Hybristophilia, an attraction towards an individual with a known criminal background, is surprisingly common. That’s right, appearing more in women than in men, the disorder shows a regular human being, one who usually abides by the law, suddenly form an intense affection towards those who have committed horrendous acts such as rape and murder. Derived from the Greek word, hubrizein, which means “to commit an outrage against someone,” and philo, meaning “having a strong affinity/preference for,” the experience is also known as “Bonnie and Clyde” syndrome.
But what is it about these sickening criminals that people find so irresistible? There has been some research done on the matter, offering a number of suggestions to why such attractions occur.
From some women believing they are able to change those who committed such atrocities, to some wanting to nurture them or others who seem to think they’re innocent; we’re sure you’ll be intrigued by all the twisted reasonings.
Included are some of the biggest serial killers of all-time as we dig a little deeper into a condition that has baffled the general public for decades.
15. John Wayne Gacy – Had A Book Published Of Love Letters
Nicknamed the Killer Clown due to his part time job as a kid’s entertainer, John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer and rapist who tortured and murdered over 30 young men during the 1970s. Finally arrested, it was later revealed that Gacy had stored the bodies of his victims in his own house. Gacy was later convicted and sentenced to death. Yet, despite his obvious sexual preference, Gacy often had women throwing themselves at him once incarcerated.
Including receiving a number of gifts and letters from adoring fans, Gacy was even said to have slept with a woman who did not believe he had committed such heinous crimes. In fact, due to the high number of love letters sent a book was eventually published containing the sickening fan mail.
14. Ian Brady – Would Respond To All Of His Love Letters
Known as the ‘Moors Murderers’ due to the vicinity in which they buried their victims, Ian Brady and his then girlfriend Myra Hindley raped and murdered several children during the 1960s in northern England. Shocking the world at the time, the killings made such an impact that parents began to think differently with regards to how lenient they were with their children and the age in which they let them go out alone.
Sentenced to life, Brady was a prime target for those who displayed aspects of hybristophilia due to his looks and young appearance. Yep, despite such sickening crimes, Brady received a number of love letters throughout his time in prison. It was reported that he would personally respond to each of the women who wrote.
If that wasn’t enough, a number of ‘fans’ were also seen mourning the serial killer when he died earlier this year, with one writing, “I can’t believe Ian is gone… I mean, we knew it was going to happen but this is fast… I am really sad over it, I can’t believe it.”
13. Richard Ramirez – Married One Of His Biggest Fans
One of the most brutal killers this world has ever seen, Richard Ramirez was an American serial killer and serial rapist during the 1980s. Dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ due to the high number of home invasions he committed during the night, residents constantly lived in fear of his arrival. Sentenced to death, Ramirez showed zero remorse for his actions, instead tending to gleefully share his murderous thoughts. While this is disturbing to most, others found Ramirez attractive and he garnered a number of fans who would often visit and write to the sadistic criminal. Ramirez even married one of them, choosing Doreen Lioy as his wife to be. Said to be madly in love, Lioy stated, “He’s kind, he’s funny, he’s charming… I think he’s really a great person. He’s my best friend; he’s my buddy.”
12. Paul Bernardo – Future Wife Tattooed His Name On Her
Famed for being one of Canada’s most prolific serial killers, Paul Bernardo was responsible for several rape and murders that occurred during the 80s and 90s. Dubbed the Scarborough rapist, as well as the Ken and Barbie murders due to the help of his then-wife Karla Homolka the crimes were truly sickening. Clearly displaying the signs of hybristophilia, Homolka was said to have been sexually aroused by Bernardo’s sadistic nature, as well as participating in the acts themselves. However, she wasn’t the only girl to fall for Bernardo’s criminal charms and it was recently announced that the killer is set to marry again.
That’s right, said to be attractive and university educated, the woman in question has also had his name tattooed on her ankle with the ink spelling out, “Paul’s girl.” Adamant that he is innocent, the future Mrs. Bernardo even went as far as calling him a good person, claiming, “he is a kind man, a Christian, a very nice man.”
11. Edmund Kemper – Love Letters, Marriage Proposals And An Online Blog
Known for the murder of several women during the 1970s, Edmund Kemper was also a necrophiliac and confessed to cannibalistic tendencies. Yep, with a hankering for hitchhikers, Kemper killed and dismembered six female hitchhikers in California, USA. He then went on to murder his mother before giving himself up to the police. Somehow Kemper has managed to attract a number of women since his incarceration and has been flooded with love letters and marriage proposals; as well as having online blogs written about him.
In fact, with one blog in particular casually proclaiming, “I won’t even lie, I would’ve accepted a ride from Edmund Kemper.” It is extremely difficult to understand how these people come to be attracted to such a horrible individual.
10. Charles Manson – Got Engaged To His “Number One Fan”
Somehow managing to start his own cult, Charles Manson has had a number of loyal followers throughout his life even persuading them to commit murder.
Once locked up, Manson was still able to attract a following including with his number one fan Elaine Burton, who was incidentally half his age. Burton was desperate to marry the man of her dreams. However, things turned sour when it was then revealed that Burton wasn’t all that genuine. Said to have been in it for the notoriety, whatever that means, Burton was also accused of being just as sadistic as her future husband. Yep, with rumors that she wanted to make money from Manson himself, she was also accused of wanting to display Manson’s body upon his eventual death. Charming.
9. Ted Bundy – Had A Woman Propose During His Trial
One of the most notorious serial killers to have ever walked this earth, Ted Bundy raped and murdered over thirty young women during the 1970s. With the exact number unknown, it has been suggested numerous times that Bundy could be responsible for over a hundred murders. Sentenced to death, Bundy was killed by electrocution in 1989. However, before his death, Bundy was given love letters and fan mail from across the globe, with some even setting up fan clubs in his name. In fact, one club got so famous that the president of the club, Carole Ann Boone, went on to marry the sadistic criminal. The two got engaged while she was testifying on his behalf in court. The two even conceived a child together!
8. Jeffrey Dahmer – Several Women Still Mourn His Death
A hot favorite for those who display signs of hybristophilia, Jeffrey Dahmer attracted adoring fans from all over the world. Sentenced to death for the rape and murder of seventeen men and young boys between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer also engaged in cannibalism and necrophilia. However, not long after he was put away, Dahmer was beaten to death by a fellow inmate, preventing him from a meeting with the executioner. With a number of online groups dedicated to the sadistic killer, many are unafraid to openly share their love. That’s right, from making jewelry bearing Dahmer’s face, to writing love poems, one member even proclaimed, “I love Jeff, If I could, I would bring him back and take care of him, because I understand and love him.”
7. Scott Peterson – Received A Marriage Proposal Shortly After Conviction
Convicted of the murder of his eight-month pregnant wife in 2002, Scott Peterson was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Said to have committed the murder due to an affair with another woman, it was reported that he had dismembered his wife completely. At the time of his arrest, Peterson was in possession of several suspicious items including $15,000 cash, 9 pairs of shoes, four cell phones and several credit cards that belonged to family members. Dangerously charming, Peterson seemingly had a strong effect on women both in and out of jail.
6. Anders Behring Breivik – Several Marriage Proposals Including One From A 16 Year Old
Far right terrorist Anders Breivik has garnered a sickening reputation as the handsome extremist who many believe is just sadly misunderstood. Convicted in 2012, Breivik was responsible for one of the most horrific crimes to have ever hit his home country of Norway. Breivik shot dead 69 people as well as blowing up eight more.
Blaming Islam and feminism among other things for the state of the world, Breivik asserted that he had committed the crimes in order for his views to be heard worldwide. Receiving up to 800 love letters a year, Breivik has also had a number of marriage proposals including from a 16-year-old girl. Gathering support from across the globe, one particular lady stated, “I really wouldn’t want to live a life without him, I care even more about him now that he is in such a vulnerable situation.”
5. Lyle And Erik Menéndez – Both Have Been Married
Brothers Joseph and Erik Menéndez shot to worldwide fame when they were accused of murdering their wealthy parents in 1989. Dubbed ‘the trial of the century,’ the brothers were eventually convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, despite such a gruesome crime the pair have long been the object of affection for various men and women across the globe with the two siblings even getting hitched. That’s right, marrying in 1998, Erik and his now wife Tammi first met after Tammi had hounded the criminal through love letters.
Describing the odd relationship Tammi claimed, “Not having sex in my life is difficult, but it’s not a problem for me. I have to be physically detached, and I’m emotionally attached to Erik… My family does not understand. When it started to get serious, some of them just threw up their hands.” As for Lyle? Well, he married twice, the first to his long-term pen pal and the other to a magazine editor who he had known previously.
4. Susan Atkins – Married A Man Who Lied About His Wealth
Convicted murderer and one-time member of the ‘Manson Family,’ Susan Atkins was also known as Sadie Mae Gluzt. Originally sentenced to death, Atkins somehow managed to avoid the dreaded lethal injection with her sentence reduced to life in prison. Atkins held the position of California’s longest-serving female inmate until her death in 2009, Atkins also managed to collect a number of admirers along the way. However, it was one man in particular who really won her affections. Atkins got married to self-made millionaire Donald Lee Laisure in 1981.
Opting to spell his last name Lai$ure due to his wealth, Atkins and her millionaire husband were seemingly happy until someone let slip that her husband wasn’t all that he seemed to be. Yep, not as wealthy as originally thought, Lai$ure was eventually found out leading Atkins to quickly annul the marriage. Obviously having a taste for marriage, Atkins married again, this time to Harvard law student James Whitehouse who she stayed married to until her death.
3. Kenneth Bianchi – Convinced A Woman To Try And Murder For Him
American serial killer and rapist, Kenneth Bianchi was also known for his role in the Hillside Strangler murders as well as being a suspect in the alphabet murders. Sentenced to life imprisonment Bianchi still managed to garner a number of fans. That’s right, women openly confessed their love to a man who raped and murdered young women. Bianchi had several superfans that declared they would do anything for the sadistic criminal. And that’s exactly what one did.
Veronica Compton became Bianchi’s number one girl, to the point where she was persuaded to kill a woman from the orders of Bianchi himself. With the plan made to look like the Hillside Strangler was still at large, Bianchi gave Compton some of his semen which she attempted to smuggle out of the prison. Compton was caught and sent to jail only to fall in love with another serial killer, Douglas Daniel Clark, instead.
2. Oscar Ray Bolin Jr. – Had A Legal Advocate Fall For Him
Oscar Ray Bolin was sentenced to death for the murders of three girls in the 1980s but he was linked to many more. Bolin was finally executed in early 2016. However, long before his impending death, Bolin managed to attract numerous followers. In fact, he even married one with legal advocate Rosalie Bolin becoming his wife in 1996. Saying their vows over the phone while donned in her wedding dress, Bolin was on the other end hanging out on death row and donned in an orange boiler suit.
A campaigner against capital punishment, Rosalie first met Bolin while in prison and believed he was innocent. Once executed, Rosaline was given Bolin’s ashes which she keeps in a box in her home. Proclaiming his ashes are there to protect her and her home, Rosaline states, “no one would dare try to get past him.”
1. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – Women Wear T-Shirts Declaring His Innocence
Originally hailing from Russia before seeking asylum with his family in the United States, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted of planting a bomb that killed three people and injured another 280 during the Boston Marathon in 2013. Radicalized by the Islamic state, Tsarnaev carried out the attack with his brother who was later shot and killed by police. Tsarnaev is currently on death row and receives a number of love letters each year as well as the standard marriage proposals. Tsarnaev also has a group dedicated to him who regularly protest for his release. Named, Tsarnaev sympathizers, the group communicates mainly through social media sites by posting updates and pictures of the convicted terrorist. Believing him to be innocent the group, which mainly consists of women, are often seen donned in t-shirts with his face on it.