There are serial killers from all over the world. Germany, Europe, India and even the USA has its fair share of murderers and killers. The following is a detailed list of the most notorious serial killers from each of the 50 states of America. Some of these stories will derive sympathy, others hate and ridicule, but each and every single one of them will chill you to the very bones.
Thomas Warren Whisenhant
In the 1970s, in Mobile County, Alabama, Thomas Warren Whisenhant was convicted of raping, mutilating, and murdering 3 women. He would abduct women and then r*** them in his pickup truck before ending their lives by shooting them with a 32 pistol. Whisenhant would frequently pay visits to his victim’s bodies to mutilate them. He last victim was killed a few hours before he celebrated his daughter’s birthday. Convicted in 1976, he was executed in 2010 by lethal injection after multiple appeals. When finally put to death, he refused to have any final words.
Robert Hansen, owned a bakery and was also known as “Butcher Baker.” He was a serial killer and rapist between 1971 and 1983 in the Anchorage Alaska area. He was famous for abducting women and releasing them in the Alaskan wilderness so he could later hunt them down with his rifle. When brought into custody, Hansen confessed to raping more than 30 women and murdering 17 of them. Out of the 17 murders, only 12 women’s bodies were found. In 2014, he died in prison while serving 461+ years.
Daniel Wayne Cook
During the summer of 1987, John Matzke, Daniel Wayne Cook, Kevin Swaney and Carlos Froyan Cruz-Ramos worked together in Lake Havasu City, Arizona at a restaurant. Cook had stolen money from Cruz-Ramos, who tried to search for it in Cook’s apartment. Matzke and Cook found him, tied him up and tortured him for hours. They eventually murdered him by crushing his throat with a pipe. Once Matzke fell asleep, Cook took Swaney to the Cruz-Ramos’ body and torture him in the same manner. After Matzke woke up, he and Cook strangled Swaney with a bed sheet. Matzke was overridden with guilt and confessed to the murders. He was sentenced to 20 years. Cook was executed in 2012. In his final words, he thanked Red Robin.
Ronald Gene Simmons
In 1987, around Christmas, Ronald Gene Simmons killed his whole family. On the 22nd of December, he started off by shooting his wife and eldest son. He then strangled his 3-year-old granddaughter and disposed of all the bodies in a cesspit that his children had dug earlier. Simmons next awaited the return of the rest of his children home. Upon arrival, he told them he had gifts waiting for all of them and wished to present them separately. First, he strangled his 17-year-old daughter and holding her under the water in a rain barrel. His son and two other daughters were murdered in a similar fashion.
Come the day after Christmas and Simmons extended family visited. He took this opportunity to shoot their kids and spouses before strangling his 7-year old granddaughter and two infant children. He then ‘giftwrapped’ the bodies in coats and his best table cloth as well as plastic and left them in the abandoned cars. He then went to the local bar for a drink. Police apprehended Simmons after he killed an oil company worker, a bank teller and wounded 3 others. He did not put up a fight and never appealed his death sentence. In 1990, he was executed by lethal injection.
The Manson “Family”
In the 1960s, Charles Manson led a communal group of people called the Manson Family. Manson insisted to his followers that he was a Christ figure. Alongside LSD usage and isolation from the outside world, this led to the brainwashing of his family members.
The Manson family carried out multiple murders during the summer of 1969. Manson was hoping to pin the murders on the Black Panthers in an attempt to incite a race war. Gary Hinman was held hostage by Mary Brunner, Bobby Beausoleil and Susan Atkins for days in an attempt to retrieve his inheritance. Upon failing to do so, Beausoleil stabbed Hinman to death and the women proceeded to paint Black Panther symbols with his blood on the walls. Charles Watson was ordered by Mason to take Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel to the Terry Melcher’s house and kill whomever was found there. Five people were murdered – Jay Sebring, pregnant actress Sharon Tate, Steven Parent, Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski. Lastly, Steve “Clem” Grogan, Leslie Van Houten and four more members of the Tate family murdered Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary in their Los Feliz home.
Although most of the Manson family members received the death penalty, it was revised to life in prison because California does not have the death penalty. Currently incarcerated at the Corcoran State Prison, Manson has been denied parole 16 times.
The Bennett Family Murders
Two months following the Bennett family moving into the Aurora house, in Jan. 1984, 3 of 4 family members were brutally murdered by an assailant, unknown to this day. Bruce Bennett was stabbed and bludgeoned to death as was his wife Debra only after being sexually assaulted. The assailant then beat up 7-year-old Melissa Bennett to death. That was not all. He also attempting killing 3-year-old Vanessa. Although she survived the attack, she suffers from an incessant weakness on the left side of her body. The murderer was never caught by the police and the farthest they went was linking him to another bludgeoning murder in Lakewood. As of 2017, Colorado Police are continually attempting to close the case with DNA evidence.
Michael Bruce Ross
Also known as “The Roadside Killer”, Michael Bruce Ross was a serial killer and rapist who hunted women between New York and Connecticut. He claims that his first murder in senior year of college left him extremely remorseful and he vowed never to hurt anyone again. But, soon between 1981 and 1984 he murdered 8 more women. While in prison, Ross became a devote Catholic. He even supported the death sentence against him stating that he did not want to cause his victim’s families any more pain. He was executed in 2005. He was the first and last execution in the state of Connecticut.
Steven Brian Pennell
The only known serial killer of the state of Delaware, Steven Brian Pennell is also known as “The Route 40 Killer.” He was found guilty for the torture and murder of 2 New Castle County women and is believed to have murdered 3 others. AN undercover policewoman managed to gather fibers from the back of his van which helped to link him to the crimes. He was the first person to be executed in Delaware after the death penalty was reinstated in 1975. He was executed by lethal injection.
Also known as “The Babysitter from Hell,” Christine Falling was 17 years when she was convicted of murdering five children she was babysitting by smothering. Falling claimed that she heard voices beckoning her to “Kill the baby!” The only way the voices stopped was when she pushed a blanket over the children’s faces. She confessed and was convicted to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Eric Robert Rudolph
An American domestic terrorist, Eric Robert Rudolph was convicted of multiple anti-gay and anti-abortion bombings between 1996 and 1998 across the Southern United States. His first bombing was at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The attack killed 1 spectator and injured more than 100 others. He also confessed to bombing a lesbian bar in Georgia, an abortion clinic in Georgia and an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. The latter resulted in the death of an Alabaman police officer and a security guard. Rudolph often used “nail bombs” so as the nails would act like shrapnel. Rudolph plead guilty to all charges in a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. He is currently serving four life sentences at the ADX Florence Supermax in Colorado.
Byran Koji Uyesugi
The deadliest shooting in Hawaii, also known as the Xerox Murders, are the act of Byran Koji Uyesugi. In 1984, Uyesugi started working at Xerox and as reported, he was harassed and ostracized by members of his team. He underwent a psych evaluation after kicking in a door and was found to have delusions and paranoia but was not believed to be dangerous. Leading up the shooting, his supervisors were attempting to phase out a copy machine which he had been servicing. Uyesugi remained resistant to the change, persisting that he was nervous that he would be incapable of keeping up with the technological advances.
He showed up to work on the morning of November 2, 1999, with a 9mm Glock and opened fire. He killed his supervisor and 6 of his co-workers and then had a 5-hour stand-off with the police. He eventually surrendered and was found guilty despite attempting to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. He was given no possibility of parole. Since then the Xerox building was abandoned and stood empty until 2004, when the hit TV series Lost made use of it for a sound stage.
During the summer of 2006 in Idaho, Alofa Time was convicted of murdering three people. Time deliberately crashed his truck into Samantha Nina Murphy’s car, 36, and her daughter Jae Lynne Grimes, 4. Murphy’s 8-year-old daughter was also involved but ultimately survived the crash with injuries. Samantha and Jae both died and the impact caused Time’s ex-wife’s head to fly out onto the road. The rest of her stabbed and dismembered body was found stowed away in a car at Time’s home. In December 2006, Time was sentenced to life in prison.
A Polish-American serial killer in Chicago, Tillie Klimke was active in the early 1920s. Klimke was found to be poisoning her family members, husbands, neighbors, and even the neighborhood dogs with lethal doses of arsenic. She would paint herself as a psychic who could “predict” when people would die. However, it was later concluded that this was only possible because Klimke herself scheduled and executed the deaths. She had also taken out extravagant life insurance policies on her deceased husbands which she cashed in on and made a lot of money. She married and killed 2 husbands and was caught attempted to kill a third. In 1923, she was convicted and sentenced. She died in prison in 1936.
Carl “Charlie” Brandt
A supposed serial killer from Fort Wayne, Carl “Charlie” Brandt shot his father point blank at the age of 13 in 1971. He then murdered his pregnant mother who was taking a bath with the same gun. He proceeded to attempt to murder his sister, but his gun failed. Brandt was not diagnosed with any psychiatric disorders and was hence released after one year from the psychiatric hospital.
In 2004, due to Hurricane Ivan, Brandt and his wife Terri evacuated their home and moved in with Brandt’s niece Michelle. Just two weeks after they moved in, reports that Michelle was not answering her phone came in. When a neighbor went to investigate, she found Brandt’s body hanging from the rafters in the garage. He had hung himself after dismembering and disemboweling his niece with kitchen knives and stabbing his wife to death.
The efficiency and brutality of the crimes led Indiana police to link at least 2 more deaths to Brandt. It is widely believed that he was a serial killer.
Carroll Edward Cole
Active in the early 1970s, Carroll Edward Cole was a serial killer who targeted unfaithful women because they reminded him of his own adulterous mother. He would go to bars and taverns and pick up women before strangling them to death in his car. He would drive around with the bodies in the trunks before dumping them near the woods. Once caught, Cole confessed to at least 14 murders. He also stated that the exact number of murders was fuzzy due to heavy drinking. When his death penalty passed he responded with, “Thanks, Judge.” In 1985, he was executed in the state of Nevada.
John Edward Robinson Sr.
John Edward Robinson is also known as “the internet’s first serial killer.” He had an affinity for chatrooms and he self-identified as “Slavemaster” online to lure victims in the 90s.
In 1984, Robinson got his start when he hired a “sales representative” and sent her away for training, where she was never heard from again. Reportedly, he then hired two more women in 1985 and 1987 both of whom disappeared. One of the two women’s missing person’s report is still open today. Robinson became close with a librarian, Beverly Bonner, while being incarcerated for fraud. Upon his release, she left her husband to go work for him. She disappeared instantly but her family did not suspect foul play since her alimony checks were still being cashed out by Robinson.
One of the first “Slavemaster” encounters by Robinson was with Sheila Faith, who had a 15-year-old disabled daughter. Robinson posed as a wealthy businessman promising to pay for the daughter’s medical costs. Once the two women moved in with him, they disappeared. He continued to cash in their pension checks for the next seven years.
In 1999 he illegally married Izabela Lewicka, a 21-year-old Polish immigrant living in Indiana. The marriage was a false one because Robinson was already married to a woman in Indiana. He made it clear that Lewicka would be his s** slave. She too disappeared shortly after. Suzette Trouten, a nurse who was eager to travel the world as Robinson’s s** slave disappeared as well a short while after Lewicka.
After a woman filed a sexual assault claim against him and another charged him with stealing her s** toys in June 2000, Robinson was eventually apprehended at his farm in Kansas. The theft charge allowed police to search his farm. There they found the bodies of Suzette Trouten and Izabela Lewicka in two 85-pound chemical drums. Across the state lines in Missouri, Robinson had storage facilitates which contained similar drums with the bodies of Sheila Faith and her daughter Debbi Faith and Beverly Bonner. Robinson currently serves on death row in the state of Kansas.
Also known as The Angel of Death, Donald Harvey is a serial killer who has claimed responsibility for 87 murders. Police attribute him to roughly between 30 to 60 murders. Harvey worked as an orderly at Marymount Hospital in London, Kentucky. He would poison patients using cyanide, insulin, arsenic, suffocation, morphine and miscellaneous poisons. He would even turn ventilators off, put hangers into IVs and catheters to form punctures. Harvey went as far as to inject patients with Hepatitis B and HIV. He claimed that he killed patients so as to end their suffering, but also admitted to murdering patients who annoyed or simply angered him.
Due to pleading guilty, Harvey is serving life sentences instead of the death penalty.
Marie Delphine LaLaurie
A New Orleans Creole socialite, Madam Marie Delphine LaLaurie was an alleged abuser and serial killer during the 1800s who inhabited the French Quarter.
Her third marriage was to physician Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. The couple purchased a home at 1140 Royal Street and built it up two stories including a separate quarter for their slaves. The property was maintained by LaLaurie herself.
In the 1830s, many people suspected that LaLaurie was involved in the mistreatment of her many slaves. A 12-year-old girl reportedly jumped to her death from the mansion so as to avoid a whipping after snagging one of Marie’s tangles in her hair by accident. In 1834 a fire broke out in the kitchen where officers found the 70-year-old cook chained to the stove by her ankle. The cook admitted to starting the fire so she could avoid going to the attic where no one returned from.
Upon LaLaurie’s refusal to allow anyone into the “uppermost room”, rioters broke down the doors and “seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated … suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other” were found. Reports of iron collars and head wounds deep enough to impair the individuals’ ability to function also emerged.
In regards to the inquiries and investigations Marie LaLaurie’s husband was quoted as to saying, “Some people had better stay at home rather than come to others’ houses to dictate laws and meddle with other people’s business.” During the mob breakouts, Marie LaLaurie fled New Orleans. Her whereabouts and final resting place are unknown.
Matthew Paul Cushing
In Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Matthew Cushing was found guilty five years after murdering his mother, step-brother and step-father in 2013. Cushing waited till the family came home then he stunned them with a Taser, stabbed them and even the family dog to death. At that time, his younger brother was 15-years old. He then set the family home ablaze. Cushing plead guilty to all three murders in order to avoid a trial. His motive for the murders is unknown to this day. The family house was leveled later and in its place a memorial for the deceased now stands.
At the of age 17, Samuel Sheinbein was looking into practicing murder. Following an altercation between his fellow high school students Aaron Benjamin Needle and Alfredo Tello Jr., Sheinbein decided Tello was the perfect target. Sheinbein crafted a murder checklist which read, “Zap, pepper, metal restraints, rainsuits … X-Acto hobby knife, plastic bags’ and other items.” The list even including size 14 shoes (as he wore a size 10) alongside the infamous line, “If they don’t fit, you must acquit.”
Sheinbein and Needle together knocked Tello out with a stun gun and then beat him to death with a sawed off shotgun. The body was then stored in Sheinbein’s garage before being dismembered. The torso was burned so it could not be identified. A realtor found the remains in the garage and the police canines lead the trail back to Sheinbein’s residence.
With the help of his father, Sheinbein fled to Israel. He attempted avoiding prosecution by becoming an Israeli citizen by means of his father’s dual citizenship. Despite instantly becoming a citizen, Sheinbein was extradited and went on trial in 1999. His extradition caused severe tension between Israel and the US. It also inspired an overhaul of the Israeli extradition policy.
He was sentenced to 24 years. On February 24th, 2014 he had just one year before being eligible for parole while on furlough, he held a stand-off with the police which caused him to be shot and killed.
The gunman responsible for the Wakefield massacre of 2000, Michael “Mucko” McDermott went through the offices of Edgewater Technology with an AK-47 assault rifle, shotgun and semiautomatic pistol. He gunned down two receptionists and made his way to the HR department, killing three employees there. He then headed to accounting, blasting through the door and murdering three more people. When police apprehended him, they found him calmly sitting in the lobby surrounded by his guns and a bag of ammunition.
McDermott claimed “he was born without a soul and that God had allowed him to earn a soul by traveling back in time to kill Nazis,” and attempted to plea innocence by reason of insanity. However, the prosecution proved that the two departments he targeted had recently decided to garnish his wages to pay overdue taxes to the IRS making this the cause for attack. McDermott’s request for a cash advance had also been denied. The morning of the shooting, McDermott received a call that his car was about to be repossessed. He responded with, “I won’t be needing it. Come pick it up.”
With no possibility for parole, McDermott is currently serving 7 consecutive life sentences.
Benjamin Tony Atkins
Over the course of 9 months, Benjamin Atkins, a serial killer active in Detroit, murdered 11 women between December of 1991 and August of 1992. Atkins raped and strangled his victims, many of whom were prostitutes. He left their bodies around the Highland Park area of Detroit in abandoned buildings. Upon apprehension, Atkins claimed his motives to be his hatred for prostitution. During his trial, it was revealed that Atkins was a victim of r*** and abuse while growing up. He often witnessed his own mother engage in prostitution. He received a sentence of 11 life sentences, and in 1997 he died in prison due to an infection related to his HIV.
Lawrence Scott Dame
Lawrence Scott Dame murdered his sister, her husband and their three children one day after being released from prison for stealing a car. Part of his release required him to check into a mental health facility as he was incredibly paranoid and admitted to hearing voices. At one point he told his mother, “The spirits said your family is going to kill you. Well, I better kill everyone before they kill me.”
Dame’s sister called 911 prior to the murders saying, “Um, it’s regarding, OK my brother got discharged from the um jail today and the consequences were that he was supposed to go to the hospital because he hears voices and he stole my car and all this stuff. My husband brought him to the hospital and the hospital will not take him, and so my husband is bringing him back here because we can’t get ahold of his parole officer. Well, I can’t have him stay here. He has to go back to jail or something.” She hadn’t officially evicted Dame from her home which was why police couldn’t legally arrest him.
On the night of October 18th, 2000, Dame killed the whole family while they slept. He used a hammer to beat them all. He stabbed his brother-in-law and his nephews aged 12 and 22 months and niece aged 9. A concerned co-worker called the police when the brother-in-law didn’t show up for work and the massacre was discovered. Dame offered no motive when confessing to the crimes. In 2002, he was sentenced to five life sentences.
Carla Ann Hughes
A former middle school teacher from Jackson, Mississippi, Carla Ann Hughes became romantically involved with another teacher, Keyon Pittman, in 2006 from her school. This engagement occurred despite the fact that Pittman had a fiancée, Avis Banks, who was pregnant.
On November 29, 2006, Pittman came home to Banks’ body. The murderer had kicked in the back door, and fatally shot and stabbed Banks in the garage. Initially, Hughes had attempted to hide her relationship with Pittman. She also hid the fact that she had borrowed her cousin’s pistol (which was loaded) and returned it with an empty chamber. Police matched Hughes’ shoes with the prints taken from the backdoor. During the trial, Hughes plead the 5th and did not testify.
On October 13, 2009 eight hours of deliberation later, the jury reached the verdict that Hughes was guilty on both counts of capital murder. Hughes is currently serving two life sentences without parole.
Robert Berdella was a serial killer from 1984 to 1988 in Missouri who is also known as “The Butcher of Kansas City”. Berdella was the owner of Bob’s Bizarre Bazaar which was a novelty shop specializing in occult artifacts. He would pick up young men, sometimes even prostitutes, and would hold them captive. He would r***, sodomize and torture them for days at end and even weeks in his house. The young men were electrocuted, given acupuncture and one of them had his eye gauged out. Berdella said wanted to “see what would happen.” Robert Berdella kept a diary documenting all of his activities including each time he would r*** his victims.
In 1988, one of Berdella’s would-be victims jumped out from the second-story window to get help. He ran to a neighbor’s house donning nothing more than a dog collar. The police were immediately called. Inside the house over 200 pictures of strung up men, a satanic robe and torture devices were found. Upon realizing that one of the photographs showed a dead man, the police investigated some more and eventually found a human remains in the backyard. Berdella confessed fully and hence avoided the death penalty.
Jordan Linn Graham
Just 8 days after marrying Cody Johnson, Jordan Linn Graham pushed him off of a cliff in Glacier National Park. After pushing him off, Graham drove home to Kalispell telling no one what had happened. She later attempted to fabricate an email from a friend called “Tony” saying that Johnson fell during a boy’s trip. Police later found out that Tony was a fake account that Graham set up.
Graham admitted later that she had doubts about her marriage and she pushed Johnson off during an argument. She also admitted that “took off and ran.” Solidifying a first degree charge was difficult due to mishandling of the evidence (prosecution alleged that Graham blindfolded Johnson and led him to the spot but the reported blindfold was mishandled by police). Graham is currently serving 30 years for pleading guilty to second degree murder.
Charles Starkweather, an American serial killer from Lincoln, Nebraska, is the inspiration behind horror films such as Badlands, Natural Born Killers and The Sadist. He went with his underage girlfriend on a murderous road trip during early 1958 and ended in Wyoming.
Starkweather was 19-years of age and he met Caril Ann Fugate, a 14-year-old, via her elder sister, who at that time was dating one of his friends. The pair of them became a couple but her parents disapproved of the relationship due to Starkweather’s known troubled past. It is believed that Starkweather talked Fugate into killing her family so they can conveniently be together.
On January 21, 1958, Starkweather visited the Fugate home without is girlfriend. He shot both her stepfather and mother. Afterwards he strangled and stabbed her two-year-old younger sister. When his girlfriend came home, the couple hid the bodies together behind the house. They stayed at the house for 8 days until Fugate’s grandmother turned suspicious and called up the police.
The couple then fled to a family friend’s farm and Starkweather ended up shooting him as well. From there, they abandoned their vehicle and hitchhiked with two locals. Starkweather forced the pair to drive to a storm shelter and then shot the boy. He attempted to r*** the girl and upon being unsuccessful, he shot her in a rage. Later, he attempted to pin the girl’s murders on Fugate, who vehemently denied ever killing anyone while being with Starkweather.
Starkweather and Fugate then drove off to a wealthier region of Lincoln. They broke into a house, killed the lady living there alongside with her maid. Starkweather also snapped the family dog’s neck. The bodies were later found with multiple stab wounds. In the evening, when the lady’s husband came home, Starkweather shot him, too. Starkweather and Fugate then stole the car and fled.
In an attempt to get rid of the car, they stumbled across a traveling salesman asleep in his car whom they shot and stole his car. Because the car had a push-pedal emergency brake system and Starkweather was unacquainted with it, the car stalled. Starkweather lost no time in getting into an altercation with another driver which attracted a deputy sheriff to the scene.
At that point, Fugate fled the scene claiming that Starkweather was attempting to kill her. A high speed chase ensued. Starkweather was shot and had to pull over as he assumed that he would bleed to death. He then surrendered.
Starkweather was only convicted of Robert Jensen’s murder, the teenage local who gave him a ride. He received the death sentence in June 1959. Caril Ann served 17 years of prison time and walked free in 1976.
Zane Michael Floyd
An ex-Marine convicted of killing 4 people in a killing spree in 199 at a Las Vegas supermarket, Zane Michael Floyd, was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and warned against enlisting because of his alcoholism.
On June 3rd, 1999, Floyd raped and sodomized an escort in his home and then went to Albertson’s supermarket donning Marine camouflage where he used a shotgun to open fire. Four employees died on the spot and a fifth who was fired at pretended to be dead. As Floyd was leaving, he whispered to him, “Yeah you’re dead.” Upon realizing that the place was surrounded, he threatened to commit suicide but the police managed to convince him to surrender.
Floyd received 4 consecutive death penalties. His first appeal still awaits consideration in the federal court system.
Carl C. Drega
From Bow, New Hampshire, Carl Drega had a history of conflict with the government and local police department. His conflicts usually involved code enforcement regarding his property. Following a dispute over tax assessment on the property, Drega equipped his land motion detectors and early-warning electronic noise in addition to purchasing an AR-15 and armored vests.
On August 19th, 1997, Drega was stopped in a supermarket’s parking lot by a state trooper because his pickup had “too much rust.” Drega exited the truck and fired at the officer with a rifle. Upon fleeing, the officer was followed by Drega and murdered. Drega also shot the next trooper to show up on the scene, stole his police vehicle and drove to the Colebrook District Court judge’s house. Then he shot and killed her, too. A newspaper editor present at the office at the time attempted to disarm him, but he was shot and killed as well.
Drega then went home and his whole property on fire. His final stand-off with the police was at a dead end road on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. Three more officers were wounded by him before he was ultimately shot dead.
Richard Francis Cottingham
Convicted of killing 5 women in 1980, Richard Francis Cottingham first victim was a mother of two. Despite that, Cottingham was still known for murdering and dismembering prostitutes at different hotels. It was reported that he had an affinity for the chain ‘Quality Inn’. His victims were often found covered in bite marks, bound or even with their heads cut off.
In May 1980, an 18-year-old prostitute was picked up by Cottingham and taken to a Quality Inn. At first he offered her a massage and then handcuffed her followed by drawing a knife. He mutilated her body and then left. Her muffled screams grew loud enough to alert the hotel staff who then notified the police. Based on the testimony of three victims who survived, Cottingham was convicted and currently serves a sentence of about 200 years in prison.
Cottingham was prosecuted for the murder of six women but claims to have killed between 80 and 100 women.
In January 1991, Richky Abeyta was convicted of killing two police officers alongside his ex-girlfriend and 4 others in Chiamyó, New Mexico. Abeyta arrived at his trailer that morning and found his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend and 6-month old baby and a group of people, moving out her things. Abeyta took a gun and opened fire, instantly killing everyone present. Later, two officers arrived at his trailer to issue him the restraining order his ex-girlfriend had served him. They stumbled upon the massacre and they too were shot and killed by Abeyta. A 24-hour manhunt followed after which he self-surrendered to the State of New Mexico. Abeyta claimed that he only killed out of self-defense or that they were accidents. Despite that, he was convicted and received a 146 years sentence in prison.
In New York, Richard Kuklinski was a contract killer who was active for almost 40 years. He was nicknamed “Iceman” for his trademark of freezing his victim’s bodies so as to hide the time of death.
According to Kuklinski, his first murder occurred in his adolescence, when he beat to death another boy with a coat hanger because he was bullying him. In the following years, he became a renowned pool shark and he would kill anyone to whom he would lose. His reputation gained the attention of the DeCavalcante crime family. In the early 50s, they began hiring him for gang related killings. Kuklinski also had ties with the Gambino family and the DeMeo crew.
Kuklinski’s claims as to why he avoided detection for so long were his different methods of killing people. From knives, guns and explosive to dire, poison, cyanide and sometimes even his bare hands “for the exercise.” His methods of disposing the body also varied greatly. Sometimes he would dismember his victims, other times he would place the bodies on top of cars to be crushed at junkyards.
Towards the end, the victims’ bodies started showing up and that eventually led the police to Kuklinski. He was arrested after a long undercover sting. He claims to have killed over 200 people in his 36-year long career as a hitman. His wife and kids were oblivious to his double life.
A former doctor, Jeffrey MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of killing his two daughters and pregnant wife in 1970.
At 3:42 AM February 17, 1970 at Fort Bragg (a military installation of the US Army located in North Carolina), dispatchers received an emergency call from MacDonald reporting a “stabbing.” Four MPDs arrived on the scene to find both MacDonald’s daughters (ages 5 and 2) dead in their beds. His pregnant wife lay dead in the master bedroom on the floor. She was stabbed in the neck 8-10 times and clubbed over the head. One of his daughters was stabbed 15 times with an ice pick and 33 times with a knife. His other daughter was beaten severely, bother her arms were broken, and stabbed 16 times with a knife and 21 times with an ice pick. She was draped in her father’s torn pajama shirt. Above the couple’s bed the word “Pig” was written in his wife’s blood. Jeffery MacDonald himself was found in the room with a minor concussions and a clean stab wound in the chest.
MacDonald claimed that four people broke into the house and bound and beat him. Among them was a woman who was chanting, “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.” He stated that he was soon knocked and this was when the assailants left upstairs to murder the rest of the family. The charges against him were dropped. However, the evidence of the crime scene proved entirely different.
Since the blood type of every member in the MacDonald family was different, the evidence painted a clear picture of the whole scenario. It was theorized that MacDonald and his wife had an argument during which she hit him with a hairbrush which led to the minor head injury. He then beat her with a piece of lumber only to be disrupted by his daughter, Kimberly, who heard the commotion. She was accidentally struck and killed instantly. This explained how her blood and brain matter was in the master bedroom. MacDonald thought his wife was dead and then transported his daughter upstairs to her room. There he stabbed her which would explain he had her blood on his shirt despite him claiming that he wasn’t wearing it when he found the body. He then had to kill off the last witness and moved to his other daughter, Kristen’s, room. His wife by that time had woken up and ran in to shield her daughter allowing for her blood to appear in the two-year-old’s room. MacDonald killed them both and then transported his wife, wrapped in a sheet, back to the bedroom. This left behind a smudged footprint of her blood in the room.
In 1975, following multiple citizen complaints to the Justice Department, in North Caroline a grand jury indicted MacDonald. He was arrested within the hour in California. Following multiple court appeals and denials of double jeopardy and arguments for speedy trial, on July 16, 1979, the murder trial began. MacDonald was convicted after six hours of deliberation of one count of first degree murder, and two counts of second-degree murder. Although he still maintains his innocence, as of 2015, MacDonald serves at a federal institution in Maryland.
In 1931, the last lynching in North Dakota was Charles Bannon. The Haven Family Farm hired Bannon as a hand of help. For 10 years, the Haven’s lived on their farm. They had feed, machinery and livestock. After Feb 9th, 1930, none of the family members were seen alive again. According to Bannon’s claims, the family had moved out and allowed him to take the farm on rent. In December of the same year, Bannon was arrested on grand larceny charges. The investigation eventually led to the discovery that the Havens were murdered.
Eventually, Bannon confessed that he had accidentally shot the oldest Haven’s son and then out of fear murdered the rest of the family. After being jailed, an angry mob broke him out, put a noose around his neck, and violently demanded the truth about what really happened to the Havens. They even attempted to hang him on the Haven farm property but failed when the new owner chased off the mob. The mob then took Bannon to the bridge on Cherry Creek, and pushed him off, hanging him to death.
In 1999, Lawrence Hensley was found guilty of killing a 37-year old Bible teacher and three teenaged girls in Sidney, Ohio. Hensley was reportedly “wrestling with the devil” according to his pastor. However, suspicion arose that Hensley was a pedophile and a s** addict when he attempted to lure multiple teenage girls to his house and would offer to pay them to watch s** acts. A wounded 22-year-old girl was once found outside of his home. When questioned, she identified him as the shooter which led police to search his home. They found bodies of two 16-year-old girls shot with a shotgun in a bedroom. The basement had the body of a 14-year-old girl. She was stowed away in a cupboard after being shot and stabbed. It is believed that out of fear for his s** secrets being expose, Hensley killed the girls. Hensley also shot Wildermuth in the back, a Bible study teacher, and left his wife behind. Hensley surrendered after a two-hour long standoff at a gas station. To avoid the death penalty, Hensley took a plea deal of four life sentences with no possibility of parole.
Gary Alan Walker
In Oklahoma in 1984, the person responsible behind the 19-day terror of murders that claimed the lives of 6 people was Gary Alan Walker. First, Walker killed a man who picked him when he hitchhiked and ended up telling Walker where he lived. Walker reportedly broke into the man’s home, strangled him with a vacuum cord and then proceeded to bash his skull in with a brick. Walker admitted to have to the kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered 4 women. He attempted to r*** another woman. Upon being unsuccessful, he strangled her with her bra. Walker received the death penalty, carried out in 2000. He was executed by lethal injection while over 30 people watched.
In 1983, Diane Downs was convicted of shooting her three children in Oregon. She was having an affair with a man who did not want children in his life. In order to be with him, Downs believed she had to get rid both her daughters and son.
On May 19, 1983, Diane pulled up in her car and shot all three of her children before shooting herself in the arm. She then drove to McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center claiming that the family had fallen victim to a carjacking. Her daughter Cheryl was dead once she reached the hospital. Her son Danny became paralyzed from the waist down. And her other daughter Christie suffered a massive stroke.
Eye-witnesses on the scene state that Diane was driving slowly towards the hospital as opposed to her claims of rushing there. Moreover, blood spatter was all over the car but not on Downs. Nine months following the shooting, Downs was arrested and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder and criminal assault. The prosecution relied on 9-year old Christie’s testimony as she had survived the attack. She testified against her mother once she regained the ability to speak. She said, “I watched her…my mom did it.”
Downs was already pregnant with a fourth child prior to the arrest and trial. She was found guilty on all charges one month after her trial. Once she gave birth to a baby girl, just a week and a half before she was sentenced, the state of Oregon seized the baby and put her up for adoption.
Downs received a sentence of life plus 50 years for the murder and attempted murders of her children.
In 2001, Michele Kalina was 45 when she was brought to court for murder charges for five babies whose bodies were found in her Pennsylvania home’s closet. Since 1996, Kalina had been having an affair and insisted that her boyfriend was the father of all five children. She told him she had cysts in her stomach when he noticed her getting pregnant. She also said that she would get the cysts removed. The infants were found in varying states some enclosed in cooler, others in concrete, others in coolers. It is unclear when she gave birth to them. She warned her teenage daughter and husband “not to go in the closet.” Kalina never admitted to how the children died and went with “wrapping the baby too tightly in a towel.” She received a 20 to 40-years prison sentence.
In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, serial killer Jeffrey Mailhot was convicted of strangling and dismembering three prostitutes. In 2003, Mailhot picked up a prostitute and took her home. He began strangling her and once she stopped moving, he checked whether she was still breathing, upon finding that she was, he smothered her with a pillow and then passed out, drunk. He awoke next morning and was shocked to see what he had done, so he dragged the body to the bathtub and left it there for two days before hacking it up and throwing it in the trash. 14 months later he murdered another woman in the same fashion. 2 months later a third woman followed. The other two bodies were not found, but police did find the remains of one woman in a trash bag following Mailhot’s arrest with 12 days. Mailhot currently serves two life sentences, plus 10 years. He will be eligible for parole at age 77.
The neo-Nazi responsible for the Charleston Church shootings in 2015 is Dylann Roof. Roof stated that he wanted to incite a race war and hence shot the church. He also claimed that, “Blacks were taking over the world.” On June 17, 2015, during a routine Bible study, Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. As the group began to pray, Roof started shooting with a Glock saying, “Y’all want something to pray about? I’ll give you something to pray about.” 9 people were killed and one was injured.
Following the shooting with three days, Roof was identified via a website that he operated which was dedicated to neo-Nazi views and hate speech. He was apprehended at a traffic stop and then the FBI questioned him. On January 11, 2017, Roof was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection. He is currently on death row.
Elijah Page was a teenager at the time that he was arrested and convicted of the murder of Chester Poage. Poage was out with Page and two other teens when they decided to rob him and then things took a grisly turn. They knocked Poage unconscious and then tied him to a chair. They then forced him to consume acid, stabbed him, cut his throat and repeatedly beat him. Then they drove off with him to Higgins Gulch in the Black Hills where Poage was forced to strip. Page and the other teen attempted to bury him in the snow. They even made him jump into a frozen creek. When they failed to drown Poage, they beat him with rocks until he stopped moving.
Page and one of his accomplices received the death sentence, while the third for a life sentence. Prior to his execution by lethal injection on July 11, 2007, Page wrote a letter taking full blame for the crime saying the others only followed suit because he threatened them with a gun.
In 2010, Jessie Dotson was convicted for murdering his brother and 5 others in 2008 including 2 of his infant nephews. Dotson shot his brother after an argument broke out between the two of them. he then followed to murder the rest of the family so no witnesses would remain. Dotson’s 9-year-old nephew sat in the bathtub for 40 hours until help arrived. Police found him with a 4-inch knife in his head. He survived the attack alongside others who accompanied Dotson’s mother to act as key witnesses which led to his conviction. For the murders, Dotson was sentenced to six death sentences and over 120 years in prison.
Ricky Lee Green
Between 1985 and 1986, Ricky Lee Green was a drug addicted, alcoholic serial killer in Tarrant County, Texas. He raped his wife who left him immediately and from then on Green’s erratic behavior and drinking increased. His first victim was a young man who sexually propositioned Green. Green beat him up, mutilated his body, cut off his genitals and disposed of the body in a secluded area near a lake.
His second murder took place with his second wife’s help. He picked up a young female hitchhiker and Green and his wife propositioned her for a threesome. Upon her refusal, they tied her up and repeatedly assaulted and tortured her. Green then stabbed and beat her to death with a hammer. The pattern followed with a second woman. The last murder by Green was a young man who he brought hom eot have s** with but instead ended up stabbing while saying, “I hate homosexuals.” Following this murder, Green’s marriage fell apart and his wife left.
She eventually turned him in and Green was executed in October 1997 by lethal injection.
In 1945, Private Clarence Bertucci of the US Army was the soldier responsible for the Utah Prisoner of War Massacre. Bertucci had a “discipline problem” and despite serving for 5 years, he was not being promoted in the Army. He was displeased and felt cheated out of the chance to “kill some Germans.” The massacre took place at Camp Salina in Utah where Bertucci was stationed.
On July 7, 1945 Bertucci was drinking and waited for the guard to go to bed. Next, he climbed the guard tower, loaded an M1917 Browning machine gun, and fired into the tents of sleeping German POWs. Bertucci was at the gun for 15 seconds before another soldier removed him. He hit 30 out of the 43 tents. The only reason Bertucci gave for the shooting was “just didn’t like Germans.” 6 POWs died instantly and 3 others died later in Salina hospital. All 9 victims were given a full military honors burial.
Bertucci was found labelled insane and institutionalized.
Brian L. Rooney
In 2006, Brian Rooney, a former construction worker, was convicted of abducting and killing Michelle Gardner-Quinn. Based on the security footage of a jewelry store, Rooney was walking with Michelle. She went missing for 6 days after and then her body was found assaulted, raped, beaten and strangled.
He was convicted in 2008 after DNA evidence linked him to the murder. His lawyers sought for a new trial under the claims that the jury was misled by government officials and given poor instructions by the judge. Despite that, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that the trial was carried out properly. He received a life sentence without parole and currently serves time at a correctional facility in Kentucky.
In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior student at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, initiated the Virginia Tech Massacre. At 7:15 AM on April 16th, at the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory on campus, Cho first shot an RA and student. After two hours later, Cho shut the Norris Hall doors on the inside, sticking a note on the door stating that a bomb would go off if anyone attempted to open the doors. He began shooting at 9:40 AM. Cho walked through the school for 9 minutes, opening fire randomly. 30 people were killed and 17 more injured. He then shot himself in the head.
NBC News received a package 2 days later containing photographs, a DVD, video clips and a manifesto which explained all the motives behind his actions. Cho likened himself to Christ in his manifesto. He condemned rich kids, materialism, hedonism and debauchery.
In 2006, the infamous Capitol Hill Massacre in Seattle, Washington, was the work of Kyle Aaron Huff, a 28-year-old. On Saturday, March 25th, at around 4 AM, Huff went to the “Better Off Undead” rave’s after party at the Capitol Hill Arts Center. He exchanged pleasantries although he knew no one. He left pretty soon but only returned with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, a 12 gauge pistol grip shotgun, and multiple bandoliers with more than 300 rounds of ammunition for the guns. He shot 5 people outside and then entered the house, shooting more people. On the first floor, he shot two more people and injured at least one more. The police showed up and before they could ask him to lower his weapon, Huff shot himself.
Harry F. Powers
In 1931, Harry Powers was a serial killer who used the personal ads in Lonely Hearts magazine to find his victims. He would become close to his victims, demand money and then kill them. He used aliases such Cornelius Pierson, as well. His first victim was a woman with three children in Illinois whom he wrote to under the pseudonym. She disappeared soon after.
Powers then talked to another woman and took her to Iowa, claiming to live there and that he would marry her. He extracted $4000 from her prior to the pretend marriage and then she disappeared. Police got involved with the missing persons and no Cornelius Pierson in Fairmont, West Virginia was found. But the alleged individual matched Powers’ description. The murder scene was found below his garage at home. Five bodies were dug up from a trench behind his house. In the rooms, hair, a burned bank book, blood, and a child’s bloody footprint were found.
The women and girls were strangled by Powers and the young boy was beaten to death with a hammer. On March 18, 1932, Powers was executed by hanging.
Cannibal, necrophiliac and serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men between 1978 and 1991 in Wisconsin. He admitted to have killed his first at the age of 18 when he picked up a hitchhiker and beat him, strangled, dismembered and then pulverized the remains with acid
He would frequently solicit male prostitutes, pick up men at bars or even bring men to either his own apartment or his grandmother’s house. There he would drug and kill them. At times, he would attempt to preserve some remains such as organs, genitals and skulls. When arrested in 991, the complete skeleton of one victim was found in a filing cabinet. He was known for consuming his victims and would store his victim’s body parts in the freezer for “later.” He even experimented by injected one of his patient’s brain with hydrochloric acid so they could succumb to a “permanent, unresistant, submissive state.”
A would-be victim escaped the serial killer and went to the police. This led to Dahmer’s arrest. Four severed heads were found in his fridge. Polaroids of dismembered victims and more body parts were found around his apartment. One medical examiner at the scene said, “It was more like dismantling someone’s museum than an actual crime scene.”
During his interrogation, Dahmer confessed to all his crimes and waived his right to an attorney. For the 15 murders brought against him, he plead guilty but insane. Dahmer was sentenced to life plus 10 years for the first two counts, and life imprisonment plus 70 years for the final 13 because Wisconsin had abolished the death penalty. In 1994, another inmate bludgeoned Dahmer to death.
A sophomore at University of Wyoming, Justin killed himself alongside two other students on the morning of July 16, 2006. Following a small party at Geiger’s rented place, everyone left save for Geiger and the two other victims. At 2 in the morning, Geiger stabbed Adam Towler multiple times and then attacked his roommate. He stabbed and sodomizing him before the roommate could escape the house screaming for help. The small neighborhood was alerted and the police were called. Amber Carlson then unluckily enough walked straight into the room where Geiger killed Towler. He promptly shot her in the face and then shot himself. His motives were never discovered.
Every one of the 50 states of the US has its fair share of grisly serial killers that left a distinct mark behind. Some of them as notorious as Dahmer and others who were more concerned with killing families or relatives. Regardless, the carnage these disturbed individuals left in their wake was an unsettling wake up call. The supreme helplessness felt by the victims and those who had no power of controlling their lives can be felt through these words.