Bizarre and disturbing story out of an Amish community in Missouri. A man (who happens to have an Amish appearance, and a name typical among Amish) allegedly confessed to seeking to kill 11 Amish children in the community.
The number is oddly specific, and the story doesn’t elaborate on who the children were, or why that number. This is reported by local news channel KTTN:
A Spickard man faces 11 counts of felony first-degree assault or attempted assault after he allegedly tried to kill Amish children on October 22.
The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office states that 39-year-old Amos Slabaugh has also been charged with felony armed criminal action. He is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in the Associate Division of Grundy County Circuit Court on November 14.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Slabaugh, during a recorded interview after waiving his rights, admitted he sought to find 11 Amish children to shoot and kill them with a .38-special revolver. He allegedly confessed to stopping at the residence of two witnesses to kill their children, but no one was home.
The affidavit further notes that Slabaugh did not own a gun before October 22. He reportedly purchased the .38-special revolver and 56 rounds of ammunition for $450 from a Spickard residence on the same day.
A sheriff’s deputy managed to stop Slabaugh not too far from the unnamed witnesses’ residence. The story notes that Slabaugh had trouble with his brother before, that he “allegedly attempted to destroy and damage his brother’s property in the past.”
There are no details about whether the children were his brothers’. Reading between the lines, that is what you might think – that this was a family dispute of some sort. The specific number may indicate that he was targeting a specific family or families.
The community in question is in Grundy County, Missouri, and has been around since 1997. According to the latest Amish community list, there are well over 500 Amish people there, in five churches.
Amos Slabaugh is not described as Amish in the story, but given his name, appearance, and apparent familial connection to Amish people, it’s safe to assume he is Amish himself (or perhaps someone who is currently outside of the church due to excommunication).
Amish killers rare, but not unheard of
Violence leading to death is not common among the Amish. In this story, the first question that comes to mind concerns the mental health of this individual. Though it’s highly unusual, Amish people have been involved with and convicted of homicide in the past. One such case was that of a mentally ill Amishman named Ed Gingerich, who ended his wife’s life at their Pennsylvania home in 1993.
There have been cases of sane Amish people plotting to kill their spouses. Samuel Borntreger, an Amish minister and cabinet maker from Missouri, confessed to poisoning his wife Anna in 2006. Borntreger remarried soon after his wife’s passing and eventually moved out of state. He admitted to killing his wife in 2016.
Eli Weaver is the other case that comes immediately to mind. He is the subject of the Lifetime Network “Amish Stud” movie you may have seen promoted recently. Weaver plotted with another woman to murder his wife at their home in Ohio in 2009. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life, though becomes eligible for parole next year.
There may be others besides these, but I would imagine not more than a relative handful of cases.
Though they may not occur as frequently, Amish people, as humans, are not immune to the same evils seen in the non-Amish population. They’re also afflicted with mental health issues, as other populations are, which can lead to tragic situations. In this Amos Slabaugh case, thankfully it sounds like a tragedy was averted.