John Wayne Gacy, Jr., was known as the ‘clown killer’ because of the costume he wore for block parties he threw in his neighborhood in Chicago. He killed 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978, burying 27 of them in a crawl space under his house. He got 21 life sentences and 12 death sentences after his conviction, a record-setting punishment.
Social spiders, who live together in colonies, are rare. Yet scientists have discovered a colony consisting of two different species living together. The spiders are both from the genus Chikunia, making each species as related to one another as wolves are to coyotes, or modern humans are to Homo erectus. Lena Grinsted, a researcher from Denmark, discovered the unusual arrangement when she was performing experiments to see if females would reliably protect the broods of other females.
It soon became clear that there were two species of spiders in the colony she was investigating. The revelation came about following genetic analysis and the discovery of notable differences in the genitals of the species. It’s not clear what advantage the species get from living together, as neither really brings anything different to the party. They don’t hunt together, and can’t interbreed. The only apparent benefit is mutual childcare, as females appear happy to watch the spiderlings of either species.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory is considered the most infamous serial killer in Hungarian/Slovak history. Rumors had circulated for years about missing peasant girls; offered well paid work at the castle, they were never seen again. One of these rumors reached the ears of King Mathias II, who sent a party of men to the massive Castle Csejthe. The men found one girl dead and one dying. Another was found wounded and others locked up. Described atrocities, collected from testimony of witnesses, include; severe beatings over extended periods of time, the use of needles, burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia, biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts, and the starving of victims. The victim total is thought to number in the hundreds occurring over a twenty-five year period. Due to her social status she was never brought to trial but remained under house arrest in a single room until her death. The idea that the Countess bathed in the blood of her victims is folklore, and one of the few things she did not do.
Rod Matthews was 14 when he lured Shaun Ouillette into the woods in Canton on Nov. 20, 1986, and bludgeoned him to death with a baseball bat to see what it was like to kill.. He was convicted of second-degree murder after the jury rejected his defense that he was insane and pushed over the edge by Ritalin, a drug used to calm hyperactive children.