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Top 10 Serial Killers of the World

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Top 10 Serial Killers of the World

Jeanne Marie Kerns

People are always emailing me or asking me who are the top serial killers in the world. Much to their surprise, most of the ones that I tell them about they have never heard of. Some, however, are known for the notorious publicity that circles them. Below is a list of the top ten serial killers in the world - the best of the worst.

1. Pedro Alonso Lopez - This by far is one of the most dangerous serial killers of all time with a victim count of over 300. Better known as the Monster of Andes, Lopez killed nearly 100 tribal women in Peru by 1978. Caught by tribal authorities who were ready to sentence him to death, an American missionary who was passing by convinced the tribe to let her take him to the police, the police - who let him go - were not convinced that the killings were of importance to them. Lopez than went to Ecuador where he would kill between three and four girls a week. Once caught in 1980, Lopez confessed to over 300 murders, police only believed him when an unexpected flash flood uncovered a mass grave with most of Lopez's victims. He then was released by the Ecaudor government and deported back to Columbia in 1998.

2. Henry Lee Lucas - Even though Lucas confessed at first to nearly 3,000 murders, eventually the total would be brought down to a little over 100 by the Henry Lee Lucas Task Force. The task force was created just to

research the confessions that were given to numerous police officials. Police officials from around the country, seeking closure in many open cases, interviewed Lucas hoping to solve murders that had been unsolved for years. Although some officials closed many cases with Lucas's confession, later in the years, most of the cases were re-opened. Many people believe that Henry Lee Lucas had been toying with officials to see just how far he could go. Officials were finally convinced that Lucas participated in over 100 murders with his accomplice Ottis Toole. Lucas received the death penalty but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison in 1998. In 2001, Henry Lee Lucas died in prison of natural causes which means we will never know if he was confessing to crimes he did not commit, or making it look like he did not commit the crimes he so violently committed.

3. Bruno Ludke - German born Ludke was 18 years-old in 1927 when he started his killing spree of nearly 85 women. After World War II, Ludke was apprehended by police after molesting a young lady and was sterilized for his crime. But this did not stop his violent attacks on women to come. Ludke used strangulation or stabbing as the method of killing after he sexually assaulted them. Ludke's luck ran out and he was caught on January 29, 1943. Before trial, Ludke was deemed insane and put into a mental hospital where they performed all kinds of terrible experiments on him. On April 8, 1944, he would be put to death by a chemical injection that was tested on him.

4. Andrei Chikatilo - Russia's famous Rostov Ripper claimed the lives of nearly 53 women and young children during the years of 1978 to 1991. His victims were usually homeless people who stayed around the railroad or bus stations. His crimes were more violent than most killers, stabbing the victims uncontrollably until his sexual release was satisfied and completed. November 20,1990, Andrei Chikatilo was apprehended and interrogated by police where he then confessed to some 56 murders. Three of the victims could not be found, Chikatilo was not held accountable for them. His trial began in April of 1992 and ended in July. On October 15, 1992 Chikatilo was found guilty of 52 of the murders and sentenced to death. On February 14, 1994, Andrei Chikatilo was executed by being shot in the back of the head.

5. Gerald Stano - Over a seven year period starting in 1973, Stano would kill over 42 people - mostly hookers and hitch-hikers - by strangulation, shooting or stabbing his victims. Oddly enough Stano never sexually assaulted any of his victims, the violence of his crimes was enough to satisfy his rage without adding rape. In the 1980s he was captured and sentenced to eight life sentences and one death sentence. On March 23, 1998, Gerald Stano was executed in Florida's electric chair.

6. Moses Sithole - This is one of South Africa's most famous serial killers known for the rapes if 40 women and the deaths of 38 during the years of 1994 and 1995. Convicted on December 5, 1997, Sithole was

sentenced to 2,410 years in prison at Pretoria Central Prison. The possibility for his parole is in 930 years. In 2000 authorities noted that Moses Sithole had contracted the HIV virus and currently has AIDS.

7. Gary Ridgeway - Better known to most people as The Green River Killer. In a two and a half year killing spree in the 1980s, Ridgeway murdered nearly 50 women in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. The victims were either hookers or runaways and had been sexually assaulted then strangled. Ridgeway, who had been arrested two times prior for the solicitation of prostitutes, was finally being arrested for the crime the police suspected him doing in the first place 20 years ago due to DNA evidence. Gary Ridgeway confessed to the most killings of any American serial killer to date, and on December 18, 2003, Judge Richard Jones sentenced Gary Ridgeway to 48 consecutive life sentences without any possibility of parole. He is currently residing in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington.

8. John Wayne Gacy - Gacy, who has been a well known political figure and friend to many people in his small Chicago neighborhood, shocked dozens of close companions when on December 22, 1978, he confessed to detectives that he had molested and killed 33 men. He admitted to burying 28 of the victims under the crawlspace in his house and disposing the other five in the Des Plaines River. Most of the victims were teenage runaways or teenagers that had worked for Gacy at his construction company. The trial of John Wayne Gacy began on February 6, 1980. Gacy tried to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which was immediately denied by the courts. With only five weeks of trial, Gacy was found guilty on March 13,1980, and sentenced to death. Fourteen years later, on May 10, 1994, at the Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois, John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection. His last words were "You can kiss my ass."

9. Dean Corll - Dean Corll did not work alone, his accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Henley murdered at least 27 boys in which they raped, killed and then buried in rural areas Houston, Texas. All the victims were

between the ages of 9 - 21. Dean Corll would only be looked at as a suspect when one of his partners in crime Elmer Henley shot and killed him. In 1976, Henley and Brooks were tried and convicted. Henly, who was charged with six of the murders, was sentenced to six 99-year terms. Brooks was convicted of one murder and sentenced to life in prison. As of today, all parole hearings have been rejected and both are in still in jail.

10. Wayne Williams - Williams, better known as the Atlanta Child Murderer, was deemed responsible for the 29 deaths of children in the Atlanta, Georgia, area between the years of 1979 - 1981. Although convicted of only two murders, 27 year-old Nathaniel Cater and 29 year-old Jimmy Payne, Atlanta authorities claimed to have solved 22 of the 29 child murders due to Williams arrest and conviction on February 27, 1982. Even though most of the people in the area did not believe that Williams could kill all of those children, the jury deliberated for less than 10 hours and came back with a guilty verdict and a sentence of two consecutive life terms. Williams still proclaims his innocence today.

Although there are many other serial killers who have been more violent and eccentric, these 10 are the ones that have killed the most people. Unfortunately, with the obsession of serial killers that people have today, their names and their crimes will live on for a long time to come - exactly what most criminals of this extent intend to accomplish. To always be remembered and never forgotten.

In the pathetic words of serial killer Ted Bundy "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow."

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Historically, a few figures do come to mind, though accurate records are wanting and specific details are at best likely to be somewhat distorted by various vested interests at the time:

Gilles de Rais of France (played by Vince Cassell in Luc besson's Joan of Arc movie) was accused of murdering something in the region of 600 young people during an alleged reign of satanic terror - Erzebet Bathory was accused of a similar number - but the figure which stands out in my head was the fanatical Indian Thuggee member Brahman (spelling =?) who, according to various British records of the time (the mid 1800s) was alleged to have strangled 931 people.

Pinch-of-salt stuff maybe, but still fascinating for any serious historical investigator?

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Earthnut,

7 months back I finished my read on John Douglas' and mark Olshaker's "The Anatomy of Motive." A book of which I used some of the forensic profiling common data of pshychological symptoms as they relate to their social surroundings of many serial killers and mass murderers. Borrowing that data, I compared it to commonly held views of those physchological factors in play in those who are suicidal (or struggle with ideations). The parallels were striking. Although, they are 'merely' parallels (meaning that parabolically they don't touch) there are shared factors. Anyhow, the purpose of such a comparison was to reach those who tend to not care about being on the lookout for fellow workers who may be suicidal. The aim was this: though the percentage is small - it is nonetheless real that some people who become suicidal are not only a danger to themselves - but to others when they also become homicidal. Murder suicides are known to take place."

I 'enjoyed' reading up on the listing. Very cruesome . . . and scary. Bundy is correct (I'm afraid) that there are others out there that haven't been detected.

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Chip, I am so sorry, some how I missed your fantastic post here. I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for the book you mentioned.

The aim was this: though the percentage is small - it is nonetheless real that some people who become suicidal are not only a danger to themselves - but to others when they also become homicidal. Murder suicides are known to take place."

I totally agree. I believe they are all connected depending upon the person's state of mind and emotions, which, as we know, can change.

Since you mentioned Bundy's statement, I feel compelled to post it again. It is a heart-wrenching knowledge.

In the pathetic words of serial killer Ted Bundy "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow."

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One of the most prolific recent serial killers in the UK is Harold Shipman: http://en.wikipedia..../Harold_Shipman, whose victim toll will probably never be known. Convicted of 15, but probably guilty of more than 200. We'll never know his motivation, which could have been simple control, or issues that he never made it big in medicine.

Some murder/suicides happen because the perpetrator has gone so far down the road of despair as to think that not only they but also their loved ones, especially children, would be better off out of this world.

Some murder/suicides happen because murder, especially of young children, is the ultimate control over someone else's life by causing them the ultimate pain. Or, "if I can't have them, I'll make sure you can't". And then they kill themselves, not from real despair, but to avoid justice.

Most suicidal people don't fall into either of those categories. They either reach for the pill bottle or drive to the nearest bridge.

I reckon that Ted Bundy's comment was just another of his attempts at being threatening, long after he was constrained. Of course serial killers are sons or husbands, or fathers, or uncles, or second cousins thrice removed, or (more rarely) the female equivalent.. As for his "there will be more of your children dead tomorrow", that is perverse showmanship, from someone who could use the power of language in the hope that he could continue to exercise that power long after his death.

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I thought about the worst 10 topic tonight. I think the worst 10 anywhere, are the 10 ( and so many more) still out there, uncaught. The ones caught are done. The ones still out there are still a great danger to many.

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Excellent point seesthru, yes, the worst ones are the ones that have never been caught. Naturally, the first ones that comes to mind are the very famous, "Jack the Ripper," and "The Zodiac." I read where neither one of them were named by the media, but named themselves. The highest list of killers that were never caught that I found was 14, but we all know there are probably many more.

Here's just one link listing the 14 in the order of how frightening their created names are. I thought it was the best link since each name is also a link to that individual. It also shows there was one suspect (Grim Sleeper) waiting trial as of April 2011.

http://www.theawl.com/2011/04/14-serial-killers-who-were-never-captured-in-order-of-how-frightening-their-media-created-names-are

I feel the sad part about all of this is the fact the killers always get more attention and publicity then the victims. It should be the other way around, but as know things are rarely as they should be.

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THe victims names' should be memorized, and the killers names forgotten. But yep, it's backwards.

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I find SK nicknames to be very cheesy. I don't believe they shoudl be given the satisfaction of having any nickname thy might actually take pride or encouragement in/from. I'd rather give them numbers, like they do in prison. And while I like learning about human nature and human un-nature, I detest people rushing out to write books on the flavor of the month SK.

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