It’s a nice evening and so you go out on a stroll. Only to have some crazy man (or woman) abduct, rape and murder you – always in that order. Makes you say that it’s a weird world(again). Serial killers are the modern day avatar of evil jinns. Only they are real. And here are 25 of the most evil serial killers in the world.
Table Of Content
- 1 1. Arthur Shawcross
- 2 2. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
- 3 3. David Berkowitz
- 4 4. Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris
- 5 5. Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono
- 6 6. Dr. Harold Fredrick Shipman
- 7 7. Edmund Kemper
- 8 8. Dennis Raider
- 9 9. Peter Manuel
- 10 10. John George Haigh
- 11 11. Peter William Sutcliffe
- 12 12. Donald Henry Gaskins
- 13 13. Fred and Rose West
- 14 14. Dennis Nilsen
- 15 15. Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez
- 16 16. Jeffrey Dahmer
- 17 17. Ted Bundy
- 18 18. Charles Ng and Leonard Lake
- 19 19. John Wayne Gacy
- 20 20. Andrei Chikatilo
- 21 21. Pedro Rodrigues Filho
- 22 22. Tommy Lynn Sells
- 23 23. Daniel Camargo Barbosa
- 24 24. Gary Ridgway
- 25 25. Pedro Alonso López
1. Arthur Shawcross
This docile looking man was first awarded a sentence of 14 years imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 10 year old boy and an 8 year old girl in 1972. We are talking about America. New York to be precise. After serving the sentence the chubby man went on and murdered 12 female prostitutes between the age of 22 and 59. He was captured at the scene of his last crime and following a confession, he was sentenced to imprisonment of 250 years. He breathed his last in 2008.
2. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
These child killers snuffed the life out of five young ones between the age of 10 and 17 over a period of nearly three years from 1963 to 1965. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment. Hindley lived to a reasonably ripe old age before he died in 2002.
3. David Berkowitz
1976 was a year that didn’t sit well with many people in New York City- thanks to the fact that using a .44 calibre Bullgog revolver David Berkowitz shot and killed 6 persons while wounding 7 others. He received a 25 year prison sentence for his heinous act (which still sounds like a tame punishment for the magnitude of his crime, don’t you think?).
4. Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris
You have heard of Laurel and Hardy but there are duos the function of which is most definitely not to elicit laughter-not least of all in their victims. Called ‘The Tool Box Killers’ Bittaker and Norris murdered 5 young women in 1979 in California. Their modus operandi was to lure the women to their van and then taking them to isolated areas where the both of them would rape and torture the women to their death using multiple tools. Charged with murder in 1981 Bittaker remains in death row to this day while Norris was exempted from execution for the testimony he gave against Bittaker. He received a prison sentence of 45 years. Now, where is the joke in all of this?
5. Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono
When you go out with your cousin, the extent of the havoc you wreak may be getting drunk to a super-dramatic height. However, these cousins had a different view of a good times. They were called the ‘Hillside Stranglers’ for a good reason. They raped and murdered girls between 12 and 28 years old in the hills above Los Angeles. The time period in question is from late 1977 to early 1978. Though Bianchi pleaded not guilty due to insanity, it was found that he was faking mental illness. His next move-plead guilty and also testify against Buono. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment. And if you wish to visit Buono for a nice evening filled with tea drinking and sconces I’m sorry to say that he passed away due to a heart attack in 2002.
6. Dr. Harold Fredrick Shipman
This English doctor has killed up to 250 people. He purposefully injected lethal doses of diamorphine in his patients sending them to an early death. He would then forge their wills so he could inherit their estate. He was sentenced to 15 life terms. In 2004, Shipman ended his life by hanging himself in his prison cell.
7. Edmund Kemper
This is one American who had serious unresolved issues with his family members. At the age of 15, he killed his grandparents and later dismembered 6 hitch-hikers (all of them female and not belonging to his family) in the Santa Cruz area in California. The mayhem didn’t stop there as he went on to murder his own mother and a friend of hers. All these killings happened during the early 1970s and in November of 1973, he was found guilty of 8 counts of murder. Though Kemper asked to be given the death penalty he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Wonder why?
8. Dennis Raider
Raider’s muder spree that ended the lives of 10 people in Kansas lasted from 1974 to 1991. The ‘pseudonym’ he worked under was BTK which stood for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill'( oh, he was a man of few words). Raider would follow his victims to their home and make a break and entry followed by binding their limbs and strangling them. He might as well have stayed back and made a double omelette while he was at it. He disappeared in 1988 only to re-emerge in 2005. But the world has moved in that time and Raider didn’t seem to have been on top of how technology worked. For he sent a floppy disc to the press, which was traced back to him. He is presently serving 10 consecutive life sentences. His earliest possible release date is given as February 26, 2180. I’m pretty sure that we’ll invent age-prevention methods before that. I only hope they won’t apply that on Raider.
9. Peter Manuel
This guy was born in America but committed all of his 9 murders in Scotland between 1956 and 1958. It was only when some of the banknotes he used to pay for drinks in Glasgow pubs were found to be stolen from one of his victims that the police were able to nail him. However, it was not the cops but his mom who got the confession out of him when confronted in the police station. Manuel was hung to his death-one of the last prisoners to be murdered that way before Scotland ended capital punishment. Guess some guys have all the luck.
10. John George Haigh
He claimed to have killed 9 people though to his disappointment he was convicted for the murder of just 6 people. He was known as ‘Acid Bath Murderer’ his field of operation was England during the 1940s. He brought his victims to a warehouse where he shot them and dissolved their bodies in sulphuric acid. All his victims were wealthy individuals who were lured into his trap believing him to be a successful businessman. Once the victims dissolve to oblivion he would forge papers to sell of their possessions and collect their life savings. He received the death sentence in 1949 and was hung to death in 1949.
11. Peter William Sutcliffe
This British gentleman was known as ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’. He was convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 women and attempting to kill 7 others. His targets were prostitutes. Sutcliffe was awarded life sentence without parol.
12. Donald Henry Gaskins
The way I see it, hitch-hiking is one of the most fun, and enriching experiences of your life. But there are people who can be a total dampener for it-like Gaskins here. He killed hitch-hikers in 1969 whom he picked up in his car driving along the coastal highways of Southern America. It’s said that he has killed some 80 to 90 people. Arrested in 1975, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment later on. But the story doesn’t stop there. Gaskins would go on to become the only man to commit murder in death row as he killed a fellow inmate in the high security prison. Now, I don’t suppose his problem was not being able to watch ‘American Crime Story: Season 2,’ do you?
13. Fred and Rose West
Oh, look, a husband and wife serial killer duo. How cute? They made the best of their matrimony by raping and murdering at least 11 young women and girls between 1967 and 1987(that’s more that many of the normal marriages last, you know). Many of the murders happened inside the couple’s home which came to be known as the ‘House of Horrors’. It was in 1994 that they were arrested though Fred West hung himself in prison before being convicted. Rose West was sentenced to life on 10 counts of murder. And they lived happily ever after. No, of course not.
14. Dennis Nilsen
This guy was a homosexual but that’s no crime. The trouble was he killed 15 gay men in London between 1978 and 1983. He was captured when human flesh turned up in the sewage system as Nilsen did his killings at his home and also had the nasty habit of flushing remains down the toilet. He was convicted in 1983 and remains in maximum security prison without the possibility of release.
15. Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez
This American was an exotic specimen in that he was both a Satan worshipper and a serial killer who did his killings between 1984 and 1985. He apparently wanted to develop a wide portfolio since you’ll find everyone from a 9 year old girl to a married couple in their late sixties in his list of victims. He was brought to the law in 1985 and remained in death row till his death in June 2013.
16. Jeffrey Dahmer
This guy had some pretty exotic taste in food. He raped and murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys and cooked some of the body parts in his home. He was caught when one of his captives managed to escape and alert the authorities. The killings happened between 1978 and 1991. Though he was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment in 1992, he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate, just two years into his sentence.
17. Ted Bundy
He’s the rock-star equivalent of serial killers. What he did was raping and killing young women and girls in the 1970s. At least 12 victims were decapitated and he kept the heads as trophies in apartment. He was repeatedly captured though he managed to escape twice and committing three murders. He met his end in the electric chair in 1989.
18. Charles Ng and Leonard Lake
Ng and Lake were accomplices who managed to murder between 11 and 25 people. The killings happened in California and they filmed themselves torturing and raping their victims. Lake committed suicide in 1985, whereas Ng was sentenced a death imprisonment.
19. John Wayne Gacy
Teenage boys and young men were Gacy’s favourites, unfortunately. He murdered 33 of them by strangulation using a tourniquet. He would lure his victims to his home-the bait being money or work. He was eventually sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.
20. Andrei Chikatilo
He has the distinction of being the only Soviet serial killer in the list. He has to his name the sexual assault, murder and mutilation of at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. Chikatilo was sentenced to death for 52 murders in October 1992 . He was executed in February 1994 by a firing squad.
21. Pedro Rodrigues Filho
This Brazilian serial killer was arrested in 1973 though he was convicted only in 2003-for the murder of at least 71 people. He was awarded an imprisonment sentence of 128 years. The dude started early-committing his first murder at the age of 14. By the time he was 18, he had killed 10 people. Also, while in prison once, he killed his father who was also serving time there. He continued the killing spree while in prison and murdered at least 47 inmates. He serves a sentence of 400 years imprisonment.
22. Tommy Lynn Sells
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you from Texas, America, Tommy LynnSells who was convicted of multiple murders between 1985 and 1999 including that of a 13 year old girl. He was captured when a 10 year old girl whom he stabbed and left for dead survived and alerted her neighbours. Sentenced to death, Sells remains in a high security prison in Texas. And that’s all, folks!
23. Daniel Camargo Barbosa
This Colombian got his kicks by raping and murdering young girls and then hacking them to pieces using a machete. Having confessed to the murder of 71 girls in Ecuador during the ’70s and the ’80s he was convicted in 1989. He was awarded the maximum sentence available in Ecuador-16 years. But in November 1994 he was murdered by one of his victims’ cousin in prison.
24. Gary Ridgway
Though he confessed to murdering at least 70 women in Washington state during the 80’s and the 90’s he was convicted of 49 murders. Some of his victims were dumped in the Green River which earned him the nickname, ‘The Green River Killer.’ He was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
25. Pedro Alonso López
When caught, Lopez confessed to over 300 murders though it was only when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave that the police took him seriously. This Colombian serial killer brutally raped and murdered young girls in Peru. He was imprisoned in 1989 in Ecuador and when he was released after serving his 18 year sentence, was rearrested in Columbia and was sentenced to life in 2002.
It’s too disheartening to write about evil. Especially when it’s evil of this magnitude. These infamous serial killers in the world makes one wonder about the depths of the human psyche(is it really infinite in both directions-towards the positive and negative space?) While celebrating them may not be a good idea it is still important that we write and read about them, for the fragility of human mind which pushes it in evil paths is something we ought never forget, for our own and everyone else’ sake.