Category: Serial Killing
Location: United States
Date: 1972 - 1973
Crime: Over the course of several months, beginning in late 1972, Mullin brutally slaughtered thirteen innocent victims using a variety of killing methods, including using a baseball bat to crush the skull of a drifter, eviscerating a female hitchhiker, stabbing a priest to death in a confessional and shooting an entire family executioner style.
Biography: Born April 18, 1947 in California, Herbert Mullin was outwardly a normal, happy child who had many friends and excelled in school. His fellow classmates voted Mullin 'Most Likely to Succeed' in the senior class. Then in 1965, a singular tragic event appears to have triggered a rapid descent into paranoid schizophrenia. It was a car crash and Herbert Mullins best friend was killed, sending him into a deep, dark despair. He later claimed that it was then that he began to hear voices in his head. He soon alienated his friends, began talking about impending earthquakes and ultimately frightening those around him. He was briefly committed to a mental hospital several times between 1969 and 1971, but was soon back out on the street each time. In September of 1972, Mullin moved back in with his parents, but soon stopped taking his medication. Then, he heard about a scientist predicting a major earthquake would hit California in the coming months. In his deluded state, Mullin took that as a call for action and set out to prevent the earthquake by sacrificing victims until the threat had passed. Over the next four months, Mullin went on a rampage sending the town of Santa Cruz, California into a state of panic. He was finally captured in February 1973, after a bizarre incident where he gunned down a neighbor in broad daylight. Another witness heard the shot fired and saw Mullin driving away. He was soon arrested for the killing. Eventually Mullin pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree for all 13 victims.