Jesse Harding Pomeroy (November 29, 1859 - September 29, 1932) was a juvenile murderer who preyed on younger children in Massachusetts in the late 19th century. He was horribly abused by his alcoholic father. He also had a white film over his right eye and was described as having a cold, sharp stare. As a young child, he killed and mutilated his mother’s pet birds and was caught torturing a neighbor’s cat. From December 1871 to September 1872, he tortured eight young boys for his sexual pleasure. Torture methods included beating, genital mutilation, stabbing, pricking with pins, cutting open their flesh and pouring saltwater inside, and whipping.
For this, he was sent to the Westborough House of Reformation. He was feared by other inmates due to his reputation and physical size. Although he was supposed to be released at age 18, he was such a model inmate that they released him in February 1874, when he was 14 years old. In March 1874, he lured Katie Curran, a ten-year-old girl, to the basement of his mother’s shop. He repeatedly stabbed her, slit her throat, and mutilated her genitals so badly that the uterus was almost dissected from the body. He covered the corpse in rocks and dirt, washed his hands, and went back to work as an assistant in the shop.
In April 1874, he lured Horace Millen, a four-year-old boy, to the woods. He repeatedly stabbed him, nearly decapitated him, gouged out his eyes, and mutilated his genitals. Due to his prior convictions, he was the prime suspect. Footprints near the scene matched his shoes and a bloodstained knife was found in his room. At his trial, he was described as remorseless and relaxed, sitting with his head back and his hands laced behind his head. In December 1874, at the age of 15, he was sentenced to life in prison, with the first four decades to be served in solitary confinement.
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