The True Crime Tale Of John List: A Michigan-Made Murderer
If you are interested in true crime you may have heard of John List before but did you know he was born in Michigan?
Now, I know I am no John Robinson, our resident expert on all things haunted, creepy and true crime here in Michigan but I know a thing or two!
I have really been into watching YouTuber Bailey Sarian's channel where she does "Murder, Mystery and Makeup Mondays" and to my surprise, an episode I recently watched mentioned Michigan as the childhood home of murderous monster, John List, and I knew I had to share with all of you.
John Emil List was born, according to Murderpedia, on September 17, 1925 in Bay City Michigan where he grew up with strict, religious parents and would later be described, as Murderpedia says "as an aloof, cold man with few friends."
He served in the Army during WWII and also went to University of Michigan earning degrees in business administration and accounting, respectively.
He did end up leaving Michigan, getting married, having children, moving to New Jersey, becoming a Lutheran Sunday school teacher and also losing jobs like his one in accounting due to his lack of social skills.
To make a long story short, his wife's mental health was declining as she was suffering from untreated advanced syphilis, he had lost his job and did not want to tell his family so he continued on pretending he was going to work until he realized his family was in financial ruin and foreclosure on their mansion.
According to Murderpedia, it was a "religious epiphany" that made List decide on November 9, 1971 he was going to murder his wife, three children and his 84-year-old mother who lived in an apartment upstairs in his mansion. His logic was their souls would be sent to heaven...like there's an express line for people murdered by their own father/husband/son?
I will spare you the gory details but you can watch Bailey Sarian's video below or CLICK HERE because...it's absolutely crazy.
What's even crazier is he was so meticulous when he fled the scene, after writing a letter to his pastor detailing what he had done, and his family's bodies would not be discovered for WEEKS.
After finding the family and documents left behind by List detailing what he had done and what needed to be done in his disappearance, police still couldn't find List and he would evade law enforcement for almost 18 years.
That's right, he changed his name and 18 years after the tragedy, in 1989 List's story was detailed on the show, "America's Most Wanted" after which, a tip called in sent authorities to Richmond, Virginia where they found List living under the surname "Robert P. Clark."
He ended up confessing, being denied an insanity defense and was given five life sentences in May of 1990. He served these out until he died due to pneumonia at 82 years old on March 21st, 2008.
What is just so horrible about this is, one he was born in Michigan and we really would rather not claim him, but most importantly is his poor family just had to lay there for WEEKS after HE murdered them while he carried on a new life and got to live a pretty full one. It's so unfair he was able to live to over 80 years old.
There was a fire that happened, destroying the Westfield, New Jersey home where the murders took place but here's a look at some other historic homes across the United States:
LOOK: Famous Historic Homes in Every State
However, if you would like to experience a notorious killer's home in person, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast might be an interesting trip:
Lizzie Borden's Maplecroft Is Back on the Market in Fall River, Massachusetts
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