It was February 3, 1780 out in rural Connecticut. Barnett Davenport, a veteran of the American revolution, beat a man and his wife to death, and then burned their home with their three grandchildren inside. The grisly homicides captivated the minds of a brand new America, horrified at the actions of one of their own.

Davenport had a troubled past — he was a thief from an early age and seemed to often go against the grain.

He wrote a brief life story and confession, though the author admittedly altered it: “The narrative is penned from the criminal’s mouth, though not always exactly in his own words. Some moral reflections are interspersed,” and you can see that with the heavy emphasis on profanity and stealing, rather than maybe the fact that he was a very heavily experienced combat veteran of the Revolutionary war, and also most likely a serial killer.

As they tell me, I was born at New-Milford, the 25th of October, 1760, and lived with my parents until I was about nine years of age. By this time, I was become quite expert in using bad language, having been accustomed to profaneness, from the time I was capable of forming articulate sounds … But there I began to pilfer, by stealing green corn, which was, (if I rightly remember) the beginning of that infamous practice, which led me on to the most horrid crimes ever committed.”