Torture murder is a loosely defined legal term to describe murderers who kill their victims by slowly torturing them to death over a prolonged period of time. It is often a practice of serial killers.
Torture murder is usually preceded by a kidnapping where the killer will take the victim to a secluded place. There, the killer will put the victim to death by slow torture, sometimes in very grisly ways.
Two of the most notorious torture murderers were Leonard Lake and Charles Ng who, during the 1980s in California, killed over 18 men, women, and children after torturing them for days or even weeks. The film FeardotCom also deals with a torture murderer, kidnapping women and then killing them slowly over the Internet. A Japanese girl, Junko Furuta, was held captive for over forty days and tortured to death by four teenaged boys, including Jo Kamisaku, in 1988. The boys said that they had not intended to kill her and instead pled guilty to a lesser charge.
Torture murder is considered one of the most vicious crimes in existence, due both to its premeditated nature and the general attitude of those who commit torture murder; a total disregard for another's life and a feeling of pleasure from inflicting pain on others. In the United States, those killers accused of torture murder are most often charged with the crime of capital murder, the highest sentence possible.
List of torture murders
Some notable perpetrators and victims include the following. The dates indicate the time of the crime or crimes.
- Moors murders (UK, 1963 to 1965)
- Rosemary West (UK, 1972 to 1987)
- Fred West
Torture murder victims
- Ilan Halimi (France, 2006)