matter-of-factly. “So I killed old Sam back in the hills.”


Incredulous at first, officers followed her directions to the mountain cabin of Samuel Walitch, 70, a pensioner living alone twenty-three miles north of Willits.

They found Walitch sprawled dead before his kitchen stove, a bullet hole behind his left ear. A pancake turner was still clutched in one hand.

Helen Joyce gave this account to Sheriff Beverly Broaddus:

She had been staying with her grandmother, Mrs. Helen Heltz, on the Robert Harkey ranch near the hamlet of Farley. Saturday morning Mrs. Heltz and Harkey left her to go to Willits.


“I had a desire to kill,” she said. “I wanted to kill my father, but was down in Santa Rosa.

“The feeling I wanted to kill someone got stronger and stronger.

“I took Harkey’s pistol and hiked two miles up to the trail to see Sam. We talked awhile in his yard and when he went into the cabin I followed him.”

Walitch decided to cook a bite to eat. He stood at the stove with his back to the girl.


“While he stood there I put a shell into the pistol,” Helen Joyce said. “I aimed at the back of his head and fired one shot.

“Then I threw the pistol down and hiked back down the trail. I decided to tell the pastor what I had done.”

She arrived early yesterday at the home of the Rev. Peter E. North, pastor of the Assembly of God Church of Willis.

Pastor North doubted her story but summoned police nevertheless.’’


At intervals between questioning, the girl chatted smilingly with attendants of the juvenile detention home in Ukiah and thumbed through comic books.

She was transferred to the Mendocino State Hospital for temporary safekeeping later, after she spoke of suicide.

Sheriff Broaddus said the girl may be a mental case.

She was admitted to the Napa State Hospital on February 28, 1949, after the episode at school, as a “possible psychopathic.”

She was discharged as “improved” a month later in the custody of her mother. Mrs. Viola George of 1253 Morgan Street, Santa Rosa.


Sheriff Broaddus said Mrs. George is presently in the Sonoma County Hospital with a broken ankle.

District Attorney James Bush of Mendocino County said the girl will be certified to juvenile court for disposition. A murder charge is not contemplated because of her age and case history, he said.

[“Girl, 15, Kills Rancher – Admits Desire to Say’,” San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Sep. 25, 1950, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Ukiah, Sept. 25. – Fifteen year old Helen Joyce George, who killed under the compulsion of inner voices, was today made a ward of the Mendocino County juvenile court and returned to her insane asylum cell while authorities conferred about her future.

The strange, empty-faced little girl who “wanted to kill somebody awful bad,” on Saturday shot to death a 70 year old pensioner, Samuel Walitch, in his cabin, twenty-three miles north of Willits.

Her compulsion satisfied, she confessed to a Willits minister and then to police.

In today’s brief preliminary hearing, Police Judge Will Van Dyke made her award of the juvenile court, and Superior Judge Lilburn Gibson signed an insanity affidavit permitting Helen Joyce to be retained at the Mendocino State Hospital for the Insane.

It was not the first time Helen Joyce had seen the inside of such a home. In 1949 she was committed to the Napa home after screaming in terror at school one day that “voices are telling me to kill people.”

Later she was released as improved and sent to live with her grandmother, Mrs. Helen Heitz, on a ranch near Willis.

It was from there that she walked to Walitch’s cabin and shot him in the head as he prepared his evening meal.

[“Girl ‘Compulsion Slayer’ Sent Back to Ukiah Asylum,” San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Sep. 26, 1950, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Ukiah, Sept. 30. – A hearing on a murder charge brought against 15-year-old Helen George has been set for October 13.

The girl is charged with the deliberate shooting of Samuel Walitch, 70, on his ranch near Farley, last Saturday.

Officers said the girl told them she felt “just had to kill someone.” She once was an inmate of a mental hospital.

The hearing on the murder charge will be a formality rather a mental hospital.

Helen will appear with officers of the Mendocino county probation department. After the formality of the law has been satisfied, court attaches anticipate she will be declared mentally deficient and that the case then will be transferred to the Sonoma County juvenile court. Her parents live in Santa Rosa.

[“Ukiah Slaying Hearing Set – Girl, 15, to Face Court On October 13,” San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Oct. 1, 1950, p. 3]


FULL TEXT: Ukiah, Oct. 13. – Helen George, 15-year-old Mendocino slayer, was certified to Sonoma County juvenile authorities today by Superior Judge Liburn Gibson pending decision on the results of her psychiatric examinations at Mendocino State Hospital.

The girl obsessed the murder of Samuel Walitch, 70, on his ranch near Farley on September 30.

[“County Agents Get Killer’s Case, San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Oct. 14, 1950, p. 32]


FULL TEXT: Santa Rosa, Oct. 19. – Helen Joyce George, 15, who says she slew an elderly pensioner because inner voices told her to kill, was committed to the State Hospital at Napa today.

Superior Judge Donald Geary, sitting in juvenile court, made the commitment for ninety days, so that State psychiatrists may recommend what to do with the Santa Rosa schoolgirl. Helen shot Samuel Walitch, 70, in his cabin twenty-three miles north of Willits, September 23. She had a patient at the Napa Hospital before, but was discharged as “improved.”

[“Gil Slayer, 15, Sent to Asylum,” San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Oct. 20, 1950, p. 23]




Donna Marie Stone, 13-Year-Old Serial Killer (with John Edwin Myers, 32) – Illinois, 1961

FULL TEXT: The body of Kidnap victim Margaret Wernicker was found Saturday after a Chicago ex-convict and his 13-year-old girl friend were captured in West Texas and confessed to four cold-blooded murders since Wednesday.

Three of the victims, shot in the head after their hands were bound, were from the Belleville area.

They were Miss Wernicker, 39, and George Ballard, 47, and his daughter, Carol, 10.

The captives, John Edwin Myers, 32, and Donna Marie Stone, signed statements that they each fired two shots into the heads of two of the victims.

They were their hostage, Muss Wernicker, and a hitchhiker who was their last victim before their lurid flight in a stolen auto was ended by an observant Texas Highway patrolman.


From directions father of five and his runaway consort, a search party in Oregon County, Missouri, was able to find the body of Miss Wernicker.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said the body was in a field off a gravel road about seven miles north of Thayer.

A preliminary examination indicated four or five shots had been fired into her head. The body was under brush about 150 feet from the road.

The statement said Meyers and the girl took Miss Wernicker into the field and tied her hands.

Donna Marie shot her twice and then Meyers “finished her off” with two more bullets, according to their statement.

When arrested, Donna Marie was wearing some of Miss Wernicker’s clothing.


Their last murder was about 10:30 p. m. Friday between Big Spring, Tex., and Midland, where they were halted shortly after midnight by Patrolman Jack Reaves, who recognized the auto from a description broadcast in the Belleville murders and kidnapping.

A hitchhiker, Lee DeKraai, about 30, of Ottumwa, Ia., was hapless enough to be picked up by the pair in the Fort Worth area.

As he dozed in the front seat between them, the confession said, Myers fired a shot into his hand.

The girl was quoted as saying:

“WE both thought he had some money, but he didn’t have a penny.”

Police led to the body said Meyers and Donna Marie both admitted firing two shots into DeKraai.

The Howard County, Texas, district attorney, Gil Jones, told The Globe-Democrat that he had filed a murder warrant against Meyers but not the girl, “because of her age.”

Mr. Jones said that Donna Marie would be held as a juvenile and his office would file a formal request for her return from wherever she may be taken after she reaches the age of 18. The district attorney said this will be done with the intent of also charging her with murder.

He said he would insist that Texas retain custody of Meyers until he can be tried for murder.


But in St. Clair County, Illinois, State’s Attorney John M. Karnes filed murder warrants against both Saturday in the Ballard deaths.

Mr. Karns then departed for Big Spring, Tex., with chief sheriff’s deputy Maurice Joseph and deputy Robert Mitchell in an effort to obtain jurisdiction over the prisoners.

A federal kidnap charge also is pending against Meyers and Donna Marie in the Wernicker case. Warrants were issued Friday after the fugitives were identified by fingerprints and photographs.

The Texas ending of the lurid case brought to light the motive for the slaying of the Ballards Wednesday night by a small fishing pond west of Belleville.


According to their statement, Meyers and the girl, who had run away from her grandparents’ home in Edwardsville Aug. 22, had been camping by the pond and wanted money and a car to go to Arizona.

There, the girl said, they intended to get jobs picking cotton.

Mr. Ballard, of 1121 Bethesda st., St. Clair County, and his daughter Carol were fishing there when Meyers and Donna Marie selected them as robbery targets.

Ironically, after binding the victims and shhoting them, they obtained only $1.

Furthermore, they couldn’t start Mr. Ballard’s auto.

Then they walked to the nearby home of Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Graham, 1801 South Seventy-fourth st., and took Mr. Graham’s car at gunpoint.

They also forced Miss Wernicker, who had lived wiuth the couple 22 years, to accompany them.

Miss Weinecker, an employe in the addressograph department of Stix, Baer and Fuller, made a telephone call to Mr. Graham shortly after 9 p. m. from a public booth at 823 Market st.

She said the man (Meyers) told her he he was going to drive about 50 miles to see his father and then surrender.

But the abductors headed south, stopping  to kill Miss Mernicker aftertaking $16 from her.

In Chicago, the girl’s father, James Stone, 35, and her mother, Norma, 36, parents of seven children, heard the news of their daughter’s capture and confession with horror.

Donna Marie, who looks years older than she is, was considered too young to go on dates.

Meyers, a friend of Mr. Stone and a resident of the same apartment building, apparently followed when the Stones took Donna Marie to Edwardsville recently and left her with her grandparents.

According to the FBI Meyers had been imprisoned three times previously.

His record shows while in military service in 1948 he was charged with being absent without leave and striking a senior officer and sentenced to three years six months in the United States disciplinary barracks at Portsmouth, N. H.

In August, 1949, he was sentenced to one to three years in the state reformatory at Lincoln, Neb., for auto theft. He was released Sept. 5, 1951.

He was sentenced for child abandonment in 1954 in St. Cloud, Minn. Meyers said he served two years.

The killers were described as calm and relieved at the conclusion of their long and bloody flight.

[“Cold Blooded Pair Admits 4 Murders – Girl Fired First At Kidnap Victim,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat (Mo.), Sep. 3, 1961, p. 1]



BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Donna Marie Stone, 14, who accompanied her married lover on a cross-country crime spree, today '¡pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the slaying of a man I and his daughter and was turned I over to youth authorities.

Miss Stone had been charged with murder in the Aug. 30, 1961, shootings. She changed her plea just as her trial got under way and Judge Richard T. Carter placed her in the custody of the Illinois Youth Commission for confinement at Geneva “until discharged.”

Under Illinois law minors can be held by the youth commission without a definite length of sentence.

The prosecution had summed 31 witnesses for Miss Stone’s trial for the murders of George Bal lard, 41, Villa Hills, Ill., and his daughter, Carol, 10.

Two of them were heard before she changed her plea. A. Gordon Dodds, superintendent of schools at Edwardsville, testified the girl had an I.Q. of 107, “slightly above average.”

The other witness, the Rev. Eugene Lamport, pastor of the First Christian Church of Edwardsville, testified Miss Stone had had a good moral reputation.

Miss Stone had accompanied John Edwin Meyer, 33, whom she I met after her family moved to Chicago, on the weekend crime tour. Meyer was convicted in Big Spring, Tex., of the murder of a hitchhiker and is under the death sentence.

Ballard and his daughter had been bound with plastic clothesline and each was shot in the head. Miss Stone had been vacationing with her grandparents in Edwardsville when Meyer, an ex­-convict, picked her up a few days before the slayings.

Asst. State’s Atty. Charles Hamilton said Meyer and Miss Stone had signed confessions to the effect that Meyer shot and killed Ballard and his daughter. He said that in the statement, Miss Stone admitted tying the hands of the victims.

[“Girl, 14, Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter – Donna Marie Stone Is Placed In Custody of Illinois Youth Commission,” The Daily Register (Harrisburg, Il.), Aug. 20, 1962, p. 1]


Donna Marie Stone (13) & John Edwin Myers (erroneously “Meyer”) (32)
Aug. 30, 1961 – Emge Lake, Belleville, Ill. Double murder. George Ballard (47), Carol Ballard (10 or11);
Aug. 30, 1961 – Margaret Wernicker (39), kidnapped. 8 pm, Belleville. Murdered later. Stone fired 2 shots before Meyer fired 2 shots; Thayer, Missouri.
Sep 1, 1961 – Arthur Lee DeKraai  (Dekrarri , DeKaari) (33), near Dallas. Each fired 2 shots.
Sep 2, 1961 – pair arrested Big Spring, Texas. Margaret Wernicker  body found.
1962 – Myers sentenced to death in Texas, overturned.
Aug. 22, 1962 – Stone, reduced sentence manslaughter, plead guilty. indeterminate sentence; Illinois State Training School for Girls, Geneva.
Feb. 25, 1964 – Myers found guilty of murder of Carol Ballard. Sentenced to death
Meyers, death sentence, Illinois.
Apr. 9, 1964 – Myers sentenced to death second time. In Illinois.
1968 – Donna Marie Stone paroled. (source: St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sep. 5, 1976, p. 17A)
1976 – Myers resentenced 75-150 years.














More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder


More cases: Serial Killer Girls


Elizabeth McDonald, 14-Year-Old Murderess (Would-be Serial Killer?) – Massachusetts, 1923

FULL TEXT: After an examination of more than an hour by police officials and juvenile probation officer New F. Hoyt of the Chelsea District Court, 14-year-old Elizabeth McDonald of 2 Shawmut pl., Chelsea, confessed to the killing of little "Sonny" McDonald, aged 4, of 7 Suffolk st., Chelsea, who was drowned in a hole behind the plant of the Texas Oil Company, last Monday evening.

"Sonny," as he was known to all the children of the neighborhood, was James J. McDonald, son of Mr. and Mrs. George McDonald, and was not related to the girl who pushed him into the water.

The boy disappeared about 4:40 p m Monday and at 8:40 the body was found close to the sea wall near the Texas Oil plant on Marginal st., Chelsea, by his father, George McDonald, and by a James Hanlon, who live in the same house. The body was lying in only a foot of water, but the child had been dead for a long time.

Judging from the stories told by the McDonald girl herself and by several other children in the neighborhood, the girl deliberately pushed "Sonny" into the water after he had refused to jump in himself. She had taken several of the smaller children, including Sonny's brother, John McDonald, who is 5 ½ years old, in back of the old Magee foundry, where the Texas Oil plant is now located, aid had led them throwing stones there.

~ She Urged Boy to Jump ~

Sonny stopped throwing stones and walked away from his playmates. The little boy appeared to be tired. He went and sat beside the hole, near the piling of the wharf where the water was fairly deep. There were two boards crossed together like an X and nailed on the piles.

'Jump in, sonny," the McDonald girl la alleged to have urged.

 "I 'fraid," lisped the baby.

“Go ahead," coaxed the girl.

With the remark, according to the stories of at least three children who saw the episode, the McDonald girl put her hands behind sonny's back and pushed him, and he went into the water head first. His head apparently caught in the boards in some manner and his feet were dangling in the. Elizabeth was apparently frightened by what she had done and fled home. Today she told the police that after she pushed the boy into the water she was seized with a pain in her stomach and went home.

~ She Expected Trouble ~

When she arrived home she is alleged to have told her younger sister that she would "bet somebody had pushed Sonny overboard." She said: "I think there is going to be trouble around here tonight, and I’m going to Revere Beach.”

Patrolman Thomas J. Quigley, a special officer attached in the inspector's department, made an investigation of the case as a result of an anonymous letter sent to Chief Charles M. Finn of the Chelsea police, in which it was intimated that the McDonald boy did not die from accidental drowning, as everybody believed when the supposed accident was reported.

Quigley, who is a brother of Mayor Quigley, questioned the children of the neighborhood and little by little learned the story. The girl at first denied her guilt, but finally admitted to probation officer Hoyt that she had pushed the boy into the water.

She said that the following day she visited Mrs. James Hanlon, who is a sister of the mother of the drowned boy, Mrs. McDonald, and began to tell her something about the drowning. Mrs. Hanlon, so the girl stated, drove her from the house with a brick owing to a previous episode between the McDonald girl and Betty Hanlon, Mrs. HanIon's daughter.

~ Girl Is Thought Deficient ~

The girl was taken into custody by the police. Because of her age, she was not formally arrested, but was placed in the care of Juvenile Probation Officer Hoyt. Accompanied by her mother, Mrs. Lyle McDonald, the girl Elizabeth was taken this afternoon by Mr. Hoyt to the headquarters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Boston. She will be in charge of the society until next Thursday, when she will be arraigned in the Juvenile Session of the Chelsea District Court.

The police say that the McDonald girl is mentally deficient and that several months ago she was examined by City Physician F. A. Mahoney, who said she should be committed to an institution. The mother refused to permit this, it is alleged. Dr Mahoney said her mentality was that of a child of 7 or 8 years.

The mother then took the child to the Children's Hospital, where an examination was made. They said she was mentally defective and advised that the child be put away. The girl, though 14 years old, is only in the fourth grade of the Shurtleff School.

~ Three Children Witnesses ~

The children who told special officer Quigley that they saw the Mc Donald girl push the little boy into the water are Michael Nadworny, 6 ½ , of 96 Marginal st.; Chester WoJciechowske, 5 ½ , of 36 Suffolk st., and Hampden Cronin, 5, of Essex st.

After the little girl confessed and realized what she had done she broke down and wept bitterly. When she learned that she had to be taken away from her mother the scene that ensued was heartbreaking. Even the calloused police officers were almost moved to tears.

The girl is the oldest of three children and her father, Alvie McDonald, died last Winter. The family came to Chelsea from Newfoundland.

[“14-Year-Old Girl Caused Boy's Death - Elizabeth McDonald Confesses To Chelsea Police,” Boston Globe (Ma.), Jul. 19, 1923, p. 1]



FULL TEXT: Clad in a freshly starched linen frock of spotless white, that bore patent evidence of the fond care of some loving heart, little Elizabeth McDonald of 2 Shawmut pi, Chelsea, who will be 14 years old next month, stood in the judge's lobby in the Chelsea District Court today to answer to the charge of murder.

While the venerable Judge Albert L Bosson, clad in his black judicial sown, sat in judgment, the sweet looking, innocent-appearing little girl listened to the formal charge of murder read by Clerk Joseph M. Cur-ley, alleging that she had willfully caused the death of 4-year-old James J. McDonald of 37 Suffolk st, Chelsea, by drowning.

A person looking on at the scene could find no compatibility between the wholesome appearance of the little girl defendant and the twisted, warped or subnormal mentality behind the clear blue eyes and outward normal appearance of the child. This warped mind, many believe, caused her to perform many acts which she is alleged to have committed, one of which ultimately resulted in the death of one of her little playmates, 4-year-old "Sonny" McDonald.

Girl Held Without Bail

There was no charge of being a delinquent; the complaint reads just plain murder. Many persons in animated discussions yesterday and today asserted that the girl would have to be charged with being a delinquent, but in capital crimes the charge is murder in case of a killing if the defendant is more than 7 years old.

Judge Bosson held the girl without hail for a hearing in the juvenile session of the Chelsea Court next Thursday, as murder is a nonbailable offense. The girl was committed to the Charles st. Jail, where she will be in the care of Sheriff John A. Keliher will arraigned in court next Thursday.

Although there is no formal evidence of mental deficiency before the court, Judge Bosson apparently thinks that the girl is not of sound mind, and has requested the State Commissioners of Mental Diseases to make an examination of the child. This request will be issued to them formally today by Clerk Curley. They or Sheriff Keliher may have the child examined.

Juvenile probation officer Ned F. Hoyt, in whose custody the child was until her arraignment today, pleaded hard for her to be sent to the Psychopathic Hospital and not to jail, but there was no way under the law in which such procedure could be taken apparently.

~ She Laughs and Jokes ~

The McDonald girl spent last evening at the home of an aunt on Revere st. As an indication of the girl's mental condition and of her failure to realize the seriousness of what she has done and her own plight, she was laughing and joking over the way she had fooled newspaper photographers who sought to take her picture, by putting her bands over her eyes.

The girl is alleged to have pushed the little McDonald boy into a hole in the wharf of the Texas Oil Company on Marginal st. last Monday afternoon, and to have run away and left him with his head under water and his feet in the air.

She is alleged to have pushed four other children into the water at different times and at one time to have attacked her mother, Mrs. Lyle Louise McDonald, so that the latter was almost in a semiconscious condition.

As the little girl left the judge's office in care of the police matron, Mrs. Winifred Hynd, one of the police officers was heard to remark, under his breath: "God help her."

And these were the sentiments of every one present, without any doubt.

[J. Edward Supple, “Little Chelsea Girl Held On Murder Charge - Elizabeth McDonald, Before Hearing Thursday, Will Be Examined by Alienists,” Boston Evening Globe (Ma.), Jul. 20, 1923, p. 1]




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Joyce Christine Nichols, 13-Year-Old Rapist-Murderess – California, 1947

FULL TEXT: Bakersfield, Nov. 19. – Breaking into tears under questioning, 13-year-old Joyce Christine Nichols admitted today, authorities said, that she killed blonde Myretta Jones, 5, with a rock last Monday after luring her to a children s cave.

The girl would give no reason for the slaying and apparently could not recall what impulse led her to beat Myretta to death, according to Sheriff John Loustalot

~ Taken From School ~

Joyce, a rather attractive brown-haired girl. was taken out of a classroom at Emerson Junior High School this morning just 40 hours after the body of her playmate was found in the cave by Dep. Sheriff Otto Olofson.

Myretta, blue-eyed daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Jones, was last seen by relatives about 3:30 p.m., Monday when she left on an errand to a grocery store in the Casa Loma district.

Her mother's frantic call to the Sheriff's office an hour and a half later sent a posse of deputies and neighbors scouring the area until Olofson peered into the blood-spattered cave dug by children as a "pirate's den" in the 80-acre Kern County fair ground site.

~ Man First Hunted ~

Hampered by erroneous first reports that the child had been criminally attacked before she was killed the investigation later swung from a search for a man to a hunt for a girl on the basis of small footprints found in the cave.

Joyce faced four criminal investigators calmly at the Sheriff's office until her stepmother, Mrs. Cal Nichols, appeared and collapsed at the girl's feet. The child broke into a flood of tears and told the following story, according to Sheriff Loustalot.

She met Myretta on the wav to the store, accompanied her to the Nichols' home, where Joyce finished up some house work.

~ Suggested Cave Visit ~

She then suggested Myretta go to the cave "to play."

The 5-year-old walked to the cave and descended into its narrow confines where Joyce shortly demanded that her small playmate take off her clothes.

Myretta refused, the sobbing girl told investigators, but several slaps across the face persuaded the younger girl to comply.

But no sooner was Myretta stripped, her clothes in a heap on the earth floor of the cave, when Joyce snatched up the heavy rock and hit the crying youngster over the head, Loustalot continued.

~ Left Body in Cave ~

After the killing, the 13-year-old left the body in the cave, washed her hands in a near-by canal and returned home to tell her parents what she had done, the Sheriff said.

"The father, an auto body mechanic, decided not to say anything until he figured out just what to do," Loustalot continued. "He ordered his wife to say nothing and also woke up the girl's brother Jerry 14, told him the story and cautioned him to keep quiet."

~ Mother Washed Clothes ~

"Yesterday, Joyce went to school as usual while the stepmother washed out the girls bloody clothing."

Once the deputies swung to the track of a girl as the suspect the name of Joyce Nichols came to, light from several sources particularly one schoolmate who had seen the two girls walking together toward the cave.

Investigators talked to Mr. and Mrs. Nichols this morning after Joyce had gone to school but could get nowhere. After she was taken into custody, however, the parents admitted they had known of the crime "but were so scared they didn't know what to do," Sheriff Loustalot said.

After making her statement. Joyce was sent to the County Detention Home, where she was confined in a single room to await examination by doctors and psychiatrists.

[“Girl, 13, Confesses Beating 5-Year-Old Child to Death,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Nov. 20, 1947, P. 5]



FULL TEXT: Bakersfield, Nov. 21. – 5-year-old Myretta Jones met death last Monday as a result of blows on the head inflicted by Joyce Christine Nichols, 13, it was decided today by Coroner Norman C. Houze after the bobby-soxer admitted the crime on the inquest witness stand.

Joyce told of beating the kindergartner to death in a “children’s “private cave” when the child threatened to tell her grandmother of being mistreated by the junior high school girl. She said she hit Myretta with a rock four times then dragged her body back into the cave.

~ Step-Mother Testifies ~

Mrs. Cal Nichols, step-mother of the bobby-soxer, also took the stand to testify she learned of the crime the same evening upon questioning Joyce after hearing on the radio of Myretta’s death and learning her daughter had been seen with the younger girl.

“She told me she hit a little girl with a rock and that’s all she could remember,” Mrs. Nichols said. “I guess she blanked out.”

Joyce, who is being held at the County Detention Home on a murder complaint, will be arraigned Monday or Tuesday in Justice Court and certified to the Juvenile Court.

County authorities said she may be returned to Superior Court for trial, however.

Funeral services for the slain youngster will be conducted tomorrow afternoon.

[“Coroner Funds Girl, 5, Killed By Bobby-Soxer,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Nov. 22, 1947, P. 4]


FULL TEXT: Bakersfield, Nov. 24. – Justice of the Peace Stuart Magee today certified 13-year-old Joyce Christine Nichols to the Juvenile Court after the bobby-soxer admitted at the hearing that she beat a kindergarten playmate to death with a rock a week ago.

While her stepmother, Mrs. Calvin Nichols, sobbed, Joyce declared she bludgeoned Myretta Jones in a children’s cave when the younger girl rejected her improper advances.

Juvenile Judge Warren Stockton now will have charge of the girl, with the option of disposing of the case under the laws pertaining to juveniles or returning her to Superior Court for criminal prosecution.

[“Cave Death in Juvenile Court,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Nov. 25, 1947, P. 2]