This Valentine’s Day, forget history’s greatest couples and instead focus on the all-together more interesting examples of criminal couples, with some of the most notorious pairings of all time. Romeo and Juliet they’re not, but they might make you feel better about your own love life.
Bonnie and Clyde
Over 21 months during the Great Depression, notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow robbed shops, banks and gas stations as part of their crime spree, killing several policemen and civilians that got in their way. Eventually, police ambushed them in the desert and shot them both.
Fred and Rose West
Accused of child cruelty and numerous sexual crimes, including the rape of their own daughter, Fred and Rosemary West were eventually found guilty of torturing and murdering over 10 women (including two of their daughters), often burying the victims’ bodies in their home. He committed suicide while she was sentenced to life in prison.
Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole
Over a span of 40 years, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole are thought to have claimed the lives of hundreds of random victims from across America, including Toole’s own relatives. The pair raped, murdered and cannibalised their victims, as well as mutilating their bodies. Both were condemned to death, before having their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.
Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck
Otherwise known as the Lonely Hearts Killers, Fernandez and Beck targeted single women by writing to wanted ads. Initially, Fernandez wooed the women and robbed them, but later the pair moved on to murder. Caught and convicted of almost 20 murders, they were executed in 1951.
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Also known as the Moors Murderers, the pair committed some of Britain’s worst crimes: sexually assaulting and murdering five children and burying their bodies on Saddleworth Moor. Caught and found guilty, Brady was sent to a mental institution while Hindley faced life in prison.
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb
Both wealthy and highly intelligent students, Leopold and Loeb believed themselves to be Nietzsche’s ‘supermen’, able to commit and get away with the ‘perfect crime’. To this end, they kidnapped and murdered a 14-year-old boy, sending a ransom note to his parents after the crime to conceal the murder. The boy’s body was found and connected to the pair, who confessed and were sent to prison.
Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate
The inspiration behind the film Natural Born Killers, Starkweather and Fugate embarked on a killing spree across America that started with Fugate’s own family. In total, they killed 11 people over two months. Starkweather was executed, while Fugate was sentenced to life in prison.