If you think about people that are view as inspirations and heroes, athletes are one of the first people that pop into mind, especially for children.
Professional athletes are some of the most heroic and looked up to people on earth. Children see them as heroes and pray that they'll grow up to be like them. And, most of the time, this is a good choice as most athletes are stand-up individuals that donate their time and money to worthy causes, and prove that anything is possible if you work hard for it. Most are truly an example of hard work and dedication paying off for the better.
However, there exist some athletes that are the complete opposite of this and are truly horrible people who do horrible things. Some athletes lie, some athletes cheat but some athletes are responsible for one of the most heinous acts that can be perpetrated by a person, murder. It is without a doubt one of the worst things that an individual can do.
And that is who this list will be looking at, the worst of the worst in the world of sports. In this list we will be looking at the top 15 athletes who were (or believed to have been) murderers. The goal of this list isn’t to excuse, justify or glorify these horrific acts, it is to simply inform and educate people that the athletes and stars they look up to are still humans like the rest of us and are capable of committing horrible and unforgiving acts.
15 Robert Rozier
This is without a doubt one of the strangest events on this list. Robert Rozier was a former NFL and CFL defensive end with the St. Louis Rams, Hamilton Tiger Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders. His troubles began when he joined a black supremacist secret gang in 1985 which was founded by Yahweh Ben Yahweh. This group sought to kill the “white devil” and required that each of the members kill a white person to join the group. Throughout his time with the group, Rozier would admit to killing seven white people in order to please Yahweh.
14 Mark Rogowski
Mark “Gator” Rogowski is credited as one of the founders of skateboarding, in the same vein of Tony Hawk. His issues began when he began abusing alcohol after breaking up with his girlfriend, Brandi Mcclain. He soon became obsessively jealous of her new boyfriend. Mcclain's friend, Jessica Bergsten, unfortunately would pay the price as Rogowski would murder her for no apparent reason, according to the NY Times. It has been said that he was mentally unstable, but that doesn’t excuse his horrific acts.
13 Craig Titus
Craig Titus was a former professional bodybuilder from Michigan. He was very tiny when he graduated high school as he was only 5'6 and weighed 140 pounds. His weight ballooned up around 250 pounds when he was competing. Him and his bodybuilder wife made headlines in 2005 when they were both implicated in the death of Titus' assistant, Melissa James, who he had also been having an affair with. She was found burning in a car, an attempt to hide evidence by the couple. The couple tried to flee the country, but were picked up by police in Massachusetts. They both eventually pled guilty to murder.
12 Evangelos Goussis
Goussis is a former Australian boxer and world champion kickboxer in the late 1980s, and was among the best of his time. He was charged and convicted of two separate counts of murder as a result of his participation in the Melbourne Gangland Killings. The gangland killings resulted in dozens of murders from 1998-2010. Most of the killings were retribution for previous crimes or professional “hits.” Goussis was likely brought in as a hired gun and has also been connected to a third murder, but that hasn’t been proven.
11 Jovan Belcher
Jovan Belcher was an upcoming linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. He and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, had a tumultuous relationship. The relationship hit a boiling point when, on December 1st, 2012, he shot his wife to death in front of his own mother. Belcher then traveled to the Chiefs practice facility and killed himself in the parking lot, in front of coaching staff and executives. The murder/suicide left Belcher and Perkins daughter without her parents, in what is the perhaps the most tragic part of this whole thing.
10 Eric Naposki
Naposki is a former NFL linebacker who played with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in the late 1980s. Naposki was convicted of murder in 2014, for a murder he committed decades prior. He was responsible for killing wealthy businessman Bill McLaughlin so that McLaughlin's girlfriend, Nanette Johnson, could receive the hefty life insurance payout. It was also suspected that Naposki’s reasoning for committing this crime is because he was romantically involved with Johnson. He is currently in prison and will spend the rest of his life in prison, and rightfully so.
9 Bertil Fox
Bertil Fox is a former professional bodybuilder from the island nation of St. Kitts. He won multiple championships in bodybuilding and was one of the best of his time. Then, on September 30th 1997, he would make a decision that would change his life forever. On this day, the 46 year old Fox fatally shot both Leyoca Browne, a 20 year old beauty queen, and her 36 year old mother, Violet Browne. Fox was previously engaged to Leyoca. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but the sentence was later changed to life imprisonment
8 Bruno Souza
Bruno Souza is a former Brazilian soccer goalkeeper for Brazilian club Flamengo. Souza was charged, convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison for the assault and murder of his girlfriend and mother of his youngest child. Souza’s girlfriend went missing in early June 2010, and he was subsequently picked up by police in July 2010 in connection with her disappearance. It was in late July 2010 that Souza was charged with kidnapping, murder and hiding a body in relation to his girlfriend’s disappearance and murder. It was revealed that he had her body cut up in order to try and hide the evidence.
7 Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit was a world famous professional wrestler with the WWE. Over a three day period in June of 2007, it was ruled that Benoit had killed both his wife and his own seven year old son, before committing suicide. Police entered Benoit’s home on a “welfare check” because of the large number of appointments that Benoit missed. They found all three dead and were able to decipher that Benoit committed suicide after killing the others. There are many hypotheses as to why he committed these despicable acts, that range from “roid rage” to brain damage to depression.
6 Hiroshi Ogawa
Ogawa is a former baseball pitcher who played professional baseball in Japan. Ogawa appears on this list because he was charged and convicted to life imprisonment for murder. The murder occurred when Ogawa, who was struggling financially, went to his wealthy businessman bosses house, looking to borrow money. When the man’s housekeeper refused, he pushed her down and knocked her out. He then went on to steal 1.75 million yen from the house. After the robbery, he returned to the unconscious housekeeper and drowned her in a pond.
5 Lawrence Phillips
Lawrence Phillips is a former talented RB who played with the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. He was a troubled individual throughout his NFL career and has been in prison since 2008 for various assaults and other violent charges against multiple victims. But, in April 2015, things got even worse as it was reported that Lawrence Phillips was responsible for the murder of his cell mate in prison. With this case being so new, not a lot of information is available, but will likely become available in the coming days and weeks.
4 Rae Carruth
Rae Carruth is a former NFL WR with the Carolina Panthers. In November 1999, a woman that Carruth was casually dating was shot four times, and later died on December 14th, 1999. She was pregnant at the time of the shooting, but doctors were able to save the baby. Carruth immediately fled after her death, but was found in the trunk of a car a day later. He was eventually charged with murder, as he had set up this murder and was an active participant in it, in that he was the car that stopped in front of the victim that allowed the gunman to shoot her.
3 Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius is a former Olympic athlete with the South American track team. He also had both of his legs amputated under the knee and is the first disabled athlete to compete in the Olympics. His life changed forever on Valentine’s Day 2013, when Pistorious fatally shot and killed his girlfriend and was charged with her murder. He told authorities that he mistook her for an intruder, much to the doubt of a large portion of the population. He was found guilty of culpable homicide and is currently serving time in prison.
2 Aaron Hernandez
Number two on this list is none other than Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez was an extremely talented TE with the New England Patriots, who was on his way to a long career. The football world was shocked in 2013 when Hernandez was charged with the murder of his associate Odin Lloyd in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s house. He is also being investigated for an alleged double murder in Boston in 2012. In April 2015, Hernandez was found guilty and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
1 O.J. Simpson
And coming in at number one on this list, to the surprise of no one, is O.J. Simpson. Simpson is a former Heisman winning RB and star with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Simpson was charged in 1994 with two counts of murder in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. In one of the most publicized cases of all time, Simpson was actually acquitted of all charges, to the extreme dismay and outrage of the public. Later, in 1997 in a civil case, Simpson was found liable for the deaths of both Brown-Simpson and Goldman. This is without a doubt one of the strangest and most polarizing cases of all time.
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