A serial killer, as typically defined, is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time (a “cooling off period”) between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification. Often, a se*ual element is involved with the killings, but the FBI states that motives for serial murder include “anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking.” So here are ten of the most beastly serial killers of the world.
1) John Wayne Gacy –
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer and rapist who se*ually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawlspace of his home, buried three others elsewhere on his property, and discarded the remains of his last four known victims in a nearby river. He was convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death for 12 of these killings in March 1980. He was executed in May 1994. Gacy later became known as the “Killer Clown” due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children’s parties where he would dress as “Pogo the Clown”, a character he devised himself.
2) Jeffrey Dahmer –
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer and s*x offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.
3) Ted Bundy –
Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy (born Theodore Robert Cowell; November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered numerous young women during the 1970s, and possibly earlier. After more than a decade of denials, he confessed shortly before his execution to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978; the true total remains unknown, and could be much higher.
4) Gary Ridgway –
Gary Leon Ridgway (born February 18, 1949) is an American serial killer known as the Green River Killer. He murdered numerous women in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, earning his nickname when the first five victims were found in the Green River. He strangled them, usually with his arm but sometimes using ligatures. After strangling the women, he would dump their bodies throughout forested and overgrown areas in King County. On November 30, 2001, as he was leaving the Renton, Washington Kenworth Truck factory where he worked, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence. As part of a plea bargain wherein he agreed to disclose the whereabouts of still “missing” women, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
5) Ed Gein –
Edward Theodore “Ed” Gein was an American murderer and body snatcher. His crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. After police found body parts in his house in 1957, Gein confessed to killing two women: tavern owner Mary Hogan in 1954 and a Plainfield hardware store owner Bernice Worden in 1957.
6) Henry Lee Lucas –
Henry Lee Lucas (August 23, 1936 – March 13, 2001) was an American criminal, convicted of murder in 189 cases and once listed as America’s most prolific serial killer; he later recanted his confessions, despite professing information only the assailant would know and flatly stating “I am a liar” in a letter to researcher Brad Shellady. Lucas confessed to involvement in about 600 murders, but a more widely circulated total of about 350 murders committed by Lucas is based on confessions deemed “believable” by a Texas-based Lucas Task Force, a group which was later criticized by then-Attorney General of Texas, Jim Mattox, and others for sloppy police work .Some critics believe his recantations were a tactic to brew reasonable doubt and evade execution.
7) Aileen Wuornos –
Aileen Carol Wuornos (29 February 1956 – 9 October 2002) was an American serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, claiming they raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.
8) Richard Trenton Chase –
Richard Trenton Chase (May 23, 1950 – December 26, 1980) was a United States serial killer who killed six people in the span of a month in Sacramento, California. He was nicknamed “The Vampire of Sacramento” because he drank his victims’ blood and cannibalized their remains.
9) Andrei Chikatilo –
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (October 16, 1936 – February 14, 1994) was a Ukrainian-born Soviet serial killer, nicknamed the Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper or The Rostov Ripper who murdered a minimum of 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. He was convicted of 52 murders in October 1992 (although he confessed to a total of 56 murders and was tried for 53 of these killings), and was executed in February, 1994. Chikatilo was known by such titles as The Rostov Ripper and the Butcher of Rostov because the majority of his murders were committed in the Rostov Oblast of the Russian SFSR.
10) Dennis Rader-
Dennis Lynn Rader (born March 9, 1945) is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita, Kansas), between 1974 and 1991.He was known as the BTK killer (or the BTK strangler). “BTK” stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill”, which was his famous signature. He sent letters describing the details of the killings to police and to local news outlets during the period of time in which the murders took place. After a long hiatus in the 1990s through early 2000s, Rader resumed sending letters in 2004, leading to his 2005 arrest and subsequent conviction. He is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility, with an earliest possible release date of February 26, 2180.