In Their Own Words: Hilma Marie Witte

“You didn’t have to face what I had to face,” Hilma Marie Witte told her mother, Marcie O’Donnell. Referring to the dismemberment of her murdered mother-in-law, Elaine Witte, she continued, “I just finished the head.”

In Their Own Words: John Dillinger


“All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it’s happened I guess I’m just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy.”

In Their Own Words: King Edward Bell

“I just came back from the basement. I thought I heard my loving children saying Dad-Dad, I’m cold, but they were dead, they died instantly. Tina died the fastest. Kingston, Boogie, Kina refused to die, so I reloaded the gun with shaking hands, telling them, please, don’t suffer. I will help you die faster … I keep hearing children in the basement saying Dad-Dad, come here, I’m cold, Dad-Dad. I’ve kissed them again and talk to them (their spirit lived, they’re in heaven) … The children’s voice is now getting louder down in the basement. They won’t want me up here, and them down there, for I know they’re just babies.”

– mass murderer King Edmund Bell, who killed his four children, estranged wife, and her mother

In Their Own Words: Belle Gunness

Beginning in the summer of 1905, the following ‘lonely hearts’ ad began appearing in Norwegian-language newspapers. Translated into English, it read:

WANTED—A woman who owns a beautifully located and valuable farm in first class condition, wants a good and reliable man as partner in same. Some little cash is required and will be furnished first class security.

Anyone interested in the ad was directed to contact “B.G.” in care of the newspaper.

D.J. Hunter, Belle’s postman at her LaPorte Farm, later said she often received as many as eight to ten letters per day from hopeful love interests, including several of her future victims.

In Their Own Words: Daniel Stonebraker

The picture on the left in the composite sketch based on survivor Betty Jane Spencer’s description. The picture on the right is Stonebraker’s actual photo (1977).


“I couldn’t live with the death of those people on my conscience. I wanted to be caught but I couldn’t turn myself in. I wanted them to catch the ones who done it—which was us. They have got the right people. I want to make sure justice is brought forth for the death of those people.”

Stonebraker, along with his three accomplices, broke into a trailer and slaughtered the family he found inside after reportedly choosing the home at random.

In Their Own Words: Larry Eyler

“I’m very aware of what’s happening. I know that Mr. Agan isn’t. And I told him to make his peace with God… And, after waiting those few minutes, then Dave said, ‘Oh, kill the motherfucker.’ I then stabbed Mr. Agan and Dave took another snapshot. I stabbed Mr. Agan, then I stabbed Mr. Agan a couple or three times. I don’t know how many times. I just did them very quickly. And then Dave came over and then he took the knife from me and he stabbed Mr. Agan while he masturbated. And after he stabbed Mr. Agan a few times, then Mr. Agan went limp.”

– Larry Eyler, in a confession he gave to the court while pleading guilty to Steven Agan’s murder*

*Eyler’s alleged co-conspirator was found not guilty

In Their Own Words: John David “Butch” Witte

INDIANA INFAMY - Hans Dieter (John David)  

“My mom said I could strangle her or use my crossbow. It was up to me.”

– Hans Dieter (John David) “Butch” Witte, describing the conspiracy to kill and dismember his grandmother Elaine. Sentenced to a twenty-year manslaughter term for taking part in the murder, Butch was released in 1996.

In Their Own Words: Ricky Hobbs

stopping at slowyear 

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know Sylvia that well. It was just a casual relationship.”

– Ricky Hobbs describing his “relationship” with Sylvia Likens, the girl he helped torture to death. Among other sadistic acts, Ricky helped brand the words “I’m a prostitute and proud of it” into the girl’s stomach with a needle.