SERIAL KILLERS (Not for the weak of stomach)

3 Jun

About two years ago I became extremely passionate about exposing the flaws in our justice system and  the psychological and emotional strains that one must go through when wrongfully convicted of a crime.

I’m also drawn to inquire on the psyche of those who ACTUALLY commit heinous crimes. Where and When did things go wrong? Why did this happen? What were they feeling/thinking? Were they born to kill or did society turn them into killers? How do they feel about it now? My interest in crime and criminal law hasn’t been that long.  I’ve been researching a lot of cases that involve the wrongfully convicted as opposed to sociopaths, psychopathic or even the “seemingly sane”  killers. But they’ve always fascinated me as well.

Do not misunderstand this blog. There are Facebook groups that almost celebrate these “people” and I am not one of them. I am a writer and I try to educate myself on multiple topics in case they inspire a play, screenplay, musical… whathaveyou. Okay, Mom?! (she won’t be reading this, I’ll bet)   I think Ted Bundy’s trial judge put it best (below) on how I feel about it all. The “What could have been”.  I personally don’t believe any of the serial killers I researched were born to kill. I think society and circumstance aided in the misguided and damaged mold of their self control. of their will and of their minds.

I spent the last few weeks researching several serial killers. Killers that I’ve always been curious about but didn’t know much of and serial murderers whom I hadn’t heard of but when learning of them, was astonished at their crimes.  From William Fyfe, “The Killer Handyman” to the legends of “Jack the Ripper”, I’m emotionally and a little physically exhausted. I could really only commit to 2 or 3 a day.  Below were the 7 I found the most fascinating.

WARNING, the below is extremely upsetting. Do not read it if you are sensitive to hearing about murder, sexual assault or cannibalism.


The Who & Where: David Berkowitz was known as “The Son of Sam” who targeted women of couples in the New York City area. Queens, The Bronx and then finally in Brooklyn.
The Crimes:  David used a .44 caliber bulldog rifle to kill several women during the late 70’s in NYC.
Diagnosis: I almost didn’t want to add Berkowitz to this list because I found him, not so much fascinating, but an insecure weirdo who managed to terrorize an entire city and force brunette women into dying their hair. So many others are interested in the son of Sam so I thought I’d oblige. In the #7 spot. Do you know what I’d look like as a blond? It’s not pretty. Do I believe that he took orders from his neighbor’s dog to go out and kill? No. no I don’t. Do I believe that he actually heard and saw God after speaking with the “lady of the cloth” who visited him in prison? No. No I don’t. I believe he was 100% legally and mentally responsible for his actions. He was a hit and run killer and he committed all the crimes at night, in the dark which is a clear sign of someone not wanting to be caught because they know the difference between right and wrong.
The What & When: Mostly shootings, but his spree did start with the stabbing of two women. One of them survived.
The Why: He was the son of an affair. His biological mother gave him up for adoption. He was then adopted by a socially awkward couple.  That’s his childhood tragedy. Next…
The Law: He was spotted by an eyewitness as having a very negative reaction to a parking ticket near the scene of the crime. It amazes me that if that parking ticket hadn’t been placed on his car, he would have gone off to kill more women.
The End: Berkowitz pleaded Guilty despite his attorney’s attempts to sway him towards the “Insanity plea”. He’s still in prison.


The Who & Where: Andrei Chikatilo known as “The Rostov Ripper” committed the murders of several women in Russia.
The Crimes: Committed the sexual assault, murder and mutilation of a minimum of 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990
Diagnosis: Legally responsible. I would have not voted for an insanity plea here. The reason being is that he had enough self control to hold off on killings when the investigators were getting closer. He monitored the newspapers carefully, held off on his homicidal tendencies and even switched up some of his mutilation and “death tactics” to throw off authorities.
The What & When: It all began with the sexual assaults of his students in the early 70’s.  He was eventually asked to resign by the principal of the school where he taught ineffectively. His first documented murder took place in the late 70’s when he lured a 9 year old girl to an abandoned house and attempted to rape her. He couldn’t maintain his erection so he stabbed her and ejaculated during the process. This reaction to murder has been severely common in most of the serial killers that I combed through. Those who have had trouble having sexual intercourse the “normal” way, tend to feel a sexual thrill while taking a life or committing acts of severe violence. As the killings went on, he attempted sexual intercourse with most of his victims and when he couldn’t stay erect he would tailspin into a fury and murder them.
The Why: He grew up hiding from Nazi’s and being beaten by his mother. He had to share a bed with her and would often wet it which he was often berated for. A Nazi solider was suspected of raping his mother, impregnating her with his sister. Andrei was consistently targeted by bullies at school while trying to persevere as an ardent student. At the onset of puberty, Chikatilo discovered that he suffered from chronic impotence, worsening his social awkwardness and self-hatred. I know a couple of guys who suffer from impotence… they are not serial killers. That i know of.
The Law:  I want to know what the hell happened in 1984 when police HAD him, tested him and his Blood tested A but the semen at the crime tested AB. It happened again during his final arrest and then some genius discovered that the semen type can be different from the saliva and blood type. Who fucked up here? He was released. They also had this crackerjack plan to have a ton of “obvious” police officers manning the stations on Chikatilo’s kill route in order to discourage him to strike in another area where they had a ton of undercover agents at play. Chikatilo lured another 16-year-old boy off a train at  another station under surveillance from undercover police and killed him in a nearby forest. Awesome job, officers.
The End: The details of what he did to his victims postmortem came out in his confession. It was absolutely chilling and horrifying. Chikatilo was taken from his death row cell to a soundproofed room in Novocherkassk prison and executed with a single gunshot behind the right ear… On Valentines Day.


The Who & Where: John Wayne Gacy was known as “The Killer Clown” who killed males specifically in Chicago, Illinois.
The Crimes: convicted of the sexual assault and murder of a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings. I would like to applaud Donald Voorhees for sticking to what’s right in not allowing The Killer Clown to scare him out of testifying.
Diagnosis: Definitely insane. Since fascinating is the key word here, I’m going to use it hard in this particular case. Gacy managed to keep his criminal past a secret from his friends and family as he murdered several of his employees. He was known as a well respected member of the community, would even dress up as  Pogo the Clown for children’s birthday parties. His friends often described him as adored and thought highly of.  This always blows my mind and I often thought that Hollywood glorified Serial killers this way. How could anyone keep up appearances while also being a vicious murderer? A lot of the people on this list, and people that I’ve researched in addition… there was always something off about them to the public. The ones who could wear a mask of such convincing normalcy are the most interesting.  Gacy was a guy diagnosed with Antisocial personality disorder but took on playing the character of someone who was anything but.
The What & When: Between 1972 and 1978 Gacy would lure unsuspecting boys and men (most of them, his employees) to his house and they’d end up dead in a crawl space beneath the grounds.
The Why: Gacy’s early life was all kinds of messy. From being molested by a family friend to a physically abusive mother.  He had an extremely difficult relationship with his father as well. he spent a few years in the hospital because of seizures and an appendectomy. In his role as a mortuary attendant, Gacy slept in a cot behind the embalming room.In this role, he observed morticians embalming dead bodies and later confessed to the fact that on one evening while alone, he had clambered into the coffin of a deceased teenage male,embracing and caressing the body before experiencing a sense of shock. So yeah… I’d… I’d say that was a pretty good sign that things were going awry.
The Law:  The Iowa Board of Parole did not learn of the incident in Chicago where Gacy was charged with sexually assaulting a boy. The youth didn’t show up in court, but in any event, this violated the conditions of his parole but eight months later,  Gacy’s parole ended. The following month, records of Gacy’s previous criminal convictions in Iowa were subsequently sealed. Awesome.  As you were, Pogo. As you were.
The End: Up to the end, Gacy maintained his innocence (Despite the accurate description he gave authorities as to where the bodies would be found.) He claimed that employees had keys to his house and committed the murders. Gacy was executed by lethal injection. It was reported that his last words were simply “Kiss my ass”.


The Who & Where: Dr. Harold Shipman known as “Dr. Death”, murdered trusting patients of England.
The Crimes: Shipman’s victim count is over 250. The line becomes blurry on which were “murders” and which were “medical procedure.”
The What & When: In 1975 he was caught forging prescriptions of Pethodine for his own use. He was fined £600, and briefly attended a drug rehabilitation clinic in York. A fellow doctor was prompted by some individuals, including a funeral parlor, to express concerns to a coroner about the high death rate among Shipman’s patients and cremation forms that he had needed countersigned. This trusted doctor was changing the wills of his patients, leaving him sums of money that he would collect after their death. Incredible. Like police officers, the people who are meant to keep you safe in this world can sometimes not be trusted.  People were SHOCKED when the truth of this man surfaced.  This case, and the case of the… stairs (The staircase) is the exact reason why I tell my friends and family that if I die suddenly and with any question, I must be buried rather than cremated.!!! One of his patients (a former Mayor) was exhumed and traces of diamorphine (heroin) were found. “old Age” my ass, Dr. Shipman. My ass.
The Why: Shipman’s mother died of lung cancer when he was about 17 years old. They were very close and in the later stages of her disease she had morphine administered at home by a doctor. This became Shipman’s own modus operandi.
The Law:  When the police initially abandoned the Shipman investigation, and Shipman’s eventual arrest, he killed three more people. Good job, detectives. Good job.
The End: Shipman died in January, 2004, after hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire. A few British newspapers and magazines celebrated his death and encouraged other serial killers to follow in his footsteps.


The Who & Where: Erzsébet Báthory of Hungary known as “The Blood Countess”
The Crimes:  Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610 in order to bathe in their blood to obtain eternal youth and beauty.
Diagnosis: I can’t really say she was crazy. This was a completely different time and who knows what was considered insane/sane by “law”. I do know that when i watched that woman in Hostel II do the same thing, I thought she was pretty bat-shit.  She was so well educated that it seems to me something must have been off with her.
The What & When: During the 1500’s Erzebet Bathory was said to have killed over 650 young women beginning with methods of atrocious torture and ending in  large amounts of blood loss.
The Why: Elizabeth was charged with the mishandling of her husband’s estates while he was away at war. This threat could have caused an enormous amount of stress on her.
The Law: As a result of her influence and her family’s stance in society, she never faced trial. She was, however, imprisoned for her “crimes”. Dozens of witnesses and survivors, sometimes up to 35 a day, testified. All but one of the Countess’s servants testified against her–the one who refused had her eyes gouged out and her breasts removed before being burned at the stake. I have to say that I”m glad this is not how we handle witnesses today.
The End: She was kept in four rooms with little ventilation and died four years later. She was buried in the church of Csejte, but the people wanted her moved so she was laid to rest with in her family crypt.


The Who & Where: Jeffrey Dahmer was  the “Milwaukee Cannibal”.
The Crimes:  He committed rape, murder and dismemberment of 17 male victims between the years of 1978 and 1991.
Diagnosis: The thing that kills me about this is that Jeffrey Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial. The man cooked people and ate them because he had fears of abandonment. He wanted his victims to stay with him, to be a part of him and it sexually aroused him. That’s…. that’s not insane? I know there are very strict instances where “insanity” is defined within a courtroom murder trial. but Jesus… there was nothing “Borderline” about his personality disorder. My belief is that the Jury wanted him to rot in a prison instead of a psychiatric hospital because of the extremely unsettling nature of his crimes.
The What & When: As a young child he was fascinated with what the inside of animals and people would look like. Red Flag.  He started finding roadkill and cutting it open to explore those curiosities. In my research he never actually killed or even harmed an animal with his own hand until the murders began. At 15/16 years old he started to come to terms with the fact that he was specifically attracted to men. Growing up in a church-going household one could assume that his feelings of homosexuality being “wrong” would lead him to envision killing his “lovers” after drugging them to lay beside them and listen to their bodies simply exist. In his 20’s, he eventually moved from motel killings to the privacy of his grandmother’s house. He would drug his “Lovers” and lay beside them as they slept, eventually he would fall asleep as well. He drugged them so he could gain sexual control over the situation with out the pressure of entertaining or adhering to their sexual requests. According to Dahmer, never actually intended to kill them unless something went wrong during the “zombie-like” state he attempted to place them in. Or if he believed they would wake up and be angry with him. He preferred having “light” sex with the unconscious bodies but would also partake in the same sexual behavior with the corpses as well. He would eat the victims to keep them close to him. To make them a part of him so that, in a sense.  he could never be left. He preyed on gay men, mostly black men, whom he was drawn to. Whom he was attracted to.
The Why: Dahmer’s parents had a messy divorce and there was a lot of screaming lining this unhealthy environment. His mother abandoned Jeff and his father and took his younger brother with her. Dahmer and his psychologists believe that his deterioration occurred as a result of his mother’s leaving. If anyone finds any interviews with the son or mom, I would love to read/watch them.
The Law: Dahmer’s case also has a few instances where our trusty law failed yet again. A police officer pulled him over one night because he had swerved over the middle line. He passed the sobriety test and when asked what was in the garbage bags in the back of his car, he came up with a story about how ‘going to the dump in the middle of the night’ relaxed him. He was let go. Hey… officer? Guess what was in those garbage bags. Awesome job. Another instance that I find UNBELIEVABLE is when a woman called 9-1-1 to report a young boy disoriented and naked in the street. The cops showed up and traced his origin to Dahmer’s apartment. Jeffrey said that they were boyfriends, had a spat and that the “kid” got way too drunk. Dahmer then showed the officer pictures (that unbeknownst to the officers were taken prior to the drugging in exchange for money) and used them as proof that they were lovers. The cops bought it and left the disoriented kid with Jeff calling it a “lover’s quarrel”. Hey… officer? Guess what happened to that kid who was actually underage but you thought was of age. Awesome job!
The End: Dahmer only served about 2 years of his 900+ year sentence before he was murdered by a fellow inmate. He died on the way to the hospital.


The Who & Where: Ted Bundy was a serial killer known as “The Campus Killer” who started hunting primarily in the north western region of the country, traveling down to California and was finally apprehended in Florida following a most clever prison escape.
The Crimes: A rapist, kidnapper, and necrophiliac who assaulted and murdered numerous young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 25 during the 1970s .
Diagnosis: A Definite Sociopath. A definite criminal mastermind. Bundy knew the law and he knew how to buy himself time, privileges and escape routes. He was a truly engrossing serial killer.  He was obsessed with possessions. The most materialistic serial killer I’ve read about. Possessing his victims before death and post mortem put Bundy in control. He would visit the “resting place” of his victims and have sex with the bodies, paint their nails, apply make up and even wash the hair of the dead. The continuous cultivating of his “possessions” was part of a very intense ritual for Bundy including the removal of clothes and the redressing of his victims as well. Bundy was so careful and meticulous about maintaining a lack of physical evidence to link him to crime scenes. He also escaped from the confines of the law twice. This man was VERY aware of his surroundings, his abilities and the acute sense of his victim’s vulnerability. As part of his ritual, he insisted on drinking large amounts of alcohol to “significantly diminish” his inhibitions and to “sedate” the “dominant personality” that he feared might prevent his inner “entity” from acting on his impulses.
The What & When: There is speculation that his murders/kidnappings could have started as early as 14 years old with a victim as young as four years old. His home life was an absolute mess, but in so many interviews he claims that he had the most normal childhood with loving parents. His “parents” he would soon learn were actually his grandparents and his “sister” was in fact his biological mother. Rumors have bounced around about who is father is, but nothing was actually proven. There was even speculation that it could have been his mother’s father (his grandfather) who was his biological father. (See Black Christmas remake “his cousin uncle brother’s mother sister….”) He was in a relationship that ended because she felt he was immature and unmotivated. The rejection devastated Bundy and sent him leaping into determined success. During his university years he was considered charming, well dressed, educated and was climbing the political ladder. His professors thought very highly of him. He was in a relationship with one woman when his former girlfriend returned, impressed by the change in Bundy. He started seeing both women simultaneously and when his former girlfriend and he discussed plans of marriage, he soon cut off all contact with her and when she demanded to know why, he simply said “Stephanie, I have no idea what you mean.” and hung up. She never heard from him again and he later claimed that he just wanted to prove to himself that he could marry her. His crimes began by sneaking into the bedrooms of his victims while they slept and bludgeoning them. As he grew in age and expertise, the crimes were carried out in a much more sleek and careful manner. After his cunning escape from Glenwood Springs, Bundy broke into the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University and sexually attacked and severely injured 4 woman in a span of 15 minutes  within earshot of more than 30 witnesses who heard nothing. Bundy was famous for disguising himself as a charming, harmless man who might be injured and might need help getting something to his car. (*This tactic was specifically mimicked in the film  Silence of the Lambs by the Buffalo Bill character who pretended to have an injured arm so that an unsuspecting woman could help him lift a couch into the back of his van.) After gaining their trust, Bundy would then overpower his victims and sexually assault them before ultimately strangling them to death.
The Why: Bundy and other family members told attorneys in 1987 that his grandfather was a tyrannical bully and a bigot who hated blacks, Italians, Catholics and Jews, beat his wife and the family dog and swung neighborhood cats by their tails. This was the man that might have been Bundy’s biological father (though this was never proven). Bundy, through out the course of his life, blamed his psychopathic behavior on everything from the psychological damage of not knowing his true parentage to the sexually violent pornography he read in his youth.
The Law: Police and detectives had a near impossible time pinning crimes on Bundy due to his cautious ways of maintaining a clean crime scene. A significant obstacle for law enforcement were Bundy’s generic, essentially anonymous physical features. He was said to look like a different person in almost all of his photographs just by a simple change of expression. This made him difficult for survivors and witnesses to identify with 100% accuracy. This might be my favorite part: When Bundy stood trial for the Chi Omega homicides and assaults in June 1979,  despite the presence of five court-appointed attorneys, Bundy handled much of his own defense. It was said that he “sabotaged the entire defense effort out of spite, distrust, and grandiose delusion,” and that “Ted [was] facing murder charges, with a possible death sentence, and all that mattered to him apparently was that he be in charge.” Back in jail in Glenwood Springs, Bundy ignored the advice of friends and legal advisors to stay put. While they say he could have been a free man because, at the time, the case against him was weak… he would have been caught eventually as his urge to kill was something he couldn’t control even when he tried post escape.  There was a shot for an acquittal, but Bundy was a stubborn defendant and acquired a hacksaw blade from another inmate and accumulated $500 in cash, smuggled in over a six-month period. While his fellow inmates showered, he sawed a hole about one foot (0.30 m) square in the corner of his cell’s ceiling and, after losing 35 pounds, was able to wiggle through it into the crawl space above. How Shawshank Redemption of him. Using books and papers to simulate a sleeping Bundy, it wasn’t until around noon the next day that officials knew he had escaped. By that time he was already in Chicago.
The End: His trial judge, Edward Cowart, was recorded saying, “It is further ordered that on such scheduled date that you will be put to death by a current of electricity, sufficient to cause your immediate death and that current of electricity shall continue to be passed through your body until you are dead. Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself, please. It is an utter tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I’ve experienced in this courtroom. You’re a bright young man. You would have made a good lawyer and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don’t feel any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.” I can now use Ted Bundy as an excuse for why I won’t help disabled people.

Notable Serial Killers I Chose to Leave Out:

Charles Manson – Of The Manson Family – Too predictable.
Donald Henry Gaskins “Pee wee” – Might be the worst one I researched. He was too evil for me to write a profile about. They called him “The meanest man” and I found myself so angry reading about his crimes. I have a line, I guess, and Gaskins crossed it. Tommy Lynn Sells also crossed it.
Gary Leon Ridgway – “The Green River Killer” – Looked an awful lot like Andy Samburg in his mugshot. There was nothing particularly “fascinating” about Ridgway. I did, however, find Ted Bundy “working with authorities” to lead them to Gary due to his expertise in serial killers (being one himself), extremely interesting. Ted Bundy was the Hannibal Lector to Ridgway’s Buffalo Bill. It was also ridiculous that getting STD’s from prostitutes angered him but didn’t stop him from having unprotected sex with said prostitutes. #winning
Richard Ramirez – “Night Stalker” – Again, nothing psychologically intriguing here. His crimes could most definitely be considered a Sloppy Spree. They were almost random yet he followed a predictable path. He was definitely crazy, but legally responsible for his crimes mentally. It definitely hit close to home as so many of his terrifying murders happened in the Southern California area where I lived for many years.
Tommy Lynn Sells –   “Coast to Coast Killer”  – This was a serial killer that I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around. I know he was heavily influenced by drugs and alcohol. His murders seemed to not be premeditated and they were gruesome and with 100% no attachment. He didn’t have much of a plan when he would commit these heinous crimes. One of his murders was SO horrific (worse than Gaskins) that it involved a woman prematurely giving birth from the shock of watching her family die around her. Like with Gaskins, I won’t even go in to the rest. His childhood was a nightmare but obviously doesn’t excuse his adult actions.
Thug Behram – Thug – Was a member of an Indian gang who may have been responsible for up to a million murders in the late 1700s early 1800s. The English term “Thug” comes from the name of this gang. I thought that was pretty interesting.
Jack the Ripper” – Since no one was convicted of his crimes, I have no personal background to dig into for psychiatric evaluation.
Alexander Pichushkin – “The Chessboard Killer” – Or whom I refer to as the “Andrei Chikatilo Wannabe”.
Edmund Kemper – “The Co-Ed Killer” – The only serial killer I read about who killed his family along with his serial spree. This guy would keep his victim’s bodies at his apartment and have sex with the severed heads and corpses. #dreamboat
Herbert Mullin – Just contributed to giving California the title of “Murder Capital of the World”. No Catchy Serial killer nick name here. His best friend was killed in a car accident and he was devastated by the news. So devastated that he built a shrine in his bedroom to honor his dead friend. He also had fears of possibly being homosexual because of his strong feelings for this deceased friend. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which was also enhanced by his taking of LSD.

Ed Gein – “The Mad Butcher” – Definitely gets voted “Most Creative/Artistic” Of his Serial Killer graduating class. Ed would take human remains (Skin, bones… hair) and make little trinkets and furniture out of it. Think about it, for just $9.99 you could brush your teeth with someone’s collar bone!

Dennis Nilsen – “The Kindly Killer”  – I also like “British Jeffrey Dahmer.” The abandonment Dennis felt from his grandfather’s passing was similar to the abandonment Dahmer felt towards his mother, possibly driving them to kill. And the favoritism of Dahmer’s little brother being taken away to “Safety” mirrors that of Nilsen’s contempt for his mother’s favoritism towards his older brother. Oh yeah, and they both ate their victims.

Carl Eugene Watts  – “Coral” – This was an interesting case where professionals believed that his murders were not sexually driven. That’s new. For serial killers. Earlier diagnosis’s found Watts to be mentally retarded, but then people would say he was extremely lucid and well spoken. He committed murders in several different jurisdictions which made it difficult for police to find (in addition to the fact that semen wasn’t found on the victims, making a DNA identification near impossible. ) Also this pictures of this guy… he looks really kind and intelligent. Kind eyes. It threw me off.

There are a lot more serial killers, unfortunately. I researched about 20 in a two week period so instead of researching 20 more, I decided to release this blog. Maybe there will be a Volume 2. God, I hope not. I definitely feel a play coming on.


2 Responses to “SERIAL KILLERS (Not for the weak of stomach)”

  1. Eddie 2014 at : #

    Great read. Clean, family fun. One thing that I find interesting about David Berkowitz, is how he’s spending his time in prison. He has a blog called Forgiven For Life. I’m not sure if it’s still up, but he used to dicuss things like 9/11 and added a few conspiracy theories on why he thought it was an “inside” job. And I would love to see you as a blonde.

    • The Pam Quinn 2014 at : #

      I thought he was pretty lame. Thanks for the blog compliments. I worked really hard on it.

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