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Unlike many serial killers, whose childhoods are filled with abuse and terror, serial killer Herbert Mullin had a decent upbringing. He grew up in Santa Cruz with his father, a World War II veteran. Although described as strict, he was never abusive toward his son, and frequently told stories of his heroic war activities and showed Herbert how to use a gun at a young age. In school, Herbert had many friends and was even voted as ‘’Most Likely to Succeed’’ by his fellow classmates. However, it was shortly after graduation where his life took a wrong turn. He discovered that one of his close friends had died in a tragic accident. Over the next few years, he was in and out of mental hospitals. He was soon evicted from his apartment for repeatedly pounding on the floor, shouting at people who were not there. By the time he was 25, he was hearing voices in his head that an earthquake was imminent, and the only way to save California was through human sacrifice. Between October 1972 and February 1973, Herbert killed a total of 13 people, including a homeless man whom he beat to death with a baseball bat, a woman whom he stabbed, then dissected her body and scattered her remains along the road, four teenage boys whom he shot while they were camping, and a priest, who he was confessing his sins to. He believed the priest was volunteering to be the next human sacrifice, so he beat him and stabbed him to death. 

During Herbert’s trial, the defense argued that Herbert was clearly not sane, as he had a history of mental illness and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. However, the prosecutor insisted that he was too calculating of a killer to not be of sound mind, as he made efforts to cover his tracks. In the end, he was sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole until the year 2021, when he’ll be 74-years-old.

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Originally posted 2017-12-12 05:17:13.