From America to South Africa and the mean streets of 1888’s London, we look at some of the most depraved, vile and terrifying serial killers to have ever walked the planet, from Jack the Ripper to Ted Bundy, grip your chairs as this is the Top 50 Most Dangerous Serial Killers To Ever Exist.
50 – Moses Sithole
Spending most of his early life in an orphanage, Sitole was abandoned by his mother and his father died at an early age.
He was arrested for attacking several women in his early teens and later blamed imprisonment for many of his future crimes.
Appearing to be a mild-mannered individual to those around him, Sitole had a dark side, and by 1995, he had claimed over thirty victims, sparking nationwide panic in South Africa.
At one point, President Nelson Mandela visited Boksburg in person to appeal for public assistance in apprehending the killer, who at the time was unknown.
He would target mainly black women between the ages of 19 and 45 years old and most of the victims were originally interviewed for positions within his own company.
Sithole is now known to have murdered at least 37 women and one toddler between 16 July 1994 and 6 November 1995.
49 – Vera Renczi
Born in Bucharest, sometime in 1903, her mother died when she was 13 and she moved with her father to Serbia.
She had become increasingly unmanageable and had frequently run away from home by the age of 15, with numerous boyfriends all older.
Having an almost pathological desire for constant male companionship, she developed a highly jealous and suspicious nature.
Her first husband was poisoned in a jealous rage and Renczi later told friends and family he had died in a car accident.
She re-married, but her second husband also dissapeared, seemingly without trace, with Renczi telling friends he had abandoned her.
Over the next few years, numerous affairs were carried out, with many married men disappearing and a police investigation ensued.
When they searched Renczi’s mansion, the horrors of her crimes finally came to light with police finding 35 zinc-lined coffins all with the own space being a locked door in the basement.
After opening them, Renczi confessed to the poisoning’s, saying she believed the men had been unfaithful to her.
She was sentenced to death for the 35 murders, but was spared as Yugoslavia did not execute women, and instead went mad in prison screaming at the hallucinations of her victims.
She is thought to be one of the first women to have earned the nickname, Black Widow.
48 – Raman Raghav
Active during the mid-1960s and labelled by many as Jack the Ripper of India, Raman Raghav went on a killing spree for over three years, with the first round of murders taking place in 1965 and 1966.
Nineteen people were attacked in the first first round of killings, and after his second round of attacks he is thought to have killed over 41 people.
After his arrest in 1966, Raghav confessed to all the murders with all of the victims being pavement and slum dwellers who were attacked with blunt objects at night.
A series of other murders in Mumbai where 9 people were killed bared a striking resemblance to Raghav’s methods, however it is still unknown if he was involved.
He died in prison, but to this day, its thought tens, maybe hundreds more may have been killed by Raghav.
47 – John Wayne Gacy
Having a difficult relationship with his father while growing up, he was regularly attacked, beaten and belittled by him over a number of years.
He lived a relatively normal life at the age of 18, working in politics, travelling to Las Vegas and working as a salesman.
After a successful career working for KFC, he began to get involved with wife swapping, prostitution, pornography, and drug use.
He was first convicted of assaulting 15-year-old Donald Voorhees Jr, in 1967, was later convicted of witness intimidation in 1968 and was later diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
He was jailed for the 1968 attack, but while in prison, obtained his diploma in November 1969.
After prison, Gacy was thought to have led a completely normal life, even meeting First Lady Rosalynn Carter on May 6, 1978.
Without going into details, as the crimes are far to horrific, Gacy murdered 36 young men after luring them to his house.
Twenty six were found buried in crawl spaces within his home and the rest were found either under his home or somewhere else on the property.
It is reported that Gacy, often dressed as a clown while committing the murders, taunting the victims as not to reveal his true identity.
He is remembered as one of Chicago’s most brutal serial killers.
46 – Karl Denke
Often described as a quiet and soft-spoken child who was difficult to raise, Denke, for whatever reason began killing homeless vagrants and poor travelers in 1903.
He murdered again in 1909, with a ledger of his victims later found that revealed not only cannibalistic tendencies, but also that Denke had been responsible for some 42+ deaths.
He was arrested after trying to attack a homeless drifter named Vincenz Olivier, who managed to wrestle an axe from Denke as he swung it wildly at the visitor whom he had invited into his home.
Denke was arrested, but before he could be questioned, committed suicide in his cell.
The exact number of victims is unknown, however the gruesome findings from his home had already revealed the evil at its core.
45 – Francisco das Chagas Brito
Sentenced to more than 581 years in prison, Brito is still alive to this day, and is a former prospector and self-employed mechanic.
Responsible for several homicides against children in Brazil, several bodies were located inside his residence.
He later confessed to the murders of 17 people, mostly under the age of 15 and later investigations revealed that the murder total is more like 42.
Having revealed his clear psychopathic characteristics after arrest, he will now die in prison, but the murders created terror and will live in infamy across Brazil.
44 – Monster of the Mangones
One of the only people on this list to never have been identified, this Colombian serial killer is said to have murdered between 30 to 38 teenage boys, mainly targeting those wandering through vacant lots.
It was the most notorious criminal case in the country’s history and between between the 1960 and 1970, it is believed that he used syringes to draw blood from his victims.
Said to possibly suffer from clinical vampirism, the killer was described as a true sexual sadist, was never captured and remains unknown to this day.
43 – Milton Sipalo
Known as The Lusaka Strangler, this Zambian serial killer and rapist managed to murder 29 women and girls between January and September 1980.
To this day, Spialo is credited with being one of the most active serial killers of all time, murdering at least one victim every week.
He often lured victims from public areas, typically bus terminals and railway stations then left the victims in open spaces.
The locations proved to be his downfall, as one night a surviving victim recognised him, alerted police and he was arrested.
He managed to escape police custody while being transferred to interrogation, fled to the roof of a nearby building and jumped, killing himself.
42 – David Thabo Simelane
First sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for robbing and raping a woman, he was released in 1998 and immediately embarked on his killing spree.
Often stealing his victims money and valuables to participate in gambling, Simelane would commit most of his killings in local forests.
He was arrested in 2001 and more than 45 bodies have now been discovered with a conviction in at least 28 murders.
Now sentenced to death in Swaziland, he has appealed many times and as far as I can tell, is still imprisoned somewhere and very much alive.
41 – Cedric Maake
Known as The Wemmer Pan Killer, Maake was based in South Africa, his killing spree began in April 1996 and targeted victims from the Wemmer Pan area of Johannesburg.
Throughout 1996 and 1997 he committed at least 27 murders with him being suspected of many more.
Maake was sentenced to 27 life sentences plus 1159 years and 3 months imprisonment on September 6, 2000 with his total sentence amounting to 1,340 years in prison.
40 – Volga Maniac
Between 2011 and 2012, a series of murders against elderly women in and around the region of Tatarstan, gripped Russia.
The first nine murders took place in Kazan while others were reported in Samara and Nizhny Novgorod among others.
The alleged perpetrator was captured on a CCTV camera at the entrance of one of his victim’s homes in 2016.
A reward of 1 million rubles was promised in return for information beneficial to the investigation after it was reported that the killer was somewhere in the Sakhalin Oblast.
Radik Tagirov, a plumber and locksmith was finally arrested for the murders in 2020 and charged with murdering 32 people.
More than 10,000 comparative genetic studies in criminal databases were used to try and catch him over the 2-year killing spree.
39 – The Stoneman
In one of the few serial killing episodes to have never been solved, the first murders took place in Mumbai between 1985 and 1988.
A second spree, similar to the first, took place in Calcutta with 13 sleeping homeless victims reported.
Several similar incidents were reported in Guwahati city of Assam state during February 2009 and several people were arrested, questioned and released without charge.
No one has ever been caught for the crimes and several movies have loosely covered events surrounding the killings but have been deemed non-factual thanks to their endings.
The Stoneman is thought to have been responsible for as many as 26 murders in total.
38 – Anders Breivik
Currently imprisoned at Skien Prison in Norway, Breivik has been held in solitary confinement since 2013, due to him being extremely dangerous.
Breivik is one of, if not, “The” most dangerous terrorist Norway has ever known after he exploded a bomb at the Norwegian Parliament Building, killing eight, before travelling to the island of Utøya and killing over 69 people and injuring 319.
Openly admitting to being a far-right Nazi, Breivik has given several Nazi salutes in court on multiple occasions and has also stated his clear opposition to Islam.
He planned the attacks with great care and attention, even going as far to obtain a fake police ID.
Breivik was sentenced to preventive detention for a period of 21 years, currently the maximum allowed under Noregian law, and, incredibly has already been in front of the parole board once.
Breivik also claims to be part of a number of religious and political groups including The Knights Templar, Progress Party, English Defence League and The Freemasons.
37 – Peter Sutcliffe
Considered to be one of the worst serial killers in British history, Peter Sutcliffe is known by his more chilling name as “The Yorkshire Ripper”.
Sutcliffe targeted young women and young girls in his initial attacks, but later move onto prostitutes in various red light districts mainly due to their increased vulnerability.
By the time his killing spree was complete, over 13 people were murdered and another 11 had been attacked and survived their ordeal.
The attacks and murders took place between 1975 and 1980, covering a total of seven different locations that included Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Huddersfield to name just a few.
He was arrested for driving a car on false plates and, at the time, had another potential victim with him in the car.
After police discovered weapons at the location of the arrest and at the police station where he had been taken, he was charged with the ripper murders.
Initially starting his prison term at Parkhurst after conviction, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent to was sent to Broadmoor Hospital after he was attacked.
Returned to HMP Frankland following treatment for a suspected heart attack, he suffered a second heart attack at University Hospital of North Durham and died aged 74, November 13th 2020 while serving a whole life term.
36 – Jack The Ripper
Famed as one of the most prolific serial killers to have never been caught in Britain, Jack The Ripper’s murder spree terrorised the residents of Whitechapel, London in 1888.
Similar to the Yorkshire ripper killings, prostitutes were the main target of the London ripper, however, the attacks from the earlier ripper were much more frenzied.
The killer often removed the internal organs of his victims and this led police to believe that he had some form of surgical knowledge.
The number of victims is, to this day, unknown, however five have been reported and as many as eleven may have been killed in total.
While the ripper was never caught, at least intentionally, the murders stopped suddenly and this is thought to be attributed to either a death of the murderer, capture for another crime or immigrated.
Today the identity of the ripper is still unknown but features in hundreds of works of fiction including the Ripper letters and a hoax diary.
Jack the Ripper was also voted as the worst Briton in history thanks to a BBC history magazine poll in 2006.
35 – Adolf Seefeldt
Known as “The Sandman”, Adolf Gustav Seefeldt was born March 6, 1870 in Potsdam, in the North German Confederation.
Active during the reign of the Third Reich, he is thought to have killed over twelve boys, having been abused by two older men when he was younger.
He spent much of his life in and out of prison and mainly targeted his victims in pine preservations.
He is believed to have used his own homemade poison, a version of chloroform to commit the killings, often putting his victims into a hypnotic sleep.
Many later died from hypothermia, having been left in the local woods, without being re-awoken.
Records of Seefeldt’s conviction are poor, however it appears he was sentenced to death on February 29, 1936, and was beheaded by the guillotine soon after.
34 – Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
Better known by the nickname Grim Sleeper, Franklin Jr. was responsible for at least 10 murders and one attempted murder in Los Angeles, California.
He was active alongside several other serial killers including Michael Hughes and Louis Craine.
He took a 14-year break from his crimes, from 1988 to 2002 and this earned him the nickname, while also having prior convictions for rape.
He was convicted of the full 10 murders and sentenced to death, however, he was found dead in his cell before the execution could be carried out and the results of the autopsy have not been publicly released.
33 – Louis van Schoor
Known as The Apartheid Killer, Schoor was active in South Africa between 1986 and 1989 and he is thought too have confessed to killing upwards of 100 people.
Between nine and thirty nine victims are officially confirmed and the former policeman and security guard was convicted of seven murders and two assassinations.
His criminal penalty was 20 years imprisonment and today, while I cant find out much information, his status is listed as “released”.
Currently thought to be around 71 years if still alive, both his status and location are currently unknown, however he was involved in the farming business as late as 2020.
Van Schoor is listed as South Africa’s worst serial killer.
32 – Rodney Alcala
Rodney James Alcala was another American serial killer, active within various states between 1977 and 1979.
Convicted of killing five people in California, he is also convicted of two homicides committed in New York in 1971 and 1977.
Alcala’s true number of victims remains unknown and authorities believe the actual number is as high as 130.
Other charges on his rap sheet include battery, kidnapping, violation of probation, two counts of rape and one count of providing cannabis to a minor.
He is often referred to as “The Dating Game Killer” because of his 1978 appearance on the television show The Dating Game
Sentenced to death, he never made it to the execution chamber, instead dying of natural causes on July 24, 2021, at the age of 77 while on death row.
31 – Sidney Cooke
Serving two life sentences for murder and thought to have killed more, Cooke was the leader of a paedophile ring suspected of murdering up to twenty young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
Nicknamed Hissing Sid by colleagues, he has also been labeled as “Britain’s most notorious paedophile”.
Incredibly, Cooke was paroled in 1998 and spent nine months living in cells at Yeovil Police Station at his own request after being smuggled out of prison by the authorities.
Huge public outrage followed and he was soon re-arrested and charged with eighteen further sex offences which occurred between 1972 and 1981, being moved back to prison on remand.
He has since been turned down for parole on ten separate occasions, mainly due to his behaviour in prison and concerns about what may happen if he is ever released.
Investigations into other murders, possibly committed by Cooke are on-going.
30 – Larry Hall
Spanning four states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, Hall’s many victims included sex workers, young girls and middle-aged women.
Proven to have killed just two people, he has confessed to over thirty nine murders and is suspected of killing up to fifty people.
Hall would often frequent historical re-enactment sites and would select victims from nearby towns and cities.
He was found guilty in June 1995, after a massive investigation by the FBI and local authorities across the four states.
He was caught after being shown a picture of one of the victims, to which he flinched, leading police to believe his involvement, which he later admitted.
Hall is serving life without the possibility of parole in Federal Correctional Complex, North Carolina.
He is one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.
29 – Charles Cullen
If you thought Larry Hall was bad then wait till you hear about former nurse, Charles Cullen, who’s murderous rampage claimed the lives of twenty nine people during a 26-year killing spree.
Confessed to committing as many as 40 murders during interviews with police, psychiatrists and journalists, Cullen worked at several New Jersey medical centers, until being arrested in 2003.
Often administering lethal overdose’s of intravenous medication to patients while in his care, he was regularly treated for depression in two psychiatric facilities.
He often used drugs such as digoxin and insulin in an attempt to draw less attention to the killings and is said to have lived much of his life in a brain fog.
Sentenced to eleven consecutive life sentences, he is not eligible for parole until June 10, 2403 and is currently held at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
It is thought he may have murdered hundreds more patients at various hospitals and investigations are on-going.
28 – Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia
Italian-American mobster, hitman, and crime boss Albert Anastasia is considered to be one of the founders of the modern American Mafia.
Co-founder and later boss of the Murder, Inc. organization, Anastasia controlled New York City’s waterfront for most of his criminal career.
Anastasia was nicknamed the “Mad Hatter” and the “Lord High Executioner” thanks to the thousands of murders committed by the organisation.
He received the death penalty in 1921 but was released in 1922 during retrial and later served three years imprisonment, escaping punishment for many of his crimes.
Having other nicknames such as “The Earthquake” and “The One-Man Army”, his fame did not protect him forever and he was eventually murdered by two gunmen in a barbers shop.
Charges were never brought againsed the killers, however rival crime families were suspected to be involved.
27 – Annie Walters
Better known as one part of “The Finchley Baby Farmers”, Walters is thought to have helped co-conspirator Amelia Sach murder as many as twelve children.
Most of the killings took place in the late 1800’s and it is believed that another woman, Louise Masset may have been mistakenly executed for one of their crimes.
Walters and Sach ran a “lying-in” home in Stanley Road, London and this is where many of the killings are thought to have taken place after the children were brought in for adoption.
Caught after Walters raised the suspicions of her landlord in Islington who was a police officer, they were convicted of murder at The Old Bailey and sentenced to death.
They became the first women to be executed at Holloway Prison on 3 February 1903 in a double hanging.
26 – Henry Lee Lucas
After being convicted of killing three people, including his own mother, Lucas claims to have murdered over 600 others.
He rose to infamy while incarcerated for these crimes and later recanted the testimony but was, at the time, considered to be the most prolific serial killer in history.
Convicted of murdering eleven people in total, and condemned to death for a single case, he was imprisoned in the Ellis Unit, Huntsville, Texas, and died of congestive heart failure in 2001.
DNA evidence has since verified that Lucas did not kill 20 of his supposed victims and several books have been published on the Lucas case.
25 – William Unek
Considered to be the Belgian Congo’s most prolific serial killer in 1954, Unek killed over 21 people with an axe, taking little over an hour and a half to commit his crimes.
He escaped to East Africa after the killings, but committed a second killing spree, three years later, armed with a stolen police rifle.
Within the next twelve hours, 36 more people had been killed and these victims even included his own wife.
A huge manhunt was performed and Unek was eventually captured by a company of the King’s African Rifles with the hunt being one of Africa’s biggest ever.
The extensive search operation included dogs and aircraft and Unek was fatally wounded during the capture and later succumbed to his wounds in hospital.
One man, whom helped keep Unek’s attention for over two hours, received the British Empire Medal for his part in the capture.
In total, Unek murdered over 57 people in less than 14 hours.
24 – Samuel Little
Nicknamed “The Choke-and-Stroke Killer”, American Serial Killer Samuel Little confessed to murdering 93 women between 1970 and 2005.
Currently the largest number of confirmed victims for any serial killer in United States history, he was brought to justice with the help of the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program.
Initially sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into a furniture store in Lorain in 1961, he later spent time in prison for theft, assault, attempted rape, fraud, and attacks on government officials.
Sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole at the California State Prison, Los Angeles County, Little continued to insist on his innocence.
Confirmed to have killed 60 people he has claimed to have killed another 93 and is suspected of killing many more.
He died in hospital with no cause of death ever released, however, he is known to have suffered from diabetes, heart problems, and other health conditions.
23 – Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Known by his infamous nickname, Killer Lil’ Pedro, Filho was a Brazilian serial killer, spree killer, and vigilante known for targeting criminals in revenge killings for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.
Officially sentenced for 71 murders but claiming to have killed over 100 drug dealers, rapists, and murderers, he served over 34 years in prison.
After his release, he started a YouTube channel, providing information on modern crimes and later earning him the name “The South American Punisher” when his crimes were revealed.
He helped campaign against gang violence, however he became a victim of this himself in March 2023, when two men shot him from a moving car and as of yet, no suspects have been arrested.
22 – Daniel Camargo Barbosa
Named as one of the most prolific serial killers in history, Barbosa, a Colombian serial killer, murdered at least 72 young girls in Colombia and Ecuador during the 1970s and 1980s.
First arrested in Bogotá in 1958 for petty theft and was later convicted of sexual assault in Colombia in 1964.
Camargo escaped from Gorgona prison in 1984 with authorities assuming that he died at sea and the press reported that he had been eaten by sharks.
The sharks, had not got him however, and between 1984 to 1986 Camargo committed a series of at least 54 rapes and murders in Ecuador.
Camargo slept on the streets, living of money selling to the public and hid well, albeit in plain sight of the police.
He was arrested in 1986, less than 5 minutes after committing another crime and carrying both a copy of Crime and Punishment and parts of his victim.
He was sentenced to 16-years, the maximum sentence at the time and shared prison with another infamous serial killer, Pedro Alonso Lopez, more about him soon!
21 – Javed Iqbal
One of Pakistan’s worst serial killers, Iqbal confessed to the murder of 100 young boys, ranging in ages from 6 to 16 years old.
He often disposed of his victims, mostly runaways, in acid, before dumping the remains in a local river.
He was the subject of the largest manhunt in Pakistani history after leaving a note claiming to have committed suicide in the Ravi River, a claim that was false.
He eventually turned himself in, claiming that the murders were in retaliation for his mother having to witness his decline over an arrest in the 1990’s.
He was condemned to die in the same way he had committed the murders, however Pakistan’s Interior Minister intervened and the sentence was changed to hanging.
He died before reaching the gallows, apparently murdered in his cell alongside Sajid Ahmad, an accomplice, with the killers still at large.
The deaths were officially ruled as suicides.
20 – Patrick Kearney
Known as The Trash Bag Killer, this American serial killer and necrophile murdered a minimum of 21 boys and young men from 1962 to 1977 in southern California.
Claiming possibly as many as 43 victims according to law enforcement, Kearney is one of three men also referred to as “The Freeway Killer”.
Kearney would often pick up and kill young male hitchhikers or young men from bars while on nights out.
He was known to frequently purchased butcher knives from a local shop and was described as “a loner with an eerie sense of quiet about him”.
After fleeing to Texas when he was revealed as the killer, Kearney later turned himself in thanks mainly in part to a plea from his own family.
Kearney was charged with twenty-one counts of murder, and as agreed, pleaded guilty to all crimes he was accused of.
Receiving twenty-one life sentences, he is still imprisoned at Mule Creek State Prison, California and will never be released.
Police believe Kearney is responsible for seven other murders he has admitted to but currently lack the physical evidence to charge him.
19 – Manuel Octavio Bermúdez
Colombian serial killer Bermúdez killed at least 21 children in several towns of Valle del Cauca between 1999 to 2003 while working as an ice cream vendor.
Often luring his victims to corn fields with offers of money for picking corn, all would never return, having been disposed of by Bermúdez.
The mother of one twelve year old had reported him missing after being seen with Bermúdez and he was arrested on July 18, 2003.
After finding newspaper clippings of the murders, syringes, Lidocaine and a watch belonging to one of the victims in a motel room, rented by Bermúdez, he confessed to the murders.
Sentenced to 25 years in prison on March 20, 2004, he is suspected of killing over 50 children and is still imprisoned somewhere in Columbia.
18 – Yvan Keller
Nicknamed The Pillow Killer, Keller was active in France between the years of 1989 and 2006 while being responsible for the deaths of over 23 people.
Having later confessed to killing around 150 people, he is suspected of being one of France’s worst serial killers.
Often targeting older victims, he used his job as a gardener to target their homes, stealing valuables that included money, paintings and jewels.
He often attempted to make the death look as natural as possible in an attempt to hide the crimes.
After his arrest and confession, he committed suicide while standing trial at Mulhouse High Court, using his own shoelaces.
17 – Mariam Soulakiotis
Being as terrifying as she looks in the picture, Mariam Soulakiotis, a nun from East Attica, Greece is thought to have murdered upwards of 177 people.
Found guilty of numerous counts of murder, fraud and other crimes committed over a period of eleven years.
Details are sketchy, however the murders are thought to have taken place while Soulakiotis was offering the victims free Tuberculosis treatments.
Many nuns at the old abbey which she ran still protest her innocence and proclaim her a saint, however she died in Averoff Prison on 23 November 1954.
Based on the overwhelming number of witness statements and amount of evidence againsed her, modern historians reject the possibility of her innocence.
Only one disagreement currently exists in Soulakiotis’s case, the true number of her unfortunate victims.
16 – Fernando Hernández Leyva
Convicted in 1986 of 33 counts of murder committed in 5 different states of the Mexican union, this Mexican serial killer confessed to killing around 100 people.
Motivated mainly by interest, he was an extremely organized, nomadic and hedonistic killer and one of the most prolific in the history of Mexico.
Committing many of his crimes mainly for personal satisfaction, Pancho López, as he has been called, had escaped from two other prisons.
Along with three accomplices, several counts of robbery and kidnapping were also added to his rap sheet for which he was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment.
Attempting to commit suicide in his cell in 1999, his own weight caused the caused the rope to break, denying him a quick death and causing him almost no harm.
He is currently in the “La Palma” prison and, if he completes his sentence, will be released in 2049, when he will be 84 years old.
Currently it is thought he may have killed as many as 137 people.
15 – Luis Garavito
Colombian serial killer, sex offender, pedophile, and necrophile nicknamed “The Beast”, Garavito is responsible for the killings of 147 minors that included young boys and children.
This total is thought to now be closer to the 200 mark and Garavito was apprehended on the 22nd April 1999.
Garavito was sentenced to a total of 1,853 years and 9 days in jail and in 2003, he confessed to the murders of a further 23 minors and 5 adults, bringing the presumed total victim count to 221.
He is currently imprisoned at one of Columbia’s most secure prisons, Valledupar in Cesar and is held in solitary confinement, for fear that he will be killed by other inmates.
Garavito’s sentence is the longest ever handed down in the history of Columbia, however he can only serve a maximum of 40 years, meaning he could be out on parole this year.
14 – Mikhail Popkov
Nicknamed “The Werewolf” and the “Angarsk maniac”, Popkov has been the subject of several TV documentaries over recent years.
Popkov often targeted women who did things he considered immoral and lured his victims to their deaths while wearing a police uniform.
Russian police spent months hunting the killer, whom at the time they had no identity for, and it took them over two decades to capture him despite several survivors.
Details of the killings are far to graphic to mention here, however victims were often attacked with knives, axes, baseball bats, and screwdrivers.
DNA testings of 3,500 current and former policemen in 2012 finally brought Popkov to justice and he was sentenced to life in prison for 22 murders and two attempted murders.
Later admitting to an additional 59 killings, he is now thought to have killed 83 people in total and is reportedly held at Russia’s most brutal prison, the un-escapable Black Dolphin… more on that prison in the next video!
13 – Gary Ridgway
Known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway was initially convicted of 48 separate murders later adding another to this total making 49 total victims.
He is currently the second most prolific serial killer in United States history according to the confirmed murders and most of his victims included teenage girls and adult women.
Many victims were prostitutes and the others were mainly runaways in vulnerable circumstances with most found in the Green River before his identity was known.
Unfortunately for Ridgway, DNA profiling linked him to four murders and he was arrested as he left the Kenworth truck factory where he worked in 2001.
He was spared the death penalty as part of a plea bargain and was instead sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
He is currently locked up in Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla and after a series of further confessions, is suspected of killing over 90 people.
12 – Wang Qiang
One of the most notorious murderers and rapists in Chinese history, Qiang grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father whom denied Wang the chance to enter school thanks to his prolific gambling habits.
Not much is published about the murders and Wang’s notoriety comes mainly from word of mouth, however he is known to have committed his first murder on the 22nd January 1995.
After his arrest in 2002, he was found to have committed 45 murders, was sentenced to death for the murders and executed in November 2005.
11 – Richard Cottingham
Nicknamed the New York Ripper, the Torso Killer and the Times Square Killer, Cottingham mainly targeted prostitutes in the greater New York Area.
Earning the ripper title, mainly for the brutal method in which the victims were discovered, Cottingham received nine convictions and revealed a further eight confessions under non-prosecution agreements.
He was arrested several times during his killing spree for lesser crimes that included drunk driving, shoplifting and robbery.
His victims are thought to currently total 18 people, although many more are still being investigated.
10 – Carl Eugene Watts
Known by his nickname Coral, Carl Eugene Watts earned the nickname “The Sunday Morning Slasher” after murdering women and girls over an eight-year period.
Although the number of his victims may have exceeded 100, Watts died of prostate cancer while serving only two sentences of life imprisonment for killing two people.
If it is ever proven that he did indeed kill all of his victims it would make him the most prolific serial killer ever in the United States.
9 – Donald Henry Gaskins
Having a long history of criminal activities resulting in prison sentences for assault and burglary, “Pee Wee” Gaskins is convicted of murdering at least 15 people.
The jury convicting Gaskins took only 15 minutes to find him guilty however the original death sentence was thrown out and he immedietly pled guilty at a second trial.
Earning the title of the “Meanest Man in America” after brutally murdering fellow death row inmate, Rudolph Tyner at Central Correctional Institution, he managed to get his hands on C4 explosive.
He received his second death sentence for this killing and just before this was administered in September 1991, he confessed to killing another 95 people.
He attempted suicide hours before he met his end in South Carolina’s electric chair.
8 – Jeffrey Dahmer
Subject of many documentaries and even a Netflix series more recently, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was better known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal” or the “Milwaukee Monster”.
Known to have killed seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer often factored cannibalism into many of his crimes.
Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder, he was found to be legally sane at his trial.
He was sentenced to fifteen terms of life imprisonment on February 17, 1992, and received another for a murder in Ohio in 1978.
Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin and is thought to have had 17 victims in total.
7 – John Wayne Gacy
Known as the Killer Clown, thanks mainly to his many performances as Pogo The Clown, Gacy has featured in one of our previous lists and was a truly terrifying individual.
He would often lure unsuspecting victims to his home under the pretense of showing them a magic trick, then murder them.
Previously sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for attacking a 10-year old boy in Waterloo, Iowa, Gacy was found to have twenty-six victims buried in the crawl space of his home.
Three more victims were found buried on the grounds and he received convictions for killing 33 victims in total, many more are thought to have been killed and never found.
Gacy was transferred to the Menard Correctional Center, where he remained incarcerated on death row for 14 years before meeting his end at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill via Lethal Injection.
Before his death, Gacy confessed that the number of victims may total 45 and today, his crime spree is one of the many reasons that Amber Alerts exist for missing children.
6 – H.H. Holmes
Better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, this American con artist and serial killer was the subject of more than 50 lawsuits in Chicago alone.
Choosing a career of crime that included insurance fraud, swindling, check forging, bigamous illegal marriages, horse theft and murder, Holmes confessed to over 27 murders.
Executed on May 7, 1896 for his many heinous crimes, his home became known as “The Murder Castle” and several newspapers reported hidden rooms, secret torture chambers, trap doors, gas chambers and a basement crematorium.
Most of this was false, however one floor did house a factory furnace that may have been used to hide the evidence of his many crimes.
Holmes was hanged in 1896 during a botched execution asking for his coffin to be contained in cement and buried 10 feet deep to prevent grave robbing.
5 – Pedro Lopez
One of Colombia’s most prolific serial killers, Pedro Lopez was known as “The Monster of the Andes” and is thought to have murdered a minimum of 110 victims, mostly young women and girls.
López travelled extensively throughout South America while continuing his crime spree claiming to have murdered hundreds of girls throughout Peru and Colombia.
López was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the maximum penalty for murder in Ecuador at the time but was released in 1994.
Currently a wanted fugitive in connection with a murder committed in 2002, his whereabouts are unknown and he is now thought to have murdered roughly 300 people.
4 – Harold Shipman
Considered to be the most prolific serial killer in British history and one of the most prolific in the history of the world, Dr Harold Shipman was much loved by many of his patients in Hyde, Greater Manchester.
Nicknamed “Dr Death” and “The Angel of Death”, he is currently the only British doctor to have been convicted of murdering his patients.
Shipman, whom had integrated himself as an upstanding member of the community, was, in-fact, anything but upstanding.
Later revealed to have possibly killed upwards of 250 elderly patients, Shipman was only charged with the murders of 15 women by lethal injections of diamorphine.
Also convicted of forging wills of his victims, he was the subject of a whole life tariff, meaning he was set to die in prison.
Shipman’s crimes went undetected in the British Medical System for decades and even at the end of 1996 when excess deaths in females aged over 65 years in his surgery were over 67, he was still not caught.
Shipman hanged himself from the window bars of his cell in Wakefield Prison using his bed sheets, with many of the victims relatives saying they had felt cheated.
Several British newspapers celebrated the death with front page headlines and Shipman has been the subject of numerous television programs.
3 – Vasili Komaroff
Convicted for the killing of 29 people in Moscow between 1921 and 1923, Komaroff is thought to be one of the earliest known serial killers in the Soviet Union.
A horse trader who murdered at least 33 customers in the stable next to his home, Komaroff always followed a single formula when committing his crimes.
Firstly, he got to know a customer whom wanted to buy a horse, then after bringing them to his home, he served them Vodka and attacked them with a hammer.
Most of his victims ended up either underneath his home or in the Moscow River, later confessing to over 33 murders.
He was caught after police, searching his home for illegal alcohol, found a victim stuffed under a bale of hay in his stable.
Described murder as “an awfully easy job”, he attempted to commit suicide three times whilst in prison.
Both Komaroff and his wife, Sophia, whom also participated in the murders, were executed by firing squad in Moscow on June 18, 1923.
2 – Pablo Escobar
One of the most ruthless killers in Columbian, and world history, Drug Lord Pablo Escobar was accused of killing over 4,000 people, including numerous police officers and government officials.
Many of the killings took place during the violent drug wars between various gangs in the country, however several attacks mounted or paid for by Escobar himself stand out.
The first was the downing of Avianca Flight 203, destroyed by a bomb over Bogota, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground.
Escobar had personally ordered the bombing in an attempt to kill presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo.
The second attack, conducted on the Supreme Court of Colombia, saw the leftist M-19 guerrilla group hold the Supreme Court hostage and was said to have been paid for by Escobar.
Attempting to rule out the Extradition Treaty with the United States, over 44 civilians were killed in the attack.
Several high profile individuals were also killed on the orders of Escobar including Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara and presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán.
Escobar met his end on a rooftop in Medellin while being chased by both the Columbian Search Bloc and the DEA.
1 – Ted Bundy
Known as “The Campus Killer”, Bundy kidnapped and killed numerous young women and girls during the 1970s.
Confessing to upwards of 30 murders committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978, Bundy became infamous in the serial killer world.
His true victim total is unknown and likely significantly higher and could easily be as high as 90 people.
Facing two murder charges in Colorado, Bundy pulled off two miraculous escapes from prison and went on to commit further murders in Florida.
He often broke into homes of his victims at night and bludgeoned his victims as they slept.
Once describing himself as “the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet”, Bundy was described by his own defense team as pure evil.
He committed four attacks in the space of 15 minutes during one night of chaos that saw 2 people killed and 2 survivors.
After trial and conviction, Bundy was placed on Death row, again attempting escape in 1984, this time unsuccessful.
He later confessed to tens of murders including several that were unknown to the police at the time.
Bundy was an unusually organized and calculating criminal who used his extensive knowledge of law enforcement methodologies to elude identification.
Executed in the Raiford electric chair at 7:16 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy, one of the worlds most prolific and evil serial killers died, aged 42.
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