On the frigid morning of January 27, 1958, the savaged head of Edna Burns was found in the vestibule of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The culprit was the woman's own son, Bobby Joe Burns. The 28 year old man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia and drug abuse claimed his mother agreed to the decapitation as part of an Aztec ritual. The victim had garnered the release of her son from a state mental facility the previous year.
After leaving her head at the church, Burns crossed over into Oklahoma and spent the night sleeping in a field.
During his interrogation, the clearly disturbed Burns snacked on candy bars and drank sodas. At one point, his brother brought him some cigarettes and said, "We don't blame you for what happened."
The family, it seems, had tried to convince Edna Burns to send Bobby back to the hospital, but she seemed to think he was well enough to handle himself on the outside.
Eventually, the courts had Bobby Joe Burns recommitted to the hospital where he spent the remaining decades of his life. He died there sometime in the 1980s.