Serial killers are famous for the worst reasons (obviously). The stories of how these people have terrorized others and taken innocent lives is astounding and utterly disgusting. Serial killers make the front page of newspapers and are featured in the top newscast stories when they are rampant in a certain part of the country of the world. There’s even a morbid fascination with these people, mostly because the average person is shocked to know that another human being is capable of such awful behavior.
Psychologists and other media professionals assert that there are several reasons why people become serial killers. Some would say that mental imbalances lead killers to go on rampages that causes paralyzing fear and overwhelming pain to others. A number of these criminals have been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, and some have been diagnosed with conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A number of serial killers have a certain type of victim they target, as an attempt to gain control over a certain demographic. Some killers take the lives of others because they are not able to control their tempers or make healthy social adjustments. Of course, in some instances, professionals haven’t been able to find a substantial reason for the serial killings, even after years of reviewing the case. After it becomes clear that the crimes of the serial killer are punishable by death, these criminals still inflict shock and alarm on others. Here are the last words of 10 infamous serial killers.
10. Angel Resendiz
Angel Resendiz was known as the Railway Killer or The Railroad Killer. He was 39 years old when he surrendered to Mexican authorities after committing 15 murders. The killings were usually near railroads, as Resendiz was jumping on and off trains to travel around the US. Before surrendering, he was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Angel Resendiz was the murderer’s alias; he was born Angel Leonico Reyes Recendis in Izucar de Matamoros, Puebla, Mexico. He came to the United States illegally. Before dying by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas, he stated that he wanted people to forgive him for his heinous crimes. He also said that he knew he’d “allowed the Devil to rule” his life, and that he thanked God “for having patience in” him.
9. William Bonin
William Bonin was known as the Freeway Killer, because he would dump the bodies of his victims near freeways. Between 1979 and 1980, William Bonin killed between 20 and 36 young men in southern California after sexually assaulting and torturing them. In addition to these murders, William Bonin was accused of 15 other murders and convicted of 14 of them. Bonin was a sex offender who had been paroled twice. Before Bonin died by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison in 1996, he stated these words, which can be viewed as eerily sage advice: “I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, that before they did that they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously.”
8. Israel Keyes
Keyes killed between three and eight people between the late 1990s and early 2000s. The man traveled across the country seeking out his victims. His motives weren’t clear, but he may have been killing individuals in an attempt to feel powerful or in control. Israel Keyes committed suicide in 2012, and left this chilling note for friends and family to find. These were his last words: “Okay, talk is over, words are placid and weak. Back it with action or it all comes off cheap. Watch close while I work now, feel the electric shock of my touch, open your trembling flowers, or your petals I’ll crush.”
7. Thomas Grasso
Grasso died by lethal injection at 33, but not before saying “I did not get my Spaghetti O’s. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” It is clear that Thomas Grasso’s mind was not focused on the terrible things he’d done that landed him in prison. Grasso murdered two elderly individuals, only to steal a minuscule amount of money from them. He was born in Tulsa and died in McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1995. His first victim was Hilda Johnson, who was 87. Grasso strangled the woman with her Christmas tree lights, and took $8 in cash from her purse, $4 in loose change, and a television set that he sold for $125. In 1991, he murdered an 81-year-old man and took his Social Security check. Additional motives for the murder are not clear.
6. James Allen Red Dog
James Allen Red Dog was a Native American who requested to be executed after he was convicted twice of armed robbery and murdering Hugh Pennington. Allen Red Dog’s actions led Joe Biden to introduce legislation that required states to get notification from federal officials when criminals move into the state. James Allen Red Dog was a member of the Lakota tribe and grew up on a reservation in Montana. The man blamed his life of poverty for the crimes he committed, and seemed to idolize an older half-brother who was in federal prison. Allen Red Dog stated in an interview that since his first crime in 1973, he had been prepared to die. He robbed a liquor and pizza store on the Indian reservation that year, killing the owner. This was the first time Red Dog was sent to prison, and he was convicted of at least five murders in his life. His last words were “I’m going home, babe.”
5. Sean Flanagan
Sean Flanagan was executed by lethal injection in 1989, after killing two gay men. He claimed he was doing good for society by ending the men’s lives via dismemberment. Flanagan was an ex-Marine, but it’s not known whether he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, or if he was subscribing to the homophobic mindset that was common in the military at that time. Before Sean Flanagan was killed by lethal injection, he told his executioner “I love you.” There is even a theory that Flanagan killed the men out of self-hate, as he was trying to come to terms with his own sexuality.
4. John Wayne Gacy
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s last words were “kiss my ass” before he was killed by lethal injection in Crest Hill, Illinois. This may be an indication that he wasn’t sorry for his heinous crimes. Gacy was 52 when he died, and was executed in 1994, as punishment for killing no less than 33 boys between the years of 1972 and 1978. However, he was only convicted for 12 of the murders. He spent 14 years on death row before his execution. Gacy dressed up in a psychotic clown outfit to carry out his crimes, which is why he was called the Killer Clown. Gacy’s first victim was stabbed to death, and the remaining victims were strangled to death. Gacy was born in Chicago and had two children, a son and a daughter. There are also reports that Gacy was constantly belittled by his father and felt that he was inferior to his sisters. His troubled childhood may have contributed to his criminal activity.
3. Aileen Wuornos
Wuornos is one of a few female serial killers. She was convicted of killing seven men, claiming that all of her victims tried to sexually assault her. Like many serial killers, Aileen Wuornos was not without significant childhood troubles. She never met her father, since he was incarcerated when she was born. He later hung himself in prison. Wuornos’ mother abandoned her and her brother when Aileen was four years old, leaving the children to live with their maternal grandparents. She claimed that she was sexually assaulted by her grandfather, and when Aileen was fourteen, she became pregnant due to being sexually assaulted by a friend of her grandfather’s. The following year, Wuornos’ father threw her out of the house, and she became a prostitute. She likely targeted male victims due to her troubled childhood. Her last words indicate that she was mentally troubled for quite some time: “I’d just like to say that I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus, June 6th. Like the movie, big mother ship and all. I’ll be back.” Wuornos died by lethal injection in 2002. She was 46.
2. Ted Bundy
Bundy is perhaps the most famous serial killer of modern times. In the 1970s, Ted Bundy kidnapped women, sexually assaulted them, and then murdered them. The exact number of his victims is unknown. Some say the number of Bundy’s victims is in the hundreds. Bundy was a native of Vermont and attended Temple University, and the University of Washington, the University of Utah and the University of Puget Sound. Ironically, his field of study was psychology. In 1989, Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair at Florida State Prison. His last words were: “I’d like to give my love to my family and friends.” This statement seems normal and mentally healthy, but it’s pretty strange that such a heartless man would extend love right before his capital punishment was carried out.
1. Jeffrey Dahmer
Dahmer’s last words were: “I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.” This is likely an indication of the callous way that Dahmer lived, since he is well-known for sexually assaulting and murdering 17 men. A number of people still remember the fear and overwhelming horror that this man caused. Many young and middle-aged adults recall the news surrounding Dahmer and his tendency to preserve the body parts of his victims. Between the years of 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was also convicted of necrophilia and cannibalism. Dahmer attended Ohio State University and was born in Wisconsin. He died in a prison in Portage, Wisconsin, but it wasn’t by formal execution. Dahmer was actually killed by a fellow inmate and died due to head trauma.