5 Children Who Avenged Their Fathers' Deaths

Happy Father’s Day! Prepare to die
5 Children Who Avenged Their Fathers' Deaths

This Father’s Day, we want you to give your dad the ultimate gift: vengeance for his murder. His killer dishonored your family, and you must deliver justice. 

Follow the example of the wronged children from history below. Hunt down the killer, no matter how long it takes, and no matter how many years of training you need to sculpt your body into an assassin. Then introduce yourself. Remind them of their crimes. And tell them to ready themselves for oblivion.

Pistol Pete Eaton, Shooter of Confederates

You might know Pistol Pete as the mascot of Oklahoma State University, or as the sorta mascot of a few other colleges. Before he became a cartoon cowboy, he was a real person, an Oklahoma sheriff. Before that, he was an eight-year-old boy who watched his father get murdered by angry Confederates. A friend of his father’s (the way he later told it), said to him: “My boy, may an old mans curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father.”

Frank Eaton

via Wiki Commons

That was the day he grew his mustache.

Eaton then did the obvious thing: He joined the Cherokee Nation. Okay, maybe not so obvious, but that’s how he grew up when his mother remarried, and that’s how he first learned to shoot and ride. By the time he showed up as a teen in 1875 to the town of Fort Gibson, he was a shooting prodigy. Then he learned that a gang who’d been rustling Cherokee cattle included Doc Ferber, who’d killed his father. Eaton followed up on the tip, bringing his gun along, and that was the end of Doc Ferber and his posse

For all his skill with a gun, Eaton also knew its limits. He once said, “I’d rather have the prayers of a good woman in a fight than half a dozen hot guns: she’s talking to Headquarters.” He also said, “I’d rather have a pocket full of rocks than an empty gun,” but that one wasn’t so much a line about gun alternatives as a reminder to always carry ammo. 

Shi Jianqiao, Felled a Dude on His Knees

Shi Jianqiao was the daughter of Shi Congbin, who led a group of mercenaries in China in 1925. A warlord named Sun Chuanfang killed Congbin, which you might say isn’t an entirely unexpected end for a mercenary during wartime. The warlord, however, decapitated Congbin and made it a point to display the severed head at a busy train station, which is a bit much. 

A decade later, Sun Chuanfang was no longer a warlord. He ran a Buddhist group, and in the afternoon of November 13, 1935, he was kneeling with the others in the group and chanting scriptures. If he thought this absolved him of all his past sins, he was mistaken. Jianqiao suddenly showed up behind him with a pistol and shot him three times. 

Shi Jianqiao

via Wiki Commons

As public spectacles go, this had the train station beat.

This was not the Wild West, and she had to face immediate consequences. She’d come prepared for this, with a pile of pamphlets explaining her and Sun’s past to justify that she wasn’t just shooting kneeling dudes at random. She was still arrested, and her case went all the way to the Supreme Court a year later, who ruled that she had indeed been justified. She had acted in accordance with filial piety, a value supported by the national government. 

Yes, “he killed my father” was a valid defense for murdering someone. At least, it was if you were doing so during the Japanese occupation of China, during which the government had a motive for enshrining revenge into law.

Helen Spence, the Courtroom Killer

Up next, we have another murderer from the early 20th century who had to face an actual legal system. In fact, the legal system provided her a venue for the murder. Jack Worls was on trial for killing Helen Spence’s father as well as assaulting her stepmother on their Arkansas houseboat. In the courtroom, just before the jury could announce their verdict, 18-year-old Helen stood up and shot the guy. “He killed my daddy,” was her only statement. 

Helen was convicted of manslaughter, true. But just eight months later, she was paroled, as just about everyone was rooting for her. She was a free woman. Then, she stunned authorities by walking into a police station and confessing to a second murder, from February 1932, which had happened between Worls’ death and her conviction. Police had already considered her in this case and dismissed the possibility of her involvement. To this day, there’s speculation that she didn’t do it but had her own reasons for wanting to be back in jail.

Helen Spence

State of Arkansas

Something complicated to do with debt laws, or maybe she’d just made friends.

Unfortunately, this stint turned out to be a lot harder than her last visit to prison. She was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, which came with nude whippings, enemas, douches and other treatments that sound less like conventional punishments and more like a list of the warden’s fetishes. Inmates at this prison were even shipped out to the city to work as sex workers, but Spence used this as an opportunity to escape. 

While in prison, she sewed a second inner layer to her uniform out of handkerchiefs, and when shipped out to Memphis, she stepped into a bathroom, turned her uniform inside out, and successfully slipped away, now in disguise. Authorities recaptured her. She escaped two more times. Then she escaped yet again, a cop tracked her down, and rather than take her in, his amateur partner shot her dead. 

Helen Spence grave

Only In Arkansas

They had to. She was armed — with handkerchiefs.

This partner wasn’t even a policeman but a prisoner named Frank Martin, who was himself a convicted murderer. Both the cop and Martin went on trial for killing Spence, and were acquitted. This is where the official record ends, but locals said that someone next killed Martin, to avenge Helen, and the glorious cycle of revenge lives on. 

Alam Khan, the Dismemberer

For our most recent story, we look to Moradabad in India, where 24-year-old Alam Khan killed a man and freely admitted to police having done it. Mohammad Rais had killed Khan’s father 12 years earlier, according to Khan. Now it was 2015, and Khan had grown up and found himself able to put his revenge plan into action.

He called Rais to his house, under the pretense of hiring him as a repairman. He served him enough liquor to get him drunk. Then he turned on some loud music, so neighbors would not hear the screams. He killed the man with a knife. He took out a saw and cut the body into 12 pieces, one for each year he had waited. He took these pieces to the river and arranged them so passersby would see them. The head he kept as a souvenir.


Michael Fenton/Unsplash

“Repair this.”

See, we’re here today to celebrate triumphant tales of righteous revenge, but we have to acknowledge that if someone’s committing murder in cold blood, there’s always the chance that they’re flat-out psycho. 

Pierre Basile, Kingslayer

We don’t know for sure the name of the kid who killed Richard the Lionheart. This was the year 1199, and unless you were a king, no one probably kept tight records on you. But we know Richard was fighting in Limousin, France, taking a castle that was so poorly defended, he felt free to shed some of his chainmail. We know only two knights defended this castle, and they were so ill equipped, one of them was using a frying pan as a shield. That knight, who records sometimes call Pierre Basile, had a crossbow in his other hand, and he landed a shot on the king.

This did not stop the invaders, and after they took the castle, Richard had them bring the bowman to him. Pierre was younger than he’d looked from afar. Accounts call him a boy. Richard had previously killed the boy’s father, said Pierre, as well as his two brothers. It looks like the king considered this a worthy motive for attempted regicide. He ordered that Pierre be set free and be given 100 shillings. That was over two years’ wages. 

Richard I tomb

AYArktos/Wiki Commons

“Shit, I don’t need it. I’m dying.”

Richard survived the initial shot but not the gangrene that set in afterward. The infection stewed and killed him. We now reach another juncture where the records turn murky about what followed. So, you can either believe, as some accounts state, that Pierre escaped this encounter unscathed, or, like another says, that soldiers chased him down, flayed him and hanged him. The choice is yours. 

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