Friday, May. 22, 2009

The Lonely Hearts Killers

While serving time for petty theft in the 40's, Raymond Fernandez learned about voodoo and the occult from a cellmate. Upon his release, Fernandez believed he could use voodoo to gain a mastery over women and began writing letters to dozens of wanted ads posted by lonely single women. His M.O.: woo his marks, gain their trust, then rob them and disappear — which worked until one victim, Martha Beck, showed up on his front doorstep with her two kids. Fernandez agreed to let her stay if she got rid of the kids, who were promptly abandoned at the Salvation Army.

The couple continued to scam women, but the jealous and unstable Beck couldn't handle sharing Fernandez and they eventually began killing their targets. After the murder of a young widow and her child, the two were arrested, signed a whopping 73-page confession and died in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison in 1951. The Lonely Hearts Killers are believed to have murdered as many as 20 people.

See the top 10 unsolved crimes.