“I want to kill my boss.”
Admit it. The thought has crossed your mind. Hopefully in an innocuous, flippant and decidedly non-literal way, but, hey, the mind does wander. Sadly, violence in the workplace is on the rise (you can blame the bad economy). And, while the unhinged are just as apt to kill co-workers, these 10 murderers targeted the big cheese.
Ernesto Hernandez Avalos murdered Woo Sung Park in January 2007 :
Avalos, a 27-year-old California day laborer, was doing some landscaping when his 45-year-old boss Woo Sung Park told him he was working too slowly. Avalos’ response to this gripe? He hit Park in the back of head with his shovel six or seven times … before switching over to a pick axe. Police arrived on the scene and were able to subdue him.
While Avalos later admitted to using methamphetamine prior to work that day, he did maintain at his April 2010 sentencing that he felt Park was going to physically attack him.
The judge’s response to this assertion? Avalos was sentenced to 26 years to life.
Natavia S. Lowery murdered Linda Stein in October 2007:
Lowery was working for Stein as her personal assistant when the celebrity real estate broker was found in a pool of blood on the floor of her Manhattan apartment.
A murder weapon was never recovered, but prior to recanting, Lowery, then 28, confessed to beating Stein with a yoga stick. She said that the former manager of The Ramones, who was battling breast cancer at the time, called her a racial slur and blew marijuana smoke into her face. (No marijuana was found in Stein’s system.) Despite her family’s attempts to pin the murder on Stein’s daughter Mandy, Lowery was convicted. She was sentenced on May 3 to 25 years to life.
Russell Carter murdered Kingsley Monk in October 2008 :
The disgruntled truck driver (or lorry driver, as this murder took place in the U.K.) believed Monk, 45, owed him £3,000 in wages so he showed up at the boss’s office to claim it. At the end of a brutal four-hour ordeal, Carter beat Monk with a pipe and strangled him to death with his own tie. He also tried to kill three other workers who were unfortunate enough to show up to work that day by dousing them, a la Reservoir Dogs, with gasoline and setting the building on fire.
The employees managed to escape. Their survival made it difficult for Carter to deny guilt, but he did invoke insanity in an effort to reduce his conviction to manslaughter. The jury didn’t buy it and convicted him in September 2009. Judge Nicolas Cooke sentenced him to 30 years in prison one month later.
Yolanda Saldivar murdered Selena Quitanilla Perez in 1995:
Here’s a killer you probably remember. Back in 1995, Selena, 23, was queen of the Tejano music scene and Saldivar, 34, was president of her fan club. Sadly, Saldivar was in it for the money, not the music, as evidence surfaced that she was embezzling money from the singer’s businesses. Saldivar thought she’d clear up these allegations and asked Selena to meet her in a motel room in Corpus Christi, Texas. She shot her instead.
Selena was immortalized in a movie by the same name, starring then-unknown Jennifer Lopez. Saldivar received a life sentence.
Jessica Dayton murdered Curtis Bailey in July 2009:
Dayton was a 19-year-old waitress at the Lincoln Café when she entered into a convoluted plot to kill her 33-year-old manager Curtis Bailey. Dayton and Bailey’s live-in girlfriend Denise Frei, 45, planned to get the manager drunk so that, when he passed out, Frei’s 19-year-old son Jacob Hilgendorf could kill him. Things got a little complicated when Bailey awoke and started to struggle. Dayton ended up hitting him on the head two to three times with a landscaping rock before Hilgendorf delivered the final blow. The trio insisted, oddly, that they had simply wanted to kill Bailey, not beat him. (As Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Hammerand pointed out, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”)
Dayton’s exact motives for the murder remain unclear, but she did tell friends that Frei offered her $5,000 to assist in the killing. She was convicted on April 23 and is expected to be sentenced to life in prison.
Eric Allen Kirkpatrick murdered Benjamin David Banky in December 2008:
Technically, TallGrass Distribution CEO Banky was no longer Kirkpatrick’s boss. The 61-year-old Vancouver native had been fired from the natural health products company the day before the company Christmas party. This termination, however, wasn’t going to keep him from attending the celebration; Kirkpatrick showed up and opened fire. Banky was shot and killed. None of the other 28 employees in attendance were injured. Police took Kirkpatrick into custody after a two-hour negotiation.
TallGrass Distribution would not release the reason why Kirkpatrick was fired so there’s little insight as to why he resorted to murder.
Marilou Ranario murdered Najat Mahmoud Faraj Mubarek in September 2005:
Ranario, 33, left a job as a schoolteacher in her native Philippines to work as maid in Kuwait. She wanted to be able to afford a better life for her two children. What she received, instead, was a death sentence when she was convicted of murdering her Arab employer Mubarek. Ranario stabbed Mubarek, 46, with a knife before fleeing to Singapore, where she was later apprehended. She cited abuse as her motive, saying Mubarek refused to let her eat or rest, beat her and withheld wages.
Ranario’s life was spared in 2007 when Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo persuaded Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabeh to commute her sentence to life imprisonment.
Martin Hoffman murdered Peter Makris in July 2000:
Some people who murder their bosses want to take credit for it. Not so much with Hoffman, the 35-year-old pizza deliveryman convicted of stabbing Pepe’s Pizza owner Makris. "Whatever Mr. Pete did, I did; whatever Mr. Pete ate, I ate. Mr. Pete and I were inseparable," Hoffman testified at his trail, adding that he thought of the 72-year-old Baltimore resident as a father.
His sentiments were negated by Hoffman’s wife Jennifer, who testified (as part of her own plea bargain) that her husband had murdered Makris during a robbery of which she was an accomplice.
He was sentenced in August 2001 to life in prison.
John Gotti had Paul “Big Pauly” Castellano murdered in 1985:
Gotti, already a notorious and established mobster, ordered the execution of his NY crime boss after Castellano named bodyguard Tommy Bilotti as consigliere (second in command). Gotti, under the pretense of making amends, lured both men to Spark’s Steakhouse in Manhattan. They were shot outside the restaurant and Gotti took control of the Gambino crime family after the hit.
Although mobsters are usually a bit better at covering their tracks then disgruntled trunk drivers, Gotti was convicted of the crime (and racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, extortion, tax evasion and loan sharking) in 1992. He died of throat cancer in June 2002 while he was serving out his life sentence.
Howard Huh murdered Alex Huh in 2008:
Howard Huh, 67, shot former employer Alex Huh (no relation) with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The shooting took place at the Beverly Hot Springs Spa in Hollywood. Prior to that, the two men engaged in a 2 1/2 year legal battle over the spa’s ownership (Just who exactly was the boss, huh?).
After the shooting, Howard Huh, obviously remorseful, walked over to the nearest police station to turn himself over to the LAPD. He was convicted of the murder on Feb. 10.,2010 and faces life in prison.
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