15 Most Interesting Killers of All Time
Although deplorable, society’s fascination with killers is undeniable. With murders leading headlines, books, films, and more, it is difficult to know exactly why the law abiding would want to know more about killers. As with most things, the internet is no exception to this mentality.
To help scratch that itch – and keep the gory details light – we have gathered the 15 most interesting killers of all time. Both famous and infamous, they break new ground on murder, murderers, and how they affect those that come after them.
Most Interesting Killers of All Time You’ve Heard Of
You may have heard of these killers before, but perhaps you haven’t heard of the facts surrounding their cases.
- 1. Jeffrey Dahmer
Known for keeping parts of his victims as trophies, Dahmer is one of the best known and horrific murderers of modern times. Although history will recall him as a monster, he was able to convince no less than 17 young men into his home where he would later kill them. One of the most interesting facts of the case is that one of Dahmer’s victims was actually able to get away. Even though the police got involved, Dahmer was able to convince them that the whole incident was merely a lover’s quarrel. He was finally arrested in 1991, where he was sentenced to nearly 1,000 years in jail and later killed by another inmate.
2. Ted Bundy
This notorious serial killer confessed to 28 murders but is actually thought to have killed many more. Young women were often the target of Bundy, who was said to be attractive and charming. An interesting fact about the case was that Bundy actually escaped from a Colorado prison in 1977. After his recapture and trial in 1979, he was sentenced to death and only gave one interview.
3. Charles Manson
Even though it has been over 40 years since the original “Manson Family” murders, they still make headlines today. Back in the 60’s, hippies were thought of peace loving, harmless individuals who passed out flowers until Manson. The leader of a cult, Manson used his influence to get others to kill for him and was never convicted of an actual murder himself. The case also stood out for the murder of actress Sharon Tate, who was over eight months pregnant. Although sentenced to death in 1969, Manson still remains in prison and is in his mid-seventies.
4. Jack the Ripper
This is one of the most interesting killers of all time for bringing murder to the front of the headlines and terrifying an entire country. In 1888, Londoners were shocked to learn of a string of murders of prostitutes. Many were sexually assaulted before being slashed and mutilated. The killer was never found and suspicions and theories still loom. This site actually has a suspect list, letters from the Ripper, official documents, and much more for the viewing.
5. Eddie Gein
Never heard of him? You may know him better as the inspiration for such onscreen killers as the ones from “Psycho” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Infamous for actually skinning his victims, the police found the skin of one of Gein’s victims hanging in his kitchen when he was arrested. Other items around his house, such as a bowl and lamp, where also made with the bodies of his victims. Although he was thought to have only killed two women, the act of wearing their skin set him apart.
6. The Zodiac Killer
Because this infamous killer was never found, it makes them all the more interesting. In the late 60’s, he was thought to have killed as many as 37 people. The killer also sent cryptic letters to the press. Two of his victims actually survived and got away, but the killer remained at large even though his correspondence with the press lasted all the way until 1978.
7. John Wayne Gacy
Are you afraid of clowns? He just might be the reason why. Known as Pogo the Clown to his local community, Gacy was well liked and respected by his family and neighbors. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy actually used his guise as a clown to lure his victims into “trick” handcuffs and then kill them. In 1980, he attempted and failed to enter an insanity plea, adding another interesting fact to the case.
8. Aileen Wuornos
Proving that men aren’t the only ones capable of serial killing, she made it an equal opportunity crime by killing an estimated seven men. After being unable to make ends meet for her and her girlfriend as a prostitute, Wuornos decided to rob and kill her johns. Alleging that all the murders were done in self-defense, she was convicted, sentenced, and put to death in 1992. Although a feature film was made on the story, the real life interviews with Wuornos are far more terrifying.
Most Interesting Killers of All Time You Haven’t Heard Of
They say that serial killers do it in part for the fame, but below are a few names you may not have heard of.
- 9. Pedro Alonso Lopez
With a murder count of over 300, he might just be the worst single serial killer in history. During the late 70’s in South America, he was convicted of killing 110 girls in Ecuador. He would later confess to murdering over 240 others in Peru and Colombia. Shockingly, even after these confessions he was released from prison after only 14 years served and then disappeared.
10. Henry Lee Lucas
He could be the biggest serial killer in history or could be the biggest liar. While in prison, Lucas confessed to nearly 3,000 murders, although his actual number seemed to be far less. Ironically enough, he was sentenced to prison over a victim he admitted to killing known only as “Orange Socks.” The issue of his execution for crimes went back and forth until he died in prison of natural causes in 2001, never revealing how many he actually killed.
11. Gilles De Rais
He lived as a French nobleman in the 15th century and was even part of the army led by Joan of Arc. He would later be accused and convicted of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering hundreds of victims, with a preference for young boys. Because of his position of esteem and the fact that his victims were common, the case garnered loads of attention. This article actually features an extract from his trial.
12. Richard Trenton Chase
Think vampires are all the rage now? Back in the seventies this man was known as the Vampire Killer of Sacramento. Institutionalized for believing his own blood was tainted, after his release Chase killed six people in a bizarre attempt to switch his blood with theirs. After his arrest in 1980, he even became an object of fear among the other prisoners. The other prisoners were so afraid of him, it seems they ended up convincing him to kill himself later that year.
13. Albert Fish
A quick look at his mug shot might convince you that he was arrested for jay-walking. However, over the span of 20 years he admitted to the molestation of over 400 children. Also known as the Werewolf of Wysteria for acting during full moons, Fish was also suspect to several murders, including those of children. Sent to the infamous Sing Sing in 1935, he was killed by electric chair a year later.
14. Dennis Rader
If you know the term “BTK,” you may already know this killer. Dennis Rader is thought to have murdered at least ten people using a method referred to as “blind, torture, kill.” An interesting fact is that he is thought to have committed these murders between 1974 and 1991 and sent letters to the police detailing his murders. Even with these pieces of evidence, police were not able to find him. Once the letters resumed in 2004, he was arrested in 2005 and convicted.
15. John Haigh
What did criminals do for identity theft before the internet? The answer is more bizarre and horrifying than phishing scams. In the late 1940’s, this English gentleman was dubbed The Acid Bath Murderer. Convicted of killing six people, he would dissolve their bodies in sulfuric acid and then forge papers in order to gain wealth.
Although they are not to be idolized, there is still a lot to learn from the above 15 most interesting killers of all time. To learn more about them and others, visit Investigation Discovery. They offer an interactive Fearbook that contains more information on some of the most notorious killers in history.