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America's Youngest Serial Killers: Craig Price

Updated on July 11, 2012
Craig Price, one of America's youngest serial killers from Warwick, Rhode Island.
Craig Price, one of America's youngest serial killers from Warwick, Rhode Island. | Source

The Warwick Slasher

Craig Price (known as "the Warwick slasher") is an African American male and one of America's youngest serial killers from Warwick, Rhode Island. Now a full grown adult, he remains in prison and is scheduled for release in 2020. Price has shown violent behavior while in prison and was supposed to be released after his 21st birthday. Psychiatrists believe that the young man was unable to be effectively treated so he remains behind bars.

The Warwick slasher was born August of 1974. At the time of his arrest for the murder charges, he was about to turn 16 years old the very next day. Craig Price's is from and committed his crimes in the Buttonwoods neighborhood of Warwick, Rhode Island. During his confession, he showed no remorse for his crimes and mimicked the dying victims screams and pleas while in interrogation.

The first murder took place July 27, 1987 when he was 13 years old. Twenty-seven year old Rebecca Spencer, who stayed only two houses down from one of America's youngest serial killers, was the first victim. Craig Price broke into her home and stabbed her 58 times. He would wait two years later to strike again.

The Warwick slasher attacked once again September 1, 1989. During this time Craig Price was a 15 year old freshman in high school. Craig Price, America's youngest serial killer, was high on marijuana and LSD when he murdered three more people. He stabbed 39 year old Joan Heaton 11 times, her daughter, 10 year old Jennifer 62 times, and crushed her 8 year old daughter Melissa's skull. The crime was so heinous that the blades broke into the victims bones. He was apprehended two weeks later after lying about a cut on his finger.

Craig Price serial killer as an adult
Craig Price serial killer as an adult | Source
The Warwick slasher appeal
The Warwick slasher appeal | Source

The case of serial killer Craig Price led to law changes that state juveniles can be tried as adults for serious crimes, although it did not apply to him during that time. Because of the brutality of the Warwick slashers crimes and opinions from state psychologists, a group called "Citizens Opposed to the Release of Craig Price" was formed. The purpose of the group was to lobby for his continued imprisonment. He was to be released from prison at the age of 21, but was charge with various other crimes while in custody. He received 10-25 year for criminal contempt for refusing psychological evaluations, extortion for threatening a correctional officer, and assault and violation of probation for fights in prison.

While in prison, Craig Price has had a number of violent altercations with other inmates. One incident resulted in a correctional officer being injured by the Warwick slasher. Price was fighting with another inmate when a correctional officer tried to break it up. Craig pulled out a shank and stabbed the officer in the hand with it. He was transferred to another facility after the 2009 incident.

While in his new prison, America's youngest serial killer has been implicated in two other fights behind bars. Because of the constant fights, his parole was denied. He is scheduled for release from prison in April 2020 based on good time. This date may be extended according to authorities because of his violent behavior. He continues to appeal his contempt conviction for not cooperating with the psychological exams.


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    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      2 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      He killed four innocent women and children. He should have gone to the electric chair.

    • profile image

      No thanks 

      2 years ago

      We grew up in the neighborhood with this guy. It was a safe kid friendly place to live, with the obvious except of his crimes. The rest of his family seemed normal.

      He was always a danger to others. I believe he was born this way.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You can only "feel sorry" for them for so long

      Some people are born bad. It's life. Does he deserve a chance? Nope. The murders were horrific, he will kill again.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      when that white lawyers son was 13 he was probably also raised in a great home with everything he needed to survive and around people who loved him. God knows what craig Price has gone through as a child, or what possible abuse led him to having major psychological problems that he will carry with the rest of his life. No one is born a serial killer with the intention to kill for absolutely no reason.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      To the person pointing out the differences between the responses between Price and Bell: while at first glance, one may be tempted to pin the differences on the race and gender of both offenders - but a deeper look is needed.

      Mary Bell was younger, and grew up in a horrific home: she had no father figure, and her mother was a prostitute who physically and emotionally abused Mary, even trying to kill her child on two separate occasions. Not only that, but her mother began including Mary in her sexual liasions with men, allowing her to be sexually abused repeatedly from as early as the age of four. Her home was squalor, and neglected, Mary was often left alone for agonizing stretches of time, roaming the streets with alone, on occasion with another young girl. The murders were not drawn out and frenzied, and the postmortem mutilation she engaged in could be explained as morbid curiosity, or a way of expressing the pain of her abuse onto another. This doesn't excuse what she did, but it's important to note. She was in prison for about twelve years, during which time her poor excuse for a mother would sell "stories" of he daughter to tabloids for money. At age 23, she was released and granted anonymity. While a psychiatrist said she exhibited signs of being a psychopath when first imprisoned, she has never been involved in any crimes, violent or otherwise, since.

      Craig Price, on the other hand, grew up in a relatively comfortable suburban setting with both parents and no history of abuse (at least not that I could find). He was committing minor crimes from a young age, enough so that local police were familiar with him. When he was 13, he went two houses down and violently murdered the 27 year-old woman at home, stabbing her over 50 times. Two years later, he broke into another nearby house while high on marijuana and LSD, and killed not just the young mother, stabbing her again over 50 times, but he also stabbed her 10 year old daughter over 60 times, killing her in a frenzy, and then crushing the skull of her 8 year old child as her violently murdered her. When police searched his home, he cared so little that he fell asleep and had to be woken up by police to be arrested. Once in prison, he continued to have violent encounters with both fellow prisoners and the staff. He refused court-ordered psychiatric evaluations repeatedly, showed no emotion or remorse for his crimes, and continuing to act out in frightening and violent ways. His behavior is SCREAMS psychopath, much more so than Mary; and there is no cure for psychopathy. If he is released, he will absolutely continue to engage in criminal behavior, and there is no evidence to suggest that he wouldn't kill again if given the chance. His crimes were so extreme, so horrific, that laws in RI were changed afterward so that any other psychopathic child who commits similar crimes can be tried as an adult and rightfully kept away from the public at large.

      The two cases, while both instances of very young children committing multiple murders, are different in a myriad of ways. Mary may have been disturbed, but she was a product of vile and unrelenting abuse and neglect from the moment she was brought into this world; her violence, while reprehensible, is understandable – she lashed out as a way of having some kind of control in a world where she had none. The abuse she suffered undoubtedly had an influence on her violence. Price didn't have abuse in his history; he chose to engage in minor criminal behavior, again and again, from a young age – and then committed extremely brutal and vicious serial killings over the span of a couple years, showing absolutely no remorse, no emotion, and no will or desire to change. His violence continued into prison and he refused anything that would benefit him or help him work through his problems. Classic psychopathy. He needs to stay in prison, or I assure you, we WILL hear about him murdering again.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I don't think he is ready,please do not release him.

    • profile image

      Rick Robinson 

      4 years ago

      The best way to predict someone's future behavior is their past behavior.

      This monster will in fact kill again and again. Would we as a society allow a lion to walk down our streets. Let the judge who releases him have him as his next door neighbor.

      Perhaps he will die a violent death in prison before he is released. Then he will truly suffer his rath in hell.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I live in the city he was from and committed the crimes in. I live about 1 mile from where they happened. I fear he will come back to this area and if he is released I will move.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      People like Craig price are not "made", they are born that way. So no matter where they are in life, they will never change. He is a socio-path with no remorse and no effect. He wants to be released and people can spew this crap about how he was made because of being imprisioned at such-a young age, but the simple fact remains, that he will always be a killer. Nothing can fix him and prison is where he needs to stay.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I find it interesting that most people are calling this man satan and saying he should be spending the rest of his life in prison. I just finished reading a linked hubpage discussing Mary Bell and how "tragic" her life was and how her parents should be responsible for her murders because of abuse she suffered. Nobody seems to share the same sentiments in this case.... I wonder why that is.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      also just waatched the documentary...he is a monster.he must never be let out,the fact that he murdered someone at 13 years old then waited another 2 years when he was 15 to murder more people should be enough.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Check the A&E Chanel, just watched it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      where did you see a documentary on him?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Just watched a tv documentary about him, he should never be allowed out, in-fact, someone should have arranged his accidental death. He has no remorse

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This man must never be released he will surely get worse with age some people are just born bad

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Why would we need him Out. He is truly Satan son. And we already have to many serial killers. In the pass 3 years. I truly believe in a eye for a eye.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      because he has spent his whole life in prison, if he is released into the public he will not know how to act and may continue being violent. he should not be released right from prison to the public. he might still be a danger to the public especially after not showing any remorse for what he has done. He even had the courage t stab a police officer in the hand again.

    • mr williams profile imageAUTHOR

      mr williams 

      7 years ago from Norfolk, Virginia

      That's one problem with juvenile killers being sent to prison. They have no chance at living a normal life and often learn violence is acceptable in any given situation. Although I know no other way to deal with young serial killers.

    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 

      7 years ago from Nancy KY

      He might make a good case study of serial killers. However releasing him on an unsuspecting public will do neither any good. His life has been prison. He does not know how to function outside the prison walls. His continued violence is another reason not to release this man. I'd be curious to see if he ends up back in prison within a short time of release. Unfortunately more innocents could die.


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