|SERIAL KILLER HIT LIST - PART 2|
The Crime Archives catalogues its serial killers by their number of proven hits. Some killers are suspected of much higher body counts. Others bragged about crimes they never committed. Check in the morgue for the latest entries. Because of its ever-increasing size, the Serial Killer Hit List has been broken into four sections according to number of hits.
Phoolan Devi (20+) Known as India's infamous Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, 36, is accused of massacring 20 upper-caste men in 1981 in the village of Behmai in northern Uttar Pradesh state. Now a lawmaker, Phoolan had previously been held prisoner and raped by the citizens of Behmai.
Indian police was ordered to arrest Phoolan before February 4, 1997, on a petition filed by Raja Ram, a resident of Behmai village, who claimed that the parole granted to Devi had ended in December. The ruling came seven weeks after the Supreme Court rejected Devi's pleas to throw out 54 charges of murder, robbery, extortion and kidnapping still pending against her.
Devi won a seat in the federal Parliament in 1996 -- after serving 11 years in prison -- by championing the cause of low-caste Hindus. She portrayed her criminal career as part of a struggle between low-caste Hindus like herself and the upper castes in one of India's most backward regions.
Charles Sobhraj (20) Known as "The Serpent" for his cunning and poisonous ways, Charles is Asia's premier serial killer. A French national of Indian and Vietnamese parentage, Sobhraj is suspected of cutting a bloody trail through Asia and Europe killing backpacking tourist. In true serial killing fashion, Sobhraj was a persistent bet-wetter in his youth at a boarding school in Paris. After escaping twice from school to return to Vietnam, Charles started his career as a petty thief by forging checks from his sister's bank account. He soon graduated to become a smuggler and international con man.
For most of his life Charles bounced back and forth from Europe to Asia and led a life devoted to crime. By 1972, the year of his first known murder, he was deeply involved in the heroin trade. Later on he later made a habit of killing off competing heroin traffickers. His preferred method of murder was slipping his victims a lethal drug cocktail and then robbing them of their money and possessions. His favorite victims tended to be European tourist. From 1972 to 1982 he is suspected of commiting at least 20 murders in India, Thailand, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Hong Kong.
Charles was arrested numerous times in France, Afganistan, Greece, and India, but usually managed to escape or bribe his way out of trouble. He was finally brought to justice in July 1976 after poisoning a busload of French engineering students. Planning to steal their passports so to more easily elude authorities, Charles handed what he said were dysentery pills to 60 students in the lobby of the Vikram Hotel in New Delhi. His plan backfired when the students started passing out while he remained in the lobby.
Found guilty of poisoning the tourist Charles was sent to India's toughest prison where he bribed his way into a privileged type of incarceration. Over the years, "Sir Charles," as his jailers called him, had the run of the place. Guards procured for him everything he wanted -- food, visitors, cell phones, and numerous female companions.
On March 16, 1986, as his release date approached, Sobhraj escaped from the Tihar prison. The cunning killer threw a birthday party for himself and invited all guards and prisoners. Among the party treats were cakes, cookies and grapes. Surreptitiously, "Sir Charles" injected sleeping pills into the grapes knocking out all guest except for himself and four other inmates who proceeded waltz out of the front gate into the New Delhi streets. Sobhraj was so cocky, he had one of the group take photographs along the way. As a fugitive on the lam Charles behaved more like a vacationing college student. He was soon recaptured and found guilty of having an Italian-made pistol in his possession. Later he confessed to having purposely handed himself to authorities so to avoid extradition to Thailand where he was wanted for five murders and could be given the death penalty.
On February 5, 1997, New Delhi's metropolitan magistrate, Prem Kumar, said Sobhraj had already remained in jail for a "period more than the maximum punishment prescribed" under the Indian law. In an effort to get him out of the country as quickly as possible all weapon charges against him were dropped. On February 14 Charlie was granted bail and, fearing extradition to Thailand, refused to leave his cell until he received his identity papers from the French embassy.
Minutes after his release he was rearrested for being in India without valid documents. The Indian government announced its intention of deporting Sobhraj back to France once his papers were in order citing that, "his continued presence in the country threatens law and order". To expedite his departure from India, a reluctant French Embassy supplied a paperless Sobhraj with a travel permit to France after wrangling over his status as a French national.
Saying he is ready for a secluded and tranquil life after making a $15 million movie and book deal with French actor-producer Yves Renier, Charles left his New Delhi jail cell and boarded an Air France jet to the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Ever the sensitive killer, he told The Associated Press that he had reflected on his past, and "deeply regrets" certain aspects of his life. Fond of his Asian dwellings, Charlie said he felt like a stranger in France and hoped to return to India where he wants to open a school for poor children.
A free man in France, Sobhraj has proved to be as ruthless a businessman as he was a killer. A no nonsense celebrity, journalist are required to pay £5,000 to have coffee with him and discuss further monetary arrangements to secure an interview. Having already netted a few million on book and film deals for his autobiography, Sobhraj has proved to be quite the marketable commodity. Publications such as Le Figaro agreed to pay good money for posed pictures of him sitting in Paris cafés answering vapid questions. For him, every word has its price. As his agents is quick to point out: "We're in 1997. Wherever people are offering money, people are taking it. It's the name of the game. No money, no meeting." Who says crime doesn't pay?
Lucian Staniak (20) Known as "The Red Spider," Lucian is considered the most prolific serial killer of Poland. His reign of terror started in 1964. A colorful killer, he left poetic notes commenting on his behavior. He killed his first known victim during a national holiday and left a note declaring: "I picked a juicy flower in Olsztyn and I shall do it again somewhere else, for there is no holiday without a funeral." Over the next three years, this sexual deviant killed and mutilated at least twenty women. His reign of terror was finally uncovered when he slaughtered a fellow member of his Art Lovers Club. His paintings, done mainly in crimson and focusing on scenes of mutilation, made the police a tad suspicious. Tracing his itinerary for the past two years police noticed that it matched perfectly with the string of slayings. After confessing Lucian was sent to an insane asylum in Katowice where he still does a lot of painting.
Sasha & Lyudmila Spesivtsev (19+) In a one man crusade to cleanse modern Russia from the permissiveness of democracy, Sasha Spesivtsev, 27, killed at least 19 street children who he saw as the detritus of society. Inexplicably, with the help of his mother, he also cooked and ate them.
Sasha, an unemployed black marketeer and former mental patient, would lure his homeless victims from the streets and local train stations in the Siberian town of Novokuznetsk to his home. Suspicions of a serial killer active in the area surfaced the summer of 1996 when body parts appeared in river Aba near the school where Sasha's mom, Lyudmila, worked. However, the investigation moved at a snail's pace due to the nature of the victims -- the poor children of the forgotten underclass -- and the inept Russian judicial beaurocracy (see Andrei Chikatilo for further details of Soviet burocratic blunders).
During the initial stages of the investigation one of Sasha's neighbors repeatedly complained to police of the deathly stench and deafening music coming from his apartment. No one ever came to investigate even though in 1991 a teenage girl was found dead in his place. A year later, when police finally entered his home they found 15-year-old Olga Galtseva dying on the couch with multiple stab wounds to her stomach. In the bathroom they found a headless corpse and in the living room there was a rib cage.
Before dying Olga told police that she, together with two other 13-year-old friends, helped the cannibal mother with some bags to her apartment. Once inside they were trapped by Sasha and a fierce dog. Authorities assume that Olga's two little friends are dead. However, they claim they lack the funds to dig for their bodies or perform any genetic testing to establish the identities of the body parts they have recuperated.
Alexei Bugayets, a prosecutor for the Kemerovo region, which includes Novokuznetsk, said investigators believe they now can prove Spesivtsev killed 19 people, and expect to add dozens of other cases, the Tribune reported. Bugayets said a search of Spesivtsev's apartment revealed 80 bloodstained pieces of clothing. He said tests established that none of them contained blood from anyone in Spesivtsev's family.
Sasha, described by authorities as an "intellectual" who has written some books on philosophy, previously had been released from a psychiatric hospital. He was committed after being convicted of murdering his girlfriend.
In prison he spends all his time undergoing psychiatric testing and writing poems about the evils of democracy. Asked how he justifies his crimes, he rhetorically answered, "How many people have our democracy destroyed?... If people thought about that, there wouldn't be any of this filth. But what can you do?" His mother, on the other hand, has withdrawn into herself and has not uttered a word since her arrest. Sasha, burdened with the heart of a true black marketeer, wants to sell his head to some institute so they can study his brain, and get paid, "in advance, in cigarettes."
Sipho Agmatir Thwala (19) South Africa's alleged "Phoenix Strangler," Sipho Agmatir Thwala, is suspected of raping and strangling 19 victims with their underwear before burying them in shallow graves. On March 31, 1999, the Durban High Court found Thwala guilty of only 16 murders and 10 rapes, and he was sentenced to 506 years in prison. Thwala, 31, of KwaMashu, became the most wanted man in KwaZulu-Natal province, located in eastern South Africa along the Indian Ocean during an alleged year-long reign of terror. At the time of his murderous spree - between 1996 and 1997 - the Phoenix and KwaMashu communities were gripped with terror, not knowing who would be next or when he would strike again.
Thwala, who was acquitted of rape and murder in 1994, was arrested for the serial killings at his Besters squatter camp home in a pre-dawn swoop by police in August 1997. His arrest came days after DNA samples taken from the suspect, who was released on the rape and murder charges in 1994, matched those taken from several crime scenes.
The killer apparently lured his victims to the sugarcane fields fields of Mount Edgecombe, near Phoenix, by offering them employment. Thwala fitted the profile compiled by police forensic psychologist Micky Pistorius, who described him as "intelligent and charming to women, but extremely dangerous". Thwala speaks English, Afrikaans and Zulu and grew up as a labourer in the cane fields where he sold cane to local residents.
His mother, Khathazile Ntanzi, described Twala as an intelligent man who could read and write even though he never received schooling beyond Grade 1. "He was a normal child, a gentleman and helpful around the house. He also bought us groceries when he had money. We are relieved he has been sent to jail. Who knows? He may have turned against us one day," said his sister, Zibekile.
On March 31, 1999, a Dunbar judge sentenced Twala to 506 years in prison after he was found guilty of 16 slayings and other charges. Twala, 31, showed no remorse for his crimes. He was also found guilty of one charge of attempted murder, seven of indecent assault and three of rape.
Shortly before his sentencing, a rumour spread around Inanda that Thwala had been seen at his family's home. An angry mob converged on the house, setting it alight after locking his mother, Khathazile 65, and his sister Zibekile, 41, inside as they prepared to go to church. A neighbour came to their rescue, dragging them from the blazing dwelling. Fearing for their lives, the family fled to the police station with Zibekile's six-month-old son, Mthandeni, and her daughters Fikile, 2, Ntombizakhona, 7, and Phumelele, 8.
Both Thwala's mother and sister said that they believed he "got what was coming to him" when Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner imposed the 506-year sentence on him. At the time of his reign of terror, neither Thwala's mother nor his sister suspected that he was the killer. "He never changed his behaviour. He would even occasionally condemn the killings and said he hoped the killer would be caught soon," said his mother.
Vadim Yershov (19) On June 10, 1998, Red Army army deserter Vadim Yershov fainted when he was sentenced to death for raping, robbing and stabbing 19 people. Yershov, 25, was sentenced by a military tribunal in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Fortunately for him Russia has suspended executing its convicts even though the death sentence is still part of the legal code. The Council of Europe urged Russia to abolish capital punishment as a condition for its membership in the organization.
Gerd Wenzinger (19) On June 16, 1997 Gerd Wenzinger -- the German torture doctor accused of murdering and torturing up to 19 women in Brazil and Germany -- hanged himself in his jail cell in Brazil after a court approved his extradition back to Germany.
Wenzinger, 53, was accused of killing 13 women in Germany and four more in Brazil. On June 12 Brazil's Supreme Court approved his extradition which led to his death by hanging four days later. Wenzinger first attempted to kill himself after learning that German police had found a videotape showing him cutting a woman into small pieces.
Sergei Ryakhovsky (19) Sergei, a necrophilic killer known as "The Hippopotamus" because of his size, is believed to have slain up to 19 people in the suburbs of Moscow. Six more survived his attacks. In July, 1995 he was sentenced to death for his crimes
"I will be back," Ryakhovsky said after being sentenced. Local television reported that the killer intended to file an appeal. Ryakhovsky, 32, thick-necked, heavy-handed and pasty-faced, earned his nickname because he is almost six feet six inches tall and weight of 280 pounds. When the trial started in April, the prosecution accused him of killing 19 men and women aged between 14 and 78 up to his arrest in April 1993. Allegedly Ryakhovsky carried out necrophilic acts on his victims and stole their belongings.
In true Eastern European serial killer fashion Sergei first confessed to most of the charges, but later admitted only three murder attempts on elderly women -- despite the fact that he had led investigators to the naked and headless body of a young boy he killed. One of the more bizarre cases outlined by the prosecution was in January 1993, when they say Ryakhovsky killed a 78-year-old man, cut off his head with his hunting knife and returned a day later to saw off his leg. In another act of lethal bizarreness, in March of that year he strangled a woman, committed necrophilia, and blew her up with a bomb he put inside her.
Larry Eyler (19) A homosexual killer struggling with life in the closet. Larry took satisfaction wherever he could and then disposed of the evidence. At one point, as the police investigated him, he sued them for half a million dollars for "psychological warfare". At his first trial the evidence against him was found inadmissible and Eyler walked out on bail to carry on with his deadly forays. Eventually, his arrogance led to his undoing when he dumped the dismembered body of a male hustler in his garbage. His handiwork got him the death penalty.
Larry died of AIDS in prison on March 6, 1994, shortly after a failed attempt to swap more confessions for a commutation of his Illinois death sentence. His alleged accomplice Robert Little is still a free man, though the college where he taught library science eased him out after the murder trial. Eyler's former attorney was supposedly cooperating with families of the various victims on a wrongful death lawsuit against some unnamed accomplice, but nothing has come of it.
Paul John Knowles (18+) In 1974, after being released from jail, Knowles was rejected by a woman he met through an astrology magazine. That sent him on a one-night, three-body killing spree. He soon left town , leaving a trail of corpses on his wake. He would choose his victims randomly, entering their homes at gun point. He strangled his prey and stole their credit cards. Sometimes he would try to rape his victims, but usually his sword would go blunt before completing the deed. Using a stolen cassette recorder, he left a taped confession of fourteen murders with his lawyer and disappeared. He continued on with his deadly ways and eventually was hunted down by an FBI agent who shot him dead in Georgia.
Christopher Mhlengwa Zikode (18) Known as the "Donnybrook Serial Killer," Zikode murdered 18 people and attempted to murder another 11 over a period of two years in the rural Natal midlands town of Donnybrook in South Africa. All his victims were between 20 and 30. His modus operandi was to kick open the door of his victims' house, shoot the men in the head and drag the women to nearby plantations, where he would rape them repeatedly - sometimes for as long as five hours - and kill them. If they resisted he would shoot them first and commit necrophilia. Sometimes he would attack women from behind in footpaths in the area. Mhlengwa, 21 was arrested on September 29, 1995 and is presently awaiting trial.
On January 7, 1997, a High Court judge sentenced 23-year-old Zikode (23) to 140 years in prison, including five life sentences for a six-month rape and murder rampage. In the understament of the year the judge said during sentencing that Zikode had absolutely no regard for human life and his attitude to women was "contemptible," and found it unnecessary to review the "gory details" of the case. Zikode was convicted on 21 charges, including eight murders, five rapes, five attempted murders and one indecent assault, between April and September 1995.
The judge noted "with dismay" that Zikode was arrested for the first time in July 1995 for the attempted murder of Beauty Zulu. While on bail he committed five more offences - two attempted murders, housebreaking with intent to rape, murder and rape. He was eventually successfully convicted with the help of South Africa's star profiler, Dr. Micki Pistorious.
Joel Rifkin (17+) Joel Rifkin of East Meadow, New York, killed at least seventeen women, mostly prostitutes in the NY area. He was caught while driving a pickup with no license plates and a three-day old corpse sitting next to him. Rifkin was sentenced to 203 2/3 years to life is Attica, a complex of brick, red tile-roofed buildings clustered behind a 30-foot, concrete wall in the green hills east of Buffalo. He is confined to his cell 23 hours a day for his own protection.
In a jailhouse interview in 1999, Rifkin pondered on what made him kill all those women. "I still don't understand why," he said, noting he patronized hundreds of prostitutes for years before he started killing them. "There were nights I'd be with more than one girl. One girl would walk away fine; the other would end up dead. I don't know why.
In a susprising turn, for the last five years in jail Rifkin, New York State's most prolific serial killer, has been working on plans to build a shelter for prostitutes with counseling, drug treatment, medical help, and job training. The proposal for "Oholah House" -- named for a biblical prostitute killed by her clients -- has kept Rifkin busy in his windowless cell at Attica Correctional Facility for the past four years. It is his way of making amends for the 17 murders he admits he commited.
"My view of what I did -- you can't pardon it," Rifkin said. "I don't see forgiveness coming my way. It's a way of paying back a debt, I guess. Sitting here until I die or get murdered is not paying a debt."
"It's obviously well thought out," said Sidney-Anne Ford, executive director of the You Are Never Alone Project, a nonresidential treatment center for prostitutes in Baltimore. "This is a great thing he's working on. It's a pretty compassionate model for service."
According to Fred Klein, chief of the major offense bureau for the Nassau district attorney's office, "Joel's a very bright person. He's trying to help people, and I don't see why people shouldn't listen. If he's come to the conclusion that he wants to use his brain and help people, that's good. Maybe he hopes some day that people will see there's another side of Joel Rifkin." Who would have thought Rifkin to have a kind and decent side to his barbarous personality? "He's a very thoughtful -- at times, sensitive -- person," Klein said. "There's something very different about him ... He just has that one flaw."
"A lot of the feelings you get with girls is total worthlessness," Rifkin said. "They see themselves as being incapable of being loved. Their only experiences with men are abusive." Oholah House would give women the tools and the confidence they need to leave behind a lifetime of prostitution, Rifkin said. Residence in the house, which would last 18 to 24 months, should be voluntary for it to be effective, he said. Only women dedicated to changing their lives will be able to do it, he said.
Residents would get help from many sources to help them make that change. There would be psychological counseling, job training, substance abuse treatment, medical care, parenting skills training, money management classes -- all standard services for helping people get their lives in order. In instances where women still have supportive families -- a rarity among prostitutes -- he said family members should be invited to "reunions" as a way to re-establish connections.
Residents of Oholah House would be encouraged to form a "sisterhood" in the same way members of Alcoholics Anonymous have sponsors within the group to look out for each other. Rifkin suggested former residents should be encouraged to return to the house, whether they need more help themselves or to offer support to current residents.
(Oholah House information courtesy of Andrew Smith, Newsday
Leszek Pekalski (17+) Accused of killing 17 women from 1984 to 1992, Leszek was convicted of one murder but cleared of more than a dozen others. After an eight-month trial the Provincial Court in the northern city of Slupsk, Poland, sentenced Leszek to 25 years in a psychiatric institute. The court said there was insufficient evidence to convict him of the other killings. Leszek, when he was first arrested, admitted to killing more than 80 people. Later he said the police had forced the confession out of him.
"I'm a gullible man, and I was easily persuaded by what the officers had told me," Pekalski told the judge. "I'm mentally weak, and if somebody pushes me, I break down. Then I admit to things I have never done. I have never killed anyone. I'm so scared. The prosecutor threatened that the victims' families or the public would kill me if I'm acquitted or get a mild sentence. He yelled at me and told me to confess everything."
Like in the O.J. Simpson trial, DNA tests of hair strands were to be crucial pieces of evidence implicating the defendant. Sadly the prosecutor's hopes proved futile when Doctor Ryszard Pawelski from the Gdansk Medical Academy's forensic medicine institute examined the evidence and declared that the cops had clumsily handled the hair strands and damaged their evidential value.
According to police Pekalski confessed to details of the crimes no one else could've known about. "We couldn't find his trail for a long time. He never followed a regular pattern; there was no typical victim or a repeated killing method. He would hit with a wooden cane or would strangle his victim with a belt."
Like other lust killers, the Pekalski was diagnosed with having an abnormal sex drive. When he was first incarcerated in 1992 he asked the warden's permission to let him keep a rubber sex-shop doll in his detention cell. Poor lonely Leszek wasn't allowed to get the sex-doll. He has appealed to the government's Citizen Rights representative, and is awaiting the decision. Sources say he has put on a lot of weight in jail, and is hopeful to soon "find a girl," in the flesh or made out of rubber.
Donato Bilancia (17) On May 15, 1998, Donato Bilancia, confessed to a string of slayings in the Italian Riviera, saying he was mentally ill, suddenly flipped and could not explain his 90-day long serial killing spree.
Bilancia spent seven hours through the night smoking and confessing to the magistrate in charge of his case to the tune of 18 murders, 15 of them since October. "He expressly asked for treatment because he is not able to realise what he has done. He cannot explain to himself what happened: something suddenly went off in him," the lawyer said. The confessed killer, who was arrested May 6, added that he had acted alone and on his own initiative.
Prosecutors in Genoa said they now have evidence linking a Donato Bilancia to the killing of two women on trains around the Italina Riviera. Sources close to investigation confirmed that prosecutors had found gunpowder on the clothes of the two women shot dead in the toilets of trains to the crime scenes of the six murdered prostitutes.
Police said Bilancia was also under investigation for the murder of a money-changer near Ventimiglia on the French border in March and of a gas station attendant killed on the highway between Ventimiglia and the Mediterranean port city of Genoa in April. They have also reopened the case of a October 1997 shooting of a newlywed couple in their apartment in Genoa.
A second official arrest warrant was issued for Bilancia in connection with the murder of two security guards shot dead last year when they went to the aid of a transvestite being attacked. The transvestite, called Julio Castro and known as "Lorena," pointed out Bilancia as the alleged assailant in an police lineup. Police revealed that one of the train murders took place on the same Genoa-Ventimiglia line where Bilancia's brother, Michele, threw himself and his small son into the path of an oncoming train 11 years ago.
Bilancia, whose Genoa apartment was found to contain porn videos, syringes, and a statue of a phallus, said he bought a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver last year with 50 bullets and, "after firing a few practice rounds", set about killing a string of people after he was betrayed by people he knew in the local gambling world. In a lurid 14-page confession, the feared Riviera Serial Killer calmly recounted in detail how he had killed a gas station attendant, two goldsmiths, two bureau de change operators, two women in train lavatories, three security guards, four prostitutes, an underworld gambling figure and his wife, and a fellow gambler.
He started his murderous rampage with the killings of the underworld gambling figure Maurizio Parenti and his wife Carla. Next came the fellow gambler, Giorgio Cenentaro, who he strangled with adhesive tape. Donato said he murdered a prostitute "for each nationality" that worked his city's streets. His penultimate murder victim was Elisabotta Zoppetti, a 32-year-old nurse from Milan, who was returning home on a high-speed train from a weekend on the Riviera.
"I got on the train at Genoa. In first class there was a woman," said Bilancia. "I didn't know her. I waited until she went to the lavatory, taking her bag with her. I opened the door with a false key. She screamed. I put her jacket over her head and fired. I had got on with the intention to kill. The victim had to be a woman, even if I never touched her." His last victim, Maria Angela Rubina, 32, also died in the bathroom of a train. "I did it like the other one," he told police. "Very quickly."
On April 12, 2000, Donato Bilancia, 49, was sentenced by a Genoa court to 13 tlife sentences. Bilancia, a compulsive gambler, confessed to slaying 17 people in a six-month killing spree on the Italian Riviera.
Robert Hansen (17) A model father and a hard-working baker, Bob turned out to be the most active serial killer in Alaskan history. From 1973 to 1983, this expert pilot and avid hunter would fly hookers and topless dancers to his remote cabin hideaway in the Alaskan wilderness for rape and murder. After repeatedly sexually abusing his hapless victims he would set them free in the freezing woods and hunt them down with his high-powered hunting rifle.
Bobby had a long police record starting in Iowa as a teen arsonist. While living in Alaska he had several run-ins with the law involving larceny, assault with a deadly weapon, rape and kidnapping. However, he managed to get away with serving hardly any time for his crimes and lived a normal life as a married man and a hard working and respected member of the community. Authorities first suspected Bob of being a serial killer when a lucky prostitute dashed naked from his plane to escape certain death. While investigating the incident they discovered several other "women of the night" who had similar experiences with him. Soon Anchorage police started piecing together a picture of their prominent baker as a manic-depressive arsonist, kleptomaniac, rapist and possible serial killer.
When authorities first searched his home they found 30 hidden weapons as well as mementos and maps marking the location of the graves of his victims. Eventually Bob confessed to 17 killings which he referred to as his "summertime project." Profoundly moral, Bob hoped to forcefully teach his prey a lesson for their whoring and stripping ways. Under heavy guard Hansen was flown by helicopter to the Knik River in the Alaskan wilderness where he pinpointed with great accuracy the location of several graves. In 1984 Bob was handed a sentence of life plus 461 years which he is now serving in Spring Creek Correction Facility in Seward, Alaska. . There he hopes to "become a writer." Eventually, he says, "I'll write my own story." Two publishing houses have already offered him a contract.
Jeffrey Dahmer (17) The founding father of Cannibals Anonymous. As a kid, Jeff liked to torture and kill little animals. As an adult he did the same with humans. This Milwaukee chocolate factory worker lured gay, black men to his apartment with the promise of sex and drugs and instead killed them and had them for dinner.
Once his victims were dead, Jeff came to life. He enjoyed sex with corpses and was conscientious enough to always wear a condom. Sex with live beings was not as good, he said, because they could get up and leave at any minute. He also enjoyed mutilation and experimented with different ways of disposing of his victims. He once tried to turn one of his victims into a zombie by performing a homemade lobotomy on the man by drilling into his brain and pouring acid into the holes.
When captured, police found three dissolving bodies in 55-gallon acid vats in his bedroom. They also found four severed heads, seven skulls, skeletons in his closet and a penis in a lobster pot. Curiously, he had no food in the fridge, only condiments. In the freezer he had a heart stashed "to eat later." Although he enjoyed munching his loved ones, at the time of his arrest he was rail thin. In jail authorities managed to fatten him up. Jeff met his end when he was viciously attacked by Christopher Scarver, a convicted killer on antispychotic medication, while mopping the bathroom floor in maximum security. The lethargic cannibal died with a mop handle sticking out of his eye socket. At his mother's request, his brain was preserved in formaldehyde for future study.
A year after his death his parents began battling over the killer's preserved brain. On December 12, 1995, this absurdist saga came to an end when a judge ruled in favor of his father who wanted to honor his son's request of being cremated. The last chapter of the Dahmer postmortem involved his personal belongings. A lawyer representing the families of some of his victims planned to auction Dahmer's possessions to raise money for his clients. The city of Milwaukee was outraged by the idea. As of May 29, 1996, Thomas Jacobson, the lawyer representing eight of the 11 families announced that Jeff's estate would be going to the incinerator instead of the auction block after a civic group, fearing bad publicity for their fair city, pledged to pay $407,225 for the famed cannibal's household items.
Eddie Lee Moseley (16+) Prosecutors in Fort Lauredale, Florida, said they would ask a judge to dismiss four murder convictions against a man who has served 21 years for pleading guilty to six killings and a rape, after DNA tests proved he did not commit two of the murders. Broward County prosecutors cleared 49-year-old Jerry Frank Townsend of four of the murders because they said the DNA results found no credible evidence to support his confessions. The tests for the two murders found DNA from another man, Eddie Lee Mosley, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said. Mosley, now 52, has been in state psychiatric hospitals since 1988, when he was found incompetent to stand trial for the murders of two Broward women.
Townsend will remain in prison for two other murders and a rape he confessed to committing in Miami-Dade County, but prosecutors there said they were investigating whether the convictions should stand. Dennis Urbano, one of the attorneys who represented Townsend in the Miami-Dade cases, said it would be unfair to keep his client locked up because his confessions cannot be trusted. According to the attorney Townsend was mentally retarded and confessed to any crime police mentioned because he wanted to please them. Urbano said he experimented with Townsend at the jail and could get him to confess to anything.
On June June 15, 2001, Townsend was freed after DNA evidence indicated he didn't commit any of the killings he confessed to having committed. "It is abundantly clear that he is the victim of an enormous tragedy," said Judge Scott Silverman.
In 1979, Townsend, 49, was convicted of two murders and pleaded guilty to four others after confessing to the six killings. But his confession was thrown in doubt when DNA evidence in two of the murders cleared him and pointed at Mosley as the killer.
Police said Townsend, whose IQ is between 50 and 60 and has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, admitted to crimes he did not commit to please detectives. "He liked the cops, he wanted to be with the cops. They were his buddies and frankly that's a great tool if you get suspects to like you -- that's a good thing," Miami Assistant Police Chief James Chambliss said. "He was trying to be helpful to them. That's where the problem came up."
Townsend was originally arrested and charged with raping a pregnant woman in daylight on a downtown Miami street. The victim and witnesses pointed him out to police a few blocks away. During the investigation, Townsend confessed to several other slayings and was taken to murder scenes in Broward County.
On September 1, 2001, Fort Lauderdale police announced DNA evidence had linked Mosley to the death of an eighth woman slain in 1984. Mosley, who has been involuntarily committed to psychiatric institutions since 1988, was genetically linked to the rape and murder of 29-year-old Loretta Young Brown. Previous DNA tests have linked Mosley to the seven other deaths -- Emma Cook, 54; Teresa Giles, 22; Sonja Marion, 13; Vetta Turner, 34; Shandra Whitehead, 8; Terry Jean Cummings, 21, Naomi Gamble, 15. Mosley has not been charged with any of the killings because he has been found incompetent to stand trial in two of the murders. Prosecutors began testing Mosley's DNA against several South Florida murders after tests linked him to the 1985 slaying of 8-year-old Shandra Whitehead. He is suspected of slaying up to 16 women and young girls in the Fort Lauderdale area between 1973 and 1987.
November 17, 2001: According to a court-appointed psychologist, Mosley is incompetent to stand trial for those crimes because he is mentally retarded. Mosley was evaluated in the state psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee, where he is confined. "It is the opinion of this examiner that Mr. Mosley is incompetent to proceed," psychologist Trudy Block-Garfield wrote in the competency evaluation report. She added Mosley does not have a rational understanding of the murder and rape charges against him, does not understand what the death penalty means, did not understand the role of his lawyer or the prosecutor and would not be able to give reasonable and relevant testimony.
Block-Garfield wrote that Mosley functions somewhere in the range of a 51/2-year-old and an 11-year-old, with the verbal ability of a 7-year-old, and that over the years his IQ has tested in the high 40s to the low 60s. "In virtually all testing, he scored in the mentally retarded range," she wrote. "There is no real indication that Mr. Mosley is psychotic, and it is questionable that he ever was psychotic."
Fort Lauderdale homicide detective John Curcio has maintained that Mosley was putting on an act in his interviews with psychologists through the years.
Douglas Edward Gretzler & Willie Luther Steelman (16+) On June 4, 1998, rampager Douglas Edward Gretzler -- who had been on death row since November 15, 1976 -- was executed by lethal injection for two murders in Arizona's first daytime execution. Gretzler, 47, who along with mental hospital escapee Willie Luther Steelman, confessed to killing 17 people during a week long rampage through Arizona and northern California. Asked if he had any last words, Gretzler turned his head toward the 35 witnesses behind the glass and said: "From the bottom of my soul, I'm so deeply sorry and have been for years for murdering Michael and Patricia Sandberg.... Though I am being executed for that crime, I apologize to all 17 victims and their families."
Gretzler and Steelman were convicted in the November 3, 1973, slayings of Marine Capt. Michael Sandberg and his wife, Patricia, at their Tucson condominium. Yhe lethal duo spotted Sandberg washing his car in a parking lot and forced him into his home, where his 32-year-old wife, a University of Arizona graduate student, was studying.
The couple was hog-tied -- one on a bed, the other on the living-room couch -- for several hours while Gretzler and Steelman ate their food. At sundown, they shot them several times in the head, stole their car, cash and credit cars and headed to northern California.
On November 6, Gretzler and Steelman robbed grocery store owner Walter Parkin of $4,000 in cash and checks and killed all nine people inside Parkin's home outside Victor, California. Among the victims were a 9-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, both shot in the head as they cowered in bed under the sheets.
The killers were arrested two days later in Sacramento where they confessed to six additional killings. Among their possessions was "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote's book about a Kansas murder case.
Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vega (16+) Spains's most prolific killer, Jose Antonio killed at least 16 old widows in and around Santander, a coastal city in Northern Spain. A bricklayer by trade, Vera conned his way into the houses of old ladies under the pretext of doing a job for them. Once inside the killer would be "overcome by excitement" and would jump his geriatric victims.
Usually Vega would strangle them, take off their panties, fondle their genitalia, and/or rape them post mortem using brooms and other objects. Though each attack was sexually driven, no semen was found in the victims because the killer was impotent.
A fastidiously neat individual , Jose Antonio hardly left a trace of his crimes at the scene. Authorities had not even classified his first three victims as homicides until he was arrested. Jose Antonio left each of the dead ladies cozily tucked in their beds convincing many that the poor women died of old age. His crime spree started in 1986 --after serving part of a 27-year sentence for rape -- and ended with his arrest in 1988.
A cold-hearted and calculating serial killer, Vega enjoyed taking home "trophies" from each of his kills. In his burgundy draped, one-room apartment which he shared with a woman, he created a lavish altar dedicated to his fetishistic collection of mementos from each of his crimes. The extent of his killing spree was discovered when authorities broadcasted a video of Vega's home showing his collection of fetishes. Many viewers recognized several objects linking Vega to their dead relatives.
During his trial in 1991, he enjoyed the constant harassment from the public who wanted to lynch him for his crimes. Always impeccably dressed, Vega received a sentence of 440 years, which in real time in the Spanish judicial system translates to no more than 20 years. By 2008, when the accused killer turns 51, he will be free again and, most probably, will continue killing.
On October 25, 2002, the granny killer was stabbed to death by two fellow prisoners in the courtyard of Topas jail in western Salamanca province. By law, Vega, who was 44 at the time of his death, could only serve a maximum of 30 years in jail. The granny killer was due to be released in 2008.
Richard Ramirez (16+) A Los Angeles transient known as the Night Stalker, Rich was captured in Boyle Heights, a Latino neighborhood, by an angry mob after he attempted a carjacking. His good looks made him a crowd favorite. His Metalhead-gone-Satanist image made him a cult figure. Like Manson, he is an unrepentant photo-opportunity-type killer with a bevy of female followers.
He enjoyed breaking into houses and calmly killing, raping and partying all night long. He would smoke big, fat joints of sinsemilla as he strolled around his victim's homes playing his AC/DC tapes, spraying satanic slogans on the wall and raiding the fridge.
Some have tried to explain his Satanicness to the toxic and radioactive poisoning of his genes before his birth. It is documented that both of his parents were exposed to Atomic Radiation Poisoning in Mexico. Then, after they immigrated to the U.S.A., his mother worked mixing toxic chemicals for a long time. She collapsed at work when five months pregnant with Richard. She didn't return to work until after his birth.
During his trial he tattooed a pentagram on the palm of his hand which he flashed it at the press cameras. After being sentenced to death he said: "You don't understand me. You are not expected to. You are not capable of it. I am beyond your experience. I am beyond good and evil. I don't believe in the hypocritical, moralistic dogma of this so-called civilized society. I need not look beyond this courtroom to see all the liars, the haters, the killers, the crooks, the paranoid cowards -- truly trematodes of the Earth, each one in his own legal profession. You maggots make me sick! Hypocrites one and all. We are all expendable for a cause. No one knows that better than those who kill for policy, clandestinely or openly, as do the governments of the world which kill in the name of god and country. I don't need to hear all of society's rationalizations. I've heard them all before and the fact remains that what is, is. Legions of the night--night breed-- repeat not the errors of the Night Prowler and show no mercy. I will be avenged." Then, as he was lead out of court, he exclaimed "No big deal, death comes with the territory. See you in Disneyland!"
While in jail he fixed his teeth and married one of his groupies. On October 3, 1996, Doreen Lioy, 41, married Richie in a simple and tasteful ceremony in San Quentin's waiting room. Lioy is a free-lance editor who works part-time for teen magazines, lives in a houseboat, has bachelor's degree in English literature, is said to have an IQ of 152, and is supposedly still a virgin. Doreen was first attracted to Rich in 1985 when she saw a picture of him in the paper wearing a bandage A truly devoted lover, she wrote 75 letters to him before she was allowed to visit him. The couple got engage in 1988, but prison regulations delayed the wedding until 1996.
Randy Kraft (16+) Another in the tradition of California freeway killer. Randy, a graduate of the prestigious Claremont Men's College, liked to pick up young men, especially marines, drug them and strangle them. On May 14, 1983, a highway patrolman stopped Kraft in Mission Viejo for suspected drunk driving and noticed the dead marine sitting next to him. In the car, police also found pictures of several other victims, and a so-called death list with the victims' addresses and other incriminating items.
Prosecutors suspect Kraft killed as many as 45 young men in Southern California, Oregon and Michigan. A soft-spoken former computer programmer, he targeted hitchhikers between 18 and 25 years old. Many were sexually tortured before being strangled with their own belts. One victim's eyes had been burned with a cigarette lighter. Another man's head was found in the waters off the Long Beach Marina. Authorities believe he strangled his victims after drugging and sexually assaulting them, spawning Orange County's longest and costliest murder case.
After a 13-month trial, jurors deliberated two days before sentencing Kraft to death. The trial court judge upheld the penalty, saying the killings and mutilations were beyond comprehension. "I can't imagine doing these things in scientific experiments on a dead person, much less [to] someone alive," said Superior Court Judge Donald A. McCartin at the time.Randy was known as the "Score-Card Killer," because he kept a coded notebook with a tally of all his kills. Police linked him to sixty-two deaths spanning three states, but only sixteen have been proven conclusively.
Before sentencing, Kraft strongly maintained his innocence. "I have not murdered anyone, and I believe a reasonable review of the record will show that," he told the judge. In his appeal, Kraft argued that his original trial was riddled with more than 20 legal errors. His most serious charge claimed the judge erred in allowing prosecutors to use as evidence the "death list." His attorneys alleged that the list--a sheet of paper bearing 61 cryptic entries that prosecutors called a "score card" of victims--improperly prejudiced the jury against him. But the Supreme Court disagreed, saying the list was relevant to the case.
On August 11, 2000, the California Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in what officials described as an important advance in the effort to execute the notorious serial killer. The justices unanimously rejected Kraft's claims that he received an unfair trial, saying he should die for the decade-long murder spree.
Herb Baumeister (16) Tally one for the family-man-by-day-gay-killer-by-night file. Herb Baumeister was the embodiment of the American dream. He built from scratch a chain of successful local thrift stores in Indianapolis and led a seemingly normal life as a husband and a devoted father of three. However, when police uncovered the remains of seven young gay men in the woods of Fox Hollow Farm -- the family's $1 million estate in the exclusive Indianapolis suburb of Westfield -- Herb's American dream was more like a murderous nightmare.
In fact, Herb's wife of 20 years -- Julie -- had no idea of what Herb was all about. Every summer, while she and the kids went to Herb's mom's lakeside condo, he stayed behind "to work." A big fan of autoerotic asphyxia, Herb is suspected in as many as a dozen unsolved gay murders along the Indiana Interstate, and another dozen young gay men killed in Ohio and Indiana.
In June, 1996, while Herb was at the condo, officers found hundreds of bones -- adding up to the remains of seven people -- in the woods behind his estate. All the victims frequented the same bars that Baumeister did, and all went missing on days when his wife and kids were away. Not one to face the music, Herb took off to Canada where he committed suicide
For Julie Baumeister the shock was monstrous. The man she thought was a hard-working and devoted father -- the man she shared her bed with for 20 years -- was clearly one of Indiana's most prolific serial killers.
In May 1993 gay men began disappearing to the tune of 10 over two years. Police scoured gay Indianapolis for clues. In the fall of 1994, a man told them of a strange tryst he had with someone named Brian: They had gone to Brian's sprawling estate and engaged in autoerotic axphixiation. A year later the man spotted Brian again and, aware of the rash of disappearances, took down his license-plate number. As it turned out, Brian was Herb.
November of that year -- though lacking sufficient evidence for a search warrant -- detectives showed up at Fox Hollow Farm asking to search the estate. When Herb refused, they went to work on Julie. They told her about Herb's cruising and that they suspected him of being a serial killer. She refused to believe them. "The police came to me and said, 'We are investigating your husband in relation to homosexual homicide. I remember saying to them, 'Can you tell me what homosexual homicide is?'"
Five months later they approached her again. Remembering a skull and a cluster of bones her 13-year-old son had found in the woods outside the house which her husband casually dismissed as an old skeleton his father kept, she became more suspicious of her now estranged husband. Finally, with Herb gone for some R & R at the lakeside condo, she allowed police to inspect the property. As the search began, the 49-year-old Baumeister disappeared. Eight days later, on July 3, 1996, campers discovered his body lying beside his car in Ontario's Pinery Provincial Park, with a bullet hole from the business end of a .357 Magnum in his forehead.
On April 28, 1998, investigators concluded that Herb probably killed 16 men in all after linking him to nine other men whose bodies were found dumped along rural roads in Indiana and Ohio between 1980 and 1990.
Dr, Harold Shipman (15-300) Manchester Family practitioner Harold Shipman has become the focus of Europe's biggest murder investigation: he is suspected of killing more than 116 patients over 14 years. Dr. Death -- as he is known by British media -- was linked to 77 killings after police charged him with six murders and started investigating other suspicious deaths surrounding his medical practice.
As of now nine bodies have been exhumed. Police are checking the bodies for lethal dosages of drugs. To avoid publicity and crowds, police have been performing the exhumations at night, witnessed by a priest. All the exhumations have recovered the remains of female patients ranging in age from 49 to 81. In 49 of the cases, Dr Shipman's patients opted for cremation, forcing investigators to make deductions from the patients' medical records and from their families' evidence.
The investigation into Dr Shipman's practice began after relatives of Kathleen Grundy, 81, a former mayoress and respected charity worker from Hyde, near Manchester, discovered that she had left nothing in her will to her two sons and her daughter. Dr Shipman is charged with falsely obtaining cash and possessions worth the equivalent of R3,2-million from Mrs Grundy's estate.
London Police exhumed a sixth bodyin the case of a doctor suspected of killing up to 28 of his patients for their money. Dr Harold Shipman has already been charged with killing four patients and forging the will of one, a former mayoress in his hometown of Hyde, near Manchester.
Police said after Shipman,52, was charged with the first murder that he may have claimed another 27 victims, all former patients. The bearded, grey-haired doctor wept when he appeared again in court and charged with three more murders.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester police said the body of Marie Quinn (67), who died in November last year, was exhumed yesterday and a new postmortem would be carried out. She would not confirm reports that police expected to exhume yet another body in the next few days on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
Shipman had provided death certificates giving plausible causes of death for his alleged victims, most of whom were elderly. He had practised as a family doctor in Hyde for more than 20 years and police are now reported to be investigating up to 3 000 prescriptions that he wrote.
"He is the dullest serial killer I have ever met," a spokesman for the Greater Manchester Police said. "He certainly doesn't act like a murderer." This is the sentiment echoed by almost everyone who has come into contact with Harold Shipman, the quiet, unassuming, solicitous doctor who stands accused of being one of Britain's most prolific killers of modern times.
Dr Shipman was charged with another seven murders of his patients, bringing the total to 15. It is reported that a total of 150 cases are being investigated, although the Greater Manchester Police remain tight-lipped, rigidly enforcing subjudice laws. They refused to "enter into speculation about more charges or whether a line will be drawn here". All of the deaths were sudden. All of these vulnerable elderly women died within an hour of a house call from their doctor, who was convicted of administering them fatal injections of diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. After their deaths the good doctor fabricated the cause of death on the death certificates.
Statistics expert Professor Richard Baker believes British doctor Harold Shipman may have killed between 200 to 300 of his patients. A report authored by Professor Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer for England and Wales,
Everything points to the fact that a doctor with the sinister and macabre motivation of Harold Shipman is a once in a lifetime occurrence compared the pattern of deaths at both his former practice in Hyde, Greater Manchester, and his first practice in Todmorden, Yorkshire, with other similar practices showing that there were 345 extra deaths when Shipman's records were compared with normal practice at similar surgeries.
However, more detailed analysis of the circumstances surrounding each death means that the probable figure is 236 - as these were the patients who died at home. Researchers at the University of Leicester, took into account factors such as time of death, and whether relatives or Dr Shipman himself were present. For example, many of Shipman's patients appear to have died in the afternoon, which is also unusual.
Professor Baker told the BBC: "I am only presenting circumstantial evidence - this was not a forensic investigation. There were a lot of cases about which there was a reason for concern."
After reviewing all the evidence and his own records, the police and other investigating authorities said they suspected he had killed as many as 192. The latest research looked at the years 1974 to 1998, to calculate the number of what the study termed "excess deaths". Between 1985 and 1998, Professor Baker's analysis suggested that more than half of 288 documented deaths under Shipman's care were "highly suspicious". Another 14% were "moderately suspicious", he said.
Dennis Nilsen (14) The British Jeffrey Dahmer. This alcoholic homosexual could not come to grips with life in the closet and resorted to murder and necrophilia. He would lure young homeless men to his apartment, render them unconscious with liquor and strangle them to death to the sound of the LSO's 'Classic Rock' recordings. He liked to stash their bodies under the floor boards and in cupboards. Occasionally he would take one out, bathe and dress it, and pretend to have a date. He would lay the corpse next to him in bed and masturbate. Then, return it to the floor boards. Like Dahmer, he killed out of loneliness. He enjoyed small talk with his friends the cadavers. He kept an assortment of body parts around the house as company and sometimes even left them in plain view when he went out to work.
Nilsen killed at least 14 men over 4 years, and destroyed their bodies in a series of large bonfires in his garden. However, when he was forced to move to a new apartment with no garden he had to improvise new ways to dispose of "his friends." In 1983 he was discovered when he tried to flush human remains down the toilet, and clogged the plumbing. The neighbours complained about the blocked drains, and caught him trying to clear them at midnight. When the Police searched his top floor apartment, they discovered body parts of 3 men, who Nilsen had dismembered using his army butchery skills.
According to his mom, Dennis Nilsen allegedly was prompted to murder because he thought he was sending his victims to a "better place". In an interview for television Mommy Nilsen said he was confused after attending his grandfather's funeral aged five. He was told: "Grandad has gone to a much better place."
In an email, a reader of the Archives challenged our assumption of Nilsen's alcoholism and sexual orientation: "I would like to clear up a few inaccuracies in your description of Dennis Nilsens' crimes. Nilsen often consumed large amounts of alcohol before killing but when on remand in Brixton prison it was found that he did not have any sort of alcohol dependency - he was not an alcoholic. You also describe Nilsen as homosexual when in fact he describes himself as Bisexual having had sexual intercourse with a woman twice - once in Germany with a prostitute and also with a Swiss au pair when living in London."
Elias Xitavhudzi (16) The second in a long tradition of serial slayers in the township of Atteridgeville, South Africa. In the 1960s Elias Xitavhudzi, known as "Pangaman", murdered 16 white women and dumped their bodies around Atteridgeville.
William Burke & William Hare (16) Possibly two of Scotland's most gruesome imports were the serial killers William Burke and William Hare. Burke and Hare hailed from Ulster and moved to Scotland to work as labourers on the Union Canal. Ever aware of needs of the market, Burke and Hare set themselves up as procurers of human bodies to satisfy the demand of Edinburgh's medical schools.
Originally the two would dig up the graves of the recently departed in the dead of night, steal the body and then sell it for cash to a doctor for use during anatomy demonstrations. Tired of digging, the two entrepreneurs started murdering people in Edinburgh's old town and selling their cadavers on an "ask no questions basis." They killed their victims by strangling them using a method they had perfected which left no obvious trace of foul play and little evidence of the murder.
The murder of their 16th victim led to their arrest. Burke's mistress and Hare's wife were also arrested. Because the courts had little evidence to prosecute them successfully, the Lord Advocate, Sir William Rae, offered Hare immunity from prosecution if he would turn King's evidence. The evidence Hare and his wife provided sent Burke to his death on the gallows on 28 January, 1829 while his mistress Helen MacDougall escaped when the charges against her were found not proven.
William Hare is said to have died a penniless pauper in London in 1859. Robert Knox - the doctor who willingly bought most of Burke and Hare's bodies was never prosecuted.
Thomas Quick (15+) Sweden's premiere serial killer. Tommy Boy killed at least 10 people in Sweden during a two-year rampage. Like many serial killers Tom was physically and sexually abused as a child. Growing up, the lethal Swede wanted to be a priest. Instead, he became a serial killer. He committed his first murder when he was 14. He enjoyed killing young boys and having sex with their corpses. He was also fond of dismembering his victims and keeping trophy-like body parts. While in custody he claimed to have a "private graveyard," which authoritites never found.
He was found guilty of killing a Dutch family vacationing in the north of Sweden. On May 28, 1997, he was also convicted for the 1988 murder of the Israeli tourist Yinon Levy. While in custody Thomas confessed to six killings in Norway. Police investigating the validity of his claims have found evidence linking him to five more kills.
On November 14, 1997, Norwegian police found bone fragments from a calf believed to be of Therese Johannessen. The case -- one of Norway's most notorious murders -- was under investigation for almost ten years. The girl disappeared from a residential area in Drammen on July 3, 1988. Nothing was ever heard of her again until March 30, 1996, when Quick confessed to abducting and killing her. He described her wristwatch with great detail, and pointed out a gravelpit near the pond where he supposedly buried her. When police took him to the area where he claimed to have buried the chopped up remains of nine-year-old, Quick acted in a fashion that made them certain he actually performed the murder in that area.
Previously, when Quick was given a chance to reenact the murder of the two Dutch tourists in Appojaure, he went into a complete state of psychosis. He lost control and started howling, snarling and went completely berserk, chopping away at the camping tent, the dummies in the sleeping bags and other equipment. In an effor to keep Sweden safe, Tom is currently housed at Säters Sjukhus, Sweden's maximum security asylum for the criminally insane.
Albert Fish (15) Meet the patron saint of sadomasochism. Albert Fish, the granddaddy of the deranged, enjoyed implanting needles in his genitalia, stuffing his asshole with flaming alcohol balls, eating shit, killing children and making stews out of their remains. The father of six, Albert lost it after his wife left him for another man. Despondent Al asked his kids to beat him with a nail-studded paddle until he bled. He thought that he was Christ and that God had ordered him to castrate boys. Good Al did was he was told, and enjoyed it thoroughly. This dirty old man from hell was in the habit of molesting and killing children of both sexes.
He was arrested after sending a letter to the parents of one of his victims, Gracie Budd, describing what a delight it had been eating her. He was sentenced to die in Sing Sing in 1936. He said, "What a thrill that will be if I have to die in the electric chair. It will be the supreme thrill, the only one I haven't tried." He happily helped his executioners with the electrodes and died a happy man. Legend says the chair short-circuited at first because of the twenty needles implanted in his genitalia, which is a fascinating, but untrue.
A passionate letter writer, Fish send this message to the mother of one of his victims: "In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the Steamer Tacoma, Capt. John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco for Hong Kong China. On arriving there he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned the boat was gone. At that time there was a famine in China. Meat of any kind of was from $1-3 Dollars a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold to the Butchers to be cut up and sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or a girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go to any shop and ask for steak--chops--or stew meat. Part of the naked body of a boy or a girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girls behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price. John staid there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys one 7 and one 11. Took them to his home stripped them naked tied them in a closet. Then burned everything they had on. Several times every day and night he spanked them--tortured them--to make their meat good and tender. First he killed the 11 yr old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was Cooked and eaten except head--bones and guts.
He was Roasted in the oven (all of his ass), boiled, broiled, fried, stewed. The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E. 100 St. near--right side. He told me so often how good Human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it. On Sunday June the 3--1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese--strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her. On the pretense of taking her to a party. You said Yes she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out. When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wildflowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them. When all was ready I went to the window and Called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mamma. First I stripped her naked. How did she kick--bite and scratch. I choked her to death, then cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms, Cook and eat it. How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not fuck her tho I could of had I wished. She died a virgin.
Joseph P. Franklin (15+) A former Klansman and neo-Nazi, Franklin is the embodiment of absolute bigotry. He believed that interracial marriages where a sin against God and took it upon himself to punish the guilty. He enjoyed sniper attacks on interracial couples and killed for sport. Once, he killed two black men and a white woman who were jogging together. He is suspected of having shot and crippled Larry Flynt -- publisher of Husler magazine and pillar of First Amendment rights -- because he regularly featured pictorials of blacks and whites getting it on. The archetypical headline-grabbing killer, Joe also confessed to shooting civil rights leader (and now confidant of President Clinton), Vernon Jordan.
Born James Clayton Vaughn, Franklin legally changed his name to honor Benjamin Franklin and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. His first known attack was the bombing of Beth Shalom Synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July 1977. From then until September 1980, he is suspected of killing at least 17 people -- three interracial couples, seven black men and boys, three female hitchhikers and a Jewish man. During his spree, Franklin survived by robbing banks and selling his blood. He was arrested in October 1980 at a blood bank in Lakeland, Fla. As well as the murders, investigators believe Franklin is responsible for five other shootings, 16 bank robberies and two bombings, in a crime spree spanning 11 states.
On November, 1996, Joseph gave a detailed confession of the June 25,1980, deaths of two women who were shot at close range with a high-powered rifle while hitchhiking to a West Virginia peace retreat. After charges were filed and dropped several times, Florida resident Jacob Beard was convicted of first-degree murder in 1993.
State Police Supt. Col. Thom Kirk said: "He could have zero credibility, or he could have one hundred percent credibility... We're checking out the details he's giving us and tracking them as far as we can. Then we'll hand it to the prosecutor." Franklin first confessed to killing Nancy Santomero, 19, and Vicki Durian, 26, in 1984 . Prosecutors said that a map Franklin drew of the murder scene back then was too general and lacked distinct landmarks and did not corroborate his confession. The initial confession was also "too brief. He got to a certain point and he just stopped talking. Now, he's giving us a lot more details and specifics."
Santomero and Durian were shot while en route to a weeklong encampment of the counterculture Rainbow Family in a national forest in eastern West Virginia. Santomero was shot three times in the head; Durian twice in the chest. No weapon was recovered in the killings, dubbed the "Rainbow Murders." At least seven men have been indicted and in January, 1993, Beard was convicted after several witnesses placed him and his red pickup truck at the scene the day of the shooting.
In February, a Missouri jury sentenced the lethal racist to die for the 1977 shooting of Gerald Gordon, 42, outside a synagogue. Franklin, not one for understatements, told police he wanted to kill as many Jews and blacks as possible. A courteous killer, he thanked the jury for a "fair trial" and added, if he was not executed, he would certainly kill again.
On April 15, 1997, Franklin was charged by a grand jury in Cincinnati with the June 1980 murders of two black teen-agers. The two teens Dante Brown, 13, and Darrell Lane, were shot from a railroad trestle while walking to a convinience store. Franklin implicated himself in the shootings during a conversation on April 13 with an assistant prosecutor. Authorities had long considered Franklin a suspect in the slayings but said they did not have enough evidence to act until he agreed to talk to an assistant Hamilton County prosecutor and implicated himself in the shootings. He also confessed to killing an interracial couple in June 1980 in Johnstown, Ohio.
In February, 1997, a Missouri jury sentenced the lethal racist to die for the 1977 shooting of Gerald Gordon, 42, outside a Clayton, Montana, synagogue. Franklin had told police he wanted to kill as many Jews a possible. He also said he despised blacks, and had a special hatred for interracial couples. He has recieved life sentences in Utah and Wisconsin for four murders, an interracial couple in Madison, Wisconsin, and two black men in Salt Lake City who were jogging with two white women.
In what's becoming a semi-annual event, on January, 1998, Joe admitted to killing an interracial couple as they walked down a street in 1980. A compulsive confessor, Franklin convinced investigators that he is the one who shot Arthur Smothers, 22, and Kathleen Mikula, 16. In a purely random killing, Joe snipped at the youngster as they were crossing a bridge in Johnston, about 60 miles east of Pittsburg. "He gave us information that could only be supplied by the perpetrator that was never in the paper that corroborated the physical evidence," District Attorney David Tulowitzki said. "He's not remorseful," Johnstown police Chief Robert Huntley said. "You could actually see him get excited when he described the murders. ... He gets louder and he gets a little fidgety in the chair."
On March 4, 1998, Franklin pleaded guilty to the 1978 murder of a black man in Chattanooga. He admitted to shooting William Tatum outside a Chattanooga restaurant because Tatum was with a white woman. According to Assistant District Attorney General Joseph Rehyansky, Franklin -- who he calls a "homicidal moron" -- has undergone "some sort of bizarre religious conversion." A believer in numerology, he demanded the court hearing be on the fourht, because the day -- the 63rd of the year -- corresponded with his favorite number -- 3.
On April 2, 1998, Franklin -- apparently drunk on confession juice -- admitted to the 1979 slayings of Mercedes Lynn Masters, 15, and restaurant manager Harold McIver, 27. DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan called Franklin "the most evil individual I have ever come across," and said the killings were motivated by racial hatred. In the jailhouse confession, Franklin said he had a sexual relationship with Mercedes, who was white, and killed her after she told him she had sex with blacks. He said he gunned down McIver -- who was black -- because he worked with young, white girls at a Taco Bell, and thought he would hit on them.
Morgan told WSB-TV in Atlanta that his office was told about 10 days ago that Franklin might be willing to talk, demanding "at attractive white female investigator." He wished for a Jodie Foster type to interview him like in the film "The Silence of the Lambs."
Johann Hoch (15+) One of the more prolific "Bluebeards" of the Archives. Johann -- born John Schimdt at Horweiler, Germany, in 1855 -- tallied an spectacular string of 55 marriages resulting in at least 15 deaths. Known as the "Stockyard Bluebeard," Hoch emigrated to the United States as a young child. As an adult he preyed on widows accross the country who he met through "lonely-hearts" columns in newspapers. By the time of his death Chicago police dubbed him "America's greatest mass murderer," even though there's no true body count on his activities.
Johann, who enjoyed adopting the surnames of his latest victims, was arrested in Chicago for a minor swindling charge. When a picture of Hoch came out in the paper an attentive reader linked him to a man called Jacob Huff who had suspiciously lost his wife and dissappeared. As police widened their investigation of the former stockyard worker they uncovered a series of suspicious marriages in which the wives were fleeced and/or abandoned and/or killed.
None of the murder charges against him stuck and he was sentenced for a minor fraud charge. Once he was free again he started operating too quickly for his own good. In 1904 he married Marie Walcker who dropped dead a month after the wedding. Not one to waste time, he proposed to her sister, Amelia, the day of her death. Six days later they were married. She handed $750 to her new husband who promptly disappeared. Amelia then ordered an autopsy of her sister's body. Arsenic was found in her stomach, thus finally giving the police the necessary evidence to build a case against him.
Police circulated pictures of the killer in the national press. He was spotted in New York City and picked up on a train on its way to Chicago. During the trial Johann repeatedly stated that he was innocent despite overwhelming evidence against him. On February 23, 1906, Johann was hanged for his crimes. Up to the last moment he maintained his innocence cryptically stating as he mounted the gallows: "I am done with this world. I have done with everybody."
Elifasi Msomi (15) Known as South Africa's "Axe Killer", Elifasi Msomi, was hanged in Pretoria in January 1956 after being convicted of hacking 15 people to death. Msomi blamed his victims' deaths on the "tokoloshe" which, he said, would appear on his shoulder and order him to kill. He killed mostly in the Unkomaas and Umzimkuku valleys in Natal. Posing as a doctor, Elifasi charmed his victims into willingly going off with him. At his trial, two leading psychologists told the court that Msomi was of way above average intelligence and derived sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others.
William Bonin (14+) This Downey, California, truck driver became known as the "The Freeway Killer" for his rape and murder spree during the late seventies. A sadistic Vietnam vet, Billy boy liked to pick up male, teen-age hitchhikers to rape and strangle along the freeways of Southern California. Like most serial killers, Bonin was the product of an abusive childhood in the hands of his alcoholic father and was thought to have been repeatedly sexually assaulted by his maternal grandfather. He also had brain damage in areas thought to restrain violent impulses and was manic-depressive.
After spending most of the seventies behind bars for sex attacks on young men, Willie was paroled in 1978. He moved back to Southern California where he got a job as a trucker for Dependable Driveaway in Montebello. A year later, his sexual lust turned deadly. Although he used various methods to kill, he enjoyed most strangling his prey with their own T-shirts and a tire iron. William, not being particularly bright, boasted of his killings and kept his collection of newspaper clippings in his glove compartment. Billy boy liked killing so much, he brought along his buddies to share the fun. Vernon Butts, an accomplice in at least five killings, chose to hang himself after being arrested.
Although only convicted of 14 murders, Billy confessed to killing 21 young men. In 1982 he was sentenced to death for 10 murders in Los Angeles. A year later he was sentenced to death again for 4 additional murders in Orange County.
On February 23, 1996, sixteen years after his deadly rampage, William became the first man executed by lethal injection in California. While awaiting death in San Quentin, Bonin enjoyed playing bridge with fellow serial killers, Doug Clark, Lawrence Bittaker and Randy Kraft who combined have killed at least 49 people. Billy's last meal consisted of two pepperoni and sausage pizzas, three coffee ice-creams and fifteen cans of coke. The 49-year-old killer ate in silence while watching "Jeopardy" on TV before meeting with the prison chaplain. At 12:00 AM he took 13 steps into the death chamber where at 12:08 he was injected with sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. By 12:13 he was declared dead. Ironically, in his last statement before being executed, Bonin said the death penalty sent "the wrong message" to America's youth. Sadly for the victims' families, Bonin never did repent for his murderous frenzy.
Posthumously, it was discovered that Billy had illegally received nearly $80,000 in Social Security disability benefits while on Death Row. He started receiving benefit payments for a mental disability in 1972. The payments should have ended in 1982 when he went to prison, but they continued. The money kept flowing until after his execution when the funeral director sent paperwork notifying the Social Security Administration of Bonin's death. As of March 1996, his family agreed to repay the money to the state.
Belle Gunness (14+)A deadly gold digger, Belle lured wealthy Chicago men to her house with classified adds. There she would rob and kill them with the help of Ray Lamphere. The original Lady Bluebeard, Belle's criminal career started with the accidental deaths of her first two husbands and two of her children. Coincidentally, with each death she collected insurance money which kept her afloat until her next rash of bad luck.
After settling in La Porte, Indiana, she started her deadly "lonely-hearts" venture. On April 28, 1908, her house was leveled by fire. Ray, her farm hand and presumed lover, was arrested and accused of arson and the murder of Belle and her children. Ray said that the female body found in the embers was not Belle. The body was missing a skull but next to it they found Belle's dentures. Apparently she had faked her own death and escaped with a bag full of money. As investigators started digging up the ranch they found plenty of human bones and dismembered bodies wrapped in gunny sacks and doused with lye. Many of Belle's suitors had been fed to the pigs accounting for the numerous bone fragments found in and around the pig pen. Estimates of her murderous habits put her at fifty to a hundred hits. We've chosen to count only her proven kills. After disappearing, Belle was spotted many times throughout the country. Authorities believe that she was last seen in a bordello in Ohio in 1935.
Joe Ball (14+) In the 1930s, Joe ran a roadside Texan honky-tonk called The Sociable Inn. The central attraction was a pit of frenzied alligators who were fed domestic animals to everyone's delight. In the off hours Joe also fed about a dozen waitresses and two ex-wives to the hungry gators. By 1937 authorities were suspicious of the many disappearances linked to Joe's honky-tonk. On September 24, 1938, when police came to investigate the gator pit's meat barrel, Joe put a bullet through his brain. Later a handyman and a neighbor said they saw Joe feeding female body parts to the gators but they remained quiet because Joe threatened to kill them.
Robert Joseph Silveria (14+) Suspected of being the "Boxcar Murderer", Bob was part of the Freight Train Riders of America, a boxcar gang that preys upon fellow rail-riding hobos. Arrested in March, 1995, in a rail yard near Sacramento, California, Silveria was charged with the murder of transient William Pettit, found dead in a boxcar in Northern California.
Silveria has also been linked to 13 other boxcar murders in Oregon, Utah, California, Arizona, Kansas and Washington state spanning from 1981 to 1995. The victims, mostly drifters, were stabbed or bludgeoned to death and robbed of their meager possessions. While in custody Bobbie claimed all his kills were gang related hits. Having betrayed his secret boxcar brotherhood by talking of the murders, Silveria believes he will soon be executed by fellow rail-riding gangster.
Bai Baoshan (14) On October 16, 1997, police in Beijing arrested Bai Baoshan, 39, who is suspected of killing 14 people. Bai -- possibly China's deadliest serial killer -- was believed to have begun his killing spree last year to seek revenge on society after serving 13 years in prison for murder and robbery. In an unusual detailed report, a Beijing newspaper said Bai's alleged crimes were committed in places from Beijing to the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
In March 1996, Bai attacked a police sentry in Beijing, stealing a semi-automatic gun and using it to kill one person and injure six, including four patrol officers. He is also suspected of killing a cigarette vendor in Beijing later that year in a robbery.
Authorities believe Bai then travelled to the northern province of Hebei, where he attacked another police sentry, killing one person and making off with an automatic rifle. He then fled to the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi, where he and two accomplices killed 10 police officers, security guards and civilians, and stole 1.5 million yuan ($180,000). Bai then killed one of his partners and made off with the booty. On May 6, 1998, Bai was executed in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
Marcelo Costa de Andrade (14) This mama's boy and religious psychopath of inoffensive appearance is Brazil's most notorious serial killer. The son of poor migrants from the Northeast, Marcelo grew up in the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro. He lived without running water and was beaten with regularity by his grandfather, his stepfather and his stepmother. When he was 10 he was sexually abused. At 14 he began to prostitute himself for a living. He was sent to a reform school, but escaped. Still hustling at 16, he began a long lasting homosexual relationship with an older man. By 17 he tried to rape his 10-year-old brother.
When he was 23 his lover left him and he moved in with his mother and brothers in Itaborai, another slum on the other side of the polluted Guanabara Bay. There he found a low-paying job distributing flyers for a shop in the district of Copacabana. He also joined the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and started going to church four times a week. Despite some idiosyncrasies and his odd and incoherent laughter, his life seemed normal. That is, until April 1991, when he started to kill.
Over a nine-month period Marcelo tallied 14 deaths. His victims of choice were poor street urchins whom he attracted to deserted areas, to rape and strangle. He also practiced necrophilia, decapitated one of the boys, crushed the head of another, and, on two occasions, drank the victim's blood. Later he confessed his vampiric thirst was merely an attempt "to become as beautiful as them." Violence in Rio is common and the daily body count is so high that authorities never suspected the growing number of disappearing street urchins were the handywork of a serial killer. Usually street children are the victims of choice for warped vigilante groups trying to clean up the streets. Quite the humanitarian Andrade later confessed, "I preferred young boys because they are better looking and have soft skin. And the priest said that children automatically go to heaven if they die before they're thirteen. So I know I did them a favor by sending them to heaven."
In December of 1991 his killing spree came to an end when he "fell in love" with ten-year-old Altair de Abreu and spared his life. Marcello met the young beggar and his six-year-old brother Ivan in the Niteroi bus terminal. He offered them money if they helped him light candles for a saint in Saint George's church. The lucky survivor later told police, "We were heading for a church, but as we crossed a vacant lot, Marcelo suddenly turned on Ivan and started strangling him. I was so paralyzed by fear I could not run away. I watched in horror, tears streaming down my cheeks, as he killed and then raped my brother. When he was finished with Ivan, he turned to me, hugged me, and said he loved me." Then he asked Altair to live with him. Scared to death, the boy agreed to spend the night with Marcelo in the bushes.
The next morning, the lovestruck killer took Altair to work with him. When they arrived the office was closed. While they waited for it to open, the terrified youngster was able to escape. He hitchhiked his way back home and told his mother that he had lost his brother. A few days later, pressed by his sister, the boy told the truth. In the meantime Marcelo, a truly considerate killer, had returned to the crime scene to tuck the hands of his victim inside his shorts, "so that the rats couldn't gnaw the fingers."
When young Ivan's family went to the police, Marcelo, who had maintained his daily routine, was calmly arrested in the Rio shop where he worked. "I thought you would come yesterday," he told the arresting officers. At first, police thought Ivan's murder was an isolated case. However, two months later Marcelo's dotting mother was called to testify about her son's strange behavior. One night, she said, he left home with a machete "to cut bananas." He returned the next morning with no bananas and the machete covered in blood. Eventually Marcelo did confess to 14 killings and led police to the remains of his other victims. As Brazil's star killer, he asked police if anywhere in the world there was a case like his, and stated he killed because: "I liked the boys and I didn't want them to go to hell."
On January 24, 1997, Marcelo escaped from the Heitor Carrilho Psychiatric Hospital Rio de Janeiro when a guard accidentaly left a door open while sunbathing. He then hitchhikked and begged his way to the town of Guaraciaba do Norte to see his father on his way to the Holy Land. He was rearrested on February 5 carrying a bag with toiletries, a piece of cheese and a bible under his arm. According to the arresting officer, Andrade told him that he "was going to the Holy Land because he was purified by killing and raping children and drinking their blood."
Joachim Kroll (14) Known as the "Ruhr Hunter," Kroll operated in the Ruhr-area of Germany for over 20 years to the tune of 14 murders. Born born in Hindenburg, Oberschlesien, near the Polish border on April 17, 1933, "Jockel" committed his first murder at the tender age of age of 21, just 3 weeks after his mother's death. By the early sixties he already committed six murders. Most of his victims were your women and girls whom he raped and strangled. By the early sixties he tasted human flesh and discovered an afinity for it.
Kroll was arrested on July, 3, 1976, when 4-year-old Marion Ketter dissapeared and a massive search was immediately launched. A neighbor -- bugged by Kroll's explanation of why their communal bathroom was clogged -- complained to police about the incident. According to the man, Kroll told him the drain was clogged with "guts." When police plunged the toilet, they discovered human remains. Armed with a search warrant police entered Joaquim's apartment to find plastic bags full of human flesh in the refrigerator as well as a stew simmering on the stove with carrots, potatoes, and the hand of the missing four-year-old.
In 1979 the confessed Ruhr Hunter was charged with eight counts of murder and one of attempted murder. On April 8, 1982, Jockel was found guilty and sentenced to 9 life terms. On July 1, 1991, Kroll died of a heart attack in the prison of Rheinbach, near Bonn.
Angel Maturino Resendiz aka Rafael Resendez-Ramirez (14) Several law enforcement agencies in Southeast Texas and Mexico are looking for Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, a known vagrant freight train rider, after linking him to six deaths in Texas and one in Kentucky, all brutal beatings that took place near railroad tracks. On June 8, 1999, the latest victim, Josephine Konvicka, 73, was linked to Maturino-Resendiz, 38, by fingerprints found in her home. Like the other alleged victims, she lived near the Southern Pacific railroad tracks. Houston police have also linked Resendez-Ramirez to the killing of 26-year-old Noemi Dominguez, a Houston elementary school teacher. She, too, lived near the train.
Maturino Resendiz is suspected in three other recent slayings. The April 30, sledgehammer killing of preacher, Norman "Skip" Sirnic, 46, and his wife, Karen Sirnic, 47, who lived about three miles east of Konvicka's residence, and the December fatal stabbing of Claudia Benton, 38, a doctor who lived outside Houston. In addition, authorities are trying to link Resendez-Ramirez to the death of Noemi Dominguez, who also lived near a rail line. Resendez-Ramirez also is being sought for questioning in the 1997 killing of University of Kentucky student Christopher Maier, who was slain when his girlfriend was assaulted by a man as they walked along railroad tracks after a party.
Though the FBI describes him as a drug-using killer residents of Rodeo, a small Mexican village Rafael Resendez-Ramirez has a wife and infant daughter, know him as a hardworking man called "Angel." According to relatives his real name is Angel Reyes Resendiz. According to the FBI Resendez-Ramirez was last seen in town June 13 when a transit cop gave him a parking ticket. Two days later, on June 15, the suspected railroad killer struck again in Gorham, Illinois, shooting an 80-year-old man, George Morber, and beating to death his 52-year-old daughter, Carolyn Frederick.
Police and residents in this Durango state town say the photo of the suspect distributed by the FBI is without a doubt the man they know as Angel. Relatives say the suspect's real name is Angel Leoncio Reyes Resendiz, not Resendez-Ramirez. Angel's wife, Julieta Dominguez Reyes, a lab worker in the town health center, described him as a "model" husband who never gave signs of being violent. A few years ago, Angel taught English in a private school next to the police station. Last year he attended adult education classes and passed his exam for elementary- and middle-school degrees in the same day, said a neighbor. The contrasts make it hard for many to believe he could be killing people in the United States.
The so-called railway killer left writings on at least one wall at the home of the last two victims, prompting intense concern among law enforcement officials that the killer is about to veer further out of control. According to sources familiar with the writings, they made a somewhat incoherent reference to the Middle East. Sources said in the past, Rafael Resendez-Ramirez -- the chief suspect -- has written about or made references to the Middle East. Law enforcement experts on serial killers say that notes left at crime scenes are generally indicators the killer's rage may be increasing and that more attacks are likely.
A former FBI profiler told CNN that the railway killer is evolving from a serial killer, someone who murders over a longer span of time -- to a spree killer, someone murdering a number of people over a relatively short period of time. Sources say law enforcement officials are working in a critical window of time. They are hoping the intense public interest will prompt tips that will lead to an arrest. When public interest falls, officials fear the suspect may be able to fade back into obscurity and kill again.
More than 200 law enforcement personnel -- as well as numerous bounty hunters -- throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico have been searching for the elusive killer. A 125-thousand dollar reward is being offered for information leading to his apprehension. The FBI announced that a green card will be given to any illegal alien who turns Resendez-Ramirez in to authorities. The suspect's real name is Angel Leoncio Reyes Recendis but law enforcement officials are continuing to use the Resendez-Ramirez alias, which is printed on thousands of wanted posters.
In court documents and audio transcripts, suspected rail killer Rafael Resendez-Ramirez comes across as a man who is a mystery, even to himself. "I wouldn't lie to you, I wouldn't try to play with your mind, but there's many things I don't know myself," Resendez-Ramirez told a federal jury in St. Louis during closing arguments in his March 1989 trial. He was charged with 16 counts, including false representation of U.S. citizenship and illegal possession of a firearm. "Can I tell you who really I am," he continues, "about all the secrecy that's in the family? I probably could tell you who I think I am. As far as I know I'm just a human being. And I will leave it up to you."
"You see, I'm a talker, I always talk. I'm a politician," he says. "I only have one purpose in life, and that's to express some of my views and some of the views that I have been instructed, anything that can put down Christianity, anything that can put down democracy, anything that can put down freedom." Resendez-Ramirez was convicted in the St. Louis trial on all counts and sentenced to 30 months, served in an Immigration and Naturalization Service facility in Talladega, Fla. He was released sometime early in 1991. But only a few months later, he was again in trouble with U.S. authorities, charged in New Mexico with aggravated residential burglary.
According to Chihuahua Special Investigator Suly Ponce and Canadian criminologist Candace Skrapec, alleged "Railway Killer" Angel reyes Recendis (aka Rafael Resendiz-Ramirez) is now suspected in the slaying of 187 women in Juarez, Mexico. "We've been working on that theory since last week," said Ponce, who heads the state police task force into the murders. "The case is advancing. There are some good leads."
Skrapec, 47, who teaches at California State University in Fresno, gave up her summer to assist Chihuahua police at the special invitation of a top state official. Born in Calgary and a former teacher at the University of Windsor, Skrapec is one of the world's best-known criminologists, having made her reputation by profiling New York City's "Zodiac killer" for the NYPD.
"We are especially concerned because he has lived in two barrios here over recent years, and his mother lives in (the) Colonia Patria (section)." Resendez-Ramirez lived with his mother in Juarez as well as on his own or with women. He is believed to have worked at a meat packing plant.
There appear to be similarities between the brutal U.S. killings and the particularly grotesque way in which many of the Juarez victims met their deaths. American media reports describe teeth marks on some of the U.S. victims and police say some were beaten to death in a particularly sadistic manner, in some cases with their heads bashed in. There has reportedly been evidence of sodomy, rape and torture. In Juarez, many women were badly beaten and raped, with bite marks covering their torsos. In some cases, they'd had objects stuffed into their vaginas or anuses or had their left breasts hacked off. Many had panties removed and, in these cases, their undergarments were never found.
On July 13, 1999, after three days of negotiations between the FBI and family members in New Mexico, the elusive "Railroad Killer" turned himself in at a U.S. border-crossing station in El Paso, Texas. FBI director Louis Freeh told a congressional hearing that the 39-year-old drifter, one of the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives since June 21, surrendered at an Immigration and Naturalization Service checkpoint in Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. The fugitive walked across the Mexican border at 9 a.m. CDT accompanied by his two brothers and a priest and surrendered to a Texas Ranger.
On his first appearence in court the day following his surrender Angel Maturino Resendez, aka Rafael Resendez-Ramirez aka Angel Reyes Resendiz aka 30 other aliases, admitted he was guilty of a burglary in one of the slayings and indicated he is willing to cooperate with authorities. In giving his name to State District Judge William Harmon, Maturino Resendez explained that the name Resendez-Ramirez was an alias based on his uncle's name. No explanation was given about the other alias, Angel Reyes Resendis, nor why all print and electronic media has chosen to keep using the Resendez-Ramirez alias even though they know it is not his name.
Angel, who has been charged with four killings in Texas, two in Illinois and one in Kentucky since his arrest, sent a 12-page handwritten letter in English from the Harris County Jail to reporter at KPRC-TV in Houston in which he complains about jail food, talks about the presidential race and his thoughts about abortion, and questions his sanity.
Concerned about the coming presidential race, Maturino-Resendiz wrote: "I support (Republican presidential candidate Steve) Forbes or (Republican candidate Gary) Beaur (Bauer), because the(y) are my brothers in Faith, this man do not want babies to be murdered..."
Speaking of his case Angel said: "After I did not tell the officer what he wante(d) to hear, he kick(ed) me and told me that I was to go craisdy (crazy) if I did not get it off my chest... As far as I was told, I was to be try (tried) in one trial in the Federal Court, but (Attorney General) Janet Reno allow the State of Texas to get me, so the USA want me dead. The Texas prosecutor stated that if one doctor does not agree that I am sane, she will keep going untill (sic) one agrees with her. She want to kill me."
Maturino-Resendiz wrote that his sister Manuela was told "she could loose [sic] her house and kids if she did not help them to get me. My sister Manitza was told that her husband could get in trouble, but if she help, she was promise US residence and monetary help." The rest of his family, he said, was threatened "with the possible use of bounty hunters..."
On the final page he wrote "I think I may go insane. I do not fear this, since reality has not been good to me. At some time I have start(ed) to hear funny voices, like a person calling me, but no one call me."
"I may not really want to live anymore, and this is terrible for my mother. She could die if I die. But the worst is that I am tem(p)ted by death more all the time, and I may do it any time soon."
"I have lost the fear of killing my self or the rules that did not allow me to do it, now is only a matter of time, but I know it will be done. I have no choice in this. I am in a no return trip, on a train that leads to death only and I am not able to get off this train."
On May 18, 2000, a Houston jury rejected his insanity defense and found Angel Maturino Resendiz guilty of the 1998 rape-murder of Dr. Claudia Benton, a Houston-area physician. After jurors returned their verdict, Maturino Resendiz told State District Judge Bill Harmon that he did not want his attorneys to mount any defense during the punishment phase. "I've decided that injection is better than spending life in jail, so I want to do that," he told the judge. The jury deliberated for 10 hours over two days before concluding that the confessed serial killer was aware he was committing a crime when he broke into the home of in 1998, then sexually assaulted, bludgeoned and stabbed her to death.
"He felt an evil force pulling him into these homes and directing him to people who were evil and deserved to be dead, and as an angel of God he was doing God's will," said Dr. Larry Pollock, a psychiatrist working for the defense. Maturino Resendiz, who claimed to be a Christian Jew, also believed he was a half-man, half-angel who possessed supernatural powers, such as the ability to predict disasters, leave his own body and cause weather catastrophes.
It emerged during the trial that drug abuse - namely, glue sniffing - and several childhood head injuries could have played a role in the development of Maturino Resendiz's mental illness. His mother, Virginia Maturino Resendiz, testified her son was dropped on his head right after he was born. She also recalled how he was hit in the head with a rock thrown by other students when he was in his early teens, and witnessed her being attacked by men with knives on two occasions. Cohen, the psychologist, said Maturino Resendiz was twice raped by a neighborhood man when he was 8.
In an Interview with Maria Elena Salinas, Angel Maturino Resendiz said he had committed many more than the 11 murders authorities have attributed to him. However, he refused to reveal the exact number or the identities of his victims, with the exception of Daryll Kolojaco, whom he identified as "a homosexual who had to die." Resendiz -- who is awaiting execution the Terrell Unit Maximum Security Prison in South Livingston, Texas -- assured Salinas that he was the real murderer of Kolojako and that two innocent men were serving time in prison for it. In fact he stated that many of his victims were homosexuals adding that, "according to the Bible, homosexuals must die because they will never enter the kingdom of God."
"There are many more murders, but I can't state the exact number. I am not going to give the authorities that information," he said. "They are going to kill me anyway, so what's the use? It's not that I have nothing to lose ... The only thing I can take with me and keep from the Gringos is the truth. They will always wonder about cases with methods similar to mine: was it him or not?"
Referring specifically to the murder of Dr. Claudia Benton, who was found raped and stabbed to death in her Houston home in 1998, Resendiz explained he killed her because: "the doctor was doing experiments with babies. I saw that in her computer when I broke into her house. I had a bad feeling when I went in; I felt something bad was going on in that place. I didn't know what, but I did see what was in the computer and the experiments she was doing. I killed her mainly because of that."
In true rambling serial killer fashion he said he started killing after the government's assault on David Koresh and his followers in Waco. "I was upset over the deaths of the kids in Waco, of the prophet ... Everyone has already forgotten the deaths of those innocent children, but I keep reliving them. They are always on my mind." Stay tuned for the next dispatch from Radio Resendiz.
Randall Woodfield (13+) Randy was a typical All-American boy with a slight problem... he enjoyed exposing himself. At first everyone ignored it because he was the star of his high school football team. By 1973 his athletic ability got him drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, after a few "incidents," the Packers sent him back to home and his glory days as a star athlete came to a crashing halt.
Back in Oregon he graduated to accosting women at knife point, robbing them and exposing himself. In 1975 he was arrested after accosting a policewomen in a Portland Park. For this escalation in his "sexual deviancy" he was handed a ten-year sentence. While in jail he became a born again zealot and started seeing the prison psychologist. After four years behind bars he convinced authorities he was a "changed man" and was released and judged not to be risk to society.
After being released Randy dropped his messianic convictions and stepped right back into his life of crime. Around then he became known as the "I-5 Bandit" for blazing down his favorite highway hell-bent on crime. During the holdups, he would force cashiers to expose their breasts and/or perform fellatio on him.
The restless type, Randy also started a side hobby as a serial rapist and killer. The typical serial killer living two distinctively separate lives Randy, on the one hand was driving up and down the I-5 committing up to 22 attacks, and on the other, he worked as a bartender and was a relentless partier and womanizer. He had a staple of women whom he courted by phone, mail and in person. Always on the move, as he visited one girlfriend after another he managed to slip a little rape in murder into his busy travel schedule.
Randy was questioned by the police after his first kill was discovered. He was released when his semen did not match the type discovered in the corpse. Upon release he continued killing in his truly disorganized fashion. He enjoyed committing his crimes wearing a hood, a fake beard and a bandage on the bridge of his nose, which became the signature look of the "I-5 Killer".. As police from several counties got together to brainstorm on whether they had a serial killer responsible for a string of slayings spanning from Bellevue, Washington to Redding California, the name of Randy Woodfield and his champagne colored Volkswagen Bug kept popping up. On March 1981 the police took him in again for questioning and, using his phone bills, were able to unravel his trail of blood.
During his trial the seemingly All-American hero was exposed as a vicious sexual predator who showed no remorse for rape and murder. Evidence against him included his penchant for calling girlfriends from phone booths near many of the crime scenes. He also transmitted genital herpes to several of his surviving victims. On a celebrity side note, the prosecuting attorney that convicted Randy was Chris Van Dyke, the son of celebrated comedian Dick Van Dyke.
While in jail, Randy continued his volumes of correspondence to many different women to whom he professed his innocence. Once he realized he was not getting out of jail, Randy started writing to women in other Oregon penitentiaries. One of his jailhouse conquest was Diane Downs, another celebrity killer who made headlines when she shot herself and her three children to get rid of them and win back her married lover.
Although it is believed that Randy committed up to 13 murders, he was only tried for three receiving life plus 190 years. Many other counties -- including Shasta County in California -- wanted to get their hands on Randy and give their victims their day in court. But as it became obvious that Randy would never be free again many saw the financial burden that would be incurred by such a high profile case and decided not to prosecute.
William Lester Suff (13+) Known as "The Riverside Prostitute Killer," in 1974 Will and his then wife were convicted of beating their two-month-old daughter to death. Although he was sentenced to seventy years in the Big House he was out on parole by 1984. Too bad for the twelve or more prostitutes he subsequently raped, stabbed, strangled and sometimes mutilated in Riverside County. His alleged killing spree started in 1986. On January 9, 1993, he was arrested after a routine traffic stop.
A Doctor Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde type, Suff worked as a government stock clerk who helped deliver the furniture for the task force investigating his killing spree. He liked to impersonate police officers and cooked a mean chili at office picnics. It is rumored that his sometimes added human flesh to his price wining chili. He was also writing a book about dogs that went berserk and started killing people. Furthermore, he enjoyed vanity plates and was an avid volunteer in the county's car-pooling program. All this perhaps explaining his deadly behavior.
On July 19, 1995, Willie was found guilty of killing 12 prostitutes although police think that he might be responsible for up to 22 deaths. On November 1995, he was condemned to death by a jury in Riverside, California. After the trial, the prosecuting Mr DA, Paul Zellerbach, told the foreman and four other members of the jury that they suspected that Suff used the breast of one of his victims in his prize winning chili.
After a few years of silence, Billy Suff decided to put in print his side of the rampage. In June, 1997, his lawyer-writer friend Brian Alan Lane released, "Cat and Mouse: Mind Games with a Serial Killer," a book containing Bill's writings, poetry, and some of his award-wining recipes. Bill also scheduled a live call-in on the Geraldo Rivera show from Death Row in San Quentin as part of the book's promotion.
Peter Sutcliffe (13+) Between 1975 and 1984 Pete was known as the "Yorkshire Ripper" as he terrorized hookers around Northern England with his hammer and other instruments of torture. A former mortuary worker, Pete spoke with God frequently. The good Lord ordered him to go out and hunt prostitutes and, as a true Christian, Pete did as he was told. Luckily, he also enjoyed the job and would cum in his pants as he hammered and stabbed his victims to death.
Police were frustrated with numerous false confessions they received during their search for him. On January 2, 1981, Petie was finally caught sitting in a car with a prostitute. While in custody he confessed everything. Pete is also suspected of having killed and maimed several other women in France and Sweden during his travels abroad.
On March 10, 1997 Petie was stabbed in both eyes by a fellow inmate during a fight at the Broadmoor Hospital. It is believed that Surcliffe was in his room in Henley Ward when he was attacked. The attacker, Ian Kay -- also known as the "Woolworths Killer" -- stabbed Petie with a fibre-tipped pen, the type used in drawing classes at the hospital. Not the nicest "chap in the block," Kay -- described as an "extremely dangerous man" -- was jailed for a minimum of 22 years in 1995 for the November, 1994, murder in southwest London of a Woolworths manager which he carried out while on leave from prison after serving less than three years of an eight-year term for nearly killing another shop worker in an almost identical attack.
On January 28, 1998, Kay admitted to stabbing Pete adding attempted murder to his long list of convictions. In no uncertain terms, Kay told the court he had meant to attack Pete with a razor embedded in a toothbrush handle. "I was going to ... walk into the room and cut his jugular vein on both sides and wait there until he was dead. Killing has always been in my mind, ever since I've been here (at Broadmoor). In hindsight I should have straddled him and strangled him with my bare hands... He said God told him to kill 13 women, and I say the devil told me to kill him because of that."
In March, 1996, Sutcliffe was assaulted by a different patient. Then, a prisoner at the high-security hospital in Berkshire almost garrotted Sutcliffe with the flex from a pair of stereo headphones because "resented being locked up with sex offenders". The attacker was pulled off by two other murderers, Kenneth Erskine, the "Stockwell Strangler," and Jamie Devitt.
Abdallah al-Hubal (13) On August 16, 1998, Yemen's only known serial killer, Abdallah al-Hubal, was gunned down by police after he killed an officer and wounded three others. The killer -- who authorities have sought for murdering 12 people -- was trapped by police in the town of Beit al-Fakieh in the Hodeidah governorate west of the capital Sanaa.
Hubal, who was in his forties, began a series of murders in the former Marxist south Yemen before the 1990 union with the conservative north, killing seven people. He disappeared after a short prison term in the southern port city of Aden, but surfaced again a week ago when he murdered a couple in Beit al-Fakieh. Officials said police trapped him after he killed three other people apparently to silence them about the double murder.
Li Wenxian (13) This farmer from the southern Guangdong province in China is one of two entries in the Archives heralding from the People's Republic of China. Li, 44, reportedly strangled and stabbed 13 women and smashed their heads with a hammer out of revenge for being cheated by a prostitute when he first moved to Canton, Guangdong's provincial capital, to work in construction.
In all, Li took 17 women to an area in east Canton between April 1992 and November 1996. 13 women were murdered and one was seriously hurt. On December 18, 1996, the Canton Intermediate People's Court sentenced Li to death for crimes including murder, rape and robbery.
Johannes Mashiane (13) Known as "The Beast of Atteridgeville," this South African, slayer sodomized and killed 12 boys by either strangling or stoning them. In October 1989 the lethal sodomite died when he jumped under a bus in Marabastad while being chased by police. An intended 13th victim, who Mashiane had left for dead, survived to tell the tale. Mashiane committed this spate of serial slaughter after serving a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend.
Arthur Shawcross (13) An unrepentant cannibal, Art munched on two Vietnamese girls during his tour of duty in 'Nam. In fact, Vietnam became a living fantasy of horror and gore for lethal Art. He boasted he was never happier than in 'Nam. Shawcross -- certainly not up for the GI Nice Guy award -- claimed to have killed women and children indiscriminately while fighting for Uncle Sam. Out-of-control Art bragged that he not only tortured, mutilated and dismembered his victims, but he also roasted their carcassess and ate them.
All of this bloodlust, he believed, was justified by the horrors of the conflict. "The VC put razor blades up whores' vaginas. Shoved them inside a cup deep in where you'd never know until it was too late. When the GI's would fuck 'em they would slit their penises to shreds or cut 'em clean off... I was with some guys, ROK Koreans, who took a whore and put a firehose inside her and turned on the water. She died almost instantly. Her neck jumped about a foot from her body. Another time we took another whore and tied her to two small trees, legs to the trees, bent down. She had a razor blade inside her vagina. She was cut from her anus to her chin. Then the trees were let go. She slit in half. Left her there hanging between the trees. This may be why I did what I did to those girls."
Burdened with an extra Y chromosome, Nasty Art always proved to be the aggressive type. Back home -- remembering his blood soaked orgies back in 'Nam -- he believed that the spirit of a thirteenth-century cannibal "Ariemes," possessed his body and drove him to rape, murder and cannibalism. In 1988 he was released from prison after serving fifteen years for the sadistic murders of two children in Watertown. Out on parole he was sent to Rochester to live after residents in two other communities objected to his presence. Right about then Ariemes came back to possess him and helped him with a twenty-month murder spree in which he bagged and chewed on eleven women.
Once in custody Art detailed his cannibalistic deeds explaining that he was possessed by his shrewish mother's spirit (as well as Ariemes). Mom -- whom he esteemed and resented simultaneously -- enjoyed ramming broomsticks up his ass when he was young. Recieving no mercy from the jury, in February 1991 Art was sent to the Sullivan Correctional Institute in Fallsburg, NY, to serve a 250-year sentence. Curiously, in 1990, he received ten write-in votes during New York's gubernatorial race.
On July 10, 1997, Art married his long time sweetheart, Clara Neal in a simple ceremony in the prison's visiting room. "It was nice and all," said the blushing bride. The two started dating before his conviction. However, at the time, Shawcross was married to another woman. "It took 10 years to make the grade, but I finally made it," said lovestruck Clara. His previous wife, Rose, died in the spring, making their union possible under the eyes of God. Under the state Department of Correctional Services policy Shawcross and Neal will be eligible for conjugal visits. Neal stated she loves him and stands by her cannibal "no matter what". Shawcross, of course, used Neal's car to pick up, have sex with, and then kill his victims.
On September 19, 1999, Shawcross was punished with two years in solitary confinement and lost his art privileges for five years for having agents sell his paintings on the Internet auction site eBay. Art then appealed the sentence and had the time reduced to nine months. Shawcross, 54, will be confined to a cell for 23 hours a day at Fallsburg's Sullivan Correctional Facility. Officials say he has been mailing drawings and oil paintings -- of Marilyn Monroe and stock-car driver Dale Earnhardt -- to dealers. In return, they would send him gifts like clothes and shoes instead of cash. Prison officials said Shawcross did not violate the state's "Son of Sam" law because he was not accused of benefiting from the actual crimes that led to his arrest.
On April 3, 2001, Shawcross the artist was back in the news when New York Governor George Pataki ordered that violent criminals be banned from showing and selling their art at an annual exhibition by inmates organized by New Yorks corrections department. The order was prompted by the inclusion of 10 paintings and sketches (including one of Princess Diana) by infamous Art. The paintings in question where ofwinged horses and butterflies that were selling for up to $540 and a pencil-sketch of Princess Diana tagged at $500, of which he would keep $250. The remainder would be donated to the Crime Victims Board, which assists victims of crime.
Herbert Mullin (13) This acid-dropping, pot-smoking flower child was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by his high school class. After a stint in a mental institution he started hearing voices that told him to do strange things, like burn his dick with a cigarette. Then the voices started coming from strangers asking him to put them out of their misery. Good Herb was happy to comply. After thirteen acts of mercy police arrested him. Herb believed that the deaths during the Vietnam war worked as sacrifices that kept California from sliding into the ocean during a cataclysmic earthquake. With the end of the war, Herb was telepathically told by his father to continue with the human sacrifice to save California from the big one. And, of course, Herb did as he was told.
On December 29, 2001, Mullinwas denied parole for the ninth time. Mullin was convicted of stabbing a priest in his confessional, shooting four teens and killing a drug dealer, his wife and the wife and small children of another drug dealer.
Albert DeSalvo (0-13) In the mid sixties Al confessed to being the Boston Strangler. His great hands, voracious sex drive and violent nature led him to talk his way into women's houses where he raped and strangled with impunity. Or so he claimed.
From the summer of 1962 to the early winter of 1964, Boston and its suburbs were terrified by a serial killer known variously as the Phantom Fiend and the Boston Strangler. The terror finally came to an end when DeSalvo, a handsome, smooth-talking laborer, confessed to 13 killings while he was being held on a series of rape charges in 1965 at the Center for the Treatment of Sexually Dangerous Persons at Bridgewater.
There were many doubters, including DeSalvo's relatives and family members of some of the victims. Police were among the most skeptical of DeSalvo's claims of guilt, but were prevented from questioning him by the attorney general's office, which directed the investigation.
All along, many thought DeSalvo incapable of murder, prone to braggadocio and in search of fame. Some psychiatrists believed that the stranglings were not the work of a single killer. Serial killers, they said, carefully choose victims with the same characteristics. In Boston, the slain women differed markedly in age, with the first six in their 50s and 60s, and the later ones in their 20s and 30s.
DeSalvo's criminal career began in his youth with house breaks and small time robberies in Chelsea and East Boston. He was arrested by Cambridge police in 1961 on molestation charges when women complained that a man posing as a modeling agency representative came to their apartments and convinced them to let him take their measurements. He served one year in the Middlesex County House of Correction.
"I saw my father knock my mother's teeth out and then break every one of her fingers. I must have been seven," according to published excerpts of DeSalvo's confession. "Pa was a plumber, he smashed me once across the back with a pipe. I just didn't move fast enough. He once sold me and my two sisters for nine dollars, sold us to some farmer in Maine" as slaves.
In addition, Frank DeSalvo Sr., an alcoholic, often brought prostitutes home and would strike his wife, Charlotte, in front of them. His two daughters' black eyes bore additional witness to his brutality. He taught his four sons how to shoplift. He bargained away the meager amount of coal the family received from welfare for cash, and everyone was cold during the winter. Food was scarce while sexual activity was rampant. Finally, when Albert was 8 years old, the father abandoned the family.
The investigators said believe DeSalvo claimed to have sexually assaulted from 300 to 2,000 women. "Albert didn't seek out his victim. That's what caused us confusion, because there was a disparity between young girls and old ladies," said one of the investigator in the Strangler case. "He killed whoever was unfortunate enough to answer the doorbell when the mood hit him."
As a child Albert boasted of being able to cum five or six times a day. As an adult his frigid wife was no match for his eternal horniness. The Strangler killed between 1962 and 1964. The victims were generally found dead in their apartments, sexually assaulted, and frequently bound with articles of their own clothing. What characterized his killing style was that he left naked corpses carefully and provocatively posed with the strangulating chords tied in ornamental bows around their necks.
Some believe that DeSalvo, a Malden factory worker, was not responsible for the killings and that in fact George Nassar, his cell mate at Bridgewater, had struck a deal with him so he would take the blame as DeSalvo was already facing a life sentence for his multiple rape convictions. While authorities lacked evidence to bring him to trial on the murders, in 1967 he was sentenced to life in prison for an unrelated series of rapes. In November 1973 he was stabbed to death in his cell in Walpole by another inmate.
Boston Police announced on July 9, 1999 that they will revisit the case of the Boston Strangler. The Cold Case Squad, as the investigation is known, will use DNA technology to analyze evidence from the crimes in order to prove once and for all whether Albert DeSalvo was responsible for the killings. Police are looking for DNA from sperm samples swabbed from some of the Strangler's victims, which were logged as evidence in the 1960s but have been unable to locate. Also the knife used to kill DeSalvo could contain DNA samples, but they haven't been able to find it, either.
Considered to be among the most dangerous men in modern-day Massachusetts, George Nassar, a ruthless killer with a stratospheric IQ, offered to provide police a sample of his DNA to prove that he was not the infamous killer. "I had nothing to do with it," he said. "I'm convicted under the table, behind the scenes." He will never be granted parole, he added, because "it would be: The person accused of being the Boston Strangler is released from prison."
Nassar, who has been locked in prison for 50 of his 67 years on earth, was 15 when he first committed murder, the shooting of a Lawrence store clerk in 1948. He was paroled in 1961, remained free for the reign of the Boston Strangler, and was charged in October 1964 with shooting to deathg an Andover gas station attendant as he begged on his knees for mercy. After killing the attendant, Nassar approached a woman and her daughter parked at the filling pumps, stuck his pistol in their car window, and fired. The gun, though, was empty.
In 1965, the last of the stranglings already committed and the murders having mysteriously stopped, DeSalvo and Nassar became inseparable friends at the Bridgewater prison. Soon enough, Nassar said, DeSalvo confessed to the stranglings.
Ultimately, Nassar introduced DeSalvo to his lawyer, F. Lee Bailey. Bailey summoned authorities to Bridgewater with word that he had found the Boston Strangler. DeSalvo was convicted of an unrelated armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison. DeSalvo confessed to 13 killings in mind-numbing detail, even recalling room dimensions at the crime scenes. But many detectives were dubious, having regarded him as a rapist incapable of murder. Some said he had too much sexual desire to kill women before violating them, as the strangler often did. Notably, at least two women who had escaped the Boston Strangler were brought to MCI-Bridgewater to identify DeSalvo, but instead pointed to Nassar as their assailant.
On October 16, 2000 -- thirty-six years after her death -- the body of the last victim of the Boston Strangler was exhumed to be examined for signs of her killer's real identity. A private autopsy on Mary Sullivan, who was killed in 1964, was conducted following a request by her family and the family of DeSalvo. The two families believe that DeSalvo was not the feared Boston Strangler and that he confessed to being the killer only because he thought his family could make money from book and film deals about the murders.
Arguing that the Boston Strangler case is still an open homicide investigation, the state and Hub police have again refused to share DNA evidence with families of Albert DeSalvo and the alleged killer's last victim. Attorneys rejected a settlement offer in a federal lawsuit filed by the relatives of Mary Sullivan and DeSalvo asking the state to hand over two of six semen samples collected from the Beacon Hill crime scene in 1964. "It's crazy. We should be working in conjunction to find her killer," said Sullivan relative and local TV producer Casey Sherman.
The relatives of Sullivan and DeSalvo believe the confessed killer is not the real Boston Strangler and believe the Boston Police Department wants to avoid the embarassment of having to acknowledge that they have blamed to wrong man for the city's most infamous crime spree. Homicide investigators have refused to share the Strangler evidence citing that it would set a dangerous precedent.
UPDATE: December 6, 2001
Nearly four decades after the case file has been closed, new forensic evidence has brought into question the identity of the Boston Strangler and the guilt of Albert Desalvo, the factory worker who confessed to the murders.
The team of forensic scientists who exhumed the body of Strangler victim Mary Sullivan revealed that tests on her clothing and remains found DNA from two individuals other than Sullivan, and neither of them was DeSalvo.
"We have found evidence, and the evidence does not and cannot be associated with Albert DeSalvo," said James Starrs, a professor of forensic science and law at George Washington University. "I, as a juror, would acquit him with no questions asked."
The evidence appears to clear DeSalvo only of sexual assault, but Starrs and other forensic scientists who took part in the investigation said it also raises significant doubt that DeSalvo killed Sullivan.
A statement released by the families' attorneys Daniel and Elaine Whitfield Sharp said the work of Starrs' team proves "beyond reasonable doubt" that DeSalvo didn't kill Sullivan. The DeSalvo and Sullivan families believe DeSalvo may have confessed in hopes of making money from book and movie deals.
"If he didn't kill Mary Sullivan, yet he confessed to it in glaring detail, he didn't kill any of these women," said Casey Sherman, Sullivan's nephew.
Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly, who began reinvestigating Sullivan's murder last year at the request of the DeSalvo and Sullivan families, said in a statement that the new findings don't resolve the question of whether DeSalvo killed Sullivan.
A prosecutor who worked on the original strangler investigation in the 1960s said the new DNA tests do not prove that DeSalvo is innocent of Sullivan's killing or any of the other slayings. "It doesn't prove anything except that they found another person's DNA on a part of Miss Sullivan's body," said Julian Soshnick. "I believe that Albert was the Boston Strangler."
Soshnick, who interviewed DeSalvo twice after he confessed to the killings, said he asked him specifically about the Sullivan case and seven or eight of the other murders. "There were things that only the killer would know that were not known publicly," he said. "We knew a lot more than was made public, and he knew them." Specifically, Soshnick said, DeSalvo described accurate details about what type of ligatures were used and how he tied them around the victims' necks.
Coral Eugene Watts (13) Coral Eugene might have had an IQ of seventy-five, but he sure knew how to use a knife. Another one from the I-hate-vaginas school of thinking. He enjoyed killing women on Sunday morning before going to church. Once he told a psychiatrist that women were evil and should be exterminated. It seems he practiced what he preached.
On November 12, 2002, Watts was denied parole for the fifth time. Watts, who admitted to 13 murders, is due to be released from prison in 3 1/2 years. Because of a quirk in Texas law, Watts is scheduled for mandatory release in May 2006. He could be discharged even before that -- after his next parole hearing in December 2005 -- if he continues to show good behavior, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Larry Todd.
In 1982, Watts admitted he killed 13 women. But he received immunity in 12 of the cases and went to prison for burglary with intent to commit murder. Prosecutors said they were short on hard evidence and intent on closing the open murder cases. At the time, they and the judge also thought a 60-year prison term would keep Watts behind bars until he was an in his 80s. But mandatory release laws require Watts' discharge on May 8, 2006, when he is 52.
Texas' mandatory release program was approved in 1977 to relieve prison crowding. The program was rescinded in 1996. Inmates like Watts, however, remained eligible because they were incarcerated under terms of the plan. Watts confessed and received immunity for strangling a 20-year-old Houston woman, Michelle Maday, the same morning he was arrested in May 1982. Watts told police he killed 10 other Texas women and a woman from Michigan. He also confessed to strangling a 14-year-old Texas girl. Although he did not receive immunity in that case, prosecutors lacked the evidence to take him to trial. Authorities in Michigan and Texas are scouring old cases to try to find evidence that might lead to another conviction to block Watts' scheduled release.
Joseph Christopher (13) Another racist rampager. Christopher, a mentally disturbed GI started killing black men in upstate New York in September 22, 1980. By the time he left Buffalo the city was about to erupt into an all-out race war with black leaders claiming no police protection and talking about a deadly paramilitary racist force. Christopher went to Manhattan on December 22 and was able bag four victims and maim a fifth in less than thirteen hours. He was arrested in Fort Benning on January 6 after he tried to stab a black GI.
Marie Besnard (13+) One from the got away with murder file. Marie, known in France as the "Poison Queen," tallied at least 13 deaths in her love for poisons and her quest for inherited gold. Her reign of terror spanned from 1927, when she killed her husband (and cousin) Aguste Antigny, to 1949 when her mother died and the bodies of 12 victims were exhumed and authorities found traces of arsenic in the tissue of all of the dead. In the case of her husband/cousin Aguste, who was buried with his shoes on more than 20 yearsbefore, evidence of arsenic was found in his surprisingly well preserved toenails.
Not the lazy type, Marie was quick to marry after disposing of her loving cousin. With the help of her new husband, Leon Besnard, she started trimming away with reckless abandon both of their family trees'. The wholesale slaughter of relatives proved to be rewarding as they endlessly kept dropping dead whenever Marie showed up.
By 1947 she poisoned her husband Leon when she fell for the charms of a handsome German P.O.W living in Loudon. After the death of her mother, locals demanded authorities to investigate the steady stream of deaths befalling her family. She was arrested once the bodies were exhumed and traces of arsenic were found in all of them. While in jail she tried to divert her guilt by asking a friend to spike the family wine with arsenic. When the friend refused Marie confessed her guilt.
During her trial in 1952 Marie hired a bevvy of high powered lawyers to dispute and divert the evidence. After three trials all evidence was used up in testing and Marie's guilt was expunged. On March, 1954, she was released from jail. On December 12, 1961 she was acquitted of any wrongdoing and walked away having gotten away with murder repeatedly and having fooled the world.
Jack Unterweger (12+) Jack, the son of a Austrian streetwalker and an American soldier, received his first life sentence at age 25 when he strangled a prostitute with her bra because she reminded him of his mother. Subsequently he admitted to the crime explaining "I envisioned my mother in front of me, and I killed her." While in jail Jack wrote a series of short stories, plays and an autobiography that made him the darling of the Viennese cafe-intellectuals. Hailed as a model for rehabilitation, Jack was granted parole in 1990.
A free man, Jack became a knight in shining armor of the Austrian literary elite. Within months of his release his success as a writer translated into expensive suits, fancy cars and regular appearances in local talk shows. However, not truly reformed, Jack did keep up with his old habit of strangling prostitutes for kicks to the tune of at least six dead.
In 1991 he was hired to write an article about prostitution in Los Angeles. While on assignment he got to travel in an LAPD patrol car. He also managed to squeeze in the murder of three prostitutes before returning back to Vienna.
By February, 1992, police in Austria issued a warrant for his arrest linking him to the deaths of eight women. By then Jack escaped with his 18-year-old girlfriend to Switzerland, Paris and New York, pausing along the way to call newspapers and talk shows in Austria to proclaim his innocence. Following a credit card trail left by the fugitive couple, they were arrested by Interpol in Miami, Florida. While in custody his girlfriend explained they sought refuge in Miami because she "liked Don Johnson."
Unterweger was eventually deported back to Austria where he was indicted for the murders of 11 prostitutes, including three from Los Angeles. On June 28, 1994 a jury in Graz, Austria, found him guilty of nine of murders and acquitted him of two others. The next morning prison guards found him dead in his cell hanging from a curtain rod.
Martha Beck & Raymond Fernandez (12+) Known in the late 40s as the "Lonely-Hearts Killers" for their lethal swindling of lovelorn widows answering personal adds. Raymond, although Hawaiian, billed himself as a sexy Latin Lover. Martha, tipping the scale at a whooping 280 pounds, was no buttercup of love. Strangely, when they met, it was love at first sight. Maybe it was because their mutual love for swindling and kinky sex. Together, with Martha posing as Ray's sister, they bilked elderly spinsters and widows of their savings before murdering them if they offered resistance.
When they were arrested Martha and Ray confessed to 12 killings, though it's believed the actual number is closer to 20. At their trial they kept cooing, holding hands and seemed not to be able to get enough of each other. Their plead of not guilty by reason of insanity was ignored and on August 22, 1949 the deadly lovers were sentenced to death. After numerous appeals, on March 8, 1951 they were executed side by side in Sing Sing prison.
Rosemary & Fred West (12+) Rosemary and her husband Fred West, were accused of murdering 10 women and young girls over a 16 year period ending in 1987. They enjoyed luring away vulnerable runaways with offers of rides, lodging or jobs as nannies. Once in their clutches inside their "House of Horrors", the young women were stripped, bound with tape, raped, tortured, then killed, dismembered and buried. The killer couple was arrested at their lethal homestead, 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, England in 1994. Police, armed with a search warrant, dug up the remains of their 16 year old daughter, Heather, who vanished in 1987. Further excavations under the house and in garden produced eight more female bodies, including Rosemary's stepdaughter, Charmaine.
One more body was found under the kitchen of a former home at 25 Midland Road, Gloucester. Fred hanged himself in jail New Years Day, 1995. He also faced two further charges of murdering his ex wife and a baby-sitter and burying them in fields near his former home. Authorities believe that Fred probably killed more women. Rosemary, an admitted prostitute, still maintains her innocence. However, on November 22, 1995, she was convicted of 10 murders. Authorities are investigating the whereabouts of nine other missing women who frequented their home.
On September 2001, a documentary filmmaker has called for an investigation into claims that serial killer Fred West may have murdered 20 more people. David Monaghan said West confessed the additional murders to a social worker assigned to him in prison and repeated them in a yet unaired TV show. Gloucestershire police said there was not enough evidence to investigate the claims and are trying to block the airing of the interview.
The documentary shows excerpts from West's taped interviews with detectives and clips from home movies made by Fred and Rosemary. In one clip, West describes in graphic detail how he buried body parts in a hole in his garden. "I thought, shit, I can't get her down through there. I thought, I'm going to have to cut her up again, and by this time I'm realising that's three, no two, not three, where is this going to stop? I've got to give myself up, I've got to tell Rose so I don't do this again." West also describes how the "spirits" of his victims haunted him when police searched his Gloucester home. "When they come up into you it's beautiful, it's when they go away you are trying to hold them, you feel them flying away from you and you try to stop them."
According to Janet Leach, a trainee social worker assigned to West after he was arrested, the infamous serial killer admitted to many more deaths than the 12 he was convicted for. "Fred said that there were two other bodies in shallow graves in the woods but there was no way they would ever be found. He said there were 20 other bodies... spread around and he would give police one a year."
Elton M. Jackson (12 +/-) Since the mid-eighties a number of homosexual men have abducted in and around the Norfolk area and their bodies dumped in the Chesapeake/Portsmouth areas. Chesapeake. Ten were strangled; the others were too decomposed to determine how they died. All but one were found nude. Many of the victims were gay, nearly all were drifters or transients and some were hustlers. Nearly all were last seen in or near gay bars in Norfolk or Portsmouth.
On March 5, 1998, Chesapeake Police Chief Richard A. Justice named Elton M. Jackson as the suspect in all 12 homicides by the "Hampton Roads Killer". Jackson, 41, was arrested in May, 1997. Jackson has only been charged with the July 1996 strangulation of Andrew "Andre" D. Smith in a case that court documents say is the most recent of the serial killings. Smith's body was found on the shoulder of a dead-end road in the Deep Creek section of Chesapeake. Court documents confirm that DNA testing showed that Jackson and Smith had sex hours before Smith's death.
The Chesapeake Police Department was the lead agency in the serial killer investigation until September, 1997, when the case was moved to Portsmouth based on evidence that the Smith killing apparently occurred in Jackson's Portsmouth home. Authorities never before named Jackson as the serial killer suspect, but also never ruled him out. FBI documents showed that a year ago the Feds believed Jackson was their killer and that they had suspected him previously. A letter to the FBI lab in August 1996 called Jackson the "best suspect in its nine years of investigation."
Andrew Smith's body was the last to be discovered. There have been no other similar slayings since Jackson's arrest in May 1997. Court documents indicate Jackson had contact with some of the other victims and the blood of one, Reginald Joyner, was found in Jackson's bed along with the blood of Smith. On August 21, 1998 a jury found Jackson guilty of the murder of Smith. "We're disappointed in the verdict, and he still maintains his innocence," said Jackson's attorney, Pamela Hampton.
Sylvester Mofokeng (12) Another in a lojng list of South African slayers. On September 17, 1997, a former prison escapee Sylvester Mofokeng, 25, was found guilty of 12 murder and nine other charges at the Johannesburg High Court. The 12 murders were committed between April and June 1995. The other charges were for theft, housebreaking, robbery, attempted murder and unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.
State advocate Rasigie Bhika asked for life sentences to be imposed for the murder convictions, and between 15 and 20 years for the other charges. Bhika referred to Mofokeng's previous convictions, which dated as far back as 1983 when he was 14 years old. His impressive criminal record includes multiple convictions and sentences for theft, robbery, vandalism, unlawful possession of arms and ammunition, escaping from prison, attempted murder and murder. Calling him a "professional killer, who was heartless and without remorse and killed for rewards," Judge Labe sentenced him to 145 years in jail and 10 life sentences. He added the murders were of such a cruel nature that in the interests of the community it had to be seen that justice had been done.
When Bhika asked for Mofokeng to sign the document concerning his previous convictions, he said he could not. After being prompted by the judge he said: "The gunshot fucked up my hand, so I cannot write anymore". Mofokeng was shot and seriously wounded by police in August last year when he was rearrested, following his escape from Diepkloof Prison. He escaped on March 23, 1995 -- while serving 70 years plus life for murder, attempted murder and robbery -- after a prison soccer match.
Siswanto (12) On August 6, 1996, Siswanto, a homeless Indonesian man, confessed to killing 12 boys and leaving their mutilated bodies on the streets. Siswanto, alias Robot Gedek, admitted to sexually molesting his victims, ages 9 to 15, before killing them. The dead youngsters were found with their stomachs slashed open, and most were naked. Siswanto told police he enjoyed drinking the blood of his victims and sometimes kept pieces of their skin.
His 18-month killing spree started in December 1994. The last victim was found on July 5, 1996. Eight of the killings took place in Jakarta and two in the city of Pekalongan in central Java. On May 21, 1997 an Indonesian court found Siswanto guilty of 12 murders and sentenced him to death. After sentencing, the presiding judge Sartono of the Central Jakarta State Court said Siswanto's "crimes sent shock waves through the community because he sadistically killed underage boys. What he did can never be forgiven."
The Bender Family (11+) On the high prairie the Bender family -- John, his wife , son, and daughter Kate -- in 1871 built a small house. Partitioned in two rooms by a canvas cloth it had a table, stove and grocery shelves in front. In back were beds, a sledge hammer and a trap door above a pit-like cellar. Kate a self- proclaimed healer and spiritualist and reported to be a beautiful, voluptuous girl with tigerish grace, was the leading spirit of her murderous family.
The house was located on the main road. Travelers stopping for a meal were seated on a bench backed tight against the canvas. In the next two years several disappeared. When suspicious were finally aroused, in 1873 , the Benders fled. A search of their property disclosed eleven bodies buried in the garden, skulls crushed by hammer blows through the canvass.
The end of the Benders is not known. The earth seemed to have swallowed them up, just like their victims.
Joseph Vacher (11+) Known as the "French Ripper," Joseph was a sight for sore eyes. He suffered from partial paralysis on the right side from a self-inflicted head injury from when he was 25. Apparently, after being scorned by a woman, he shot her three times and unsuccessfully tried to blow his own head off. Later, the misfit killer would claim that his horrible condition played part in murderous rampage.
In 1893 he was arrested for shooting another woman and was placed in an asylum where, after repeated escape attempts, he was declared cured of his violent "persecution mania" and released. A month after his release on April 1, 1894, Vacher started roaming the French countryside looking for women and children to slaughter.
In a demonic frenzy Joseph would strangle, stab, and disembowel his victims to the tune of more than 11 savage killings over three and a half years. He also enjoyed mutilating their sexual organs and raping them alive and post mortem. Near each crime scene witnesses reported an ugly, foul mouthed tramp passing by.
In August, 1897 he was arrested for offending public decency outside Touron. While in jail police realized he looked very much like the descriptions of the French Ripper and established several links between him and some of thee crimes. Eventually Joseph confessed in a rambling written accounts describing every detail of the killings. Although he confessed to only 11 kills, authorities suspect him of 14. During his trial he blamed his bad disposition because he had contracted rabies from a dog bite at the age of eight. Nevertheless, the court found him guilty of murder and guillotined him December 31, 1898.
Anatoly Golovkin (11) Sentenced to death in Moscow in 1994, Golovkin joined Andrei Chikatilo in perestroika's rapidly growing gallery of the depraved. Another sexual sadist, Anatoly derived pleasure from slitting the bellies of some of his victims -- young boys -- and cutting their testicles. "He is a straight forward maniac," said a spokesman for Moscow district prosecutor's office. Golovkin was sentenced to death for murdering 11 boys over an eight-year period.
Clifford Robert Olson (11) A Vancouver, British Columbia, native, this police informer spent most of his life in trouble with the law. Between 1957 and 1981 he logged ninety-four arrests. His murderous reign of terror around Vancouver started in November of 1980 with the abduction and slaughter of a twelve-year-old girl. His specialty was killing youngsters and enjoyed offing the occasional hitchhiker whenever the chance arose. In August 1981 Olson was arrested when he picked up two female hitchhikers. After striking a deal with the prosecution, Cliffy confessed to a string of killings. Somehow Olson was able to convince authorities to pay his wife and child $10,000 per proven kill. By confessing to eleven kills, Cliff's family collected a nice chunk of change. On January 11, 1982, Clifford was sentenced to eleven concurrent life terms.
While in jail, Anything-for-a-buck-Cliff announced through his lawyer in March, 1996 that he had registered with Canada's copyright office to protect his proposed video series offering psychological insights. Cliff plans to call the video, "Motivational Sexual Homicide Patterns of Serial Child Killer Clifford Robert Olson."
April 2, 2000: Claiming he can locate the bodies of two victims, Olson is negotiating with Hawaiian officials for a little island vacation. "We are taking it seriously because our records show he visited the island in 1980," said Dean Yamashiro, the deputy public defender in Honolulu. Last year Olson told Irish police he killed two women while he was visiting in the 1980s. He also said he has a friend there that killed five women and is the deaded South Dublin Killer. Operation Trace, an Irish police unit set up to probe the disappearances of at least five women, dismissed Olson's claims as a deranged killer wanting a free trip overseas. "All I am doing is trying to help authorities around the world to find the bodies of the dead men and women," he told to the Irish Mirror during a 30-minute phone interview. "I can find the bodies in Ireland without any problem. I know exactly where they are."
Vaughn Greenwood (11) In 1974-75 the LAPD found six downtown derelicts with their throats slashed and their bodies bearing signs of ritualistic abuse. They had cups of blood next to them, salt sprinkled around the outlines of their heads and cryptic marks scribbled around the slash wounds. When the cops announced that the killer was probably "a blond, sexually impotent and cowardly homosexual," Greenwood, a black man, was obviously not on their list of suspects. Eventually he was arrested after he axed someone next to Burt Reynold's house. The police linked him to the skid row murders and four others. Surely he must have been wearing a blond wig or something when he was committing his crimes.
Juan Rodriguez Chavez (11) Juan, a Texan murder parolee, confessed to having killed 11 people for money or just the "thrill of killing". He was jailed on October 17, 1995, and charged with six slayings. Prosecutors are now preparing to charge him with the 5 other deaths. All the killings were committed between March and July of 1995. Juan was very busy on July 2 when he killed 5 people. Three of them were shot and ran over by his car, another was shot while talking on a pay phone and the last victim of the day was shot in a robbery. Two days later he shot two men in the parking lot of a tire shop and, moments later, another man was killed outside a nearby apartment building.
Marie Alexandrine Becker (11) A native of Liege, Belgium, Marie poisoned her way to infamy with the help of her trusty Digitalis. Her first victim -- her cabinet making husband -- succumbed to a lethal dose of the poison in 1932 when she found a younger lover. Within two years she grew tired of her young stud and dispatched him in the same manner as her husband.
A late bloomer Marie became a sexual beast as she approached her middle age. Apparently she could only satiate her appetite with younger men whom sometimes she had to pay to get in bed. To afford her lust she started a side business as a thief and poisoner. Her victims of choice were elderly ladies who hired her as their nurse or who came calling to her clothing store.
Between 1935 and 1936 Marie fed lethal doses of digitalis to nine acquaintances. She was arrested after a friend confided to her about the cheating ways of her husband and Marie suggested ending his infidelities permanently with her digitalis. On October, 1936, the friend told authorities Marie was arrested with a vial of the poison in her purse. Police linked her to all her victims and found traces on poison in their corpses. They also found piles of clothing and jewelry in her apartment.
Although she always maintained her innocence, Marie was found guilty and spent the rest of her life in jail.
Henry Landru (11) France's "Bluebeard," he was arrested in 1919 for the murder of 10 women. He professed his love for them and promised marriage. Instead he would kill, dismember and torch his sweethearts. He was guillotined in 1922 without ever admitting to his crimes.
Kenneth Allen McDuff (14+) On November 17, 1998 serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff was finally put to death by lethal injection in Huntsville prison for the 1992 abduction, rape and murder of 22-year-old Melissa Ann Northrup, a pregnant mother of two from Waco. Before dying, the 52-year-old McDuff said, "I'm ready to be released; release me."
McDuff also faced a second death sentence for the 1991 abduction and slaying of 28-year-old Austin accountant Colleen Reed, and authorities say he may have killed as many as a dozen other people, primarily in central Texas between Austin and Waco. For his last meal, he requested two T-bone steaks, five fried eggs, vegetables, french fries, coconut pie and a Coca-Cola.
McDuff, first imprisoned in 1965 for burglary, went to death row in 1968 for fatally shooting in the face two teen-age boys in Fort Worth and raping and strangling their 16-year-old female companion. But while he was awaiting execution, the Supreme Court in 1972 struck down the death penalty as unconstitutional and McDuff's sentence was commuted to life.
He won parole about 17 years later when parole board members, facing overcrowded Texas prisons, released him along with thousands of other inmates. Ms. Northrup and Ms. Reed were killed a short time later. McDuff was thought to be the only U.S. criminal ever to go to death row for one murder, get out of jail, then be sent back to death row for another killing.
The subject of a nationwide manhunt, McDuff was arrested in 1992 in Kansas City, where under an assumed name he was working as a trash collector.
After his execution authorities revealed that McDuff was secretly taken out of prison to help police find the body of one of his victims in exchange for a reduced sentence for his drug dealing nephew.
In a highly unusual move, McDuff was taken out of death row under heavy guard for two days in October to search for the body of Colleen Reed of Austin because authorities were unable to find her body with maps he drew.
Authorities had earlier found the bodies of two Waco women, Reginia Moore and Brenda Thompson, using McDuff's maps. Earlier, authorities said they found the bodies with help from an informant, but they didn't identify the informant.
In exchange for the help finding the bodies a federal judge reduced the sentence of McDuff's nephew, Michael Wayne Royals, 42, from 15 years to 10 years. Royals is serving a prison term for delivery of amphetamines and methamphetamines.
Like all proficient killers, he has a book out called "No Remorse", and before being executed he is said to have posted the brief message: "If there is anyone left out there, drop me a letter."In a nonprofit prisoners advocacy group Web site.
Robert Joe Wagner, John Justin Buntin & Mark Ray Haydon (10+) In what's become Australia's worst serial murder case, police said they have found the remains of ten people -- eight in vats of corrosive chemicals in a deserted bank vault, and two buried in a suburban backyard of a house once occupied by one of the suspects. The suspects, Robert Joe Wagner, 27, John Justin Bunting, 32, and Mark Ray Haydon, 40, allegedly were involved in a social security fraud scheme in which they were cashing the pension checks of their victims.
Police found the Snowtown bodies after a yearlong investigation into the disappearances of Elizabeth Haydon, 37, who vanished from a northern Adelaide suburb late last year, and two other missing persons. Police said they expected the murder toll could rise to 11, as they had yet to account for two missing people who had been expected to have been among the victims.
Two of the victims where identified as Clinton Trezise, 22, who disappeared in 1993 but was not reported missing for two years. The other, Barry Lane, 40, a transvestite and convicted pedophile who lived with anf had an affair with the youngest of the three suspects.
The possibility that some or all of the victims -- whom were mostly men -- were killed for their pensions appears to be the most likely motive. But Adelaide police emphasis the killings were not random and that the group involved appeared to have preyed upon itself. South Australia's chief of police said this is the most complex case in the department and assigned 33 police specialists in areas such as missing persons, crime scenes, and forensic analysis. The number of offenses involved is higher than in any other single investigation in the State's criminal history.
Meanwhile the patience of the residents of Snowtown has been wearing thin following their week of media attention. Snowtown's councillor Barbara Turner asked the media and sightseers to let their town get back to normal. "We're a quiet little rural community and we're just not used to all this: the media and the TV crews and helicopters and that," she said.
Richard Angelo (10+) A former Boy Scout, Rich always wanted to be the hero. That's why this portly nurse pumped muscle paralyzer and other dangerous drugs into the intravenous bottles of his patients in the emergency room of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Long Island, NY. On October 11, 1987 his gig ran afoul when he told a patient, "I'm going to make you feel better," and injected Pavulon in his intravenous tube. Immediately the man felt numbness and had difficulty breathing. However, he was able to buzz another nurse who saved his life. The next day Richard's locker and home were searched and his killing utensils were found. Ever since Angelo started working the graveyard shift in the Good Samaritan there had been thirty-seven "Code Blue" emergencies leaving twenty-five patients dead. Prosecutors have only charged Angelo with ten of the deaths.
Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono (10+) These killer cousins started their reign of terror in LA in 1977 and became known as the "Hillside Strangler." They liked to impersonate cops, pick up hookers, rape and kill them. They enjoyed leaving their corpses in provocative positions in hillsides east of Hollywood. When Kenny moved to Bellingham, Washington, the killings stopped.
Bored with the small town life, Ken decided to get back to his old habits. He proceeded to kill two more women before being arrested. Bianchi was convicted of strangling two Bellingham college students and was sentenced to more than 116 years at the state penitentiary at Walla Walla, where he remains today. In custody he confessed to strangling five women in Los Angeles in late 1977 and early 1978. Bianchi is also suspected of at least three more killings in Rochester, New York, before his glory days in L.A.
While in custody Ken feigned being possessed by a violent alter ego named "Steve Walker." In prison he was contacted by a strange twenty-three year old Los Angeles screewriter named Veronica Lynn Comton who was seeking information for a book about a female serial killer. Together they hatched a plan to free him in which Veronica would take a sample of his sperm, kill a woman and deposit the sperm sample in her. Though a good idea, it never worked. Instead, it landed Veronica in jail.
The consumate serial killer groupie, Compton become engaged to serial killer Doug Clark while in prison. Later she claimed that she had been conned into establishing correspondence with the famed Sunset Killer. Compton had her parole revoked in 1994 for stopping counseling without the approval of her parole officer and answering the door in the nude when a social worker came to check on the welfare of her young daughter. She was also accused of having pornographic paintings on her walls. Compton has denied coming to the door nude and passed a polygraph test. She also said the paintings she created are not pornographic. An expert in sexual-deviancy treatment later agreed.
Maoupa Cedric Maake (10+) Suspected of being the Wemmer Pan and Claremont serial killer-rapist Maupa has been linked by DNA tests to at least 23 serious crimes. In January, 1998 serial-killer expert Captain Piet Byleveldt -- of the Brixton murder and robbery unit who arrested Maupa -- linked the suspect to numerous other inner-city hammer murders. On February 17 police revealed that Maoupa may be linked to as many as 60 murders between September 1995 and December 1997.
Maake was arrested near Jeppe railway station on December 23 in connection with 23 murders in the Wemmer Pan area in southern Johannesburg between April 1996 and December last year. Maake -- a busybody -- has also been linked to a string of hammer killings and attacks identified as related crimes by police last year. The killer targeted tailors in and around central Johannesburg, using a blunt object to attack his victims. According to the prosecution the Wemmer Pan killings were like "weekend jobs" for Maake and during the week he attacked tailors.
Maake was born in Pietersburg and came to Johannesburg to seek work in his early twenties. He became a self-employed handyman. He has three brothers, one of whom is a policeman, and is married with four children. His wife and children have since his arrest moved to Giyani to stay with relatives.
On July 6, 1997 South Africa police announced the possibility of two new serial killers stalking their nation, one near Dunbar and a second operating in Wemmer Pan, south of Johannesburg. The Wemmer Pan Killer is believed to be responsible for up to 10 murders. Police are considering the possibility that at least two killers are behind the Wemmer Pan murders. Five men and five women have been found murdered at the recreation site since April last year. Three were bludgeoned to death, six were shot.
Police warned people to avoid the area. They are investigating links between at least five of the cases but have yet to set up a special task force. Police spokesman Captain Andy Pieke said: "We believe these attacks may be connected to different killers. There is the possibility more than one serial killer is behind this, but we cannot rule out that all these murders are unrelated. The area is generally a dangerous one."
"We do not want a situation like they had in the Western Cape with the Station Strangler serial killer. There a man was convicted of only one killing. We will only confirm the exact number of bodies which are linked to a serial killer on the day that a suspect is taken to court."
The country's top expert on serial killers Dr Micki Pistorius said she had not yet looked at the Wemmer Pan dockets and was unlikely to do so until the Phoenix killer in Natal had been arrested. "It could be two serial killers operating in the same area. There is what is called linkage blindness. The police sit with dozens of dockets person and do not always know about the cases which their colleagues are investigating. "Serial murders are about patterns in the mind of the killer. They are not always obvious. Serial killers are very conscious of their own patterns. Police have to decipher these patterns; they're incredibly difficult to detect."
Elmarie Myburgh, the investigative psychologist assigned to the case, said two men had been linked to "a number of murders" in the Wemmer Pan area, dating back to April 1996 when killings were first reported. "If the men are not working together, each has an accomplice," she said.
A single profile has been drawn up and is believed to be an accurate description of both killers because they use the same modus operandi. According to Myburgh, the suspect is a black man between 30 and 40 years old who may live or work in the Wemmer Pan area. He does not have his own car and uses taxis to get around. Victims are both men and women, and do not fit a set pattern. Pieke said five murdered people had still not been identified.
Johnnie Malarkey (10) A man already in prison for helping his sister in a killing, admitted to killing seven people during a bar robbery and three others in separate attacks. Johnnie Malarkey, 28, pleaded guilty to shooting seven people to death at a Fresno club in 1993 and to three other killings that year. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. Malarkey's lawyer said his client proposed the plea bargain to try and put the killings behind him.
"Johnnie does have a conscience, despite the fact that he's admitted to 10 murders," attorney David Gottlieb said. "In meetings that I've had with him, he's cried. He does feel remorse."
Superior Court Judge Gene Gomes sentenced Malarkey to eight consecutive life terms with no possibility of parole, a 37-year term and a 40 years-to-life term. The sentences were added to a 25-year sentence he is serving for a series of 1993 shootings, including the slaying of a 70-year-old man. Police said his sister, Lanelle Malarkey Denn, shot the victim to loot his mobile home. She was sentenced to 34 years to life in prison.
Malarkey had been the leading suspect in the shooting deaths at Carrillo's Club, the worst mass murder in Fresno County. Two men entered the bar just after closing and opened fire. The second gunman is believed to have committed suicide last October.
"Boetie Boer" Stewart Wilken (10) Charged with at least 10 murders, five counts of sodomy and possible acts of cannibalism and necrophilia, "Boetie Boer" Stewart Wilken, Port Elizabeth's first and worst serial killer, went on trial for the strangling of his 10-year-old daughter.
The burly fisherman is the prime suspect in a series of sexually motivated killings of at least six prostitutes and four young boys in Port Elizabeth between 1990 and 1997. The killing spree allegedly ended when Wilken was arrested in January, 1997 in connection with the death of his daughter and 12-year-old Henry Baker.
In one murder apparently his fourth victim Wilken admitted to strangling a 26-year-old black woman while sodomising her. He then cut off her nipples and swallowed them. He then allegedly murdered a street child, strangling him with a belt, after the child said he would report to the police that Wilken had sodomised him. Sometimes Wilken allegedly returned to the scene of the crime to have sex with the corpses of his victims.
Not the brightest bulb, "Boetie Boer" said he killed his daughter "because she had been raped by her stepfather." Like many other sexual predators, "Boetie" revealed a life of torment in which he was sexually abused and sodomised as a young boy, began smoking dagga at the age of 8, and was forced to eat his food out of dog bowls. Hoping against hope, Wilken asked the court to give him a long prison sentence at a prison with psychiatric facilities "so that I can receive treatment and one day, if ever I am allowed free, I can also live life as a normal person".
Race, age and sex appeared to make no difference to the alleged killer, who said he hated women who swapped sex for money because they reminded him of his first wife. His youngest alleged victim was an 8-year-old boy and his final victim an elderly woman, whom he is alleged to have raped before smothering. Wilken said he "had gone looking for whores" when he drank alcohol and smoked dagga mixed with Mandrax. Wilken told the court he had looked for sex on the streets because his wives refused to have sexual relations with him.
Martin Dumollard (10) In 1861, Martin was arrested by authorities after a 12-year murderous rampage through the French countryside. When local police went to arrest him after a housemaid escaped his clutches and certain death. At his cottage authorities uncovered clothing that linked him to ten dead girls.
Most of the victims were servant girls he found in Lyon and lured to the country with the promise of a lucrative job. Once they were alone in the woods, Martin would stab or choke them to death using a noose. Sometimes he would crush the victim's skull with a blunt object. All victims were then stripped and robbed of all their possesions.
After being arrested Dumollard confessed and led authorities to several of the bodies. After a quick trial Dumollard was convicted and sentenced to death. His wife was given life for helping him with the crimes. Curiosly, serial killing students worldwide have debated whether Dumollard killed for pleasure or monetary gain. Always thinking of the bottom line, while he laid his head on the guillotine block, he reminded his wife of a man who still owed them 27 Franks.
Eugene V. Britt (10) A convicted rapist from Gary, Indiana, Britt, 38, was charged with the abduction and murder of an 8-year-old girl and nine more killings. On November, 7, 1995, during an eight-hour confession following his arrest for the abduction of Sarah Lynn Paulsen, Britt told police about the other killings and where they could find the bodies. Indiana authorities say they have recovered eight corpses.
According to press reports, Britt was paroled two years before after serving 15 years of a 30-year rape sentence. A resident of a Gary shelter, Britt first revealed his role in the killings while talking to a Gary pastor after a suicide attempt. That soon touched off questioning and led to a search for the bodies by Indiana National Guard troops and law enforcement authorities.