The Worst Murders To Ever Take Place In North Carolina

By Sarah Tate

February 19, 2021

America has a dark and checkered past. From mass shootings to serial killers, the country has some of the most prolific and brutal killers ever recorded.

According to the FBI, a murderer becomes serial when they kill two or more people in separate events. While the majority of serial killers commit their crimes for the thrill and "enjoyment," others are done out of anger and financial reward. Though it's easy to think that nothing bad like that has happened in North Carolina, the Tar Heel State has seen plenty of heinous crimes through its history.

So, who are some of the most notorious criminals and serial killers in North Carolina history?

Henry Louis Wallace aka The Taco Bell Strangler

Henry Louis Wallace is a convicted serial killer who was accused of killing 10 women in Charlotte during the early 1990s. He was nicknamed the Taco Bell Strangler due to several of his victims working for the fast food chain where he was also employed. Wallace would sexually assault, beat, and strangle his victims, including once in front of the woman's son. He was convicted for nine murders in 1997 and sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution at a prison in Raleigh.

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald aka The Green Beret Killer

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald, a U.S. Army officer and physician, was accused of brutally killing his two young daughters and pregnant wife in February 1970. He repeatedly stabbed each of his victims with a knife and an ice pick before turning the blades on himself, though less severely. After being treated for his injuries, all the while claiming they were attacked by three men, he was charged for his family's murder. The story even spawned an FX docuseries in 2020 called A Wilderness of Error.

Gary Michael Hilton aka The National Forest Serial Killer

Gary Michael Hilton was arrested for the kidnapping, murder, and beheading of hikers in Florida, Georgia, as well as a North Carolina couple in a national forest in 2007. Though Hilton was already on Death Row in Florida for those murders, he pleaded guilty in 2012 to killing the North Carolina couple and received an additional four life sentences, to be held consecutively.

Frederick Robert Klenner Jr.

Frederick Rober Klenner Jr. was considered a mass murderer who killed several victims between 1984 and 1985. When police spotted him in Greensboro in June 1985, they knew he was dangerous. However, they never got a chance to arrest and charge him for his crimes. He detonated an explosive inside his vehicle, killing himself as well has his girlfriend, Susie Lynch, and her two sons. His other victims were identified as Lynch's family members.

Photo: Getty Images

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