6 Tyrannical Bosses Far Worse Than Yours

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We've all had those days (weeks"¦ months"¦) at work. Nothing seems to go right. Anything that can possibly go wrong does go wrong. Stuff you didn't even know could go wrong goes wrong. But before you throw in the towel, check out these tyrannical bosses and think to yourself, "At least I haven't been beheaded"¦ yet"¦"

1. Faye & Ray Copeland

When I retire, I look forward to traveling, spending a lot of time volunteering at a no-kill animal shelter, writing"¦ the usual stuff. Faye and Ray Copeland, however, decided that when they retired they would become serial killers. From 1986 to 1989, the elderly couple hired workers to help them around their farm in Missouri. After being tipped off by a former neighbor, police searched the farm and found five bodies buried. Faye insisted she was innocent, but evidence against her included a list in her handwriting of farmhands hired "“ 12 of them had X's scrawled next to their names. Of those 12, five of them were found dead. Police also found a cozy quilt inside the house made of the clothing of the men the Copelands had killed. Ray and Faye were the oldest couple ever sentenced to death in the United States at the ages of 75 and 69 respectively.

2. Elizabeth Báthory

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No matter how good the pay was at Elizabeth Báthory's castles, it wasn't worth it: the Hungarian countess killed hundreds of girls and women, many who were employed as maids and servants on her property. She didn't just kill her victims, oh no. She tortured them first. During her trials, it was discovered that the methods she used to kill included starving, freezing, beating, burning and biting. Oddly, though, she was never sentenced to death. Her accomplices were, but Elizabeth was merely bricked up inside of a room at her house for the rest of her life. A small slit was left open so she could receive food. She was put under house arrest at the end of 1610; she died in August of 1614.

3. Rolandas Milinavicius

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After reading this you might think twice about asking for a raise this year. In July 2007, a Georgia business owner shot and killed his only two employees when they asked for a little more compensation on their paychecks. Rolandas Milinavicius told police that he was stressed out because the business was accruing a lot of debt and the talk about raises just pushed him over the edge. I would assume that legal fees and not having an income at all due to being in prison would probably hamper his finances more than anything else he could have done. I could be wrong though; I've never owned a business.

4. Henry Clay Frick

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Back in 1892, Henry Clay Frick was not a boss you wanted to cross. Frick and his business partner Andrew Carnegie ended their working relationship when Frick reacted a little"¦ rashly"¦ to the Homestead Steel Strike. In 1892, a labor strike impacted the Homestead Works of the Carnegie Steel Company. Frick was staunchly anti-union and thought he would thwart picketing workers by having Pinkerton agents access the grounds via the river. When the agents got close enough, they fired into the crowd which was enough to start a full-blown riot. By the time the chaos was broken up by the state militia, several men were killed and many were wounded. Thanks, boss.

5. Henry VIII

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It's common knowledge that Henry VIII had no qualms with having people close to him killed "“ wives, employees, friends, contemporaries, whatever. He had Sir Thomas More beheaded when More dared to disagree with King Henry's religious ideas. Prior to his death, More had served as Henry's Lord Chancellor. Another employee was the king's minister, Thomas Cromwell. He supported Henry when he was tired of Anne Boleyn and wanted to marry Jane Seymour. Jane died soon after childbirth and Cromwell quickly urged Henry to marry Anne of Cleves. The marriage was a disaster. Cromwell divorced them, but being of no further used to Henry, he was sentenced to death for treason. The young executioner hacked at Cromwell's head three times before he finally succeeded in beheading him. After that, Cromwell's head was boiled and place on a spike on London Bridge.

6. Leona Helmsley

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Obviously real estate mogul Leona Helmsley would have been pretty horrifying to work for "“ she wasn't called the Queen of Mean for nothing. Stories of her ruthlessness abound. Lawyer Alan Dershowitz said he once had breakfast with Leona at one of the Helmsley hotels and the waiter brought him a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. Alan says Leona grabbed the cup from him and smashed it on the floor, then demanded that the waiter get down on his hands and knees and beg for his job. Some stories claimed she would fire maids on the spot if she found so much as a crooked lampshade in a hotel room. One maid, when working through lunch, snagged an apple from the kitchen to quell her hunger. Of course, Leona fired her.

See, your job really isn't that bad. Or is it? What are your bad boss horror stories?

January 10, 2008 - 9:05am
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