According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10% of management deaths are a result of murder. While most (if not all) of us have fantasized about killing our bosses at one point or another, none of us would ever actually go through with it! (Right?) That’s 1% more than the number of managers who fall to their deaths and just 2% less than those dying from being struck by an object.
Perhaps it’s movies like Horrible Bosses or games like Whack Your Boss that have made eliminating one’s boss feel like a tangible goal, but one out of 10 seems like an alarmingly high number of managers to die by homicide.
Nonetheless, workplace violence is on the rise. The following murderers decided to take their daydreams to the next level, and targeted their bosses.
1. Rodney Jackson
Rodney Jackson was an employee at an oil field equipment distribution company in Houston called Val-Fit. He had worked there for about a year before being laid off.
While most of us would be incredibly disappointed with being laid off from a job, it’s no secret that the economy is in dire straits so, deep down, we would understand. Earlier this year, 49-year-old Jackson certainly felt the disappointment of having been laid off from his job, so much so that, following his layoff, he marched to his car, retrieved his handgun, and marched right back into his place of work. His supervisor, Jason S. Yanko tried to stop him from reentering the building when Jackson shot him several times then fled the premises in a company truck.
Neighbors of Jackson described him as “a quiet man who kept to himself”. Ex-coworkers say they don’t understand why Jackson chose to resort to such a deadly act.
It just goes to show how hard some people take the loss of a job.
2. Jessica Dayton
Sometimes it’s not the loss of a job that drives one to kill their boss, but a large sum of money.
Jessica Dayton was a waitress at the Lincoln Café in Iowa County who conspired to kill her manager, Curtis Bailey, with Bailey’s girlfriend, Denise Frei, in 2009. The 19-year-old waitress and 45-year-old Frei planned to get Bailey so drunk that he would pass out and Frei’s 19-year-old son, Jacob Hilgendorf, could carry out the murder.
Unfortunately for the conspirators, 45-year-old Bailey woke up before the plan was executed (so to speak) and he began to struggle, causing Dayton to hit him on the head three times with a landscaping rock with Hilgendorf delivering the final, fatal blow.
While the exact reason behind Dayton’s desire to kill her boss is not crystal clear, she did brag to friends that Frei had offered her $5,000 to assist her with the murder.
3. Natavia Lowery
Linda Stein was known to most as an American rock music manager and a high-profile real estate broker. Her résumé includes managing The Ramones and Steve Forbert. But to her personal assistant, Natavia Lowery, Stein was the world’s worst boss.
Lowery claimed that Stein constantly yelled at her and, on the night of the murder in 2006, she made racial comments and blew marijuana smoke in her face. Stein’s body was found with two dozen wounds in a pool of blood. Lowery had beaten the 62-year-old to death with a yoga stick in her Manhattan apartment.
While Lowery’s family attempted to blame the murder on Stein’s daughter, Lowery was sentenced to 25 years to life, including 3 years for stealing $30,000 from Stein.
4. Sarah McLinn
Bad things sometimes happen to good people, and there is no better proof of that than the murder of Harold Sasko.
Sasko was the 52-year-old owner of a Cici’s pizza restaurant franchise in Kansas City who was trying to look out for 19-year-old McLinn whom had recently been tangled up with drugs and gangs. In 2012, he invited McLinn to live with him so he could keep her safe, not knowing that McLinn would eventually mix sleeping pills in his beer and zip-tie his hands and feet before nearly decapitating him.
What caused McLinn to snap is unknown, though defense attorneys argue dissociative identity disorder was to blame. Whatever the reason, McLinn will spend the rest of her life behind bars.
5. Russell Carter
In 2008, 45-year-old Kingsley Monk arrived to his job in Cardiff, Wales one morning and was greeted by a disgruntled Russell Carter. Carter, 52, had been waiting for Monk’s arrival armed with duct tape, cable pies, and gasoline. He believed that Monk owed him £3,000 in wages and was ready to take his revenge.
Monk was tied up along with three other employees and doused in gasoline. Carter then beat Monk with a lead pipe and proceeded to strangle him with his own necktie. Carter then lit the building on fire and fled the scene.
Luckily, the three employees managed to escape with their lives, but Carter will serve 30 years to life in prison for the murder of his boss and the attempted murder of three of his coworkers.
6. Ernesto Hernandez Avalos
A 27-year-old day laborer in Santa Ana murdered his boss, Woo Sung Park, in 2010 simply because he was told that he wasn’t working quickly enough. While high on methamphetamine, Ernesto Avalos responded to his 45-year-old boss’ comment with a whack with his shovel. Another landscaper called 911 after witnessing the attack and looked on in horror as Avalos hit Park in the back of the head seven more times. When police arrived, they ordered Avalos to drop the shovel, which he did, only to pick up a pickaxe and continue to crush Park’s skull.
Defense attorneys argued that Avalos acted in self-defense, fearing Park was going to attack him. However, the veracity of the crime earned Avalos 26 years to life in prison.
7. Carter Cervantez and Clarence "David" Mallory
An American Eagle retail manager at Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, Texas was found burned, strangled, and beaten in her apartment in 2014. Ashlea Harris had been bound by duct tape at her hands and feet by two of her former employees: Carter Cervantez, 25, and Clarence “David” Mallory, 19. The pair was accused of stealing $18,000 from the store during the summer and consequently disappeared, only to return on Thanksgiving weekend to carry out the brutal murder of their 31-year-old ex-boss.
The only thing missing from Harris’ apartment after the murder was her set of keys, which alerted police to their plan of stealing from the store’s safe. The couple was picked up when police confronted them at the mall while trying to get into the American Eagle store.
See also: Alternative Ways to Handle a Bad Boss...
We’ve all muttered the words “I want to kill my boss” at some point throughout our careers, but only jokingly, of course. However, for Jackson, Dayton, Lowery, McLinn, Carter, Avalos, Cervantez, and Mallory, those six words held a lot more weight.
Whether it was for money or for revenge (or a bit of both), these individuals certainly believed that their bosses did not deserve to see another sunrise, and are consequently spending their lives behind bars.
Remember, life is not like a movie. Jason Bateman isn’t your friend, Kevin Spacey is not your boss, and Jamie Foxx can’t help you.
Know of anybody else who died at the hands of his or her employees? Let us know in the comments section below!