You may never sleep again.
Face it... most of us have a morbid fascination with crime and serial killers. If we didn't, programs like Mindhunter, American Crime Story, and the ENTIRE Law and Order franchise wouldn't have lasted beyond one season. You can try to say you're not intrigued all you want but you're here and you're currently reading this list. It doesn't matter if you stumbled across it while procrastinating writing a paper that's due tomorrow or you somehow got sucked into a Wikipedia hole. To feed your interest in the infamous, here are 16 serial killers to keep you up at night: Gif source
1. Joseph DeAngelo: The Golden State Killer
Also known as the Original Night Stalker, the Golden State Killer terrorized Southern California from 1979 to 1986. It wasn't until April 2018 that a break in the case was made with Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer, being arrested and charged with 6 accounts of first-degree murder (although he is responsible for more than 50 crimes).
2. Ted Bundy: The Crazy Necrophile
Ted Bundy was a narcissist that participated in everything from kidnapping to killing to necrophilia. During the 1970s, he killed numerous young women and girls (confessing to 30 of the murders). Regarded as handsome, Bundy had a number of groupies one of which even married him due to a technicality of the court. A member of his defense team called him "the very definition of heartless evil." Img source
3. The Zodiac Killer: The Killer That Was Never Caught
The Zodiac Killer terrorized Northern California from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. While the killer claimed 37, only 7 were confirmed. The name "Zodiac Killer" was coined after the cryptic letters sent to the California Police Department. Out of the four cryptograms sent, only one was completely solved and the case has remained open since 1968... and no, Ted Cruz is NOT the Zodiac Killer. Img source
4. Paul Knowles: The Casanova Killer
He was tied to the murders of 20 people but claimed to have killed 35. Knowles lured his victims in with his good looks and charm which got him the name "The Casanova Killer". Idolizing famous outlaws such as John Dillinger, Jesse James, and Bonnie and Clyde, he met an end in much the same way... sprawled out in the back of a cop car after taking three bullets to the chest as he was trying to escape. Img source
5. Aileen Wuornos: The Monster
You rarely hear of female killers unless it's followed by them being an accomplice to a husband or boyfriend, a nurse, or mother. Wuornos is known as America's first serial killer and killed 7 men between 1989 and 1990. Charlize Theron did an excellent job of portraying the killer in the film Monster. Img source
6. Jeffrey Dahmer: The Milwaukee Cannibal
Some people call Jeffrey Dahmer a "relatable" serial killer due to his struggles with social anxiety, his parents' divorce, and not fitting in. That being said, he's still a killer and murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. The way in which he killed was truly horrific and if you want to know more... I recommend googling him. Img source
7. Pedro Rodriguez Filho: The Brazilian Maniac
At the age of 14, he killed the vice-mayor of his hometown because he'd fired his father. He would commit a confirmed 71 murders and would grow to fame due to being the "real life" Dexter. Brazilian law prohibits anyone from serving more than 30 years in prison so even though he was sentenced to 400 years, he was released in 2007. Img source
8. John Wayne Gacy: The Burial King
To many people, John Wayne Gacy was a friendly man who loved to entertain young children. He frequently dressed up as his alter ego, Pogo the Clown. However, between 1972 and 1978 he would murder at least 33 young men and boys.
9. Harold Shipman: Doctor Death
He was a British general practitioner and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history. Shipman worked in England as a medical doctor and killed over 200 of his patients before his arrest in 1998. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but died in 2004. Img source
10. Ed Gein: The inspiration for Psycho
Not only the inspiration for Psycho, he was also the inspiration for Buffalo Bill as well as the killer in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered that Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Img source
11. Rodney Alcala: The Dating Game Killer
In 1978, he was the bachelor chosen as the winner on an episode of The Dating Game. Luckily his potential date declined to go on the date or else she'd have probably been a victim as well. A prolific photographer, Alcala took hundreds of photos of women and children (with many still unidentified and being potential victims). Img source
12. David Berkowitz: Son of Sam
He murdered six people in New York City in 1976–77, plunging the city into a panic and unleashing one of the largest manhunts in New York history. American culture was so changed by the Son of Sam that New York State passed what's known as the "Son of Sam" law, which decreed that no criminal should be able to profit off the fame they receive from their crimes. Img source
13. Edmund Kemper: The Co-ed Killer
Considered one of the serial killers too gross to be rule, Kemper killed 10 people including his paternal grandparents and mother. He was part of the inspiration for Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs and was a main character in the Netflix series, Mindhunter. Img source
14. Dennis Rader: The BTK Killer
He murdered 10 people in Kansas between 1974 and 1991. The reason he is called the BTK killer is because of his methods of "bind, torture, kill." A character credited as "ADT Serviceman" on the show Mindhunter was inspired by him and his previous job as an ADT worker (ironically installing ADT systems for people concerned about the BTK killer). Img source
15. Richard Ramirez: The Night Stalker
His reign of terror over southern California lasted from June 1984 until August 1985. During those 14 months, Ramirez killed 13 people, attempted to kill 5 more, sexually assaulted 11 women, and burglarized 14 homes. Img source
16. Andrei Chikatilo: The Butcher of Rostov
He was active in the former Soviet Union and killed 56 people between 1978 and 1990. He is one of several well-known Soviet serial killers, and inspired the Chessboard Killer. Img source
Even more from UNiDAYS
We bring the best discounts from the best brands to college and uni students, as well as exclusive videos, articles and loads of tips and advice to make your student life even better - all for free!
- Join now or log in to start saving on everything from food comas and fashion to (finally) getting fitter.
- Verify now to start saving on everything from food comas and fashion to (finally) getting fitter.
- Got a lot to say? We're always looking for awesome guest bloggers. Get in touch with your ideas!