John List Manifesto

John List’s manifesto is actually more of a confession, a letter to his pastor explaining how and why he had just killed his wife, his three teenage children and his mother. After writing it, he fled and lived the life of a fugitive for 18 years before he was discovered and brought to trial. He never mailed the letter, instead keeping it in an envelope in a filing cabinet in his house. He explains that he was motivated to kill his family because he didn’t believe he could financially support them anymore, and because he was afraid they would have to resort to welfare. He wrote that he killed his mother to spare her the grief of knowing he had killed his wife and children. All five of his victims were shot from behind – he “didn’t want any of them to know even at the last second that I had to do this to them.”

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