Bizarre: Man With Amish Appearance & Name Sought To Kill 11 Amish Children

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.

Amos Slabaugh, 39, of Spickard, MO. Photo via Grundy County Law Enforcement Center/KTTN

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.

Ed Gingerich

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.

Eli Weaver

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.

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    1. john Doe

      According to the title of this page, someone wants to kill 11 kids and they believe an amish guy is the right one for the job.

      1. Erik Wesner

        simple past tense and past participle of seek

        1. Greg Stutzman
    2. Leslie Harris

      Amish Controversy

      This is why we need to stop deifying the Amish, and treat them like the human beings they are – flawed and very human like the rest of us.

      In social media, including YouTube, I see so many comments responding to videos and information about the Amish stating things like “I want to be Amish”, “They lead such better/simpler/holier lives”, “they’re so much closer to God”, to list just a few. The sometimes INTENSE disappointment many English readers of blogs like Erik’s or YT videos have when they see an Amish person shopping at Walmart, using plastic items, utilizing cell phones or operating machinery, without knowledge that different Amish communities have different practices based on their Ordnung, just leaves me shaking my head.

      The Amish are Human, just trying to live their lives to the best of their ability, just like many other communities do. Yes – they work hard. Yes – they do work and create things of high quality. So do other communities and ethnicities. Who are we as outsiders to try and gatekeep another community’s lifestyle or beliefs?

      We don’t do them any favors slavishly praising everything they do, as if their way is the Only way. I suspect that many Amish individuals find the larger “English” society’s sometimes intense curiosity toward them amusing or confusing at best and overwhelming and embarrassing at worst.

      *getting off my soapbox*

      And Finally:

      This story isn’t awful because it has an Amish protagonist; it’s awful because it’s a human being planning harm toward other innocent people.

      1. Jesse Dustin

        Not deifying, just seeing what is better on the World.

        Do the Amish have some of the same problems us English have? Sure.

        But at the same time, look at the birth rates. Look at how some of them still work the land. Look at how the Amish are in general, closer to Nature, God and Family than many of us English are.

        Am I deifying them by pointing this out?
        No, but the Amish are a living example of what a Parallel Society can look like, one which stands in stark contrast to the debased one we live in.

    3. Greg Stutzman

      Eli Weaver

      I twice interviewed Eli Weaver in prison. I had written him with a proposition to write a book about his life and murder conviction. He agreed to meet with me and agreed to the financial terms I proposed which would provide for his children. I explained to Eli that I was from Holmes County, Ohio, and understood the community and the Amish people. Eli was a fascinating character who had an admitted addiction to sex. He was quite successful at feeding this addiction from an early age. He suddenly shut down the entire process with me because his brother-in-law who was caring for Eli’s children got wind of the deal and demanded that he cease and desist. One thing that is worth mentioning is that I found him not only charismatic but practically devoid of remorse. From what I understand, this is common with killers. He was also very self-confident even to the point of bravado in spite of the fact that he was in prison. (Ironically, he was later murdered in prison) I was surprised when he arrived in the visitation room wearing suspenders. He told me that the Warden liked him and provided him a special dispensation for that. He also said that he was the star of the prison softball team, which comes as no surprise from a strapping Ohio Amishman. I also have the complete court transcripts of his trial and the trial of his female accomplice whom he manipulated to be the trigger gal while Eli was fishing in Canada in order to cement his alibi.

      1. Erik Wesner

        Thanks for the interesting addition here Greg. I know someone who visited him regularly, at least at one time. Gregg Olsen co-authored a book about this, I haven’t read it though. One thing though – you say he was murdered in prison, I thought he was still alive?

    4. Melissa Walker

      Eli Weaver

      According to the Ohio Dept. of Corrections website, Eli Weaver is incarcerated at the Grafton Prison and will have his first parole hearing in June, 2024.
      BTW, I read both books about Eli Weaver and Ed Gingerich. Both were very interesting but deeply sad and troubling as to how many cases, both Amish and non-Amish, are of people falling through the cracks of one kind or another.