The Harpe brothers were not only the first serial killers in America but also two of the most gruesome. It is said that they killed at least 39 people, though no one can say for sure what the true number was.
And, like many serial killers to come, they had a signature move. If a body was found with the guts ripped out and an open chest cavity filled with stones, then it was a telltale sign that the Harpe brothers committed the murder. As they traveled across the country through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi, they killed whenever they were provoked.
And, easily provoked, they wound up killing a lot. During the American Revolution, Captain James Wood provided an eyewitness account that stated the Harpe brothers had joined a Loyalist gang who took advantage of wartime lawlessness. They gang would steal, destroy property, rape, and murder. Wikimedia Commons A replica of a Kentucky jail that the Harpe brothers were likely kept in. However, it is estimated that was the year that their murder streak began. The brothers were living in Knoxville, Tenn. In the first instance of their signature characteristic, the man was cut open and weighted down with stones.
They were unaware of the terrible people that they were letting inside.
Stegall, when she screamed after she saw her dead child. Moses Stegall, the father and husband of the recently killed members of the Stegall family, also joined this hunting party. The posse managed to track down the Harpes on 24 August When the brothers were asked to surrender, they decided to flee. While Micajah was dying, he confessed to twenty of the countless murders that he had committed. The head was spiked on a pole near the Stegall homestead.
Mason had a huge bounty on his head; Harpe and another gang member killed Mason, cut off his head, and brought it to the authorities. Unfortunately for them, they were immediately recognized as wanted criminals and brought to justice.
A replica of the Kentucky state jail in Danville were the brothers were briefly held and escaped. His execution put an end to the fear that haunted the American frontier for years.
A gruesome chapter was finished. The actual scale of their crimes will perhaps never be known. The Harpe brothers: The first recorded serial killers in the United States. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
The Terrifying Tale of the Harpe Brothers (America’s First Serial Killers)
Return to Book Page. Preview — Killer Brothers by Wallace Edwards. The murdered. They stole. And they did it all to excess.
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