With Halloween fast approaching, ‘spooky season’ is well underway. What better way to celebrate than to recount some of the most disturbing serial killers and their twisted MOs? Here are ten killers who made murder an art form and didn’t hold back:
Charles Albright had what you might call an ‘eye for’ prostitutes. By that, we mean his MO involved shooting them and then cutting out their eyes to keep as a souvenir, and then dumping their bodies. To be fair, he would sometimes paint the eyeball, you know, to make it look nice.
You can’t make a list of serial killers without Ed Gein. Known as the guy who inspired Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s iconic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Gein had a bit of a knack for dead bodies and home décor. Along with being convicted for two murders (technically one shy of being a ‘serial’ killer), a search of his house turned up among other things: chair covers and a lampshade made from human skin, bowls made of human skulls, and a curtain pull made from human lips.
Known as the “Boston Strangler” back in the 1960s, what made DeSalvo unique was his method of strangulation. After brutally raping his victims, who tended to be older women, he took their underwear and choked them to death.
Dahmer is well known for kidnapping, torturing, and molesting young boys before murdering them. What is less known were his plans to turn his victims into mindless zombie sex slaves. Once captured, Dahmer would drill a hole in their head and fill it with hydrochloric acid to try and numb their brains and turn them into zombies he could control.
This 19th-century nurse Ratched was particularly bad at her job. Mostly because all her patients died…from being poisoned…by her. Toppan was responsible for the murders of at least 31 people. As a nurse, she would climb in bed and cuddle her patients and kiss them before injecting them with lethal dosages of poison.
After the first World War, many in Germany fell on hard times. Struggling to get by, some of the more creative lot, like Denke, found exciting ways to make money. After selling his house, Denke began renting out rooms next to the shop where he worked. The only weird part was people who rented his rooms never came out. Instead, Denke murdered them, deboned them, and processed their flesh and packaged it into jars and sold it to unsuspecting Germans as sausage.
Another one with a thing for eyes, Chikatilo murdered at least 50 people in the Soviet Union during his lifetime. He would greet his victims at train stations and lure them into the forest where he would rape, stab, and then mutilate his victims. Then he would lacerate their eye socket, pop out their eyeball and eat it like candy. Over time, however, his hunger for human parts grew, and in multiple cases, he would eat his victim’s genitals.
Known as the ‘Blood Countess,’ this killer from the 16th century is said to have raped and murdered 650 female virgins to bathe in their blood to give her immortality. She is also known for her vicious torture methods involving shoving pins and needles under her victim’s fingernails, and in some cases biting bits of their flesh off, and in case she forced a girl to cook and eat her own ripped off flesh. She is often considered to be the ‘first vampire.’
John Wayne Gacy
Responsible for the death of over 30 men, this real-life Pennywise, when he wasn’t raping and murdering young boys, spent his time dressing up as Pogo the clown at children’s events and ran several KFC chains. After killing his victims, he buried them in his backyard. During his trial, he is believed to have said the only thing he was guilty of was “running a cemetery without a license.”
David Parker Ray
Dubbed the “Toy Box Killer,” David Ray Parker was ultimately accused of 7 different murders. Parker, helped by multiple accomplices, kidnapped women and held them captive. He would torture them using whips, pulleys, straps, and other restraints. In some cases, Parker strapped his victims down to immobilize them and then let his friends and even his dogs rape them. Though he was ultimately not convicted of murder, the police believe him to be responsible for as many as 60 deaths.