Right here’s a choose checklist of convicted American serial killers and notable open or unsolved circumstances.
Serial homicide is outlined by the FBI as two or extra killings separated by a span of time. A majority of serial killings are sexually motivated, according to the FBI.
Serial murders are comparatively uncommon. Fewer than one % of homicides throughout a given yr are dedicated by serial killers, the FBI reports.
Nickname: Son of Sam
Variety of confirmed victims: 6
Years and site: Seventies, New York Metropolis
Traits: Initially claimed a neighbor’s canine was possessed by an historical spirit that commanded him to shoot individuals. The canine proprietor’s identify was Sam. Berkowitz later stated the canine story was a hoax.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on August 10, 1977. Pleaded responsible to murdering six individuals and sentenced to 25-years-to-life for every homicide. At present incarcerated on the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
Variety of confirmed victims: Unknown, confessed to greater than two dozen murders earlier than he was executed however he might have been linked to further slayings.
Years and places: Seventies, a number of states together with Washington, Utah, Colorado and Florida
Traits: Preyed on young women and sometimes lured victims by pretending to be injured. Bundy had studied psychology in faculty, labored as a suicide hotline volunteer whereas at college and served at one level as assistant director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Fee.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested for the ultimate time on February 15, 1978. He had been beforehand arrested for homicide in Colorado however escaped from custody, earlier than being captured in Aspen a couple of days later. Months later, Bundy escaped once more, prompting a nationwide manhunt. Whereas a fugitive in Florida, he killed two faculty college students and a 12-year-old lady. Bundy was apprehended a 3rd and remaining time in Pensacola in a stolen automotive. He was convicted on three counts of homicide and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Executed on January 24, 1989.
Angelo Buono Jr. and Kenneth Bianchi
Nicknames: The Hillside Stranglers
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 9
Years and places: Seventies, Los Angeles, Washington state
Traits: Buono and Bianchi had been cousins who posed as cops to entice teenage women and younger ladies, a few of whom labored as prostitutes. Bianchi claimed that he suffered from a number of persona dysfunction however later admitted that he faked the situation. Buono owned an auto upholstery store and was not a suspect till Bianchi was caught, confessed and recognized his cousin as his confederate.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Bianchi was arrested on January 12, 1979; Buono was arrested on October 19, 1979. Bianchi was arrested in Bellingham, Washington, as a suspect within the murders of two faculty college students at Western Washington College. He pleaded responsible to the slayings in Washington and confessed to 5 of the Los Angeles murders. He was sentenced to 5 life phrases for homicide and one further life sentence for conspiracy. Bianchi is incarcerated on the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Buono was arrested at his house in Glendale, California, the identical day Bianchi admitted he participated in 5 of the Hillside killings. Bianchi testified throughout Buono’s trial. Buono was convicted of 9 murders and was sentenced to life in jail with out the potential for parole. He died in jail in 2002.
Variety of confirmed victims: 25
Yr and site: 1971, Yuba Metropolis, California
Traits: A farm labor contractor, Corona was convicted within the stabbing deaths of 24 employees. His twenty fifth sufferer was shot. Throughout a 2011 parole listening to, he confessed to killing the boys. Corona, who was 77 and affected by dementia on the time of the listening to, described his victims as alcoholics who had trespassed within the orchards.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on Might 26, 1971. Corona was arrested after a neighbor reported suspicious exercise in a peach orchard. Police discovered 25 our bodies buried in shallow graves in orchards surrounding the Feather River and traced the our bodies to Corona. 4 victims had been by no means recognized. After being convicted in 1973, Corona was sentenced to 25 life phrases in jail however an enchantment led to a brand new trial in 1982. Corona was once more convicted on the second trial and sentenced to 25 concurrent terms of 25-years to life. He died of natural causes on March 4, 2019.
Variety of confirmed victims: 16 (Dahmer confessed to 17 murders however prosecutors lacked proof to convict him within the further killing)
Years and places: Seventies-Nineties, primarily within the Milwaukee space
Traits: A former chocolate manufacturing facility employee, Dahmer picked up younger males at bus stations, bars, purchasing facilities and different places. He acquired them to go to his house by providing them cash to pose for images or by promising them alcohol. He drugged them and strangled them. He ate elements of no less than considered one of his victims and saved the stays of others in his house.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on July 22, 1991. Dahmer was apprehended after considered one of his captives escaped and went to the police, nonetheless sporting handcuffs Dahmer shackled to considered one of his wrists. Charged with 15 counts of homicide, he pleaded responsible however insane. A Milwaukee jury dominated in opposition to Dahmer’s madness declare, and he was sentenced to fifteen life phrases in February 1992. Dahmer pleaded responsible to a sixteenth homicide in Ohio and was sentenced to a further life time period in Might 1992. He was beaten to death in prison in 1994.
Joseph James DeAngelo
Nicknames: The Golden State Killer, Visalia Ransacker, East Space Rapist, Authentic Evening Stalker
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 13
Years and site: Seventies-Nineteen Eighties, California
Traits: DeAngelo, a former police officer, started with a string of burglaries, then grew more violent with a series of killings, rapes and assaults in the 1970s and 1980s, as he moved from one county to the subsequent. Two of his earliest identified homicides had been the murders of a pair in Rancho Cordova who might have witnessed him breaking into a house. After the Rancho Cordova slayings, DeAngelo began a collection of murders within the Santa Barbara space, greater than 300 miles south of Sacramento. Investigators on the time didn’t see a connection between the assaults in Santa Barbara and Sacramento. A long time after the killings, true crime writer Michelle McNamara drew consideration to the case with weblog posts and a e-book, “I’ll Be Gone within the Darkish,” printed two years after her sudden demise in 2016.
Arrest, responsible plea and sentence: DeAngelo was arrested on April 24, 2018. Detectives used a public family tree web site to slender down their checklist of suspects and then collected DNA samples from DeAngelo’s trash and the door handle of his car. Hours after they confirmed two DNA matches, DeAngelo was arrested. On June 29, 2020, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances — together with homicide dedicated throughout burglaries and rapes — in addition to 13 counts of kidnapping, and he acknowledged greater than 50 rapes he was not charged for due to California’s statute of limitations. DeAngelo avoids the demise penalty with his guilty plea. On August 21, 2020, DeAngelo was given 11 life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
Nickname: The Grim Sleeper
Variety of confirmed victims: 10
Years and site: Nineteen Eighties-2000s, Los Angeles
Traits: Franklin focused prostitutes and feminine drug addicts. Franklin was known as the Grim Sleeper as a result of he was believed to have stopped killing for greater than a decade earlier than he started a second homicide spree in the course of the 2000s. Franklin, a married father of two, is a former metropolis sanitation employee and storage attendant.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on July 7, 2010. Undercover Los Angeles cops obtained a pattern of Franklin’s DNA from a leftover pizza slice and matched it to the killer’s DNA. He was convicted of slaying 10 people and was sentenced to death in 2016. He died in prison in 2020.
John Wayne Gacy
Variety of confirmed victims: 33
Years and places: Seventies, Chicago space
Traits: A building firm proprietor who moonlighted as a youngsters’s social gathering clown, Gacy kidnapped younger males and boys or lured them to his house. He was twice married and divorced with two youngsters.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on December 21, 1978. Police investigating the disappearance of a teenage boy found the stays of victims in a crawlspace underneath Gacy’s home. He was sentenced to demise by deadly injection on 33 counts of homicide. Executed on Might 10, 1994.
Randy Steven Kraft
Variety of confirmed victims: Convicted of 16 murders in Orange County, California however linked to no less than 29 further slayings nationwide, based on prosecutors. Detectives discovered a pocket book in Kraft’s briefcase that contained a listing with greater than 60 entries. Prosecutors stated the journal chronicled Kraft’s killings. Protection attorneys argued the diary included ambiguous entries like “New Yr’s Eve,” referencing occasions unrelated to homicide.
Years and places: Seventies-Nineteen Eighties, California, Oregon, Michigan
Traits: Kraft, a pc marketing consultant, picked up younger hitchhikers on the interstate. He focused males with navy backgrounds.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on Might 14, 1983. Kraft was pulled over by California Freeway Patrol for weaving, and officers discovered a lifeless physique within the entrance passenger seat. He was convicted on 16 homicide counts and sentenced to demise. He’s incarcerated awaiting execution at San Quentin State Jail.
Variety of confirmed victims: Convicted of eight murders. In 2018, Little confessed to a total of 93 murders during an interview with FBI crime analysts and James Holland of the Texas Rangers. Investigators have confirmed at least 60 of the confessed killings. The FBI describes him as America’s most prolific serial killer and has requested for the general public’s assist in figuring out extra of his victims.
Years and places: Seventies-2005, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
Traits: A nomadic drifter, Little started touring state-to-state and committing crimes after leaving Ohio within the late Fifties. Little usually focused susceptible ladies concerned in prostitution and hooked on medication. A one-time aggressive boxer, Little would punch and stun his victims before strangling them. With out bullet wounds or stab marks, most of those deaths had been attributed to accidents or drug overdoses.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on September 5, 2012, at a Kentucky homeless shelter. Little was extradited to California on a narcotics cost. As soon as Little was in custody, the Los Angeles Police Division matched Little’s DNA to victims in three unsolved homicides from 1987 and 1989. He was indicted on three counts of homicide, and in 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to 3 life sentences with no chance of parole. In 2018, Little was extradited to Texas the place he plead responsible to the 1994 homicide of Denise Christie Brothers and given a life sentence. In 2019, Little obtained 4 further sentences of life for the murders of 4 ladies in Ohio. Little died in prison in 2020.
Nickname: The BTK Killer
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 10
Years and site: Kansas, Seventies-Nineties
Traits: A churchgoer, Cub Scout chief and married father of two, Rader labored on the house safety firm, ADT, and he later turned a code compliance supervisor in suburban Park Metropolis, Kansas. Two of his earliest victims had been ladies who labored at an workplace with him. He additionally murdered a co-worker’s husband and two youngsters. In a letter discovered folded right into a e-book on the public library that was discovered months after the primary killings, Rader described one of many crime scenes and urged that he ought to be known as “BTK,” quick for “bind, torture, kill.” He continued mailing cryptic letters to the media and the police previous to his arrest.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on February 25, 2005. Rader was caught after he despatched a floppy disk to a TV station in response to stories speculating that BTK was lifeless or in jail as a result of it had been greater than a decade since his final sufferer was discovered. Police traced the disk to a pc at Rader’s church and located that his DNA matched the killer’s. Rader pleaded guilty to 10 murders and was sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms. He’s at present incarcerated on the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.
Nickname: The Evening Stalker
Variety of confirmed victims: Convicted of 13 murders however linked to 1 further slaying by way of DNA.
Years and site: Nineteen Eighties, California
Traits: A drifter with an curiosity in Satanism, Ramirez sometimes broke into properties by way of unlocked home windows and doorways late at evening, capturing any males he encountered whereas on the lookout for ladies to assault. His victims ranged in age from 9 to 83.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on August 31, 1985. Ramirez was captured and held by a mob of residents in Los Angeles earlier than police intervened and arrested him. He was sentenced to demise on 13 counts of homicide and was later linked by way of DNA to a killing in San Francisco. He died of complications from cancer while awaiting execution at San Quentin State Prison in 2013.
Gary Leon Ridgway
Nickname: The Inexperienced River Killer
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 49
Years and site: Nineteen Eighties-Nineties, Washington state
Traits: Ridgway focused younger ladies who had been runaways or prostitutes and left a number of the our bodies in or close to the Inexperienced River, a waterway within the Seattle space. He was a thrice married truck painter who had a son with considered one of his wives. Ridgway was questioned by police in 1983, quickly after the killings started, and detectives obtained a search warrant in 1987. On the time, no proof was recovered linking him to the murders, and he had handed a polygraph take a look at early within the investigation.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on November 30, 2001. Advances in DNA testing know-how led to the arrest, as legislation enforcement re-tested proof that had been collected years earlier than. They discovered a match and he was charged and brought into custody. He confessed and plead guilty to 48 killings. In 2011, he was charged with a 49th slaying. Ridgway is serving a life sentence on the Washington State Penitentiary.
Variety of confirmed victims: Convicted of 9 murders however confessed to 17 killings
Years and site: Nineties, New York
Traits: An unemployed landscaper who lived together with his mom on Lengthy Island, Rifkin would drive to New York Metropolis and decide up prostitutes. He strangled his victims and took private belongings from the ladies. These things had been present in his bed room, the place police additionally found a e-book in regards to the Inexperienced River Killer. His mom claimed that she didn’t go into her son’s bed room and was unaware of the killings.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on June 28, 1993. Rifkin was pulled over for driving with out a license plate, and police discovered a lifeless lady at the back of his truck. Whereas in custody, he confessed to killing 17 ladies. Throughout a number of trials, Rifkin’s attorneys argued that he suffered from psychological sickness, however he was convicted on 9 expenses of homicide and was sentenced to greater than 200 years in jail. At present incarcerated on the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.
Variety of confirmed victims: 11
Years and site: 2000s, Ohio
Traits: A convicted sex offender, Sowell preyed on ladies scuffling with drug abuse and homelessness. He would invite victims to his home and supply them beer. He instructed police that he turned enraged with the ladies as a result of they reminded him of an ex-girlfriend who deserted him after he helped her kick medication. The victims had been strangled and buried on his property.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on October 31, 2009. Police issued a warrant for Sowell’s arrest after a lady instructed them that he had hit her and sexually assaulted her. Officers discovered two our bodies in the home and found extra stays within the yard. After a 25-day trial, Sowell was convicted of 11 murders and sentenced to demise by deadly injection. Sowell died in prison in 2021.
Chester Dewayne Turner
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 14, together with a pregnant lady
Years and site: Nineteen Eighties-Nineties, Los Angeles
Traits: A father of 4 whose jobs included delivering pizza, Turner focused feminine drug customers in South Los Angeles.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Turner was charged with homicide in 2004 whereas incarcerated for rape. Detectives had found that his DNA matched a pattern from a criminal offense scene and finally forensics linked him to 10 killings. Through the investigation, police found that that they had wrongfully convicted an intellectually disabled janitor named David Allen Jones, who served 9 years in jail for 3 of Turner’s slayings earlier than he was launched in 2004. Turner was convicted of 10 murders in 2007 and sentenced to demise. In 2014, he was convicted of 4 further murders and once more sentenced to demise. He’s incarcerated at San Quentin State Jail awaiting execution.
Variety of confirmed victims: 6 (was linked to no less than one different demise however the physique was by no means recovered)
Years and site: Florida, 1989-1990
Traits: Wuornos had an extended historical past of theft, prostitution and drug abuse earlier than she started killing males she met alongside Interstate 75 in Florida. She claimed that through the years, she had been repeatedly crushed and raped by the boys who paid her for intercourse. Her first sufferer, Richard Mallory was a convicted intercourse offender.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on January 9, 1991. Wuornos was arrested after her lover, Tyria Moore, instructed police in regards to the murders and agreed to cooperate. Moore was not charged with any offenses. Wuornos later gave investigators an announcement admitting to the murders however she stated she killed in self-defense. Throughout her trial for the homicide of Richard Mallory, three psychologists testified for the protection that Wuornos suffered from borderline persona dysfunction, impairing her means to evolve her conduct to the necessities of the legislation. After about 90 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a responsible verdict. At her sentencing listening to, Wuornos claimed that police coerced her into confessing. The choose sentenced her to demise. She pleaded no contest to the opposite 5 slayings. She was executed on October 9, 2002, after voluntarily ending her appeals, saying that she would kill once more if launched.
Robert Lee Yates
Variety of confirmed victims: At the very least 15
Years and site: Seventies-Nineties, Washington state
Traits: A married father of 5 who flew helicopters within the Military and the Nationwide Guard, Yates predominantly preyed on prostitutes. One of many victims was buried in Yates’ yard.
Arrest, conviction and sentence: Arrested on April 18, 2000. Yates was arrested after police matched fibers discovered on the physique of a lifeless prostitute to Yates’ automotive, which additionally had blood on the seatbelt and seat. DNA testing and different proof linked Yates to no less than 12 murders. He later pleaded responsible to 13 killings in trade for a life sentence (408 years) in lieu of the demise penalty. In 2002, he was convicted of two further murders in a unique county and sentenced to demise. Yates’ attorneys have repeatedly appealed the ruling however he stays on demise row awaiting execution on the Washington State Penitentiary.
Open or Unsolved Circumstances
The Atlanta Little one Murders
Variety of victims: 29
Years and site: 1979-1981, Georgia
Traits: Over the course of twenty-two months, 29 African-American youngsters and teenagers had been murdered within the Atlanta space. The FBI labored with native authorities to research the killings, which detectives believed had been linked.
Investigation: In 1981, the Reagan administration allotted greater than $2 million in federal funds to assist police observe leads and supply funding for youth applications to maintain children protected after college. On June 21, 1981, a person named Wayne Williams was arrested and charged with the murders of two younger males whose our bodies had been discovered within the Chattahoochee River. Though prosecutors stated the 2 murders had been linked to the kid killings, Williams was by no means charged with the opposite crimes. He was convicted on two counts of homicide and sentenced to 2 consecutive life phrases in jail. He has maintained his innocence. In 2005, the DeKalb County Police reopened their investigation into 5 of the killings.
Variety of victims: At the very least 11
Years and site: 1962-1964, Massachusetts
Traits: Through the late spring and summer time of 1962, six ladies between the ages of 55 and 85 had been discovered lifeless in Boston and its suburbs. After a couple of months of quiet, youthful victims started turning up. Mary Sullivan, 19, was the ultimate sufferer, murdered in January of 1964. Albert DeSalvo, an inmate at a psychiatric hospital, confessed in 1965 that he was the Boston Strangler.
Investigation: Though DeSalvo claimed that he killed the ladies, police lacked bodily proof tying him to the homicide scenes. He was as an alternative tried for a collection of robberies and sexual assaults. DeSalvo was convicted on all counts and sentenced to life behind bars in 1967. Six years later, he was stabbed to demise in jail. In 2013, investigators found DNA connecting DeSalvo to Sullivan’s murder. The DNA on the crime scene matched DNA collected from DeSalvo’s exhumed corpse. Investigators tried to find DNA from the opposite murders however haven’t but been capable of finding further organic proof.
The Zodiac Killer
Variety of victims: At least 5
Years and site: Nineteen Sixties, California
Traits: Throughout a string of seemingly random killings, telephone calls and letters had been obtained by police and newspapers from an individual claiming to be the assassin. The letters had been laden with mysterious symbols and references to astrology. Zodiac claimed that she or he killed as many as 37 individuals. After the final identified homicide in 1969, Zodiac mailed a bit of the sufferer’s shirt, together with a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Investigation: In 2002, a San Francisco murder detective stated greater than 2,500 individuals had been thought of suspects within the case. In 2018, police despatched two of Zodiac’s letters to a lab, hoping to search out DNA on the stamps or the envelope flaps.