There are many words used to describe the sick individuals who have taken many lives over a certain period of time but photogenic is not among them. In recent history, There has been quite a bit of infamy associated with serial killers especially with the invention of the internet. People love to hear about the macabre actions or individuals and at some point, the killers started to take notice of their celebrity.
It even got as far as depraved lunatics relishing their glory. Perhaps some of them even resorted to their insidious acts as a way to grab attention from not only police but from the general public, who scour the internet for grisly tales of their making. Here is a list of 15 serial killers with photos of their victims.
Serial Killer’s Trophies and Their Stories Behind Them
Between 1975 and 1990, Robert Ben Rhodes is believed to have killed an estimated 50 people. This deranged serial killer would pick up hitchhikers, often couples, and lure them into the back of his truck which he had converted into a torture chamber.
The males were killed almost immediately, but the females were not so fortunate. Regina Kay Walters (pictured) was kept for months before Rhodes murdered her. In fact, the eerie picture shown was taken minutes before her death.
More famously known as the Lonely Hearts Killer, Harvey Glatman would lure women back to his apartment to take photographs before usually sexually assaulting and murdering them. The “trophy” on the left is Judy Ann Dull and the right is Shirley Ann Bridgeford. From 1957 to 1958, Glatman took three women’s lives before being caught. When asked his reasoning, Glatman stated that they asked for it. They would rather die than be with him. Unfortunately, he took them seriously.
Infamous serial killer Dahmer would kill his victims and then stash them in a freezer or with some cases, such as with Edward Smith, he stuffed in a barrel Breaking Bad style. Dahmer was a cannibal and would store his victims in the freezer in order to “dry them out”. This naturally didn’t work and when he tried to put Smith’s skull in the oven it exploded.
When police looked in the barrels, they found two severed penises, three torsos, and a bag of human flesh. In the freezer, they found the internal organs of Oliver Lacy and Matt Turner. They also found 74 pictures of his various victims so Dahmer liked to keep a “trophy” from each one of his kills.
Fred and Rosemary West
The “Trophy” presented here is that of the married couple themselves. Fred and Rosemary West murdered and tortured nine women from 1971-1987. Most of the females were picked up by Rosemary who prostituted herself out and found the ladies at the bus stop. Rosemary was determined to have killed her stepdaughter Ann Marie as well as three daughters Fred had from a previous marriage. The couple dated in 1971 when she was 15 and he was 28 and married in 1973. The couple stopped in 1987 but were caught in 1994. The picture taken was in the middle of their spree in the 80s.
The BTK Killer
Dennis Rader was a boy scout leader who used his skill with knots to bind his victims before killing him. Seen here with his daughter at her college graduation, Rader put on the persona of a well-rounded individual but was eventually caught in 2005.
The BTK, which stood for Bind Torture Kill, Killer was sentenced to 175 in prison and wrote a book detailing his exploits. His daughter Kari has said that he ravishes the attention and should not be listened to. It only feeds his sociopathic ego.
The old adage of “Never trust a skinny chef” may not apply here. Joseph Metheny killed seven people, four men and three women, under a bridge near Baltimore, MD. What he did afterwards is what is truly sickening. After disposing of the remains, Metheny sold the meat at a barbeque stand.
His first two murders happened when he couldn’t find his crack addicted wife who had left with their son. After that, he would lure “Crack whores” to his trailer, murder them with an axe and place the meat in a Tupperware container. He started mixing the flesh in with the pork which, according to Metheny, was undetectable if mixed correctly. He served 18 months for the first two victims but was released due to lack of evidence. Metheny’s only regret is that he never found the two people he was looking for originally.
John Wayne Gacy killed as many as 33 teenage boys from 1972-1978. About 26 of those victims were buried under his floor boards. Gacy would lure them into his home by dressing as a clown and pretend to perform magic tricks. This way he got them into handcuffs, assaulted and then murdered them. the seven other victims he took to the Des Plaines Rivers.
The poured quicklime over the bodies that he placed under the floor boards to hasten the decomposition process. Gacy had hoped to cover his entire floorboard with his “Trophies”.
Bundy was a very charismatic man which aided in his ability to murder close to 30 people, mostly women, from 1974-1978. the picture on the right is of his “trophies” in which he used on his victims. These items were found in his car which was enough to get him arrested but the police couldn’t hold him as he explained it away by saying he found things like the handcuffs in a dumpster.
The picture on the right shows an outright smug Bundy on his way to a preliminary hearing in 1979. The remorseless killer would often go back to his victims after they were long dead and resume sexual congress. He was put to death via electrocution in 1989.
What’s interesting about this trophy is that it is the serial killer himself. While no actual body count has ever been calculated for Si Quey, he would ritualistically eat the hearts of his victims in order to gain their strength. He currently resides in the Songkran Niyomsane Museum of Forensic Medicine.
As soon as he was captured, he was executed and filled with paraffin wax, which is what gives him his “mummified” looks. He is on display in a case, presumably to ensure that he is actually dead.
The pic on the left is the trophy that Dennehy used on her victims and the pic on the right is a picture of the scars she emblazoned on her belly with it. Dennehy’s first victim was her then boyfriend, Lukasz Slaboszewski who she lured with sexual favors. Instead, she got him out to a remote property and stabbed him in the heart. A little more than a week later she killed her housemate, John Chapman and then her landlord, Kevin Lee.
After that, she drove to a different town and stabbed two more men but both survived. After being caught, she was diagnosed with Paraphilia Sadomasochism, which is a mental disorder where a person gets sexual pleasure from causing pain and humiliation to others. Dennehy vowed to never hurt women, especially women with children. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Night Stalk Killer
The Night Stalker, AKA Richard Ramirez was a fan of Satan. So much so that he drew a pentagram on his palm on his first ever court appearance. He often made his victims swear on Satan as he violated women, like Sophie Dickman.
Or in the instance of Sakina Abowath, who after having watched her husband get murdered, was forced to swear on Satan that she wouldn’t scream, even after her three-year-old walked into the room. Ramirez would also draw pentagrams on the walls of his victims’ homes.
From 1909-1921, Karl Denke killed at least 42 people, took them to the local market and sold the flesh as “pork”. Not wanting to let anything go to waste, Denke ate what didn’t sell. Upon his arrest, police found a ledger with the 42 victims (though logically there were probably more.) and three pots filled with meat. Denke would also take the skin of his victims and fashion various items such as suspenders sewn together with human hair. One of the pots was half empty so presumably, he was in the middle of “dinner”. The meat was generally cut from the buttocks for whatever reason.
A bit of full disclosure is required for this one. Ed Gein is not technically a serial killer. He only killed, at best, three people. He would, however, dig corpses up and make things out of their flesh. When the police came to arrest Gein, they found lamp shades made of human skin or a belt made of nipples. Gein is, ironically enough, the basis for two very famous fiction serial killers Norman Bates and Leatherface of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The odd thing about this trophy is that everyone got to see it. Alcala was a contestant on The Dating Game back in the 70s and actually won the date. Fortunately for the female contestant, she didn’t go because she found Alcala “creepy:”. Alcala had previously attempted to rape and murder an eight-year-old girl but due to a good Samaritan, who saw the child get abducted and called the police, Alcala was interrupted.
Cornelia Crilley was not so lucky however as she was found raped and strangled. it took 40 years to pin Alcala for the crime but it was eventually solved. Police also found over 1,000 pictures of between 8 and 130 women and teenage boys Alcala had murdered. There are currently over a hundred pictured online of his victims.
A sinister aspect of this trophy is that, while Ridgeway may have been an animal lover, according to these photos anyway, serial killers tend to get their start by harming small animals. Ridgeway was also known as the Green River Killer. He was convicted of 49 murders but may have committed as many as 90.
Usually preying on prostitutes, Ridgeway would sometimes show photographs of his victims to his son in order to get sympathy for them. If that isn’t disturbing enough for you, he would often go back to have sex with them after he had killed them.
There are many instances of serial killers taking trophies of their victims in the media. Apparently, this is a trait based on real life. What possesses a depraved mind to want a souvenir of something so horrific? Granted, these men and women suffer from varying degrees of mental disorder to want to kill in the first place. A deeper look into their psyche, for those brave or stupid enough to venture, may find that it isn’t so much about the act of killing but a revelation of their personalities as well.
Some eat what they kill while others have a strict moral code. Some even take a bit of both like only hunting a certain type of person after being spurned in a similar fashion. Others are even put on display as a symbol of the depravity of the human spirit. These creepy trophies will haunt our nightmares but for some, rekindle the sweetest memories.