Ted BundyOne of the most widely known murderers of the 20th century, Ted Bundy was an American serial killer and rapist who kidnapped or overpowered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Bundy typically approached his female victims in a public place and led them to secluded areas where he would sexually assault and kill them. He decapitated at least 12 victims and kept the severed heads in his apartment as trophies.
Pedro Alonso LopezPedro Alonso López is a Colombian serial killer, accused of raping and killing more than 300 girls across South America. He lured them to secluded areas or inside unoccupied buildings where he raped each of them before killing them by a range of brutal methods, primarily strangulation. López was arrested when an attempted abduction failed and he was trapped by market traders.
Daniel Camargo BarbosaBarbosa was a serial killer who was believed to have raped and killed over 150 young girls in Colombia and Ecuador during the 1970s and 1980s. He confessed to killing 72 girls in Ecuador since escaping from a Colombian prison. After being arrested in Quito, he led authorities to the dumping grounds of those victims whose bodies had not yet been recovered.
Pedro Rodrigues FilhoPedro Rodrigues Filho is a Brazilian serial killer. Arrested in 1973, he was later convicted in 2003 for murdering at least 71 people and sentenced to 128 years in prison (although Brazilian law system prohibits anyone from spending more than 30 years behind bars). Committing his first murder at the age of 14, Filho began a series of burglaries and carried out a murdering spree against local drug dealers.
Gary RidgwayOne of the United States most prolific serial killers, Gary Ridgway was arrested in 2001 for four murders though he confessed to killing at least 70 women in Washington state throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. He avoided the death penalty by providing detailed confessions and leading police to the dumping sites of his victims, five of whom he dumped in the Green River which lead the press to nickname him “The Green River Killer”. He was convicted of 49 murders and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Tommy Lynn SellsClaiming to have killed at least 70 people, Tommy Lynn Sells is considered one of the most dangerous offenders in Texas and has been convicted of several brutal murders between 1985 and 1999, including stabbing a 13 year old girl 16 times. Sells was eventually captured after breaking into the bedroom of a 10 year old girl, stabbing her, and leaving her for dead. Despite her injures the girl managed to survive and alert her neighbors.
Andrei ChikatiloChikatilo was a Soviet serial killer, nicknamed The Butcher of Rostov. He committed the sexual assault, murder and mutilation of at least 52 women and children in Russia between 1978 and 1990. Believing he was the killer, police carried out surveillance on Chikatilo which eventually provided adequate grounds to arrest him. He confessed to a total of 56 murders and was tried for 53 of these killings in April 1992.
John Wayne GacyJohn Wayne Gacy sexually assaulted and murdered 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. He lured victims to his home with the promise of work or money before murdering them by strangulation with a tourniquet. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space under his home, before disposing of later victims in the Des Plaines River. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death.
Charles Ng and Leonard LakeCharles Ng and his accomplice Leonard Lake raped, tortured and murdered between 11 and 25 victims at Lake’s ranch in Calaveras County, California. Their crimes became known in 1985 when Lake committed suicide after being arrested and Ng was caught shoplifting at a hardware store. Police searched Lake’s ranch and found human remains. Ng was identified as Lake’s partner in crime and attempted to evade police by fleeing to Canada.
Dennis NilsenThe British equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nilsen was a homosexual killer who murdered 15 gay men in London, England between 1978 and 1983. He dissected his victims’ bodies, then burned or flushed the remains down the toilet. This led to his capture when human flesh was discovered in his sewage system. Nilsen was convicted in 1983 of six counts of murder with two attempted murders and was sentenced to life in prison.
Jeffrey DahmerKnown as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also committed necrophilia and ate parts of his later victims, dismembering and cooking parts of their bodies. Dahmer was eventually caught after a would-be victim managed to overpower him and alert police.
Richard RamirezRicardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez was an American serial killer and Satan worshiper who terrorized Los Angeles between 1984 and 1985. Nicknamed the “Night Stalker”, Ramirez broke into the homes of many of his victims and then shot, stabbed, rapped and mutilated them. His victims ranged between the ages of a nine year old girl to a married couple in their late sixties. Notably he smeared pentagrams on the walls of his crime scenes.
Peter SutcliffePeter William Sutcliffe is a British serial killer known as “The Yorkshire Ripper”. In 1981 Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others. He targeted prostitutes in Leeds and Bradford causing a climate of fear across northern England. When arrested in January 1981 (for driving with false number-plates), police questioned him about the killings and he confessed.
Arthur ShawcrossKnown as the Genesee River Killer, Shawcross first killed in 1972 by sexually assaulting and murdering a 10-year-old boy after luring him into a wooded area in Watertown, New York. He then raped and killed an eight-year-old girl, for which he was captured and convicted of manslaughter. Serving 14 years in prison he was released in 1988 and went onto brutally kill 12 female prostitutes between the ages of 22 and 59.
Fred & Rose WestBetween 1967 and 1987 Fred West and his wife Rose tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls. The pair were finally apprehended and charged in 1994 after police obtained a search warrant and located several human bones buried within the garden and under the floor boards of their home. During his trial, Fred West hanged himself prior to being convicted. In 1995 Rose West was jailed for life having been found guilty on 10 counts of murder.
John George HaighKnown as the “Acid Bath Murderer” John George Haigh was an English serial killer during the 1940s. He was convicted of the murders of six people, although he claimed to have killed nine. A professional con man, he targeted wealthy individuals and charmed them into believing he was a successful businessman. He lured his victims to a derelict warehouse before shooting them.
Peter ManuelAn American-born Scottish serial killer known to have killed nine people across southern Scotland between 1956 and 1958, Manuel is suspected of having killed as many as 18 people. Police were unable to prove his guilt until his final murders, when some banknotes Manuel had been using to pay for drinks in Glasgow pubs were proven to be stolen from one of his victims.
Donald Henry GaskinsIn 1969, Gaskins began killing a series of hitchhikers he picked up while driving around the coastal highways of the American South, torturing and mutilating his victims. He claimed to have killed 80 to 90 people. He was arrested in 1975, when a criminal associate confessed to police that he had witnessed Gaskins killing two young men.
Dennis Rader (the BTK Killer)Dennis Raider murdered 10 people in Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas between 1974 and 1991. Obsessed with notoriety, Raider sent taunting letters to police under the name BTK which stood for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’. Rader stalked his victims before breaking into their homes, then bound their limbs before strangling them. Having disappeared in 1988, BTK reemerged in 2005 when he sent a floppy disc to the press (this was to be his downfall).
Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono (The Hillside Stranglers)Between late 1977 to early 1978 cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono carried out a reign of terror in California. The cousins kidnapped, raped and killed 10 girls between the ages of 12 and 28, strangling each victim in the hills above Los Angeles. The cousins’ method of killing led to them being known as ‘the Hillside Stranglers’.
Ian Brady and Myra HindleyIan Brady and Myra Hindley killed five children between 1963 and 1965, in Greater Manchester, England. The victims where between 10 and 17 years old and were sexually assaulted before being brutally murdered. Three of the victims were discovered in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor and the last victim’s body was found at Brady’s house.
Larry Bittaker and Roy NorrisLawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris, nicknamed ‘The Tool Box Killers’ are two American serial killers who together murdered five young women in California in 1979. Bittaker and Norris lured victims into their van and drove them to secluded areas where they both raped and tortured them horrifically before murdering them. I
Edmund KemperKnown as “The Co-ed Killer”, Edmund Kemper is an American serial killer and necrophile who carried out a series of brutal murders in California in the 1970s. He murdered his grandparents when he was 15 years old then later killed and dismembered six female hitchhikers in the Santa Cruz area. He then murdered his mother and one of her friends before turning himself in to the police days later.
David BerkowitzKnown as the Son of Sam or the .44 Caliber Killer, David Berkowitz carried out a series of shootings in the summer of 1976. Using a .44 calibre Bulldog revolver, he shot six people dead and wounded seven others. Berkowitz sent a series of taunting letters to police and the press promising further shootings, terrorizing the people of New York City.