The Terrifying True Story Of The List Family Murders
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It would take about a month before neighbors noticed that the mansion was oddly devoid of life. According to NJ.com, normally, they would at least occasionally see Helen List vacuuming in the middle of the night or the children going to and from school. Yet, even with the excuses issued but the now-absent John List, something seemed strange. All of the lights in the house were on — at least, until they burned out, one by one. And why was there classical music blaring at all hours?

When police investigated, they found five decomposing bodies, though John List had turned down the heat. This was not to slow decay, he later explained, but to conserve fuel oil and fend off freezing issues with the pipes (via NJ.com).

Before he drove to JFK International Airport, where he would abandon his car and disappear, John had one more thing to do. He sat down and wrote a series of letters. According to The New York Times, some were addressed to relatives, one was for his workplace, and another was meant for the family’s pastor, Eugene A. Rehwinkel. He left them in a filing cabinet in the house. He outlined his wishes for the family’s funeral to Rehwinkel, writing that “I am sorry to add this additional burden to your work.” Money was still on his mind, even when it came to the memorial. “Please see to it that costs are kept low,” he directed (via New York Times).

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