To get a perpetrator to admit to the crime being investigated is the ultimate goal of every police interrogator. To witness the very moment when a guilty party cracks and comes clean is rush of justice in action like few others.
Law-enforcement officers have long recorded interviews with suspects for legal purposes and to preserve the instant when the light of truth emerged from the darkness of doubt.
Now, with modern online technology, we all frequently get to share in these occasions, as many agencies release successful interview videos to the public.
Even in genuinely horrific cases like those listed here, an actual confession can come as a relief for all involved — the suspect on the hot seat to the officers charged with catching the proper criminal to the survivors who can begin to enact closure.
Then again, some are just chilling. Check out five especially shocking confessions below.
For more raw interrogation footage, check out Investigation Discovery’s Killer Confessions on ID GO now!
1. DYLANN ROOF: WHITE SUPREMACIST, CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTER
On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann stormed the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and opened fire with a handgun. He murdered nine innocent worshippers on the spot and severely injured one other.
After the slaughter, Roof fled. A massive manhunt netted him the following morning, 245 miles away from the crime scene.
When his case came to trial, Roof pleaded not guilty on the advice of his attorneys. It didn’t seem to matter after prosecutors played a video of FBI agents interviewing Roof after his initial capture wherein the killer seems proud of his atrocity.
On the tape, Roof says, “I do consider myself a white supremacist.” When an agent asks if he’s guilty of the shootings, Roof replies, “Yes, I am guilty. We all know I’m guilty.”
The jury apparently knew it too. Eight days after seeing the video, jurors deliberated for just two hours before finding Roof guilty on 33 different counts, including nine charges of capital murder. In January 2017, a judge sentenced Roof to death. [NBC]
2. TODD KOHLHEPP: SOUTH CAROLINA MASS MURDERER & SERIAL KILLER
In 2001, authorities released Todd Kohlhepp from prison after he served 14 years for the kidnap and rape of 14-year-old girl. At the time of the crime, Kohlhepp himself was 15.
Once outside, the charming and highly intelligent Kohlhepp quickly established a successful South Carolina real estate business, and went on to purchase 100 acres of land, which he surrounded with a massive, $80,000 fence.
On November 3, 2006, Kohlhepp slipped into Superbike Motorsports, a motorcycle shop where he had tried to return a vehicle and came away humiliated. He shot the four employees on duty to death and disappeared. The case remained unsolved for 13 years.
The truth came to light after Kala Brown, 30, and her boyfriend Charles Carver, went missing on August 31, 2016. Kohlhepp had hired the pair to do some house cleaning. Upon searching Kohlhepp’s estate, officers discovered Brown, still alive, chained to a wall inside a metal storage container.
Authorities then dug up the grounds and discovered the remains of Carver, along with those of Johnny Joe Coxie and Meagan Leigh McCraw-Coxie, a married couple who vanished the previous year after also being employed to do work on Kohlhepp’s residence.
Although Kohlhepp initially claimed ignorance, he spilled his guts during an interrogation — all of it on video. [USA Today]
3. ELIZABETH WETTLAUFER: “ANGEL OF DEATH” NURSE, KILLED EIGHT SENIOR CITIZENS
Between 2007 and 2014, Ontario nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer murdered eight elderly patients under her care and attempted to knock off or assault six more.
During her two-and-a-half-hour police interview after being arrested, Wettlaufer said she felt “surges” before killing and that she sincerely believed she felt otherworldly forces commanding her to kill. On the tape, she says:
“I knew the difference between right and wrong, but I thought this was something God, or whoever, wanted me to do it. But I was starting at that point to doubt that it was God.”
Wettlaufer explained to officers exactly how and why she executed each victim, as well. Some victims, she said, were “mean” and that once she fatally overdosed them she experienced, “The surging, and then the laughter afterwards, which was really, it was like a cackling from the pit of hell.” [CBC]
4. MARTIN BRYANT: PORT ARTHUR MASSACRE, KILLER OF 35
In a moment reminiscent of suspected serial Robert Durst’s potentially damning self-chatter on the HBO documentary series The Jinx, Martin Bryant announced himself as the shooter in the horrific 1996 Port Arthur Massacre only after he believed a video camera had been turned off.
In the worst mass murder in Australian history, Martin took the lives of 35 victims and severely wounded 23 more as he randomly shot up the seaside resort area. Police negotiated with Martin for hours before he set fire to the house he had been holed up in and got injured.
On his initial interview video, Martin claims innocence repeatedly. He then smirks and says, “I’m sure you’ll find the person who caused all this,” after which he points to himself and mouths the word, “Me!”
One of the interrogators informs Martin that the camera pointing at the suspect was still running. Martin looks momentarily distressed, then tries to play it cool. He got life without parole plus 1,035 years. [Daily Mail]
5. DEREK SARETZKY: CANNIBAL KILLER WHO MURDERED TODDLER, HER DAD & ELDERLY WOMAN
In 2015, Canadian psycho Derek Saretzky murdered his 69-year-old neighbor Terry Blanchette, because he “didn’t think anyone would miss her.” The next day he fatally bludgeoned 27-year-old dad Terry Blanchette with a crowbar, and abducted the victim’s two-year-old daughter, Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.
Saretzky then took the toddler to a campsite and killed her. Afterward, he dismembered and ate parts of her body. He burned what remained left over in a firepit.
Jurors watched and listened to tapes of Saretzy’s gruesome confessions. He blamed God for making him slay his targets. In regard to baby Hailey, though, Saretzky said, “The devil made me turn her into ashes.”
The trial ended with Saretzy being found guilty and sentenced to three consecutive 25-year-sentences. He won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 97. [Global News]
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Main photo: Dylann Roof [WikiMedia Commons]