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Real Life Horror: The Harpe Brothers - America's First Serial Killers?

Or so they are labeled...


"The Harpe Brothers"

Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe were actually couns who passed themselves off as brothers. In the late 1700's, they went on a murderous rampage having killed men, women and children. There is even a case where one of the "brothers" slammed his own baby daughters head into a tree because she wouldn't stop crying.

They made their way through different states. Kentucky and Tennessee are among the two states where the killings took place for nothing more than the sheer thrill of having done so. Their "trademark" was to gut a body and fill the empty space with rocks so it would nk into the waters and stay submerged.

During their spree, they joined river pirates at a location called "Cave-in-Rock". Eventually, they were even banished from there as even the pirates thought their murderous ways were far to much to bear.

It is in Dixon, Ky. where a memorial plaque stands along Highway 41-A (I have been there and read it) representing where Big Harpe was captured by a posse. His head was cut off and posted on a stake for all to witness. For years the area was titled, "Harpe's Head".

Relatives of the Harpes changed their names to many different variations in order not to be known as their family members.

Is there a movie here? Yes, there certainly is. I recently contacted family member, who's last name is Harpe, and currently owns the film rights. He's an older gentlemen who has a script that he has been trying for years to get produced. He is very interested in seeing this become a movie, but I have no idea how accurate it is written. He has a friend shopping the script, and wanted us to talk. We'll see what happens.

For the complete story on the Harpe Brothers, read here:
aceofspades70 Thursday 3/08/2012 at 04:04 AM | 91209
I think they still clasfy H.H. Holmes as the first "serial" killer in the US, because he was the first one documented that way in his time - still incorrect, I'd think. Prior to him, I think, was Jesse Pomeroy in the Boston area, who was just a kid when he started killing.

These boys sound more like spree killers, but it would be an interesting story to see put to film! I wonder why their story hasn't been more publicized.
dew Sunday 3/11/2012 at 12:51 AM | 91322
"These boys sound more like spree killers, but it would be an interesting story to see put to film! I wonder why their story hasn't been more publicized."

Good point. I hope the guy I found can get that script produced.
aceofspades70 Wednesday 3/14/2012 at 02:18 AM | 91408
I kind of love this! Great post!
BloodyAdored Wednesday 3/14/2012 at 02:53 PM | 91424
Thank you Bloody.
aceofspades70 Wednesday 3/14/2012 at 10:15 PM | 91441