4 Heinous Criminals With Freaky Fan Clubs
Most people who have lived the single life know just what a gauntlet the dating scene can be. Getting the attention and earning the affections of that special someone can be challenging. Yet for some people, earning scores of admirers is as simple as committing crimes so horrible, they become a fixture on the nightly news for weeks.
Yep, many men whose only claim to fame is killing and maiming dozens of people can gain the kind of popularity that many struggling singers or actors only dream of. Despite the fact that their imprisoned state means that they aren’t capable of returning the love, some mass murderers have not just one, but several fans who send them love letters, gifts, and defend their innocence. While most of us background check the new people that come into our lives, some folks actually seek out relationships with individuals who have committed truly heinous crimes.
Here are just four of the most notorious cases of killers with fanatical fan bases.
1) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Tsarnaev, better known as the Boston bomber, gained infamy after killing and maiming runners at the Boston marathon and causing mass panic in the ensuring citywide manhunt. Most Americans who are following his trial simply hope to see justice for his 30 charged crimes, but a small number of followers treat him more like Justin Beiber than Marilyn Manson.
Supporters have set up a Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler in his honor, posting pictures of the killer and insisting on his innocence. He has even earned his very own hashtag with his nickname: #freejahar.
Why on Earth would anyone actually defend someone who committed something so hideous? While psychologists might have their own explanation, some of the Chechen’s female followers have said that he is “beautiful,” “hot” and “too pretty to be guilty.”
2) James Holmes
James Holmes earned his place in mass shooting history by terrorizing a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and injuring 70. Despite the fact that he is pleading insanity for his crimes, “Holmies,” as they call themselves, have sprung up to show support for the gunman.
The signature costume of “Holmies” is a plaid top (Homes was arrested wearing plaid) and a slurpee (a reference to an interview where Holmes said he wanted to own a slurpee machine.) Artistically-inclined admirers even draw and share pictures of the alleged killer, complete with his orange-dyed mop and patchy facial hair. Like Tsarnaev, followers have even commented on his looks, calling his bug-eyed, permanently glazed-over expression “kinda cute” and “hot.”
3) Richard Ramirez
Richard Ramirez, who was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the media during his reign of terror in the mid-80s, gained infamy for a string of home invasions where he killed at least 13 people and raped many more.
But his horrifying crimes didn’t stop the steady stream of love letters to his jail cell after he was finally caught. Lines of women formed in the prison during visiting hours just so he could get a glimpse of the killer. Ramirez even married his most persistent admirer, Dorian Lily, after an 11-year courtship while he was on California’s death row. However, he declined to wear a traditional wedding band because it conflicted with his religious beliefs, stating “satanists don’t wear gold.”
4) Jeffrey Dahmer
Dahmer received multiple life sentences for killing, dismembering, and sometimes eating 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. Yet somehow mass murder and cannibalism actually turned profitable for Dahmer, who received over $12,000 in gifts from admirers around the world. “He did awful things but way deep down down he isn’t an awful kid,” one donator said of man who once admitted to drugging and beating a 15-year-old child to death.
The technical name for people who have amorous feelings for the psychotically violent is Hybristophilia. People afflicted with this bizarre kind of love see psychotic criminals as broken men who can be “fixed,” and want to be a part of the fame they acquired through their horrible crimes. Or they simply want a relationship with someone who is behind bars. Whatever the reason, anyone who worships someone like James Holmes, is truly a sick individual and could even be dangerous themselves.
Richard Mudd is a blogger living on the west coast. He writes about crime and the law.