Many people find serial killers fascinating because normal, well-adjusted individuals simply cannot comprehend what would drive a human being to act the way most serial killers do. While many people would commit a crime of passion or revenge in the spur of the moment, premeditating the death of one or multiple individuals seems absolutely psychotic to some extent, which is why serial killers stand out as such complete monsters. For educational purposes, let us remind ourselves what are the 10 most famous serial killers in history and just how sick these individuals were.
British serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, aka ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’, was convicted of murdering no less than 13 women and attempting to murder at least seven others before being apprehended. The reason why Peter was able to be active for almost two decades before finally getting caught is because he mainly targeted prostitutes who didn’t have any close ones to report them missing.
Arthur Shawcross was a serial killer from New York who is known to have killed 12 prostitutes and 2 young children while active. Also known as ‘The Genesee River Killer’, Shawcross was initially apprehended for the murder of two children under the age of 10, for which he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Soon after his release, he immediately started killing again, this time prostitutes near the Genesee River. He went at it for almost 10 years before finally being caught and sentenced to 250 years in prison.
Between 1978 and 1983, Dennis Nilsen killed no less than 15 gay men in the London area. Although he was only convicted of six counts of murder and two attempted murder, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve at least 25 years of his sentence. What makes Nilsen stand out is that he not only killed multiple people in a relatively short time span but that he also tortured his victims for days before eventually killing them and dissecting their remains.
While he was active, Ted Bundy kidnapped and murdered numerous young women throughout the 70s. The exact number of his victims is unknown as he only admitted to a handful of the many murders he is suspected to have committed. He was, however, convicted of murdering at least 30 women and young girls, going as far as decapitating at least 12 of his victims. Given his charm and good looks, many of his victims would simply follow him to secluded places where he would attack them.
Jeffrey Dahmer is a peculiar type of serial killer, one that would not only murder his victims but also eat parts of their bodies. During his spree, Dahmer killed at least 15 hay men who he lured to his home before attacking, raping, and murdering them in a lot of gruesome ways. He was eventually caught when one of his would-be victims managed to overpower him and alert the authorities. After a relatively short trial, he was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment, of which he only served two before being beaten to death by an inmate.
John Wayne Gacy
Few people have ever come close to being as gruesome as John Wayne Gacy, the man who between 1972 and 1978 killed 33 teenage boys and young men. His modus operandi was to lure his victims with the promise of money upon arriving at his secluded home, where he would strangle them instead. Interestingly enough, John Wayne Gacy buried 26 of his 33 victims in the crawl space underneath his home without anyone ever noticing.
Some of you might have heard about the Butcher of Rostov, a Soviet killer who murdered at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. Numerous accounts have been made about this truly deranged individual, one that used to sexually assault and mutilate his victims for hours before killing them. Shortly after his arrest, Andrei Chikatilo confessed to killing 56 people throughout the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Uzbek SSR, for which he was executed in 1994 via firing squad.
Dr. Harold Shipman
Compared to some of the other serial killers on our list, Dr. Harold Shipman’s crimes weren’t as gruesome, although his killing methods were just as heinous. Throughout his career, Shipman killed no less than 250 old women by injecting them with deadly doses of diamorphine. After their subsequent death, he would sign cremation forms to avoid any autopsy from being performed, thus avoiding the possibility of his crimes being discovered.
In Gary Ridgway’s case, the discovery that he was a prolific serial killer came as a surprise to the investigators who were initially suspecting him of murdering four women. Upon interrogating him, they found out that the seemingly deranged individual has killed no less than 70 women during the 80s and 90s when he was most active. the only reason why Ridgway avoided the death penalty was because he helped investigators find the bodies of 49 women he killed throughout the years.
Pedro Alonso Lopez
When it comes to serial killers, one particular monster stands out as being by far the most psychotic ever. Pedro Alonso Lopez is believed to have raped and killed at least 300 girls across South America, particularly in Peru where he lived for most of his life. Although originally arrested for the attempted abduction of a young girl, it became clear during the investigation that he was responsible for at least 50 other similar abductions.
Initially, authorities didn’t believe Lopez who started to boast about his killings after just a few days of interrogation. It wasn’t until a flash flood uncovered a mass grave containing no less than 53 of his victims that investigators realized just what a sick and twisted individual he was.