Angry mobs are not known for manners.
It was basically like walking from the set of Gone With the Wind into a particularly gruesome episode of Hannibal. They found seven slaves suspended from the ceiling by the spiky collars around their necks, apparently preserved solely for the sake of horrifyingly inventive torture. All of them were covered in bruises, wounds, and sores. Some had their limbs "stretched and torn from one extremity to the other," according to a newspaper at the time. Others had been lashed until their flesh had peeled away, revealing the bones within. One elderly man had been beaten so hard, his skull had literally caved in and exposed his brain for maggots to feast.
They had been like that for months.
Unsurprisingly, the crowd was so outraged with what they found that LaLaurie had to flee. The house was torn to pieces while the sadist skipped town to Paris and dropped off the map. So yeah, the bad guy kind of escaped in this one. Still, really -- what were you expecting from a story where an angry mob of slave-owners plays the hero role?
Fox Searchlight Pictures
A little more Benedict Cumberbatch, at least.
Amelia Dyer Murdered Hundreds of Babies for Money
According to popular opinion, Jack the Ripper takes home every prize in the "most terrifying killer in late-19th-century England" category. However, we at Cracked beg to disagree. While Jack certainly takes away the Audience Award, his prolificacy and pure creep factor can't hold a torch to Amelia Dyer. Dyer killed as many as 400 victims around the same time Jack the Ripper was making headlines as if he was the 19th-century Beatles. Also, her victims were all babies.
A nurse from Bristol, Dyer (yes, that was her actual name) was nominally in the orphanage business. She arranged to care for unwanted children of people who couldn't afford to take care of them (something the era had in abundance) for a fee. The business, called "baby farming," was entirely legitimate in itself. However, Dyer soon figured out how to make tons of money by doing as little as possible in the profession. You can probably see where this is going.
Meanwhile, here's a picture of a bunny. You'll need it.
Her customers, apparently failing to notice the air quotes she kept throwing when she assured she'd "take care" of their kids, paid her fee, and once the check cleared she just left the babies lying around, neglecting them until they died. When she decided that wasn't happening fast enough, she resorted to straight-up strangling them with white tape. She would then drop the bodies into the Thames and pawn the baby clothes, thus cementing her place as the most impossible person in history to write about for a comedy website.
Well, until you look at her picture and realize she was totally Tywin Lannister in drag.
Despite several run-ins with the police and a few stints in the loony bin, Dyer managed to carry out this sick practice for nearly 20 years as the police were trying to figure out where the hell all the dead river babies were coming from. Eventually, she got careless and wrapped one body in brown paper with some faint writing on it. The writing was traced back to her, and she was caught in 1896 through a sting operation.
Who volunteered to send their baby in undercover?
It took less than five minutes to convict her and sentence her to die by hanging.
Jacopo della Quercia is the author of The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy, which you should totally read if you liked this article. You can also follow Jacopo on Twitter.
For more horror stories that are absolutely true, check out The 5 Creepiest Stories in the History of War and 5 Real-Life Stories of Twins Creepier Than Any Horror Movie.
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