Serial Killers in Modern America

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In today’s society, America is a dangerous place for people to walk alone. We have definitely had our share of serial killers over the years. We have had the Harpes brothers in the 1800’s to the more modern day Jeffrey Dahmer. A serial killer in the United States is defined by Congress as “someone who murders a minimum of three or more people.” (Harris) Three-quarters of the world’s total serial killers have done their killing in the United States. True crime writers often claim that America’s first serial killer was H.H. Homes, but there were actually several before him. The first documented serial killers were two brothers named Micajah and Wiley Harpe. These two killed people for two reasons and they were for fun and profit. These two were notorious for their cut-throat ways, and the other outlaws were scared of them. (Ramsland) They terrorized the Natchez Trace which is known today as the Natchez Trace Parkway. Not much is known about the early history of the Harpes’, but they terrified everyone they came across. The Harpes even slaughtered two of their own children each. (Ramsland)

For a brief period of time the Harpes traveled with a group of river pirates who were merely concerned with enriching themselves. As you can imagine they did quite well at that. However, these pirates never intended for any physical harm to come to their victims, but the Harpes had other intentions. The incident that caused the Harpes to be kicked out of the group was when they tied a naked flatboat passenger to a blindfolded horse and sent it over a cliff. (Ramsland) From this point on that group of pirates referred to the two as “men turned into wolves.”

Micajah Harpe admitted to a number of murders, but he said that there was only one that he was remorseful for, and that was the murder of his own child. His reason behind killing his own child was because the baby’s crying annoyed him. (Ramsland) Micajah would end up being killed by a pack of wolves, and Wiley was hung on...
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