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You’ve heard of killing them with kindness, but what about murdering with a smile? Join us for a look at the infamous Smiley Face Murders.

Ah yes, the smiley face. It’s an icon as old as time. It brings people together with its warmth and charm. Of course, like any form of language, the symbol has evolved to mean any number of things, from sarcasm to indifference. But one thing the smiley was never meant to mean was murder!


In this week’s episode, we’re talking about the smiley face murders —  or, more specifically, the strange theory surrounding a set of murders.

The story goes that a couple of detectives had a hunch that men who were found dead in bodies of water were victims of either one or multiple serial killers that left a smiley face tag/graffiti at the site in which they dumped the bodies. Some agreed that this was a sound theory; others called it ludicrous.

Whatever you believe about that theory, there is one man who was legitimate in his use of the famous emoji combined with murder: Keith Jesperson.

At a young age, Keith showed some trademark signs of being a bad, bad boy. But like many in the ’70s, the signs were ignored, or missed. He had an abusive father and was bullied at school because he was a giant (at 35 years old, he was nearly 7 feet tall). All this lead to him becoming a fairly prolific serial killer, who was charged with 8 counts of murder when it was all said and done.

But what makes him the smiley face killer? Well, when a woman claimed she and her boyfriend killed one of his victims, he left a note on a public washroom wall signed with a smiley face. He later sent letters to the media signed with a smiley face.

Want to know more? Tune in to get all the wicked details.



Ominous Origins

Welcome to the Ominous Origins Podcast, a Horror Shots production. If you were previously a fan of the Horror Shots Podcast, this is the same great show with the same compelling content focused on myth, mysterious creatures, unexplained events, spooky stories — and even some of the strangest and most disturbing true crime stories. As always, our goal is to entertain, but also to enlighten with short, well-researched episodes on a variety of fascinating topics.

I hope you enjoy the show. If you would like to show your support, reviews on iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts are always greatly appreciated and help out so much. You can also comment on this post right here on Morbidly Beautiful and use the social share buttons to spread the word. Finally, you can check out my Redbubble store for some great merchandise, including the new logo for sale on a variety of things!

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