The course of true love never did run smooth, especially not for these creepy couples. Some couples will do anything to be together, but these pairs took it too far. While some guys might bring their paramour flowers, one man chose to mummify his dead lover’s body. And who needs Valentine’s Day when you can write to each other every day in separate prisons? From the Moors Murders to the Ken and Barbie Killers, we don’t mind being single while we read about these crimes of the heart.
1. Myra Hindley and Ian Brady
The Moors Murderers, nicknamed for the Moors in England where the bodies of the victims were buried, are a struggle for even the most seasoned true crime lover to read about. Ian Brady, a Nazi-obsessed loner, appealed to bad-tempered Myra Hindley and she became completely infatuated with him. When he finally gave in to her obsession, he enjoyed introducing her to Nazism and the idea of “the perfect murder.”
In 1963, they murdered their first victim, Hindley’s 16-year-old neighbor. From there, it escalated intensely. Brady picked out victims; Hindley lured them to her car; Brady sexually assaulted and killed them. Each victim was buried in the Moors of England. Brady refused to give exact locations of the burial sites even after his capture. After the couple was turned in by Hindley’s brother-in-law, they refused to discuss anything in court.
They continued to write letters to each other in prison after receiving life sentences, but later Hindley claimed that she had only participated in the murders because Brady was blackmailing her and that she had been completely in his control. Other reports state that Hindley was calling the shots and is just as guilty as Brady. In their trial, the judge stated that the couple was no more than “two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity”.
2. Fred and Rosemary West
When Rose met Fred West at the age of 15, she initially rejected his advances. If only she had walked away from him then and there. Instead, Rose and Fred became cohorts in some of the most depraved crimes ever documented. The couple is thought to have killed at least 12 people between 1967 and 1987, including two of their children. Rose worked as a prostitute in their home while Fred watched from a peephole. The couple had many children, both of their own and from Rose’s clients.
Each child was subjected to horrible physical abuse and torture, with two of their children ending up dismembered in their backyard. The couple was apprehended after one of their daughters told her friends that her father was raping her. Many of the children were too afraid of their parents to testify, but Fred’s eldest daughter from a separate marriage detailed the depravity that the West children had suffered with for years. After being arrested, Fred committed suicide by hanging and Rose was sentenced to life in prison. Rose still holds on to her innocence, but the many witnesses of her crimes disagree.
3. The Toy Box Killer and Cindy Hendy
While David Parker Ray, also known as the Toy Box Killer, committed his suspected 40-60 murders solo, he also liked to have a little help carrying out his most evil fantasies. In 1999, Ray was able to convince sex worker Cynthia Vigil to enter his trailer. Once she was in the trailer, he pulled out a fake police badge and told her she was under arrest. From there, his girlfriend Cindy Hendy appeared from behind a curtain and handcuffed Vigil.
From there, Ray and Hendy took Vigil back to their home and kept her captive for three days. While Vigil was in their home, the couple raped her, tortured her, and inflicted bodily harm. Vigil was chained to a bed, completely naked during the three days; the couple often watched television in the same room while she cried for help. Vigil was able to escape and ran down the road naked and bloody with a collar padlocked around her neck. Ray and Hendy were both arrested.
The ensuing investigation revealed Ray’s many other crimes. Horrifyingly, another woman who had managed to escape the killer with her life was revealed by the police. At the time that Kelli Garrett had escaped, neither her husband nor the police believed her story of being drugged, kidnapped, chained up, and repeatedly raped. Only upon finding video that showed Garrett’s torture were her claims taken seriously. Ray was sentenced to 224 years imprisonment, while Hendy has so far served 17 years in prison and says that she “kind of” helped with the crimes and cover-ups.
4. Dr. Carl Tanzler and Maria Elena de Hoyos
Before the Corpse Bride, there was an ill-fated romance between Dr. Carl Tanzer, a 55-year-old doctor living in Key West, and his dying 19-year old patient, Maria Elena de Hoyos. If it sounds creepy now, just wait. Tanzer had always believed that his one true love would be a dark haired beauty, and Elena fit the bill. Tanzler wasn’t too concerned that she was married to another man when they met–or that she showed no signs of affection towards him. When Elena died of tuberculosis, Tanzer’s obsession became straight-up demented. It started out with building her corpse an electric temple, which then turned into Tanzer stealing her decaying body away in the night.
While Elena refused Tanzer’s marriage proposals in life, he felt that he was finally able to have her in death. He claimed that Elena had finally accepted his proposal, and that they were now married. Her body was decaying badly, and he kept her bones together with wire hangers, made her a wig of her own hair, and gave her glass eyes. He also stuffed her body with rags and sprayed perfume on the body constantly to mask the smell of rotting flesh. Most horrifyingly, it’s thought that Tanzer violated the body sexually and he slept with what used to be Elena’s body nightly. It was over for Tanzer’s sick lifestyle when Elena’s older sister discovered the DIY-mummified body in his home.
When the body was taken away and Tanzer was imprisoned for taking it from its resting site. However, he was soon let go and later made another replica of Elena’s body. While her real body was buried in a second funeral, it’s said that he continued to try to get it back. He died in 1952 on top of a life-size wax version of Elena.
5. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
The Canadian couple, known as the Ken and Barbie Killers because of their good looks, is responsible for at least three murders, as well as countless cases of rape. Their story is one of the most disturbing we’ve ever encountered. When Bernardo and Homolka first met, they were immediately attracted to each other and discovered that they shared sadomasochistic desires. Bernardo had always harbored a hatred for women and raped women throughout their entire relationship. Homolka took a submissive role in their crimes and later claimed that Bernardo’s abuse was what coerced her into violence–the truth of this is unclear.
After their marriage, Bernardo was angry that he hadn’t been able to take Homolka’s virginity, so she offered up her 15-year-old sister Tammy as a surrogate. They drugged Tammy, raped her, and then allowed her to choke on her own vomit and die. They passed it off as an accident, but this seemed to spark a desire for murder as well as sexual violence. Together, the couple hunted for young girls to rape, and sometimes kill. They often filmed themselves torturing girls.
When Bernardo was caught with DNA evidence, he was sentenced to life in prison. Homolka, however, was offered a deal if she could implicate Bernardo. By this point, Bernardo was abusing Homolka so she was happy to oblige. Tragically for the victims of these crimes, Homolka was only sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter because the tapes of her participating with Bernardo were not released until after she made the plea bargain. She has since been released and is allowed to live a normal life in Montreal.
Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons