Intriguing to some, terrifying to others, serial killers have been a plague for centuries in America and around the world. Serial killers by definition are people that murder and usually do it due to psychopathic brain activity. Still, lots of studies have been conducted in an effort to fully understand the mind of a serial killer. What makes them tick? What drives their psychopathic behaviour?
Murderers generally need to commit 3 killings to become known as a serial killer. This list, however, will be covering the worst, absolute nastiest, killers in the last 200 years. From brutal rapists to bloodthirsty cannibals, these serial killers killed over 1,000 innocent souls – young and old.
These men are remembered as the most dangerous to ever live and should be feared by all and admired by none. And as one leaves the world, two more replace them. You better be ready for the Top 15 Most Terrifying Serial Killers of All Time.
15. Serhiy Tkach – 29 Murders
Serhiy Tkach, also known as the Pologovsky Maniac, was apprehended 10 years ago for the murder and rape of 29 women, ages 8 to 18. As a former police investigator, Serhiy used his skills to evade officials and to continue his rampage for almost 30 years, murdering and raping young girls right under the authorities noses. Before he was arrested, five men had been falsely accused and arrested for his crimes; one of them reportedly committing suicide in prison. Because of Russian laws, Serhiy is serving life in prison with no chance of parole. Serhiy Tkach is the reason why you can’t always trust the people in power.
14. John Wayne Gacy – 33 Murders
The Killer Clown or John Wayne Gacy is a popular serial killer from America. Stationed in Chicago, John was a pedophile with an appetite for murder. By putting on some makeup and dressing as a clown, Gacy could easily lure children away to secluded locations and do unfathomable things to them and eventually burying their bodies under his home. But by 1980, the clown was caught and the gig was up. Being found guilty to more than 30 murders, John was sentenced to death. He was killed by lethal injection 14 years later.
13. Ramadan Abdel Rehim Mansour – 32 Murders
A street gang leader known as the Butcher of Gahrbia, Ramadan Mansour was a ruthless man who raped and murdered over 30 young boys in the span of 7 years in Egypt. It was reported that Ramadan would lure street children into train cars where he would viciously assault and violate them and throw them over the side of the tracks once finished. He was eventually arrested and sentenced to death in 2007 for his crimes and that was the last that was seen of the notorious Butcher of Gharbia.
12. Anatoly Onoprienko – 52 Murders
Known as The Beast of Ukraine, Anatoly Onoprienko was an orphan from the age of 4 after being given up by his father when his mother died. Once an adult, Anatoly was a routine murderer/thief, going into isolated homes, killing the whole family inside, looting the building, then setting it ablaze once finished. He killed 52 people before being apprehended in 1996. Because of Ukrainian laws, he was not sentenced to death but still died 17 years later in prison due to heart failure. Please remember to always lock your doors at night.
11. Andrei Chikatilo – 53 Murders
One of the most horrifying men to ever live, Andrei Chikatilo was a Ukrainian-born man better known as The Red Ripper. Andrei was classified as “necro-sadist,” someone who finds sexual pleasure in harming or killing others. Chikatilo had a very specific type of victim – the runaways. Andrei would wait near bus stops then lure them into the woods where he would brutally rape and murder them, sometimes cutting/gouging their eyes out along with their sexual organs and eating them. Andrei was arrested numerous times but never caught for his crimes due to his abnormal blood type. The police even tried the wrong man for one of his crimes, and sadly he was executed. Finally, Andrei was arrested after 9 years of killing more than 50 people. When the police could not prove anything, they sent him to a psychiatrist which he found flattering, confessing to everything. After a long trial with Chikatilo in a locked cage and him cussing at the jury, Andrei was found guilty and sentenced to death. Andrei Chikatilo was executed February 14, 1994.
10. Abul Djabar – 65 Murders
Not much can be found on Abul Djabar due to poor records. Abul was convicted of raping and murdering 65 young boys in the late 60’s in Afghanistan. His method? Strangling his victims with a turban. The official victim count is only 60, but officials suspect the real number to be near 300. Abul Djabar was hung in 1970.
9. Ted Bundy – 35 Murders
By far one of the most popular serial killers ever in the United States, Ted Bundy was a charming handsome young man who confessed to the murder of 35 young women. Experts guess that number to be false and to be well over a hundred. Ted was a smooth young man who would lure girls to his car by asking for help with his belongings while faking an injury. He would beat them unconscious with his fake arm cast and then drag them off to to be raped and murdered. His spree lasted for two years with dozens of young girls going missing in the areas he was stationed, including Utah, Florida, Colorado. The first time he was arrested in 1975 was for the kidnapping of one of the few girls to escape his grasps. During his trial he acted as his own lawyer. During a trip to the courthouse he jumped out of a window and escaped for 8 days until he was pulled over and brought back in. Two years later he made another escape, this time from his jail cell where he went unnoticed for 14 hours and had made his way to Florida where he killed 3 more girls before he was apprehended in 1978. Ted fought long and hard in court against the death penalty but was eventually sent to the electric chair a year later. To this day he is still a celebrity serial killer to Americans everywhere.
8. Moses Sithole – 38 Murders
Moses Sithole was a South African serial rapist/murderer in the late 80’s and early 90’s that raped and murdered more than 30 women. After a short 4-year prison sentence for raping a women, Moses started his rape/murder spree after realizing that he couldn’t leave witnesses behind. Given the name “The ABC Killer,” Moses made his way through Atteridgeville and then to Boksburg and ending his spree in Cleveland. Moses would lure girls either with charm or promises of employment. Once lured, he would tie them up, rape them, and strangle the girls with their own underwear. Soon police started to find massive graves and traced it back to Moses who did not go in quietly, getting shot twice in the process. After an intense trial, Sithole pleaded guilty to all charges and was convicted of 38 murders and 40 rapes. Moses was sentenced to prison where he will live out his days, getting treatment for the HIV he contracted during his raping spree.
7. Pedro Rodrigues Filho – 71 Murders
Pedro Rodrigues Filho, described as the perfect psychopath, joins this list with over a hundred suspected killings (convicted of 71). Pedro started his rampage when he was just 14 years old, shooting a mayor in front of city hall for firing his father. By the time he was arrested at the age of 20, he had killed more than 30 people, most of them rival drug dealers, but his spree doesn’t end there. In prison, Pedro killed 40 more people, one of them being his father; he cut his heart out and ate it. Another victim was his roommate just because he snored too loud. Still alive today, Pedro Filho was first sentenced to 128 years in a Brazilian prison but that quickly changed to 400 years for his crimes while inside. Something tells me Pedro won’t be leaving prison for awhile so he might as well get comfortable.
6. Kampatimar Shankariya – 70 Murders
Little is known about Kamatimar Shankariya. Known as the worst murderer to ever come out of India, Kamatimar brutally killed more than 70 people with a hammer in a period less than 2 years. Shankariya was captured in 1978 and sentenced to death by hanging shortly after. The only explanation Kamatimar ever gave for the brutality he inflicted on his victims was that it gave him excessive pleasure. To this day, there has still never been a man from India as horrible as Shankariya.
5. Ahmad Suradji – 42 Murders
Indonesia’s worst killer ever, Ahmad Suradji was a well-respected witch doctor in his community who murdered 42 people in the span of 11 years to gain magical powers. Ahmad had a dream in which his father appeared to him telling him that he must murder 70 young females and drink their saliva to become the most powerful Shaman alive. Following his dream, Suradji lured young girl after young girl to his home where he would supposedly perform a ritual on them that involved burying the ladies waist deep in his sugar cane field. Once buried, he would wrap an electrical cord around their neck and strangle them to death. He would then drink their saliva and re-position their heads so they were aimed towards his house. Once apprehended, he confessed to the murder of 42 females but there were almost 80 missing child cases in his area. In 2008, Ahmad Suradji was sentenced to death by firing squad along with his wife for assisting him in the murders. Black magic is surely a terrifying practice that no one should ever participate in because you never know who you might be dealing with.
4. Gary Ridgway – 49 Murders
Known as the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway commenced a killing spree that lasted more than a decade and involved the killing of 48 young runaways and prostitutes. Gary would always bring them back to his home where he would strangle them and throw them into the Green River. After a young boy found a body floating down the Green River, and more bodies turning up, the investigations began. Ridgway was careful and got away with it for a very long time before the case were reopened with new DNA matching technology that eventually led the authorities to Ridgway. Gary was arrested for 4 cases of murder but then plead guilty to 34 more just for good measure. Ridgway made a deal with prosecutors to reveal some additional bodies if he was not given the death penalty and to also plead guilty if police could link any more evidence to new murders. This came into good use 4 years ago after they found a body of another girl. Now serving multiple life sentences, Gary Ridgway is the most prolific serial killer the U.S. has ever seen.
3.Yang Xinhai – 67 Murders
Yang Xinhai is by far the worst serial killer in China’s history. Being born into extreme poverty, Yang coasted through life on his bike, ending up in prison here and there like it was no big deal. But after he was released following an attempted rape, something changed about Xinhai that turned him into a bloodthirsty monster. For a span of 3 years, Yang would break into houses in the night and kill families, but not before raping the women. After the murder of almost 70 people, Yang was captured due to a random spot check in a nightclub and the police didn’t even know who they had locked up until they ran his prints. After an hour-long court hearing, Yang was sentenced to death. His reign of terror ended in 2006 with a lethal injection.
2. Luis Garavito – 172 Murders
Luis Garavito comes in 2nd on this list with a reported kill count in the 400s. Luis was born in Colombia, the place where he would start his brutal acts upon children. Luis would prey on the young, offering them gifts to befriend them. Garavito would then take them on long serene walks. Once the child got tired, he would brutally rape and torture them. Once he was satisfied, he would dismember the bodies and move on to the next victim. He was finally captured in 1999 where he confessed to the murder of 172 kids as police were still investigating more cases. Luis Garavito is by far the serial killer with the most blood on his hands. Luis should be serving more than 1,000 years in prison but due to horrid Colombian laws, we might see a time where Luis can walk the world free again.
1. Pedro Lopez – 300+ Murders
The Monster of the Andees tops this list with more than 300 killings and rapings behind him. Pedro traveled across Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador, kidnapping young children from the streets raping and killing them. Sometimes he would travel through isolated tribes and rape and kill the girls there, too. Pedro was arrested for the murder of over 100 girls, after which point he confessed to the killings of 200 more. Police didn’t believe the man until he brought them to the victims’ grave sites. I know what you’re thinking, what makes this man worse than Luis Garavito? Luis is still in prison while Pedro is a free man. If that doesn’t make you lock your doors and shiver at night, I don’t know what will.