Serial Killers

David Edward Maust and John George Haigh

Early Life

Born April 5th 1954. Maust showed violent behavior at a very young age. When he was 9 years old he set fire to his younger brothers bed, and later tried to drown him. His brother remembered Maust beat a squirrel to death with a bat "for fun" His mother then sent him to a mental institution. While Maust stayed there he was sexually molested by other patients. At age 18 he enlisted in the army in 1971. In 1974, while stationed in germany he killed a 13 year old boy named James McAlester. He was convicted of man slaughter and larceny. He claimed the boys death was an accident. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison at Fort Leavenworth.


Maust was realized from prison in 1977.

  • In 1979 in his apartment in Chicago Maust stabbed a friend in his apartment while he was sleeping.
  • In 1981 Maust decided to find and kill the 13-year-old who had molested him at the children's home. He was unable to find the boy, encountered 15 year-old Donald Jones and decided to kill him instead. Jones was eventually drowned in an Elgin quarry
  • In Texas the same year Maust stabbed a young man, was arrested, and sentenced to 5 years for “causing bodily injury to a child
In 1982, while in jail in Texas, Maust was extradited to Illinois for the Jones murder. A Cook County sheriff's police officer wrote on a cover sheet of the extradition papers sent to Texas: "Bad Guy. Gacey Type."Originally found unfit to stand trial, he was held in mental health facilities. Ultimately, after those hospitalizations and roughly ten years in jail awaiting trial, Maust pled guilty in 1994 and was sentenced 35 years. However, he received credit for the 12 years he was held and time off for good behavior; thus he served 17 years altogether and was released in 1999.

  • In 2001 Maust hit an acquaintance 6 times in the back of the head with a metal pipe in another attempted murder, but he was not prosecuted because the acquaintance, although he reported the incident to police, did not want to pursue prosecution.
  • On 12 December 2003 Maust was arrested for the strangling death of James Raganyi, 16.Raganyi's body was found encased in concrete in Maust's basement in Hammond, Indiana. He was later charged with the deaths of Michael Dennis, 13, and Nick James, 19, similarly wrapped in plastic and encased in concrete. In November 2005 he pled guilty for the three murders and was sentenced to three life terms.
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Death January 6th 2006

One Thursday Morning, Maust was informed by the Correctional Officers at the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana that he was being transferred to the Indiana Department of Corrections to carry out his sentence. He was in the "OLD" part of the jail, segregated from other inmates, and in his own cell. Upon returning to his cell, the officers noticed David Maust was hanging from a sheet, tied to the cell bars. Several officers tried reviving him at his cell. He was then transported to the hospital.

Maust died at St. Anthony Medical Center 27 hours after the hanging

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John George Haigh " Acid bath murderer"

Born July 24th 1909. Haigh grew up in a conservative protistan sect who advocated austere lifestyles. He was kept away from the real world by his parents. He was confined to living within a 10 ft (3 m) fence that his father put up around their garden. After school he was apprenticed to a firm of motor engineers. After a year he left that job, and took jobs in insurance and advertising. At age 21, he was sacked after being suspected of stealing from a cash box.

On 6 July 1934, Haigh married the 23-year-old Beatrice 'Betty' Hamer. The marriage soon fell apart. The same year Haigh was gaoled for fraud, Betty gave birth while he was in prison but she gave the baby girl up for adoption and left Haigh. His conservative family ostracised him from that point onwards.

He then moved to London in 1936, and became chauffeur to William McSwan, a wealthy owner of amusement parlours. Additionally, he used his mechanical skills to maintain McSwan's amusement machines. Following that he became a bogus solicitor and received a four-year prison sentence for fraud. Haigh was released just after the start of World War II and continued as a fraudster, and was sentenced to several terms of imprisonment.

While in prison he dreamed up what he considered the perfect murder: being able to destroy the victim's body by dissolving it with sulphuric acid. He experimented with mice and found it took only 30 minutes for the body to disappear.


John Haigh was freed from one term in 1943 and became an accountant with an engineering firm. Soon after, by chance, he bumped into his former employer, McSwan, in the Goat pub in Kensington McSwan introduced Haigh to his parents, William and Amy, who mentioned that they had invested in property. On 6 September 1944, McSwan disappeared. Haigh later admitted hitting him over the head after luring him into a basement at 79 Gloucester Road, London SW7. He then put McSwan's body into a 40-gallon drum and tipped concentrated sulphuric acid on to it. Two days later he returned to find the body had become sludge, which he poured down a manhole.

He told McSwan's parents, William and Amy, that their son had gone into hiding to avoid being called up for military service. Haigh then took over McSwan's house and when William and Amy became curious as to why their son had not returned as the war was coming to an end, he murdered them too – on 2 July 1945, he lured them to Gloucester Road and disposed of them.

Haigh stole William McSwan's pension cheques, sold their properties – stealing about £8,000 (£310,000 in 2015, when adjusted for inflation) – and moved into the Onslow Court Hotel in Kensington. By the summer of 1947, Haigh, a gambler, was running short of money, he found another couple to kill and rob: Dr Archibald Henderson and his wife, Rose, whom he murdered after purporting to show interest in a house they were selling.

He rented a small workshop at 2 Leopold Road, Crawley, West Sussex, and moved acid and drums there from Gloucester Road. Haigh was also known to have stayed at The George Hotel, Crawley, on several occasions. On 12 February 1948, he drove Henderson to Crawley, on the pretext of showing him an invention. When they arrived Haigh shot Henderson in the head with a revolver he had earlier stolen from the doctor’s house. He then lured Mrs Henderson to the workshop, claiming her husband had fallen ill, and shot her also.After disposing of the Hendersons' bodies in oil drums filled with acid, he forged a letter from them and sold all of their possessions for £8,000 (except their dog, which he kept).

Trial and Execution

After arrest, Haigh remained in custody in Cell 2 of Horsham Police Station when it was in Barttelot Road. He was charged with murder at the nearby courthouse in what is now known as the Old Town Hall. Haigh pleaded insanity, claiming that he had drunk the blood of his victims. He confessed to having dreams dominated by blood as a young boy. When he was involved in an auto accident in March 1944, his dream returned to him: "I saw before me a forest of crucifixes which gradually turned into trees. At first, there appeared to be dew or rain, dripping from the branches, but as I approached I realized it was blood. The whole forest began to writhe and the trees, dark and erect, to ooze blood...A man went from each tree catching the blood...When the cup was full, he approached me. 'Drink,' he said, but I was unable to move."

Haigh was led to the gallows and hung on August 10 1949.