Serial killers fascinate us all in a strange and kind of morbid way, and while the fictional silver-screen slasher is a mainstay in American horror, there are enough real-life sickos that it almost isn’t necessary to come up with make-believe ones. Here’s ten of the most depraved, dealers of death in this week’s Kore Men Top 10…
10. THE ZODIAC KILLER
Arguably one of the most well-known serial killers to have ever made the news, this sociopath didn’t just get his kicks by murdering innocent victims – he also taunted the police with cryptic letters. The Zodiac Killer, who operated in Northern California, is officially credited with five murders – three by gunshot and two by stabbing – although he claimed to have killed 37. Despite two victims of his attacks surviving, the Zodiac Killer’s identity remains unknown to this day, meaning it’s entirely possible that he could still be walking among us today. Creepy.
9. TED BUNDY
Theodore Robert Bundy – no relation to Al – boasted a rap sheet including burglary, kidnapping, rape, murder, and necrophilia. Bundy used his good looks and charisma to help him lure in his victims, who were all females between 12 and 26 years old. He confessed to committing 30 murders between 1974 and 1978, but he often dropped hints that there were more, and some experts believe the actual number of victims could be much larger. Bundy beheaded at least twelve of his victims and kept some of the heads as trophies in his home, but that wasn’t the peak of his lunacy. He also admitted to returning to the disposed of bodies of his victims and performing sex acts on them as they decomposed. After finally being apprehended, he was executed by electric chair in Florida in 1989.
8. EDMUND KEMPER
Edmund Kemper, also known as the Co-Ed Butcher, killed ten people between 1964 and 1973 – including his mother and grandparents. Kemper’s grandparents were his first victims, who he shot to death when he was just 15 years old. He was sent away to a criminally insane unit, but, amazingly, on his 21st birthday, was released into the custody of his mother, unsurprisingly resulting in more murders. A few years after his release he began targeting female students, who he would pick up hitchhiking, kill, and then take home to mutilate, decapitate, dissect, and sexually abuse. Kemper’s final victim was his own mother, who he killed in 1973. As with his other victims, Kemper mutilated and sexually abused the corpse, even going so far as to throw darts at the severed head.
7. H.H. HOLMES
Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, or H.H. Holmes as he’s known to most, was an American serial killer with nine confirmed victims – although he confessed to killing 27. Some of his grizzlier murders include knocking a victim unconscious with chloroform and then burning the body and locking two victims in a trunk and gassing them. Maybe the most notable thing about H.H. Holmes’ killing spree was his infamous “murder castle” – a building he owned in Chicago that has become the subject of a great deal of modern myth, including stories of torture equipment and secret murder chambers. Holmes was finally caught and was hanged on May 7th, 1896. In 2017 allegations arose that Holmes had actually escaped execution. His body was exhumed and, while found in creepily good condition, was positively identified as Holmes.
6. LUIS GARAVITO
Also known as La Bestia, or The Beast, Luis Garavito is a Colombian serial killer with 138 confirmed victims, with estimates of the true total number ranging as high as 300 to 400. Garavito’s victims were all young boys, ranging in age from six to 16. He would take on various disguises and lure the boys in by offering them work. Once he’d earned their trust, he’d bind, torture, rape, and ultimately kill them. Garavito’s torture methods were sexual in nature and hard to stomach. He also decapitated a number of his victims. Once caught, Garavito was given a shockingly light punishment. Due to the sentencing limits prescribed by Columbian law, his final sentence was just 22 years – meaning La Bestia could be back on the streets as early as 2021.
5. DENNIS RADER
Dennis Rader, the famed BTK Killer, is one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. He earned his moniker – which stands for “bind, torture, kill” from a letter he sent to police warning that he would kill again, binding, torturing, and killing the eventual victim. Rader killed nine of his ten victims by asphyxiation, either by strangling them or suffocating them with rope, plastic bags, and even by hanging. The other was stabbed in the back eleven times. Rader killed his final victim in 1991 and then disappeared until 2004 when he bizarrely resumed sending taunting letters to the media and police. Those new letters lead to his apprehension in 2005 and he was subsequently sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 175 years.
4. JOHN GEORGE HAIGH
Not every Englishman is a gentleman, and that certainly held true for John George Haigh. Haigh, also known as the Acid Bath Murderer, started out with fraud, but soon found himself in jail. He realized the perfect way to avoid that fate a second time would be to ensure that his fraud victims didn’t live to tell the tale. What could go wrong? He proceeded to kill between six and nine people, starting with his former employer – a dream best left to the world of fantasy. Haigh earned his nickname by his victims’ bodies into drums full of concentrated sulfuric acid, turning them into sludge. Haigh was eventually caught and executed by hanging in London in 1949.
3. WILLIAM BONIN
William Bonin, also known as the Freeway Killer, was responsible for the murder of 21 young men in Southern California between 1979 and 1980. Bonin earned his nickname by dumping most of his victims’ bodies along the side of the freeway. He started out sexually assaulting young men and eventually moved to murder. Bonin targeted 12 to 19-year-old boys, who were lured into his car and then bound, sexually assaulted, and tortured. He strangled most of them to death with their own t-shirts, killed others with an icepick, and even forced one to drink hydrochloric acid. Bonin was eventually arrested when police caught him raping and strangling a boy in his van. He was executed in San Quentin State Prison in 1996.
2. JEFFREY DAHMER
Another one of America’s most famous modern serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, A.K.A. the Milwaukee Monster, killed 17 boys and men between the years of 1978 and 1991. He didn’t just kill them though, he also sexually abused, preserved, and ate parts of his victims’ bodies. Dahmer committed his first murder at just 18 years old. He killed in a variety of ways, including bludgeoning, strangulation, and laceration of arteries. He even experimented with drilling holes into his victims’ skulls and injecting acid into their brains. What the f**k? Dahmer preserved many souvenirs from his victims, including genitalia, heads, and bones. He was caught in 1991, and, as the death penalty was not an option in Wisconsin, was sentenced to life plus 10 years. He died a painful death in 1994 after being severely beaten by fellow inmates.
1. SAMUEL LITTLE
The FBI recently confirmed Samuel Little to be America’s most prolific serial killer of all time. Although not much is known about Little, mostly because of his low-key, drifter lifestyle, he's confessed to about 93 murders between 1970 and 2005.
For many years, Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims. But acting on a haunch, a diligent Texas Ranger interviewed Little for days to gain his trust before the confessions began pouring out of him. Little has hand drawn many of the victims with chilling accuracy even decades later.
The FBI is still asking for the public’s help in matching the remaining unconfirmed confessions. ViCAP, with the support of the Texas Rangers, has provided additional information and details about five cases in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation.
If you have any information linked to Little’s confessions, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit at tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Click to see his confession videos & victim drawings
(NOT- SO) HONORABLE MENTION: ED GEIN
Ed Gein, The Butcher of Plainfield, gets an honorable mention because having only killed and mutilated two women, he might not be considered a true serial killer. But consider the fact that he filled his house with decorations and keepsakes made from exhumed bodies - including masks, lampshades, and upholstery made from human faces and skin. “Is this couch Italian leather, it’s so smooth?“