Murder, Mystery & Makeup - John List - Family Man To Americas Most Wanted? 18 Year Case

hi guys how are you today

my name is Bailey Syrian and today is Monday

which means it’s murder mystery and makeup Monday

if you are new here

every Monday I sit down

I do my makeup and I talk about true crime

story that’s been heavy on my noggin

if you like true crime

and you like no no no

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I don’t say like true crime

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today I’m just gonna talk about this guy

named John List

have you heard of him

well you’re about to

and the guy is messed up

John List he was born in Bay City Michigan

his father whose name was also John List

I’ll just call him Father

he was a devout Lutheran and a Sunday school teacher

John List the son

he also became the same thing as his father

so a devout Lutheran

and a Sunday school teacher

in 1943 he enlisted in the US Army

and served as a laboratory technician

during World War II

and then in 1946

he was discharged

and he enrolled at the University of Michigan

in Ann Arbor

and he earned his bachelor’s degree in business

business as business administration

and then he got his master’s degree in accounting

so this John List guy

if you haven’t caught on

he’s pretty smart

he seems to be really good with numbers

he seems to be all there

for the most part

I mean we don’t really know

everything’s going well

right wow cool

November of 1950

the Korean War escalated

and John was recalled to active military service

and then in Virginia

where he was stationed

he met Helen Morris Taylor

and she lived nearby

with her daughter Brenda

I guess the 2 of them just hit it off

they fancied each other

and then they started dating

not long after

they got married

on December first 1951

in Baltimore Maryland

and the family moved to Northern California

while a lot of moving huh

so he’s strange to me

cause this is a side note

so he strange to me

cause like I’ve never really like

did did a big move at all in my life

maybe I should move more

cool story Bailey

wow so then in 1952

John List had completed his second tour in the Army

and he then started to work paper company

in Kalamazoo

which side note

I had no idea

Kalamazoo was a real place

oh my God Bailey

you’re so dumb

I’m gonna visit

there’s so much

I need to learn

you guys anyways

so Kalamazoo

great awesome

love that so

while living in Kalamazoo

that’s where John List and his wife Helen

kind of settled in a little bit more

and they started a family

so they had

children in 1959

it seemed like the marriage was kind of going south

it’s reported that Helen she wasn’t

she was an alcoholic

she was becoming just very unstable

she was angry

she was jealous

and she seemed to just take a lot of her anger

out on John

okay so do you remember

I think said

Helen had a daughter already

before she got married to John

and her name was Brenda

so in 1960 Brenda married

and she ended up leaving the household

and the rest of the family

ended up moving to Rochester New York

John took a job with Xerox

a lot of moving

happening right

had a lot of different jobs

but it seems like really good jobs right

so then in 1965

he accepted a position

at a bank in Jersey City

so again he moved with his wife and children

and also john’s mother

moved in with him

but they moved into this Victorian mansion

called Breeze Knoll

this Victorian mansion

is so extra like wow

a 19 room Victorian mansion

it’s beautiful it’s huge

I don’t know

what you would do

with 19 rooms

would love to know

so from the outside looking in

John seemed to be the perfect family man right

and as we all know here

it’s all a lie

to his co workers and stuff

it seemed like he had this awesome life

awesome family

amazing house

but a lot of his co

workers would say that

he was aloof

I love that word aloof

that he was aloof cold man

and he had little to no friends

people would say that

John lacked social skills

and because of his

lack of social skills

it was the reason

as to why he jumped from job to job

because he actually was losing jobs

he was getting fired

a couple of times

he got like

a promotion

but it wouldn’t last long

he just couldn’t seem to like

talk to people

before everything went down

John would leave every day

to go to work

everyone thought

he was going to work

so John would

leave the house

and he would go to the

train station

and that’s as far as he would get

he would go to the train station

and then he would sit there

and he would

spend his day

reading the newspaper

really John had lost his job

instead of just telling his family

that he lost his job

he was just like

I’m gonna go to the

train station

just sit there all day

reading a newspaper

just reading

in general and then

I’ll come home

at the end of the day

so they think

I was at work

great plan John was doing this for a while

and like the stress was just

building up

because bills are due

and who pays the bills

John everything falls on him

he’s just getting more and more stressed about this

and being honest

is just way too hard for people

you know so

the mortgage

was behind on payment

and I mean then

John finds out

that the foreclosure process has begun

and John knew

he was about to be exposed

as a failure

he’s been lying

and he needed to figure out a plan

and boy did he

make a plan

callum a fucking zoo

so get this

you ready buckle

in kitty cats

it’s a wild ride

so on November

9th of 1971

the children had left

they had gone to

school Helen

john’s wife

is sitting in

out of the 19 rooms

I guess she’s like

sitting in where

the breakfast room

or whatever

you know she’s sitting there

she’s having her coffee

John came up behind her

and he shoots Helen

in the back of the head

once John knew

that indeed

his wife was dead

John headed up the

stairs to his

mother’s room

alma who was 84

at the time

and she was living

they called it the attic

it was just like

the you know

the top room

of this mansion

her own little area

John heads up the

stairs to his

mother’s room

he goes into her bedroom

and he shoots her

right above her

left eye now

by this time

it’s a little bit

afternoon and

his daughter

Patricia who’s 16

and his son

Frederick who is 12

they arrive home

from school

and you guessed it

John sadly shoots

both of his children

in the back of the head

no words now

at this point

John even later

will say that

I’m sorry for laughing

every episode

there’s like

a moment of just like

what the fuck

where I have to laugh

but here here

this so John

shoots his wife

his mom and his 2 kids so far

and after this

he’s like hmm

you know what

I’m kind of hungry

so he goes into

the kitchen

and he makes himself some lunch

and he eats this lunch

how you eat

lunch after

just murdering

your family

that’s a different

level of crazy

that’s a level

of crazy that

I don’t want to

know what what

he made like

a Bologna sandwich

the hell are you doing

John no so once

John had finished his lunch

he then drove

to his bank

and he closed

both um like

his account

and his mother’s

bank account

he also went into his

mother’s savings account

took out all of her money

then John headed

to Westfield

High School

and this is so sad

but he watched

his oldest son

John Junior

who was 15 at the time

but he watched him play

in a soccer

game yeah again

this is a special

kind of crazy

once his son

is done with

the soccer game

he drove home

with his son

they’re just

driving home

like normal

and I guess

John is just

acting calm

cool collected

like nothing happened

which is oh

John Jr walks

into the house

and then sadly

John shot him

in the chest

and the face

John will later say that

he shot him

so many times

because this

young boy had

multiple shots

and the reason

that he shot him

so many times

was because he

tried to resist

and he tried to run away

and John just shot him

repeatedly until

he was sure

that the boy

was dead so

I guess this was

john’s plan

now okay like

this is how sick

some people

are and how

I don’t know

you guys this is

what’s weird

like this is the stuff

that really just

gets my brain

so confused

and wrapped up

in all of this

because it’s like

what how why

what there’s

so many questions

so then John calls the

kids school

and he tells them

that they’re

gonna be away

for a while

so they’re gonna be absent

and not to worry

now John considered

himself a very

religious man

so after killing his

whole family

he then sits down

and he wrote

a 5 page letter

to his pastor

after committing

the murders

which was later

found on the desk

in his study

now on this 5

page letter

it was essentially

a confession

and he explained

he was attempting

to save his

family’s souls

because then

it was the 1970s

and he believed

it became a

very sinful time

John said that

he believed

his family was

giving into temptation

especially because

his daughter

came forward to John

and his wife

and said that

she wanted to

become an actress

and John viewed that

occupation as corrupt

and linked to Satan

now side note

I don’t want

anyone to think

I am singling out

religion at all

and making it about that

whether you

agree or disagree

I’m not pointing

the finger at

at that at all

because I know that

there are a lot

of good people

who have good intentions

when it comes

to religion

and what they believe

in all that stuff

and I’m not trying

to get into

that at all

because I know

a lot of people

tend to think that

I am trying to

point the finger

at religion

and that’s never

been the case

I just kind of

mention their life

being Lutheran was

like a big part

of this guy’s life

and his reasoning was that

does that make

sense cause

there’s been

a couple videos

where people are like

you shouldn’t make it

about the religion

I’m like I’m not just

played a big role

in their life

and I’m talking

about their life

because again

there’s a lot of

good people

out there who are in

these churches

or whatever

religion and

then there are

some bad seeds

who ruin it

for everybody

if you are Lutheran

I am not singling you

out and saying

your people

are bad at all

I truly believe

in my heart

there’s a lot of

good people

out there and


there’s some

bad ones is what

I’m getting at

okay thank you

kalamazoo so

John then put the bodies

of his wife

and his children

in sleeping bags

I’ve also read

that he put

them on top

of sleeping

bags regardless

sleeping bags

were involved

and then he

moved them all

to like the

floor of the

mansions ballroom

when you walk

into the front door

they were all

right there

based off of

photos I saw

but he moved them all

into the same room

the ballroom

he left his

mother’s body upstairs

in the attic

where her room was at

I guess he gave up

trying to move

her downstairs

I’m laughing

because of how

ridiculous this is

now he was doing this

all throughout the night

apparently I think

at some point

he went to bed

the next day

when he woke up

he decided he

needed to cut

his picture

out of all the

family portraits

in the house

when police

did show up

eventually one day

and they needed a photo

for the wanted

poster that

they were sure

gonna draw up

they wouldn’t have

a reference

as to what he

looked like

and who he was

so he went through

every single photo

in the house

the photo drawer

or whatever

and he cut himself

out of every

single photo

after doing

that John then

turned down

the thermostat

in the house

so it was freezing

to preserve the

bodies and also

to prevent a

smell from happening

correct me if I’m

wrong on that

but I’m pretty sure

that’s what it is

and then he

turns up the radio

and then John just

banished it

took nearly a

month until

police were notified

and the murders

were discovered

it said this is

mainly because

the family really

stuck to themselves

they didn’t really

socialize at all

they didn’t

really talk

to neighbors

they didn’t

have friends

no one went to go

check on them

you know and then

also John sent

letters to like

the children’s

school stating

that the family

would be visiting

helen’s mother

in North Carolina

for several weeks

and that the

kids weren’t

gonna be in

school he also

called the school

to let them know

they weren’t

gonna be in school

John had also

stopped the

mail delivery

newspapers and

milk deliveries

you see back

in the day milk

would be delivered

to your front

door wild times

John stopped

all of that

nobody’s coming to the

house at all

now the neighbors

though they did

notice that

the mansion’s

lights were on

day and night

like they never shut off

they also noticed

like there was

no movement

happening in the

house they could

hear the radio

they saw the lights

but they didn’t

never saw people

coming in and out

they never saw

anything and

then finally

the neighbors

say that the

lights began

to burn out

one by one by

one so like

the upstairs

and downstairs

and like the

lights were

just going out

and once that happened

the neighbors finally

called the police

sometimes it’s

good to have

nosy neighbors

you know so

the neighbors

called the police

and then the police

show up to the

house they knock

knock knock

and they’re not

getting any answer

they peek through

the window and

guess what they see

that’s when

they see the

bodies laying

on the floor

so police go

into the home

and they find

all the bodies

in the ballroom


it took them

a while to find

the poor mother

all the way

upstairs but

they did find her

then the police

launched a nationwide

manhunt police


hundreds of

leads without

any success

all of the reliable


of John had

been destroyed

or cut out so

they really

didn’t even

have any idea

of what this

man could look

like and again

at this point

it had been

almost a month

so this John

guy he got a

pretty damn

good head start

police then

found the family

car and it was

parked at John F

Kennedy Airport

in New York

City so police

looked into

like did he

get a flight

did he get a

ticket they

could not find

any evidence

of John buying a

ticket aboard

that he boarded

a flight at all

so they think that

it’s just a ruse

so it would take

18 years for

police to learn

what happened

to John 18 years

here’s what happened

according to John

and later reports

it said that

John left his car

at the airport

so then John had

traveled by

train and bus

he had traveled by

train and bus

from New Jersey

to Michigan

and then to

Colorado so

then John settled

in Denver in

early 1972 and took

an accounting

job as Robert

Peter Clark

aka Bob which

the name of

one of his college

classmates was

Bob Clark so

it’s believed

that that’s why

he took his

classmates name

and John would say

that it was

like his friend

or whatever

and then they


the friend the real

Robert Clark

and the friend was

like I have

no idea who

that is and

then while in

Denver he joined

another Lutheran


and he ran a

carpool for

the church members

at one of the

church gatherings

he met Dolores

Miller and he

married her

in 1985 she had

no idea about

his past life

but his real

name was John

and all that

February of

1988 the couple

then moved to

Midlo Thillion Virginia

I guess in every video

I should have like

word of the day

and have it be a word that I can’t pronounce

or I mispronounce

because every video

oh it’s all our teeth

anyways so the couple then moved to Virginia

where John and his new wife had lived

and John was now still using that same name Bob Clark

which is so weird because he must have had to like come

up with a bunch of paperwork

cause how was he getting these good jobs

and then he just kind of went back to working

as an accountant

so John may have like

lived the rest of his life and freedom

if it weren’t for the TV show

america’s Most Wanted

remember is that show still on

it should be because it was pretty damn helpful

because this show featured John

and the family killings

in May of 1989

on the show

they got a forensic sculptor

to create a head a bust

they say showing what John most likely looked like

now when america’s Most Wanted

agreed to feature the John Les case

it was considered at the time

to be the oldest case on the program

John had been missing at that point for 18 years

so it was like

slim to no chance of them finding it

but hey it’s worth a shock

and then they brought in the forensic artist

Frank Bender

and he’s the one who created the bust

what John List

would look like

to this day

so he made him look aged

frank Bender

he had great success in helping capture aging fugitives

he was the best of the best

now in order to create a bust of the aging John

Bender went

or he consulted with the forensic psychologist

in order to make a profile of of John

his sculpture showed John with like

a receding hairline

sagging jaws

and a pair of glasses

and Frank bender’s theory

was that John would use glasses to disguise himself

as someone more important than he was

which would be proven accurate

and it’s nuts how good this guy is

like he was spot on

so the show airs

and in Denver Colorado

a couple was watching and saw the sculpture thing

when they saw it

they’re like

that looks way too similar to our old neighbor

their old neighbor was John

so when they saw this on the TV they were like

pretty sure

that’s our old neighbor

so then they called a hotline

that they leave on america’s Most wanted

and they give a tip and with this tip

they were able to locate John

now when John was arrested

he was wearing the exact style of sunglasses

that sculpture forensic sculpture had envisioned

and he looked just like it

it was great

see on June 1st 1989

John was arrested at the Richmond accounting firm

after the Denver neighbor

viewed the america’s Most Wanted broadcast

and John continued to stand by his fake name

that he was Bob Clark

and he insisted that they had the wrong guy

he stood by that for a solid month

you got the wrong guy

my name is Bob Clark

finally John was faced with the evidence that they have

which included a fingerprint match with john’s

military records

and then of course

the evidence that they found at the crime scene

which was more fingerprints

and shoe prints and stuff like that

hairs DNA I mean

he lived there

on February 16th 1990

my door just like

closed on its own

oh my God anyways

on February 16th 1990

finally John confessed his true identity

he was taken a trial

and John testified

that he was faced with financial difficulties in 1971

after losing his job

now he didn’t want to share this humiliating news

with his family

so he spent each workday at the train station

reading newspapers

until it was time to come home

he ended up taking

money from his mother’s bank accounts

to avoid falling behind on his mortgage

which eventually

he just ran out of money in general

he goes on to say

that he was dealing with his wife’s alcoholism

and he really just throws her under the bus

saying that

he was also dealing with her untreated syphilis

now this is what John says

by that time

her excessive alcohol consumption and the syphilis

had transformed her from an attractive young woman

to an unkempt

paranoid shut in

that’s what John said

and he goes on to say that she would frequently

publicly belittle John

constantly telling him that his sex performance was

awful compared to her first husband

so John goes on to say that he killed his family

to spare them from the humiliation of losing their home

and because he hoped they would go to heaven

psychiatrists say that John never showed any remorse

he never cried

he never got upset

he never said sorry

later during the trial

it was confirmed that John suffered from obsessive

compulsive personality disorder

and it caused him to consider

only 2 solutions to his little predicament

he could either accept welfare

because he didn’t have a job and he was struggling

or he could kill his family

there’s no in between

John would go on to say

that welfare was an unacceptable option

because he and his family would be exposed to ridicule

he would be viewed as a failure

and accepting handouts violated his father’s teaching

yeah well I think murder

would violate your father’s teaching as well

but what do I know

so john’s goes on to say

with a controlling

alcoholic wife

and a mother who was just constantly on his case

about everything

there was only so much he could handle

before he was driven to murder

so finally on October 12 1990

John was convicted of 5 counts of first degree murder

at his sentencing hearing

he denied direct responsibility for his actions

saying quote

I feel that because of my mental state at the time

I was unaccountable for

what happened

I ask all affected for their forgiveness

understanding and prayer

end quote jeez

the judge was unmoved by this

he imposed a sentence of 5 terms of life imprisonment

to be served consecutively

which was the maximum penalty at the time

in 2002 John did an interview with Connie Chang

where she at

she doesn’t do that anymore does she

and John was asked why he didn’t commit suicide

like if you’re gonna kill your whole family

cause you’re embarrassed

why wouldn’t you just kill yourself too bro

John stated that he didn’t want to take his own life

as it would forbid him from his entrance into heaven

where he hoped to reunite with his family

which I think is such a crock of shit answer

Because murder is gonna prevent you getting into heaven

come on John

you’re not thinking

finally March 21st 2008

John died of complications from pneumonia at age 82

while in custody

their old mansion is called Breeze Knoll

it was the home where the murders took place

it was destroyed by arson

on August 20th 1972

which was 10 months after the murders

it’s believed you know

once news got out that there were murders taken place

that somebody went and like

burned it down

which is honestly

probably for the better

you know which I found this really interesting

when I was reading this article

it was like destroyed

along with this home

was the ballroom

stained glass skylight

which was rumored to be a Tiffany original

which was worth at least 100 000

at the time

which today would be worth either about 1,000,000

or well over $1,000,000

it’s unfortunate that that happened

and I’m like

you know what’s unfortunate

that the whole family died

in the house

like let the Tiffany

stained glass

skylight go

a new house was built on the same site in 1974

I wonder if they know what happened

so that is a story about John List

and the awful things that he did to his family

it’s truly unfortunate that he got to live

18 years of his life out living

but at least they caught him

and he did go to prison

but the whole thing like that

still pisses me off

thank God for america’s Most Wanted

it seems that a lot of men

not all men

okay I’m not saying that

a handful of men

truly believe that

murder is easier than divorce

and it’s disgusting

it’s so disturbing

that one’s crazy

cause this guy

you would never guess

and I feel like

that’s one thing we’ve been learning here

on my Monday episodes

the killers

never look like a flipping killer

mmm anyways

I hope that you have a very good day today

please be safe out there

make good choices

other than that

I hope you have a wonderful day

did I say make good choices

make good choices

and I’ll be seeing you guys later bye

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