NAME: Herbert Mullin
SPAN OF MURDERS: October 1972 to February 1973
NUMBER OF VICTIMS: 13
SENTENCE: Life imprisonment
DATE OF BIRTH: 18/04/1947
STATUS: Currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison, California
MORE INFO: Herbert Mullin is Californian serial killer who murdered 13 people because he believed it would prevent a disastrous earthquake. Despite being a bright and popular student, Herbert started exhibiting signs of mental illness at an early age and spent time in various institutions. At 25, he had moved back in with his parents in Santa Cruz, California and felt compelled to obey the voices in his head, which warned of an oncoming earthquake that only blood sacrifices could stop.
Over four months Mullin, directed by the voices, targeted a random group of people including a homeless man, a student hitchhiker, and old high school friend and his wife. One of the victims was the priest of a church where he had gone to give a confession. Throughout his killing spree, Mullin was not always careful about covering his tracks and when he shot a man from his car who was weeding his lawn in broad daylight - and in front of several witnesses - he was easily apprehended.
Mullin admitted to the crimes and claimed that he had successfully saved the state from a terrible natural disaster, leaving the trial to focus on whether he was insane or not. As some of the crimes had involved a degree of premeditation, he was found guilty of first-degree murder in two cases and second-degree murder for the others and was sentenced to life in prison.