Bizarre True Crime Stories
Not every story of crime can be boiled down to a one-sentence summary. In many cases, the stories are way more intricate and complex than can be conveyed in one telling. These stories are among the most haunting and bizarre true crime cases I’ve found in my research.
1. Marcus Wesson
Marcus Wesson committed the worst mass murder in Fresno, California. The incident occurred after several family members showed up to his house demanding the return of their children. Police were called to mediate the child custody issue, but instead they became part of a standoff.
The police claim they did not hear the gunshots that killed nine people inside the home.The victims were Wesson’s children, and in some cases they were children he had fathered with his own daughters and nieces. Each had been shot through the eye.
Inside the home, authorities also found a selection of antique caskets. Wesson had apparently instructed his children to be prepared to die in the event that authorities tried to separate them. He had some intense religious beliefs and had ultimately developed a cult within his family. The “vampire” aspects of the religious cult came out later.
Wesson presented a defense that his daughter committed the murders and then shot herself. Her DNA was found on the gun, but the argument was made that he had persuaded he
r to kill the children.
Ultimately, Wesson was convicted of nine counts of f
irst-degree murder and an assortment of sex crimes. He was sentenced to death in 2005.
2. Lori Vallow
At this time, the Lori Vallow case is still unfolding, but it’s a pretty deep rabbit hole already
Vallow is currently behind bars after failing to produce two missing children who were last known to be in her care. Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow are missing from Rexburg, Idaho and have not been seen since September 23, 2019. When questioned, Vallow claimed one child was with a relative in Arizona. They weren’t.
Vallow had recently married Chad Daybell, whose wife had just died in possibly mysterious circumstances. The couple left after they were questioned about the missing children, leaving behind a storage locker of the children’s belongings. They took off for Hawaii in January of 2020.
Courts demanded that Vallow produce the two children by January 30, but she failed to do so. She was arrested as a result.
Several other deaths and shootings have been associated with Vallow and her family. In 2019, her former husband was shot and killed by her brother in Phoenix. Her brother then died in December. Her niece’s estranged husband was shot at in the driveway of his home in Gilbert, Arizona. The vehicle was registered to Vallow’s deceased husband. Plus, Chad Daybell’s wife was attacked before she died weeks later.
Also notable is the fact that Vallow and Daybell have expressed obsession with the “end of times.” Daybell has written books and been on podcasts about the subject.
The whereabouts of the children remain unknown.
3. Deedee Blanchard
On June 14, 2015, Greene County, Missouri, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard shared with her daughter, Gypsy Rose. Inside the home, deputies found Dee Dee dead from stab wounds and her daughter missing. Gypsy was known to others as a teenage girl who suffered from a list of ailments, including leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and brain damage.
Neighbors alerted authorities to Facebook posts on Gypsy’s profile. The posts indicated that Dee Dee had been killed and that her daughter was in danger. When police found her with boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn in Wisconsin, it became clear that there was much more to the story.
Gypsy was found not to have the many physical and mental health ailments her mother claimed she did. She met Godejohn online and the two made a plan to kill Dee Dee’s mother, who many believe tortured Gypsy via Munchausen syndrome by proxy and then profited from it.
Gypsy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. She is serving a 10-year sentence. Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder and faces life behind bars.
4. Cory and Steven Stayner
In 1972, 7-year-old Steven Stayner was abducted from Merced, California. Kenneth Parnell kidnapped and held Steven nearly 200 miles away. At the age of 14, Steven was discovered while returning another victim to his home. In 1989, Steven would die in a motorcycle accident.
His brother, Cary Stayner, would go on to become a serial killer. In 1999, Cary murdered four women: Carole Sund, Juli Sund, Silvina Pelosso, and Joie Ruth Armstrong. The murders occurred near Yosemite National Park. He remains on death row for these crimes.
5. Rebecca Zahou
In 2011, Rebecca Zahou was found dead at Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, California. She died by hanging on July 13th just two days after her boyfriend’s 6-year-old son was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. The child had been injured in an accident at the mansion under Rebecca’s care. He would later die of his injuries.
Zahau was found nude with her wrists and ankles bound. Her hands had been tied behind her back, and she was gagged. Written near the scene was allegedly, “She saved him, can he save her.”
Neither death was officially ruled to be the result of foul play. Zahau’s death was ruled a suicide, and her boyfriend’s brother was apparently the only person present at the time. One civil trial found the brother responsible for her death, but it remains officially a suicide.
6. Diane Schuler
The 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash killed eight people, including four children. Diane Schuler caused the accident on July 26, 2009, when she drove in the wrong direction on the parkway near Briarcliff Manor, New York. She hit an oncoming SUV, killing herself, her daughter, three nieces, and three passengers in the SUV. Others were injured, including her son.
Toxicology test results revealed that Schuler had alcohol and marijuana in her system when the crash occurred, though her husband has denied her “excessive” use of these substances. An independent investigator confirmed the original results. Video footage of Schuler shows her stopping at a gas station and witnesses report seeing her vomiting behind the wheel before getting back in her van and driving erratically. One of the children called her father during the ride and said, “There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane.”
7. Dorothy Jane Scott
Dorothy Jane Scott disappeared from Anaheim, California, on May 28, 1980. She disappeared from a hospital after taking two co-workers there for a spider bite. The co-workers saw the car approach and then speed away. They were unable to see who had been driving.
Before her disappearance, Scott had apparently received anonymous phone calls from a man who threatened her. In 1980, a man called a local newspaper and reported that he killed Scott. Additionally, Scott’s mother received phone calls from somebody claiming to be the murderer. In 1984, partial remains were identified as Scott’s.
The case is officially unsolved.
8. Lori Erica Ruff
Lori Erica Kennedy Ruff died by suicide on Christmas Eve, 2010. For six years after she died, nobody had any idea who she really was. She had stolen the identity of a two-year-old who died in 1971. She used the child’s birth certificate to change her name, and her true identity remained unknown even to her husband.
After Ruff died, people on websites like Web Sleuths sought answers. Years later, more information about her identity came to light.
9. The Springfield Three
On June 7, 1992, Suzie Street, Stacy McCall and Sherrill Levitt (Streeter’s mother) went missing from Levitt’s Springfield, Missouri, home. Their cars, purses, and other personal items were left in the home. A broken porch light and some deleted answering machine messages were the only clues officers had to work with. On June 6, Streeter and McCall had graduated from high school.
The location of the three women is unknown, and seemingly there has been very little valuable movement in the case.
10. Rhonda Hinson
Rhonda Hinson, 19, went to a Christmas party on Dec 22, 1981. At midnight, she left with friends. At 12:30 am she set off for the drive home after dropping off her friends.
Her vehicle and body were found half a mile from her home. She’d been killed with a rifle that had traveled through the trunk, her seat, and her heart. Did she know her killer? She apparently once told her dad that she had something to say to him but never got to say it. A witness on the road also reported seeing something suspicious, but no headway has been made in the case.