Serial killers, by definition, are those who kill three or more people in a certain period of time. Usually, they are males who possess a mask of sanity. This mask of sanity means that they appear normal from the outside and are law-abiding. They also appear pleasant and approachable. However, beneath this facade, serial killers are actually sociopaths who do not have the capability to empathize with their victims.
For the past few years, the authorities have been successful in arresting these people. However, it took them quite a long time to get a hold of them. Here are the top ten most notorious serial killers of all time.
For about seventeen years, Dennis Rader killed at least ten people in the Kansas area. Scary as it may seem, Rader was feared for being a BTK killer, which stands for Bind, Torture, and Kill. He is also fond of sending notes to people from the media and even local authorities, where he describes how he kills his victims. According to his notes, Rader binds his victims and strangles them until they pass out. He would force his victims to wake up and do the same thing all over again. As the victim dies, Rader then gets sexual gratification from a piece of his victim’s clothing.
He taunted the police for not being able to catch him. Unfortunately for him, his own letters led to his eventual capture in the year 2005. The police were able to get a deleted file from the disk that Rader sent them. The said file contained information about the church where Rader attended. He was convicted with 10 counts of murder and is still in jail, serving a life sentence without parole.
Andrei Chikatilo was born in the Ukraine and grew up to be a Soviet killer. He was famous for his nicknames such as “The Rostov Ripper”, “Butcher of Rostov”, and the “Red Ripper”. According to records, he killed at least 52 children and women in a span of 12 years. Chikatilo’s first victim was a nine-year old girl. During this incident, he realized how he could experience sexual gratification by slashing and stabbing children and women to death. He was in and out of jail as there was never enough evidence to put him there for good. With the authorities’ undying effort to unlock those murder mysteries, Chikatilo was eventually caught in the year 1990, and confessed to the murder of 36 people. He was convicted with 52 counts of murder in the year 1992.
Richard Trenton Chase was known as “The Vampire of Sacramento”. He was nicknamed as such because of the fact that he eats the body parts of his victims and drinks their blood. Chase started with killing animals and eating them raw. He was then confined in a mental asylum and was given anti-psychotic drugs. He was later on released, which eventually led to his unmerciful killings. He killed six people in just one month. After murdering them, Chase would engage in sex with his victims’ bodies. It was even discovered that he would blend the corpses with soft drinks in order to make a “milkshake”. He was finally caught in the year 1979 after he murdered an entire household. Chase was sentenced to death by gas chamber but he killed himself before the date of execution.
Only a few females have found comfort in being serial killers and one of them is Aileen Wuornos. Her life was actually full of neglect and abuse. She got pregnant at the age of 15 and she had an incestuous relationship with her own brother. Wuornos fell in love with a woman and she supported her by becoming a prostitute. During her years in this business, she killed seven men, claiming that they were trying to hurt and harm her during their sexual encounters. She was arrested and sentenced with death penalty through lethal injection.
Henry Lee Lucas was known to be America’s most prolific serial killer. He killed at least 350 people in a span of twenty years, although his confessions reveal that he actually murdered more than 600 victims. He spent ten years in jail after he murdered his own mother. Due to overcrowding in jail, he was eventually released and when he got out, he became a drifter and made friends with Ottis Toole. Toole later on became his accomplice in more than 108 murders. He died in prison due to natural causes in the year 2001.
Ed Gein confessed to only two murders. The number of people he killed may not match the definition of ‘serial killer’ but his terrifying acts had made him the inspiration for several horror-suspense movies including Psycho. Gein lived with his brother and mother. When both of them died, Gein started to visit cemeteries to dig up bodies of women whom he thought resembled his mother best. The body parts of the two people he killed were scattered all around the town. Police discovered skulls made into bowls, chairs upholstered in human flesh and a belt made out of human nipples. He was arrested and spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital.
Gary Ridgway strangled about 71 women in a span of 8-10 years. His first five victims were found in the Green River, thus the nickname “Green River Killer”. Ridgway picked up prostitutes and then strangles them. He managed to escape the authorities until he was finally caught in the year 2001.
Ted Bundy was described to be a very charismatic and friendly guy. Behind this personality is the twisted mind of a serial killer. In just four years, he was able to kidnap and kill 30 young women in the United States. To entice his victims, he would pretend to be an authority figure or a disabled person. There are also times that he would just break into the homes of his victims and stab them to death while they were sleeping. He would then rape and dismember his victims after killing them, keeping their heads as souvenirs. He was finally arrested in the year 1979 and was sentenced to death penalty by electric chair in 1989.
Known as “The Killer Clown”, John Wayne Gacy was one of the most notorious serial killers in history. He was caught assaulting two teenage boys sexually and was then sentenced with 10 years in jail. Due to his excellent behavior as an inmate, he was released on parole. As the years went by, he enjoyed dressing up as “Pogo the Clown” and started volunteering at parades and parties. Behind the costume was the person who killed 33 young men, burying their bodies in his yard, house, and the river near his house. After he was arrested, the authorities found bones in his house, forcing him to confess to the murders.
According to history, Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the scariest serial killers in the United States. In thirteen years, Dahmer killed 17 boys and men. However he didn’t just kill them; these murders included rape, necrophilia, dismemberment and cannibalism. The police discovered something very disturbing in his apartment. Apparently, he was doing a horrific sexual act by drilling into the heads and skulls of his victims who are still alive. When they were already dead, he either had sex with the corpses or ate pieces of them. He was arrested in the year 1994 and was beaten to death by an inmate inside jail.