Films about real life serial killers & murderers.
I've mostly left off films about real life gangsters, terrorist groups & assassinations.
Text summary under wikipedia link will obviously contain spoilers in many cases.
Dec. 2013 - Unfortunately IMDB seem to have now disabled linking to outside sites so you'll just have to copy n paste links into a new window. Sorry about that, let's hope IMDB reverse this policy.
If anyone knows a way round this then please message me or leave a comment at the bottom. Thanks
The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The killer's identity remains unknown. The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. The killer originated the name "Zodiac" in a series of taunting letters sent to the local Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers). Of the four cryptograms sent, only one has been definitively solved. ” - fiasko1
John Reginald Halliday Christie (8 April 1899 – 15 July 1953), born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, was a notorious English serial killer active in the 1940s and '50s. He murdered at least eight females – including his wife Ethel – by strangling them in his flat at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London. Christie moved out of Rillington Place in March 1953, and shortly afterwards the bodies of three of his victims were discovered hidden in an alcove in his kitchen. His wife was concealed beneath the floorboards of the front room at Rillington Place. Christie was arrested and convicted of his wife's murder, for which he was hanged in 1953. ” - fiasko1
Gary Leon Ridgway (born February 18, 1949) is an American serial killer known as the Green River Killer. He murdered numerous women in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, earning his nickname when the first five victims were found in the Green River. He strangled them, usually with his arm but sometimes using ligatures. After strangling the women, he would dump their bodies throughout forested and overgrown areas in King County.
On November 30, 2001, as he was leaving the Renton, Washington Kenworth Truck factory where he worked, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence. As part of a plea bargain wherein he agreed to disclose the whereabouts of still missing women, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. ” - fiasko1
Henry Lee Lucas (August 23, 1936 – March 13, 2001) was an American criminal, indicted in 189 cases of murder and once listed as America's most prolific serial killer.
In June 1983, Lucas was taken into custody for illegal possession of a firearm. He then began bragging about a cross country murder spree spanning several decades. Lucas took police to the crime scenes and burial sites of 246 people and was charged with 189 of the crimes. Lucas confessed to, or implicated himself in, more than 600 murders. He later recanted his confessions, despite professing information only the assailant would know as well as taking police to the crime scenes and grave sites to flatly stating "I'm a liar" in a letter to researcher Brad Shellady. Lucas confessed to involvement in about 600 murders, but a more widely circulated total of about 350 murders committed by Lucas is based on confessions deemed "believable" by a Texas-based Lucas Task Force, a group which was later criticized by then-Attorney General of Texas, Jim Mattox, and others for sloppy police work. Many critics believe his recantations were a tactic to brew reasonable doubt and evade execution.
Lucas had a known accomplice named Ottis Toole. ” - fiasko1
Wayne Bertram Williams (born May 27, 1958) is an American serial killer who committed most of the Atlanta Child Murders that occurred in 1979 through 1981. In January 1982, Williams was found guilty of the murder of two adult men. After his conviction, the Atlanta, Georgia police declared that an additional 23 of the 29 child murders were solved, with Williams shown to be the murderer. ” - fiasko1
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (Ukrainian: Андрі́й Рома́нович Чикати́ло; 16 October 1936 – 14 February 1994) was a Ukrainian-born Soviet serial killer, nicknamed The Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper or The Rostov Ripper who murdered at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. He was convicted of 52 murders in October 1992 (although he confessed to a total of 56 murders and was tried for 53 of these killings), and was executed in February 1994. ” - fiasko1
The Boston Strangler is a name attributed to the murderer (or murderers) of several women in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, in the early 1960s. Though the crimes were attributed to Albert DeSalvo, investigators of the case have since suggested the murders (sometimes known as the silk stocking murders) were not committed by one person. ” - fiasko1
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer and rapist who sexually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home, buried three others elsewhere on his property, and discarded the remains of his last four known victims in a nearby river. He was convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death for 12 of these killings. He was executed in May 1994
Gacy later 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. ” - fiasko1
Frederick Walter Stephen West (29 September 1941 – 1 January 1995), was a British serial killer. Between 1967 and 1987, he alone, and later, he and his wife Rosemary, tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls, many at the couple's homes. Rosemary West also murdered Fred's stepdaughter (his first wife's biological daughter) Charmaine, while he was serving a prison sentence for theft. The majority of the murders occurred between May 1973 and September 1979 at their home in 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester. The house was demolished in 1996 and the space converted into a landscaped footpath connecting Cromwell Street to St. Michaels Square. ” - fiasko1
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 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. ” - fiasko1
Charles Raymond Starkweather (November 24, 1938 – June 25, 1959) was an American teenaged spree killer who murdered eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming during a two-month road trip with his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate. The couple was captured on January 29, 1958. Starkweather was executed seventeen months later, while Fugate served 17 years in prison. ” - fiasko1
Richard "Dick" Eugene Hickock & Perry Smith were two ex-convicts who murdered four members of the Herbert Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas on November 15, 1959, a crime made famous by Truman Capote in his 1966 non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. ” - fiasko1
Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is an American criminal who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the Tate/LaBianca murders 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 object.
Manson believed in what he called "Helter Skelter," a term he took from the song of the same name by The Beatles. Manson believed Helter Skelter to be an impending apocalyptic race war, which he described in his own version of the lyrics to the Beatles' song. He believed his murders would help precipitate that war. From the beginning of his notoriety, this connection with rock music linked him with a pop culture in which he ultimately became an emblem of insanity, violence and the macabre. ” - fiasko1
John Justin Bunting (born 4 September 1966) is an Australian serial killer from Brisbane, Queensland, currently serving eleven consecutive sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for his role in the murder of 11 victims of the Snowtown murders.
Bunting was the ringleader of a "degenerate sub-culture" of murderers whose victims were people they already knew. Under the instruction of Bunting, the group would prey upon the weak and steal their welfare payments. His crimes led to the longest and most expensive investigations and criminal trials in Australia's history.
Bunting's targets consisted primarily of people he thought to be pedophiles and homosexuals. He has been described as a skilled manipulator of people and "Australia's worst serial killer". ” - fiasko1
Aileen Carol Wuornos (29 February 1956 – 9 October 2002) was an American serial killer who killed seven men in Florida in 1989 and 1990, claiming they raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002. ” - fiasko1
The École Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre, was crime that occurred on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a legally obtained Mini-14 rifle and a hunting knife, shot twenty-eight people before killing himself. ” - fiasko1
"Jack the Ripper" is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter, written by someone claiming to be the murderer, that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story. Other nicknames used for the killer at the time were "The Whitechapel Murderer" and "Leather Apron".
Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. The "From Hell" letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper".
Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction. ” - fiasko1
The Ipswich serial murders took place between 30 October and 10 December 2006 when the bodies of five murdered women were discovered at different locations near Ipswich, Suffolk, England. All the victims were women who worked as prostitutes in the Ipswich area. Their bodies were discovered naked, but there was no sign of sexual assault. Two of the victims, Anneli Alderton and Paula Clennell were confirmed to have been killed by asphyxiation. A cause of death for the other victims, Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol and Annette Nicholls, was not established.
Suffolk Police linked the killings and launched a murder investigation codenamed Operation Sumac. Due to the size of the investigation police officers were drafted from several other police forces. Two arrests were made in connection with the murders. The first suspect, who was never officially named by police, was released without charge. Forklift truck driver Steven Gerald James Wright, then aged 48, was arrested on suspicion of murder on 19 December 2006 and charged with the murders of all five women on 21 December.
He was found guilty of all five murders on 21 February 2008 and was sentenced the following day to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released from prison. ” - fiasko1
The Columbine High School massacre (often known simply as Columbine) occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States, near Denver and Littleton. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and 1 teacher. They also injured 21 other students directly, and three people were injured while attempting to escape. The pair then committed suicide. It is the fourth-deadliest school massacre in United States history, after the 1927 Bath School disaster, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and the 1966 University of Texas massacre, and the deadliest for an American high school. ” - fiasko1
Peter William Sutcliffe (born 2 June 1946) is a British serial killer who was dubbed "The Yorkshire Ripper". In 1981 Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attacking seven others. He is currently serving 20 sentences of life imprisonment in Broadmoor Hospital. After his conviction, Sutcliffe began using his mother's maiden name and became known as Peter William Coonan. A High Court ruling rejected an appeal in 2010, confirming that he would serve a whole life tariff and would never be released from imprisonment. ” - fiasko1
Harold Fredrick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was an English doctor and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history with 218 murders being positively ascribed to him.
On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of 15 murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge recommended that he never be released.
After his trial, the Shipman Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith, investigated all deaths certified by Shipman. About 80% of his victims were women. His youngest victim was a 41-year-old man. Much of Britain's legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a direct and indirect result of Shipman's crimes, especially after the findings of the Shipman Inquiry, which began on 1 September 2000 and lasted almost two years. Shipman is the only British doctor who has been found guilty of murdering his patients.
Shipman died on 13 January 2004, after hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire. ” - fiasko1
Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was a student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former Marine who killed 16 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on and around the university's campus on August 1, 1966. ” - fiasko1
The Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around what is now Greater Manchester, England. The victims were five children aged between 10 and 17—Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans—at least four of whom were sexually assaulted. The murders are so named because two of the victims were discovered in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor, with a third grave also being discovered there in 1987, over 20 years after Brady and Hindley's trial in 1966. The body of a fourth victim, Keith Bennett, is also suspected to be buried there, but despite repeated searches it remains undiscovered.
The police were initially aware of only three killings, those of Edward Evans, Lesley Ann Downey, and John Kilbride. The investigation was reopened in 1985, after Brady was reported in the press as having confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett. Brady and Hindley were taken separately to Saddleworth Moor to assist the police in their search for the graves, both by then having confessed to the additional murders. ” - fiasko1
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated. ” - fiasko1
Dennis Lynn Rader (born March 9, 1945) is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita, Kansas), between 1974 and 1991.
He was known as the BTK killer (or the BTK strangler). "BTK" stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill", which was his famous signature. He sent letters describing the details of the killings to police and to local news outlets during the period of time in which the murders took place.
After a long hiatus in the 1990s through early 2000s, Rader resumed sending letters in 2004, leading to his 2005 arrest and subsequent conviction. He is serving 10 consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility, with an earliest possible release date of February 26, 2180. ” - fiasko1
The Hwaseong serial murders were a series of unsolved serial murders that occurred in the South Korean city of Hwaseong between 1986 and 1991. Ten women were found bound, raped, and murdered. The murders are considered to be the most infamous in the modern history of South Korea. ” - fiasko1
Werner Kniesek (born 17 November 1946 in Salzburg ) is a murderer who went down in crime history as one of Austria's most dangerous criminals. This was because while already in custody for a homicide he tortured and killed a family of three while on prison leave to look for work for his up-coming release.
When he was 16 he attempted to kill his mother by stabbing her with a bread knife, he was arrested and served two years in juvenile custody. After his release he committed a series of burglaries and in 1972 he shot and killed a 73 year old woman, due to an insanity plea he was sentenced to only eight and a half years. A few week before he was due to be released he was allowed out of prison for three days on prison leave to look for work, this was when he committed the triple murder in St. Pölten. ” - fiasko1
David Richard Berkowitz (born Richard David Falco; June 1, 1953), also known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer and arsonist whose crimes terrorized New York City from July 1976 until his arrest in August 1977.
Shortly after his arrest in August 1977, Berkowitz confessed to killing six people and wounding several others in the course of eight shootings in New York between 1976 and 1977; he has been imprisoned for these crimes since 1977. Berkowitz subsequently claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon who possessed his neighbor's dog. ” - fiasko1
Raymond Fernandez (December 17, 1914 – March 8, 1951) and Martha Beck (May 6, 1920 – March 8, 1951) became known as "The Lonely Hearts Killers" after their arrest and trial for serial murder in 1949. Between 1947 and 1949 they are believed to have killed as many as twenty women. ” - fiasko1
The Phantom Killer is an unidentified serial killer thought to be responsible for a series of slayings between February 22 and May 3, 1946. which became known as the Texarkana Moonlight Murders. The murders occurred in and around the city of Texarkana, which sits astride the border between Texas and Arkansas. The attacks took place at approximately three-week intervals. The Phantom Killer was also known as The Texarkana Phantom or simply The Phantom, The Phantom Slayer and The Moonlight Murderer because he often killed late at night. ” - fiasko1
Peter Kürten (26 May 1883–2 July 1931) was a German serial killer dubbed The Vampire of Düsseldorf by the contemporary media. He committed a series of sex crimes, assaults and murders against adults and children, most notoriously from February to November 1929 in Düsseldorf.
Kürten confessed to 79 offenses, and was charged with nine murders and seven attempted murders. He went on trial in April 1931. He initially pleaded not guilty, but after some weeks changed his plea. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. ” - fiasko1
The Hillside Strangler is the media epithet for two men, cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who were convicted of kidnapping, raping, torturing, and killing girls and women ranging in age from 12 to 28 years old during a four-month period from late 1977 to early 1978. They committed their crimes in the hills above Los Angeles, California. ” - fiasko1
Richard Trenton Chase (May 23, 1950 – December 26, 1980) was an American schizophrenic serial killer and mass murderer who killed six people in the span of a month in Sacramento, California. He was nicknamed "The Vampire of Sacramento" because he drank his victims' blood and cannibalized their remains. ” - fiasko1
Edward Theodore "Ed" Gein, August 27, 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. After police found body parts in his house in 1957, Gein confessed to killing two women: tavern owner Mary Hogan, in 1954; and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, in 1957.
Initially found unfit to stand trial, following 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. The body of Bernice Worden was found in Gein's shed; her head and the head of Mary Hogan were found inside his house. Robert H. Gollmar, the judge in the Gein case, wrote: "Due to prohibitive costs, Gein was tried for only one murder — that of Mrs. Worden." With fewer than three murders attributed to him, Gein does not meet the traditional definition of a serial killer. His case influenced the creation of several fictional serial killers, including Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs. ” - fiasko1
Roberto Succo, (Venice April 3, 1962 – Vicenza May 23, 1988) was an Italian serial killer who committed several murders and other violent crimes mostly in Italy and France in the 1980s.
He kidnapped, hijacked, and terrorized people across at least four European countries. He was considered Public Enemy number one by France, Italy and Switzerland. ” - fiasko1
The Beltway sniper attacks took place during three weeks in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Ten people were killed and three others critically injured in various locations throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area and along Interstate 95 in Virginia. It was widely speculated that a single sniper was using the Capital Beltway for travel, possibly in a white van or truck. It was later learned that the rampage was perpetrated by one man, John Allen Muhammad, and one minor, Lee Boyd Malvo, driving a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, and had apparently begun the month before with murders and robbery in Louisiana and Alabama, which had resulted in three deaths.
In September 2003, Muhammad was sentenced to death. One month later, Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. On November 10, 2009, Muhammad was executed by lethal injection. ” - fiasko1
Reverend James Warren "Jim" Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 mass suicide of 913 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana along with the killings of five other people at a nearby airstrip. Over 200 children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of whom were forcefully made to ingest cyanide by the elite Temple members. ” - fiasko1
Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale (born 4 May 1970 in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada), is a Canadian serial killer. She attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and death of her own sister Tammy.
Homolka and Paul Bernardo, her husband and partner-in-crime, were arrested in 1993. In 1995, Bernardo was convicted of the two teenagers' murders and received life in prison, the full maximum sentence allowed in Canada. During the 1993 investigation, Homolka stated to investigators that Bernardo abused her, and that she was an unwilling accomplice to the murders. As a result, she struck a deal with prosecutors for a reduced prison sentence of 12 years in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter. However, videotapes of the crimes later surfaced and demonstrated that she was a more active participant than she had claimed. ” - fiasko1
Ricardo "Richard" Muñoz Ramirez (born February 28, 1960 in El Paso, Texas) is a convicted serial killer awaiting execution on California's death row at San Quentin State Prison. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker" by the news media. ” - fiasko1
Dennis Andrew Nilsen (born 23 November 1945 in Fraserburgh, Scotland) also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer and the Kindly Killer is a British serial killer who lived in London.
Nilsen killed at least fifteen men and boys in gruesome circumstances between 1978 and 1983, and was known to retain corpses for sex acts. He was eventually caught after his disposal of dismembered human entrails blocked his household drains: the drain cleaning company found that the drains were congested with human flesh and contacted the police.
Owing to the similarities between their crimes, sexuality and lifestyle, Nilsen has been referred to as the "British Jeffrey Dahmer." ” - fiasko1
In 1977 and '78, New York homosexuals were terrorized by a series of "bag murders," in which six male victims were mutilated and dismembered, their remains wrapped in black plastic bags and dumped in the Hudson River. Some of the grisly fragments washed up on the New Jersey shore, others coming to ground near the World Trade Center.
A solution in the case derived from evidence collected in an "unrelated" case. On September 14, 1977, film critic Addison Verrill was beaten and stabbed to death in his New York apartment.
Paul Bateson, a 38-year-old X-ray technician, was convicted of the homicide on March 5, 1979, Bateson drew a term of 20 years to life in prison. While in custody, awaiting trial, Paul Bateson bragged of killing other men "for fun," dismembering their bodies, and dropping the bagged remains in the Hudson River. Detectives satisfied themselves of Bateson's guilt, but he was never charged, and the "bag murders" -- that later inspired the movie Cruising -- remain technically unsolved. ” - fiasko1
Yoo Young-chul (born in 1970) is a South Korean serial killer and self-confessed cannibal. Although he admitted to murdering 21 people, mostly prostitutes and wealthy old men, the Seoul Central District Court convicted him of 20 murders (one case was dismissed on a technicality). Yoo burned three and mutilated at least 11 of his victims, admitting he ate the livers of some of them. He committed his crimes between September 2003 and July 2004, when he was arrested. Yoo explained his motives in front of a TV camera saying "Women shouldn't be sluts, and the rich should know what they've done." He was sentenced to death on June 19, 2005 by the Supreme Court. ” - fiasko1
Graham Frederick Young (7 September 1947 – 1 August 1990) was an English serial killer. He is notable for his obsession with the use of poison, and for having been imprisoned for murder in his teens, only to kill again after his release. ” - fiasko1
John George Haigh, commonly known as the "Acid Bath Murderer", was an English serial killer during the 1940s. He was convicted of the murders of six people, although he claimed to have killed a total of nine. He did not use acid to actually kill his victims, but as a method of body disposal - dissolving their bodies in concentrated sulphuric acid. ” - fiasko1
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. Although in modern times she has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history, the number of murders and even her guilt is debated. She is nevertheless remembered as the "Blood Countess."
After her husband's death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one source attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, however, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, now in Slovakia and known as Čachtice, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her death four years later. ” - fiasko1
André Henri Félix Petiot (17 January 1897 – 25 May 1946) was a French doctor and serial killer. He was convicted of multiple murders after the discovery of the remains of 26 people in his home in Paris during World War II. He is suspected of killing around 60 victims during his life, although the true number remains unknown ” - fiasko1
William Palmer (6 August 1824 – 14 June 1856), also known as the Rugeley Poisoner or the Prince of Poisoners, was an English doctor found guilty of murder in one of the most notorious cases of the 19th century. He was convicted for the 1855 murder of his friend John Cook, and was executed in public by hanging the following year. He had poisoned Cook with strychnine, and was suspected of poisoning several other people including his brother and his mother-in-law, as well as four of his children who died of "convulsions" before their first birthdays. Palmer made large sums of money from the deaths of his wife and brother after collecting on life insurance, and by defrauding his wealthy mother out of thousands of pounds, all of which he lost through gambling on horses. ” - fiasko1
Akira Nishiguchi (西口 彰 Nishiguchi Akira?, December 14, 1925 – December 11, 1970) was a Japanese serial killer and fraudster. He is most known for being able to confuse Japanese police into believing that he was only connected to fraud rather than the murders. While engaging in confidence scams, he murdered two people, was put on the most wanted list, and killed three others while escaping. The police also regretted that they didn't find Nishiguchi, who was found by an 11-year-old girl. A prosecutor called him "the Black Gold Medalist in history". ” - fiasko1
Randall Brent "Randy" Woodfield (born December 26, 1950) is an American serial killer who was dubbed The I-5 Killer or The I-5 Bandit by law enforcement due to the crimes he allegedly committed along the Interstate 5 corridor running through Washington, Oregon, and California. Before his capture, the I-5 Killer was credited with multiple sexual assaults and murders. A native of Oregon, Woodfield was convicted of three murders and is suspected of killing up to 44 people; he is currently incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary. ” - fiasko1
Jacob "Jack" Kevorkian, May 26, 1928 – June 3, 2011, commonly known as "Dr. Death", was an American pathologist, euthanasia activist, painter, author, composer, and instrumentalist. He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to assist at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said, "dying is not a crime".
Beginning in 1999, Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007, on condition he would not offer suicide advice to any other person. ” - fiasko1
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were well-known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the "public enemy era" between 1931 and 1934. Though known today for his dozen-or-so bank robberies, Barrow in fact preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and committed several civilian murders. The couple themselves were eventually ambushed and killed in Louisiana by law officers. ” - fiasko1
John Leonard Orr (born April 26, 1949) is a former fire captain and arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department in Southern California and novelist who was indicted and later convicted for serial arson. Orr had originally wanted to be a police officer, but had failed his entrance exam; instead he became a dedicated fire investigator and career fire officer. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Los Angeles was plagued by a series of fires that cost millions of dollars in damages and claimed four lives. John Orr was found to be the cause of most of those fires. ” - fiasko1
The Parker-Hulme Murder was a murder and subsequent court case that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1954, achieving notoriety because a mother was murdered by two teenage girls: her daughter and her daughter's best friend. ” - fiasko1
Jeffrey Robert MacDonald (born October 12, 1943), is an American convicted in 1979 for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters in February 1970. At the time of the murders, MacDonald was an Army officer, medical doctor and practicing physician. MacDonald maintains that a group of Charles Manson-type hippies committed the crimes and has filed several unsuccessful appeals attempting to overturn his convictions. ” - fiasko1
Blanche Kiser Taylor Moore (born February 17, 1933) is a convicted murderer and probable serial killer from Alamance County, North Carolina. She was convicted of killing her boyfriend by slipping arsenic into his food, and is suspected of killing three other people and nearly killing another in the same manner. ” - fiasko1
The so-called "Alphabet murders" (also known as the "double initial murders") took place in the early 1970s in the Rochester, New York area; three young girls were raped and strangled. The case got its name from the fact that each of the girls' first and last names started with the same letter (Carmen Colon, Wanda Walkowicz, and Michelle Maenza) and that each body was found in a town that had a name starting with the same letter as each girl's name (Colon in Churchville, Walkowicz in Webster and Maenza in Macedon). ” - fiasko1
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 put the figure at around 100. However, it is not clear whether he was talking about rapes or cannibalization, less still as to whether he was telling the truth. He was a suspect in at least five murders in 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. ” - fiasko1
Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski,born May 22, 1942), also known as the "Unabomber" (a portmanteau of university and airline bomber), is an American mathematician, social critic, anarcho-primitivist, and Neo-Luddite who engaged in a mail bombing campaign that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others. ” - fiasko1
The Burke and Hare murders (nickname West Port murders) were serial murders perpetrated in Edinburgh, Scotland, from November 1827 to October 31, 1828. The killings were attributed to Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare, who sold the corpses of their 17 victims to provide material for dissection. Their purchaser was Doctor Robert Knox, a private anatomy lecturer whose students were drawn from Edinburgh Medical College. Their accomplices included Burke's mistress, Helen McDougal, and Hare's wife, Margaret Laird. From their infamous method of killing their victims has come the word "burking", meaning to purposefully smother and compress the chest of a victim, and a derived meaning, to quietly suppress. ” - fiasko1
Friedrich Heinrich Karl "Fritz" Haarmann (October 25, 1879 – April 15, 1925), also known as the Butcher of Hanover and the Vampire of Hanover was a German serial killer who is believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. He was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and executed. ” - fiasko1
John Wolfgang Alexander Ausonius (born 12 July 1953), known in the media as Lasermannen ("the Laser Man") is a Swedish convicted murderer, bank robber, and attempted serial killer. From August 1991 to January 1992 he shot eleven people in the Stockholm and Uppsala area, most of whom were immigrants, killing one and seriously injuring the others. He first used a rifle equipped with a laser sight (hence, his nickname), and later switched to a revolver. He was arrested in June 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment in January 1994. ” - fiasko1
Landru began to put advertisements in the lonely hearts sections in Paris newspapers, usually along the lines of "Widower with two children, aged 43, with comfortable income, serious and moving in good society, desires to meet widow with a view to matrimony." With World War I underway, many men were being killed in the trenches, leaving plenty of widows upon whom Landru could prey.
Landru would seduce the women who came to his Parisian villa and, after he was given access to their assets, he would kill them and burn their dismembered bodies in his oven. Between 1914 and 1918, Landru claimed 11 victims: 10 women plus the teenaged son of one of his victims. With no bodies, the victims were just listed as missing, and it was virtually impossible for the police to know what had happened to them as Landru used a wide variety of aliases in his schemes. His aliases were so numerous that he had to keep a ledger listing all the women with whom he corresponded and which particular identity he used for each woman.
Landru stood trial on 11 counts of murder in November 1921. He was convicted on all counts, sentenced to death, and guillotined three months later in Versailles. ” - fiasko1
The Aramoana massacre was a mass murder that occurred on 13 November 1990 in the small seaside township of Aramoana, New Zealand. Resident David Gray, a 33-year-old unemployed man, began indiscriminately shooting people in the township with a scoped semi-automatic rifle, after a verbal dispute with his next-door neighbour. He shot neighbours and a family visiting the township, killing thirteen people, including local police Sergeant Stewart Guthrie, first responder to the reports of a shooting. After a careful house-by-house search the next day, police officers led by the Special Tactics Group located Gray and shot him dead as he came out of a house firing from the hip. ” - fiasko1
Francis Heaulme (born February 25, 1959 at Metz) is a French serial killer dubbed the "Criminal Backpacker". He has Klinefelter's syndrome (a supplemental X chromosome) which means he is not capable of committing sexual assaults. However, in at least two instances he was accompanied by other men (one a distant cousin), who violated the victim themselves while Heaulme killed them ” - fiasko1
Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. (November 19, 1904 – August 29, 1971) and Richard Albert Loeb (June 11, 1905 – January 28, 1936), more commonly known as "Leopold and Loeb", were two wealthy University of Michigan alumni and University of Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks in 1924 and were sentenced to life imprisonment. ” - fiasko1
Lam Kor-wan was one of Hong Kong's two known serial killers. The other was Lam Kwok-wai.
Lam Kor-wan, who worked as a taxi driver, would pick up female passengers, strangle them with electrical wire, take them to his family home, and dismember them. His English moniker, "The Jars Murderer", was coined when the police revealed that he had hoarded sexual organs in tupperware containers. He was a keen photographer and frequently took pictures and video of his victims, filming himself performing an act of necrophilia with his fourth victim. The Chinese press nicknamed him "The Rainy Night killer" because several of his attacks occurred during inclement weather. ” - fiasko1
The Backpacker Murders is a name given to serial killings that occurred in New South Wales, Australia during the 1990s. The bodies of seven missing young people aged 19 to 22 were discovered partly buried in the Belanglo State Forest, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south west of the New South Wales town of Berrima. Five of the victims were international backpackers visiting Australia (three German, two British), and two were Australian travellers from Melbourne.
Australian Ivan Milat was convicted of the murders and is serving seven consecutive life sentences plus 18 years.
see Murder In The Outback ” - fiasko1
Bradley John Murdoch (born 1958) is serving life imprisonment for the July 2001 murder of English backpacker Peter Falconio in Australia. He will be 74 when eligible for parole. Murdoch is being held in Alice Springs Correctional Centre in Alice Springs. He has lodged two appeals against his conviction; both were unsuccessful. The High Court refused special leave to appeal on 21 June 2007. ” - fiasko1
Hawley Harvey Crippen (September 11, 1862 – November 23, 1910), usually known as Dr. Crippen, was an American homeopathic physician hanged in Pentonville Prison, London, on November 23, 1910, for the murder of his wife, Cora Henrietta Crippen. He was the first criminal to be captured with the aid of wireless communication. ” - fiasko1
Carl Panzram (June 28, 1891 – September 5, 1930) was an American serial killer, arsonist and burglar. He is known for his confession to prison guard and only friend, Henry Lesser. In graphic detail, Panzram confessed to 22 murders, and to having sodomized over 1,000 males. He used aliases such as "Carl Baldwin", "Jack Allen" and "Jefferson Baldwin" in Oregon; "Jeff Davis" in Idaho and Montana; "Jefferson Davis" in California and Montana; "Jeff Rhodes" in Montana; "John King"; and "John O'Leary" in New York. ” - fiasko1
Eric Edgar Cooke nicknamed The Night Caller (25 February 1931 – 26 October 1964) was an Australian serial killer. From 1959 to 1963, he terrorised the city of Perth, Western Australia, by committing 22 violent crimes, eight of which resulted in deaths. ” - fiasko1
Daniel Harold Rolling (May 26, 1954 – October 25, 2006), also known as The Gainesville Ripper, was an American serial killer who murdered five students in Gainesville, Florida. Rolling later confessed to raping several of his victims, committing an additional 1989 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attempting to murder his father in May 1990. In total, Rolling confessed to killing eight people. He was executed by lethal injection in 2006. ” - fiasko1
Paul Kenneth Keller (born January 6, 1966) is a serial arsonist from Lynnwood, Washington. He is serving 99 years in prison without the possibility of parole. He was convicted of setting 32 fires and admitted to setting 44 more, killing at least three individuals, and causing more than $22 million in property damage during a six month period during 1992-1993. ” - fiasko1
Ira Samuel Einhorn, known as "the Unicorn Killer" (born May 15, 1940), is a convicted murderer who savagely beat his ex-girlfriend, Holly Maddux, to death and then stored her body in a locker in his apartment for more than a year before it was discovered by the police. He fled to Europe and was finally convicted 25 years later for her murder in 2002 and is currently serving a life sentence. ” - fiasko1
Donald Neilson (1 August 1936 – 18 December 2011), born Donald Nappey and also known as the "Black Panther", was a British multiple murderer and armed robber. Following three murders committed during robberies of sub-post offices from 1971 to 1974, his last victim was Lesley Whittle, an heiress from Highley, Shropshire, England, in early 1975. He was arrested later that year and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1976, remaining in prison until his death 35 years later. ” - fiasko1
The Stoneman was a name given by the popular English language print media of Kolkata to an alleged serial killer who menaced the streets of that city in 1989.
The Stoneman was credited with thirteen murders over six months (the first in June 1989), but it was never established whether the crimes were the handiwork of one person or a group of individuals. The Calcutta police also failed to resolve whether any of the crimes were committed as a copycat murder. To date, no one has been sentenced for these crimes, making this one of the greatest unsolved mysteries plaguing modern metropolitan Indian police forces. ” - fiasko1
Jürgen Bartsch (November 6, 1946 in Essen – April 28, 1976 in Eickelborn; original name Karl-Heinz Sadrozinski) was a German serial killer who murdered four children and attempted to kill another.
Bartsch began killing at the age of fifteen. His first victim was Klaus Jung who was murdered in 1961. His next victim was Peter Fuchs who was killed four years later in 1965. He persuaded all of his victims to accompany him into an abandoned air-raid shelter, where he forced them to undress and then sexually abused them. He dismembered his first four victims. His intended fifth victim, 15-year-old Peter Frese, however, escaped by burning through his bindings with a candle that Bartsch had left burning after leaving the shelter. Bartsch was arrested in 1966. ” - fiasko1
Richard Franklin Speck (December 6, 1941 – December 5, 1991) was a mass murderer who systematically tortured, raped, and murdered eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on July 14, 1966. ” - fiasko1
"The Black Dahlia" was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – January 15, 1947), an American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. Short acquired the moniker posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly colorful. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short's unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story. ” - fiasko1
The Wonderland murders, also known as Four on the Floor or Laurel Canyon Murders, occurred in Los Angeles in 1981, when four people were killed in a drug-related scenario involving porn star John Holmes and was allegedly masterminded by Los Angeles businessman and drug dealer Eddie Nash. ” - fiasko1
In 1973, Durst married Kathleen McCormack, who disappeared in 1982. Her case remained unsolved for eighteen years when New York State Police reopened the criminal investigation. On December 24, 2000, Durst's long-time friend, Susan Berman, who was believed to have knowledge of McCormack's disappearance, was found murdered execution-style in her Benedict Canyon California house. Durst was questioned in both cases but not charged.
In 2001, Durst was arrested in Galveston, Texas, shortly after body parts of his senior neighbor, Morris Black, were found floating in Galveston Bay, but he was released on bail. Durst missed his court hearing and was declared the nation's first billion-dollar fugitive. He was caught in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at a Wegmans Supermarket, after trying to steal a chicken sandwich and a Band-Aid, even though he had $500 cash in his pocket. A police search of his rented car yielded $37,000 in cash, two guns, marijuana, and Black's driver's license. ” - fiasko1
Robert Christian Hansen (born on February 15, 1939) is an American serial killer. Between 1980 and 1983, Hansen murdered between 17 and 21 women near Anchorage, Alaska. ” - fiasko1
Ruth Ellis (9 October 1926 – 13 July 1955), née Neilson, was the last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom. She was convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely, and hanged at Holloway Prison, London. ” - fiasko1
David Coughlin was killed in 1999 in the desert of southern New Mexico, in the United States, after he and Raffi Kodikian got lost while hiking. Kodikian later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and served 16 months. He was released in November 2001. ” - fiasko1
The Pettingill family is an infamous Melbourne-based criminal family, headed by matriarch Kath Pettingill. Family members have many convictions for criminal offences including drug trafficking, arms dealing and armed robberies.
Two of Kath Pettingill's sons, Victor Peirce and Trevor Pettingill would face a murder trial for the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings, with both acquitted along with two fellow defendants. Victor Peirce's de facto wife, Wendy, would later claim her husband planned and carried out the murders with the fellow accused. ” - fiasko1
Harvey Miguel Robinson (born December 6, 1974), from Montana, is a prisoner on death row in Pennsylvania and is one of the youngest serial killers in American history. He was just 18 years old when he was apprehended for his crimes. He is also the first serial killer in the history of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
He raped and killed three women. He was linked to the murders by DNA evidence and convicted in November 1994. He was sentenced to death in all three cases. ” - fiasko1
John Duffy and David Mulcahy (born 1959) are two British rapists and serial killers who together attacked numerous women at railway stations in the south of England through the 1980s. They are known as the Railway Rapists and the Railway Killers. ” - fiasko1
George Joseph Smith (11 January 1872 – 13 August 1915) was an English serial killer and bigamist. In 1915 he was convicted and subsequently hanged for the slayings of three women, the case becoming known as the "Brides in the Bath Murders". As well as being widely reported in the media, the case was a significant case in the history of forensic pathology and detection. It was also one of the first cases in which similarities between connected crimes were used to prove deliberation, a technique used in subsequent prosecutions. ” - fiasko1
Audrey Marie Hilley (June 4, 1933 - February 26, 1987) was an American murderer. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for her husband’s murder and 20 years for attempting to kill her daughter. ” - fiasko1
Takahashi Oden (高橋 お伝?, 1848-January 31, 1879) was a female Japanese murderer known for killing a man, and being the last woman in Japan to be put to death by beheading. She was also suspected of poisoning her husband. ” - fiasko1
Amanda Marie Knox (born July 9, 1987) is an American woman who was accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Umbria, Italy. She served four years of a 26-year sentence before the murder conviction was overturned on October 3, 2011. Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time of the murder, was also accused of the murder and had his conviction overturned on appeal. The jury upheld Knox's calunnia conviction for falsely implicating bar owner Patrick Lumumba. For this Knox was sentenced to three years in prison, which she had already served, and was ordered to pay Lumumba's court costs of about 22,000 euros. ” - fiasko1
Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884 – August 17, 1915) was a Jewish-American factory superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Frank was convicted on August 26, 1913, of the murder of one of his factory workers, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. She had been strangled on April 26, and was found dead in the factory cellar the next day. Frank was the last person known to have seen her alive, and there were allegations that he had flirted with her in the past. His trial became the focus of powerful class, regional and political interests.
He was hung in 1915 by a lynch mob, planned and led by prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia, which drew attention to antisemitism in the United States. ” - fiasko1
William Erwin Walker, aka Erwin M. Walker and Machine Gun Walker (1918 - 1982) was a former police employee and World War II Army veteran remembered for a violent series of thefts, burglaries, and shootouts with police in Los Angeles County, California during 1945 and 1946. ” - fiasko1
Jack the Stripper was the nickname given to an unknown serial killer responsible for what came to be known as the London "nude murders" between 1964 and 1965 (also known as the "Hammersmith murders" or "Hammersmith nudes" case).
His victimology and nickname is similar to Jack the Ripper's. He murdered six — possibly eight — prostitutes, whose nude bodies were discovered around London or dumped in the River Thames. The victim count is ambiguous because two of the murders attributed to him did not fit his modus operandi. ” - fiasko1
Influenced by / loosely based on
The "Zebra" murders were a string of racially motivated murders, apparently committed by three African American men who were later convicted, that took place in San Francisco, California, from October 1973 to April 1974.
During 1973 and 1974, fourteen execution style murders and eight assaults occurred in San Francisco, whose police named the case "Zebra" after the special police radio band they assigned for the investigation. Twenty-two crimes in a six-month spree apparently involved white victims of the three black suspects. ” - fiasko1
Guy Georges (born Guy Rampillon, 15 October 1962) is a French serial killer, dubbed "The Beast of the Bastille", who was convicted of murdering seven women between 1991 and 1997. ” - fiasko1
lain Lamare, born 10 July 1956 (59) to Fruges (Pas-de-Calais) is a killer and former gendarme French, publicly known by the nickname "Killer of the Oise or" mad killer Oise Guilty of several crimes May of 1978 to April 1979 in the department of Oise, the fact that it is one of the people involved in the investigation slowed much it. Arrested, he was recognized irresponsible and was not considered. ” - fiasko1
Olga Hepnarová (30 June 1951 – 12 March 1975) was a Czech mass murderer, who in 1973 killed eight people with a truck. She was convicted and executed in 1975, the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia and one of the last by the use of short-drop hanging. ” - fiasko1