Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish (May 19, 1870 – January 16, 1936) was an American serial killer. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac and The Boogey Man, A child rapist and cannibal, he boasted that he “had children in every state”, and at one time, stated the number was about 100. However, it is not known whether he was talking about rapes or cannibalization, less still whether he was telling the truth. He was a suspect in at least five murders during his lifetime. Fish confessed to three murders that police were able to trace to a known homicide, and he confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was put on trial for the kidnapping and murder of Grace Budd, and was convicted and executed by electric chair.
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (16 October 1936 – 14 February 1994) was a Soviet serial killer, nicknamed the Butcher of Rostov, the Red Ripper, and the Rostov Ripper, who committed the sexual assault, murder and mutilation of a minimum of 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990 in the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Uzbek SSR. Chikatilo confessed to a total of 56 murders and was tried for 53 of these killings in April 1992. He was convicted and sentenced to death for 52 of these murders in October 1992 and subsequently 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.
Carl Panzram (June 28, 1891 – September 5, 1930) was an American serial killer, rapist, arsonist and burglar. He is known for his confession to his only friend, prison guard Henry Lesser. Panzram confessed to 22 murders, and to having sodomized over 1,000 males. Imprisoned a number of times, he was finally hanged for having murdered a prison employee at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in 1930.
Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is an American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in the California desert, in the late-1960s. In 1971 he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, actress Sharon Tate and four other people at Tate’s home, and the next day, a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, all carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was convicted of the murders through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes each member of a conspiracy guilty of crimes his fellow conspirators commit in furtherance of the conspiracy’s objective.
Edward Theodore “Ed” Gein (August 8, 1906 – July 26, 1984) 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. Gein confessed to killing two women – tavern owner Mary Hogan on December 8, 1954, and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, on November 16, 1957. Initially found unfit for trial, after confinement in a mental health facility he was tried in 1968 for the murder of Worden and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he spent in a mental hospital. His case influenced the creation of several fictional killers, including Norman Bates of the movie and novel Psycho and its sequels, Leatherface of the movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) of the novel The Silence of the Lambs, and many more.
H. H. Holmes
Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896), better known under the name of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented American serial killers in the modern sense of the term. In Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, his actual body count could be as high as 200. He took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was less than two miles away, to his “World’s Fair” hotel.
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994), also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, was an American serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with many of his later murders also involving necrophilia, cannibalism and the permanent preservation of body parts—typically all or part of the skeletal structure. Diagnosed by psychologists and prison psychiatrists as suffering from a borderline personality disorder,[ Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial. Convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he had committed in Wisconsin, Dahmer was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment on February 15, 1992. He was later sentenced to a 16th term of life imprisonment in relation to an additional homicide committed in the state of Ohio in 1978. On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.
John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994), also known as the Killer Clown, was an American serial killer and rapist who was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings committed between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. All of Gacy’s known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park Township home; his victims would typically be lured to this address by force or deception and all but one victim were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a tourniquet (his first victim was stabbed to death). Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home; three further victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death for 12 of these killings on March 13, 1980. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994. Gacy 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.
Ricardo Leyva “Richard” Muñoz Ramírez (February 29, 1960 – June 7, 2013) was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the news media. He used a wide variety of weapons, including handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer. Ramirez, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes. The judge who upheld his thirteen death sentences remarked that Ramirez’s deeds exhibited “cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding”. Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting execution on California’s death row.
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 and girls 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. Bundy was regarded as handsome and charismatic by his young female victims, traits he exploited to win their trust. He typically approached them in public places, feigning injury or disability, or impersonating an authority figure, before overpowering and assaulting them at more secluded locations. He sometimes revisited his secondary crime scenes for hours at a time, grooming and performing sexual acts with the decomposing corpses until putrefaction and destruction by wild animals made further interaction impossible. He decapitated at least 12 of his victims, and kept some of the severed heads in his apartment for a period of time as mementos. On a few occasions he simply broke into dwellings at night and bludgeoned his victims as they slept. Initially incarcerated in Utah in 1975 for aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal assault, Bundy became a suspect in a progressively longer list of unsolved homicides in multiple states. Facing murder charges in Colorado, he engineered two dramatic escapes and committed further assaults, including three murders, before his ultimate recapture in Florida in 1978. He received three death sentences in two separate trials for the Florida homicides. Ted Bundy died in the electric chair at Raiford Prison in Starke, Florida, on January 24, 1989. Biographer Ann Rule described him as “a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after.”He once called himself “… the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of his last defense team, agreed. “Ted,” she wrote, “was the very definition of heartless evil.”