Jesse Pomeroy was fourteen when he was arrested in 1874 for the sadistic murder of a four-year-old boy. He was quickly dubbed “The Boston Boy Fiend.” His rampage had begun three years earlier with the sexual torture of seven other boys. For those crimes Pomeroy was sentenced to reform school, but then he was released early. Not long afterward he mutilated and killed a 10-year-old girl who came into his mother’s store. A month later, he snatched four-year-old Horace Mullen. He took Horace to a swamp outside town and slashed him so savagely with a knife that he nearly decapitated the child. Because of his strange appearance—he had a milky white eye—and his previous behavior, suspicion turned to him. When he was shown the body and asked if he’d done it, he responded with a nonchalant, “I suppose I did.” Then the girl was found buried in his mother’s cellar and he confessed to that murder, too. He was convicted and sentenced to death, although a public outcry against condemning a child to hang commuted the sentence to four decades of solitary confinement.