You often hear about sibling rivalry as the more damaging of sibling relationships, but what about being so close you’d do anything for your them? Even murder.
Given the household and childhood dynamics involved in creating violent criminals, it shouldn’t be surprising that one home can give birth to multiple killers. It’s far less common than the lone killer, or strangers who connect over their murderous desires. But sometimes the bonds of siblings are unbreakable, resulting in shocking crimes throughout history.
Here are ten infamous killer siblings who took the bonds of family way too far.
Lyle and Erik Menendez
Lyle and Erik Menendez lived a privileged life in Beverly Hills, California. But on the evening of August 20, 1989, the brothers walked into the family den with shotguns, and open fired on their parents. When police arrived, the brothers told them they came home to the carnage. But when the brothers began to lavishly spend their parents multimillion fortune, they became the primary suspects. After a six month investigation, police charged Lyle and Erik with the murder of their parents.
Of all the siblings on the list, the Menendez brothers are probably the most well-known. Their highly publicized trial captured America’s attention thanks largely to being televised on Court TV and the captivating testimony that relayed years of sexual abuse by their father. It took two trials, the first a mistrial, before they were found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They’re both currently serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Reginald and Jonathan Carr
The week of December 8 was harrowing for Wichita Kansas. From the 8th to the 15th, Reginald and Jonathan Carr committed a series of brutal crimes resulting in five murders, two people severely wounded, multiple homes had been robbed, and two women raped. That week became known as the Wichita Massacre and the Wichita Horror. The brothers began by robbing and shooting two people three days apart. Both were hospitalized, where 55-year-old Ann Walenta eventually died from her injuries.
On December 14, the brothers broke into a home where they found five people. They ransacked the home for valuables before sexually assaulting the women and forcing the men to engage in sexual acts. After, they forced the group naked into the cold, shooting them in the head and leaving them for dead. One woman survived and was able to get to the police. Combined the brothers were charged and convicted of over one hundred counts including kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder. They were sentenced to death.
Larry and Danny Ranes
While most of the siblings on this list committed their crimes together, Larry and Danny Ranes stand out for both committing serial murders independently of each other. Larry was first arrested in Kalamazoo, Michigan after killing thirty-year-old Gary Smock and leaving his body in the car on the side of the road. After his arrest, he admitted to four more murders, three of which he couldn’t even remember the victim’s names. He was sentenced to life without parole.
Shortly after Larry’s conviction, his brother Danny was arrested and convicted of attempted rape and felonious assault. When he was released in 1972, he began raping and killing women with the help of accomplice Brent Koster. Guilt drove Koster to confess, even turning on Danny. Danny was arrested and convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life without parole.
Pete and Pat Bondurant
If you were looking for drugs near the small Tennessee town of Elkton, you would likely know brothers Pete and Pat Bondurant. Hulking men of over three-hundred pounds, they dealt every kind of drug imaginable at the time and were known partiers in the area. But while many came and went from their isolated farmhouse, three individuals would never be seen again.
Gwen Duggar first went missing in May 1986, with Ronnie Gaines following in October. During the investigation, Pat’s girlfriend, Terry Lynn Clark, who was also his alibi turned up dead before police could question her. Eventually, they found a witness to their brutal crimes which led to enough evidence to convict the pair of multiple counts of murder. Pat is serving life in prison. Pete served twenty-five years and was released in 2016.
The Kray Twins
By day, the Kray twins, Ronald and Reginald owned a prominent London nightclub frequented by celebrities and politicians throughout the 1960’s. They even were considered celebrities in their own right, were regularly photographed, and even appeared for an interview on TV. But the twins were also head of one of the largest organized crime rackets from the 1950’s until their arrest in 1967. It all came crashing down when one dogged investigator became dedicated to taking the twins down.
From 1964 to 1967, Detective Chief Superintendent Leonard Reed collected enough evidence to arrest them. The trial was longest murder hearing in Britain’s history at the time and became a media sensation. Over the course of their career, they had committed crimes ranging from arson, protection rackets, gambling, assault, and murder. They were sentenced to thirty years before parole. But not even prison slowed the twins down. Both wrote books and ran a lucrative bodyguard protection business for Hollywood stars.
The Briley Brothers
The three Briley brothers had a fairly normal childhood. They lived in Richmond, Virginia, were known to help neighbors mow their lawns, and raised exotic pets like tarantulas and boa constrictors. But violence lurked under the surface. Sixteen-year-old Linwood shot and killed a neighbor, sparking off a future of violent crime.
Eight years later, in 1971, the three brothers along with an accomplice, went on a seven month killing spree. They broke into multiple homes, robbing the residents of their valuables, sometimes beating the men or raping the women, brutally killing multiple people, and set one home on fire. By the time of their arrest, they had murdered eleven people. The oldest two were sentenced to death and executed in 1984 and 1985. The youngest received a life sentence.
The Scissor Sisters
Sisters Linda and Charlotte Mulhall lived a troubled life in Ireland. Linda, 30, had a history of being in abusive relationships, even losing custody of her four children for a time, and she struggled with alcohol and heroin addiction. Charlotte, 21, also had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, along with multiple criminal convictions including involvement with prostitution.
On the night of March 20, 2005, the girls, along with their mother were drinking heavily, had taken ecstasy, and drugged their mother’s boyfriend. When he began to act inappropriately to Linda, Charlotte stabbed him while Linda hit him with a hammer multiple times. Their mother watched. They dismembered the body, throwing it into the Royal Canal. The girls and their mother were eventually arrested. Linda received fifteen years, Charlotte a mandatory life sentence, and their mother five years.
The Fryer Brothers
What started as a night of laughing among friend ended in tragedy for five friends on November 17, 1973. The group, aging in range from thirteen to eighteen, went to Gitchie Manitou State Park in Iowa when they were ambushed by three brothers, Allen, David, and James Fryer who were out poaching deer. Pretending to be police officers, the brothers killed the teenage boys but taking thirteen-year-old Sandra Cheskey to their farmhouse where she was sexually assaulted.
Under the pretense that they were still police, they let Sandra go with a warning to not say anything. Sandra went to the police, identified Allen as the “boss”. All three brothers were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Gitchie Manitou murders have become so infamous, they inspired season two of the television show Fargo.
Catherine and Andrew Suh
When thirteen-year-old Andrew Suh’s mother was found brutally stabbed in a botched robbery in October 1987, his eighteen-year-old sister Catherine took custody of him. For a time, life was good for the siblings. Andrew graduated valedictorian of his prep school and went on receive a full scholarship at Providence College.
On September 25, 1993, Andrew checked out of his school to fly home. Later that same day, the body of Catherine’s 31-year-old boyfriend and business partner was found shot twice in his car. Police eventually traced the crime back to Andrew and his sister. Andrew claims Catherine manipulated him, and even blames the death of their mother on her. Catherine was sentenced to life without parole. Andrew is eligible for parole in 2034.