“Murder” by Spirit-of-Dusk via deviantart
Many murderers are reviled for their depravity and brutality. Such individuals are often incapable of feeling compassion or empathy for their victims and so then it may seem paradoxical that some killers would be opposed to the consumption of meat. Whether for ethical or health reasons these 10 killers abstained from eating dead animals yet had no reservations about slaughtering humans.
10. William MacDonald
MacDonald was a vegetarian who loved classical music and is credited as Australia’s first true serial killer. During the 1960s he terrorized the city of Sydney and was dubbed the “Sydney Mutilator” drawing comparisons to Jack the Ripper due to the gruesome manner in which he killed his victims. He targeted riffraffs and wastrels who he would lure with alcohol and then subsequently slaughtered them. He murdered and mutilated 4 men with a hunting knife, taking one victim’s genitals home in a paper bag before throwing them off the Harbor Bridge. He was eventually caught, convicted and sentenced to life. It was later found that MacDonald was raped by a corporal while he was in the military and as a teen had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He became eligible for release from jail but declined. He expressed no desire to leave, saying he “wouldn’t last five minutes”
9. Volkert Van der Graaf
Van der Graaf was a Dutch vegan animal rights campaigner who in May 2002, assassinated anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn as he was heading for his car. Van der Graaf was a passionate activist who fought against factory farming and worked with the Environment Offensive, a group aimed at “stopping the expansion of factory farming”. As a teen he said his parents would not let him give up meat, but he later became a vegan. His alleged reason for killing Fortuyn was to stop him from exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats”. He viewed Fortuyn as a threat to those groups, comparing his rise to that of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. At his trial, relatives of the slain politician appeared in court wearing fur coats as a show of spite against Van der Graaf.
8. Adolf Hitler
Under Hitler’s reign, millions of people were killed and if some reports are to be believed, the Nazi regime was an institution with paradoxical ethics. On the one hand were the horrors of Auschiwitz where cruel and inhumane experiments were conducted on Jewish prisoners by evil scientists such as the infamous Josef Mengele. On the other hand was the irony of Nazi animal rights advocacy. Adolf Hitler himself is alleged to have been a vegetarian (albeit not a strict one) with a fondness for animals particularly that of ravens, wolves and dogs. It has been reported that he believed meat-consumption was a factor in societal decline. In his 1938 autobiography, Mein Kampf, he recounts how, even when food was scarce, he would share his paltry rations with mice. When the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, they instituted numerous animal protection laws. People could be jailed for mistreating animals which included such acts as docking the ears and tails of dogs without anesthesia, and invasive animal research. The Nazis apparently had compassion even for the suffering of lobsters in restaurants.
7. Lynette Fromme
Lynette Fromme was a would be assassin and member of the infamous “Manson Family” cult. Although she did not succeed, in 1975 Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was dead set on assassinating then president Gerald Ford. She pulled out a colt .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol during an event in Sacramento at which the president appeared but she was quickly subdued by intervening Secret Service agents. She was convicted and sentenced to life for her assassination attempt but was released on parole in 2009. Audio tapes of her pretrial psychiatric examination have been released that reveal her to be a herbivore among other things. When asked about her diet she replied, “Vegetables, yeah, I’m a vegetarian. I try and avoid additives, sugar; I ordinarily don’t eat any sugar, starch.”
6. Scott Dyleski
In October 2005, Scott Dyleski murdered his neighbor Pamela Vitale who was the wife of prominent lawyer Daniel Horowitz. Dyleski was only 16 years old when he bludgeoned Vitale to death in her home while she was surfing the web. During his trial he was impassive and un-emotive making no admission of guilt nor any disclosure of details of his motives. He was convicted of first degree murder and was served the max sentence of life without parole being ineligible for the death penalty on account of his age. In spite of his cold demeanor, witnesses at his trial, stated that Dyleski was a gentle vegan kid who also had a fascination with Goth music and serial killers.
5. Chandrakant Jha
In India during the late 90s, Chandrakant Jha would house young men in his home only to murder them often under petty pretenses such as lying or being non-vegetarian. He would reportedly pamper them like his own children and then kill them at the slightest provocation. Jha would scatter his victims mutilated limbs throughout Delhi which he did to taunt police officials. He was caught in 1998 and served time behind bars only to be released in 2002 for lack of evidence. He continued to kill 6 others before he was caught again. He reportedly had a “death ritual” where around 8pm he would tie his victim’s hands on the pretext of punishing him and then strangle them using a nunchaku. Jha was eventually captured and sent to the gallows for his crimes.
4. Sheila Graham-Trott
Sheila Graham-Trott was found guilty of first degree murder in the 2010 killing of Kelly Brennan, her former friend and estranged husband’s lover. 24 hours after going missing, Kelly Brennan’s body was found dumped in the bushes with signs of head trauma consistent with a hammer. Officials were led to her body after Sheila made a bizarre 911 call reporting she was seeing ‘visions’ of her friend’s face in the dark. The odd claim was enough to convince prosecutors that Sheila Graham-Trott was culpable. Perhaps as an attempt to convey the gentleness of her daughter, Graham-Trott’s mother expressed that Sheila has been a vegetarian since ninth grade because her bus stop was near an abattoir.
3. Sonia Jacobs
Sonia Jacobs was a 28-year-old ‘vegetarian hippie’ when she was arrested along with her husband and a 3rd man following a 1976 shootout in which two policemen were killed. Jacobs and her husband Jesse Tafero were passengers in a car driven by Walter Rhodes when the incident occurred. The 3 were convicted in the murders and spent 15 years on death row before the driver made a confession following the execution of Jesse Tafero in 1990. Rhodes made an admission that exculpated Jacobs of guilt and she was released in 1992. She reunited with her son and daughter and later remarried to an Irishman who was also released from prison under similar circumstances.
2. John Linley Frazier
John Linley Frazier was a mass murderer dubbed “the killer prophet”. In 1970 he murdered ophthalmologist Victor Ohta, his wife, two sons and a secretary and subsequently burned down the house they were in while he in a drug-induced psychosis. Frazier was vegetarian hippie who collected guns and did drugs and it is believed his use of LSD contributed to the string of erratic behavior leading up to the murders. He claimed to hear voices that compelled him to act as an agent of god. He was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal gas but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
1. Adam Lanza
In December 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. He also murdered 6 adult staff members as well as his mother before committing suicide. He is said to have been fascinated with chimpanzees because of their capacity for empathy, but could show little or none himself. Adam reportedly had mental disorders including obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as changing his socks 20 times a day and using tissues to open doors for fear of touching knobs with his bare hands. Witnesses have reported that Adam was a vegan who drank water “with a certain amount of salt added to it.” He reportedly had no friends or associates and never used drugs or alcohol. He would write stories and poems that would at turns terrify and move his listeners to tears. In an email to investigators, an unnamed witness disclosed that “Emotion wasn’t something expressed in particularly verbose or grandiose fashion but it was expressed. He was capable of laughing, smiling and making jokes though always in a dry fashion.”