12 Deadliest Serial Killers in History
Humanity has come far from the dark ages but some pages of our historical existence has been darkened by enemies of mankind. Serial killers are among the nefarious groups of evildoers who pose huge threats to the society. By definition, serial killers are criminals who commit multiple murders in different times and locations without any well-established motive.
There is nothing new today about this horrific class of crime. Serial killing is something that dates back into ancient times. Statistics show that serial murders are less common; they constitute far less than 1% of yearly murder cases. But when they set out, they kill in masses.
Public interest in the topic was renewed in the 1880s when an anonymous serial killer by name Jack the Ripper wrote letters to police claiming to be the one behind the mysterious murder cases of some prostitutes in London. If you think Jack the Ripper was a despicable living person, think again! Here are 12 deadliest serial killers of all time.
Erzebet Bathory – The Blood Countess
Erzebet Bathory was a 16th-century Hungarian serial killer who unleashed a bloody reign of terror, torture and killings. Back at her estates at Transylvania, Bathory took down the lives of 600 victims. No wonder she was popularly known as the “Blood Countess”. Bathory was the real definition of a blood-sucking vampire. She used to bathe herself with human blood, hoping that it would make her skin young forever.
In Bundy’s own words, he presented himself as the most heartless son of a bitch the world has ever seen. In the summer and spring of 1974, female college students in Washington and Oregon were disappearing at alarming rates. The police and law enforcement officers were left clueless about what the hell was going on. When the suspicions fell on a law student by name Ted Bundy, police were hesitant to act because they thought Bundy had no criminal record.
By the time full evidence was gathered, Ted Bundy had killed over 30 female victims in 7 different American states. After escaping from prison, two times, Bundy was later arrested and executed by electric chair on January 24, 1989.
Growing up in the Soviet Union Chikatilo believed that his elder brother was killed by kidnappers. This belief hardened his heart — 1978 he became hungry for human flesh. By the time he was caught in 1990, Andrei Chikatilo, aka the Rostov Ripper, confessed to murdering 56 victims. His life revolved around preying on children and adults, raping, killing, and eating their private body parts. He was executed in 1992 after standing trial.
He was an American rapist and a serial killer. Dahmer admitted killing about 17 victims comprising young boys and men. He even had the guts to sleep with dead victims, dismember and cook their bodies for meat.. He achieved his mission by attending gay nightclubs to look for sexual partners. Once his victims entered his home, Dahmer would drug his victims and kill them. When he was finally caught, Dahmer was supposed to serve 957 years behind bars. Before he could finish serving his year jail sentence, Dahmer was pounced on and beaten to death by his fellow inmates.
John Wayne Gacy
During the 1970s, John Wayne, an American serial killer, murdered over 33 young guys before his luck ran out. Turning his house into a graveyard, Wayne buried his victims beneath his residence. Masquerading as a police officer was his modus operandi through which he lured his victims to his house, where he would then stab or strangle them to death. When he was caught, he was executed in 1994 by lethal injection.
Edward Gein’s killing crimes happened in the 1950s. His name still lives today as one of the most fearful cannibals who had an unquenchable thirst for human blood and flesh. Sick in his head, Edward went under the cover of darkness and embarked on a 7-year killing spree which saw him heartlessly murder people. At first, he had fun in experimenting with Nazi schemes, looting graves to enrich himself for future evil missions, and wanting to change his gender from male to female.
When the above deeds failed to satisfy him, he then started killing women and young girls. Numerous evidence of his malicious killing operations were not hard to come by. At his farm, a dismembered human body was found. As investigators probed further to the killers house, they couldn’t their eyes. Edward Gein had used human skin as upholstery of his chairs. Here and there in his house, skull-bowls were piled up. But guess what they found inside a pot sitting on a stove — a human heart! Gein’s mental status was certainly not in the right direction. He was psychologically unfit for trial. Therefore, he was kept in an insane asylum till he naturally passed away.
Serial killers are mostly of the male gender, but that does not mean that serial killing is only in the blood of men — the rot also extends to women as well, just as we are about to see in Aileen Wuornos’ case. Men are more physically fit to commit heinous killing crimes. One of the reasons for female serial killers being so uncommon is that, subduing victims require huge strength — that’s not characteristic of a typical woman.
Whatever the case may be, Aileen Wuornos showed that female serial killers can just be as brutal as their male counterparts. Aileen entered adulthood with a rich history of promiscuity and a plagued childhood. At 14-years-old, she had to give birth to a child for adoption, and return to her dirty lifestyle of prostitution, theft, and scamming — a murderer was in the making. Between 1989 and 1990, Aileen shot dead at least 7 men who had patronized her commercial sex work.
When dead bodies began to unfold themselves before public eyes, Aileen was held responsible for the deaths. She argued her point out by claiming she shot her victims in self defense — because they had tried to rape her. Her stories could not add up to the truth; she was given lethal injection in 2002.
In Illinois, this man was an insurance scammer and a pharmacist who built a 3-storey death chamber calling it a murder castle. His murder castle was equipped with state-of-the-art killing facilities. Some rooms had soundproof features, gas chambers, surgical tables, and hidden passages leading to destruction. Holmes would lure women to his building only to kill them for sale to medical schools. He was caught when police received tip off from one of his accomplices who was not paid for his service to Holmes. Holmes was hanged in 1896.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was a fake name used by one anonymous serial killer. His name shook waves in 1888 when he was alleged to have killed and mutilated 5 prostitutes in London’s Whitechapel. Police suspected that the serial killer was probably a highly skilled professional such as a surgeon, butcher, or someone who was good at using scalpel.
Jack the Ripper was never truly identified and arrested; suspicions hang in the balance while Jack would write letters to mock the police while sharing details of his operations.
Between 1972 & 1998, Harold Shipman, aka Dr. Death, worked in London health offices and abused his profession by killing about 218 patients or more. The married British physician was never caught until 1998, when an undertaker and another medical doctor, discovered that Shipman had signed his signature on a gargantuan number of cremation certificates. These raised the first suspicions about Harold’s professional killing habits. A look at the corpses of his victims revealed that they were mostly women. The daughter of his last victim exposed Shipman’s attempt to forge a will and add his name as a beneficiary of her deceased mother. An autopsy showed that Shipman used lethal amounts of diamorphine to kill his victims. Jailed in 2000, Shipman killed himself behind bars in 2004.
Gunned used marriage to take down lives of her partners in order to benefit from their insurances. From Norway, she entered the United States in 1881 and found settlement in Chicago. She married a fellow immigrant from Norway, had kids with him and later set him ablaze in their store. She claimed insurance payouts and went to remarry, killing her husbands one after the other.
Tactically, she was superb. Belle advertised herself to male suitors through the newspapers and requested her suitors to visit her farm in Indiana. The suitors disappeared into thin air once they visited Belle, except one man who escaped to tell his story.
In Washington State, Gary Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer lost count of his murdered victims when he was finally caught. His killing history can be traced back to 1982 when he killed a teenage boy by strangling him. Through Route 99, Gary picked up prostitutes and killed them. He received life imprisonment sentence in 2003.
Other Dishonorable and Deadly Serial Killers
Serial killers are too many to be fully captured one list. But the following deadly killers still cannot be forgotten: Donald Harvey, Henry Lee Lucas, Charles Manson, Dean Corll, Albert Fish, Joachim Kroll, Pedro Lopez, Richard Ramirez, and Gilles de Rais.