Guide Monster Hunt: the search for a serial killer

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  1. Written in Blood: Serial Killing and Narratives of Identity
  2. by Jeff Lindsay
  3. Written in Blood: Serial Killing and Narratives of Identity
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  5. 5 Myths about Serial Killers and Why They Persist [Excerpt]

He found guilty on three murder charges, and was facing the death penalty, but in it was overturned to a life sentence. He died in prison last year. Between and , Boston was plagued with a serial killer. Thirteen women were killed in their own homes. There was no sign of forced entry, so police believe each victim let their murderer in voluntarily. Despite the fact that some of the women were stabbed to death, the killer earned the name the "Boston Strangler. Albert DeSalvo confessed to all 13 murders, but his story didn't fully add up. He was eventually murdered in prison.

The case of the Boston Strangler serial killer is still left unsolved. Of those 18, five people were killed. His stabbings became national news when he crossed state lines to stab even more people. Some believe his stabbings were racially motivated because the majority of his victims were African American. In , Minnesota police received several phone calls from a man who was crying. He would call after every time he killed a person, confessing to murder.

In the years to come, the "Weepy-voiced killer" would be identified as Paul Michael Stephani. Stephani admitted to beating and stabbing three women between the years and He confessed to several other murders just before dying in prison. Eventually, they moved in together, but the day before Halloween Price, a redhead, was found dead in the bathtub; Rogers fled the scene. Later, Rogers would be connected to two other murders of women with red hair and found slain in their bathtubs.

Rogers became known as the "Cross Country Killer" for killing his victims across multiple state lines. In , reports surfaced that Rogers may be the murderer of Nicole Simpson — not O. Simpson, but nothing ever came of it. He was convicted of two murders and sentenced to death. Rogers is currently on death row. Terry Blair first killed his pregnant girlfriend and mother of his two children in Since then, he raped and killed at least seven other women during his time in Kansas City, Missouri. While on trial for his murders, he was described as "being a cold, calculating killer determined to kill as many women who worked as sex workers.

He was found guilty of eight charges of first-degree murder and is sentenced to life in prison.

Written in Blood: Serial Killing and Narratives of Identity

Terry is not the only member of the Blair family who has a murderous past. Five other relatives , including his mother, were convicted of murder. This makes the Blair family one of the most murderous families in Missouri. In , a 7-year-old girl in Michigan was abducted and strangled to death. Her killer cut up her body. That murderer turned out to be David Meirhofer, who confessed to four other murders during a four-hour confession. They called him a "mindless monster. Meirhofer was one of the first serial killers to be identified using FBI's newly developed profiling system that helped catch countless other serial killers.

Technically, Charles Starkweather is a spree killer but that doesn't make him any less terrifying. In , for two short months, Starkweather shocked the nation with his crimes. At just years-old he killed 11 people. He scared everyone because he was killing with reckless abandon at random. There was no pattern or clear idea as to who would be next.

He said he started his killing spree because his parents did not approve of his girlfriend. Starkweather was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death. He was executed in They had a deal. Charlene would kidnap the girls and lure them in with the false promise of safety. Gerald would then keep them as sex slaves, ultimately killing them when he was finished. By , the couple killed 10 teenagers in Nevada and California. They were given the name "Sex Slave Killers. Once caught, Charlene turned on Gerald in return for a shorter sentence. Gerald was found and was sentenced to death in both California and Nevada, but died of cancer before he was executed.

Charlene got out of jail in after serving a year sentence. It's hard to pin down Terry Peder Rasmussen. They called him the "Chameleon" because he went by so many names and aliases. In New Hampshire, he was known as "Bob Evans" who killed one woman and three small children. He stuffed their bodies in barrels in the woods. In California, he was "Gordon Jensen" where he killed two other women who were mothers of his babies. The body count rose across state lines, as his list of aliases grew. Rasmussen was finally identified last year, but he had already died in prison from different charges in Charles Edmund Cullen was an "Angel of Death" killer and he killed upwards of 40 people over his year career as a nurse in New Jersey.

When patients would look for him to care during their darkest times and he would respond by killing them, usually with prescription drugs. In his confession, Cullen said believed he was doing a community service, helping these sick patients relieve their pain. During his "60 Minutes" interview , he apologized for his crimes but said, "I don't know if I would have stopped.

Cullen only confessed to the 40 murders, but investigators and experts believe his body count might reach the hundreds. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 11 life sentences. Inside the trailer, he made a personal torture chamber, fitted with sex toys, handcuffs, whips, and chains. Ray would bring his victims to this chamber and torture them sexually before murdering them. Ray would often record the torture on video. He called this torture chamber the toy box, so he took on the name "The Toy Box Killer.

Sometimes he let the women go after torturing them. For others , he cut them into pieces and threw their bodies into lakes and ravines. He was sentenced to years in prison, but he died in prison of a heart attack in In , Rifkin was pulled over by police for not having a license plate. The police were suddenly struck by a smell escaping from the trunk of his car.

A Killer Among Us: Inside the Hunt for an Alaska Serial Killer

The smell turned out to be Tiffany Bresciani decomposing body. It was discovered that over four years, the Long Islander killed 17 women — most of them sex workers. He dismembered their bodies and disposed of the pieces all over New York. He was found guilty of killing 17 women and was sentenced to years in prison , which he is still serving. When 10 women were murdered in the mid-'90s in Charlotte, North Carolina, they all had one thing in common: They all knew Henry Louis Wallace.

Each of the women was friends with Wallace's girlfriend or worked with him, and each had his name in their phone books. Wallace even attended some of their funerals. During his confession, he explained how he strangled each of his victims to death and disposed of their bodies in lakes or near railroad tracks. Eugene Butler was declared insane in and died in an asylum a few years later.

by Jeff Lindsay

Two years after his death, a small town in North Dakota learned Butler may have been a serial killer. While excavating his former home, they found the bodies of six boys and young men buried under the floorboards. They were between the ages of 15 and They were killed by a blow to the back of the head. In , police received a call just outside of Columbus, Ohio. The woman calling said she had been kidnapped. When police arrived at the home, the place was filled with garbage to the ceiling. The smell of decay was overwhelming. Police found a strangled woman's body hiding under a pile of clothes.

A second victim was decomposing in the basement. Shawn Grate was taken out of the home in handcuffs and later confessed to killing five women. In May of this year, Grate was found guilty of those charges. He will be sentenced this summer. Despite killing 11 of her own family members, Nannie Doss never broke a smile and was nicknamed "The Giggly Granny. By the time she stopped her brutal reign over her family in the late '50s, she had murdered four of her husbands, one of her mother-in-laws, her two sisters, her grandson, her nephew, two of her own children, and even her own mother.

With some poison, she killed every family member that she disagreed with. What the NFL didn't know was that they just drafted one of America's deadliest serial killers. Woodfield didn't become well known as a football player. Instead, he was known as the I-9 killer after he killed over 40 people along the interstate in Oregon state in the early '80s.

Written in Blood: Serial Killing and Narratives of Identity

He would rob, rape, and kill his victims. His preferred method: having his victim lay down and shooting them in the back of the head. Harvey Robinson is known for being one of the youngest serial killers reported in the United States. At just years-old, Robinson attacked and raped five women, killing three of them. In some cases, he would break into the victim's home.

For instance, one of his more brutal cases was when he broke into a 5-year-old girl's home, raped, and strangled her. She survived the attack. An article in The Boston Globe said it best: "He stabbed four of his neighbors to death in their own homes before he was old enough to drive. In , when he was just years-old he stabbed Rebecca Spencer to death. Two years later, he killed Joan Heaton and her two daughters. Price is currently in jail after confessing to the brutal murders.

Since he was a minor at the time, he has not been sentenced for those crimes. In fact, Gaskins claimed he killed hitchhikers. First, he would abduct them and then he would torture them. He broke their bones, bit them, and sometimes acted on his cannibalistic instincts. It was making me ache. All over my body. My back … all the way down into my groin.

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The mere sight of a woman enraged these feelings … made them pulsate and grate in the pit of my stomach. After pushing her car off the road, he grabbed her and pulled her into a ditch. She fought back and got away. Later, Anderson would be charged with two murders: Larisa Dumansky in and Piper Streyle in Although he only killed two women, authorities call him a serial killer that would have killed again if he had not been stopped. He hung himself in prison awaiting the death sentence.

In the '90s, Paul Dennis Reid came to Nashville to become a country music star. As he struggled to make his way into the country music scene, he took a job as a dishwasher at a local fast food restaurant. But, he was fired one night in , apparently setting him down a murderous path. From there, Reid went on to rob four different fast food restaurants and kill people inside. In all, he murdered seven people, becoming known as the "Fast Food Killer. He was sentenced to death but died in prison in from pneumonia.

Dean Croll is the reason your parents probably told you to never take candy from strangers. Croll was that stranger who would lure children and teenagers into his van with the false promise of candy. In fact, he was called "The Candy Man. By , Croll had killed 28 boys in Texas just outside of Houston. He also recruited two teenage boys as accomplices to help him.

Croll almost got away with the murders of almost 30 young boys because no one suspected him; he was a tight-laced man who worked at his mother's candy factory.

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But one of his accomplices, Wayne Henley, turned on Croll and shot him to death. Henley confessed and told the police about his work with Croll. He and the other accomplice are now serving their life sentence in prison. Ted Bundy is perhaps one of the most recognizable serial killers on this list. Although he killed women all over the country, Bundy made his way to Utah in He was attending law school at the University of Utah at the time and tricked women with his clean, preppy looks.


He would often lure them to him by faking an injury. He would then rape and murder them. In Utah, he murdered three women. He was sentenced to 15 years in Utah State Prison but was extradited to Colorado. He was sentenced to death and met the electric chair in When Israel Keyes killed himself in prison in , he took a lot of answers with him. This much was for certain: he killed two sex workers between and But investigators believe this serial killer murdered at least 11 people around the country. Authorities also link him to a couple's murder in Burlington, Vermont.

In , Bill and Lorraine Currier were asleep in their home when Keyes broke in and caused a "blitz attack," waking them from their sleep and dragging them to his car. He brought them to an abandoned house and shot Bill to death. After Lorraine attempted to escape, he sexually assaulted her and strangled her to death. No one knew for years who killed four women in Southern Virginia. They only knew the suspect as "The Southside Strangler.

The Green River in Washington state became notorious because of the number of bodies that were found there in the '90s. The discovery of the corpses led to another newsflash: the area had a serial killer. They nicknamed him "The Green River Killer. DNA tests found Gary Ridgway was the murderer, and he confirmed that fact by confessing to over 75 murders. Ridgway said he would kidnap runaways and sex workers along the Route 99 and take them to his home.

Once there, he would strangle them to death. He disposed of their bodies in the wooded areas near the Green River. He was charged with 48 murders but was able to avoid the death sentence with a plea bargain. He is still living out his life sentence. In , American Friendship Society acted as a matchmaking business.

You'd pay an annual fee and receive a list of eligible lovers in your area. Harry F. He struggled to read and write at school in the north of Victoria and only found friendship with younger children — but it was his temper that concerned former teacher Tony Shelper. Three years later the three flatmates advertised for a fourth flatmate.

5 Myths about Serial Killers and Why They Persist [Excerpt]

Coulson answered the ad and bound the three with cable ties before executing each of them with a single shot to the back of the head. To the outside world, he seemed a pillar of the community, a helpful handyman living in suburban Melbourne. But behind the facade, Bandali Michael Debs — known to everyone as Ben but born Edmund Plancis — was a sociopath with a long criminal history. As well as a series of violent infringements in the mids, police believe Debs committed a series of armed robberies with his nephew between and During these robberies, most of which occurred in restaurant, police believe he pistol-whipped a woman, shot a man and fired at two officers but missed, in a grim warning of what was to follow.

The officers were attempting to intercept Debs and criminal partner Jason Roberts in a Chinese restaurant when Debs gunned them both down. From the age of about 17 he began to become known to police through various illegal activities including vehicle thefts and armed robberies. The bodies were found over the course of a year in various state of decay in the Belanglo State Forest. Key to the conviction was British backpacker Paul Onions who Milat threatened with a revolver in Onions managed to escape, returning to Australia to help with the investigation years later.

Then, in , his great-nephew Matthew Milat and his friend Cohen Klein brutally murdered David Auchterlonie on his 17th birthday with an axe in the same forest, with Klein filming the horrifying attack. They were sentenced to 43 and 32 years in prison respectively in A man of many identities Reginald Kenneth Arthurell was a drifter with the ability to adjust to a variety of situations without standing out — despite his 2m frame. He was known as Robert when working as a hotel chef and called himself Tex at outback rodeos, wearing a cowboy hat despite never having ridden a horse.

Arthurell drifted from town to town before becoming the prime suspect in the murder of year-old Catherine Page in her hometown of Coonamble in central west NSW in He already had a number convictions, including one for possessing an unlicensed pistol. He also once tricked police by dressing as a woman to evade capture. The case is unsolved. Three years later, while visiting his mother in Sydney, he met his ex-step-father Thomas Thornton.

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In he was charged with the murder of sailor Ross Browning, 19, in the Northern Territory in a town called Three Ways near the junction of the Barkly and Stuart Highways. The sailor had given him and another man a lift in his brown Holden station wagon with a green box trailer on the back. They threw various items of property out of the vehicle as they left the territory and drove into Queensland.