10 Worst Murders of the Decade (2010-2020)

Every decade has its notable murders that left the whole world in shock. The rate of murders has been increasing for decades, making it a tough task to analyze which was the worst one. Murderers have always found new ways to terrify the society. Some of the murder documentaries are also available on various platforms such as Netflix and YouTube, but some murders are so petrifying but still, not many people know about them. Here are the 10 worst murders of the decade (2010-2020). 

  • The Aurora Theater Shooting (2012)
  • The Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting (2012)
  • The Boston Marathon Bombing (2013)
  • The Pulse Nightclub Shooting (2016)
  • The Las Vegas Shooting (2017)
  • The Parkland School Shooting (2018)
  • The Christchurch Mosque Shootings (2019)
  • The George Floyd Murder (2020)
  • Peshawar Army Public School Attack
  • The Charleston Church Shooting (2015)

1) The Aurora Theater Shooting (2012)

The Aurora Theater Shooting is one of the most horrific events on this list. On July 20, 2012, people were watching the third and last Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” directed by Christopher Nolan at the Century 16 Cinema in Aurora, Colorado when the incident happened. Who knew that such an amazing movie experience would turn into a nightmare for the audience? 

James Holmes, the attacker, carefully carried out his attack. He carried many weapons and entered the theater with body armor and a gas mask. He opened fire on the unprepared audience shortly after the movie began. Over 70 other persons also suffered injuries, some of them life-altering, and twelve innocent people lost their lives.

The Aurora Theater Shooting’s aftermath was characterized by shock, grief, and the search for justice. Holmes was detained soon after the assault and then had to go through a protracted judicial process. The start of his trial in April 2015 was closely followed by the entire country. Holmes was convicted guilty on all counts, including numerous first-degree murder charges, in July 2015. On August 26, 2015, Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole by Judge Carlos A. Samour. The jury spared Holmes the death penalty by one vote. 

The tragedy sparked a national conversation about public safety, mental health, and gun control. The shooting served as a sharp reminder of the need for comprehensive reform, according to proponents of tougher gun laws. In the depths of sadness, communities throughout the nation banded together to support the victims and their families.

With its tragic effects, the Aurora Theater Shooting serves as a sobering reminder of the necessity for continued efforts to stop such senseless acts of violence. Even though it has been years since that terrible night, discussions about public safety and the protection of the weak continue to be influenced by the memories of the victims and the lessons learned from the catastrophe.

2) The Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting (2012)

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting became one of the most heart-wrenching tragedies in America’s history. The shooting shocked the nation, encouraging introspection and calls for new gun control regulations. On December 14, 2012, the day started as any other for the teachers and students of Sandy Hook Elementary. But soon, it became the day of an unimaginable tragedy. Armed with weapons, 20-year-old Adam Lanza made his way into the school. He had a history of mental health problems. First, he killed his mother at his home, and then he started shooting at the teachers and innocent kids inside the building, killing 20 first-graders and 6 teachers. He ended up killing himself after that.

The country was in mourning, and the community was dealing with a great deal of sadness following the shooting. The tragedy had an impact well beyond the city limits of Newtown because it sparked a passionate discussion about gun control in the US. The Sandy Hook massacre was cited by supporters of tougher gun control regulations as a turning moment in the struggle to stop such senseless acts of killing. Following the tragedy, there were several calls for tighter controls on the sale of firearms and improved background checks.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting sparked conversations about mental health awareness and the value of early diagnosis and treatment in addition to the gun control issue. It also sparked the creation of the Sandy Hook Promise, a group dedicated to raising gun safety and security awareness that was started by the victims’ families.

The tragic events of December 14, 2012, serve as a painful reminder of the devasting effects of gun violence in the US. Despite the passage of time, the memory of the children who perished at Sandy Hook Elementary School persists, and the effects of this tragedy continue to affect efforts to build a society that is safer and more compassionate.

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3) The Boston Marathon Bombing (2013)

One of the oldest and most prestigious events in the world, the Boston Marathon, was the scene of a horrifying act of terrorism on April 15, 2013. The Boston Marathon Bombing, which occurred close to the race’s finish line, ended in a terrible death and made a lasting impression on both the city of Boston and the country as a whole.

Near the marathon’s finish line, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated, wreaking havoc and destruction. The explosions left three people dead and over 260 others injured, many of whom had severe injuries and even lost limbs. Martin Richard, an eight-year-old kid, was one of the casualties, and the public was greatly affected by his passing.

Following the Boston Marathon bombing, a huge manhunt started to find and apprehend the culprits. The suspects were ultimately revealed to be brothers of Chechen ancestry, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar was apprehended as a result of a series of incidents, including a gunfight with police enforcement.

The nation closely followed the subsequent court processes. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of several offenses in April 2015, and in May of that same year, he received a death sentence for his part in the attack.

The Boston Marathon bombing demonstrated the city’s and its residents’ resiliency and sense of community while also highlighting how prone public events are to terrorist attacks. Bostonians, emergency personnel, and people worldwide came together to assist the victims and their families. The slogan “Boston Strong” became a representation of the city’s will to persevere in the face of hardship.

This sad incident served as a stark reminder of the importance of being vigilant and ready to respond to terrorism. It also illustrated the value of coming together after a tragedy and the power of community.

4) The Pulse Nightclub Shooting (2016)

On June 12, 2016, one of the bloodiest mass shootings in American history took place at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The Pulse Nightclub Shooting, which targeted the LGBTQ+ community, sent shockwaves across the country. It also led to speaking out on gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, and the ongoing battle against hate crimes.

The evening started with a celebration of love and harmony. A Latin night was being held in the well-known gay nightclub Pulse, and guests were having fun dancing, listening to music, and hanging out with one another. Omar Mateen, a heavily equipped gunman, entered the club early in the morning and started shooting at the partygoers. 49 people lost their lives in the incident, while more than 50 others were wounded.

Following the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, the LGBTQ+ community received an outpouring of sympathy and support. Vigils and memorial services were organized throughout the country, and the tragedy sparked debates about the continued violence and persecution of the LGBTQ+ community. The assault was strongly denounced as a hate crime against a particular minority.

The shooting at Pulse also reopened the national discussion on gun control. This tragedy was cited as a vivid illustration of the need for complete reform by advocates of tougher gun control. Background checks and the accessibility of assault weapons have come under careful examination as a result of the shooter’s ease in acquiring firearms despite previous investigations.

The onePULSE Foundation, founded by Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma in response to the tragedy, aims to build a permanent memorial at the scene, raise awareness of LGBTQ+ concerns, and lessen the impact of hate crimes.

The shooting at the Pulse nightclub serves as a somber reminder of the continuous fight against hate and violence directed at vulnerable groups of people. Discussions regarding the need for stricter gun control laws as well as increased acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community have been sparked by it.

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5) The Las Vegas Shooting (2017)

The deadliest mass shooting in American history took place on October 1, 2017, on the Las Vegas Strip, a well-known tourist destination for entertainment. Conversations on gun control, concert safety, and the resiliency of the community were prompted by the Las Vegas Shooting, which took place during a music festival and left a lasting impression on the city.

Thousands of music lovers enjoyed a night of music and fellowship at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival when the tragedy occurred. A lone shooter named Stephen Paddock started shooting from an adjacent hotel room as the festival’s headlining performer Jason Aldean hit the stage. In the course of the onslaught, which lasted several minutes, 58 people died and hundreds were hurt.

A general feeling of loss and shock pervaded the days and weeks following the Las Vegas shooting. The tragedy sparked debates about the safety of major public gatherings and the requirement for better emergency response procedures. The gunman had accumulated a sizable armory of weapons, which sparked concerns about the accessibility of firearms.

The complexity of the situation, including the shooter’s motivation, was made clear by the inquiry into the Las Vegas shooting. Although investigators were unable to pinpoint his motivation, the tragedy highlighted the importance of taking action quickly when someone exhibits unsettling behavior.

The victims’ families received overwhelming support from the Las Vegas neighborhood. The phrase “Vegas Strong” became a representation of the city’s cohesion and resolve to recover and rebuild. As concerns surfaced over the shooter’s mental state, the attack also brought attention back to the need for better mental health care.

The tragic reminder of the possibility of mass violence and the difficulties in identifying and preventing such crimes comes from the Las Vegas Shooting. It has sparked discussions about the significance of event security as well as the continuing controversy over gun control in the US. The resiliency of the Las Vegas community is still a living example of the human spirit, and the memory of those who perished that night is being honored.

6) The Parkland School Shooting (2018)

The tragedy that occurred on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, activated a movement for gun reform and youth activism. A national dialogue on gun violence, school safety, and the effectiveness of student-led activism was started by the Parkland school shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and teachers.

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz, a former student, entered the school with a semi-automatic weapon, and things soon turned chaotic. He started shooting at children and teachers, killing 17 people and injuring many more.  Parkland was one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

Following the tragedy, the survivors and their families banded together to call for action on school safety and gun regulation. Students like Emma González, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky were at the forefront of this movement. As they planned protests, marches, and school walkouts, including the “March for Our Lives” gathering in Washington, DC, their voices echoed across the country.

The Parkland school shooting sparked a new round of discussion on gun control in the country, especially over the sale of semi-automatic weapons and the necessity of thorough background checks. Discussions about the political influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the necessity of appropriate weapon restrictions were triggered by the survivors and their advocacy work.

The tragedy also caused adjustments to school safety procedures, such as increased funding for security precautions and staff training. The “red flag” rules, which permit the temporary seizure of weapons from someone believed to be a threat to themselves or others, attracted attention as a potential remedy to stop further tragedies.

The Parkland school shooting emphasized the tenacity of a community committed to respecting the memory of those who were lost through advocacy and action, and it showed the potential for youthful voices to bring about change.

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7) The Christchurch Mosque Shootings (2019)

On March 15, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand witnessed a horrific act of violence that echoed across the globe. 51 people died and dozens more were hurt after a white supremacist opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers.

Muslim worshipers had gathered for their weekly Friday prayers at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre when the attack occurred. The shooting, which was live-streamed on social media by the shooter, an Australian named Brenton Tarrant, became a viral event. The shocking video horrified viewers all around the world.

An outpouring of sympathy and support followed the shootings at the mosque in Christchurch. The tragedy had a significant impact on New Zealand, a country renowned for its safety and inclusivity. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, showed an example of compassionate leadership with her swift condemnation of the attack and offer of assistance to the Muslim community.

The incident sparked discussions about the emergence of white supremacy and far-right extremism. It also triggered discussions regarding the necessity of more stringent gun control measures on a global scale. A ban on semi-automatic weapons was enacted in New Zealand in response to the tragedy, and a buyback scheme was started for these guns.

Together, the Muslim community and the people of New Zealand stood up for one another and spread messages of tolerance, love, and unity to combat hate. To stop the spread of violent information online, the “Christchurch Call,” a global campaign against online extremism started.

The shootings at the Christchurch mosque brought attention to the issue of hate-motivated violence on a worldwide scale and the necessity of promoting an inclusive society. It continues to serve as a melancholy reminder of the negative effects of extremism and the demand for global unity in the fight against violence and hatred. The efforts to establish a world where such atrocities are never repeated are still motivated by the remembrance of those who passed away in the mosques that day.

8) The George Floyd Murder (2020)

The tragic and highly upsetting death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, ignited protests, civil unrest, and a provoked global dialogue about racial injustice, police brutality, and social justice, making Minneapolis, Minnesota, the center of a national movement.

George Floyd, an African-American man, was detained by Minneapolis police officers when a store clerk claimed he used a fake $20 money, which started the chain of events that resulted in his murder. Despite George Floyd’s cries for compassion, a white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes in a film. George Floyd tragically died as a result of the incident.

Social media users quickly shared the video of George Floyd’s death, provoking outrage and demands for justice. Demonstrators demanded the prosecution of the cops responsible, the end to systemic racism, and an overhaul of policing procedures as protests broke out all around the world and in the United States.

The legal actions that followed and the public reaction were extraordinary. Derek Chauvin was brought to manslaughter and second-degree murder charges. His court case, which got underway in March 2021, was closely followed as a significant development in the struggle for police accountability. Chauvin was found guilty of all charges on April 20, 2021.

The murder of George Floyd and the following protests triggered a national and international reckoning with issues of racial injustice, police reform, and institutional prejudice

The “Black Lives Matter” movement saw a resurgence, and the demands for change expanded beyond issues of policing to include matters such as voting rights, criminal justice reform, and economic injustice.

The death of George Floyd catalyzed change, opening up a larger discussion about the need to confront established racial inequalities and prejudices. It also opened discussions about the part that people, communities, and governments should play in eradicating structural racism and promoting a society that is more just and equitable.

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9) Peshawar Army Public School Attack

In December 2014, the Peshawar Army Public School in Pakistan became the site of one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history. On December 16th, militants stormed the school, unleashing a brutal assault that left 150 innocent lives extinguished, 134 of them young students. The attackers, affiliated with the Taliban, displayed unprecedented cruelty, targeting classrooms and systematically executing students and staff.

The Army Public School had around 1,000 staff members and kids at the time of the tragedy, many of whom were the children of military personnel. The attackers scaled a wall to gain entry to the large compound in the middle of the morning when they launched their attack. Some accounts claim that they bombed their car to divert the attention of the school security officers. They opened fire randomly as they entered the main assembly hall, where a sizable class received first aid instruction. Armed with automatic rifles and explosives, the assailants moved on to the classrooms, focusing their fire on the older students and professors. Official sources claim that they made no attempt to kidnap hostages and were just interested in killing. Reports state that over 100 people were injured and 150 people were killed by the terrorists. As the tragedy’s scope became evident, the country was shocked, leading to calls for strong action against the offenders and widespread condemnation.

10) The Charleston Church Shooting (2015)

On the evening of June 17, 2015, nine African Americans were killed by a mass shooter at a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A country already hardened by constant gun violence was rocked by the slaughter at a historic Black church, which also signaled the beginning of a new period of violent white nationalism in the United States.

The senior pastor of the church, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state lawmaker and activist was one of the casualties. As a leading proponent of police accountability and a living embodiment of Emanuel AME’s past as a hub for civil rights organizations, Pinckney garnered widespread attention for his handling of the April 2016 police killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston. 

On June 17, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old gunman, attended a Bible study with Pinckney and other members of his congregation. After informing the others that African Americans were “taking over the country,” Roof pulled out a rifle and started shooting. One victim claimed that Roof attempted to shoot himself but ran out of ammunition and left instead. The next morning, he was taken into custody in North Carolina, and following an inquiry and trial that exposed his radicalization and fervent white supremacist views, he was given the death penalty. The impacted community’s tenacity and the country’s unwavering demand for justice highlighted how important it is to address the causes of hatred and foster harmony. 


As one reflects on these gruesome stories, one sees a common thread. They are stories of suffering, loss, and the bonding of people in the face of catastrophe. The pain is the same regardless of the names or locations.

In the silence of an Aurora movie theater, lives changed forever. Children’s laughter in Newtown changed into sobs. The celebration of a marathon in Boston was ruined and in Orlando, a club that was meant to be joyful turned into a terrifying place. A night of lights and music turned into a night of terror in Las Vegas. A place of learning was transformed into a site of grieving in Parkland. Churches in Christchurch became somber places of mourning. A routine arrest in Minneapolis led to a global awakening.

These stories include not just the past but also the present and the future. They are about adaptability, the strength of the human spirit, and change. They are about communities uniting, demanding  justice, and declaring that “Enough is Enough.”

They serve as a reminder that society has a responsibility to remember, to honor those who have died, and strive for a better future. They serve as a reminder that, whether it be gun violence, hatred, or systematic injustice, society must address the problems that contribute to such tragedies.

Each of these stories has both suffering and a glimmer of hope. Hope that one can improve, hope that they can create a more secure, caring society. These tales are about more than simply sadness; they are also about the resilience of the human spirit and the will to create a world in which such tales are rare, if not unheard of.


What Decade Has the Most Murders?

According to reports, the 1980s was the deadliest decade depending upon conflicts, social unrest, and factors like the drug trade and gang violence.

Are Murder Rates Consistent Throughout History?

No, murder rates change throughout time as a result of shifting social, economic, and political situations; they frequently reach their highest levels during times of conflict or civil unrest.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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