John Emil List (September 17, 1925 – March 21, 2008) was an American mass murderer and long-time fugitive.
On November 9, 1971, he killed his wife, mother, and three children at their home in Westfield, New Jersey, then disappeared; he had planned the murders so meticulously that nearly a month passed before anyone suspected that anything was amiss.
List assumed a new identity, remarried, and eluded justice for nearly 18 years.
He was finally apprehended in Virginia on June 1, 1989, after the story of his murders was broadcast on the television program America's Most Wanted.
After extradition to New Jersey, he was convicted on five counts of first degree murder and sentenced to five consecutive terms of life imprisonment without parole.
List gave critical financial problems, as well as his perception that his family members were straying from their religious faith, as his rationale for the murders.
He reasoned that killing them would assure their souls a place in Heaven, where he hoped to eventually join them.