A ser­i­al killer is a per­son who has com­mit­ted at least three unre­lat­ed mur­ders for unspec­i­fied rea­sons. As a rule, the vic­tims of a ser­i­al killer are strangers. The crimes of these mani­acs are so ter­ri­ble that the mem­o­ry of them does not fade for decades and even cen­turies.

serial killers

Gilles de Rays

On Octo­ber 26, 1440, one of the for­mer asso­ciates of Joan of Arc, the French noble­man Gilles de Mont­moren­cy-Laval, Baron de Rais, was exe­cut­ed. He was accused of witch­craft and dev­il wor­ship, as well as bru­tal ser­i­al mur­ders of chil­dren. Accord­ing to var­i­ous sources, the num­ber of his vic­tims is approx­i­mate­ly 140 peo­ple. Baron Gilles de Rais was also famous for his huge num­ber of mar­riages and became the pro­to­type of the fairy-tale char­ac­ter Blue­beard.

Gilles de Rais

Elizabeth Bathory

The Hun­gar­i­an Count­ess Elis­a­beth Batho­ry is con­sid­ered one of the most famous ser­i­al killers in the his­to­ry of mankind. In the late XV — ear­ly XVII cen­turies, she com­mit­ted more than 600 insid­i­ous mur­ders, and her vic­tims were young girls. It is said that the count­ess bathed in blood every week, thus try­ing to pre­serve her beau­ty. In 1610, rumors of her atroc­i­ties reached the emper­or. From 1611 until the end of her days, Eliz­a­beth Batho­ry lived in cap­tiv­i­ty in her own cas­tle, and all her accom­plices were exe­cut­ed.

Countess Bathory

Jack the Ripper

In the sec­ond half of 1888, a series of bru­tal mur­ders of pros­ti­tutes swept through Lon­don, the num­ber of vic­tims was from 4 to 9. The man who sent a mes­sage signed by Jack the Rip­per to the Cen­tral News Agency claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty for these crimes. By the way, he was not the only one who sent let­ters to news­pa­pers on behalf of the killer. The real cul­prit was nev­er found. With­out a doubt, it is Jack the Rip­per who is called the most famous ser­i­al killer in his­to­ry.

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Jack the Ripper

Albert Fish

This man was one of Amer­i­ca’s first ser­i­al killers and can­ni­bals. The exact num­ber of his vic­tims was nev­er count­ed, pre­sum­ably from 3 to 15 peo­ple. In Novem­ber 1934, 64-year-old Albert Fish was arrest­ed and exe­cut­ed in the elec­tric chair in 1936.

Albert Fish

David Berkowitz

Postal clerk David Berkowitz stands out among Amer­i­ca’s most noto­ri­ous ser­i­al killers. In 1970 he shot and killed six peo­ple and wound­ed sev­en more. Most­ly, Berkow­itz’s vic­tims were young, attrac­tive women. In 1977, the killer was caught and sen­tenced to 365 years in prison.

David Berkowitz

Edward Gein

In 1957, Amer­i­ca was shocked by the ter­ri­ble crimes of Edward Gein, who killed sev­er­al peo­ple, and before that trained on corpses stolen from a ceme­tery. Dur­ing a search of his house, items of cloth­ing made from human skin were found. At tri­al, Gein was declared men­tal­ly insane and spent the rest of his life in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal. In 1984 he died at the age of 77.

Edward Gein

Theodore Robert Bundy

Anoth­er Amer­i­can ser­i­al killer of the 1970s. He com­mit­ted at least 36 bru­tal mur­ders, all of his vic­tims were young girls and even a 10-year-old girl. In 1976, Theodore Bundy was arrest­ed but man­aged to escape. In 1978, he was caught again, and this time he was pre­pared for the elec­tric chair. But the sen­tence was car­ried out only 10 years lat­er, on Jan­u­ary 24, 1989. While await­ing sen­tenc­ing, Bundy inter­act­ed with the FBI, help­ing to under­stand the psy­chol­o­gy of ser­i­al killers.

Bundy

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo

His name is famil­iar to almost every inhab­i­tant of our coun­try. Between 1978 and 1990, he killed at least 53 peo­ple, 35 of them chil­dren. Chikati­lo him­self said that there were many more vic­tims. The first time this ser­i­al killer was arrest­ed in 1984, but released due to lack of evi­dence. On Novem­ber 20, 1990, he was caught a sec­ond time and sen­tenced to death. On Feb­ru­ary 14, 1994, the sen­tence was car­ried out. Chikati­lo is the most famous ser­i­al killer in the his­to­ry of the USSR.

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Chikatilo

Pedro Alonso Lopez

Colom­bian killer Pedro Alon­so Lopez con­fessed to over 300 mur­ders of young women. This is con­sid­ered an absolute record for one per­son, because the blood­i­est killer, the Hun­gar­i­an Count­ess Elis­a­beth Batho­ry, did not act inde­pen­dent­ly, but with hench­men. In 1980, Lopez was arrest­ed, fur­ther infor­ma­tion about his fate is con­tra­dic­to­ry. Accord­ing to one ver­sion, he was shot, accord­ing to anoth­er, he served time in prison and was released in 1998.

Pedro Lopez

Henry Lee Lucas

This man con­fessed to killing over 600 peo­ple, but only half of them looked any cred­i­ble. Accord­ing to experts, the num­ber of his vic­tims was about 150 peo­ple. Lucas com­mit­ted most of the mur­ders with his lover Ottis Toole. In 1983, Hen­ry Lee Lucas was arrest­ed, prov­ing 11 mur­ders. On May 13, 2001, he died in prison. Ottis Toole also died in a prison cell, but 4.5 years ear­li­er, in 1996.

Henry Lucas