There is something about complete isolation that freaks me out. Being in a cabin or a tent, in the woods, no one for miles around, the whole "no-one can hear you scream" thing, it's just weird.
Plus, what came first, the horror movie of the murder in the woods, or actual murder in the woods?! These horror directors have to get their inspiration from somewhere, and it's mainly from real life.
These eight stories are all real life accounts of people being murdered in complete isolation, that secluded house in the forest you were going to book for a long weekend suddenly won't seem like a very good idea.
8. The Brooks Murders
Reckless teens 15-year-old Christopher Allen and 16-year-old Anthony Zarro, had just escaped from Lives Under Construction boys ranch, a correctional facility in Missouri, when they callously murdered long-time married couple Margaret and Paul Brian Brooks, aged 69 and 70.
The couple were vacationing in their son's home when the teens broke in and savagely attacked them with baseball bats before stabbing them to death.
A neighbor stumbled across the bloody scene when he saw the two juveniles loading stolen goods from the cabin into Mr. Brooks' car. They were still covered in the couple's blood. The neighbor held them both at knifepoint until police arrived.
Due to the severity of the crime, prosecutors hope the pair will be tried as adults when they go on trial on June 22nd 2015.
7. The Killer Bullies
John Hron was just 14 when he was wildly attacked by a gang of men known to be Neo-Nazi fanatics in his local area of Kungälv, Sweden in 1996. He and his friend Christian had been dropped off by Johns' mother by the small lake Ingetorpssjön near the town of Kode, so that the pair could go camping.
Four young men, aged 15, 17, 18 and 18, appeared to crash the camping trip. John knew the youngest one, Mikael, from school. The four boys were known to locals for their fascination with Nazism. Openly against the gang's beliefs, John would speak his mind and say he disagreed with the Nazi lifestyle. This lead to Mikael eventually threatening to kill John.
That evening, John was beaten and told to say that he loves Nazis. John refused and was eventually thrown into the water. John started to swim away. They shouted to John to swim back, but he didn’t answer. They then threatened to kill John's friend instead and when he heard this he swam back.
The torture continued and two of the attackers continued kicking him in the head for several minutes. After he became unconscious, they threw John's fractured body in the water. He sunk to the bottom and drowned.
Since his death, his gravestone has been desecrated several times. All the teens were sentenced as children, and have all since been released from prison.
6. The Russell Murders
On July 10, 1996, a crime took place that shocked the nation of Britain. A mother and her two daughters were beaten with a hammer while walking home together. Lin Russell, 45, had just picked up her eldest daughter, Josie, 9, from school and was last seen walking into woodland that lead to their secluded cottage home in Kent, England.
Also with her was her younger daughter Megan, 6. By 10:45 pm the three girls were nowhere to be found, prompting Shaun Russell, the husband and father of the family, to phone the police.
The police searched the area and found the bodies of Lin, Josie, Megan, and the family dog Lucy, a short distance away from the house. They were laying on the ground surrounded by trees.
They had been attacked with a hammer, and their bodies had been left out in the open. The attack was so bad, and the three had suffered such horrific injuries, that Shaun was initially told that they’d all been murdered.
Miraculously, 9-year-old Josie survived the attack and would go on to make a remarkable recovery.
38-year-old Michael Stone was arrested and convicted of the crimes in 1998, however the case was overturned after his cell mate said Stone had confessed he lied during his trial.
In 2001, he was re-tried, and this time he was found guilty and given three life sentences. There was no physical evidence connecting Stone to the crimes, and he maintains his innocence to this day.
5. Henry Cowell State Park Murders
In early February 1973, 18-year-old David Oliker, 15-year-old Mark Dreibelbis, 18-year-old Robert Spector, and 19-year-old Brian Card were enjoying a camping trip, staying in a makeshift cabin.
While enjoying their vacation, a man approached them claiming to be a park ranger. Becoming angry, the man told them to leave as they were polluting the forest. After they refused, the stranger left, promising he would return the following day.
The four young men didn't take him seriously and carried on having a good time. But the man did return, and even though the boys were armed with a .22 rifle they never used it and the man shot them all at point blank range, leaving their bodies, which were not found for a week.
It was later discovered that the man responsible for the deaths was serial killer Herbert Mullin. A schizophrenic, he believed that he must kill in order to prevent a huge earthquake. He killed 13 people before he was caught by police.
4. The Keddie Murders
In 1981, at the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada, a horrific quadruple murder took place that has never been solved.
The murders took place in the small former resort town of Keddie, in cabin 28. A mother, Glenna Sharp, known as Sue and her son, John, 15, and his friend Dana Wingate, 17, were mercilessly killed in cold blood.
On the morning of April 12, Sue's fourteen-year-old daughter, Sheila, discovered the bodies of Sue, John and Dana in the cabin's living room upon returning home from her sleepover next door. All three victims found in the cabin had been bound with electrical wire and medical tape.
When autopsies were carried out on the bodies it was discovered that each of the victims had been bludgeoned with a claw hammer, and Sue and John had been stabbed repeatedly. John's throat had also been cut.
Dana Wingate was also strangled and bludgeoned with another weapon. One of the knives discovered at the scene had been used so forcefully that the blade had bent approximately twenty-five degrees.
But, the sadness didn’t end with the murders. Tina, Sue's 12-year-old daughter, was missing, presumed kidnapped.
Three young children were alive found in a bedroom just opposite the crime scene. Greg and Rick Sharp, who were 10 and 5, slept soundly while their mother was being murdered just next door. Justin, a 12-year-old family friend, was the only person alive that witnessed the crimes.
Justin’s statements, however were considered to be unreliable by the police as his memories of what happened changed. His accounts varied between the first interview when he was under a hurried hypnosis with the County Sheriff, then under a polygraph test, and then changed once again under professional hypnosis much later in his adult life.
Police released sketches of the suspects, but no-one has ever been charged with the murders. Sadly, three years after she was kidnapped from the scene, the head of Tina Sharp was found 30 miles away from the scene.
Decomposition proved that Tina had been killed the night of the murders, or shortly afterwards. No body was ever accused.
3. Trailside Killer
David Carpenter, also known as the Trailside Killer, raped and murdered his victims while they hiked, walked or jogged through secluded woodland in various areas of California between 1979 to 1981.
All of his life he had been in and out of prison for various degrading crimes such as molesting his own cousins, kidnap, and attempted murder.
Sadly, his lengthy prison terms didn't deter him from reaching his ultimate goal, taking someone else's life.
One of his victims was Ellen Hansen, a University of California student. She was killed while hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains. A memorial scholarship has since been created in her honor as she was so courageous during the attack it allowed her hiking companion to escape alive.
On May 10, 1988, a San Diego jury convicted Carpenter of first degree murder in the slayings of Richard Stowers, Cynthia Moreland, Shana May, Diana O'Connell and Anne Alderson.
Carpenter was also found guilty of raping two of the women and attempting to rape a third. He was sentenced to die in the gas chamber, and remains on San Quentin's death row.
Also in December, 2009, cold murder cases were reexamined and a DNA sample taken from David found him guilty of a murder that took place in San Francisco on October 21, 1979.
Mary Frances Bennett. Bennett, 23 years old at the time of her murder, had been jogging at Lands End, San Francisco, when she was attacked and stabbed to death. The DNA sample given by David matched the DNA found on her body, which named him as the killer.
David Carpenter is still a suspect in the murders of Edna Kane, Barbara Schwartz and Heather Scaggs. He remains on death row.
2. The Girl Scout Murders
On Sunday, June 12, 1977 lots of eager girl scouts arrived for their first night of Summer Camp, sadly, three girls wouldn't see the second day.
Due to a thunderstorm, all of the girls had been sent to their tents to huddle inside and stay out of the rain, what was found the following morning was truly terrifying.
The lifeless bodies of Lori Farmer, 8, Michele Guse, 9 and Doris Milner, 10, were found. They had been raped, bludgeoned and strangled in tent number 8 where they had been sleeping.
Chillingly, a few weeks earlier, a camp councillor had been given a warning that the murders were going to take place.
When she had returned from a training session at the camp, she had come back to find her belongings had been thrown around, and a note had been left inside an empty donut box.
The note said that three young girls would be murdered at the camp, then the writer of the note returned to carry out their evil plan. Even though this was a huge warning sign, nobody took it seriously.
The only suspect in the crime was Gene Leroy Hart. The local sheriff claimed he was "one thousand percent" sure it was Hart who committed the crimes, so it came as a huge shock when a local jury acquitted him
On June 4, 1979, he collapsed and died after about an hour of lifting weights and jogging in the prison exercise yard while serving 308 years in prison for rape and escaping prison.
1. The Butcher Baker Murders
Robert Hansen was a prolific serial killer in Anchorage, Alaska. His name 'The Butcher Baker' was given to him because of the severity in which he butchered his victims, and because of his trade, as a seemingly quiet and unassuming baker.
On June 13, 1983, 17 year-old Cindy Paulson escaped an attacker who had kidnapped, beaten, and raped her. She managed to get out of his car and ran to a main road where she flagged down a car to take her to safety, still in the handcuffs that were put on by her assailant.
She named Hansen, saying she had left her blue running shoes in his car as evidence that she had been there. But the shy baker seemed too quiet to police to be a rapist, and his humble trade and family life couldn't have fit the profile of a prolific sex offender, could they?
The police ended up letting him go.
That was, until dead bodies were discovered, mainly along the Knik river, near where he lived. A profile of a killer was determined by professionals, and Hansen fit the bill.
When he was captured, he denied everything, then broke and started to blame the women for what he did, even saying;
"You can't rape a prostitute, can you?"
When asked about his victims.
He admitted that sometimes he would let his victims loose into the woods, only so he could have the thrill of hunting them down again. He is known to have raped and assaulted over 30 Alaskan women. He is also responsible for murdering at least 17, ranging in age from 16 to 41.
He died in prison.
These stories really make the movie The Cabin In The Woods all the more terrifying!