You never know what might push a teen over the edge. Although most adolescents rebel in more harmless ways like stealing from their parents liquor cabinet, these teens take angst to a whole new level of violence.
Here are the 13 worst teenage murderers, from school shooters to serial killers and everything in between.
Teenage Serial Killers
1. James Fairweather
James Fairweather is one of the youngest serial killers and one of the few that showed no remorse for his victims. He often talked about how he wanted to be a serial killer, but no one believed him until he murdered his first victim.
The two victims were strangers to Fairweather. The first was a homeless man that he brutally stabbed 102 times. The second was killed with a bayonet. Police even questioned Fairweather after his second killing but let him go. It wasn't until he attempted murder a third time that he was finally arrested.
In 2016, the 15-year-old was convicted and sentenced to serve 27 years in prison. Fairweather claimed that his fascination with serial killers inspired his two murders, and he wanted to kill at least 15 more.
After Fairweather's trial, his mother said, "James Fairweather is a monster in our eyes – and we will never be able to forgive him."
2. William Heirens
William Heirens was born during the Great Depression and had been a petty thief since he was 13. However, he had no record of violence or indication that he would grow up to be a serial killer.
At the age of 17, the Chicago-born killer murdered his first victim. Although Heirens' first kill didn't even make the front page of local newspapers, his second made national headlines.
Heirens would later be called 'The Lipstick Killer' because after he brutally stabbed his second victim, he left a message on the wall written with her lipstick. It read, "For heaven's sake, catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself."
Unfortunately, the killer murdered a six-year-old girl before he was finally caught. Heirens was arrested and served 65 years in prison before dying of natural causes.
3. Craig Price
This teen serial killer from Rhode Island was only 13 when he stabbed a neighborhood girl to death without getting caught. Police were only able to establish a trail back to Price after stabbing three more of his neighbors while high on unknown drugs. His oldest victim was 39 years old while his youngest was only 8 years old.
Price was arrested in 1989 for the four murders committed in his neighborhood, a month before his 16th birthday. The young killer was tried and convicted as a minor, meaning that he would be released and his records expunged when he turned 21.
Price's case led to changes in state law, allowing juveniles to be tried as adults for serious criminal acts. However, this could not retroactively apply to Price. While in prison, Price has been charged with additional crimes, including refusal of a psychological evaluation, extortion for threatening a corrections officer, and assault- earning him another 10-25 years.
4. Jasmine Richardson
At 12 years old, Richardson started dating 23-year-old Jeremy Steinke, who claimed to be a 300-year-old werewolf. The young girl's parents tried to end their relationship, not wanting their underage daughter to have a creepy boyfriend who was old enough to drink. However, Jasmine and Jeremy refused and went on a murdering spree instead.
The girl killed both of her parents and stabbed her younger brother to death in his bed. Investigators found out the two made a pact to murder anyone who got in the way of their "love."
Read Next: The 29 Most Gruesome Unsolved Murders
Richardson is one of the youngest serial killers in Canada, but she hopes to live a normal life after her release from prison. Her social workers have said she's the "poster child" for rehabilitation.
5. Jeff Weise
Jeff Weise was 16 when he committed the Red Lake Shootings on March 21, 2005. Weise had a traumatic childhood, with his father committing suicide when he was only eight years old and his mother suffering severe brain damage from a car accident. Jeff had no choice but to live with his paternal grandparents after his mother's accident.
The morning of the school shooting, Weise shot and killed his grandfather, who was a police officer on the reserve, and his grandfather's girlfriend. He then took his grandfather's firearms and drove his police cruiser to school.
Before going into the school, Weise shot an unarmed security guard, and once inside, he fired randomly down a hallway and into a classroom- killing one teacher and five students. After suffering injuries during a shootout with the police, Weise went into another classroom and proceeded to commit suicide with a shotgun.
6. Charles Starkweather
Serial killer Charles Starkweather murdered eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming when he was 19-years-old. Ten of his victims were murdered between January 21 and January 29, 1958. Starkweather's 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, was by his side during the murder spree.
Starkweather and Fugate were apprehended on January 29, 1958, and both were convicted for their part in the homicides. Starkweather was given the death sentence and executed by the electric chair in 1959, and Fugate was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The story of Starkweather and Fugate served as inspiration for many TV shows, films, and books, including the popular movie Natural Born Killers (1994).
7. Jesse Pomeroy
Jesse Pomeroy is known as one of America's first teenage serial killers. Pomeroy began murdering young boys in Massachusetts in 1871 when he was only 12. At the time there were reports that several young boys were lured to remote areas and attacked by an older boy, but no action was taken.
Pomeroy was brutal in his attacks; he beat the boys with his fist and a belt and used a knife in at least two of the incidents. Some of the victims even suffered from permanent scarring.
Pomeroy's attacks continued after his family moved to South Boston, where he was finally arrested. However, two years later, he was paroled. A month after the teen's release, a ten-year-old girl from South Boston went missing.
Police immediately suspected Pomeroy despite a lack of evidence and later found the girl's body in Pomeroy's mother's dress shop basement.
It is suspected that Pomeroy had more than ten victims. He was charged with murder in the first degree and sentenced to death by hanging in 1875. However, since he was a minor, his sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment during a retrial.
Famous Teen Murderers
1. Michael Hernandez
The case of Michael Hernandez is one that shocked the nation. In February 2004, Hernandez lured his best friend, Jaime Gough, into a bathroom stall at Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Both boys were only 14 at the time of the juvenile homicide.
Hernandez stabbed his best friend over 40 times during this brutal murder. When law enforcement found Gough's body in the school bathroom, they immediately questioned Hernandez. During the investigation, police found an extremely detailed plan to kill two of his other classmates.
Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without parole for this heinous crime even though he was only a teen. On April 29, 2021, the notorious murderer died of a heart irregularity when he was only 31 years old.
2. Alyssa Bustamante
In 2009, 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante was convicted of ruthlessly killing her nine-year-old neighbor. She was caught for the juvenile homicide because she wrote about how amazing the experience was in her diary.
Law enforcement discovered that Bustamante's young neighbor wasn't her only target upon further investigation. The teenage girl dug multiple graves, and police suspected that they were for her younger brothers.
The teenager showed little remorse for her victim during the trial and has to spend 35 years in prison for first-degree murder before she's eligible for parole.
3. Eric Smith
The murder of four-year-old Derrick Robie by 13-year-old Eric Smith was so horrifying that it made national headlines.
Smith was riding his bike to summer camp when he saw young Robie walking alone to the same camp. The teen then lured the little boy into the woods, where he proceeded to strangle him, beat him with a heavy rock, undress his body, and shove a tree limb up his anus.
Read Next: The Most Famous Serial Killers In History
Smith told his mother that he killed Robie six days after the incident, and police were informed of the murder later that night. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 and sentenced to the maximum term for teens, which was a minimum of nine years to life in prison.
4. Tyler Hadley
In July 2011, 17-year-old Tyler Hadley posted on FaceBook to let his friends know that he was throwing a party. He used his parents' money to purchase alcohol and cigars for the 60 people that showed up at his house.
Hadley was arrested the following day for murdering his parents a few hours before the party. He popped three Ecstasy pills and proceeded to beat his parents to death with a hammer. He then spent hours cleaning up the pools of blood and threw the bodies in the master bedroom before his guests arrived.
Hadley told one of his friends that he had beat his parents to death and even showed him their lifeless bodies. He also told multiple other people at the party about the crime, and at least two of them reported Hadley to the police. Hadley was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for this twisted act.
5. Cindy Collier and Shirley Wolf
Cindy and Shirley instantly clicked due to their troubled lives full of neglect, rape, and abuse. The two seemed perfectly normal to any onlooker, but the two shared a common ability to commit brutal acts because of their horrific childhoods.
One day, 15-year-old Cindy and 14-year-old Shirley, AKA the 'Babyface Killers,' made headlines after stabbing an elderly woman to death with a kitchen knife. Anna Brackett, 85, was tricked into letting the two girls into her house, who proceeded to strangle and stab the innocent woman.
After the murder, Wolf wrote in her journal, "Today, Cindy and I ran away and killed an old lady. It was fun." The two teens also intended to kill more people since they had so much fun the first time.
6. Barry Loukaitis
On February 2, 1996, Loukaitis entered Frontier Middle School, armed with two handguns and a .30-30 caliber hunting rifle. He walked into his algebra classroom and fired rounds at the fellow students and his teacher. Loukaitis killed three students and the teacher.
Loukaitis' mental health was questioned during his trial. Psychiatrist Joan Petrich testified that the teen was experiencing delusions during the shooting.
However, prosecutors argued that the shooting was meticulously planned, possibly inspired by Pearl Jam's song, "Jeremy," the 1994 film Natural Born Killers, and Stephen King's novel Rage. After the year-long trial, Loukaitis was sentenced to serve two life sentences without parole.