It should be the most beautiful time of the year, but this does not always mean crime I’ll stop. There are actually a disturbing number of murders that have taken place place at Christmas, the day or night before Christmas Eve. Find out more about the the more gruesome murders that to have happened during the holidays.
The murders of the Sodder family
This is more of a suspicious death case than a risky homicide. On Christmas Eve 1945, a fire destroyed the house of George And Jennie Sodder and their family in the city of Fayetteville, West Virginia. Four of their children survived, but the bodies of the other five children were never found, according to Crime and investigation.
Like this, are they really dead? George was a critic of Benito Mussolini and the Italian fascist government, and a conspiracy theory suggests that the mafia took the children. Their parents never gave up hope that their children had survived and they even endured a scoreboard by offering a reward of $ 5,000 for information leading to the recovery of one of them. George and Jennie died still believing their children could be alive.
A Star Wars Connection
David and Roger Cooper planned to poison Sameena Imam in 2014 via text messages encoded with Star Wars sentences, the Mirror reported. She was in a relationship with Roger, and although she believed it by 2015, they would be together publicly, he didn’t want his wife to know about their relationship, Vice reported.
The brothers decided to kill Imam and spent months planning the murder. They first attempted to be kidnapped by David on December 12, exchanging messages like “Death Star Complete” and “Stay on target, Vader awaited”, but the plan failed. Then, on Christmas Eve 2014, Roger and Imam arrived at David’s home in Leicester and David smothered her with a rag soaked in chloroform.
David got rid of the woman’s body a few hours after her death. After police were informed that she was missing after Boxing Day, her car was found miles away from her body on January 4, 2015, Vice reported. Eventually, after a tip from the public, his body was found and the brothers were arrested on murder charges on January 7, 2014. On October 21, 2015, Roger and David were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to 30 years behind bars respectively.
Covina’s Santa Claus
On Christmas Eve 2008, in Covina, California, Bruce Pardo went to his ex-wife’s family home a week after his divorce was finalized and began filming, according to The 13th Floor. There were 25 people inside and nine were killed. One of the most bizarre aspects of the Covina massacre was that Pardo entered the house dressed in a Santa Claus suit.
Pardo also set the house on fire and three others were injured in the shooting. His ex-wife, his parents, his two brothers and their wives, his sister and his grandson were all victims of the massacre. The following morning, on Christmas Day, Pardo died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head at his brother’s house in the wee hours of the morning, and he never faced justice.
The crimes of Christmas
From December 24 to December 26, 1992, six people were killed and two injured in one of the worst killing sprees in the history of Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Daily News reported. The massacre became known as the “Christmas Murders” and began when Laura Taylor, DeMarcus Smith, Heather Matthews and Marvallous Keene murdered their first victim, Joseph Wilkerson, on December 24 at his home.
They continued shooting for days. Their initial motive was the robbery, but when Keene became paranoid about “spies,” according to Crime & Investigation, two of the victims were killed when the group worried they might implicate the four in the other deaths. The killers were arrested on December 26th, and Taylor, Smith and Matthews are serving life sentences for murder. Keene was convicted in five of the murders and was executed by lethal injection on July 21, 2009.
The murder of JonBenét Ramsey
JonBenet Ramsey was found dead on Christmas Day at her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. A handwritten ransom note was found at home and her father, Johnfound the girl’s body in the basement of their home about eight hours after she was reported missing.
The 6-year-old girl took a blow to the head that broke her skull and was strangled: a garrote was found tied around her neck.
His death was judged a murder, and initially during the investigation, authorities suspected that JonBenét’s parents and his brother, Burke Ramsey, they were involved in her kill. They were later deleted after the DNA test. The crime is still unsolved and remains open with the Boulder Police Department.
Tragedy in Atkins
In December 2020, Pope Shane Jones County Sheriff released a statement after an investigation near Atkins, Arkansas, involving five deaths, was determined to be a homicide-suicide case. The youngest who died was a 7-year-old girl named Danielle Collins. Among the individuals found in the home were Levenah Countryman, 10, Abigail Heflin, 12, Jaquita Chase 31, and Patricia Patrick, 61.
“While all the loss of life is heartbreaking, this situation has been particularly tragic,” Jones shared about the tragic accident over the holidays. “Whenever children are senselessly taken by those who love them, the pain is incomparable. If you add to this the loss of the adults involved, the pain is unfathomable ”.