WRITERS AARON KIRKLAND
ANNA M. GRIFFY
DAVID C. HAYES
DAVID L TAMARIN
FREDERICK W. COOK
GARIN T. JONES
JOHN DAVID HERNANDEZ
REV WILLIAM SMYERS
STEPHEN W. ROBERTS
WILLIAM A. KINGMAN
HERVE SCOTT FLAMENT
MATTHEW JOEL -
MICHI NEW FRANKENSTEIN
PHILIP R. MERTZ
URIEL A. DURAN
Joni Lenz's roommates had not been particularly worried when they didn't see her in the morning of January 4, 1974. But when she still wasn't up and around that afternoon, they went into her basement bedroom to see if she was sick.A horrifying sight confronted them. Ann Rule in her now famous classic book on the subject, The Stranger Beside Me, wrote that Joni, 18, had been badly beaten. A bed rod had been torn away from the bed and savagely rammed into her vagina. Shortly after the discovery, Joni was transported to the hospital in a comatose state, suffering from damages that would affect her for the rest of her life. However, she was lucky to be alive. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted Bundy, who reigned terror across the United States between 1974 and 1978. There were an estimated 35 more victims after Joni who were not so fortunate. Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in The Only Living Witness suggest that perhaps 40 young women may have fallen prey to Bundy, but only Bundy knew for sure. It is a number that Bundy has carried with him to his grave.
Theodore Robert Cowell was born on November 24, 1946 to Louise Cowell following her stay of three months at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Vermont . Ted's biological father, who was an Air Force veteran, was unknown to his son throughout his life. Shortly after his birth, Ted and his mother moved back to the home of his grandparents in Philadelphia . While growing up, Ted was led to believe that his grandparents were his parents and his natural mother was his older sister. The charade was created in order to protect his biological mother from harsh criticism and prejudice of being an unwed mother.
At the age of four, Ted and his mother moved to Tacoma , Washington to live with relatives. A year after the move, Louise fell in love with a military cook named Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. In May 1951, the couple was married and Ted assumed his stepfather's last name, which he would keep for the rest of his life.
Over the years, the Bundy family added four other siblings, who Ted spent much of his time babysitting after school. Ted's stepfather tried to form a bond between himself and Ted by including him in camping trips and other father-son activities. However, Johnnie's attempts were unsuccessful and Ted remained emotionally detached from his stepfather. According to Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth's book Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer , Ted became increasingly uncomfortable around his stepfather and preferred to be alone. This desire to be by himself increased and possibly led to his later inability to socially interact comfortably with others.
As a youth, Ted was terribly shy, self-doubting and uncomfortable in social situations. He was often teased and made the butt of pranks by bullies in his junior high school. Michaud analyzed Ted's behavior and decided that he was "not like other children, he looked and acted like them, but he was haunted by something else: a fear, a doubt -- sometimes only a vague uneasiness-? that inhabited his mind with the subtlety of a cat. He felt it for years, but he didn't recognize it for what it was until much later." Regardless of the humiliating experiences he sometimes suffered from being different, he was able to maintain a high grade-point average that would continue throughout high school and later into college.
During his high school years, Ted appeared to blossom into a more gregarious young man. His popularity increased significantly and he was considered to be "well dressed and exceptionally well mannered." Despite his emerging popularity, Ted seldom dated. His interests lay more in extra-curricular activities such as skiing and politics. In fact, Ted had a particular fascination with politics, an interest that would years later temporarily land him in the political arena.
Following high school, Ted attended college at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington . He worked his way through school by taking on several low-level jobs, such as a bus boy and shoe clerk. However, he seldom stayed with one position for very long. His employers considered him to be unreliable.
Although Ted was inconsistent with his work outside of school, he was very focused on his studies and grades. Yet, his focus changed during the spring of 1967 when he began a relationship that would forever change his life.
Ted met a girl that was everything he had ever dreamed of in a woman. She was a beautiful and highly sophisticated woman from a wealthy Californian family. Ted couldn't believe someone from her "class" would have an interest in someone like him. Although they had many differences, they both loved to ski and it was during their many ski trips together that he fell in love. She was really Ted's first love, and, according to Ann Rule, possibly the first woman with whom he became involved with sexually. However, she was not as infatuated with Ted as he was with her. In fact, she liked Ted a lot but believed he had no real direction or future goals. Ted tried too hard to impress her, even if that meant lying, something that she didn't like at all.
Michaud writes that Ted won a summer scholarship to the prestigious Stanford University in California just to impress her, but at Stanford, his immaturity was exposed. He writes, "Ted did not understand why the mask he had been using had failed him. This first tentative foray into the sophisticated world had ended in disaster."
In 1968, after his girlfriend graduated from the University of Washington, she broke off relations with Ted. She was a practical young woman and seemed to realize that Ted had some serious character flaws that took him out of the running as "husband material."
Ted never recovered from the break-up. Nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him and he eventually dropped out, dumb-founded and depressed over the break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing after she returned to California, yet she seemed uninterested in getting back together. But Ted became obsessed with this young woman and he couldn't get her out of his mind. It was an obsession that would span his lifetime and lead to a series of events that would shock the world.
To make matters worse, in 1969 Bundy learned his true parentage. His "sister" was actually his mother and his "parents," were actually his grandparents. Not unexpectedly, this late discovery had a rather serious impact on him. Michaud says that his attitude towards his mother did not change much, but he became nasty and surly to Johnnie Bundy.
It's hard to say whether the knowledge that his mother had deceived him all his life had any impact on his other character flaws which were beginning to blossom. Throughout Ted Bundy's high school and college years, there was always a cloud over his reputation for honesty. Many people close to him suspected him of petty thievery.
According to Marilyn Bardsley, Crime Library's serial killer expert, Ted's psychopathic nature was being revealed, but most of the people that witnessed it did not realize what they were experiencing. Stealing without any sense of guilt and, in fact, a sense of entitlement, is a common trait in a psychopath. Also, psychopaths get a thrill from the the excitement and danger that stealing and shoplifting presents to them. Ted's dishonesty evolved from stealing small things in work and school situations to shoplifting to burglarizing homes for televisions and other items of value.
He changed from a shy and introverted person to a more focused and dominant character. He was driven, as if to prove himself to the world. He re-enrolled at the University of Washington and studied psychology, a subject in which he excelled. Bundy became an honors student and was well liked by his professors at the university.
It is also at this time when Ted met Elizabeth Kendall (a pseudonym under which she wrote The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy ), a woman with whom he would be involved with for almost five years. Elizabeth worked as a secretary and was a somewhat shy and quiet woman. She was a divorcee who seemed to have found in Ted Bundy the perfect father figure for her daughter. Elizabeth was deeply in love with Ted from the start and wanted to one day marry him. However, Ted said he was not yet ready for marriage because he felt there was still too much for him to accomplish. She knew that Ted didn't feel as strongly for her as she did him. She felt that on many occasions Ted was meeting with other women. Yet, Elizabeth hoped that time would bring him around to her and he would eventually change his ways. She was unaware of his past relationship with his girlfriend from California and that they still continued to keep in contact and visit each other.
Outwardly, Ted's life in 1969-1972 seemed to be changing for the better. He was more confident, with high hopes for his future. Ted began sending out applications to various law schools, while at the same time he became active in politics. He worked on a campaign to re-elect a Washington governor, a position that allowed Ted to form bonds with politically powerful people in the Republican Party. Ted also performed volunteer work at a crisis clinic on a work-study program. He was pleased with the path his life was taking at this time, everything seemed to be going in the right direction. He was even commended by the Seattle police for saving the life of a three-year-old boy who was drowning in a lake.
In 1973, during a business trip to California for the Washington Republican Party, Ted met up with his old girlfriend. She was amazed at the transformation in Ted. He was much more confident and mature, not as aimless as he was when they last dated. They met several other times afterwards, unknown to his steady girlfriend, Elizabeth. During Ted's business trips he romantically courted the lovely young woman from California and she once again fell in love with him.
Marriage was a topic brought up more than once by Ted over their many intimate rendezvous during that fall and winter. Yet, just as suddenly as their romance began, it changed radically. Where once Ted lavished affection upon her, he was suddenly cold and despondent. It seemed as if Ted had lost all interest in her in just a few weeks. She was clearly confused about this "new" Ted. In February 1974, with no warning or explanation, Ted ended all contact with her. His plan of revenge worked. He rejected her as she had once rejected him. She was never to see or hear from Ted again.
Lynda Ann Healy was a very accomplished young woman. At age 21, morning radio listeners heard her friendly voice announce the ski conditions for the major ski areas in western Washington. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slim with shiny clean, long brown hair and a ready smile.
The product of a good family and an uppper-middle-class environment, she was an excellent singer and a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in psychology. She loved working with children who were mentally handicapped.
Lynda shared a house near the university with four other young women. On January 31, 1974, she and a few friends went for a few beers after dinner at Dante's, a tavern that was popular with the university students. They didn't stay long and Lynda went home to watch television and talk on the phone to her boyfriend. Then Lynda went to bed. The roommate in the room next to Lynda heard no noises coming from Lynda's room that night.
Lynda had to get up every morning at 5:30 to get to her job at the radio station. The roommmate heard Lynda's alarm go off at 5:30 as it did customarily. What was unusual was that the alarm kept buzzing. When the roommate finally went in to shut off the alarm, she heard the phone ring. It was the radio station calling to see where Lynda was. The bed in Lynda's room was made and nothing looked disturbed, so the roommate assumed that Lynda was on her way to work.
When her parents called that afternoon to find out why Lydna had not shown up for dinner as expected, everyone became worried. Nobody had seen her. She seemed to have vanished from the house.
Lynda's parents called the police. In Lynda's room, they found that her bed had been made up in a way that Lynda had never made it up before. In fact, Lynda was not normally one to make up her bed. Oddly, a pillowcase and the top sheet were missing on this carefully made-up bed.
A small bloodstain of the same blood type as Lydna's was found on the pillow and the bottom sheet. Blood was also on her nightgown that was carefully hung in the closet. An outfit of hers was missing.
Another alarming clue was that one of the doors to the house was unlocked when the girls were always vigilant about locking it.
The police were not initially convinced that Lynda had been a victim of foul play, so no fingerprint, hair or fiber evidence was gathered.
Ultimately, police realized that an intruder had somehow gotten into the house, removed her nightgown and hung it in the closet, dressed her in a change of clothes, made up the bed, wrapped Lynda in the top bed sheet and carried her out of the house -- very quietly.
During that spring and summer, more women students suddenly and inexplicably vanished. There were striking similarities among many of the cases. For instance, all the girls were white, slender, single, wearing slacks at the time of disappearance, had hair that was long and parted in the middle and they all disappeared in the evening.
Also around the time of the disappearances, police interviewed college students who told them of a strange man who was seen wearing a cast on either his arm or leg. Supposedly, the stranger seemed to be struggling with books and asking young women nearby for assistance. Other eyewitnesses reported a strange man in the campus parking lot who had a cast and asked for assistance with his car, a VW bug that he apparently had difficulty starting. Interestingly, around the same area where two of the girls mysteriously disappeared, there was seen such a man wearing a cast on his arm or leg.
Finally, in August of 1974 in Washington's Lake Sammamish State Park, the remains of some of the missing girls were found and two were later identified. It was remarkable that police were able to identify two of the bodies considering what was left -- strands of various colors of hair, five thigh bones, a couple of skulls and a jaw bone. The girls identified were Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, who disappeared on the same day, July 14th.
The last people to have seen Ott, a couple picnicking near by, remembered a handsome young man approaching the young woman. From what the couple could hear of the conversation between Ott and the young man, his name was Ted and he had difficulty loading his boat onto his car because his arm was in a cast. He asked Ott for assistance and she agreed to help. That was the last time twenty-three-year-old Janice Ott was seen alive.
Denise Naslund was spending the afternoon with her boyfriend and friends when she walked towards the restroom in the park, never to return again. That afternoon, around where she disappeared, a man who wore a cast and asked for help with his boat approached a couple of women. They were unable to assist the attractive young man. However, Denise Naslund was the kind of girl to help someone in need, especially someone with a broken arm--an act of kindness that cost her life. Denise Naslund was not the last woman to disappear and be found dead.
This time the killer would travel to different states.
Midvale, Utah's, Police Chief Louis Smith had a seventeen-year-old daughter whom he frequently warned about the dangers of the world. He had seen all too much during his career and worried for his daughter's safety. Yet, his worst fears were to come true on October 18, 1974 when his daughter Melissa disappeared. She had been found 9 days after her disappearance -- strangled, sodomized and raped.
Thirteen days later on Halloween, seventeen-year-old Laura Aime disappeared. She was found on Thanksgiving Day in the Wasatch Mountains lying dead by a river. Aime had been beaten about the head and face with a crowbar, raped and sodomized. It was suspected that she was killed someplace other than where she was found due to the lack of blood at the crime scene. Other than her body, there was no physical evidence for the police to use.
The similarities with the Washington State murders caught the attention of local police in Utah , who were frantically searching for the man responsible for the grisly crimes. With each murder, the evidence was slowly mounting. Utah police consulted with Washington State investigators. Almost all agreed that it was highly likely that the same man who committed the crimes in Washington State had also been responsible for the murders in Utah . Thanks to eyewitness accounts of the man in the cast seen near the areas where many of the women had disappeared, they were able to come up with a composite of the could-be-killer who called himself "Ted."
When a close friend of Elizabeth Kendall saw the account of Melissa Smith's murder in the paper and the composite of the could-be-killer, she knew that Ted Bundy must be the man. It wasn't just her intense dislike and mistrust for Elizabeth 's boyfriend that led her to believe that Ted was the "man," but also the fact that he looked so much like the composite picture in the paper.
Deep down, Elizabeth must have known her friend was right. After all, Ted did resemble the sketch, he drove a VW similar to those seen by witnesses and she had seen crutches in his room even though he never injured his leg. According to the book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, which was later written by Kendall , she anonymously called the Seattle Police Department in August 1974 and stated that her boyfriend "might be involved" in the recent murder cases. She called again later that fall and gave more pertinent information that might assist the investigators in the case. She also agreed to give recent pictures of Ted, to later be shown to witnesses. However, the witnesses did not make a positive I.D. after viewing the pictures and Elizabeth 's report was eventually filed away. The investigators working the case decided to turn their attention towards more likely suspects and Ted Bundy was forgotten until a few years later.
The killer continued to elude investigators, assuming that by operating in different states the police would be unable to compare the cases. His behavior became increasingly bold and risky as he approached women. Those who escaped his advances would later recognize him and provide the police with valuable information.
It was on November 8th, 1974, when police investigators were to get the break in the case for which they had been waiting. That Friday evening, a strange but handsome man in a book store at a Utah mall approached eighteen-year-old Carol DaRonch. The stranger told her that he had seen someone trying to break into her car and asked her to go along with him to the parking lot to see if anything had been stolen.
Carol thought that the man must have been a mall security guard because he seemed so in control of the situation. When they arrived at the car, she checked it and informed the man everything was there. The man, who identified himself as Officer Roseland, was not satisfied and wanted to escort her to police headquarters. He wanted her to ID the supposed criminal and file a complaint. When he led her to a VW bug, she became suspicious and asked for identification. He quickly showed her a gold badge and then escorted her into the car.
He drove off quickly in the opposite direction of the police station and, after a short while, he suddenly stopped the car. Fear had set into Carol DaRonch. The "police officer" suddenly grabbed her and tried to put handcuffs on her. DaRonch screamed for her life. When she screamed, the man pulled out a handgun and threatened to kill her if she didn't stop. DaRonch found herself falling out of the car and then suddenly pushed up against the side of it by the madman. He had a crowbar in his hand and was ready to hit her head. Terror-struck, she kicked his genitals and managed to break free. DaRonch ran towards the road and caught the attention of a couple driving by. They stopped and DaRonch frantically jumped into their car. She was crying hysterically and told them a man had tried to kill her. They immediately took her to the police.
Sobbing, with the handcuffs still dangling from her wrists, she told the police what one of their men had done. But there was no man with the name of Roseland that worked there. Immediately police were dispatched to the place where DaRonch had struggled for her life just an hour earlier but the madman was long gone. However, the police were able to get a description of the man and his car and a few days later, from off the girl's coat, a blood type. The blood was type O, the same as Ted Bundy's, as police were later to learn.
That same evening, the director of a play at Viewmont High School was approached by a handsome man who asked for her assistance in identifying a car. Yet, she was far too busy and refused him. Again, he later approached her and asked for her assistance, and again she refused him. Something seemed odd, almost scary about the man, but she ignored it and kept on with the work at hand. It disturbed her to see the man again in the back of the auditorium and she wondered what it was he really wanted.
Debby Kent, who was watching the evening performance along with her parents, left early to pick up her brother at the bowling alley. She told her parents that she'd be back to pick them up shortly, but she never did. In fact, she never made it to the car, which stood empty in the school parking lot. Debby Kent was nowhere to be found. What police did find in the parking lot was a small handcuff key. Later, when police tried to fit the key that they found into the handcuffs worn by DaRonch earlier that night, it was a perfect match. Almost a month later, a man would call police to tell them that he had seen a tan VW bug speed away from the high school parking lot the night of Kent's disappearance.
On January 12, 1975, Caryn Campbell; her fiancé, Dr. Raymond Gadowski; and his two children took a trip to Colorado. Caryn hoped she could enjoy the break away from work and spend more time with the children, while her fiancé attended a seminar. While relaxing in the lounge of her hotel with Gadowski and his son and daughter one night, she realized she had forgotten a magazine and returned to her room to retrieve it. Her fiancé and the children waited for her return in vain. He knew she was a bit ill that night and went back to the room to see if she needed help. Caryn was nowhere in sight. In fact, she had never made it to the room. By mid-morning, confused and worried, Gadowski informed the police of her disappearance. They searched every room in the hotel but they found no trace of Caryn.
Almost a month later and a few miles from where she had disappeared, a recreational worker found Caryn's nude body lying a short distance from the road. Animals had ravaged her body, which made it difficult to determine the precise cause of death. However, it was evident that she received crushing fractures that could have been fatal.
Like many of the victims found in Utah and Washington , she had suffered from repeated blows to the head possibly made by a sharp instrument. According to Richard Larsen's book Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger, the blows were so violent that one of her teeth was actually separated from the gum line in her mouth. There was also evidence that she had been raped. It was believed that she was murdered just hours after she disappeared. Apart from Caryn's brutalized remains, there was little evidence to be found at the scene.
A few months after Caryn Campbell's body was discovered, the remains of another person were found ten miles from where the bodies of Naslund and Ott were located. It was Brenda Ball, one of the seven women who had disappeared earlier that summer. The cause of her death was blows to the head with a blunt object.
Police searched the Taylor Mountains where the bodies were found. It would be only a couple days later when another body would be discovered. The body was that of Susan Rancourt, who had also disappeared earlier that summer. The Taylor Mountains had become the burial sight for the madman known as "Ted." Two more bodies were found that month; one of them was Lynda Ann Healy. All of the victims suffered from severe head contusions from a blunt instrument, possibly a crowbar.
Police continued unsuccessfully to look for the killer. Five more women were found dead in Colorado under similar circumstances. They were not the last to fall victim to Ted's killing spree.
On August 16, 1975, Sergeant Bob Hayward was patrolling an area just outside of Salt Lake County when he spotted a suspicious tan VW bug driving past him. He knew the neighborhood well and almost all the residents that lived there and he couldn't remember seeing the tan VW there before. When he put on his lights to get a better view of the VW's license plate, the driver of the bug turned off his lights and began speeding away.
Immediately, Sergeant Hayward began to chase the vehicle. The car sped through two stop signs before it eventually pulled over into a nearby gas station. Hayward pulled up behind the reckless driver and watched as the occupant got out of his car and approached the police car. Hayward asked the young man for his registration and license, which was issued to Theodore Robert Bundy. Just then, two other troopers pulled up behind the tan VW. Hayward noticed that the passenger seat in Bundy's car was missing. With mounting suspicion and Bundy's permission, the three officers inspected the VW. The officers found a crowbar, ski mask, rope, handcuffs, wire and an ice pick. Bundy was immediately placed under arrest for suspicion of burglary.
Soon after Bundy's arrest, police began to find connections between him and the man who attacked Carol DaRonch. The handcuffs that were found in Bundy's car were the same make and brand that her attacker had used and the car he drove was similar to the one she had described. Furthermore, the crowbar found in Bundy's car was similar to the weapon that had been used to threaten Carol earlier that November. They also suspected that Bundy was the man responsible for the kidnapping of Melissa Smith, Laura Aime and Debby Kent. There were just too many similarities among the cases for police to ignore. However, they knew they needed much more evidence to support the case against Bundy.
On October 2nd, 1975, Carol DaRonch along with the director of the Viewmont High School play and a friend of Debby Kent were asked to attend a line-up of seven men, one of whom was Bundy, at a Utah police station. Investigators were not surprised when Carol picked Ted from the line-up as the man who had attacked her. The play director and friend of Debby Kent also picked Ted from the line-up as the man they had seen wandering around the auditorium the night Debby Kent had disappeared. Although Ted repeatedly professed his innocence, police were almost positive they had their man. Soon after he was picked out of the line-up, investigators launched a full-blown investigation into the man they knew as Theodore Robert Bundy.
During the fall of 1975, police investigators approached Elizabeth Kendall for whatever information she was able to give about Ted. They believed Elizabeth would most likely hold the key to Bundy's whereabouts, habits and personality. What investigators learned would later help link Ted Bundy to the murder victims.
On September 16th, 1975, Elizabeth was called into the King County Police Major Crime Unit building in Washington State and interviewed by Detectives Jerry Thompson, Dennis Couch and Ira Beal. She was visibly stressed and nervous, but willing to offer the police any information necessary to help the case. When asked about Ted, she stated that on the nights of the murders, she could not account for him. Elizabeth also told police that he would often sleep during the day and go out at night, exactly where she didn't know. She said that his interest in sex had waned during the last year. When he did show interest, he pressured her into bondage. When she told Bundy that she no longer wanted to participate in his bondage fantasies, he was very upset with her.
In a later interview with Elizabeth, investigators learned that Ted had plaster of Paris to make casts in his room, which she had noticed when they first began dating. She also noticed on a later occasion that in his car, Ted had a hatchet. But there was something else important to the case that Elizabeth would remember. She recalled that Ted had visited Lake Sammamish Park in July, where he had supposedly gone water skiing. A week after Ted had gone to Lake Sammamish Park, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund were reported missing.
After long hours of interviews with Elizabeth, investigators decided to shift their focus to Ted's former girlfriend in California. When police contacted her, she told them of how he had abruptly changed his manner towards her from loving and affectionate to cruel and insensitive. Upon further questioning, police learned that Bundy's relationship with his California girlfriend had overlapped with his relationship with Elizabeth and neither of them knew of the other woman. Ted seemed to be living a double life, filled with lies and betrayal. There was more to Ted than what investigators had initially expected.
Further investigation yielded more evidence that would later link him to other victims. Lynda Ann Healy was linked to Bundy through a cousin of his; more eyewitnesses would recognize him from Lake Sammamish Park during the time Ott and Naslund disappeared; an old friend of Bundy's came forward saying he had seen pantyhose in the glove compartment of his car; plus Ted had spent a lot of time in the Taylor Mountains where the bodies of victims had been found. Bundy's credibility was further dented when police discovered he purchased gas on credit cards in the towns where some of the victims had disappeared. Furthermore, a friend had seen him with his arm in a cast when there was no record of him ever having a broken arm. The evidence against Ted Bundy was building up, yet he still continued to profess his innocence.
On February 23, 1976 Ted was put on trial for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. Bundy sat in a relaxed manner in the courtroom, confident that he would be found innocent of the charges against him. He believed that there was no hard evidence to convict him, but he couldn't have been more wrong. When Carol DaRonch took the stand, she told of her ordeal that she suffered sixteen months earlier. When asked if she were able to recognize the person who attacked her, she began to cry as she lifted her hand and pointed a finger to the man who had called himself "Officer Roseland." The people in the courtroom turned their attention to Ted Bundy, who stared at DaRonch coldly as she pointed at him. Later in the trial, Ted had said he had never seen the defendant but he had no alibi to confirm his whereabouts the day of the attack.
The judge spent the weekend reviewing the case before he handed down a verdict. Two days later he would find Bundy guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of aggravated kidnapping. Ted Bundy was later sentenced on June 30th to one to fifteen years in prison with the possibility of parole.
While in prison, Bundy was subjected to a psychological evaluation that the court had previously requested. In Anne Rule's book The Stranger Beside Me , she stated that psychologists found Bundy to be neither "psychotic, neurotic, the victim of organic brain disease, alcoholic, addicted to drugs, suffering from a character disorder or amnesia, and was not a sexual deviate." The psychologists concluded that he had a "strong dependency on women, and deduced that that dependency was suspect." Upon further evaluation, they concluded that Ted had a "fear of being humiliated in his relationships with women."
While Bundy remained incarcerated in Utah State Prison, investigators began a search for evidence connecting him to the murders of Caryn Campbell and Melissa Smith. What Bundy did not realize was that his legal problems would soon escalate. Detectives discovered in Bundy's VW hairs that were examined by the FBI and found to be characteristically alike to Campbell's and Smith's hair. Further examination of Caryn Campbell's remains showed that her skull bore impressions made by a blunt instrument, and those impressions matched the crowbar that had been discovered in Bundy's car a year earlier. Colorado police filed charges against Bundy on October 22, 1976, for the murder of Caryn Campbell.
In April of 1977, Ted was transferred to Garfield County Jail in Colorado to await trial for the murder of Caryn Campbell. During preparation of his case, Bundy became increasingly unhappy with his representation. He believed his lawyer to be inept and incapable and eventually he fired him. Bundy, experienced in law, believed he could do the job better and he began to take up his own defense in the case. He felt confident that he would succeed at the trial scheduled for November 14, 1977. Bundy had a lot of work ahead of him. He was granted permission to leave the confines of the jail on occasion and utilize the courthouse library in Aspen, to conduct research. What police didn't know was that he was planning an escape.
On June 7th, during one of his trips to the library at the courthouse, Bundy managed to jump from an open window, injuring his ankle in the process, and escaped to freedom. He was not wearing any leg irons or handcuffs, so he did not stand out among the ordinary citizens in the town of Aspen. It was an escape that had been planned by Ted for a while. Aspen Police were quick to set up roadblocks surrounding the town, yet Ted knew to stay within the city limits for the time being and lay low. Police launched a massive land search, using scent tracking bloodhounds and 150 searchers in the hopes of catching Ted. However, Ted was able to elude them for days.
While on the run, Bundy managed to live off the food he stole from local cabins and nearby campers, occasionally sleeping in ones that were abandoned. Yet, Bundy knew that what he really needed was a car, which would better enable him to pass through police barriers. He couldn't hide in Aspen forever. Ted believed that he was destined to be free. According to an interview with Michaud and Aynesworth, he felt as if he were invincible and claimed that, "nothing went wrong. If something did go wrong, the next thing that happened was so good it compensated. It was even better". Sure enough, Bundy found his ticket out of town when he discovered a car with the keys left in it. But, his luck would not last long. While trying to flee Aspen in the stolen vehicle, he was spotted.
From then on, he was ordered to wear handcuffs and leg irons while conducting his research at the library in Aspen. However, Bundy was not the type of man who liked to be tied down.
Almost seven months later, Bundy again attempted an escape, but this time he was more successful. On December 30th, he crawled up into the ceiling of the Garfield County Jail and made his way to another part of the building. He managed to find another opening in the ceiling that led down into the closet of a jailer's apartment. He sat and waited until he knew the apartment was empty, then casually walked out of the front door to his freedom. His escape would go undiscovered until the following afternoon, more than fifteen hours later.
By the time police learned of his escape, Bundy was well on his way to Chicago. Chicago was one of the few stops that Bundy would make along the route to his final destination, sunny Florida. By mid January of 1978 Ted Bundy, using his newly acquired name Chris Hagen, had settled comfortably into a one-room apartment in Tallahassee, Florida.
Ted Bundy enjoyed his new found freedom in a place that knew little if nothing about him or his past. Bundy was stimulated by intelligence and youth and felt comfortable in his new environment nearby Florida State University. He spent much of his free time walking around F.S.U.'s campus, occasionally ducking into classes unnoticed and listening in on lectures. When he was not wandering around campus, he would spend his time in his apartment watching the television he had stolen. Theft became second nature to Bundy. Almost everything in his apartment was stolen merchandise. Even the food he ate was purchased from stolen credit cards. Under the circumstances, Bundy seemed to have enough material things to make him content. What he didn't have and what he missed the most was companionship.
On Saturday night, January 14th, few of the sorority sisters could be found at the Chi Omega House. Most were out dancing or at keg parties on campus. It wasn't unusual for the sisters to stay out late, since there was no curfew. In fact, it was pretty normal for the girls to return in the early morning hours. However, none of the sisters was prepared to confront the horror that awaited them back at their sorority house later that night.
At 3 AM, Nita Neary was dropped off at the sorority house by her boyfriend after attending a keg party on campus. Upon reaching the door to the house, she noticed it standing wide open. Soon after she had entered the building, she heard some movement, as if someone was running in the rooms above her. Suddenly, she heard the footsteps approaching the staircase near her and she hid in a doorway, out of view. She watched as a man with a knit blue cap pulled over his eyes, holding a log with cloth around it, ran down the stairs and out the door.
Nita's first thought was that the sorority house had been burglarized. She immediately ran up the stairs to wake her roommate, Nancy. Nita told her of the strange man she saw leaving the building. Unsure of what to do, the girls made their way to the housemother's room. Yet, before they were able to make it to her room, they saw another roommate, Karen, staggering down the hall. Her entire head was soaked with blood. While Nancy tried to help Karen, Nita woke up the housemother and the two of them went to check on another roommate nearby. They found Kathy in her room alive, but in a horrible state. She was also covered in blood that was seeping from open wounds on her head. Hysterical, Nancy ran to the phone and dialed the police.
Police later found two more girls dead in their rooms lying in their beds. Someone had attacked them while they slept. Lisa Levy was the first girl that officers found dead. Pathologists who later performed the autopsy on her found that she had been beaten on the head with a log, raped and strangled. Upon further examination, they discovered bite marks on her buttocks and on one of her nipples. In fact, Lisa's nipple had been so severely bitten that it was almost severed from the rest of her breast. She had also been sexually assaulted with a hair spray bottle.
Post mortem reports on Margaret Bowman showed that she suffered similar fatal injuries, although she had not been sexually assaulted and she showed no signs of bite marks. She had been strangled by a pair of panty hose that were later found at the scene of the crime. She had also been beaten on the head, yet so severely that her skull was splintered and a portion of her brain was exposed. Neither she nor Lisa Levy showed signs of a struggle.
Investigators who interviewed the survivors learned nothing. None of the girls had any memory of the events of that fatal night. Like Levy and Bowman, they too had been asleep when they were attacked. The only witness was Nita Neary, who was able to catch a profile of the killer as he fled. However, the assailant would not travel far before claiming another victim that night.
Less than a mile from the Chi Omega House, a young woman was awakened by loud banging noises coming from the apartment next to hers. She wondered what her friend in the adjoining apartment was doing to make so much noise at four in the morning. As the banging noises persisted, she became suspicious and woke her roommate. As they listened, they heard Cheryl next door moaning. Frightened, they called over to her house to see if she was all right. When no one picked up the phone, they immediately called the police.
The police came quickly. After all, they were just blocks away at the Chi Omega House tending to the crime scene there. They entered Cheryl's apartment and walked to her bedroom, where they found her sitting on the bed. Her face was just beginning to swell from the bludgeoning to her head. She was still somewhat conscious and half nude, but lucky to be alive. Police discovered a mask at the foot of her bed. According to Anne Rule in The Stranger Beside Me the mask that was found "resembled almost exactly the mask taken from Ted Bundy's car when he'd been arrested in Utah in August of 1975."
Police investigators worked diligently on the evidence that was left behind. They were able to get a blood type from the assailant, sperm samples and fingerprint smudges. Unfortunately, most of the evidence that was tested proved to be inconclusive. The only firm evidence investigators were able to obtain were the hairs found in the mask, teeth impressions from the bite marks on the victims and an eyewitness account from Nita Neary. Investigators did not have a suspect and Ted Bundy was unknown to them.
On February 9th, 1978, Lake City police received a phone call from the distressed parents of twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach. They were hysterical and said that their daughter had disappeared that day. Police launched a massive search to find the missing girl, who disappeared from her school grounds. The person who last saw her was her friend Priscilla who saw Kimberly get into the car of a stranger the day she disappeared. Unfortunately, she was unable to accurately remember the car or the driver. They found Kimberly's body eight weeks later in a state park in Suwannee County, Florida. The young girl's body yielded little information due to advanced decomposition. However, police were to later find the evidence they needed in a van driven by Ted Bundy.
A few days before Kimberly Leach had disappeared, a strange man in a white van approached a fourteen-year-old girl as she waited for her brother to pick her up. The man had claimed he was from the fire department and asked her if she attended the school nearby. She found it strange that an on-duty fireman was wearing plaid pants and a navy jacket. She began to feel uncomfortable. She had been warned on many occasions by her father, who was the Chief of Detectives for the Jacksonville Police Department, not to talk with strangers. She was relieved when her brother drove up. Suspicious of the man, her brother ordered her into the car, followed the man and wrote down his license plate to give it to his father.
Upon hearing of the stranger in the white van, Detective James Parmenter had the license plate checked out. He learned it belonged to a man named Randall Ragen, and he decided to pay him a visit. Ragen informed the detective that his plates had been stolen and he had already been issued new ones. The detective later found out that the van his children had seen was also stolen and he had an idea who it might have been. He decided to take his children to the police station to show them a stack of mug shots, Bundy's picture being among them. He hadn't realized how close he had been to losing his own daughter. Both of his children recognized the man in the van as Ted Bundy.
The van long since discarded, Bundy set out towards Pensacola, Florida in a new stolen car. This time he managed to find a vehicle he was more comfortable driving, a VW bug. Officer David Lee was patrolling an area in West Pensacola when he saw an orange VW at 10 p.m. on February 15th. He knew the area well and most of the residents, yet he had never before seen the car. Officer Lee decided to run a check on the license plates and soon found out that they were stolen. Immediately, he turned on his lights and began to follow the VW.
Once again, as had happened in Utah several years earlier, Bundy started to flee. Suddenly, Bundy pulled over and stopped. Officer Lee ordered him out of his car and told Bundy to lay down with his hands in front. To Lee's surprise, as he had begun to handcuff Bundy, he rolled over and began to fight the officer. Bundy managed to fight his way free and run. Just as soon as he did, Lee fired his weapon at him. Bundy dropped to the ground, pretending to have been shot. As the officer approached him lying on the ground, he was again attacked by Bundy. However, the officer was able to overpower him. He was handcuffed and taken to the police station. Bundy had finally been caught.
Over the months following Bundy's arrest, investigators were able to compile critical evidence to be used against Bundy in the Leach case. The white van that had been stolen by Bundy was found and they had three eyewitnesses that had seen him driving it the afternoon Kimberly had disappeared. Forensic tests conducted on the van yielded fibers of material that had come from Bundy's clothes.
Tests also revealed Kimberly Leach's blood type on the van's carpet and semen and Ted's blood type on her underwear. Further evidence was Ted's shoe impressions in the soil located next to the place Kimberly was found. Police felt confident with the information they had tying Bundy to the Leach case and on July 31, 1978, Ted Bundy was charged with the girl's murder. Soon after, he would also be charged with the Chi Omega murders. Facing the death penalty, Ted would later plead in his own defense that he was not guilty of the murders.
Theodore Robert Bundy faced two murder trials, both spaced within three years. His first trial date was set for June 25, 1979 , in Miami , Florida . The court case centered on the brutal attacks on the Chi Omega sorority sisters. The second trial was to take place in January 1980 in Orlando , Florida , where Ted was to be tried for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Both trials would result in less-than-favorable outcomes for Ted, however it would be the Chi Omega murder case that would seal his fate forever.
The opening of the Chi Omega murder trial sparked immense public interest and a media frenzy. After all, Ted had been suspected of at least thirty-six murders in four states and his name elicited nightmarish images to thousands, perhaps even millions around the world. He was considered by many to be evil reincarnate, a monster, the devil and his murders initiated the biggest and most publicized trials of the decade.
During the Chi Omega murder trial, Ted acted as his own defense attorney. He was confident in his abilities and believed he would be given a fair trial. The jury, made up mostly of African-Americans, looked on as he defended himself against the murder charges. It became clear early on in the trial that Ted was fighting a losing battle.
There were two events in the trial that would sway the jury against Ted. The first was Nita Neary's testimony of what she had seen the night of the murders. While on the stand, she pointed to Ted as the man she had seen fleeing down the stairs and out the door of the Chi Omega House. The second event that swayed the jury during the trial was the testimony of odontologist Dr. Richard Souviron.
While on the stand, Dr. Souviron described the bite mark injuries found on Lisa Levy's body. As he spoke, the jury was shown full-scale photographs of the bite marks that had been taken the night of the murder. The doctor pointed out the uniqueness of the indentations left behind on the victim and compared them with full-scale pictures of Ted's teeth. There was no question that Ted had made the bite marks on Lisa Levy's body. The photos would be the biggest piece of evidence the prosecution had linking Ted to the crime.
On July 23 rd , Ted waited in his cell as the jurors deliberated over his guilt or innocence. After almost seven hours, they returned to the courtroom with a verdict. Showing no emotion, Ted listened as one of the jurors read out "GUILTY." On all counts of murder, Ted was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the state of Florida , it is customary to have a separate sentencing trial. Ted's sentencing took place one week later on July 30 th before the same jury that had found him guilty. During the brief hearing, Ted's mother testified and tearfully pleaded for her son's life. Ted was also given a chance to address the court and refute the recommendation from the prosecution for the death penalty.
Ted professed his innocence, claiming that the prejudice of the media was responsible for his alleged misrepresentation. He also suggested that the entire proceedings and verdict was nothing short of a farce, which he was unable to accept. According to Larsen, Ted told the hushed courtroom that it was, "absurd to ask for mercy for something he did not do," yet he would "not share the burden of the guilt." Judge Cowart, who presided over both trials, handed down his final judgment following Ted's statement. He affirmed the recommendation and imposed the death penalty twice for the murders of Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy. The method of execution Ted faced was the electric chair.
After many delays, the Leach trial began in Orlando , Florida at the Orange County Courthouse on January 7, 1980 . This time Ted decided not to represent himself, instead handing over the responsibility to defense attorneys Julius Africano and Lynn Thompson. Their strategy was to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, a plea that was risky but one of the few available options open to the defense.
The plea of insanity might not have been difficult for the seven women, five-man jury to believe. Unlike the other hearings, Ted became increasingly agitated throughout the trial. At one point he even lost control and stood up yelling at a witness with whom he disagreed. Michaud and Aynesworth stated that Ted was just barely able to control himself, "expending huge amounts of energy just to keep from blowing apart." It appeared that Ted's facade of confidence was beginning to fade, probably because he realized that he had already lost the war and this legal battle wouldn't make much difference in determining his fate.
There was no doubt that the outlook for Ted was bleak. Assistant state attorney Bob Dekle presented sixty-five witnesses that had connected Ted either directly or indirectly with Kimberly Leach on the day of her disappearance. One of the star witnesses had seen a man resembling Ted leading an upset little girl, matching Kimberly's description, into a white van in front of the girl's school. However, the defense team argued the legitimacy of the testimony because the man was unable to recall the precise day he had seen the man and little girl.
Nevertheless, Dekle continued to press on and present even more convincing evidence. The most damaging was the fiber evidence, which linked Ted's clothes and the van he had driven that day with the crime scene. Moreover, fibers matching those from Kimberly Leach's clothes were found in the van and on Ted's clothing that he had allegedly worn on the day of the crime. The prosecution's expert witness, who testified about the fiber analysis, stated that she believed that at some point Ted and Kimberly Leach had been in contact around the time of her death. Michaud and Aynesworth claimed that the testimony had been, "literally fatal" to Ted's case.
Exactly one month following the opening of the trial, Judge Wallace Jopling asked the jury to deliberate. On February 7 th , after less than seven hours of deliberation the jury returned the verdict, "GUILTY." The verdict was immediately followed by jubilation from the prosecution team and their supporters.
February 9 th marked the second anniversary of Kimberly Leach's death. It also was the day that the sentencing trial commenced. During the penalty phase of the trial, Ted shocked those in the courtroom while he interviewed defense witness Carole Ann Boone. During his questioning of Carole, the two caught everyone off guard when they exchanged vows. According to Florida law, the verbal promise made under oath was enough to seal the agreement and the two were considered officially married. Shortly thereafter, the groom was sentenced to death in the electric chair for the third time in under a year. He would spend his honeymoon alone on Death Row in Florida State 's Raiford Penitentiary.
Ted refused to give up and believed that he still had a fighting chance to save his own life. In 1982, he enlisted the help of a new lawyer and appealed the Chi Omega murder trial verdict to the Florida Supreme Court. However, his appeal was eventually denied.
Shortly following the court's denial of a new hearing, Ted decided to appeal the Kimberly Leach trial verdict. In May 1985, his request was again turned down. However, he continued to keep up the fight and in 1986 he enlisted a new lawyer to assist him in escaping the death penalty.
Ted's execution date was initially scheduled for March 4, 1986 . However, his execution was postponed while his new defense attorney, Polly Nelson, worked on his appeals for his previous murder convictions. Two months later the appeal was denied and another death warrant was issued to Ted by the State of Florida . Still, the appeal process continued. According to Polly Nelson's book Defending the Devil, the last appeal was made to the U.S. Supreme Court, who eventually denied Ted's last stay of execution on January 17, 1989 .
In Ted's eleventh hour, he decided to confess to more crimes to the Washington State Attorney General's chief investigator for the criminal division, Dr. Bob Keppel. Ted had temporarily assisted Dr. Keppel in his hunt for the " Green River killer" from Death Row in the mid 1980's and he trusted him immensely. Keppel went to meet Ted in an interviewing room at the prison, armed with only a tape recorder. What Keppel learned was shocking.
Dr. Keppel had learned that Ted kept some of his victims' heads at his home as trophies. However, what was even more surprising was that Ted also engaged in necrophilia with some of the remains of his victims. In fact, Keppel later stated in his book The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer that Ted's behavior could be best described as "compulsive necrophilia and extreme perversion."
It was a compulsion that led to the deaths of scores of women, many who remained unknown to investigators. Rule and Keppel stated in their books that Ted was likely responsible for the deaths of at least a hundred women, discounting the official count of thirty-six victims. Whatever the figure, the fact is no one will ever know for certain how many victims actually fell victim to Ted.
Finally on January 24, 1989 , at approximately 7 a.m. in the morning Ted's memory of his atrocities would be burned away forever by the electric chair's unforgiving currents. Outside the prison walls stood hundreds of on-lookers and scores of news media representatives awaiting the news of Ted's death. Following the prison spokesman's announcement that Ted was officially dead, sounds of cheers came from the jubilant crowd and fireworks lit the sky. Shortly thereafter, a white hearse emerged from the prison gates with the remains of one of the countries most notorious serial killers. As the vehicle moved towards the crematorium, the surrounding crowd cheerfully applauded the end of a living nightmare.
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LAST INTERVIEW WITH TED BUNDY
Ted Bundy, an infamous serial killer, granted an interview to psychologist James Dobson just before he was executed on January 24, 1989. In that interview, he described the agony of his addiction to pornography. Bundy goes back to his roots, explaining the development of his compulsive behavior. He reveals his addiction to hard-core pornography and how it fueled the terrible crimes he committed.
A road that leads to nowhere
When Ted Bundy was thirteen years old, he discovered ďdirty magazinesĒ in a dump near his home. He was instantly captivated by them. In time, Bundy became more and more addicted to violent images in magazines and videos. He got his kicks from seeing women being tortured and murdered. When he tired of that, there was only one place his addiction could go - from fantasy to reality.
Bundy, a good-looking, intelligent law student, learned to lure women into his car by various forms of deception. He would put a cast on his arm or leg, then walk across a university campus carrying several books. When he saw an interesting coed standing or walking alone, heíd ďaccidentallyĒ drop the books near her. The girl would help him gather them and take them to his car. Then he would entice her or push her into the vehicle where she was taken captive. After he had molested the girl and the rage of passion had passed, she would be killed and Bundy would dump her body in a region where it would not be found for months. This went on for years.
By the time he was apprehended, Bundy had killed at least twenty-eight young women and girls in acts too horrible to contemplate. He was finally convicted and sentenced to death for killing a twelve-year-old girl and dumping her body in a pigsty. After more than ten years of appeals and legal maneuvering, a judge gave the order for Bundyís execution. That week, he asked an attorney to call me and request that I come to Florida State Prison for a final interview.
When I arrived, I discovered a circus-like atmosphere outside the prison. Teenagers carried signs saying ďBurn, Bundy, Burn,Ē and ďYouíre Dead, Ted.Ē Also in the crowd were more than 300 reporters who had come to get a story on the killerís last hours, but Bundy wouldnít talk to them. He had something important to say, and he believed the media couldnít be trusted to report it accurately. Therefore, I was invited to bring a camera crew to record his last comments from death.
Iíll never forget that experience. I went through seven steel doors and metal detectors so sensitive that my tie tack and the nails in my shoes were enough to set off an alarm. Finally, I reached an inner chamber where Bundy and I were to meet. He was brought in, strip-searched, and then surrounded by six prison guards while he talked to me. Midway through our conversation, the lights suddenly went dim.
Ted said, ďJust wait a moment, and they will come back on.Ē
I didnít realize until later what had happened. The prisoner knew that his executioners were testing the electric chair that would take his life the next morning.
Ted Bundy wanted to tell the world about pornography
What was it that Ted Bundy was so anxious to say? He felt he owed it to society to warn of the dangers of hard-core pornography and to explain how it had led him to murder so many innocent women and girls. With tears in his eyes, he described the monster that took possession of him when he had been drinking. His craze to kill was always inflamed by violent pornography. Quoted below is an edited transcript of the conversation that occurred just seventeen hours before Ted was led to the electric chair.
James C. Dobson: It is about 2:30 in the afternoon. You are scheduled to be executed tomorrow morning at 7:00, if you donít receive another stay. What is going through your mind? What thoughts have you had in these last few days?
Ted: I wonít kid you to say it is something I feel Iím in control of or have come to terms with. Itís a moment-by-moment thing. Sometimes I feel very tranquil and other times I donít feel tranquil at all. Whatís going through my mind right now is to use the minutes and hours I have left as fruitfully as possible. It helps to live in the moment, in the essence that we use it productively. Right now Iím feeling calm, in large part because Iím here with you.
JCD: For the record, you are guilty of killing many women and girls.
Ted: Yes, thatís true.
JCD: How did it happen? Take me back. What are the antecedents of the behavior that weíve seen? You were raised in what you consider to be a healthy home. You were not physically, sexually or emotionally abused.
Ted: No. And thatís part of the tragedy of this whole situation. I grew up in a wonderful home with two dedicated and loving parents, as one of 5 brothers and sisters. We, as children, were the focus of my parentís lives. We regularly attended church. My parents did not drink or smoke or gamble. There was no physical abuse or fighting in the home. Iím not saying it was ďLeave it to BeaverĒ, but it was a fine, solid Christian home. I hope no one will try to take the easy way out of this and accuse my family of contributing to this. I know, and Iím trying to tell you as honestly as I know how, what happened.
As a young boy of 12 or 13, I encountered, outside the home, in the local grocery and drug stores, softcore pornography. Young boys explore the sideways and byways of their neighborhoods, and in our neighborhood, people would dump the garbage. From time to time, we would come across books of a harder nature - more graphic. This also included detective magazines, etc., and I want to emphasize this. The most damaging kind of pornography - and Iím talking from hard, real, personal experience - is that that involves violence and sexual violence. The wedding of those two forces - as I know only too well - brings about behavior that is too terrible to describe.
JCD: Walk me through that. What was going on in your mind at that time?
Ted: Before we go any further, it is important to me that people believe what Iím saying. Iím not blaming pornography. Iím not saying it caused me to go out and do certain things. I take full responsibility for all the things that Iíve done. Thatís not the question here. The issue is how this kind of literature contributed and helped mold and shape the kinds of violent behavior.
JCD: It fueled your fantasies.
Ted: In the beginning, it fuels this kind of thought process. Then, at a certain time, it is instrumental in crystallizing it, making it into something that is almost a separate entity inside.
JCD: You had gone about as far as you could go in your own fantasy life, with printed material, photos, videos, etc., and then there was the urge to take that step over to a physical event.
I was a normal person. I had good friends. I led a normal life, except for this one, small but very potent and destructive segment that I kept very secret and close to myself.
Ted: Once you become addicted to it, and I look at this as a kind of addiction, you look for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of material. Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder and gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far - that jumping off point where you begin to think maybe actually doing it will give you that which is just beyond reading about it and looking at it.
JCD: How long did you stay at that point before you actually assaulted someone?
Ted: A couple of years. I was dealing with very strong inhibitions against criminal and violent behavior. That had been conditioned and bred into me from my neighborhood, environment, church, and schools.
I knew it was wrong to think about it, and certainly, to do it was wrong. I was on the edge, and the last vestiges of restraint were being tested constantly, and assailed through the kind of fantasy life that was fueled, largely, by pornography.
JCD: Do you remember what pushed you over that edge? Do you remember the decision to ďgo for itĒ? Do you remember where you decided to throw caution to the wind?
Ted: Itís a very difficult thing to describe - the sensation of reaching that point where I knew I couldnít control it anymore. The barriers I had learned as a child were not enough to hold me back from seeking out and harming somebody.
JCD: Would it be accurate to call that a sexual frenzy?
Ted: Thatís one way to describe it - a compulsion, a building up of this destructive energy. Another fact I havenít mentioned is the use of alcohol. In conjunction with my exposure to pornography, alcohol reduced my inhibitions and pornography eroded them further.
JCD: After you committed your first murder, what was the emotional effect? What happened in the days after that?
Ted: Even all these years later, it is difficult to talk about. Reliving it through talking about it is difficult to say the least, but I want you to understand what happened. It was like coming out of some horrible trance or dream. I can only liken it to (and I donít want to overdramatize it) being possessed by something so awful and alien, and the next morning waking up and remembering what happened and realizing that in the eyes of the law, and certainly in the eyes of God, youíre responsible. To wake up in the morning and realize what I had done with a clear mind, with all my essential moral and ethical feelings intact, absolutely horrified me.
JCD: You hadnít known you were capable of that before?
Ted: There is no way to describe the brutal urge to do that, and once it has been satisfied, or spent, and that energy level recedes, I became myself again. Basically, I was a normal person.
There are those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media in its various forms - particularly sexualized violence.
Ted: I wasnít some guy hanging out in bars, or a bum. I wasnít a pervert in the sense that people look at somebody and say, ďI know thereís something wrong with him.Ē I was a normal person. I had good friends. I led a normal life, except for this one, small but very potent and destructive segment that I kept very secret and close to myself. Those of us who have been so influenced by violence in the media, particularly pornographic violence, are not some kind of inherent monsters. We are your sons and husbands. We grew up in regular families. Pornography can reach in and snatch a kid out of any house today. It snatched me out of my home 20 or 30 years ago. As diligent as my parents were, and they were diligent in protecting their children, and as good a Christian home as we had, there is no protection against the kinds of influences that are loose in a society that tolerates....
JCD: Outside these walls, there are several hundred reporters that wanted to talk to you, and you asked me to come because you had something you wanted to say. You feel that hardcore pornography, and the door to it, softcore pornography, is doing untold damage to other people and causing other women to be abused and killed the way you did.
Ted: Iím no social scientist, and I donít pretend to believe what John Q. Citizen thinks about this, but Iíve lived in prison for a long time now, and Iíve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography - deeply consumed by the addiction. The F.B.I.ís own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornographers. Itís true.
JCD: What would your life have been like without that influence?
Ted: I know it would have been far better, not just for me, but for a lot of other people - victims and families. Thereís no question that it would have been a better life. Iím absolutely certain it would not have involved this kind of violence.
JCD: If I were able to ask the kind of questions that are being asked, one would be, ďAre you thinking about all those victims and their families that are so wounded? Years later, their lives arenít normal. They will never be normal. Is there remorse?Ē
Ted: I know people will accuse me of being self-serving, but through Godís help, I have been able to come to the point, much too late, where I can feel the hurt and the pain I am responsible for. Yes. Absolutely! During the past few days, myself and a number of investigators have been talking about unsolved cases - murders I was involved in. Itís hard to talk about all these years later, because it revives all the terrible feelings and thoughts that I have steadfastly and diligently dealt with - I think successfully. It has been reopened and I have felt the pain and the horror of that.
I hope that those who I have caused so much grief, even if they donít believe my expression of sorrow, will believe what Iím saying now; there are those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media in its various forms - particularly sexualized violence. What scares me is when I see whatís on cable T.V. Some of the violence in the movies that come into homes today is stuff they wouldnít show in X-rated adult theatres 30 years ago.
JCD: The slasher movies?
Ted: That is the most graphic violence on screen, especially when children are unattended or unaware that they could be a Ted Bundy; that they could have a predisposition to that kind of behavior.
JCD: One of the final murders you committed was 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. I think the public outcry is greater there because an innocent child was taken from a playground. What did you feel after that? Were they the normal emotions after that?
Ted: I canít really talk about that right now. Itís too painful. I would like to be able to convey to you what that experience is like, but I wonít be able to talk about that. I canít begin to understand the pain that the parents of these children and young women that I have harmed feel. And I canít restore much to them, if anything. I wonít pretend to, and I donít even expect them to forgive me. Iím not asking for it. That kind of forgiveness is of God; if they have it, they have it, and if they donít, maybe theyíll find it someday.
JCD: Do you deserve the punishment the state has inflicted upon you?
Ted: Thatís a very good question. I donít want to die; I wonít kid you. I deserve, certainly, the most extreme punishment society has. And I think society deserves to be protected from me and from others like me. Thatís for sure. What I hope will come of our discussion is that I think society deserves to be protected from itself. As we have been talking, there are forces at loose in this country, especially this kind of violent pornography, where, on one hand, well-meaning people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy while theyíre walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of things that send young kids down the road to being Ted Bundys. Thatís the irony.
Iím talking about going beyond retribution, which is what people want with me. There is no way in the world that killing me is going to restore those beautiful children to their parents and correct and soothe the pain. But there are lots of other kids playing in streets around the country today who are going to be dead tomorrow, and the next day, because other young people are reading and seeing the kinds of things that are available in the media today.
JCD: There is tremendous cynicism about you on the outside, I suppose, for good reason. Iím not sure thereís anything you could say that people would believe, yet you told me (and I have heard this through our mutual friend, John Tanner) that you have accepted the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and are a follower and believer in Him. Do you draw strength from that as you approach these final hours?
Ted: I do. I canít say that being in the Valley of the Shadow of Death is something Iíve become all that accustomed to, and that Iím strong and nothingís bothering me. Itís no fun. It gets kind of lonely, yet I have to remind myself that every one of us will go through this someday in one way or another.
JCD: Itís appointed unto man.
Ted: Countless millions who have walked this earth before us have gone through this, so this is just an experience we all share.
Ted Bundy was executed at 7:15 am the day after this conversation was recorded.
Pleading Insanity? – You Must be Crazy
By Brad Barrett
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, there's nothing better than taking some time for you. You might want to while away the hours cramming long needles in the space between your anus and scrotum. Or, if that doesn't tempt you, you might want a mouthful of your own crap, washed down with hot, salty urine. Still no takers? Anybody even hear voices? Anybody?
If there's one thing about Albert Fish that seems painfully obvious, it's this: He was nuttier than squirrel shit. What else can you say about a man who was a pedophile, a sadist, and a masochist? What other conclusion can you draw about a man whose obsessions included castration, cannibalism, coprophillia, urophillia and piquerism?
I'll save you the trouble of going to Wikipedia to find out what those last three mean. In short, Albert was obsessed with feces, urine, and stabbing (both himself and others). His favorite method of flagellating his own body involved a paddle filled with nails. He would often beat himself into a bloody mess.
He is well deserving of his nickname. He is the real, honest to goodness Boogeyman.
He first realized he was a few rounds short of a clip when he was still a child. After his father died, his mother put him in an orphanage where he was beaten unmercifully. So were all the other children. The difference was Albert liked the beatings. He enjoyed them so much they gave him erections. This gave the other children hours of entertainment at Albert's expense. It probably did wonders for his self esteem in the process.
It was much later, after his wife had left him, when Albert began to hear "angels" telling him to dash out the brains of children. That would have been cruel enough. Crueler still was what he actually did to them. He beat them for hours. He cut off ears. He extended smiles up the sides of faces. He removed noses, heads, limbs and anything else that would come off. He sucked the blood from their punctured stomachs. Then, he feasted on them for days, taking great pains to make the preparation process long and involved, lengthening the experience.
Once, for good measure, he wrote a letter to the family of one of his victims. Grace Budd's mother couldn't read, so her son had to read the letter detailing the awful things Albert had done. This ultimately proved to be his downfall.
When Albert Fish had his day in court, Captain John Stein asked why he had written the letter. Albert didn't know. He supposed he "just had a mania for writing."
When asked why he had done such a horrible thing to young Grace, Albert said, "You know, I never could account for it."
His legal defense entered an insanity plea. It seemed like a sure fire way to keep him from being executed. Most normal people wouldn't mind seeing Albert take a nice long dirt nap, but doctors and psychiatrists would likely have wanted the chance to examine him further. He was, after all, a perfect storm of mental illness. A run-of-the-mill psychopath is just plain boring in comparison.
Quick show of hands, anybody think the Boogeyman isn't crazy?
If you raised your hand, you are of the same opinion as the United States government. That's right, folks. Legally, Albert Fish is perfectly sane and completely responsible for the atrocities he committed.
You see, in order to be criminally insane in the U.S.A., you must be unable to distinguish between right and wrong. Note that it doesn't say you have to care. It doesn't say you have to feel guilty about it afterwards. To be sane, you merely need enough competence to know, deep down inside somewhere, that what you're doing will be frowned upon by others, if not yourself. It doesn't matter if your mother abandoned you. It doesn't matter if you were abused. It doesn't matter if the ghost of Adolf Hitler possessed you. It doesn't even matter if the fabric of time tore in half and you were kidnapped by ray gun-wielding slime creatures that hypnotized you and sent you back.
By its very nature, the legal definition of insanity will exclude nearly every serial killer in history. If you have no idea what you're doing is wrong, you won't take steps to cover it up. Therefore, you won't ever get the chance to become a serial killer.
Allow me to make a few clarifications. Technically, a serial killer has killed more than one victim. Those killings must have occurred at more than one time. A spree killer might have a shot at the insanity plea because their crimes take place all at once. Any sort of premeditation, however, will likely prove their sanity. Their sanity, in turn, will prove their guilt in the eyes of the law.
Upon learning of his verdict and his sentence, a Daily News reporter wrote that Albert's "…watery eyes gleamed at the thought of being burned by a heat more intense than the flames with which he often seared his flesh to gratify his lust." He supposedly thanked the judge for that method of execution. On January 16, 1936, Albert Fish was executed. His final words were, "I don't even know why I'm here."
Crazy as he was, it took the jury less than an hour to determine Albert was sane and guilty. If this man was judged to be sane, there seems to be little hope for anyone relying on an insanity defense. To plead insanity… well, that's just plain crazy.
The motives of a serial killer By Rhiannon Edwards
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
What drives one to kill? It can seem like a simple idea to assess but you will find it goes beyond what the majority can possibly fathom.
There are two categories of ultimate motives which seem to direct further motives of serial killers. A distinction between the psychopathic and the insane, which fosters a common misconception to this day.
Insanity can be defined as an “unsoundness of mind or lack of understanding” leaving one not responsible for their behavior and almost completely helpless. Whereas psychopathic tendencies relate to antisocial personality disorder which is “often manifested in; aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse”. There are differences at hand which are significant and valuable as it is brought to our attention that Psychopathy is an easily attainable nature which often goes undetected or misjudged causing faulty treatment and hindered understanding of the psychopathic mind. Depending on if one is psychopathic or insane, there are significant differences in the further motives spawned from the foundations at hand.
One who could be seen as insane may suffer delusions which trigger their acts; their motives may be clouded as they themselves don’t always understand what they are doing. If they are capable of realizing what they are doing, their motives may take on an unrealistic tone… rather than an urge to do something, a need to do it due to the fact there is a possible force behind it controlling them. Ed Gein who was considered schizophrenic at the time of his crimes was further motivated by an unhealthy relationship with his mother who brought him to feel conflicted about women and soon develop a particular psychosis leading him to commit the acts he did. Albert Fish being another example motivated initially by insanity, and then further by a religious psychosis enabling him to believe he was a Saint of sorts who had to do what he was doing, reasoning often that if his actions were wrong he would have been punished by an angel. Contrary to popular belief however, serial killers are very rarely insane or guided by these motives.
Concerning the psychopathically motivated individuals, there are a number of further motives which have been recognized and repeated throughout the years which come into play such as Infamy and Revenge. Criminal psychologists Holmes and DeBurger note categories such as Missionary, Hedonistic, Gain-motivated, and Power/Control.
A simple example of one motivated in a missionary sense could be the mindset of particular infamous dictators like Adolf Hitler, who wanted those exterminated which did not meet the standards of his Aryan race ethic. Aileen Wuornos is considered a missionary killer due to her targetting patrons of prostitution.
Many serial killers are hedonistic, killing for sheer pleasure and often becoming addicted to this pleasure which fuels their continuation of murder, this includes killers such as Dennis Rader (the BTK strangler) who vastly enjoyed the hunt as well as the kill of his victims, and Jeffrey Dahmer who was satisfied with what he could do with the body after his victim was killed.
There are those who are influenced heavily by media depictions of serial killers and who grow to obtain a deep interest in them to an extreme point where they find they would like to achieve the success of a killer they have heard about. They often crave the fame or rather infamy which goes along with the act they commit, and they are motivated by this thoroughly as well as the power they seem to have during the process. Power and control, as mentioned, can take on a level of it’s own concerning types who seek to feel something they may have been restricted from at another time in their lives… or simply for those who dream of obtaining the kind of power others possess regularly in what seems to be an easier form. The power itself can prove an addicting motive and is often cited as one that a high number of killers possess during their “reign of terror”.
The motives of a serial killer vary, and to most they confuse, but it is significant to note that a lot of motivations present are an average phenomenon seen amongst society but often simply expressed in different, more accepted ways. These motives presented, aside from other factors contributing, tend to be the main trigger in what allows any human being to kill.
Necrophilia: Desiring the Dead By Melissa Hogle
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Necrophilia, the cornerstone of every psycho it seems...and a damn creepy idea to the rest of us. After all who in the world would want to have sex with a dead person?! Well there are a number of different reasons, some more comprehendible and romanticized and others more ghoulish and, honestly, stomach-turning. Whatever the reason though it's pretty safe to say that this love/sexual preference/fetish is not the norm and likely (if not certainly) indicates some serious mental, emotional, and social problems in those who have it.
Romancing the Remains
The first category of those with this philia don't so much love the dead as they loved the person so much when he or she was living that they sort of just take that last kiss goodbye too far. Famed American author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, confessed in his journal to be being so distraught over his young wife, Ellen's, death that shortly after she was buried he dug her back up. What he did after that is anyone's guess (he never said) but should he have done anything more than another farewell kiss he'd fall into this category.
On the far more grotesque end of love gone beyond the burial service is that of Carl Von Cosel in 1930's Key West, Florida. The radiologist, who worked at a sanitarium, fell deeply in love with a 22-year-old tuberculosis patient of his, Maria Elena de Hoyos, and his love carried over into her death. He snatched the young woman from her burial place and brought her back to his place to keep as his love, and lover, for the next seven years or so. Even as the woman's body began to discompose. Over the years Cosel was forced to use piano wire to hold her bones together, replace rotting skin with wax and silk, use glass eyes to replace real ones long gone, and even insert a tube between her legs to have a "vagina" to continue having sex with her. When his activities were finally discovered and what was left of Maria Elena was returned to rest in peace Cosel continued to love, and lust after, her using a personalized sex doll in her place...when he died in 1952 he was found clutching said doll which had a death mask of his dearly departed on it.
The next type of necrophile has a slightly more "open relationship" with the dead...still not violent, but certainly not one to settle down with just one corpse as it were. It's with these folks that we tend to find those misbehaving morticians and gravediggers who get busy with those they're trusted to care for by loved ones. These types do love the dead, not because they're dead per say but because they can't say no. These men (there are some cases of female necrophiliacs, but the vast majority are men) don't do so well with the living ladies - too shy, too weird, etc - and so turn to those that they're certain won't (re. can't) reject them.
Viktor Ardisson was a mortician and gravedigger who supposedly had sex with over a hundred of the dead - or, in some cases, at least parts of them. He was caught when the smell of a decomposing three-year-old girl, who'd he'd been performing oral sex on since digging her up, alerted neighbors enough to call the police. Also found at his place of residence was his "bride"...the severed head of a thirteen-year-old girl that he kept on his beside table and was known to kiss from time to time. (It's important to remember, despite the ages of the two defiled mentioned, Ardisson was not a pedophile - it was the fact they were dead, not their ages, that aroused the man.)
Another such corpse loving creep, Henri Blot, was caught fast asleep after having dug up and had sex with a recently deceased ballerina. While on trial the judge commented that what he had done was depraved to which Blot was quoted as replying, "How would you have it? Every man to his own tastes. Mine is for corpses."
The final form of necrophile being covered is the dangerous, violent, killing kind. At the core these types, necrophiliac killers, are the same in that they use sex with the dead as another form of power over their victims. Once the victim is dead they want that one last form of "owning" their victim in performing some sort of sexual act upon them whether it be intercourse or giving or receiving sexual pleasure in some other manner.
Some big names in the serial killer world were involved in doing the dirty deed with the dead. Ed Kemper not only would rape his dead victims but also was said to have done so after decapitating one of them. The "Sunset Slayer" Douglas Clark (with the help of his girlfriend Carol Bundy) would pick up hookers for oral sex and then shoot them in the head during the act, climaxing with the now dead woman's mouth over his member - he kept one victim's head in the freezer as a morbid sex toy. And, after strangling his victims (thus leaving them with the common "Angel Lust" erection seen in strangulation cases), Jeffery Dahmer would perform oral sex on his victims...he was also known to cut the bodies open to have sex with the victim's innards.
...While mentioned at the start of this section these killers are the same at the core, there are subtle differences that are to be made. With those like Dennis Nilsen (who killed 15 men and boys in London) the murders seemed more just a means to an end; the end being a lover to have power over and that will never, ever, leave. Others, like Ted Bundy and Andrei Chikatilo, the raping of corpses seem to just be an extension of sexual sadism, another way to completely dominate the victims. It will hardly matter to the victims’ loved ones, of course, but for those in law enforcement these small differences may help in catching the killer and possibly getting them to confess and/or convicting them of their crimes.
In Search of America’s Most Evil Serial Killer By Rhiannon Edwards
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Throughout history, millions have killed. From that we determine categories of killers, there are some who kill at war, and some who kill at random. It is true that killers take on all shapes and sizes, many different demeanors, and have an array of different methods. When you pinpoint serial killers, it’s simple to see all of them the same. We separate them according to their motives but often think that all were equally brutal in their crimes. However, this is not the case. It can be said that there are some killers, who take that extra step… committing acts that bring them from man, to monster. Some killers bring a style to the table that others can’t ignore, that leaves a mark and places them aside from the rest. Some killers are far from troubled or apathetic, looking at what they have managed to do we can say that they are evil incarnate. With that said, who then crosses this line into such depths the farthest? Who can we peg, as the most evil?
There has been interest in the topic recently, of just how we can determine the most evil serial killer and why they earn their placement.
There are killers I have discovered throughout the world who deserve a placement on this list. However this in particular is a compilation of those few serial killers who; through specific acts of torture, unique hedonistic methods, and brutal reasoning, we can come to the conclusion might just be the most evil serial killers in American History thus far.
It's evil enough to kill another human being, But to kill your loved ones is an incomprehensible act that can't be ignored.
With this, Belle Sorenson Gunness is added to the list at number 5. Mother, lover, and serial killer.
Known as "one of America's most profligate known female serial killers,"
it is said that Belle is estimated to have killed both of her husbands and all of her children. She is known to have killed most of the men she has been involved with, and her two daughters, Myrtle and Lucy. Her apparent motives involved collecting life insurance benefits. This is one of the killers that hit close to home, for the fact that considering your family…it is difficult to think that you might sacrifice them for money in such a way. Belle cared very little for who she killed, regardless of their status in her life. To her, the children and the lovers were worthless unless they could bring her profit.
Reports estimate that she killed more than twenty people over several decades and got away with it, many people claim that her body count may have reached over one hundred. She makes this list for key reasons; One of those reasons being her targets – all supposed “loved ones” who she shamelessly slaughtered for some extra cash, another being the fact that like most serial killers she did not feel any remorse…this presents the fact that her killing was mainly for money and out of annoyance, she also grew to care nothing about what she had to do in order to keep herself content. This of course is only one example of cases where mothers have killed those closest to them, and fathers as well. It is a longstanding trend. What is unique about this case in comparison to the others is that Belle was not mentally unstable, just plain ruthless. In many situations where the mother has killed, it was out of instants of delusion and misguided thinking. Belle’s murders were a landmark concerning one who would be so bold as to willfully and proudly make family just for the chance to kill them off.
Topping the brutality of Belle, we come to our number 4 placement, filled by none other than the infamous Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK strangler.
Bind, torture, kill. With torture in his name you couldn’t have expected him not to be on this list. Dennis Rader is well known for his acts of torture on his victims, and one serial killer who enjoyed this method to an extreme, making it one of the pillars of what he stood for. Rader bound, tortured, and killed his victims, making sure to cover all aspects of his art. He would strangle his victims until they lost consciousness, but it never ended there. Rader would then let them revive, and promptly strangle them again. He would repeat this pattern many times, forcing them into a near-death state all the while becoming sexually aroused at the visual created of their struggles. Often the final step of his killings would include Rader strangling them to death, which would be followed with masturbation where he would ejaculate into an article of their clothing to end things off, usually their underwear. BTK’s idea of a step by step process to putting his victims through hell before he finally ended their lives is something that was an influence to many killers later on, being something he prided himself on and something that set him apart from other murderers of the time. Aside from being influential, his methods were extremely sadistic and applied to a hedonistic mindset. All of this was very much a game, some work involved of course, but resulting ultimately in enjoyment and successful completion of his desires which he would blatantly throw in the faces of law enforcement. When you look at it that way, you can see that Rader went a step further in his indifference towards human beings and chose to deal with ending their lives in a lighthearted and so, grizzly fashion.
“[I c]ut one of my belts in half, slit these halves in six strips about 8 inches long. I whipped his bare behind till the blood ran from his legs. I cut off his ears, nose, slit his mouth from ear to ear. Gouged out his eyes. He was dead then.” The words of number 3 on the list, Albert Fish. What else did he do to this victim? He engaged in continuing the knifing of this boy, and ultimately “made a stew out of his ears, nose, pieces of his face and belly.” Albert Fish is best known for the intricate and unbelievable murders of children. Just how many children he had killed, no one can know for sure. He was quite literally a stereotype of the “boogeyman”. For quite a long time he got away with it, due to his silent and gentle exterior to people around him. Who would ever think that this man was capable of so nonchalantly killing two birds with one stone, play time and dinner. His acts have been heavily publicized since the day he was found to have murdered, and for good reason. Fish, through his psychotic religious delusions, took hold of his human ability to kill and used it on one of the more innocent creatures on this earth, children. Unlike Belle Gunness who took the number 5 spot, these were not his own kin. That however, does not make the killings at hand any less gruesome. What stands out about his crimes is the way he killed, the disturbing reasons behind the killings, and also what he did with the bodies. The astonishing revelations we make about him can turn up from reading or hearing his descriptions of the murders and how he reacted towards them. He salivated with the thought of his actions, no true remorse found, and despite what he claimed to have forced him to commit these acts – the glory was often in what he was able to make of young bodies.
“At frequent intervals I basted his behind with a wooden spoon. So the meat would be nice and juicy. In about 2 hours, it was nice and brown, cooked through. I never ate any roast turkey that tasted half as good as his sweet fat little behind did.”
What do we make of this? When one not only enjoys the torture of fellow human beings, but the torture of children, and then not only that aspect, but the ability to physically consume those he has tortured – cooking them proudly as if he had discovered the most expensive of roasts on sale. To most cannibals, human meat makes an increasingly better meal than that of what you can purchase at the store.
Albert Fish enjoyed his work, he would never regret one moment of it. Making a sadistic lifestyle look easy to incorporate into his daily schedule, he is by far one of the most evil serial killers in America for blatantly ruling out of his mind what makes his acts so cruel and unusual to us, allowing a mindset that sees the torture of an innocent as a necessity in order to satisfy his common needs.
As we reach the penultimate spot on the list, number 2, we must now really consider aspects of all prior killers mentioned on this list and somehow come up with who can possibly top all of them as well as accommodate all of their methods in one. Who could get away with killing more people than the others mentioned? Who could possess the ability to find even more unique ways of torture and murder…and therefore the charm to lure victims into such a trap?
The answer is in who is depicted to be the first true serial killer in American History, Herman Mudgett, better known under the alias of “Dr. Henry Howard Holmes”.
Very rarely would his lovers and hotel guests leave his presence alive, and if they ever had they would leave seriously and indefinitely scarred for life. Holmes would torture, and kill his victims. One way of doing this would be to lock them in soundproof bedrooms which were fitted with gas lines that allowed him the luxury of asphyxiating them at any given time. Others were locked in a huge bank vault which was near his office, where he could sit back comfortably and listen as they screamed, panicked, and then eventually suffocated from their struggles. His killing extended to “patients” who died as a result of his abortion procedures, no doubt intended to lead them to their demise. The whimsy of his obscure and indecent methods do not end there. With little respect for the lives of the humans he was able to take without much trouble, he used their dead bodies to strange extents not often dealt with by many other killers you will have heard of. These bodies went by a secret chute to the basement, and afterwards some were meticulously dissected, stripped of flesh, crafted into skeleton models, and then actually sold to medical schools – this includes the corpses of the women dying of their abortions, which were processed and also sold. There were some bodies cremated, and some placed in lime pits for destruction. Holmes also possessed two giant furnaces, as well as pits of acid, and various poisons to use at his leisure. One of the most alarming gadgets of torture and death which he owned was a stretching rack, allegedly in order to create a race of “giants” and other such experimentation. Medical school proved beneficial to him, allowing him to sell off his left over skeletons and the organs of victims with minimal difficulty. The existence of Holmes and his slayings is a mysterious one, we can estimate the number of his victims to be between 20 to 100, and some say even higher, which can only be based upon missing persons reports of the time and testimony of neighbors who reported seeing unusual events as well as young women accompanying Holmes into his hotel who never exited. The single verified number is 27, which is still an amazing amount to get away with – police however, had commented that “some of the bodies in the basement were so badly dismembered and decomposed, that it was difficult to tell how many bodies there actually were”. Again, counting the charm of this man, women were easiest to bring in, but this never stopped him from getting his hands on men and also children. What is so significant of these murders may not even be the ways in which they were tortured, or how their bodies were disposed of, but perhaps how dignified Holmes was able to act…and the composure kept during the entire process. This can signify that potentially, Holmes could have continued with his ways for years with ease. It is a disturbing thought that he had medical connections, and also that due to this it made killing and getting rid of bodies all the more simpler. These days although creative minds like that of his exist, they can never truly amount to the extent that brought all of this to be. It is obvious that, realizing what this man was capable of including the nature of his simply activity seeking induced crimes, he is a true candidate for one whom we may always see as one of the most evil human beings from the start that could be dealt with…
But not quite the most evil, not on this list anyway, because there is one more spot to be filled which is the number 1 placement.
The serial killer most intensely bonded with his torture seeking methods and body count, is none other than one that to this day surprisingly not a lot of people are familiar with. His crimes are questionable, and often debated over in terms of accuracy and capability. What this man is proven to have done reveals a depravity so potent that it would be difficult to keep him off of this list from any angle you approach. This man is Donald "Pee wee" Gaskins, said to be the most prolific serial killer in South Carolina history.
Donald’s victims were both male and female, child and adult. His acts included cannibalism, various acts of torture, and ultimately killing of these victims. Anyone could have been a potential target for his brutalities. Saying this seems a vague and average thing amongst the ranks of serial killers, unless you know the details.
As a child Gaskins was treated with disdain by his family, and not well liked by his peers as he grew older. Often teased and punished, he quickly developed an intense hatred towards those around him and battled this on a daily basis. As time passed and the hatred stayed with him, Gaskins took part in criminal activities and as a result was punished in many ways including jail time and reform school. However, punishment could not control what had been unleashed within Gaskins so long ago. Something had been deeply rooted within him and could easily be provoked at any given time, which became most apparent when he was confronted on an undesirable subject and acted out by taking a hammer to the head of a girl, which split her skull. For this he was charged for attempted murder. If he was capable of this, what else could he wind up involved in?
Donald Gaskins was just beginning his reign of terror. To build a persona that others would fear, he shed the face value of his small stature and learned to intimidate through his actions, which started violent and increased in violence as time went on. Although he had followed through with an array of disturbing acts, there were specific instances that pegged him as infamous for the monster he was.
His “vision” into “bothersome feelings” as he described it, led him to his most well known crimes. One instance of these inclusions can be noted as his tendency to keep his mutilated victims alive for days. Perfecting his torture methods, he would sometimes also cannibalize their severed parts as they watched, or were forced to participate in the consumption of their own flesh. This rarity and horrific experiment in torture was committed without a second thought on Gaskins’ part, as he allowed himself the luxury to do whatever was necessary in order to satisfy his visions of cruelty.
Continuing with his sadistic rampage, he identified his highway murders as recreational killings whereas his serious murders were reserved for those he knew personally. A chilling look into how he dissected his habit of homicide. Although his acquaintances often found him to be mentally disturbed and so distanced themselves from him, there were those who were friendlier to Gaskins – which sadly did not protect them from meeting the fate he had conducted. A prime example of this being that of Doreen Dempsey, who was pregnant at the time. Accepting a ride from Gaskins, he had taken her on an unexpected route to an isolated area of the woods in order to inflict his plans upon her. After raping and killing Dempsey, he also managed to sodomize her baby which Gaskins would later sickeningly describe as the best sex of his life.
His massacre truly did not stop at merely women and men, as he had not only violated and taken the life of this child, but many others; crushing their necks, cutting their throats, stabbing them, poisoning, drowning, beating them to death and even shooting them execution style. All of this a picture of how worthless and objectified he was able to render an innocent soul in his mind.
Gaskins had absolutely no regard and no consideration for any human life, other than his own, inflating his status in order to appreciate himself and committing acts which made him feel more powerful in his individual view. Having been possibly connected to over 100 murders, the few we have detailed stories on are enough to reveal this man’s nature and so enough to have him perceived as intensely evil in the eyes of those who see through his crimes. There’s a reason that Gaskins is sometimes referred to as the “Meanest Man in America”, from what I can see, he certainly fits the position. His unfathomable crimes stand notorious amongst serial killings due to their highly violent and unrelenting status, proving surreal and shocking to those who take the time to immerse themselves momentarily in his existence. Donald Gaskins is more than a maniac, and more than a sadist, he is America’s most evil serial killer.
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
The FBI estimates that there are currently 500 serial killers at large. Other estimates are much lower, around 35 - 100 serial killers currently committing crimes. In 1983, they estimated that 5000 Americans or 15 people a day were killed by strangers. Every year, between 3500 - 5000 people in America are the victims of serial killers. In the past 20 years, 160 serial killers have been identified or captured, and 120 of them were in the United States.
Sometimes in the profile of a serial killer, authorities will use the dump sites as a guide in that profile, an example would be that if the body is dumped in a wooded area, the killer might be a hunter or fisherman who is comfortable in the woods. Studies have been done showing that in most cases where the serial killer wasn't traveling, such as a truck driver covering a lot of territory, serial killers go a certain distance within a triangle space when dumping the body.
Sometimes the serial killer will go back to the dumping grounds to spend more time with the victim, or to relive the experience. Sometimes they will go back to make sure they didn't leave any evidence behind, or in some cases, when they've integrated themselves to the local police, to help in the investigation, or to taunt the police and leave clues. Gary Ridgway didn't chew gum or smoke, but he did leave chewing gum and cigarette butts at dump sites. Once he even scattered airport motel pamphlets and car rental papers to imply that the killer was a traveling salesman. Sometimes (also Ridgway) they go back to the dump site to have sex with the remains.
There are studies which suggest that the average serial killer travels about a half an hour from home to dispose of a body. Unless work or some other activity puts them further away, they likely live more or less than thirty minutes from the site.
Maurice Godwin, a former police officer from North Carolina, conducted research into geographical profiling involving 54 American serial killers. An analysis of the crimes of the 54 killers, who had each murdered at least ten victims, disclosed that the average distance between the killers' home and his chosen dumping ground was 14.3 miles while the abduction area was only 1.4 miles away.
Here is what 150 Serial Killers did about the question of hiding bodies:
Put in Trash Bags (along highways):
Patrick Kearney and David Douglas Hill (The trash bag murders), Belgium's Butcher of Mons, Bob Berdella (Put remains in can for collection by trash collectors), Jeffery Dahmer, Richard W. Rogers, Grim Sleeper (victims covered by trash bags, found near dumpsters), Bruce Mendenhall, Larry Eyler (The Interstate Killer), Jefferson Davis Parish Louisiana serial killings (unsolved), Robert Pickton, Unknown serial killer in Seoul, The Family murders (Adelaide, Australia), Jeffrey S. Mailho, Vlado Tanevski, Jeffrey S. Mailhot,
Fed them to Animals
Joe Ball - The Alligator Man, Ottis Toole, Robert Pickton, Belle Gunness, Carl Panzram
Sold them as food
Fritz Haarmann, George Karl Grossman
Under houses, crawlspaces, basements
John Wayne Gacy, Kendall Francois, Jesse Harding Pomeroy, David Maust, Jeffery Dahmer
Rivers or other bodies of water
John Wayne Gacy, California Astrology Murderer, Gary Ridgeway, Sean Vincent Gillis, Lewiston Valley Killer, Amelia “The Baby Farmer” Dyer, Fritz Haarmann, The Atlanta Child Killer,
In or around Dumpsters in Alleyways
Daytona Beach SK (unsolved), George Russell, Eight Street Killer (Miami unsolved, 31 victims),
In the woods or fields
Gary Ridgeway, Ted Bundy, The I-45 Killer or Killer(s),east Texas and Montrose Killer(s), "killing fields" murders, Fort Myers killer, Gary G. Grant, James Edward Ruzicka, Gary A. Shaw, The 1969 Parkway Murders (Both Gerald Eugene Stano and Ted Bundy claimed credit for the Parkway Murders but were cleared), Ted Bundy (ditches and parks)
Robert Lee Yates, Edmonton Canada missing women (unsolved)
Dennis Radar, Angel Maturino Reséndiz, Zodiac Killer, Richard Ramirez, Jack the Ripper, Jesse Harding Pomeroy, Herbert Mullin, Aileen Wuornos
Under the bed
Jeffery Dahmer, Earl Nelson
Left them 'posed'
Albert Desalvo, Danny Rolling, the Grim Sleeper, George Russell
Dismemberment, cannibalism, hid some remains
Albert Fish, Jeffery Dahmer, Joachim Kroll, Arthur Shawcross, Henry Lee Lucas & Ottis Toole, Bob Berdella, Edmund Kemper III, Richard Trenton Chase, Douglas Clark & Carol Bundy, Andrei Chikatilo, Alfred Packer, Mark Sappington, Surender Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher
In house or apartment
Fritz Honka, Jose Luis Calva, John Christie, Charles Albright, Harrison Graham, Yang Xinhai, Moses Sithole, Tommy Lynn Sells, Dennis Radar, Richard Ramirez
Never found the Victims'
Gert van Rooyen and Joey Haarhof,
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, Juan Corona, Gilles de Rais, The Bloody Benders, Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzales, Pedro Alonso Lopez, Dorothea Puente, Reginald Christie, Fred West and Rosemary West, Gordon Northcott
Just dumped the bodies
Kenneth Alessio Bianchi and Angelo Buono
Gilles de Rais, Steven Avery, Sudhakar Gajare, Uresh Warik, Ravi Poojary, Charles Sobhraj, Nicolae Bonner, Thomas Svekla, Jeremy Bryan Jones, John Childs, Ohio Cincinnati killer (unsolved), Dr. Marcel Petiot, Herman Webster Mudgett (H. H. Holms), Countess Erszebet Bathory, Gilles de Rais, The Alberta Serial Killer, Larry Bright
Dissolved in acid (or kept hidden in vats or drums)
John George Haigh, Javed Iqbal Mughal, Nuevo Laredo, Santiago Meza López, Jeffery Dahmer
Dumped near highways (and deserted roads – vacant lots)
Rory Conde, Last Call Killer, Robert Lee Yates, Jr., James Ruzicka, Randy Kraft, The I-5 Killer: Randy Woodfield, Dewayne Lee Harris, California Occult Murders (unsolved), Gary Michael Hilton, Donald E. Younge Jr, Edmund Kemper, Derrick Todd Lee, Highway of Tears Killer (unsolved), Ortega Highway, (The 44-mile stretch of highway, officially part of California Route 74, where many bodies have been found, William Bonin threw one here, so did Randy Kraft, Patrick Kearney did too), Mack Ray Edwards, Clifford Olson, Larry Eyler, New Bedford Highway killer (unsolved)
Dennis Nilsen, Surender Koli, Joachim Kroll,
SERIAL KILLERS AND INSANITY By: Jessica Robinson
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
In a perfect world, serial killers would be insane. This would allow the public to understand why they did what they did, and it would give them the chance to be treated. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and most serial killers are not insane. What does it mean to be insane? Surely anyone who kills another, eats their body parts, or has sex with a headless corpse can’t be in their right mind. Insanity, as defined by the Law Dictionary, reads as follows: “mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.” The definition continues for criminal insanity:
In criminal cases, a plea of ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ will require a trial on the issue of the defendant’s insanity (or sanity) at the time the crime was committed. In these cases the defendant usually claims ‘temporary insanity’ (crazy then, but okay now). The traditional test of insanity in criminal cases is whether the accused knew ‘the difference between right and wrong,’ following the ‘M’Naughten rule’ from 19th century England. Most states require more sophisticated tests based on psychiatric and/or psychological testimony evaluated by a jury of laypersons or a judge without psychiatric training. A claim by a criminal defendant of his/her insanity at the time of trial requires a separate hearing to determine if a defendant is sufficiently sane to understand the nature of a trial and participate in his/her own defense. If found to be insane, the defendant will be ordered to a mental facility, and the trial will be held only if sanity returns.1
The M’Naghten Rule, which was the earliest and most common test for criminal insanity, was based on a man named Daniel M’Naghten. He believed that he was personally being threatened by Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. He went to defend himself, and accidentally shot and killed Peel’s private secretary. He was acquitted on the grounds of insanity because he was not aware of his actions or the difference between right and wrong.
The only serial killer who has used the insanity plea successfully was Ed Gein. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be mentally incompetent, so he was considered unfit to stand trial. Instead of prison, he was sent to Central State Hospital in Waupun, Wisconsin. When this hospital was converted into a prison, Gein was sent to Mendota State Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. His doctors determined he was sane enough to stand trial in 1968. He was found guilty of first-degree murder, but since he was already declared legally insane, he spent the remainder of his life in a mental institution.
Several other serial killers have attempted to convince the courts and the public that they are insane, but usually to no avail. One of the most common ruses is to create an alter ego. The hope here is that the killer will appear to have multiple personalities, making them less culpable for their actions. Multiple personality disorder, now referred to as dissociative identity disorder (DID), is defined as:
a mental illness that involves the sufferer experiencing at least two clear identities or personality states, each of which has a fairly consistent way of viewing and relating to the world...This disorder was formerly called multiple personality disorder (MPD) and is often referred to as split personality disorder. Although statistics regarding this disorder indicate that the incidence of DID is about 3% of patients in psychiatric hospitals and is described as occurring in females nine times more often than in males, this may be due to difficulty identifying the disorder in males. Also, disagreement among mental-health professionals about how this illness appears clinically, and if DID even exists, adds to the difficulty of estimating how often it occurs.
Some professionals continue to be of the opinion that DID does not exist...[A] concern about the diagnosis of DID involves having to rely on the traumatic memories of those who suffer from this disorder. That DID is significantly more often assessed in individuals in North America compared to the rest of the world, for the most part, leads some practitioners to believe that DID is a culture-based myth rather than a true disorder...Research on individuals with DID that have little to no media exposure to information on the illness lends further credibility to the reliability of this diagnosis.
If professionals can’t agree on how to diagnose it or if it even exists, then it must be easy to fake. H.H. Holmes created “Edward Hatch,” who he claimed was the evil mastermind behind the Pietzel children murder. (It should be noted that this in itself is an interesting defense considering “H.H. Holmes” was an alias created by Herman Webster Mudgett.) William Heirens created “George Murman,” John Gacy created “Jack Hanley,” and Kenneth Bianchi created “Steve Walker.” These alter egos fall apart under scrutiny because actual cases of DID are extremely rare. In the case of Kenneth Bianchi’s Steve, it was discovered that Bianchi had seen the movie “Sybil” days before his psychiatric evaluation.
These men tried to manipulate the system into thinking they were insane. One of the reasons they might have done it was so they wouldn’t get the death penalty, but then again, they might have just done it because it is their nature (I will expand upon this idea later). Serial killers aren’t stupid. That is evident in the fact that they can get away with multiple murders before finally being caught. Some of them are even able to hold together families. They know how to appear “normal.” So why would it be so hard to believe that they would want to appear insane? One of the most famous cases of attempting to be insane is Edmund Kemper.
After Kemper murdered his grandparents, he was sent to the criminally insane unit at Atascadero State Hospital. Kemper learned to manipulate the system. He “was such an endearing model prisoner and so intelligent that the staff trained him to administer psychiatric tests to other prisoners. Kemper later admitted that being able to understand how these test functioned allowed him to manipulate his psychiatrists.” He stayed in the hospital for 5 years before he was declared cured; he was no longer a danger to the public. He continued to see his probation psychiatrist, all the while fantasizing about murdering women. On one occasion, he even went to his session with a victim’s head in the trunk of his car. Because of his ability to appear “normal,” his psychiatrists believed that he was a well-adjusted individual.
But that is not to say that there are no instances of insanity among serial killers. One of the most common diagnoses for serial killers is schizophrenia, which is defined as:
A psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Distortions in perception affect all five senses, including sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but most commonly manifest as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction. Onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with approximately 0.4-0.6% of the population affected…Studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology, psychological and social processes are important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms.
During Albert Fish’s trial, he claimed that he heard voices from God telling him to kill children. His family had a history of mental illness, including a family member who suffered from religious mania. Several experts took the stand, including several psychiatrists and his own 17-year old step-daughter. Nevertheless, he was found sane, and sentenced to death.
Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper, pleaded not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility at his trail, but he was found sane and found guilty of murder on all counts. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Later, he was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia. In March 1984, he was sent to Broadmoor Hospital.
Herbert Mullin murdered thirteen people because voices in his head told him to do it to prevent an earthquake. He confessed to his crimes, so his trial focused on whether or not he was culpable for his actions. Despite the fact that he was in and out of mental institutions since the age of 21, he burned himself with cigarettes, and was evicted from an apartment because he repeatedly pounded on the floor and shouted at people who weren’t there, he was found guilty of first-degree murder for two of his victims and second-degree murder for eight. It was FBI profiler Robert K. Ressler who asserted that Mullin was schizophrenic. He claimed that it manifested as early as his senior year of high school and was accelerated by the use of marijuana, LSD, or amphetamines.
It is interesting to note that Mullin was claiming victims at the same time as Kemper, and they spent some time in the same prison. According to Peter Vronsky:
Kemper and Mullin were incarcerated in the same prison block, and Kemper tormented Mullin by calling him ‘Herbie,’ a diminutive Mullin hated. ‘He had a habit of singing and bothering people when somebody tried to watch TV. So I threw water on him to shut him up. Then, when he was a good boy, I’d give him peanuts. Herbie liked peanuts. That was effective, because pretty soon he asked permission to sing. That’s called behavior modification treatment.’
Asked if Kemper thought Mullin was insane, he replied, ‘Yes, judging from my years in Atascadero, I would say he is mentally ill.’3
Just because a serial killer is diagnosed as schizophrenic, that does not mean the disease was the cause of their murders. Whether or not violence is a symptom of schizophrenia is a very contentious issue. “Studies have indicated that 5% to 10% of those charged with murder in Western countries have a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.”4 Yet, there are also statistics that claim “Individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are often the victims of violent crime—at least 14 times more often than they are perpetrators.”4
Most individuals who are diagnosed with schizophrenia tend to shy away from social situations because of their hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized and unusual thinking and speech. Since the disease usually manifests in late adolescence or early adulthood, the person’s social and vocational development can be severely disrupted. According to Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a well known researcher, psychiatrist, and author in the field of schizophrenia:
There appear to be three primary predictors of violence and three other less well-defined predictors. The most important one is a history of past violence; this is the most significant predictor of violence no matter whether a person is mentally ill or not. In trying to predict future violent behavior, the person’s history is the single most critical piece of information.
The second important predictor is drug and alcohol abuse, and this is also valid whether the person is mentally ill or not. In 1994, Jeanette Smith and Stephen Hucker reviewed studies of substance abuse in persons with schizophrenia and noted ‘a growing body of research suggesting a significant link between schizophrenia, substance abuse, and violence.’
The third important predictor is the failure to take medication...Those who do not take prescribed medication appear to be much more likely to commit violent acts.
Albert Fish was born on May 19, 1870, in Washington D.C. His father was 43 years older than his mother and worked as a river boat captain and a fertilizer manufacturer. Fish’s father died of a heart attack, and his mother was forced to find work. She was unable to care for her son, so she placed him in an orphanage where he was frequently whipped and beaten. He discovered that he enjoyed the physical pain, and would get an erection from the abuse, which led the other kids to tease him. His mother eventually got a job with the government and was able to take him back. In 1882, Fish began a relationship with a telegraph boy who introduced him to drinking urine and coprophagia (which in itself might seem crazy, but the court did not find that his fetishes were caused by insanity). Perhaps if Fish had not been subjected to this abuse, he wouldn’t have murdered kids. Since violence was enacted on him, he felt he needed to enact it on others, which is very common in the cycle of abuse.
Herbert Mullin decided to stop taking drugs in January 1973, after he had murdered three people. He blamed his friend Jim Gianera from high school, who had sold him marijuana. But his spree did not end after he stopped taking drugs. He went on to murder ten more people.
The only known treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication. But, like all medications, they are only effective if taken regularly. It is unknown if any serial killers were prescribed antipsychotics or if they took them on a regular basis.
Schizophrenia describes the actions of some serial killers. Most experts (Peter Vronsky [an investigative journalist and author] and Dr. J. Reid Meloy [author of The Psychopathic Mind: Origins, Dynamics, and Treatment]) agree that serial killers can be classified as psychopathic, which is commonly known as antisocial personality disorder. As I mentioned earlier, serial killers may do what they do because it is in their nature. Vronsky claims:
Psychologists theorize that psychopaths have a diminished capacity to experience fear and anxiety, which are the roots to the normal development of conscience. Psychopaths are often very charismatic and very able at manipulating people. They are highly talented in feigning emotions while inside feeling nothing. They have no remorse for their victims and have highly developed psychological defense mechanisms such as rationalization (‘She should have known better than to hitchike’), projection (‘She was a heartless manipulating slut’), and disassociation (‘I don’t remember killing her’). They have a very weak realization of self and compensate for that with grandiosity and an inflated notion of entitlement—meaning that they feel that they are special and ‘entitled’ to act above the law or morality. Most notable, psychopaths lack any sense of empathy with the feeling of others.3
The list of serial killers who fit this profile seems endless. Ted Bundy calls himself the “most cold-blooded sonofabitch you’ll every meet. I just like to kill, I wanted to kill.” John Gacy never showed remorse, and called his victims “worthless little queers and punks.” Sutcliffe believed he was “cleaning up the streets.”
Dr. Meloy asserts that the psychopath’s relationships are based on power, not attachment. He believes that it starts in early childhood development. There is a split between the “soft me,” which is the vulnerable inside, and the “hard not-me,” which is the punishing outside. The child goes through neglectful or painful experiences, and expects that all outside experiences are going to be painful, so he turns inward. He distrusts everything and everyone outside, and refuses to allow anyone in. Because of this distrust, the child cannot identify with the parents, and soon, the child has no empathy for anyone.
The majority of serial killers came from rough childhoods. Many of them grew up with abusive parents and suffered horrible forms of torture. It’s possible that the reason Fish murdered children was because he held animosity toward those who made fun of him in the orphanage. He could exert his power over those who were younger and weaker than he was.
Kemper murdered women he believed he could never possess. His mother was overbearing and abusive. She constantly blamed her troubles on her son. She constantly belittled him and made him feel worthless. Kemper mainly murdered coeds because they were easy prey. Kemper’s mother worked at the University of California in Santa Cruz, so she gave him a parking sticker so he could pick her up from work. Even though students were warned not to take rides from strangers, the sticker in the window made them feel more at ease. He had power over the women, which was more than he could say with his mother.
The pattern continues with other serial killers. Those who suffered abuse from the hands of their mothers generally wound up killing women. Gacy, who suffered abuse from his father, wound up killing adolescent boys and men. The killers feel a sense of helplessness, a sense of worthlessness, so they kill those who are weaker to provide themselves with power and meaning.
Not every psychopath becomes a serial killer. Vronsky explains:
While not all psychopaths are violent, they are prone to violence more than average. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of prison populations consist of psychopaths. But the same might be said for the populations of corporate CEOs, performing artists, and certainly for politicians. Being a psychopath alone does not make one a serial killer.3
Kemper’s first profession of choice was to be a cop. At 6 feet 9 inches and weighing 280 pounds, Kemper tried out for the California Highway Patrol, but he was rejected because of his size. That did not stop him from hanging out with the police and becoming friends with them. After he started killing, he received inside information on the course of the investigation. He was so liked by the Santa Cruz police that when he called to confess to the murders of eight women, no one believed him.
There is no indication why Kemper went from wanting to be a cop to killing women. Perhaps it is because he wanted to be in a position where his lack of fear and anxiety would be put to good use, but since he couldn’t use that to help people, he used it to harm. There is a clear distinction between cops and criminals, between good and bad, and since Kemper couldn’t be good, his only other option was to be bad.
No one really knows why some psychopaths become violent and others don’t. It is theorized that the violence emerges out of personal social conditions and biological and genetic factors. There also seems to be an imbalance of chemicals that are linked to depression and compulsive behavior. There are a myriad of theories out there. But the truth is: no one really knows why serial killers kill.
The prevailing theory is that there is a delicate balance between a chaotic or abusive childhood and biochemical factors that can trigger murderous psychopathic behavior. Healthy social factors can prevent a biochemically unstable individual from committing criminal acts; healthy biochemistry can protect a person with a turbulent childhood from growing up to be a killer. Violent offenders emerge when both elements are out of balance. This theory goes a long way to explain why some children with difficult childhoods do not become serial killers and not everyone with a head injury behave criminally.3
Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for psychopaths. It cannot be traced to a single chemical, viral, or organic agent. Psychiatric facilities have no influence on a psychopath, with the exception of giving them more ways to manipulate the populace (see Edmund Kemper). Fortunately, it seems that psychopaths cure themselves as they age. For whatever reason, “Starting from age twenty-one, approximately 2 percent of all psychopaths go into remission every year. The older the psychopath becomes, the more likely that he will become adjusted to society—especially in his midforties.”3 This may explain why most serial killers kill in their mid-20s, and perhaps why Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer disappeared without being apprehended.
While it is possible for a serial killer to have a serious mental illness, most of them are diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. They are not legally insane because they know the difference between right and wrong; why else would they try to hide their actions from the public? On the one hand, this can be comforting. If serial killers are declared criminally insane, they cannot be given the death penalty. On the other hand, it is very frightening. If there is no treatment or cure, there is no way to stop it from occurring in future generations.
How Serial Killers are Caught
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
It is said that most Serial Killers are caught while being arrested for other things, traffic stops, speeding, stealing, etc. Here is a list of how some were caught.
Albert Desalvo - In 1960 De Salvo was arrested by police responding to a breaking and entering call. He was arrested him after a short foot pursuit in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Albert Fish – He wrote a letter about a murder to the victim's parents in which the paper was able to be traced back to him.
Andrei Chikatilo - The Butcher of Rostov - caught when trying to approach young children while under police surveillance.
Angel Resendiz - The Railroad Killer – turned himself in after relatives, who had knowledge of his whereabouts, contacted authorities who then began secret negotiations to win the suspect's surrender.
Angelo Buono Jr.Kenneth Bianchi - the Hillside Stranglers - an eyewitness caught sight of two men forcing a young woman into their car.
Anna Maria Zwanziger - At the urging of his servants (who had survived poisoning) Judge Gebhard (her former employer) had their food analyzed. Traces of arsenic were found after Anna had already escaped. Before her getaway she filled every salt shaker and sugar container in the household with generous doses of arsenic. On October 18, 1809 Anna was arrested after she had sent several letters to the Gebhard household extolling her love for the dead baby and saying the she was willing to forget the wrongs she had suffered and was ready to resume her duties. After six months of questioning, Anna finally broke down confessed.
Anthony Hardy - "trail of blood" led the police to Hardy's flat located a short distance from where the bodies were discovered. They promptly obtained a warrant and searched his ground floor apartment, where they found a great deal of incriminating evidence. At the time of the search Hardy was nowhere to be found. CCTV video surveillance camera caught him on tape on January 1 trying to fill a prescription for his diabetic medication at a London hospital.
Arthur Gary Bishop - He was caught in July of 1983 after killing a 13 year old who he was scheduled to chaperone on a camping trip.
Author Shawcross - caught in 1990 when police intentionally left the body of this final victim where they found it with the idea that a criminal will always return the scene of the crime. The police were right and serial killer Arthur Shawcross was caught
Beverly Allitt - When deaths were so common police saw the pattern, she was the nurse in every death.
Bruce Lee – (Peter Dinsdale) –arrested for arson, he confessed to other fatal fires.
Bruce Mendenhall – Police found his truck, followed it to where the last woman Nicole Hulbert was killed (his truck description being given as being seen around the victim), when police opened his door, they saw blood stains and at that point police said they apprehended Mendenhall and transported him to police headquarters, where he admitted to being responsible for Hulbert’s death, police said.
Bruno Ludke - on January 29, 1943, the cops, while doing routine investigating stumbled upon Bruno, who went crazy on them, assaulting them, before being arrested.
Carl Panzram - In 1928, Panzram was arrested for burglary and held in Washington, D.C.. During his interrogation and jail time he voluntarily confessed to killing two boys.
Carl Stayner - When a fourth body was found in the park (Yosemite National Park) in July, he was questioned and arrested by the FBI. His truck yielded evidence linking him to the victim. He eventually confessed to all four murders.
CarltonGary - His fingerprints were found at four of the crime scenes.
Charles Cullen - Somerset Medical Center fired Cullen on October 31, 2003, for lying on his job application. Police kept him under surveillance for several weeks until they had finished their investigation.
Clifford Olson- arrested on suspicion to abduct 2 girls.
Coral Eugene Watts – The Sunday Morning Slasher - Watts was picked out in a line-up and arrested on assault and battery charges. He admitted to attacking 15 females.
Danny Rolling - was arrested for an armed robbery
David Berkowitz - eventually caught after receiving a parking ticket at the time and near the place of the Moskowitz murder.
David Gore - On July 26, 1983, Vero Beach authorities received an emergency report of a nude man firing shots at a naked girl on a residential street. Surrounding the suspect house, owned by relatives of Gore, officers found a car in the driveway with fresh blood dripping from its trunk. Inside, the body of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott lay dead with a bullet in her skull. Outnumbered by the police, Gore surrendered, directing officers to the attic where a naked 14-year-old girl was tied to the rafters.
Dennis Nilsen - a neighbor arranged to have the drains unblocked -and the remains of the victims were discovered.
Derrick Todd Lee - linked by DNA
Dorothea Puente - On November 11, 1988, police found a body buried in the lawn at 1426 F Street. Seven bodies were eventually found, and Puente was charged with a total of nine murders, convicted of three, and is now serving two life sentences. She came under suspicion when neighbors noticed people went missing.
Earle Nelson - When Nelson stopped in a general store to buy food, he was recognized by the storeowner and a patron who knew of the $1,500 reward and notified the law.
Ed Gein – arrested when there were so many clues to who killed his last victim.
Eddie Leonski - Confessed to three murders after being picked out of a line of American servicemen by witnesses.
Efren Saldivar - In March 1997, about a year before Michael Swango was arrested on federal charges pertaining to his forged medical credentials, a hospital worker at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, California, told a supervisor that a respiratory therapist named Efren Saldivar had killed an elderly patient by injecting a muscle relaxing drug called Pavulon into the patient’s I.V. This one was ignored, but evidentially, others reported leading authorities to arrest.
Elizabeth Bathory - The King of Hungary ordered her arrest when she began murdering nobels instead of peasant girls.
Eric Edgar Cooke - He was caught when the gun used to murder one of his victims, Shirley McLeod, was found, and police waited for Cooke to collect it.
Emile Louis - caught almost two decades later when his daughter found items in his house belonging to several of the victims.
Fritz Haarmann - A woman who had purchased one of his black-market "steaks" became convinced it was human flesh and turned it over to the police. In the summer of 1924, several skulls and a sackful of bones were found on the banks of the canal. Searching Haarmann's rooms, detectives found bundles of boys' clothing. The landlady's son was wearing a coat--given to him by Haarmann--that belonged to one of the missing boys.
Fritz Honka - In January 1975, he torched his flat, but firemen noticed mummified remains among the ashes and police were called.
Gary M. Heidnik - On March 24 Heidnik loosened the reins on Rivera (he kept his victims in the basement) a bit too much and the woman fled while on an unsupervised trip outside of the house. She notified police who apprehended Heidnik and searched the house, discovering the remaining women huddled in the dank basement.
Gary Ridgeway - On September 10, 2001, almost twenty years after the first known Green River murder, there was a match found between semen samples taken from the victims and Ridgway. Gerald Schaefer – On July 21, 1972, Schaefer, while on patrol, picked up two teenage girls who were hitchhiking. He abducted them, took them to some remote woods and tied them to trees where he threatened to kill them or sell them into prostitution. However, when he got a call on his police radio, Schaefer had to go, leaving the girls tied up. He vowed that he would return. The two girls, who were aged 18 and 17, escaped their bonds and went to the nearest police station, which was actually their kidnapper's own station. Harvey Glatman - Lorraine Vigil, a first time model, agreed to pose for him at a studio. He claimed that Lorraine was getting on his nerves, so he tried to tie her up, but she fought. She finally kicked the door of his car open. She ran to the light and much to her
relief, two police officers were found. They began questioning him about the other victims. They insisted that he was the one who killed the other girls. Harvey finally confessed that he had indeed killed them.
Henri Desire Landru - In 1919, the sister of one of Landru's victims, Madame Buisson, attempted to track down her missing sibling. She did not know Landru's real name but she knew his appearance and where he lived, and she eventually persuaded the police to arrest him.
Henry Lee Lucas - Lucas was desperate for money and called an ex-employer named Ruben Moore who lured Lucas with $100.00 to work on the Moore Ranch. The police arrived the next morning. They could only hold him for left of a vehicle in Maryland. He was released again but later came back into the authorities hands to be captured for the final time. H. H. Holmes - there are three different versions as to how the police caught up with Holmes. The first is that detectives traced Mudgett through his mother who told them the whereabouts of her son, the second is that while Jailed in Missouri, Holmes shared a cell with the infamous train robber Marion C. Hedgepeth, "The Handsome Bandit", perhaps wanting to brag about his own criminal prowess, Dr. Holmes told Mr. Hedgepeth about the Pitezel scam,and Hedgepeth squealed. And the third is that, aided by Mrs. Pitezel, the police captured Holmes. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley - Myra's brother-in-law phoned police, directing them to Brady's address. The raiders caught Ian and Myra at home, retrieving a fresh corpse from the bedroom, along with the bloody hatchet and Brady's library of volumes on perversion and sadism.
Irene Leidolf (with Maria Gruber, Irene Leidolf, Stephanija Meyer, and Waltraud Wagner) They were caught after they were overheard bragging about their latest murder at a local tavern. They confessed to 49 murders, but may have been responsible for as many as 200.
Jeffery Dahmer - caught on 22nd July 1991, when 31 year old Tracy Edwards managed to escape from him. He found two policemen sitting in a police car and explained how he had been assaulted by Dahmer.
Jeffery Gorton - DNA evidence from a slaying matched his.
Jesse Pomeroy - When Pomeroy's mother moved out of her house , laborers working on the flooring found the decomposing remains of Katie Curran buried in the basement's floor.
Joe Ball - A joke circulated around that Joe Ball must have fed a missing waitresses to his pet alligators. The police took this joke seriously enough to investigate, especially when a neighbor of Ball's complained about a foul-smelling barrel that he had dumped nearby. On September 24, 1938, the deputies came to arrest Joe Ball, who took a swig of beer, hit the NO SALE button on his cash register, grabbed a .45 from the drawer, and shot himself through the heart.
Joel Rifkin - caught after a high-speed police chase, police inspected Rifkin's truck and discovered the corpse of his seventeenth and last victim. John George Haigh - a jeweler from nearby Horsham called to say that a man had pawned a victim's jewelry the day after she went missing. He identified Haigh and that was enough for police to arrest him. John Wayne Gacy - Robert Piest was the last boy to be killed by Gacy. Piest had been at work at the local pharmacy and Gacy had offered him a construction job, as he ran his own construction business. At the end of his shift, Piest was picked up by his mother, and told her he was just popping back inside to speak to a man about a job. He never returned and she left to go home. When he didn't return home at all that night the family contacted the police and started to search for him. They discovered that the construction man was John Wayne Gacy.
Joseph Duncan II – caught when he walked with victim Shasta Groene into a Denny's.
Joseph Paul Franklin - a nurse in Florida taking the blood he was selling recognized a bald eagle tattoo on his arm.
Juan Corona – A neighboring farmer noticed a fresh grave and called the police.
Jurgen Bartsch - was arrested after an unsuccessful attempt to torture, kill and dismember a young boy.
Kenneth Erskine - police found a handprint at the scene of one of the crimes, and it matched one on their files.
Larry Eyler - On September 30, 1983, an Indiana highway patrolman spotted a pickup truck parked along Interstate 65, with two men moving toward a nearby stand of trees. One appeared to be bound, and the officer went to investigate, identifying Larry Eyler as the owner of the truck.
LeonardLake - When the vise Leonard Lake and Charles Ng had been using in their victims' torture broke, they needed a new one. A clerk spotted Ng hiding the vise under his coat and called the police. Ng fled the scene, but Lake was arrested when police saw that he had a gun in his car, was using false license plates and had identification that seemed to belong to someone else. Lake gave up his partner's name and his own, announced that he was running from the FBI—then swallowed two cyanide capsules and passed out, dying a short time later.
Mack Ray Edwards - walked into the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill station on March 6, 1970, and said he wanted to clear his conscience.
Manuela Ruda (with husband Daniel) - arrested at a gas station.
Marc Dutroux - an eyewitness remembered part of a license plate which matched Dutroux's.
Marcel Petiot - He was recognized and arrested at a Paris metro station. He carried a pistol, F31,700 in cash, and 50 documents in six different names.
Mary Ann Cotton – caught when a post mortem examination on one of her children revealed arsenic poisoning as the cause of death.
Marywbeth Tinning - Tami Lynne was Marybeth's ninth and last child. She was born in August 1985 but lived only four months. She was found dead in her cot and blood was spotted on her pillow. This aroused suspicion and an investigation was carried out. An autopsy revealed that Tami Lynne had died from suffocation.
Michael Ross - witnesses recalled seeing a blue sub-compact car near a murder scene.
Police began working their way through a computer listing of 2,000 sub-compact drivers, and they caught up with Ross.
Michael Swango - rrested and convicted of falsifying statements and documents related to a previous application for a position at a Veterans Administration hospital in New York.
Michel Fourniret - caught in 2003, when a Belgian would-be victim, 13, broke free after being kidnapped.
Patrick Kearney – (and David Hill) - July 5, 1977 the couple walked into the Sheriff's In formation Center in Riverside, saw a wanted poster of themselves and surrendered.
Paul Denyer - A piece of skin, possibly from a finger, was found on the neck of a dead girl. And the sighting of a yellow Toyota Corona on a road near the bike track at 3 p.m., the time the coroner estimated that the vicitm had been murdered. The observant police officer had written down its number from its registration label because the car had no plates.
Randall Woodfield - In March 1981, police investigating a shooting death in Beaverton, Oregon encountered Woodfield, who was a casual acquaintance of the victim. Citing his history of sexual assault, police searched his home and found evidence linking him to the murder, as well as the attempted murders of two young women.
Randy Steven Kraft - Arrested by Sterling for driving while intoxicated, the patrolman found the strangled body of a boy in the car.
Richard Angelo - One patient, Gerolamo Kucich, caught him. Kucich saw a bearded man put something into his IV, and he managed to reach for his call button before he succumbed.
Richard Chase – After his final kill, he left perfect hand prints and foot prints in blood and was apprehended.
Richard Ramirez – After a his mug shots were broadcast on national television and printed on the cover of every major newspaper in California he was caught by angry residents and the police were called.
Robert Berdella - April 2, 1988, a man jumped from the second floor window of Berdella's house wearing nothing but a dog collar. Police were called, the house searched, he was arrested.
Robert Black - caught July 1990, after he abducted a six-year-old girl. A man recognized the van and called police. The girl was found bound and gagged in the back of the van.
Robert Hansen – was caught when a woman he was trying to capture ran right into the police.
Robert Lee Yates - Caught after he tried to abduct a boy from a Camas movie theater.
Robert Picton - On February 5, 2002, the police executed a search warrant for illegal firearms at the property owned by Robert Pickton and his two siblings. He was taken into custody, and the police then obtained a second court order to search the farm once they discovered personal items belonging to one of the missing women.
Sante Kimes – (and her son Kenney)Kimes and her son, Kenneth, were arrested on a warrant for using a bad check to buy a car.
Ted Bundy - Bundy's Volkswagen car aroused suspicion in Salt Lake City and on August 16, 1976 a police stop found a number of suspect items in the vehicle's trunk. Among the things found were an ice-pick, ski mask, crowbar and a large number of tools. At first, investigators believed they had captured a burglar, but a subsequent search of Bundy's apartment found brochures and maps for places in Colorado where victims had been murdered. A test revealed a match between hairs in Bundy's apartment and hairs found at the murder scene of Melissa Smith. A witness who saw Bundy's photograph then came forward to put him near the scene of a crime in Snowmass, Colorado the previous year.
Thomas Neill Cream – A doctor, he was caught when he tried to frame innocent doctors for his crimes.
Vaclav Mrazek – Caught in March 1957 during a house inspection following a theft in the Libusin mine, where he was working as a spa staff attendant.
Vincent Johnson - fingered by another homeless man who was suspected of being the killer. The man was cleared because his DNA did not match, but he identified Johnson as a possible suspect and called officers when he saw him crossing the Williamsburg bridge.
Wayne Adam Ford – turned himself in.
Westley Allan Dodd - the law finally caught up with him after he botched an attempt to abduct another unnamed boy.
William Bonin - a young man in custody for car theft told the police he would give them the Freeway Killer if they would give him a break on the car theft.
William Suff – arrested after a routine traffic stop.
Serial killers in Pop culture
by Stephen W. Roberts
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Serial killers in contemporary American culture is namely inspired by the convergence of two basic desires, that being violence and stardom. We as people desire notoriety, though most often this concept is unattainable. There lies a certain need within all of us to be noticed; be it by those whom we love and admire or by the world as a whole. This is a concept that every successful actor, musician, novelist, artist and serial killer have in common. They all longed to smile for the camera.
The elusive creature known as the serial killer has captured the attention of American culture. With the popular press churning out dozens of books and movies centered around the serial killer each year, the term has almost become a catch-phrase, replacing earlier terms such as 'homicidal maniac.' Fiction writers and the movie industry use 'serial killer' in such casual manners that it’s almost as if serial killers were either foreign to the American lifestyle or in fact fictitious themselves.
Serial killers do exist and Americans have perfected the art.
It cannot be denied that the serial killer kills. Killing, however, integrates a variety of meanings. A mere slip of the hand on the steering wheel can turn a normal person into a killer. And it is conceivable that a second such happening could turn an otherwise normal person into a serial killer of sorts.
I, for one do not recommend becoming a serial killer as to obtain some sort of celebrity status, but is it unconceivable that some may have already done this in history?
Perhaps it wasn’t forethought, but did most of them not bask in the glory of the hunt; knowing that the news would report on them, knowing cops could come for them and knowing reporters would take their pictures upon capture?
Just think of the book deals, movie deals and admiration from your peers and fans alike as you become the next flavor of the month in Hollywood. It’s enough to make a person sick, though perhaps it’s also enough to make a person kill.
If you’re a fan of pop culture then you’ll likely believe these all to be true or at least have heard of these clichés from time to time:
· Most Serial killers are white males in their late 20s to early 30s.
· Serial killers are always sexually motivated and always hunt the same kind of victim and murder them symbolically in the same fashion.
· All serial killers are methodical outside-of-the-box thinkers and require a special kind of person to track them.
· Serial killers are immoral and often are loners.
· Serial killers like to torture animals in their young age as they fantasize about the acts they’ll commit later in life.
· All serial killers wet the bed as children.
· Serial killers are pyromaniacs.
· They always follow the investigation and even taunt the police.
· Serial killers target veteran detectives to play cat and mouse with throughout the investigation.
· They always leave a signature
· Serial killers kill alone
· They prefer to kill up close and personal
· There are less active today than in the 80s and 90s
· Jack the ripper is the oldest documented serial killer
· Aileen Wuornos is the first female serial killer
· The green river killer holds the record for most slain by one individual
· The zodiac killer was never identified
· Movies like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre are based ENTIRELY on actual events.
· All serial killers are psychopaths
· They all possess some deep seeded motive linked to their unhappy childhoods
· All serial killers want to be caught for publicity, though never feel remorse
Now though some of this may be true some of the time, none of it is factually flawless 100% of the time. Serial killers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. They make birth on every continent and can even be children.
Regarding motives, they can be placed into five different categories, although there may be some serial killers that seem to have characteristics of more than one type.
Contrary to popular opinion, serial killers are rarely insane or motivated by hallucinations and/or voices in their heads. Many claim to be, usually as a way of trying to get acquitted by reason of insanity. There are, however, a few genuine cases of serial killers who were compelled by such delusions.
Herbert Mullin killed 13 people after voices told him that murder was necessary to prevent California from suffering an earthquake. Mullin went to great pains to point out that California did indeed avoid an earthquake during his murder spree.
Ed Gein claimed that by eating the corpses of women who looked like his deceased mother, he could preserve his mother's soul inside his body. He killed two women who bore passing resemblances to his mother, eating one and being apprehended while in the process of preparing the second woman's body for consumption. He also used the flesh of exhumed female corpses to fashion a "woman suit" (as well as various other household adornments, such as curtains and lamp shades) for himself so that he could "become" his mother. After his arrest he was placed in a mental facility for the remainder of his life.
So-called missionary killers believe that their acts are justified on the basis that they are getting rid of a certain type of person (often prostitutes or members of a certain ethnicity), and thus doing society a favor. Gary Ridgway and Aileen Wuornos are often described as missionary killers. In Wuornos' case, the victims were not prostitutes, but their patrons. Missionary killers differ from other types of serial killer in that their motive is generally non-sexual.
This type kills for the sheer pleasure of it, although what aspect they enjoy varies. Yang Xinhai's post-capture statement is typical of such killers' attitudes: "When I killed people I had a desire sexual excitement. This inspired me to kill more. I don't care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern"
Some killers may enjoy the actual "chase" of hunting down a victim more than anything, while others may be primarily motivated by the act of torturing and abusing the victim while they are alive. Yet others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, may kill the victim quickly, almost as if it were a chore, and then indulge in necrophilia or cannibalism with the body. Usually there is a strong sexual aspect to the crimes, even if it may not be immediately obvious, but some killers obtain a surge of excitement that is not necessarily sexual, such as David Berkowitz, who got a thrill out of shooting young couples in cars at random and then running away without ever physically touching the victims.
Most criminals who commit multiple murders for material ends (such as mob hit men) are not classed as serial killers, because they are motivated by economic gain rather than psychopathological compulsion. There is a fine line separating such killers, however. For example, Marcel Petiot, who operated in Nazi-occupied France, could be classified as a serial killer. He posed as a member of the French Resistance and lured wealthy Jewish people to his home, claiming he could smuggle them out of the country. Instead he murdered them and stole their belongings, killing 63 people before he was finally caught. Although Petiot's primary motivation was materialistic, few would deny that a man willing to kill so many people simply to acquire a few dozen suitcases of clothes and jewelry was a compulsive killer and psychopath.
Power and control
This is the most common serial killer. Their main objective for killing is to gain and exert power over their victim. Such killers are sometimes abused as children, which means they feel powerless and inadequate, and often they indulge in rituals that are linked, often very specifically, to forms of abuse they suffered themselves. Many power/control-motivated killers sexually abuse their victims, but they differ from hedonistic killers in that rape is not motivated by lust but as simply another form of dominating the victim.
The above seems to cover the basics of motives for a serial killer, though it’s important for one to recognize that the fantasies involved could call for one or many variations of the above options.
No researcher, or writer, or even the FBI, however, has managed to make what now seems like a simple connection in the serial killer. It is well known that fantasy plays a large role in the life and motivation of the serial killer. And it is also widely accepted that the serial killer uses fantasy as a crutch, as a coping mechanism for day-to-day life. No researcher, however, has synthesized these two facts into a far more intriguing thesis. The serial killer, much like the chronic gambler and problem drinker, is addicted to the use of fantasy. So strong is this compulsion that the serial killer murders to preserve the addiction, in essence preserving his only remaining coping mechanism.
If being a serial killer is an addiction to fantasy, then what sets them apart from actors and fiction writers?
Do they not all live for the next fictitious thrill?
If this simplistic addiction is the cause of a serial killer, then why is one person able to pursue a live of addiction and gain fame and fortune, when others falls victim to their victims and go to prison…the answer is a choice. Serial killers may be compelled to act upon their addiction, but they alone make the choice to commit murder. Murderers decide to commit murder. So then, if by this recognition of a serial killer could we not be reading the next best seller written by Theodore Bundy about a serial killer named Stephen King?
In my opinion, this is true.
Every living being possesses the ability to commit evil acts and even though some of us are addicts, not all of us decide to commit murder to secure the continual existence of our fantasies.
In closing, I’d like to add that I DO NOT advocate any actions neither by or in interest of serial killers, nor do I suggest that anybody reading this should go out and become a serial killer for the fame, though I’m also not suggesting you become an actor or a novelist to maintain an addiction. Take from this what you will, acknowledge that the media has built up the serial killer as high as they have the rock star to sell merchandise and know that your life is solely in your hands…at least most of the time.
Why Serial Killers Kill – Some Theories
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
When considering the question of why, we have to consider that some serial killers do kill just because they want to. In most cases, there isn't a clear cut reason, and so I haven't delved into the reasons of, wanting to kill, power and thrill as a motivation, criminal enterprise, ideology (one who would kill to further the goals and ideas of an individual or group, terrorist groups).
From the Behavioral Analysis Unit-2, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Critical Incident Response Group, Federal Bureau of Investigation:Serial Murder — Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators:
• Predisposition to serial killing, much like other violent offenses, is biological, social, and psychological in nature, and it is not limited to any specific characteristic or trait.
• The development of a serial killer involves a combination of these factors, which exist together in a rare confluence in certain individuals. They have the appropriate biological predisposition, molded by their psychological makeup, which is present at a critical time in their social development.
• There are no specific combinations of traits or characteristics shown to differentiate serial killers from other violent offenders.
• There is no generic template for a serial killer.
• Serial killers are driven by their own unique motives or reasons.
• Serial killers are not limited to any specific demographic group, such as their sex,
age, race, or religion.
• The majority of serial killers who are sexually motivated erotized violence during development. For them, violence and sexual gratification are inexplicably intertwined
in their psyche.
• More research is needed to identify specific pathways of development that produce serial killers.
Attendees at the Serial Murder Symposium agreed that there is no generic profile of a serial murderer. Serial killers differ in many ways, including their motivations for killing and their behavior at the crime scene. However, attendees did identify certain traits common to some serial murderers, including sensation seeking, a lack of remorse or guilt, impulsivity, the need for control, and predatory behavior. These traits and behaviors are consistent with the psychopathic personality disorder. Attendees felt it was very important for law enforcement and other professionals in the criminal justice system to understand psychopathy and its relationship to serial murder.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder manifested in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation, intimidation, and occasionally violence to control others, in order to satisfy their own selfish needs. Although the concept of psychopathy has been known for centuries, Dr. Robert Hare led the modern research effort to develop a series of assessment tools, to evaluate the personality traits and behaviors attributable to psychopaths.
Why Serial killers kill is the question most people want to know, and it's also the reason that there are so many theories. We want a logical explanation of a thing that is completely illogical. Add to that the fact that we use actual serial killer interviews to try and get the answer, and well, you get the point, we don't know why but, as I pointed out, there are theories.
Abuse and Neglect
If you have read a lot of serial killer bios, then these terms have to be very familiar to you. This tells us that the FBI is right about childhood, and something lacking there very well may be most of the 'why' answer. Many children grow up neglected and abused, but do not become violent criminals or serial killers. Many serial killers came from normal families. Not everyone will fall under this umbrella.
I could say the above and leave it at that, because I know everyone reading this knows what a 'normal' childhood is, right? Probably not. From the list below, you can see what abnormal is:
Gary Heidnik, 3 years old, didn't clean his room properly; Father hung him by his feet out of a 3rd story window
7 years old Henry Lee Lucas, mother made him go to school dressed like a girl. Mother's lover beat him when his teacher gave him a pair of shoes and at 10 years old showed him how to kill animals and then have sex with them
Danny Rolling was 6 months old when his father kicked him into a wall, 1 year old when his father beat him when he crawled funny, 6-8 years old father beat him twice a week, 13 years old; father handcuffed him to his brother, beat them and left them outside.
1 year old Robert Garrow's father made him kneel for hours in the corner, 2 years old his mother split his head open with a crowbar during a beating, 5 years old he was knocked unconscious when mother hit him in the head with a piece of wood. 6 years old when he was beaten unconscious by his father, and made to wear his sister's bloomers out to play.
Joel Rifkin's father committed suicide in 1987 and the killing spree started two years after that.
Albert DeSalvo was sold into slavery by his father.
Ed Kemper's mother locked him in the closet numerous times.
Bobby Jo Long's mother had frequent sex with men in the same room that Bobby Jo slept in and then the men were abusive to him.
Gary Ridgway had a domineering mother who constantly yelled at their father and controlled Ted completely, and was never pleased with what he did.
Albert Fish - several of his family members had mental health problems. After his father’s death, he was put in an orphanage by his mother and he was whipped at the orphanage frequently
Herman Webster Mudgett – Dr. H. H. Holmes father was very strict and often bullied his son. He had a well-known fear of the local doctor’s office and due to this; other students in his school would often force him to touch human skeletons. What was meant to be a scare turned out to be a fascination, which led to him stealing corpses while in medical school.
Andrei Chikatilo He shared a bed with his mother and Chikatilo and often wet said bed, for which he was beaten. His mother told her children that his brother was eaten by starving villagers.
Bruce George Peter Lee - The son of a prostitute, Lee was brought up in children’s homes and suffered from congenital spastic disabilities in his right limbs, which left him with a limp in his right leg and a compulsion to hold his right arm across his chest.
Ted Bundy - born to an unwed mother, who later moved in with her parents, and assumed the role of sister to her son.
Michael Wayne McGray's father was a violent alcoholic and used to beat animals and encourage his son to do the same.
Peter Kurten, when his father was drunk used to force his wife to have sex in front of their children.
Cary Stayner - his younger brother, Steven, was kidnapped by a child molester Kenneth Parnell in 1972 and held captive for more than seven years before escaping and being reunited with his family. Stayner would later say he felt neglected as his parents grieved over the loss of Steven.
Carlton Gary was malnourished and abused.
Cayetano Santos Godino's father was an alcoholic physical abuser who suffered from syphilis. Cayetano attended several child-care organizations when he was between five and ten but always ended up ousted.
Charles Ng as a child was harshly disciplined by his father at every opportunity.
Danny Rolling - father, a police officer, was abusive to both him and his mother, and later his brother, Kevin. Claudia Rolling made repeated attempts to leave her husband, but always returned.
David Koresh described his early childhood as lonely, saying that the other kids teased him and called him "Vernie". As a young boy, he was abused by his stepfather. A poor student because of dyslexia, Koresh dropped out of high school.
Dennis Nilsen father was an alcoholic and his parents divorced when he was four years old. His mother remarried and sent her son to his grandparents, but after a couple of years he was sent back to his mother again.
Dorothea Puente - both parents abused her, and she often had to scavenge for food. Puente's father died when she was four.
Ed Gein's father was a violent alcoholic who was frequently unemployed. His mother blocked any attempt he made to pursue friendships. Besides school, he spent most of his time doing chores on the farm. Augusta, who was fanatically religious, drummed into her boys the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drink, and the belief that all women (herself excluded) were whores. According to Augusta, the only acceptable form of sex was solely for procreation.
Gerald Eugene Stano - His natural mother neglected him to such an extent that when she finally gave him up for adoption when he was six months old, county doctors declared him unadoptable because he was functioning at what they described as "an animalistic level". He was eventually adopted, however, by Norma Stano, a nurse, who renamed him Gerald Eugene Stano.
Henry Lee Lucas described his mother, Viola Lucas, as a violent prostitute. His father, Anderson Lucas, was an alcoholic and former railroad employee who had lost his legs in a train accident, and who suffered from Viola's wrath as often as his son. She regularly beat him and his half-brother. He once spent three days in a coma when his mother hit his head with a plank of wood, and on many occasions he was forced by his mother to watch her have sex with men. Lucas described an incident when he was given a mule as a gift by his father's friends, only to see his mother shoot and kill it.
Jerry Brudos - His mother had wanted a girl, and often ignored and belittled him.
Jesse Pomeroy, his father was extremely abusive to him and his brother, often taking them to their wood shed where he stripped them naked and beat them severely.
John Reginald Halliday Christie was abused by his father and dominated by his mother and sisters.
John George Haigh parents, John and Emily, were members of the Plymouth Brethren. He was confined to living within a 10ft fence that his father put up around their garden to lock out the outside world. Haigh would later claim he suffered from recurring religious nightmares in his childhood.
John Wayne Gacy - His father was an alcoholic who described Gacy as a "sissy" and who physically abused Gacy's mother.
Joseph Paul Franklin is believed to have suffered an abusive childhood at the hands of both his violent parents.
Jurgen Bartsch's adoptive mother, who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, was fixated on cleanliness. He was not permitted to play with other children, lest he became dirty. This continued into adulthood - his mother personally bathed him until he was 19.
Mary Bell's mother Betty was a prostitute who was often absent from the family home, traveling to Glasgow to work. Accounts from family members suggest strongly that Betty had attempted to kill Mary and make her death look accidental more than once during the first few years of her life. Mary herself says she was subject to repeated sexual abuse, her mother forcing her to engage in sex acts with men from the age of five.
Michael Ross - his mother, who had abandoned the family at least once and had been institutionalized, beat all four of her children, saving the worst for him. Some family and friends have suggested that he was also molested by his teenaged uncle, who committed suicide when Ross was six.
Myra Hindley - She was believed to have been beaten by her alcoholic father, Bob Hindley, a paratrooper in the RAF during World War II, who was also alleged to have been violent towards her mother Nellie.
Ottis Elwood Toole - his father left the family when Toole was young. He claimed his mother was a religious fanatic, and that his sister dressed him in girl's clothes. Toole also claimed his grandmother was a Satanist who exposed him to various practices and rituals in his youth.
Patrick Kearney, a thin and sickly child, became a target for bullies at school. In his teens, he became withdrawn and fantasized about killing people. His mother, a prostitute with 13 children, caught him fondling his younger sister in 1957 when he was eight years old.
Richard Chase - An apparent victim of abuse at the hands of his mother, Chase exhibited by the age of 10 what is known in psychiatric circles as the "triad" of the early signs of a serial killer: He wet the bed, he started fires, and he tortured animals.
Richard Ramirez - his father, Julian, brought his children up with strict Catholic beliefs. Not shy of physical punishment, Julian Ramirez would beat his kids if they got into trouble as a way of discipline. Richard usually escaped, spending nights at a nearby cemetery. His father's temper was so bad that he once hit himself over the head with a hammer until he bled.
Robert Hansen as a child was small and sickly with perpetual acne and a severe stutter and spent much of his early life as a loner and a target for bullying from his peers and his strict, domineering father.
Robert Lee Yates - As a six-year old boy, Yates was allegedly molested repeatedly by an older neighbor boy. His father later described him as being "moody and violent" as a teenager.
Rod Ferrell - his grandfather raped him when he was 5. Rod also claimed that as a young child, he was exposed to occult rituals and human sacrifices, and was introduced to the "Dungeons & Dragons" role-playing game.
Robert Black - Locals and neighbors report that Black was often frequently and heavily bruised during his childhood, and acquaintances from primary school say he was "a bit of a loner but with a tendency to be bullied".
William Bonin - His father was a compulsive gambler and alcoholic, and his mother frequently left Bonin and his brother in the care of their grandfather, a convicted child molester.
Stewart Wilken alias ‘Boetie Boer'. He had been sexually abused during his childhood.
Henry Louis Wallace – They forced him and his sister to beat each other with a switch. His mother and sister would parade him around the neighborhood dressed as a girl. He witnessed a gang rape at the age of seven.
Joseph Kallinger was adopted by sadistic parents, who disciplined the young boy with hammers and cat-o'-nine tails. After a hernia operation his stepmother told the 6-year-old that the surgery was to keep his penis from growing. She would also hold his open hand over a flame until his skin began to smolder.
Jeffery Dahmers mother was a hysterical hypochondriac who spent most of her life in bed popping pills.
Brain Damage perhaps caused by head injuries
The prefrontal cortex is 29% of the brain and acts as a controlling mechanism for anger and aggression. The trademark of all social primates is a highly developed frontal brain, and human beings have the largest one of all. Damage causes this to stop working, perhaps allowing people to become murderers and cannibals.
Serial killers who had head injuries:
Paul Charles Denyer
Bobby Joe Long
Earle Leonard Nelson
Henry Lee Lucas
William Burke and William Hare
For Profit Serial Killers
The Motives of Female Serial Killers
Drugs, cult involvement, cover up, or feelings of inadequacy (24%)
Belle Sorenson Gunness
K D Kempamma alias Mallika
Aileen Carol Wuornos
Mary Ann Cotton
Dr. Harold Shipman
Maria Catherina Swanenburg
Blanche Taylor Moore
Margie Velma Barfield
Henry Louis Wallace
Although it's hard to put everyone who had a domineering mother into a category that says they killed because of the relationship that they had with the mother, there are a lot of them that did have strange relationships with that parent. Many of the mothers of serial killers were highly controlling, overbearing or overprotective of their sons. Since some serial killers kill women who have more than just a passing resemblance to their mother, this theory is very popular.
In the 1980's, a study was done of convicted sex-murderers by the FBI. In that study they found that 47% didn't have a father present throughout most or all of their childhood, and of those that did have fathers present, 71% reported that their mother was the dominant parent.
Some of those serial killers who had obvious strange relationships include:
Ed Gein – he might have actually killed his brother to be more alone with his mother.
Edmund Kemper – mother was domineering, he preyed on women who looked like her. He killed his mother.
Henry Lee Lucas killed his mother.
Joseph Kallinger (he's in the abuse list above)
Kenneth Bianchi (he's in the abuse list above)
Arthur Shawcross was obsessed with pleasing his critical mother
Jeffery Dahmers mother was a hysterical hypochondriac who spent most of her life in bed popping pills.
Bobby Jo Long (he's in the abuse list above)
Gary Ridgway (he's in the abuse list above)
Gerald Eugene Stano
John Reginald Halliday Christie
Joseph Paul Franklin
Ottis Elwood Toole
Wallace Joseph Kallinger
A list of names that fall into this category of theory isn't' even required for this theory, just saying that all serial killers have fantasies that they are trying to fulfill when they kill will suffice. In a study of 36 serial killers, 28 of them started daydreaming in early childhood. While daydreaming in itself isn't a harmful thing as everyone has done it, cultivating those dreams and fantasies and reliving them over and over again before going out and murdering people is. For a serial killer in the making, it is often like an addiction. He fantasizes his crimes over and over before he actually commits it. Those fantasies are also used as a coping mechanism for a day-to-day-life. As soon as they are no any longer sufficient to satisfy his needs, he will start living them out.
False start: The Beginning of Ted Bundy
By Bill Dixon
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
"I grew up in a wonderful home, with two dedicated and loving parents and one of five brothers and sisters." These were some of Ted Bundy's last words before his execution.
Bundy was executed at 7:06 a.m. local time on January 24, 1989, by electric chair at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida. Ted Bundy was born Theodore Robert Cowell to Eleanor Louise Cowell on November 24, 1946, at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vermont. Eleanor was just 22-years-old at the time of his birth. This is where the mystery of Ted Bundy began.
The true identity of his maternal father still remains unsolved. Ted's birth certificate lists "Lloyd Marshall" as his father. Eleanor changed her story on the father of Ted to that of being seduced by an Air Force veteran by the name of "Jack Worthington". This may have been some think, because Lloyd Marshall wanted nothing to do with a child born out of wedlock.
Once brought home Ted's life took an unexpected turn. Eleanor's parents Samuel and Eleanor Cowell were strict Methodists, and out of fear of their daughter being victim to social stigmatization for raising a bastard child would claim him as their own son, by pretending to have adopted Ted, leaving him to believe his mother was an older sister. It has also been said by many looking for some rhyme or reason by validate his later actions, and by some who have been biographers that, Samuel Cowell may have fathered Ted out of an incestuous relationship with Eleanor.
Ted would be quoted as loving his grandfather, which he thought was his father, but later described him as having a mild taste for pornography and being at time quick-tempered. In later interviews Ted would also claim his grandfather had hated African-Americans, Italians, Catholics, and Jews. Beat the family dog and swung neighborhood cats by their tails. Little is known about Lloyd Marshall than his possible birth year being 1916 and being born in rural Massachusetts. Even less is known of Jack Worthington, which Ted's family believes is a story Eleanor had fabricated, furthering the belief that Samuel Cowell could in fact be Ted's real father.
When Ted was 3 years old he had an encounter with his 15 year old aunt. Ted had lifted the sheet of her bed as she slept and placed three knives, each facing her, on her bed. In a later interview she was quoted as saying: "He just stood there and grinned. I shooed him out of the room and took the implements back down to the kitchen and told my mother about it. I remember thinking at the time that I was the only one who thought it was strange. Nobody did anything." Could this have been a warning of things to come?
In 1950 his mother, who still claimed to be an older sister, moved herself and her son to the West Coast, settling in Tacoma, Washington. Once there, she changed Ted's name from Cowell establishing him as Theodore Robert Nelson. The reason she changed surnames is uncertain. In 1951, a year after their move, Eleanor, who was employed as a church secretary, met Johnny Culpepper Bundy at an adult singles night held at Tacoma's First Methodist Church. On May 19th of that year, the couple was married, and soon after Johnny accepted and adopted Ted, legally changing his last name to "Bundy".
Ted and his step-father had never formed a close bond. Johnny attempted to include him on father-son activities. These attempts were met unsuccessfully and Ted and he never struck an emotional attachment. It's said that Ted became increasingly uncomfortable with these attempts and ultimately preferred to be left alone. Eleanor was still deeply devoted to him. It was around this time Ted started wondering and became confused about his relationship between them. He reportedly alternately referred to Eleanor as his mother and his sister.
Nobody is certain of when Ted unraveled the mystery of his birth because he gave several conflicting stories about it. He was ashamed of his family's lower-class status, once stating he was embarrassed to be seen in his family car a Rambler station wagon. He fantasized as a child of being adopted by then TV cowboy Roy Rogers. Ted envied and wished to live with his great uncle Jack who was a university music professor in Tacoma and had a grand piano in his home, a sign of wealth and social dominance he craved.
Ted slept in bed with his mother and stepfather until they put a stop to it on his 8th birthday. He felt threatened by the birth of his four brothers and sisters. Nothing indicates that Ted grew up in anything other than a nurturing and loving family, or that he was treated differently from his siblings. Although Ted's mother expressed that as her first born she was especially attentive to Ted. His stepfather was said to have had a short temper. There were no claims that Ted was abused by his stepfather despite his tempter.
Classmates from public school often remembered Ted as a popular, intelligent, happy child with a great academic record, and many friends. Once Ted hit high school he is said to have lost confidence and become somewhat socially retarded, he would later state. He was no longer as popular as he was in junior high and often had trouble not only with girls but meeting new people overall. He felt alienated from his junior high friends as if they had somehow moved on socially and he had been left behind. Having felt he has not learned the appropriate social behaviors he wondered if perhaps there was something wrong with him genetically. He claimed there were no role models at home to help him develop these skills.
In spring of 1966 Ted met who would be the love of his life Stephanie Brooks. She was ahead of him in school at the University of Washington, elegant, tall, and beautiful, with long dark hair parted down the middle, something Ted's victims would share. She was from a wealthy San Francisco family, the kind of family Ted wished he were from and aspired to be in. Ted went to great lengths to impress and romance her. Once borrowing a friend's car, preparing a gourmet meal with crystal and china plates and silverware.
For his second year of university Ted left the University of Puget Sound and transferred to University of Washington to be closer to her. In spring of 1967 Stephanie graduated from UW and had begun to grow tired of Ted. They remained a couple long enough for Bundy to transfer again, this time to Stanford University in the fall of 1968. Once there the relationship grew increasingly sour until Stephanie broke it off. Ted's tendency toward manipulation had ruined the relationship. Bundy soon dropped out of Stanford, reportedly devastated.
Ted never got over the break-up. Nothing seemed to hold his interest he eventually dropped out, depressed and upset over the break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing Stephanie after she returned to California; she remained to seem uninterested in getting back together with Ted. She was an obsession that would span his life and spark the events that would shock the world.
The Trial of Ted Bundy
By Steph Arena
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
On June 25th 1979, Theodore Robert Bundy went to trial for the second time. This time in Miami, Florida after a change of venue. The charges related to the attacks and murders of the Florida University Chi Omega sorority students.
The opening prosecution statement – a low key presentation, based on fact and unemotional was made by Larry Simpson.
Bundy was not happy at all with his attorneys. On July 20th, the first day of defense, he addressed Judge Edward Cowart and claimed the attorneys were inadequate.He placed the blame largely on Mike Minerva, for dropping out of the case without warning. He now said that Minerva had “the most experienced courtroom presence in this case”. He neglected to mention that he had asked Minerva to leave in the first place.He stated that he disliked his defense team as a whole, he had had no choice in the selection of Bob Haggard to represent him in Miami and that he had not been asked at any time his opinion about who should be representing him in the public defender’s office.He also stated that he thought it was important to note that there were communication problems between himself and his attorneys, which had reduced his defense. The defense which was not his or sanctioned by him, nor one that he could say he agreed with. He complained that his lawyers had ignored his own input in the case and would not let him make decisions. He also claimed they were stubbornly refusing him the right to cross examine witnesses before the jury.
In addition, although Millard Farmer’s name was not mentioned, the implication was clear that Bundy wanted the record to show he had not had his attorney of choice.
Judge Cowart was astounded and stated that he knew of no case he had seen or experienced where an individual had received the quality and quantity of counsel Bundy had Cowart stated that he had never seen anything like what had happened in the defense of Ted’s case. Not in twenty seven years at the bar.
Bundy remained insistent. Yet again he stated that he wanted to take over his own defense. Cowart consented. However, he warned him that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. From then on, Bundy was in charge and his attorneys were merely “advisors”. Ed Harvey questioned the defense witnesses however. Harvey, again trying to save his client, asked for another competency hearing. He stated:
“A man’s life is at stake. He shouldn’t be forced to take the service of public lawyers whom he has no confidence in. His conduct has revealed the debilitating effects of his mental disorder by reflecting a total lack of insight regarding the disorder and it’s effects on him, by reflecting a wholly inadequate ability to consult with the lawyers about the case.”
Danny McKeever opposed the competency hearing, claiming:
“The man is difficult to work with. He’s almost cunning the way he works against his attorneys sometimes. But he is competent.”
This pleased Ted Bundy. To him, anything was better than being considered incompetent.
Judge Cowart felt he was competent too and a compromise was worked out as the trial reached it’s ending.
It is not known whether Ted Bundy’s deliberate rocking of the defense team’s shaky platform was a move of his to attract more attention of whether it was indeed proof that he was no longer in control. He continued to rebel against his attorneys and remained angry that he was not allowed more control. He stated:
“I’ve tried to be nice. We’re speaking more to a problem attorneys have in giving up power. Maybe we’re dealing with a problem of professional psychology, where attorneys are so jealous of the power they exercise in the courtroom, they’re afraid to share it with the defendant. They are so insecure in their own skill and experience that they are afraid that anybody else might know as much as they do, or can at least participate in the planning process.”
Cowart commented mildly that Ted’s attorneys had passed their bar exams and graduated from law school.
In truth however, Ted Bundy’s defense team were not that experienced. Judge Cowart had helped them frequently in phrasing questions. A lot of their cross-examinations were tedious, dull and went nowhere. Ted Bundy’s trial had already been marked as mediocre, and only the judge was a success story. If Bundy had worked with his attorneys however, instead of against them, he may have had an adequate defense at least. They had after all succeeded in banning the “fantasy tape”, the panty-hose mask, his former record and his escape. They may have been able to actually save him, if he had allowed them to.
There were two pieces of crucial evidence during the trial. Those were :
• Nita Neary identifying Ted Bundy in court as the man she saw leaving the Chi Omega house as she arrived home on the night of the murders.
• The plaster casts of Bundy’s teeth were an exact match as the bite marks on Lisa Levy’s left buttock.
Bundy’s cross-examination of Roy Crew - the FSU officer on the scene at Chi Omega, was inept. He pushed Crew hard to describe the scene in graphic detail, as if determined to impress upon the jury, the awfulness of the crime.
When Coral Gables dentist, Dr. Richard Souviron took the stand, Bundy took a backseat. He knew that this could kill him.
Lisa Levy had sustained bite marks to her left buttock. When photos were compared to blow ups of Ted’s mouth, Souviron was able to show similarities. Prosecutor Simpson asked whether or not Souviron was able to tell them if Ted had made the marks and Souviron stated yes. This was the first time there was any physical evidence to link Ted to a murder victim.
Defender Ed Harvey was quick to try and undermine this setback. Asking Souviron if analyzing bite marks was or was not both part art and part science. Souviron agreed that it was. Harvey then asked whether or not Souviron’s conclusions were a matter of opinion. Again, the dentist agreed, but the damage was already done.
This evidence dealt a large blow to the defense team and they never recovered from it. Bundy, who had been eager to play the advocate, then declined to testify on his own behalf.
He did however call his investigator, Joe Aloi to the stand in the absence of the jury. He was attempting to bring forth any type of physical evidence that would shatter the accuracy of Souviron’s adamancy about the teeth marks being his.Bundy claimed that the chip in one of his front teeth had not even been there at the time of the Chi Omega murders.
Aloi identified the photographs that had been sent to him by Chuck Dowd – the managing editor of “The Tacoma News Tribune”, - Ted’s hometown paper. The pictures that represented a chronological sequence of events, since Bundy’s first arrest in Utah.
Bundy asked what the purpose of enlarging the photographs that Aloi was attempting to obtain in chronological order was. Aloi stated that he had received information from Mr. Gene Miller of The Miami Herald concerning a seminar about whether the characteristic had occurred. Bundy then asked what characteristic that was.
“This is concerning one of the two front teeth – I don’t know all the names, and I was concerned about this chip on the front of the tooth, and whether it was or was not there and whatever specific times we could document some of the photographs in evidence to depict that this particular tooth was in very good condition at certain times. And of course, at other times when Dr. Souviron had taken his samples from you if the tooth was in a different condition.” Aloi responded.
Bundy asked Aloi what the photo blow-ups had revealed. An objection was sustained and Judge Cowart coached the defendant-defense attorney himself. He told him he might ask Aloi if he was able to accomplish discovery of the teeth in different conditions.
“Try it that way and see if I object,” were the Judge’s words. To which, Bundy responded by saying the court was always right. Cowart demurred by saying it wasn’t always.
Bundy then asked as Aloi the same question, in the way suggested by Cowart. Aloi stated that he had not accomplished what he set out to do. When he was asked why he replied by saying:
“The media for legal reasons, and perhaps for other reasons would not be very cooperative.”
He then explained that various newspapers had refused to give their negatives to him. Negatives of pictures of Bundy, smiling. Aloi had not been able to get his hands on any photos of Ted before his arrest in Penascola. Photos that would indicate for certain, that he had no chip in his tooth at that time. Then, Ted changed places and became the witness, questioned by Peggy Good. He stated that he had chipped his tooth in the middle of March, 1978. Two months after the Tallahasee murders.
“I recall I was eating dinner in my cell in the Leon County Jail and I bit down hard. Just like you bite down on a rock or pebble, and I pulled it out, and it was a white piece of tooth. And it just chipped out of my central incisors.”
Danny McKeever then rose and cross-examined Bundy.
“You don’t know what Utah dental records look like do you?” he asked.
“I’ve never seen the dental records themselves,” was Bundy’s reply.
“Would you be surprised to know that those teeth appear to be chipped from the Utah dental records?” (Which they did.) He questioned further.
“Yes, I would” was Bundy’s reply.
After that, Ted called his friend Carole Anne Boone to the stand for the first time. Boone answered Bundy’s questions about her visits to him in the Garfield County Jail in late 1977. He asked whether or not she had visited him and how many times.
“I don’t have my records with me, but I believe I visited with you on six or seven consecutive days. Both in the morning, and in the afternoon. On a few afternoons, we visited in the law library together in the courthouse and then we would walk back together to the jail. About half a block.”
Boone testified that, to her memory Ted had no chip in his teeth at the time of visiting.
Ted continued to argue for a delay, for subpoena that would force the newspapers to hand over the negatives of him.
“I think you’d understand what I’m getting at. If that chip did not occur until early March 1978, a month or two after the Chi Omega crimes and if the state’s odontologists say that space between the two linear abrasions could only have been made by a tooth with a chip or a gap between the two central incisors, then there’s obviously something wrong with the observations made by the state’s odontologists. Our contention all along, Your Honor, is that they have taken my teeth and twisted them every which way but loose to fit,” was the speech he made to Judge Cowart.
This plea was all in vain. Judge Cowart ruled that there would be no rushing out for new evidence on Ted Bundy’s teeth and no subpoenas. Bundy tried to open once again but Cowart intoned by saying ;
“Mr. Bundy you may jump up and down, hang from the chandelier, do anything you want to, but the court has ruled and the case is closed.”
At this, Bundy muttered some things under his breath and Cowart was not amused.
“You impress me not, sir…” he said.
“Well, I suppose the feeling is mutual, Your Honor,” was Ted’s retort.
Larry Simpson rose to give the closing arguments for the prosecution. He spoke in his usual subdued manner for forty minutes. He stated that first degree murder could be committed in the state of Florid in two different ways. One of those ways was by a person who premeditated and thought exactly about what he was going to do and did so. Which, he said had proved to be particular in that case. A premeditated and brutal murder, of two young women sleeping in their beds. The second way he stated, was during the commission of a burglary. Furthermore, the state had also proven a burglary in that case. He said he had asked Nita Neary on the witness stand, whether she recalled the man she saw at the door of the Chi Omega sorority house on the morning of January 15th, 1978. Her exact words were, “Yes, sir. I do.” He asked her if that man was in the courtroom on that day or not and she said that yes, he was and pointed him out. Simpson claimed that in itself was proof of Bundy’s guilt and was sufficient enough to support a conviction in the case.
In addition to that, he continued to add to circumstantial evidence. He mentioned Rusty Gag and Harry Palumbo’s testimonies.The fact that they stated that the defendant in that case had said he thought what he had done was a professional job. Simpson said ; “Ladies and gentlemen, this man recognizes from the morning of these murders that this was a professional job, that no clues had been left. He thought he had gotten away scot free.”
He mentioned the links with the license tag stolen from Randy Ragan’s van, the stolen Volkswagen, Ted’s escape to Penascola and the room wiped clean of prints. He mentioned Ted Bundy’s arrest by Officer David Lee. Ted Bundy had said to David Lee; “ I wish you had killed me. If I run now, will you shoot me?” He questioned why Bundy had said such things to the officer and was adamant that they were the words of a man guilty of the most horrible crimes possible.
He mentioned Patricia Lasko’s testimony which linked the two curly, brown hairs in the pantyhose mask next to Cheryl Thomas’ bed to their source : Ted Bundy’s head itself. Simpson stated that the pantyhose mask came from the man who had committed those crimes. In fact, the hairs from the pantyhose mask came from that man too.
Dr.Souviron’s testimony had been possibly the most damning thing of all. Souiviron’s conclusion was that he was reasonably certain that the bite marks on Lisa Levy’s buttock had been made by Theodore Robert Bundy. When he was asked if it was possible anyone else in the world could have made the marks, he said it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Dr. Lowell Levine – a chief consultant in forensic dentistry to the NY medical examiner had confirmed it, by telling the court that dental identification had been admitted into testimony as far back as the late nineteenth century. When he was asked about the possibility of someone else leaving the bite mark on Lisa Levy, or someone else having teeth that could leave that mark he said it was a practical impossibility.
Simpson ended the speech by claiming more or less that the defense was desperate. He spoke of how Dr. DeVore, the defense expert had told the court how Ted Bundy could have left that same bite mark. Simpson said that the defense had been in a very problematic situation by saying ; “Anytime they’ve got to put a witness on who will say that their man could have committed this crime, they’ve got real problems. And it was a desperate mover – a damned desperate move – that might have succeeded – but did not.”
Peggy Good, then rose to speak for the defense. She had very little to work with or bend to their favour. There were no alibis, no one to claim that they did indeed have an alibi for Bundy. The only thing she had to work with was talk of “reasonable doubt”.
“There is no denying there was a great and horrible tragedy that occurred in Tallahassee on January 15th. True, these four unfortunate women , beaten while sleeping in their beds, were injured, killed. But I ask you not to compound that tragedy by convicting the wrong man when the state’s evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Bundy and no one else, is the person that committed these crimes. How tragic it would be if a man’s life could be taken from him because twelve people thought he was probably guilty, but they were not sure. You must assure yourself that you will not wake up and doubt your decision and wonder if you convicted the wrong man here two weeks after he is dead and gone.
There are basically two ways for the police to investigate a crime. They can go to the crime scene, they can look for clues and they can follow those clues to their logical conclusions and find a suspect. Or they can find the suspect, decide on the suspect and decide to make the evidence fit him and only him.”
She dismissed the introduction of the masses of bloodied sheets and bloody photographs. She pointed out the lack of fingerprint matching and mishandling of evidence. She found Nita Neary’s identification to be faulty claiming;
“She wants to help if she can. And she can’t let herself believe that the man who committed these crimes is still on the street.”
She tried to make Ted’s retreat from Tallahassee look plausible by saying that there were lots of reasons a person may run from the police. She listed one as being afraid you’d be railroaded and being charged with something you didn’t actually do. She stated it was clear Ted Bundy left town because he had no money and was running low on rent.
Good suggested that investigators dealing with Souviron and Levine’s testimonies had found Ted Bundy and matched his teeth to the actual bite, rather than searching for the person who had made the mark itself, stating ;
“If you want to convict the best shell in a confidence game, maybe you’ll accept what Souviron and Levine have to say. It will be a sad day for our system of justice if a man can be convicted in our courts on the quality of the state’s evidence, and you can put a man’s life on the line because they say he has crooked teeth, without any proof that such are unique, without any scientific facts or data base to their conclusions.”
Simpson then spoke again :
“Ladies and gentlemen, the man who committed this crime was smart. This man premeditated this murder. He knew what he was going to do before he did it, and planned it, and prepared himself for it. If there is any question in your mind about that, just look at the pantyhose mask. That is a weapon that was prepared by the perpetrator of this crime. Now, ladies and gentlemen, somebody took the time to make this weapon right here, this instrument that could be used for both – a mask that could hide identity… or also for strangulation.
“Anybody who took the time to do that is not going to leave fingerprints at a crime scene. And there was not a single fingerprint in room 12 at the Oak; the room had been wiped clean!
“Ladies and gentlemen, this man is a professional, just as he told rusty Gage at the Oak back in January, 1978. He’s the kind of man smart enough to stand n the courtroom and move to the end of the bannister and cross-examine witnesses in this case because he thinks he is smart enough to get away with any crime, just like he told Rusty Gage.”
Ted Bundy himself had said nothing at all. Instead, he sat quietly at the defense table, sometimes staring at his hands.
On July 23rd at 2:57 P.M jurors retired to determine whether or not he was guilty. The door was guarded by Dave Watson, the old bailiff. Ted Bundy was returned to his cell in the Dade County Jail an hour later to await the verdict.
At 6.31 P.M Judge Cowart returned to the courtroom as the jury had just one question they wanted to ask. It was whether or not the hairs were found in the pantyhose mask. They were told that said hairs were shaken from the mask.
At 9.20 P.M, astonishingly, the jury had already reached a verdict. As everyone filed back into the courtroom only Foreman Rudolph Treml glanced at Ted Bundy. He then handed the seven slips of paper to Judge Cowart who passed them to the court clerk, Shirley Lewis, who read them aloud.
In less than seven hours the jury, handpicked by Ted Bundy himself, which was made up of kindly, middle-aged women, church-goers and people who didn’t read the newspapers - all found Theodore Robert Bundy guilty as charged, on all accounts. He showed no emotion whatsoever, except for raising his eyebrows and rubbing his chin. When it was over he sighed. His mother, Louise was the one who began to cry again.
Judge Cowart confirmed the sentence and then gave him the verdict :
“It is ordered that you be put to death by a current of electricity, that current be passed through your body until you are dead.”
Even then, Ted Bundy’s natural magnetism didn’t desert him. After passing the sentence Judge Cowart felt moved to add :
“Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself, please. It is an utter tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I've experienced in this courtroom. You're a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer, and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don't feel any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.”
Ted Bundy-American Serial Killer By: Rhiannon Edwards
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
On November 24, 1946, a child was born that would shock the world forever and stand as one of the most prolific serial killers of America. This was Ted Bundy, born Theodore Robert Cowell to Louise Cowell in Vermont.
Ted’s biological father was said to be an air force veteran who was not around for his birth or the extent of Ted’s life, however some speculate that his real father was his grandfather through an atrocious act of incest with Louise. Regardless of the truth, at the time Ted’s mother found it best to move back to Philadelphia, where Ted would be under the impression that his mother was actually his older sister. It is uncertain to say that Ted understood the troubles that were involved with his existence at such a young age, but we do know that it was as young as 3 years old that Ted acted rather strangely. It was at around this age that his aunt recalls incidents of taking naps in her home and waking up “surrounded by knives”, Ted smiling at her side.
Furthermore it is possible that as Ted was heavily exposed to his grandfather, under a more fatherly influence from him, he was able to absorb the violent acts that were said to have taken place around him. His grandfather Samuel apparently was an animal abuser, beating the family dog, and swinging neighborhood cats around by their tails. Interestingly enough, Ted himself had admitted to torturing animals with knives, and such habits could have been imbedded from earlier on.
After moving to Washington, Louise initiated a relationship with a military cook named Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. This would be how Ted accumulated his infamous last name, after the marriage of the two in May of 1951.
As more additions were made to the family, Ted’s stepfather felt that Ted was becoming antisocial and pulling away from the people around him. To remedy this he decided to put in effort to spend more time with Ted, but these attempts were unsuccessful and Ted’s desire to be alone led to issues with his social abilities. Despite this growing problem and it’s part in Ted’s negative youth dealing with his shyness and those who did not accept him, he retained high grades throughout high school and into college. His studies being the focus of his life, he devoted a lot into interests such as politics and psychology, and even when he began to gain in popularity – did not seek out the regularity that others his age were involved with. It would seem at this point that Ted led a rather manageable life in his teen years, despite of the small instances plaguing him. However, this was not exactly the case. As noted by many later on from what had been detailed of his early life, many eerie occurrences began at this time.
This would include his fascination with pornography at age 13, discovering dirty magazines at a dump near his home. Bundy noted later on that he felt this was the primary cause of his descent into murder, and that his general pornographic interests developed into more violent and bloodthirsty needs of torture inflicted to women. Of course when he had gone that far, he reasoned there wasn’t much further he could go in his fantasies, having a craving to bring his morbid desires into reality. This would lead to voyeurism, peeping into windows and fantasizing about the possibilities. It was also during these years that Ted began to involve himself with other criminal activities, he was a habitual liar, and compulsively stole and shoplifted. He was arrested twice as a juvenile. Ann Rule brings up a chilling idea in her book The Stranger Beside Me that perhaps he had acted out on his more murderous impulses at this age as well, noting that a little girl on Bundy’s paper route vanished, never to be found. This girl would usually try to follow Ted around, and so it is not too farfetched to consider that he may have had a role in her disappearance.
Luckily for Ted, nobody had made any major connections in his behavior at this point, and so he continued on with his life – his next change of scenery being his move into college, he attended the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. Bundy led a typical schedule, taking small jobs to get him by. These would be short lived as he was considered unreliable by employers and others around him. School was his first priority, right up until the spring of 1967 when he became involved with a sophisticated young woman who, although was different from Ted in many ways, enjoyed skiing as much as him and through this mutual interest was able to get to know him well. Unfortunately this was not a love that was reciprocated in the way that Bundy would have hoped - this woman being Ted’s first love and possibly his first sexual relationship as well, but the woman being less interested than he was – believing he had no direction in life, and so seeing him as someone who was not husband material. He would continue to make attempts at impressing her, but failing hopelessly and just allowing her to realize moreso that she was not interested. Ted had gone as far as to win a scholarship to Stanford University in California just to show her what he was capable of, but in aiming out of his league, his immaturity was revealed and in 1968 his girlfriend moved on.
Ted did not recover from the breakup, and it had a very negative toll on everything he was involved in. He began to drop all efforts in school and became increasingly depressed. His obsession with her is one of the major factors that played into his future crimes – his victims having a resemblance to this woman.
It seems this was the beginning of an emotional downfall for Bundy, soon after in 1969 he discovered his true parentage, which increased his distaste for his stepfather amongst other things. In some of his weakest times, his psychopathic nature seemed to be exposed more than ever, however the people who saw this were not able to realize it for what it truly was. It is unclear as to whether it would have helped much at this point though, as Ted Bundy was truly immersed in his problematic subconscious, perhaps in too deep to find a way out. It seems that at this time Ted had learned to hide such things and use this ability to his advantage, being capable of putting forth a newfound dominant character about himself and finding appreciation amongst his peers and professors. He was becoming increasingly likeable, and decreasingly suspect of the things he engaged with in secret. Bundy had the façade of putting everything from the past behind him, looking as though he had moved on just like his former lover – and finding a new one in Elizabeth Kendall, whom he would be involved with for nearly five years. Not everything was as it seemed, and this was very apparent to Elizabeth who did indeed love Ted Bundy. It was now that a little role reversal was going on, and Bundy could not provide the affection or appreciation to Elizabeth that he had made such an effort to give to his first love. Ted continued to put off marriage plans and was found to have been visiting his ex girlfriend from California, perhaps in a new attempt to impress her… which seemed to be working this time, much to Elizabeth’s dismay.
Ted had high hopes for the future, he had applied to various law schools and became more involved with politics, working on campaigns and forming powerful bonds with his choice of Republicans. He had been volunteering at the crisis clinic with Ann Rule, and was commended on a particular instance of saving a young boy from drowning. In all areas he seemed to be an amazing individual. This all might have been very true of Bundy’s personality, but does not excuse the sadistic tendencies he had in private, which were hiding underneath the surface waiting to emerge.
In the early 70’s Ted met with his ex girlfriend, which would be the definitive point in showing off his changes to her. She was impressed by his maturity and now sought to get involved with him once again. The meetings they would have would continue to be unknown to Elizabeth. However, in February of 1974, Bundy would get his revenge on his old girlfriend for how she had treated him years prior. After many indications of marriage with her, he suddenly cut off all communication, leaving the woman confused and heartbroken. There would never be an explanation for her. It was closely surrounding this focal point in Ted’s life that he committed his first documented murder.
Very many people later on would remark how, although Ted had his troubles, he was not unlike the average person going through similar life difficulties. In fact Ted seemed to rise above it all, a talented and intelligent man, turning his situation from struggle and disappointment to hope and success. If he could have controlled himself and confronted his issues, sought help at this point... the negative acts he allowed himself to indulge in would have been unnecessary, what would be left for the world was the Ted everyone thought they knew. Someone with a future, contributing to the world in a positive manner. Bundy did contribute to the world in many ways, unfortunately his primary addition being pain and suffering. It is difficult to pinpoint when this man started killing, as he himself has stated that his murderous tendencies came to life earlier on in comparison to the crimes he is known for, as early as 1972 or ‘73. Although we cannot state conclusively who suffered first, such cruelty is often identified to have began in 1974, with 18 year old Joni Lentz. Joni shared a house in Seattle with some roommates, who did not suspect anything out of the ordinary when she didn’t come downstairs in the morning. What they discovered after becoming worried would horrify them. Upon finding her in bed, it seemed she was sleeping, but closer inspection revealed blood. The details were shocking, Joni had been brutally murdered, a bed rod had been broken off and plunged into her vagina, but although the situation seemed fatal – Lentz was still breathing. She managed to survive the attack, but with permanent brain damage.
21 year old Lynda Ann Healy came next, but did not meet the fate of her predecessor. She too shared a house with some schoolmates, and went out with them on January 31st, 1974 for a few drinks. She made it home that night, but the following morning reportedly did not wake up at her usual 5:30 wakeup call, and furthermore was not seen or heard from that day. When the police were called to the scene, it was discovered that Lynda’s bed was not made the way that she would have left it, and some objects such as a pillowcase and sheets were missing, as well as one of her outfits. Blood was found on several items in her room.
In the following months, several similar cases were reported. All of the girls targeted were white, single, slender, and had long straight hair. At this time witnesses also spoke of a strange man they had seen in the areas of focus, he usually wore a cast on his arm or leg and asked for help with his car, a VW Bug. He was seen where two of the girls had disappeared. The police were forming a solid description of the man who had been continuously taking girls, and such a thing was needed in order for them to catch him before he struck again. It seemed unbelievable how easily he had abducted the women up until this point, it was everyone’s hope that he was getting sloppy enough to have himself caught.
In August of 1974, the remains of some of the missing girls were found and some even identified, those being the bodies of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund who had disappeared at the same time in the month prior. The last people to have seen these girls also identified the same description of a man named Ted asking for their help. At this time his description was posted everywhere and was enough to catch the attention of Ted’s girlfriend, who reported him as a possible suspect – this tip was overlooked at the time as the police did not see how someone like Ted Bundy could have committed these crimes.
Just as the authorities had caught on to the pattern of Bundy, he traveled to a different state to claim his next victims. It was mid October in Midvale, Utah when Melissa Smith had been strangled and raped, her body found a little over a week after. It was not very long following this before Laura Aime went missing on Halloween. She had also been raped and sodomized, then beaten with a crowbar. Utah soon caught onto the profile that police in Washington State were assembling, and were eager to consult with them in an effort to make their investigation stronger. Meanwhile Ted had come to the conclusion that by operating in different states, he might elude investigators. His behavior set him at a loss however, as he became too confident in his plans and acted in a bold manner – often having his would-be victims get away from his grasp and later provide the police with even more information.
On November 8th, 1974, Bundy approached Carol DaRonch posing as an officer for the Murray police department of Utah. He had told her that someone attempted to break into her car, and asked that she come with him. They drove for a while until DaRonch became suspicious, at which time Bundy struggled to put handcuffs on her but did not succeed in properly securing her in them. As Bundy was about to strike with his crowbar, DaRonch blocked it from hitting her and then tumbled out into the highway, escaping. A couple driving past stopped for Carol and took her to the police department where she explained the situation and provided a detailed description of the man who tried to kill her, his car, and other aspects of his attempt. Nearly an hour after this incident, Bundy had lurked around the grounds of Viewmont High School where he used a similar gimmick in an attempt to lead drama students out into the parking lot with him. One student, Debby Kent, had disappeared at that location – where the police found a small key which coincidentally unlocked the handcuffs that Carol DaRonch had presented to them as evidence.
While attending law school at the University of Utah, the location of Bundy’s crimes yet again shifted, this time to Colorado. Over a span of four months from January to April, three more women went missing in the area. In early May another girl, Lynette Culver, went missing in Idaho – taken from her Junior High School. Returning to Utah, another girl disappeared in late June. None of these bodies were able to be recovered, and police were still struggling with the enormous list of suspects, but in the process of cross checking – Ted Bundy’s name was now placed in focus. Little did investigators know that they were closer than they had ever been.
The crime that caught Ted Bundy was merely the failure to stop his car for a police officer, this allowed the contents of Bundy’s car to be discovered which included what were thought to be “burglary tools”, crowbars and handcuffs amongst other items. It was soon realized that these tools were the ones described by the victims who had escaped Bundy, and after police had compared all of the details available, they were certain that they had more than a burglar on their hands. They needed further proof to pin Bundy to these crimes, this is when the many witnesses along with Carol DaRonch were brought in to look at a lineup. All of them positively identified Ted Bundy as the kidnapper and the lurker around many of the crime scenes before girls had gone missing. It was also around this time that statements were being taken from Bundy’s girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall, who told of her suspicions due to the way Bundy was acting towards her and the things he would do in his spare time. He would leave during the nights and usually sleep during the day. He had also pressured her into bondage acts during sex which she expressed her disinterest for. These things along with facts on Ted’s whereabouts would prove to be invaluable evidence against Bundy. A week long trial soon surfaced and had Bundy doing 15 years in prison for the kidnapping of DaRonch, meanwhile he was extradited to stand trial for murder charges which were being formed. Having developed such a separate personality and life from that of his title as a serial killer, Bundy continued to deny having committed any of these crimes and also encouraged people he knew to believe him during this time. Psychological evaluations were done on Bundy to reveal that apparently he was neither “psychotic, neurotic, the victim of an organic brain disease, alcoholic, addicted to drugs”, “and was not a sexual deviate”. The last conclusion conflicting with what Bundy would tell later on of his progression to murder. Aside from these things it was concluded that Ted had a sort of dependency on women, and hated to be humiliated in his relationships.
Ted was adamant about his innocence and in preparation for one of his murder trials he would be taken to Pitkin County courthouse in Aspen, where he was allowed access to the library to look up information to assist himself. Instead of doing this, he jumped from the second-story window and escaped – injuring his ankle in the process. He had made it to the top of Aspen Mountain without being detected by locals, and soon found shelter in a hunting cabin. When later attempting to make his way to another town, he found it difficult to direct himself and had a few close encounters with people who had been searching for him, talking his way out of danger. On June 13th, 1977, Bundy stole a car thinking that he would be able to make it out of the area – but was caught and brought back to prison. Being back under the watchful eye of countless officers did not prevent Bundy from making new plans to escape. His next would include dieting to fit through a hole he had created in the ceiling with an acquired hacksaw. He put this route to use when he was told that he would soon be transferred to another jail for the trial he was to appear for. He had crawled to an area above the absent jailer’s apartment, and had no trouble from that point, simply walking out the door. Bundy’s escape did not go detected until the next afternoon, and by now he had taken a flight to Chicago, planning for his final destination to be Florida. On his way there he certainly allowed himself to relax and enjoy the sights, finally arriving in Tallahassee where he took on a new alias, “Chris Hagen” in January of 1978. Under this new persona in a place where he was not known, he committed petty crimes such as theft and enjoyed time wandering around Florida State University listening to lectures and admiring the intelligence of the youth. He had also been able to develop a new persona that would change his appearance under the name of student Kenneth Misner, now getting a fake mustache. Even attempting to get a job in his newfound comfortable position, he did not have the driver’s license to prove himself at the time and so lost that opportunity. During this time he had enough to keep him content in the midst of what he had been able to steal, but he was out of his murdering habits which had become so natural to him prior to this. He sought the companion of a female, and this is what he targeted.
Ted entered the Chi Omega Sorority house of FSU at around 3 AM where he murdered Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman in their sleep, bludgeoning and strangling both of them, as was regular of Bundy’s killing technique. He then killed Kathy Kleiner and Karen Chandler to follow up, all of this in a half hour span. This did not end his fix, needing even more to sate himself, he also broke into a home fairly close to the other murder site and severely injured Cheryl Thomas, also a student of FSU. The police had arrived quickly to the scene and discovered her sitting on her bed, her face beginning to swell. A mask had been discovered near her bed which would have been known as one found in Bundy’s car earlier on in his murder spree.
In early February he had moved on to Lake City, where 12 year old Kimberly Leach had been raped and murdered. She had been taken from school grounds. Bundy had abducted her and brought her to a pig shed, throwing her lifeless body underneath it.
About three days later, Ted, with his apparent love of Volkswagen Beetles, stole yet another one and fled. In the early hours of February 15th, 1978, Bundy was stopped by officer David Lee. Finding that the vehicle was stolen, there was a struggle as the officer subdued Bundy and brought him in, not realizing just who he was. Bundy clearly told the officer “I wish you had killed me”.
Florida law enforcement identified him as Ted Bundy the next day, and he was charged with the recent murders.
The trials were now rapidly commencing as more and more facts were coming to the surface to weigh the odds against Bundy and unfold the crimes. Ted had been appointed five different lawyers but still insisted on representing himself, feeling that court appointed assistance was ignorant and also perhaps taking the chance to show off his vibrant personality, and win over the jury.
In June of 1979, the court assessed the Chi Omega murders with Assistant State Attorney Larry Simpson prosecuting. Although he was set to go through more than one trial in the next few years, this case would be the one that determined his ultimate fate – as these murders proved to be his sloppiest and perhaps leave the most incriminating evidence. Ted had now been suspected of over thirty murders in four states, making this trial an obvious attraction to the media who were on it at all costs. Despite Ted’s optimism in acting as his own defense, it became clear early on in the trial that it was hopeless for him. There were simply too many factors convincing the jury of his guilt, one of these being a primary witness testimony of a girl who had very clearly seen Ted during the night of the murders, and the other being that of Dr. Richard Souviron who would reveal the shocking comparisons of teeth indentations discovered on a victim with Bundy’s actual dental photos.
On July 23rd, Bundy was found guilty on all counts of murder. Shortly after on July 30th, Ted was to appear at a sentencing trial where it would be decided how he was to receive his punishment. Along with his mother pleading for her son’s mercy, Ted had refuted the decision for the death penalty, stating that the media had acted in prejudice representing his character and he would not “ask for mercy for something he did not do”. However the presiding Judge over the trials, Judge Cowart, did impose the death penalty upon Ted Bundy as his final verdict. The Judge left him with words rarely, if ever, honestly spoken from the right side of the law previously on a murderer such as Bundy, revealing just what a shame it really was that Ted took on this path for his life; “Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself, please. It is an utter tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I've experienced in this courtroom. You're a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer, and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don't feel any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.”
In January of 1980 his second trial commenced, which was that of Kimberly Leach’s. He did not defend himself during this time, giving the responsibility to two other lawyers who would use a very different edge than Bundy had. Their plea would stand as their client not being guilty, by reason of insanity – which, although might have been difficult to pull off originally, held some potential now that people were witnessing Bundy continuously lash out. Ted had been using all of his energy to control himself, but quite often would lose control and had even yelled at a witness. It was obvious at this point that Ted had little composure to keep him going, and was beginning to realize it would be wisest to simply accept his grim fate.
During this trial, fiber evidence had proven a key aspect to making the case against Bundy. It had linked Ted’s clothing to the crime scene and the victim herself. It seemed now that this verdict had been sealed, and it would be announced in early February. During the sentencing trial things took a turn when Ted regained some of his charm and outgoing personality whilst deciding to propose to defense witness Carol Anne Boone. Exchanging vows, the oath made in the Florida courtroom had meant they were now legally married. It would be a short-lived romance, Bundy was now being moved back to Raiford Penitentiary to await his death. Conjugal visits allowed to Bundy’s new wife had led to a pregnancy, and Ted Bundy’s daughter would be born in October of 1982. Despite the family he had so quickly created, he was usually more pre-occupied with figuring out ways he could help himself, fighting the courtroom decisions with a new lawyer and appealing as much as he possibly could which did at least manage to lead to the postponing of his death, originally scheduled for March of 1986. He would offer up all he could from his experiences in jail, conversing with other inmates, and at a time even inquiring of what could be done for him if he revealed where some of the missing victims’ bodies were hidden.
His Stark Prison antics were shocking and informative, becoming a gateway to his true nature and other murderers awaiting their death alongside him. His cell was next to the cell of serial killer Ottis Toole, and he was quickly becoming an object of interest to those looking for insight on certain killers. FBI profiler Robert Ressler interviewed Bundy, but Ted was found to be “uncooperative and manipulative”, going to such lengths as speaking in third person and strictly hypothetical terms. He was unable to come to terms with his criminal history, but regardless it was easy for Ressler to come to the conclusion that Bundy was more animalistic than many other serial killers he had studied.
Ted did not remain uncooperative for too long, soon forming a significant bond with Special Agent William Hagmaier from the FBI’s Behavioral Science unit. Hagmaier had much of Bundy’s trust, and this opened a door to confessions made on Ted’s part of murders he had committed, including many details that had not been confirmed during the trials or in the media. He had also made a connection with Homicide Detective Bob Keppel, confessing more of his crimes and even assisting with the search for the Green River Killer. Bundy did provide his own insight on the case, although it did not prove to be any specific help to the task force after the killer. It did manage to end up assisting people in seeing further into Bundy’s mind and determining how his thoughts functioned. The conversations had with Keppel, and the trust that had been formed, led to even more information regarding the whereabouts of bodies in the case of Bundy’s victims. It also led to disturbing finds which nobody would have guessed could be applied to Ted, such as the fact that he sometimes kept the heads of his victims as “trophies”, or that he would engage in necrophilia with some of the remains. Revelations of Ted Bundy’s personality clearly showed that Ted was still very much in the mode of a killer, he was purely evil and made it seem very apparent to those speaking with him at the end of his days that he was aware of his crimes down to the grittiest detail, and took a certain amount of enjoyment in what he had done. Whether insanity truly factored into his actions, or pure animalism spun out of control, was an interesting and difficult thing to determine. The many sides to Bundy were no longer so separate, it was becoming easy to see how even admirable traits found in him could be utilized for horrifying and psychopathic acts. All of him was of one frame which simply shifted depending on if he was being condemned or praised.
Ultimately, keen researchers of Bundy’s nature such as Keppel and also Ann Rule, would come to the conclusion that such compulsions found in Bundy could not have been dormant for long. It was very likely that Ted Bundy was responsible for the deaths of at least one hundred women, but with this speculation in mind, we will never be certain of the true count.
Before his death he was involved in a unique interview, as referred to earlier on in the article. In it he spoke of his addiction to pornography, and the fact that despite efforts to protect society from him, there were many more people with the same issues in the world that were not being taken care of – and perhaps it would soon be out of the authorities’ control. It cannot be verified whether this was simply all out of a pornography addiction, it is possible that his actions were provoked by this, but one can consider that regardless of how it began it did escalate into something much more vicious. This does however still remain an intriguing point to note, as Bundy directed us to the idea of there being a “root” to evils such as the ones he had committed.
Although Bundy contemplated suicide many times before his date of execution, he ended up having his verdict come to life. Something he was not able to escape. His last words asking for his love to be given to his family and friends, he was executed in the electric chair at 7:06 AM on January 24th, 1989.
Bundy: “… and this is, I guess, where it counts, is to me that means that we go over things in great detail. But not just the incident itself. Ultimately, whether it’s to you, or to somebody else. Because basically it all began in Washington State; that is that’s where I was living, that’s where I grew up as a kid, and that’s where I grew up as a young man. And, and those kinds of, ah… images, impulses, and behaviors which ultimately led… to the violent behavior, you know occurred, if you will, in Washington State. That kind of… uh… broad understanding that I’m looking for is going to come, you know, um, during those years I lived in Washington State. Ahh, you know, unfortunately, I guess, from your standpoint it was Washington S—basically Washington State—where those first… crimes, incidences, murders took place.”
Bundy: “Well, let’s just do one here—I mean to start. Obviously we’ve gotta start somewhere and I think it might—we might, as a long shot—it’s a pretty long shot—that you might be able to get something out of it. At least some of that so-called tangible, ahh, evidence that might be of some value, not only to you, but to others. And maybe a bit of information—even if you don’t find anything else—that might be of some value to families. Okay. So we’ll do… I understand that at the Issaquah site, which I could describe to you—would describe to you if you want—there were th… three, ah玆remains of three individuals found: two identified and one… not, ’cause of the… the ah, so few—the kinds of remains that were found were so few and unidentifiable, okay?
Former King County detective Bob Keppel: “Mm-hmm.”
Bundy: “What do you want? The where the玆“
Keppel: “I’d like to know玆”
Bundy: “Description of the site first? How to get there? I mean you just don’t, you just don’t make this up.”
Bundy: “Maybe a half a mile, quarter of a mile down this ahh… little side road; if you turn—if you kept on following it all the way down” (clip cut out)
Bundy: “Oh, well, Lord knows what, what the little creatures up there did; what the animals would’ve done. But I think… [long thoughtful breath]. Well let‘s, let me start with one.”
Bundy: “Let me start this way. Umm, the unidentified remains ahh, umm… This is where I’m a little bit ahh, iffy. The presence of the officers down here is a little bit unnerving. Ah, some of it, some of this stuff I don’t mind talking about, but ‘cause they wouldn’t know if I‘m Adam. But I, names I will, I could write it down, or I could whisper it to you, or whatever. I just don’t want the police getting any kind of names at this point.”
Bundy: “Well.” [now whispered into the mic to hinder officers hearing]
(this to Keppel): “If you can, can you hear that?”
Keppel: “I can hear it, yeah.”
Bundy: “Okay. I guess, what I just said that the Hawkins girl’s head was severed and taken up the road, ahh [sigh] 25 to 50 yards and buried in a location about 10 yards west of the road on a rocky hillside. (to Keppel) Did you hear that?”
Bundy: “(thoughtful sigh) Yeah. But not had anything to do with the ‘found’ that I know of. If you’d f- you’d’ve found- probably would’ve found uh, the damage to the head.”
Bundy: “The jaw in particular probably broken.”
Bundy: “But if you’d found that, you would’ve known who it was. But anyway, I don’t know—
Bundy: “Is that the reason you asked me that question?”
Keppel: “I wanted, umm玆”
Bundy: “Uh, I was, uh, moving up the alley, ahh… using a, uh, a briefcase and some crutches and a young woman walked down. I saw her, saw her round the fr—the north end of the block into the alley and stop for a moment and then keep on walking down the alley toward me. And about halfway down the block I encountered her and asked her to help me carry the briefcase. Which she did and we walked back up the alley, across the street, turned right on the sidewalk in front of, I think, the fraternity house on the corner there… uh, rounded the corner to the left going north on 47th… Well, midway in the block there used to be a- you know, one of those parking lots they used to make out of burned down houses in that area.”
Bundy: “Let see. We were to the, we were to- “
Keppel: “[INDECIPHERABLE] to your car.”
Bundy: “We were to the car, uh. [thoughtful sigh] Uh… I kn玆Basically when I reached the car, what happened was I… knocked her, knocked her unconscious with the crowbar.”
Keppel: “Where’d you have her then?”
Bundy: “By the car.”
Keppel: “Alright. Outside?”
Bundy: “Outside, in back of the car.”
Interview: “Did she see you?”
Bundy: “No. And then, uh, there were some- [whispered now] there were some handcuffs there, [voice returns to speaking-volume] along with the crowbar”
Keppel: “Along with what?”
Bundy: “The crowbar, yeah. And, uh, I handcuffed her and put her in the driver‘s玆I mean the passenger‘s side of the car and… drove away.”
Keppel: “Was she alive or dead then?”
Bundy: “Oh no, no. She was quite con玆uh, not, uh, she was unconscious but she was very much alive.”
Bundy: “One of the things that makes it a little bit, well, among other things, it makes it difficult is that, uh, at this point she was quite lucid; talking about, uh… things; about some玆[laugh] It’s funny, it’s fun玆not funny, but it’s odd the kinds of things people say under those circumstances. And she thought玆she said that she had thought that玆she had a Spanish test the next day, and she thought that I had taken her to help tutor me for a Spanish test. It was kinda odd. Odd thing to say.”
Bundy: “To the long and the short of it, I mean, I, uh, I’m gonna name玆try to make this, uh玆get there by degrees. The long and the short of it was that, that I, again, knocked her unconscious… and strangled her, and drug her into… uh, about ten yards into the, uh, small grove of trees that was there.”
Keppel: “What’d you strangle her with?”
Bundy: “An old, an old piece, an old piece of rope.”
Keppel: “Just something you brought there with you?”
Bundy: “Just something that was in the car.”
Keppel: “Mm-hmm. Okay. Then what happened?”
Bundy: “[sigh] Then I, uh, packed the car up. By this time it was almost dawn. It was just about dawn. Sun was coming up. And I went through my usual—I say usual routine—I went through this routine where I was just… absolutely玆I would go through this, but on this particular morning I, I was just absolutely, again, just shocked; kinda scared-to-death shocked—horrified—about玆and I, uh, went down the road throwing everything that I’d had—the briefcase—out the window. Throwing the briefcase, the, the, (this while chuckling) crutches, the rope, the clothes; just tossing them out the window.”
Bundy: “This was just玆I was in a sheer state of panic, of just absolute… horror, you know. Uh, it’s like at that point in time was consciousness of what has really happened. It’s like… you break out of a fever, or somethin玆I would, that is. And, uh, so I would玆I drove north on 90, then uh玆north-east on 90... At some point throwing articles out the window as I went; articles of clothing: shoes etcetera”
Keppel: “When did you remove those?”
Keppel: “The shoes? The clothing?”
Bundy: “Well, after we got out of the car, initially.”
Bundy: “Okay. Well, I skipped over some stuff there, and we’ll have to get back to it sometime, but I don’t feel玆I just玆it’s just too hard for me to talk about right now.”
Bundy: “Oh sure! Yeah. I threw away the briefcase, [laughs] and the crutches, and all that stuff.”
Bundy: “Yeah. And the crowbar; everything. The handcuffs. Everything… I’d, I’d get mad at myself a few weeks later ‘cause I’d have to go out and buy another pair. I mean it’s not comical but that’s what would happen.”
Keppel: “I mean the Spanish test is pretty darn good if you ask me.”
Bundy: “That’s what she said, unless she was hallucinating. She said every玆everybody called her George.”
Bundy: “That’s what she said.”
Bundy: “Or how about this: she used a safety pin to pi玆because apparently her… blue slacks were a bit too big.”
Bundy: “Or… that’s about all I know.”
Bundy: “I mean, I suppose there’s, there’s a, ahh… You know, I’m sure there are other bits and pieces that’ll come back to me, but there wasn’t a lot, obviously, there wasn’t a lot of conversation, but…”
Bundy: “[laugh] Talk about details coming back. I couldn’t find one of the shoes, so I thought it was there… but it wasn’t. So I went back, this was the s玆this was the next day, got on my bicycle, rode back to that little parking lot—I knew there were police all over the place by that time, but I was kind of… nervous ‘cause… and I’ll tell you why in a minute. ‘Cause I’d left—and my car’d been parked there, so they may’ve seen it. Now if something was found there they might connect me. So I went back to that parking lot and I found both pierced ear玆the, the pierced earrings and the shoe laying in the parking lot at about five in the afternoon. So I surreptitiously gathered them up and… rode off.”
Keppel: “Hadn’t the police checked that area?”
Bundy: “Well, you can tell me. I’d s玆I’d seen ‘em, I’d seen whole streams of ‘em driving around all over the place, but they were concentrating on places like, uh, the park, aah, a nearby park. I don’t know if玆I don’t know玆I’ll bet ya玆They couldn’t have looked in that parking lot and missed.. the, the patent leather, white patent leather clog and the two white pierced earrings… hoops.”
Bundy: “… two weeks before that I had been doing, using the same modus operandi in the same neighborhood in the s玆And in front of the玆in front, now, of the same sorority house that Georgeann Hawkins disappeared from, I’d encountered a girl going out the door and asked her to help me. Walked her all the way to that lot. Eleven o’clock on a Friday night. And I was, I was drunk, and I was drunk and I was just babbling on, and I told her I worked in Olympia, that I lived in a rooming house. I mean I was just, I was horrified later on. But, uh玆”
Keppel: [INDECIPHERABLE QUESTION]
Bundy: “Yes. More or less, but yes, and that was basically part of the M.O. at that time, yeah. But I reached, uh, got all the way to the car, and this happened玆would happen sometimes: and just said no, I don’t wanna do it. I said thank you, see ya later, and she walked away. But after, after the Hawkins thing I was, you know, just paranoid as hell that this girl would say “you know, there’s something weird that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. This guy came along with crutches and asked me to help him. He took me to a Volkswagen, said he worked in Olympia and lived here in the university district”. And how many people could that apply to? So, there you are.”
Bundy: “… Ahh, but of course after玆you know in June, after a week it’s, you know, what with all the local… the wildlife, there’s not much… left.”
Keppel: “Were you going back to that scene to commit sex acts?”
Bundy: “Well, that’s玆I don’t wanna talk about that right now. We will talk about it someday, but I don’t have玆we don’t玆not玆I don’t really have enough to give you the background on that. I want us to work into that.”
Keppel: “Did you ever bury anybody?”
Bundy: “Oh yes! Yeah. I mean in my s玆yeah, in, in my ah, you might say, my more… [sigh] ah, coherent玆Ahh, not coherent. That’s not玆when I was really… going all out to… 玆and took my time, yeah, I did. And, I mean, it’s, it’s quite clear. That means no question about玆almost without question, those who’ve been found were not, and those who haven’t been found were buried.”
Bundy: “… that’s right. Yeah.”
Keppel: “Where is she?”
Bundy: “Well… [sniff] she’s up in the mountains.”
Keppel: “In what mountains?”
Bundy: [laughs] “Oh well, excuse me. Ah, she, aah, up in the Cascades. Yeah.”
Bundy: “I mean that night is like, is like some kind of dream… you know. Very… blurry, very… nightmarish and, um, I had trouble piecing it together, but we‘ll玆it’s gonna take me a while to work on that one.”
Keppel: “Okay… Um玆”
Bundy: “I had, ahh, I had a玆sometimes I had a bottle of wine in the car and I was just, among other things, extremely… drunk.”
Keppel: “I just wanna get an idea about timing玆”
Keppel: “or was that two hours, or hour玆[INDECIPHERABLE due to chair scraping along floor]”
Bundy: “Well… Bill, I could [laughs] corroborate, ahh, something of virtually every one of the玆I mean, almost without a doubt玆on every one of these in one way or another. I mean that’s the… the, uh玆I don’t think anybody doubts that, uh, that I’ve done some bad things; the question is what, of course, and how and, maybe even, even most importantly, why. Umm… and, ah… [sigh]… I’d… I’m not…”
Keppel: “But most of the people are coming, ah, to…”
Bundy: “You know, I make no bones about it; I am looking for an opportunity to tell the story, as best I can, in a way that makes sense to me, and a way that’ll help, not just you or the families玆that’s very important玆but also to help my own family. You see, I saw the look in my stepson’s eyes yesterday… after he had been told for the first time that… 玆you see, he’s always believed, and it’s hard玆I mean, he always wanted to believe玆that I’d never… done anything like this. As hard as it may be for you to believe that, there are people who do believe that, Martin, and there are people close to me who believe that.”
Bundy: “And to see the look in his eyes, ah, confirmed my worst fears. See, he says ‘could you’玆and he was, he was just absolutely astounded. He couldn’t understand, and he was writing me questions玆just fiercely writing questions. I could see, you know, that he was玆you know, how really bewildered he was, and I need to give him a chance to know, and others a chance to know, what was really going on: what it was really like for me.”
Bundy: “… out of context. And I know you have a narrow focus as玆you have a narrow focus given your law-enforcement, uh… perspective. And that’s important for what you do. It’s important that those questions be answered, but it’s important for me that those questions be answered in context… ah… for any number of reasons. But, uh, I, I won’t玆but perhaps the most important reason: for my own family玆”
Bundy: “So that they understand it. But if they only玆they’re only getting part of the story, they’re only getting the worst stuff, you know how玆you know what’s going to happen if and when this stuff goes public? if all you did was just hit the whos, and the whens and, and the body-count. That’s, I mean it’s, it’s just going to, it’s just gonna be, ahh玆it’s going to be bad enough as it is.”
Bundy: “I won’t beat around the bush with you anymore ‘cause I am just tired and just wanna get back and go to sleep,玆”
Bundy: “So let me just tell you, I… I know that the cor玆corpse [INDECIPHERABLE] there, but nothing identifiable. Probably just… literally… bones. But the head, however, the, the skull wouldn’t be there.”
Keppel: “Where is it?”
Bundy: “It’s nowhere.”
Keppel: “It’s nowhere?”
Bundy: “Well, by ’nowhere’, I’m not tryna be flippant, it’s just… it just’s nowhere. It’s, it’s… it’s, it’s in a category by itself. In, in that, uh, it was… Now I’d just assume this is something that you just can’t玆I don’t know, I can see the headlines now. But, uh, uhh…
Keppel: “Ted, there’s not gonna be any details. Wh玆What you told be about Georgeann Hawkins isn’t gonna be known. I got parents out there who don’t even wanna know the details.”
Bundy: “Oh, I know, uhh玆”
Keppel: “He wants to know, and I wanna know for my own good.”
Bundy: “Well, it, it was incinerated, and it was… just an, ah, exception. A, a strange exception but, uh, it was incinerated.”
Keppel: “Where’d you incinerate it?”
Keppel: “C’mon partner.”
Bundy [long pause]
Keppel: “These are things I don’t know about you. [laugh]”
Bundy: “Yeah, this is, this is probably the, the disposal method of preference among those who get away with it.”
Bundy: “But because of being玆um… it’s the most bizarre, bizarre thing I have ever, ever been associated with, and I’ve been associated with some bizarre shit.”
Keppel: “Right. [long pause] It‘s incinerated, that’s玆”
Bundy: “Uh-huh. Incinerated.”
Keppel: “Well, tell me about it. [laugh] What the hell happened?”
Bundy: “Well, it, uh… don’t know the address of the place… I never wanted to tell these things, uh, uhh玆the process, I’d never tell because it would ah, I thought that玆of all the things I did to this woman, this is probably the one she was least likely to forgive me for, poor Liz.”
Bundy: “In her… fireplace玆ah, it’s really not that humorous, but, uh, in the fireplace at that house…”
Keppel: “Burned it all up?”
Bundy: “Down to the last… ash, and then… in a fit of玆”
Bundy: “… twists.”
Keppel: “Yeah it‘s a slight twist.”
Bundy: “It is a twist, and uh, it’s a lot of work, and certainly very risky, under the circumstances. I mean, the kids come home from school and saw a roaring fire in the fireplace, and it’s warm outside.”
Keppel: “Did you ever keep anything in the refrigerator?”
Bundy: [long pause “No.”
Keppel: “No body-parts in the refrigerator?”
Bundy: “No, that was not, you know, that was not something that I’ve ever found any kind of… the body-part thing’s not something…”
Keppel: “Okay, before, you mentioned you, you gave up the eight before and you needed three more. Now, I don’t know what three you’re talkin’ about. Can you help me a little bit with those?”
By Keimi Yamagata
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
While beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, art may very well be too. Obsession with serial killers and psychotic behavior seems to grow each year so it’s not entirely surprising when art collectors pay thousands for a painting or everyday Americans go out in droves to buy novels all because serial killers were the creators. Despite it being a controversial practice, the phenomena of serial killers in the art world seems to have a long life ahead of it. From Manson’s sock puppets to Charles Ng’s origami, murderabilia never lacks in contribution.
Where else to begin than with “the killer clown” himself: John Wayne Gacy? Perhaps the most successful serial killer turned artist, one of Gacy’s paintings depicting baseball playing dwarfs competing against the Chicago Cubs once went for an unbelievable $9,500, but what Gacy is most famous for are his clown drawings and paintings. The alter ego of the clown stayed with Gacy from his murders through his art and the face of red, white and blue clown makeup would be the one to make Gacy so integrated in popular culture. On his alter ego, Gacy once said, “A clown can get away with murder” and while that may not have been the case for him; a clown certainly can rake in dollars from art collectors and all around macabre individuals. Cult director John Waters himself owns a piece which hangs in his guestroom and lead singer of metal band Cradle of Filth, Dani Filth, owns another. Not everyone is a fan of Gacy’s art, as would be expected. In June of 1994 a group purchased 25 of Gacy’s paintings for a bonfire they had planned. Nine victim’s family members attended to watch the blaze, along with 300 or so other spectators.
Protests range in size from killer to killer, but are always present. A not so overjoyed 1998 crowd in Texas stood outside an exhibit of Elmer Wayne Henley’s work with signs that read, “"Hang Henley, not his art." But when faced with the fact that so much backlash results from the sale of killers’ artwork or literature, many wonder why the prison’s themselves allow it to occur at all, but the answer is simple: art therapy. Many officials believe it’s a form of mental rehabilitation for serial killers and at the very least, prison guards would rather see once violent criminals painting as supposed to harassing and causing trouble. But many serial killers haven’t helped instill faith in that idea and many a clever criminal have found ways to use their art to cheat the system.
Jack Unterweger of Australia is a prime example of a man who “wrote his way” out of prison. Unterweger harbored a deep hatred of prostitutes springing from his resentment of his mother for her being one and assaulted many local prostitutes in his younger years. In 1976 he killed Margaret Schäfer, an 18 year old woman, with her own bra and was sentenced to life in prison. But it was in prison that Unterweger, who was illiterate entering, learned to read and write and published many short stories, plays, poems and ultimately an autobiography. After only 14 years of his sentence was served, the prison was impressed with his works and signs of improvement, also many prominent Australians asked for him to be pardoned, including Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, so on May 30th of 1990, the prison released him.
A free man again, Unterweger went on to do television shows and in 1991, an Australian magazine hired him to write about crime and prostitution. He was also asked by the local police to comment on crime scenes and even go along on patrols with them through red light districts. During this time, Unterweger would go on to murder 11 more women, 6 being in his first year released alone, and managed to deter the police from sensing it was him. But despite his ability to cover up the new murders so long, his trademark killing style was something he couldn’t always resist and eventually caught up with him. When police noticed that three recent murders were of women hung with there own bras, they finally woke up to the fact that Unterweger was one of the many who never truly had recovered. Unterweger eventually killed himself to avoid being taken to trial again and due to his timing, is still innocent on the books. But the allure of serial killer bodies of work was ever present in Unterweger’s case because even though the evidence was insurmountable, many supporters and fans of his work were adamant he was innocent and was no serial killer.
Another man by the name of Gary Gilmore was granted freedom through his art, but also squandered it. Most notable for his not appealing to the death penalty and welcoming it for his killing of two young men, Gilmore was a sad case in that he showed true talent in art and was given an opportunity he didn’t take. At an early age, despite having an IQ of 130, he didn’t do well in school and was in and out of prison on numerous car theft charges. In 1964 at 21 years old, Gilmore was given a 15 year prison sentence for robbery and assault for being a repeat offender. In prison, Gilmore began to use his artistic talents and the prison itself was so impressed with him, they granted him an early release in 1972 to a halfway house in Eugene, Oregon with the understanding he would enroll in the local community college and study art. Unfortunately, whether it was his inner need to kill or nerves and lack of confidence to register, he never enrolled and within a month of his conditional release had committed armed robbery and was brought back to prison. Whatever Gilmore could have been died along with him in 1978 when he was executed by firing squad in Utah.
In yet another failed attempt at recovery, Jack Abbott gained major celebrity after his best selling and popular book, In The Belly of The Beast, was released. The basis of the book had sprung from a relationship he had with author Norman Mailer throughout the 1970s. The letters he had written to Mailer and Mailer had written back served as inspiration and Mailer himself not only helped Abbott publish the novel, but stood before the parole board and got Abbott eventually released in 1981. Abbott had been in since 1965 for forgery when he stabbed an inmate to death and received a harsher sentence, which only increased with an additional 19 year sentence after he escaped and robbed a bank.
Once released, he did the local television circuit, including “Good Morning America.” But only 6 days after he had reclaimed freedom, he stabbed a waiter, Richard Adnan, to death. Obviously taken back to prison, he showed no remorse, but supporters who loved his novel were heartbroken. Abbott eventually published another book ridden with self pity entitled My Return, which was widely unsuccessful and in 2002, hung himself in his prison cell.
At this point one might ask if all hope is lost in art therapy, but successes have risen in ways prisons weren’t hoping for. Gerard Schaefer was able to vent, but in a troubling way. In his novel, Killer Fiction: Tales of an Accused Serial Killer, Schaefer writes of numerous gruesome murders in detail and while they all sound reminiscent of his killing style and possibly could be his own, he assures that they are only “the characters in my fiction.” Schaefer himself was in prison for murdering, raping, and abducting Susan Place, 17, and Georgia Jessup, 16. He previously had kidnapped two young female hitchhikers and tied them to trees to rape and most likely kill them but was called away through his radio because he was a police officer. When the two girls escaped and reported him, Schaefer told the chief he only meant to do it as a lesson to the girls so they wouldn’t hitchhike, but the chief saw through him, fired him and charged him with false imprisonment and assault. Schaefer eventually pled guilty to the charges and received only one year, which he served and was released to commit the two murders that gained him his two life sentences. Most troubling about his “venting” in the novel is that police are near certain he committed murder numerous other times and the events described in the novel could be real. When searching his bedroom they found journals of violent and hateful rants about women, jewelry, and human teeth from at least 8 different women or young girls who had gone missing over the years. In many cases its clear that art imitating life can certainly be a disturbing event.
Another “recovered” killer is Elmer Wayne Henley who vowed art had saved him and brought him close to God. Henley, assisting Dean Corl with fellow murderer David Brooks, murdered and brutally raped 27 boys across Texas in the early 70s. Vowing to never murder again, his recovery is questionable in that he admits he must look at photographs of naked young boys every now and then to get by.
Another trend is visible in serial killer art aside from a one way ticket to fame or freedom, the material that makes the world go round: money. To try and obtain the riches fellow serial killers seemed to make, Keith Jesperson, who murdered 8 people across 6 states, decided he lacked any talent and to borrow someone else’s to turn a profit. Jesperson used color pencils to trace and draw over photographs taken by a professional and wound up making $1,000 from a few in 2002. This naturally caught the eye of the original artist and also the prison superintendent who never gave him permission. Jesperson was then disciplined and is still in Oregon State Penitentiary today.
Not the only serial killer turned plagiarist, Donald Henry Gaskins has openly laughed at and admitted that he simply traced Disney characters he found in books or magazines, slightly changed them and had his lawyer see if they would sell, and they definitely did. The fact that Gaskins, once dubbed “The Meanest Man In America” for killing another inmate and reputedly 100 other people, drew Disney figures is, in itself, ironic.
But, perhaps the entire idea of collecting art by so-called monsters exposes the irony in its collectors. The things made from those we fear welcomed into our home. But does art therapy work for criminals? Did author R. A. Lafferty have it right when saying of literature and art that, “The monstrous and wonderful archetypes are not inside you, not inside your consciousness; you are inside them, trapped and howling to get out” in that serial killers can release their inner demons through art, climb out of it, and be reborn? Or is it that narcissistic element present in most serial killers that clamors for the fame and subsequent fortune? The answer is infinitely debatable and so the debate continues along side the ever present fascination with the things that go bump the night and their art. Those intrigued by monsters will never disappear and as obvious with one sitting and watching of the local news, there is no shortage of monsters in the world to intrigue them, so the art front known as murderabilia isn’t dying anytime soon.
By Keimi Yamagata
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
If art is said to be subject to interpretation, then those doing the interpreting are subject to controversy over what they consider art. A stroll along a wall in any art museum will undoubtedly show depictions of violent war battles, suicides, and numerous scenes of bloodshed in various shades of red paint. Gracing the walls of the wealthy around the world are such artworks to which fellow members of the elite compliment and ogle when invited into their homes. But, not all walls are created equal. Someone’s Monet is another’s Manson. The question is, who are these “someone”s who invite artworks or memorabilia of those whom we fear into their homes?
Perhaps the most well-known collector of murderabilia to date is Joe Coleman. An artist himself and once dubbed “America's premier portraitist of sociopathic murderers”, Coleman owns numerous pieces of highly desired items in the crime art world, including the infamous letter written by sadist and child rapist Albert Fish to victim Grace Budd’s mother. Coleman states that he creates and collects “outsider art” that deals with subject matter or people themselves that are outside the norm. Just some of the subjects Coleman has integrated into his own artwork include: Jeffery Dahmer, Harry Houdini, Edgar Allen Poe, and Carl Panzram, who Coleman made a comic strip of. Even as a child, Coleman’s first paintings were of saints bleeding to death or stabbings due to his devout Catholic mother routinely taking him to church and him taking in the surrounding imaginary. This theme carried on into the artwork he currently creates that has been sought after have people across the world, including celebrities Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio.
When once asked why he finds the entire practice of serial killer art so appealing, Coleman said, “That's the stuff I can relate to and understand because that's the stuff where the feelings are everything, where the person is everything... They're not concerned with trends, or with sales in the art world, or making a sophisticated statement in our history... They're desperate to put these things down on paper.”
Whatever reasons a collector may have, its clear that once hooked, a person’s hunt to gather more murderabilia never ends. Coleman is considered an aficionado on the subject now and recently lent his commentary to a documentary based on fellow crime art enthusiasts by Julian P. Hobbes called “Collectors.” Appearing in the film are Richard Staton and his companion and business partner Tobias Allen, the creator of the widely controversial serial killer board game that is banned in Canada. The documentary follows both men as they travel to Elmer Wayne Henley’s art show in Houston, Texas and covers the uproar from buyers and protestors alike. Henley, along with partner Deal Corll, murdered and raped 27 children in the early 1970s and currently serves multiple life sentences, but was prompted by Staton himself to take up painting. In the documentary, both men conduct a rare interview with Henley, visit various crime scenes and both spend time with Henley’s mother. The art show would prove to be a tumultuous event with a large turnout of protestors carrying signs that read “Hang Henley, Not His Art.” Nonetheless, the documentary itself has gone on to do well with Jack Anderson of Newsday saying, “Its effect is coolly appalling” and Frank Schreck of The Hollywood Reporter states, “As distasteful as it is compulsively to watch.”
But before the documentary, Richard Staton, a mortician, hadn’t been absent from the spotlight in the crime art world. Responsible for three “Death Row Art Shows” and dealers for numerous killers such as Henley and Henry Lee Lucas, Staton is said to have made the murderabilia industry what it is today, for better or worse. Beginning in the late 1980s, Staton wrote to various criminals in prison and would build up considerable correspondence with them. “It was really great for a while -- Manson and (Richard) Ramirez would call and leave messages on the answering machine. Gacy called about 80 times a day . . . but in the end, they're losers who live in a little cell and try to titillate guys like me on the outside. They're game-players, very evil sociopaths." Yet despite labeling them all as such, Staton began a business relationship with Gacy as Gacy’s exclusive art dealer. Although Illnois, the state where Gacy was incarcerated, halted Gacy’s right to sell his art, Staton helped him get around the law by visting Gacy in prison and then taking the paintings as “gifts.” Once on the outside with the artwork, Staton would sell them and drop off another so-called “gift” into Gacy’s prison account. Staton says on the relationship, “I got a third of the profit and Gacy got the rest. I guess I made about $3,500, all put together."
Nowadays, Staton considers himself retired from the industry and active trading with now over 1,500 crime art artifacts in his possession including pieces by Richard Speck, Ottis Toole, Lucas, Gacy, and Manson. Staton is now comfortable in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a husband, father and bassist’s for his church’s choir. When asked about his murderabilia collecting in retrospect, Staton says, “Victims' families must think I'm the worst creature who ever breathed air, and maybe in that sense I am. I am not ashamed of it nor am I proud of (collecting). But I certainly wouldn't do it again. I remain haunted about it to this day."
Collector and art dealer Zachary Godwin is not as remorseful as Staton. An avid collector with numerous autographed photographs and letters from various serial killers including Charles Ng, Godwin recently became the proud dealer to jailed murderer Wayne Lo. Lo is in prison for the murdering two and injuring four people on a 1992 college campus shooting. A website created and managed by Godwin, skidlo.net, sells artwork and embroidered t-shirts handmade by Lo to any interested parties. As of now, the earnings stand at $300 and all the proceeds go to a scholarship in the name of Galen Gibson, one of Lo’s victims. Lo acknowledges how the industry can be insulting to grieving families of victim’s. “Victims' families have the right to be offended, but we are not trying to intentionally harm them in any way.”
The clash between families of victims and the crime art collectors is continuous. But sometimes realizing that there are indeed families of victims out there can be enough to shake a person. Knowing this firsthand is creator and front man of American band Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor. Reznor purchased the home where the infamous 1969 Tate LeBianca murders took place at the hands of Manson Family members as a place to record his new album at the time, The Downward Spiral, which went on to be the most successful selling album in Reznor’s career. At the time of purchasing the home, Reznor says he wasn’t even aware or certain of the house’s history until he and a friend researched it after it looked similar to photographs. After Reznor moved out, the house was soon demolished, but Reznor salvaged the front door that still had the faint impression of Susan Atkin’s scrawling of “Le Pig” in Tate’s blood from the night of the murder. The door currently resides in Reznor’s Nothing Studios in a converted funeral parlor in New Orleans. But Reznor’s murderabilia collecting will most likely stop there after a deeply moving encounter he had with Sharon Tate’s sister.
“While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: 'Are you exploiting my sister's death by living in her house? 'For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, 'No, it's just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I'm in this place where a weird part of history occurred. I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don't want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, 'What if it was my sister?' I thought, 'F**k Charlie Manson.' I went home and cried that night. It made me see there's another side to things, you know?”
Along with Reznor, Jonathon Davis had his walk on the dark side and collection of murderabilia. Being the frontman of multi-platinum alternative band Korn, one would think Davis’s musical honors would be the items he treasured most, but that isn’t the case. “I really caught the bug of collecting serial killer artifacts” says Davis and that would certainly appear so. In his current possession, Davis owns numerous paintings by Richard Ramirez and Gacy, both Pogo and Patches clown suits originally worn by Gacy himself, the 1928 letter of detailed confession by Albert Fish, and a signed legal document and VW Bug belonging to Ted Bundy.
It is this VW, however, that has brought Davis under legal fire. A fellow collector of crime artifacts, Arthur Rosenblatt, sued Davis in June of 2004 for $4 million dollars for a breach of contract. Rosenblatt claimed he had set out to create a museum of criminal justice artifacts called the Museum Of Justice & Odditorium (MOJO MUSEUM) and in 2001, Davis approached him with the want to be involved and contribute $250,000 to the museum. But, Rosenblatt says he only received intimidation and two-timing from Davis. He alleges that between 2001 and 2003, Rosenblatt left his job to move out to Los Angeles to get the museum started with the aid of Davis, but wound up only loaning Davis over $20,000 worth of artifacts including Ted Bundy’s Bug that he never had returned to him. Rosenblatt claims that Davis did once agree to give the car back to him only if Rosenblatt didn’t sue him. Moreover, the museum idea itself was taken from him, Rosenblatt states, when Davis started appearing on local TV and radio shows stating it was a ‘serial killer museum’ and other contradictory terms to what Rosenblatt had set out to create.
The two managed to come to an agreement in December of 2005, but before the ink could dry, Davis said a few less than kind words about Rosenblatt in an interview, which Rosenblatt claims violated the terms of the contract, and Rosenblatt took Davis back to court in 2006 for Breach of Contract and Fraud by False Promise in the amount of $250,000.
Despite all the warring and the years of collecting, Davis has started to sell off his collection. Perhaps having the same epiphany Trent Reznor underwent, Davis says collecting has only filled his life with negativity and he can’t bear to be around them anymore. Davis states, “There is definitely a vibe and weird s**t attached to those things. I really don't want to glorify these people and what they did and display the s**t...I wasn't thinking straight when I bought that stuff. I was sucked into it because it was so dark, and I'm like, 'This is cool.'…When I started to think about it, I was like, 'What about those 70 girls' parents — their babies got killed in that car, and I wanna display it! That is f**ked up.'"
But regardless of the changes of heart felt by Trent Reznor and Jonathon Davis, numerous other celebrities continue to collect including shock rocker Marilyn Manson and cult film director John Waters who both own paintings by the killer clown himself, Gacy.
And so the industry goes on. A director of the mayor's Crime Victims Office in Houston, Texas named Andy Kahan did extensive research into the ever booming macabre branch of the art world and estimates that criminal artwork and artifacts have created an over $250,000 a year revenue. So it’s evident that as long as there are crime art collectors, incarcerated murderers or rapists will keep the murderabilia front filled with things to collect. Collectors’ walls will still accumulate the works of serial killers as long as morbid curiosity inhabits the human brain, while angered victim’s families hope for a form of conscience to take it over. And despite numerous states having put a ban on criminal’s selling their artwork, eager buyers will manipulate ways just as Richard Staton did. Perhaps a statement given from entertainment writer and reviewer Tom Joad on Staton’s documentary is in fact the most applicable to not only viewing the film, but when analyzing the collectors themselves. He writes, “You'll be left both enlightened by the macabre world of these collectors as well as mortified by their audacity.”
Making a Living by Chris Bartholomew Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Even serial killers have to eat, pay bills, and live somewhere. Here is a list of some serial killers and what they did to support their 'habit'.
Herbert Richard "Herb" Baumeister
Herbert Richard "Herb" Baumeister (April 7, 1947 - July 3, 1996) was the founder of the thrift store chain Sav-a-Lot and an alleged serial killer from suburban Westfield, Indiana.
In 1988 Baumeister founded the Sav-a-lot chain. The chain was a success and Baumeister became very rich. He also began spending a lot of time in homosexual bars in Indianapolis. He would bring men he picked up back to his mansion where he would strangle them and dispose of their bones in the woods behind his home.
Baumeister fled to Toronto and killed himself.
A search of his property uncovered the bones of 11 men. Baumeister was also suspected of killing nine more men and disposing of the bodies in rural areas between Indianapolis and Columbus.
Dr Marcel Petiot - The Butcher of Paris; Dr Satan
Dr Petiot was a respected doctor in Paris during the Second World War.
He was charged with the murder of 27 people, including Joachim Guschinow, M. and Mme Kneller, their son Rene Kneller, and Paul Braunberger between 1941 and 1944. Other sources suggest he killed 63 people, or even 150, and that the 86 dissected bodies pulled out of the Seine between 1941 and 1943 were also his handiwork.
Lured to his premises under the promise of a route out of German occupied France, his mostly Jewish victims would then be given a lethal injection, which he told them was to ward off foreign diseases on their travels. They would then be put into a small triangular room with extra thick walls, where Dr Petiot would watch them die through a small hole in the wall. Their bodies were then stored in a quick lime pit and later burned in a furnace.
Petiot was guillotined on 26th may 1946 in the Paris Sante Prison.
John Reginald Halliday Christie
John Reginald Halliday Christie was a 54 year old serial murderer and sexual psychopath who murdered at least 6 women. He also gave evidence at the trial of Timothy Evans, who was executed (later posthumously pardoned), for crimes almost certainly committed by Christie (who had served in the Army during World War One and been a Special Police Constable during the Second World War).
On the outbreak of World War II, he applied to join the police force and was accepted despite previous convictions.
He was arrested, tried, and hanged for murder in 1953.
A British serial killer who lived in London. He is known to have killed at least 15 men between 1978 and 1983, when he was eventually caught after his disposal of a body blocked his household drains and drew the attention of the police.
In 1961, Nilsen left school and enlisted in the British Army where he became a cook. He served in the army for 11 years before leaving in 1972 and served briefly as a police officer. From the mid 1970s, Nilsen worked as a civil servant. He was active in the trade union movement. Paul Kenneth Bernardo
Bernardo committed multiple sexual assaults, escalating in viciousness, in and around Ontario. Most of the assaults were on young women whom he had stalked after they had exited buses late in the evening.
Bernardo worked for Amway, whose sales culture had a deep effect on him. He bought the books and tapes of famous motivational get-rich-and-famous experts. Bernardo and his friends practiced their techniques on young women they met in bars.
Karla Leanne Homolka
Homolka is a Canadian serial killer who was convicted of manslaughter in the rape-murders of two teenaged girls; her husband, Paul Bernardo, was convicted of their murders and admitted having raped numerous women. Homolka and Bernardo also were responsible for the rape and death of her sister Tammy.
She worked part-time in a pet shop at a nearby mall. After receiving her grade 12 diploma in 1989, she was hired as a veterinary assistant a Veterinary Clinic, which asked her to leave after she was suspected of stealing drugs. She then found a similar job at the Martindale Animal Clinic.
Dr. Thomas Neill Cream
He was a Scotish-born serial killer, who claimed his first proven victims in the US and the rest in England. Cream, who poisoned his victims, was executed after his attempts to frame others for his crimes brought him to the attention of London police.
Cream went to Chicago and set up a medical practice not far from the red-light district, offering illegal abortions to prostitutes.
Unsubstantiated rumors suggested his last words as he was being hanged were confession that he was Jack the Ripper, even though he was in jail at the time of the Ripper murders.
William Patrick Fyfe
A Canadian serial killer convicted of killing five women in the Montreal area of Quebec, although he claims to have killed four others. He allegedly killed his first victim in 1979 at age of 24. He was raised by an aunt and moved from Western Canada to Montreal in 1958. As an adult, he worked as a handyman.
Robert William "Willie" Pickton
Pickton is a Canadian pig farmer and serial killer convicted of the second-degree murders of six women. He is also charged in the deaths of an additional twenty women, many of them prostitutes and drug users from Vancouver's Downtown.
He confessed to forty-nine murders to an undercover police officer posing as a cell mate. The Crown reported that Pickton told the officer that he wanted to kill another woman to make it an even 50, and that he was caught because he was "sloppy.
Pickton and his brother, David Francis Pickton, ran a registered charity called the Piggy Palace Good Times Society, a non-profit society whose official mandate was to organize, co-ordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organizations, sports organizations and other worthy groups.
Denke was born in German. As an adult, he was well liked in his community, and worked as an organ player at the local church.
Denke was arrested after attacking a man at his house with an axe. Police searched Denke's home and found human flesh in huge jars of curing salts. A ledger contained the details of 40 people Denke had murdered and cannibalized over the years. It is thought he even sold the flesh of his victims at the market.
He hung himself in his jail cell.
He owned a rooming house and played an organ at his church.
Gwendolyn Graham & Cathy Wood
Both Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood were Nurses aids at a retirement home. They are attributed five victims, and imprisoned for life.
John George Haigh
He Lived in Great Brittan. Haigh was an Accountant at an engineering firm, and hanged for his crimes, he is attributed six victims, but there were possibly nine.
An American serial killer who lived in California, with 10 victims to his name. He is serving a life sentence. He was a Highway Department worker
Anna Maria Zwanziger
Zwangiger was a German serial killer with four victims. She was a domestic servant. She was beheaded for her crimes.
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo - Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper or The Rostov Ripper.
A notorious Russian serial killer, he was convicted of the murders of 52 women and children. He completed a degree in Russian literature by a correspondence course and tried a career as a teacher in. There were several complaints of him perpetrating child sexual abuse on his students that were usually handled quietly and without police involvement, thus he was able to move from school to school. He eventually took a job as a clerk for a factory, using his many business trips around the Soviet Union to carry out his killings.
John R. Gasser
Gasser was a student and state employee in Seattle.
Gasser raped and strangled a 22-year-old carhop and dumped her body near the Sand Point Naval Station. Years after his release from prison, he raped and strangled a 49-year-old woman and dumped her body in a ditch outside Olympia in 1982. He is in prison in Washington.
Harvy L. Carignan - The Want Ad Killer
He was a gas station manager is Seattle and Minneapolis.
Suspected in dozens of sex-slayings spanning four decades and several Western states and provinces, Carignan is thought to have killed at least two women in Washington. He was convicted of two murders in Minnesota. He met some victims by placing newspaper help wanted ads. A map found in his Minnesota home had at least 180 areas circled -- including 18 in Washington -- where some bodies have been found.
He is in prison in Minnesota.
James Dwight Canady
City water department employee, in Seattle
He abducted, raped and strangled two women, and then dumped their bodies near Stevens Pass. Canady later attacked two other women and was being held in King County Jail on rape, assault and kidnapping charges when he confessed to the murders, leading detectives to one body. He is in prison in Washington.
Clark County parks employee, in Vancouver.
Forrest is suspected of kidnapping, raping and strangling six women near Vancouver. He was convicted of killing one and abducting, raping and attempting to kill two others, after serving seven years in a state mental hospital. He is in prison in Washington.
Gary G. Grant
Navy enlistee, Renton
He confessed to four sex-slayings, including the murders of two 6-year-old boys and two teenage girls. All victims stabbed, strangled or both, then dumped in wooded areas near a Renton trailer park where he lived with his parents. He is in prison in Washington.
Law student, Tacoma
One of the most infamous serial killers of modern time, the former Tacoma man and University of Washington law student is thought to have killed at least 36 young women and girls in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado and Florida.
He was executed in Florida in 1989.
Part-time church janitor
He attacked at least four women over 33-year span, killing two. Crimes include a 1966 robbery/kidnapping in Albuquerque, N.M.; a 1974 bludgeoning murder in Seattle; and the1998 fatal stabbing of one woman and sexual assault of another in a Lynnwood church.
He was executed in Washington in 2001.
James Edward Ruzicka
Stable cleaner, Redmond
Deemed a sexual psychopath after attacking two Seattle women, he escaped Western State Hospital, then raped and strangled two teenagers in West Seattle. He hung the body of one victim from a tree and hid the other in a field. He was arrested in Oregon after raping a 13-year-old girl. He is in prison in Washington.
Car lot worker, Aberdeen
He was committed to state psychiatric hospital as a sexual psychopath following child molestations in 1967. He stabbed two teenage hitchhikers to death near Moclips in 1975. He remains a suspect in the 1969 disappearance of a woman he had dated.
He is in prison in Washington.
Robert Lee Yates Jr.
Aluminum plant worker and Army Reserve helicopter pilot, Spokane.
He killed a string of prostitutes in Spokane and Pierce County since 1996. Admitted to 16 murders, convicted of 15. He would pick up prostitutes, shoot them and engage in post-mortem sex. Grew up on Whidbey Island and lived in several Washington cities.
He is on death row in Washington.
Kenneth Bianchi - The Hillside Strangler:
Security-alarm installer, Bellingham
Strangled at least seven women and left their bodies on hillsides in Los Angeles. He killed two Western Washington University students in Bellingham in 1979. He worked with an adopted "cousin" convicted of nine similar murders in Los Angeles.
He is in prison in Washington.
Sprinkler system installer, Seattle
He beat to death a Seattle prostitute, and then dumped her body near the South Park marina. Also convicted of assaulting two other Seattle prostitutes and acquitted of killing another.
He is in prison in Washington.
Produce salesman, Spokane
Suspected of killing up to 30 Northwest women, Bernson stabbed a 15-year-old girl to death and buried her in a shallow grave in Richland. Authorities in Oregon also charged him for the 1978 murder of a Umatilla teenager, whose body was found in 1985.
He is In prison in Washington.
Randy Woodfield - The I-5 Killer:
Bartender, Eugene/Portland, Ore.
Suspect in at least 13 homicides, including three in Washington. Best known for robbing, raping and killing women in communities along Interstate 5 from Bellevue to Redding, Calif. he often wore a false beard and hooded sweat shirt during his attacks.
He is in prison in Oregon.
Martin Lee Sanders
Long-haul trucker, Spokane
He was convicted of raping and killing two teenagers in Spokane in 1983. He also killed two teenage female hitchhikers in Grant County in 1980. He avoided prosecution in those murders by later pleading guilty to the Spokane homicides. He is in prison in Washington.
Army sergeant, Fort Lewis.
Shot and killed one prostitute, strangled and sliced the throat of another. Elton dumped his victims near Madigan Army Hospital in 1984. The Seattle native later pleaded guilty to the killings in military court to avoid a death sentence.
He is in a military prison in Kansas.
William Scott Smith
Cook, Salem, Ore.
He was convicted of two counts of aggravated murder for the sex slayings of two young Salem women in separate attacks in the spring of 1984. Smith was also questioned in the 1983 unsolved murder of a 14-year-old girl in Idaho. Although not officially a suspect in any Washington murders, Green River investigators at one time looked at him in relation to serial killings in this state. Smith also has family ties to Pierce County. He is in prison in Oregon.
Billy Ray Ballard Jr.
Truck driver, Plains, Mont.
He confessed to killing a Seattle couple who disappeared while sightseeing in the Columbia River Gorge. Their bodies were recovered at different times, dumped 30 miles apart, in rural Grant County. Ballard's arrest for the abduction, rape and torture of two women in Wyoming months later helped investigators match his fingerprint to one left on the Washington couple's abandoned car.
Status: In prison in Wyoming.
Joe Kondro Laborer, mill worker, Longview
He admits to raping and strangling two young girls in Southwest Washington -- killings more than 11 years apart. Convicted of two other rapes, he also admits to abducting a teenage store clerk at knifepoint. Suspect in dozens of disappearances, rapes and murders since 1982. He is in prison in Washington.
Westley Allan Dodd
Raped, tortured and killed three boys in Vancouver-Portland area. Caught after he tried to abduct a boy from a Camas movie theater. Admitted to molesting about 30 children.
He was executed in Washington in 1993.
Scott William Cox
Long-haul trucker, Newberg, Ore.
He stabbed one prostitute and strangled another in Portland. Suspected in more than 20 other murders, including the 1988 homicide of Snohomish County transient Hazel Gelnett and the 1990 murder of Tia Hicks, a Seattle woman whose body was found in Montlake Terrace. Also suspected of raping and trying to kill a Seattle prostitute in May 1991. He is in prison in Oregon.
Keith Jesperson - Happy Face Killer
Long-haul trucker, Yakima Valley/Portland
He confessed to eight murders in five states. Jesperson typically raped, beat and strangled truck-stop prostitutes and transients, then dumped bodies along wooded roadsides. Sent taunting letters to media and authorities, signed with a "happy face." Caught after killing his girlfriend near Camas. He is in prison in Oregon.
John Eric Armstrong
U.S. Navy, Bremerton/Detroit, Mich.
Armstrong claims to have killed two women and a transsexual man in Seattle while stationed on the Bremerton-based USS Nimitz from 1993 to 1999, plus eight others worldwide. He was convicted of five Detroit-area prostitute murders. Police discount many of his claims. In prison in Michigan.
by Chris Bartholomew Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
There are seven psychological phases a serial killer goes through in his mind. They were identified and described by psychologist Joel Norris in 1988. Norris worked on the defense teams of several convicted killers from Georgia and completed 500 interviews with such individuals, during which he identified the following phases.
1. Aura Phase
He hasn't killed yet, but he starts to withdraw from family and friends, isolating himself more and more. He is like a person addicted to television, all he wants to do is to continue watching it, but the 'television' that he is watching is a fantasy in his head. People he comes in contact with might not even notice that there is a difference, but at this aura phase, he won't be trying to make any contact with other people that he isn't already obligated to talk to and interact with. It is here that he might start abusing alcohol or drugs, which usually leads to the fantasies intensification and after awhile these fantasies have to be acted upon. This phase can last from a few minutes to a few months. This is the time when he is getting up his nerve to put action to his fantasies, he's building himself up.
2. Trolling Phase
The killer has decided that he is ready, and he is looking for a victim. He's usually going to be looking in a place where he's been before, so that being familiar with the surroundings, he knows where he will most likely succeed in finding someone he won't be caught with. He has to find a good place to kill the victim. He also has to take into consideration where he will leave or dump the body. This phase takes as long as it takes, sometimes a day, sometimes months. He is looking for the perfect victim to act out those fantasies that have grown in his mind. By this phase, he has an idea of how he will approach the victim.
3. Wooing Phase
Note that the disorganized killer wouldn't be here at this phase, as the organized killer is more confident and has better social skills. He will try to socialize with the victim and gain their trust. Once he has their trust, he will get them to a secluded area that he picked out during the Trolling phase and move on to the next phase.
4. Capture Phase
This is where he betrays the trust he has gained. The capture. He somehow got the victim into the car (or knocks them out and puts them there) and he goes to the secluded area that he already picked out. He might pretend to need help with something to get them to the car. He gets pleasure out of the capture phase; he is in complete control and loves this. Once he's sure his victim cannot get away, he goes to the next phase. Note that some people have actually escaped or talked the killer into letting them go during this phase. It seems as though there is a way to interrupt the fantasy here, maybe mentioning children, somehow in begging for their life, some victims have been let go, sometimes the killer just walks away or drops them off on the side of the road or at a hospital.
5. Murder Phase
A disorganized killer is likely to kill the victim quickly, raping and mutilating after death. With the organized killer, time will be taken to act out his fantasy, usually raping and mutilating while the victim is still alive. The most organized serial killer will keep the person alive as long as possible to get the most enjoyment out of the act and make it last, because he is not really there for the kill, he is there to live out the fantasy.
6. Totem Phase
The fantasy is over, and the excitement is gone. He gets depressed because it's over and it didn't last. This is why some serial killers will take what we call 'trophies' away with them, so that they have something that will help them reenact the kill over and over in his mind. This helps him remember the power he had over the victim, it reminds him that he actually did it.
7. Depression Phase
This is the last phase before he starts again. He's emotionally let down. This can last for days or weeks, sometimes even months. This is the time that they might try to commit suicide, or even confess to the police before he kills again. Now that the victim is dead, they don't represent what the thought they did and the fantasy is still there. It never gets finished with a satisfactory ending. It's like an incomplete story. In every subsequent murder, he tries to make the scene of the crime the same as the fantasy, which is why there are almost always patterns to a serial killers kills. Serial killing is an addiction, and the killing patterns will be continued.
To date, there is not a way to stop a serial killer from killing but the catch them and put them in prison. The above phases help to explain this, as they did it, got away with it, still need to satisfy that fantasy, and will continue becuase there is no satisfactory end.
Serial Killers and the Media
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
You pick up the paper and read the headlines: Killer Strikes Again. You are going to read the article, and every other article, and you'll keep reading until you know all about it because you live there and you want to know who he's killing, where he's killing, when he's killing, so that you can prepare to stay away from the places at that time of day or night, and you try to think of ways that you are different from his victims. The media has given you a chance to protect yourself by giving you information.
It's also human nature to be enamored by all of our feelings, especially fear. Most of us have had nightmares, and we will admit that while we don't like the images, we do like the feeling of being afraid. It makes us feel alive. It's why we read mysteries, and horror stories. It's why Steven King is such a hit. The love of the feeling is also why rollercoaster's always have the longest lines. We like to be afraid.
We also want to be known, we want people to know that we do our jobs well, that we treat our families well, that we are who we are. Worlds within worlds, we all have our places where we are known and appreciated. Some people want to be famous – actors, writers, singers, dancers... and serial killers.
Now that our nature is out of the way we can examine how media coverage might influence the serial killer, beginning with nicknames. As writers, we have to come up with super titles, a great lead-in to a story – and that's whether we are writing a book, story, or an article, a good lead-in is a must. Media gives nicknames to a serial killer because they don't know who he or she is. Plain and simple, it's easier for us to write, 'The Pink Panther Killer' than it is to keep saying, 'whoever killed the Keller woman has done it again', 'whoever the killer is', etc.
We can't say that all serial killer nicknames are sensational, or super-hero like, but some of them are. Some of them are named after the area, as in 'Highway Killer', or for how they might have killed as in 'The Cleveland Axe Murderer.'
The Zodiac Killer named himself, and so did Dennis Radar of the BTK (bind, torture, kill) murders in Kansas. Fearing the paper wouldn't publish his letter, the Zodiac Killer threatened to kill a school bus full of children. He was certainly after publicity. After years of keeping quiet, Dennis Radar sent the police a computer disk with a message that they were able to trace to the church where he did work. His want for attention got him caught.
"The Lipstick Killer" of Chicago; "Zodiac Killer" of San Francisco; "BTK" of Wichita; "Weepy-Voice Killer" of Minnesota; "Happy Face Killer" of Oregon; and "Zodiac Killer" of New York, are just a few of the serial killers who communicated with the media while they killed. They obviously wanted to be known for what they were doing.
There are always similarities in serial killings, but another bid for fame and the attention that it brings the killer are signatures. A signature killer has something that he does every time he kills, letting the authorities know that it's him. When you read an article where the killer left the bodies in a certain position, this is a signature, if he takes away with him a body part, it's a signature. Something that ties all of the victims together can also be called a 'signature' and this is communication with the media. While all serial killers may leave signs, not all of them leave signatures. Signatures are proof that one person did the deed. Who do they want to know that it's 'their signature'? The media so they will let the rest of the world know.
Does media coverage make a serial killer kill more people? Certainly it can be suggested that it does create copycat murders. If it weren't for media coverage, it's not likely that the average citizen could put the numbers and likelihood (similarities) together to figure out a serial activity. Only the media puts it all out there for everyone to read. No one can be a copycat without all of the information.
Not all serial killers set out to be famous. Some of them don't even know that they like notoriety until they experience it when they read a story about themselves in the paper. Once they read the story though, it has to have an effect. We don't know but that some serial killers might actually stop killing for fear of being caught after media coverage.
Bud Richards hated his nickname given by the media. "Nicknames are everything in the States," complained Richards. "If you haven't got a cool handle, you're like, nobody. I was hoping to be named something clever like 'The LA Clipper'or perhaps even 'The Nail Ripper', but instead I’ll go down in the annals of American criminology as ‘TheManicure Murderer’How gay is that?”
Why is the above quote included in this article? Because everyone knows that Americans have a fascination with serial killers, even serial killers know that. We read them like entertainment, and they are happy to keep us so entertained. Yes, they do get greedy for publicity, for the writer to get it right, for their name to keep coming out in the articles, in the movies, in the books. They want to be known.
But we are back to the question - does media coverage make the serial killer kill more people, or accelerate their work? You would have to agree that it does.
Serial killers have been featured in novels, movies, songs, comic books, true crime, video games and other media Films such as The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Scream, and the Halloween series, have featured serial killers as villains, antiheros, and even protagonists. Serial killers such as Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Carnage, Michael Meyers, Patrick Bateman, and Dexter Morgan have become some of the most famous; popular characters in modern culture.
America has proven that stardom can be obtained by a serial killer.
Before a killer is named a serial killer, he/she has to kill at least three people. Media doesn't 'make' a serial killer, they find them. Police are not willing to release information that there is a possible serial killer on the loose until the media makes it almost impossible to ignore in most cases.
Media is a necessary evil. On the one hand the writer wants to be known for their investigative work, the public wants to know what this 'mysterious' person is up to, and the serial killer wants their name in lights. They want fame. Media coverage is continued inspiration for them to live up to what's being written about them. They feel like they are super human, able to kill without being caught, sometimes for years.
The organized killer is considered to be socially competent, intelligent, a planner, generally targets strangers, someone who uses restraints, has sex with their victims and uses a vehicle. Typical characteristics would include living with a partner, follows the crime in the media, plans the killing, the victim’s body is hidden; evidence is often absent, may return to the crime scene and anticipates police.
In every serial killing, there are three participants: the killer, the victim(s), and the audience: the police, the media, or the public. The killer actively seeks recognition and acknowledgement of his killings, proof by acclaim and mention of his deeds. He preserves mementos, records his actions in detail, and preserves and revisits the crime scene. His feelings of influence and invulnerability to the consequences of his actions increase the more victims he rapes, mutilates, and murders.
Many killers enjoy media and law-enforcement attention, and when apprehended, not only confess to their crimes but sometimes even exaggerate how many murders they have committed.
Thinking logically, knowing that a serial killer is in your area, walking at night feels creepier. When people know that there is a serial killer in certain areas tourism is down. The media has an effect on everyone. It's just not logical to believe that a serial killer wouldn't be affected by the media.
Serial killers and Astrology
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
I'm a Virgo, what sign are you? Chances are that you know your birth sign. The Zodiac Signs are all part of astrology, which is the study of the different astral bodies and how they influence human life on earth, or rather, how the position of these planets influence us.
Some people believe in astrology so far as reading their own horoscope to see what kind of day they will have. Some people don't believe in it at all, and some think it's a tool of the devil.
The horoscope is a map that appears as a two dimensional chart. It shows the position of the Sun, the Moon, and planets at the precise moment of your birth. The planets are frozen in their position at the initial moment of birth. That is why this type of horoscope is known as the birth chart or the natal chart.
In the 1980's several different people did studies, not scientific, but studies nonetheless, where they'd give an astrologer names, birth dates, and times of birth of serial killers, with their own name instead of the killers name to see if the results would show that serial killer's traits or life. It didn't work out; in fact, one teacher did this same thing, using the student's names and serial killer's information, handing out the findings to the students asking them to rate the reading. Most of the students rated this experiment high in the 'right' list, thinking the astrologer hit the nail on the head as far as their own lives were concerned.
A skeptic in Kansas City went to five professional astrologers giving as his own the birth data and computer-calculated birth chart of John Gacy. They described him as having a "well rounded personality", that he could "offer a good role model" and that he would "be excellent for working around young people" (which is the group that Gacy specialized in murdering).
On the other hand, astrologers have done studies on serial killers, using their name, date and time of birth, to see if their charts will tell anything that Serial Killers have in common, as in the position of certain planets, and to see if a reading of their lives would be correct using astrology.
Studies and readings have been done on many Serial Killers, among them:
Edmund Kemper (Sagittarius), Jeffrey Dahmer (Gemini), David Berkowitz (Gemini), Richard Ramirez, (Pisces) Dennis Radar (Pisces), Ed Gein (Leo), Marcel Petiot (Capricorn), Ian Brady (Capricorn), Myra Hindley (Cancer), Charles Manson, (Scorpio), John Wayne Gacy, (Pisces) Ted Bundy (Sagittarius), Bob Berdella (Aquarius), Dean Corll (Capricorn), Dennis Nilsen (Sagittarius), Arthur Shawcross (Gemini), Randall Woodfield (Capricorn).
An astrologer sent the FBI an astrological profile of the killer in the Atlanta Child Murders (which turns out was way off), and some police in different places have called on an astrologer to try to find a suspected serial killer, or to see if the chart would show something of significance between the suspected killer and the killings.
An episode of the television program, Unsolved Mysteries, profiled a segment concerning an experiment in astrology. The producers of the show had twenty astrological birth charts from people at random. Included with the twenty astrological charts, the producers put the charts of four serial killers: Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz, Richard Ramirez, and Ed Kemper. These astrological charts were given to Carolyn Reynolds, a well-known astrologer, to see if she could glean any information from them. Without knowing the identity of the people whose charts she was analyzing, she successfully identified the four people as possible serial killers. She was also able to give other specific information about these serial killers that proved correct. She was able to do all this just by analyzing their astrological birth chart.
There is a lot of talk about what sign most of the serial killers were born under, but in my searching, I got different results, but it doesn't really matter what the sign is, whether they have that in common or not, the key is what date, time, and place they were born –whether certain planets were in the same places of most of the killers or not, and it turns out that they were.
In understanding charts, I thought it would be interesting to see what my own would look like. You can do this free online, and there are places where you can go to find the meaning - the chart is a circle with the 12 zodiac signs, divided into 12 houses which are 30° each. The sun, moon and planets are then put into the places where they were at a birth time and place. Then there are lines going here and there. While it is interesting to look at, it means nothing unless you can figure it out. I did one of my own so that I could understand those of others.
After doing my own chart, which turned out pretty much right, I decided to pick a killer, get the chart and figure out what it would read. I decided to do someone everyone is not only interested in, but knows a lot about, Charles Manson. Here are some of the results:
Very intense and non-committal, primary motivation is unlikely to be prestige, or even authority, its real power. His power can absolutely be of the "behind the scenes" variety, just as long as he has it. He isn't afraid of getting his hands (or body or mind) dirty. He likes the darker side of life. It intrigues him, and he's always ready to investigate.
He never gives up. He has tremendous staying power. He's not in the slightest intimidated by anybody or anything. Confrontations are not a problem. Everyone would probably be in awe at all he's gone through. Trauma seems to follow him wherever he goes. When he learns optimism, instead of expecting the worst, he'll find that he possess amazing regenerative powers -- the power to heal, create, and transform.
Weaknesses: He is suspicious, defiant, and extremist: he is sometimes vindictive.
Social relationships are extremely important. He is generally charming with an easy-going manner. It is generally quite important that he is personally popular, and to be liked and appreciated. Sometimes, vanity is part of the package. He is diplomatic and a veritable expert at smoothing over (and sometimes glossing over) problems. He is openhanded with others, tolerant and accepting. When expressed negatively, he can be superficial and two-faced, and be very much tied up with appearances – his own, and sometimes others'. He is most attracted to people who express interest in him, or who respond well to his charms. He works his charms and draws people to him. His ability to attract others is very much tied up with ego.
He has faced a fair number of challenges in his life, especially in the first half, in which his attempts to express his will were often thwarted. There can be a persistent feeling that he doesn't get what he wants in comparison to others. He can feel unlucky at times. Attempts to control the environment, and sometimes others, may be frequent.
He wants to be considered an accomplished and important person, and when he faces obstacles, he doesn't always see that he is his own worst enemy. He may long to be considered important in the eyes of the world, yet he harbors fear of success at the same time. He takes failures and minor setbacks to heart, and may even practically beat himself up over them. Self-awareness to the point of real self-consciousness is a possibility.
He is not much scared of anything. He enjoys and embraces growth, especially of the psychological kind. He loves a good mystery, and is adept at solving it. He readily assigns meaning to what others might consider "ordinary" events. He looks for symbols, and reads between the lines in most any situation. The physical vitality is generally strong, and the body is usually able to heal quickly. He is not afraid of the "dark side" of human nature, and he will bend the rules from time to time if he feels the need to do so.
He is sociable, intelligent and lucid. Thanks to great sociability, he has many friends. He is modern, original, inventive, and non-conformist and brings new life to everything he does.
Weaknesses: he is eccentric, with sharp mood swings. Complex love life.
There is a conflict here between the head and the heart. His emotions tell him one thing and the mind tells him something else. The result is a see-saw effect: he can be emotional to the point of irrationality at one moment and logical the next. He has a tendency to misrepresent himself with what he says from time to time, but he is a charming, if a little kooky, friend.
He is sometimes indifferent to others, to those who surround him: he is, without thinking, negligent and indecisive. He may "feed" inner restlessness with excesses in gambling, shopping, or other comforts, and his honesty is sometimes a bit elastic. This aspect does not help professional success, especially as he tends to spend more than he earns. Sometimes enthusiastic and gung-ho, and other times indifferent, it can be challenging for others to understand him. He needs to find constructive avenues for his inner restlessness.
He has a feverish, non-constructive restlessness. He is too susceptible. His life is full of change. He is irritable and stubborn at times due to an inner restlessness that is hard to satisfy. He has difficulty concentrating on a job. His friendships are like his professional and love life - sometimes unstable. There is a strong need for closeness, but when people get too close, he gets cagey, as he values personal freedom just as much.
He has intense emotions and passionate feelings. He fears the loss of control of emotional and domestic matters, and fears change. At the same time, he attracts change and disruptions. The love life or marital life may be riddled with emotional scenes, jealousy, and possessiveness because he attracts intense partners.
He is extremely observant and astute, always reading between the lines and looking for the real meaning behind things. He is passionate in speech, and excellent at strategy. Natural psychologist.
He likes polemic, to criticize and, above all, to contradict. He lacks diplomacy and tends to dissipate his energy. He cannot stay in the same place, likes change even if it means a backward step.
He possesses people, and somehow makes it seem attractive to be possessed. He has a strong need to control his partner, although this won't be immediately apparent, and he may not ever admit to this.
He attracts the best fortune when he puts his "all" into a project or undertaking, and uses his magnetic powers to heal others.
He is too independent and his liberty is all-important. He lacks diplomacy, and his extravagance is shocking. He likes verbal battles and espouses extremist ideas in order to shock his companions. He has a number of internal tensions.
Weaknesses: bad luck, adversity, problems and disappointed hopes. Narrow-minded, violent, sectarian, and probably has psychosomatic illnesses. He pollutes the family atmosphere, and is destructive.
I thought that was a pretty interestingly correct view of the man's life, though of course some if it isn't true to how things worked out for him. Because society is so interested in serial killers, their lives are pretty well mapped out so astrologers can look at their chart and compare it with real life.
Profiling – A Closer Look
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Profiling a serial killer is a fascinating thing. It takes more than just hearing about a murder. It actually takes more than one murder, because you have to have something to compare. A profile is an investigative tool. It is not exact science. A criminal profiler takes all of the information the police have about a particular case, they talk to all of the officers and investigators that work on the case, and look at similar cases that have been solved; all of this together makes a profile. The profiler's education and experience with these types of crimes also are a very significant part of the profile.
I've chosen the unsolved case from California to compare the actual case with a profile done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center. Keep in mind that the profile made that I have included at the end of the article was made when there were only five victims at three different places. In this article, there are two different cases (Original Night Stalker, and the East Area Rapist) that were found linked to one person through DNA evidence, at the time of the profile, this was not the case, they were only looking at the first murders that they knew about at the time. If you look at the names below, within the article, you can see where it was merged.
1) Lyman Smith, W/M 43 March 13, 1980
Charlene Smith, W/F 33 March 13, 1980
2) Keith Harrington, W/M 24 August 19, 1980
Patrice Harrington, W/F 28 August 19, 1980
3) Manuela Witthuhn, W/F 28 February 6, 1981
It is helpful to look at the profile with this newer information to see, when this case developed into the unsolved case that it is today, whether or not the profile could still possibly be right. It's also useful to note that the profiler had some information that the public was/is not necessarily privy to with this case (blades of grass in bed, etc.).
The first thing you have to know is the case:
Original Night Stalker/East Area Rapist = the Diamond Knot Killer
In 2001 criminologists matched the DNA of a suspect in 10 Southern California murders committed between 1980 and 1986 with 50 rapes committed in Northern California from 1976 to 1979. Combining the Original Night Stalker, and the East Area Rapist, we now call the suspect the Diamond Knot Killer. The identity of this rapist/killer remains unknown. This suspect showed proficiency in tying ornate knots including the 'diamond knot', or 'Chinese knot'. (This evidence was shown only in the first two killings, not every one.)
The serial killer is thought to have begun his criminal career as a rapist in Sacramento in 1976, earning himself the name East Area Rapist because many of his attacks occurred in the Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights and Orangevale areas east of Sacramento.
The man would later become known as the Original Night Stalker, because his crimes started before those of convicted serial murderer Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker.
He stalked his victims. Sometimes there would be reports of prowlers for days before he attacked. Originally, he attacked single women, often after prying open sliding glass doors or windows of their homes with a screwdriver. He haunted upper-middle-class neighborhoods, prowling at night looking for unlocked doors. There were reports of screens missing from windows of houses other than where he struck - evidence that someone was sneaking around at night, looking for ways into houses.
His victims weren't just women. He started targeting couples in Southern California coastal communities in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange counties in 1977. He wasn't picky about his weapons and would shoot, stab or bludgeon his victims -- both men and women. The rapist frequently held a knife to his victims' throats.
The rapist would break in, often waking the victims by shining a flashlight on them or speaking. He usually cut the telephone cord and covered a lamp with something to dim the lighting. He would separate the woman from the man, often having the woman tie up her companion with bindings he brought to the house with him.
Speaking through clenched teeth in a whispering falsetto voice, he would tell the bound man he was going to kill him and the woman if he heard a sound. His warning came after he'd place perfume bottles or dishes on the man's back. He'd then leave to rape the woman in another room.
He left DNA evidence behind.
He ate from the victims' refrigerators and would tell his victims all he wanted was food and money, probably giving them a false sense of security that he would leave after he robbed them, making them feel safe enough not to try anything rash. He would rarely take anything of value, but occasionally would grab jewelry as a memento.
On April 14, 1978, the East Area Rapist struck again in the South Area of Sacramento County, attacking a 15 year old babysitter. The East Area Rapist was very methodical and calculating. He always wore a mask, so none of his victims had ever seen his face. He always wore gloves so he never left fingerprints behind. His vehicle was never parked near the crime scenes, so his license plate was never knowingly written down.
The East Area Rapist attacks came to an abrupt end with the last reported attack occurring on June 26, 1979. However, there are at least six East Area Rapist attacks that have been unaccounted for. The last reported East Area Rapist attack was listed in the media as his 44th attack. However, some law enforcement officials have referred to 50 attacks.
In 1979, the rapist turned more violent.
Detectives hosted town hall meetings after the Sacramento rapes to address residents' concerns. At one meeting, a man stood up and boldly proclaimed that he could protect his wife from the rapist. This couple was the rapist's next victims. He raped the wife and attacked the man. How must the people of the time felt when they realized that the killer must, no HAD to have been at the meeting. He also must have fit in with the other people there, in all over 300 attended and no one could think of one single person who stood out.
On Oct. 1, 1979, a man in a ski mask entered the home of Mary Brown and John Davis. The couple was awakened, a flashlight shining in their eyes, and Brown was ordered to tie up Davis with pre-cut lengths of cord that were brought to the house. While the masked intruder ransacked the house supposedly looking for money, Brown managed to hop outside to the front of her home and scream for help. The intruder pulled her back into the house. During this time, Davis made his escape into the backyard. While the intruder pursued Davis, Brown escaped again, this time running into the arms of a neighbor who had been alerted by her screams. Having lost control of the situation, the intruder was spotted escaping on a bicycle and he disappeared down a creek bed.
The man known as the East Area Rapist, would simply disappear and then re-emerge approximately three months later in Southern California and transform himself from a serial rapist into a serial killer.
Robert Offerman, 44, an orthopedic surgeon and Alexandria Manning, 35, a clinical psychologist, were both murdered in December of 1979. Both victims were restrained with braided twine, but they were shot, not bludgeoned. The killer brought a big dog to the scene, and ate from the refrigerator.
In 1981, 35-year-old Cheri Domingo, an office manager, and 27-year-old Gregory Sanchez, who worked at the Burroughs Office Machine Company, were murdered. There was no sexual assault this time, but the victims were both shot, beaten to death, and bound with twine.
When he murdered, Ventura, California attorney Lyman Smith and Smith’s wife Charlene, he left pre-cut lengths of drapery cord he’d used to bind them on the bodies and the fireplace log he used to kill them on the bed.
In August of 1980, the same year he killed the Smiths, he struck in Niguel Shores, CA - the victims were the Harringtons - Keith, a medical student, and his wife Patrice, a nurse. This time he took his bludgeoning instrument with him, but left some cord behind.
His next victim, in February of 1981, Manuela Witthuhn, was a loan officer. Her husband David was not home. He was in the hospital with a viral infection. The killer took the Witthuhn’s answering machine along with some other items this time, leaving the possibility that his voice was on the machine. The ligatures were not left behind at this scene.
In 1986 he killed his last known victim, 18-year-old Janelle Cruz. A friend had stayed with her until late in the night, reading poetry, and they’d heard strange noises outside several times. Janelle was raped and murdered, and the weapon and bindings weren’t left behind.
In 1990 or 1991 the rapist called one of his victims. Imagine answering the phone that night. He said over and over again that he could kill her, the victim heard children in the background and a woman speaking, possibly indicating the rapist had a family. His voice is higher-pitched than average male. When disguising his voice the suspect will attempt to make his voice sound husky or gruff.
The FBI describes the man as most likely being white with fair to light olive complexion and dark hair. He stood between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall. He would now be in his late 40s or early 50s. He wore a size 9 shoe. He would often carry pre-cut lengths of shoelaces or twine. He would tie his victims up with an intricate sailor's knot, called a diamond knot, which is incredibly difficult to tie and points to a possible naval background. He has Type "A" Blood. The suspect additionally is a non-secretor.
The suspect primarily targeted middle-class to upper-middle class neighborhoods with homes on or near cul de sacs or homes adjacent to vacant fields, schools, parks, creeks or homes under construction. Several of the neighborhoods targeted by the suspect had "homes for sale" or homes recently sold. Suspect is known to have posed as a realtor, building inspector or prospective home-buyer.
The suspect always wore a ski mask, usually the commercially available knitted ski mask. He apparently did not wear the same mask twice. On occasion the suspect wore a mask that appeared to be homemade. One time he had on a leather hood, another time he wore a hood with his eyes, nose and mouth exposed. This hood was Army green and made out of canvas or heavy denim material.
The suspect spent from one to three hours in the residence. During this time he would sexually assault the victim several times. In between sexual assaults the suspect wandered about the house eating and drinking. He wandered in and out of the house. Beverage containers have been found outside where he apparently stood, possibly watching for anyone approaching the house.
Because of his wanderings, the victim rarely knew when the suspect actually left the premises. It was usually thirty minutes to an hour before the victim was able to free herself and sometimes needed the assistance of a neighbor to get loose from her bonds.
Considerable research has been conducted in an attempt to find some common factor between all of the victims, without success.
Failing this it is believed that the suspect identifies his next victim by prowling and burglarizing. Burglaries of particular interest are those in which no loss or minimal loss occurs.
During the rape the suspect would frequently take small items of costume jewelry: class rings, an earring, etc. He looked through photograph albums and lingerie drawers.
Also of interest are prowler reports, particularly those where herringbone footprints are found.
The final analysis is based on probabilities. It should be noted that no two criminal acts or criminal personalities are alike. The offender may not fit the analysis in every category. (Every profile is prefaced with a note that tells the reader that it's not concrete. It is based on all of the things at the beginning of this article. The analysis is not a substitute for a thorough and well-planned investigation and should not be considered all-inclusive.)
All the victims resided in upper-middle to upper class single-story residences.
The victims were low-risk for becoming victims of violent crime.
All victims died as a result of excessive beatings to the head with a
blunt force instrument.
The first two victims, the SMITHS, had ligatures tied around their wrists and ankles.
The HARRINGTONS and MANUELA WITTHUHN had ligature marks on their wrists and ankles. JANELLE CRUZ had a bruise abrasion on her right wrist and evidence of a soft ligature used on her wrists.
All four female victims were sexually assaulted. Analysis of the semen revealed that unknown DNA profiles in all four cases were from one donor, and therefore one individual was responsible for these attacks.
Two of the female victims had circular contusions. One was located on the shoulder of PATRICE HARRINGTON and the other was located on the buttocks of MANUELA WITTHUHN. The shoulder injury was described as a possible bite mark, the other as being consistent with a punch.
The offender chose single-family residences in affluent areas with ready access to the freeway system. The first crime scene was located in close proximity to a naval facility. The last three crime scenes were located in close proximity to a marine air wing facility.
There was a distance of approximately 120 miles between the first crime scene and the other crime scenes. Although there was more than a five-year time span between the third and fourth homicides, the offender returned to the same area to commit his crimes. The distance between the third and fourth homicides was approximately 1.7 miles.
The first crime scene was located in Ventura County, California. The remaining crime scenes were located in Orange County, California. No similar crimes were reported in Los Angeles County, which is located between Ventura and Orange Counties.
There were approximately 5 months between the first and second homicides, approximately 5 ½ months between the second and third homicides and 5 ½ years between the third and fourth homicides.
The offender observed his victims from the exterior of the residences prior to making entry. There were prowler reports by neighbors and witnesses. There were unidentified shoe prints on some of the crime scenes. JANELLE CRUZ’ visitor reported that on the night of her death they had heard noises outside her bedroom window. Blades of grass in JANELLE CRUZ’ bed would support the theory that someone was standing outside the residence prior to entering.
With the exception of MANUELA WITTHUHN, there were no signs of forced entry to the residences. It is possible that the offender waited until the victims were asleep in some of the cases, because he was able to gain entry without alerting the victims. All the victims were attacked in their bedrooms while in bed.
The offender controlled his victims several ways, but primarily with items brought with him to each crime scene. The victims were initially controlled with weapons and then were bound with ligatures. This is evident because there were no signs of struggle or defense wounds on any of the victims. They did not resist being bound. There were bruises and scratches noted on some of the victims in the area of their mouths, buttocks and/or legs. Based on this the offender probably struck his victims as he gained their compliance. The ligatures that were left behind on the first crime scene were tied with
decorative diamond knots around the wrists of LYMAN and CHARLENE SMITH.
The ankle ligatures were tied with square knots, which were different from the wrist ligatures.
It is also evident that the offender used blunt force instruments found at the exterior of the crime scenes. In the first crime scene, a fire log previously located on the side of the house was used. Metal fragments were found in the injury to PATRICE HARRINGTON’S head, indicating a metal object was used as a blunt force instrument. KEITH HARRINGTON’S father had been installing a sprinkler system at the victims’ residence the day of the homicides. The sprinkler heads were readily accessible from the exterior of the residence. It was reported that a pipe wrench was missing from the exterior of the house by JANELLE CRUZ’ stepfather.
Evidence reveals that the male victims were likely eliminated prior to the sexual assault and murder of the female victims. KEITH HARRINGTON was struck in the head with a blunt instrument. A crime scene assessment indicated that scratches and chipped wood on the headboard were likely made when KEITH HARRINGTON was struck in the head. A wood chip was discovered in the bed sheets between PATRICE HARRINGTON’S legs. The location of the wood chip would support the theory that KEITH HARRINGTON was struck first. Because this happened in the HARRINGTON case, it is likely that the offender struck and killed the male victims first in all the cases. The offender used a great deal of physical force when he bludgeoned the female victims. The women suffered crushing blows to their heads resulting from beatings with blunt force instruments. The amount of force used by the offender was extreme especially considering that they were bound and compliant and, therefore, unable to resist their attacker. The behavior of the victims during the assaults did not cause the offender to increase the amount of force used because they were not resistant. More force was used than was necessary to kill the victims.
The female victims were all sexually assaulted and were assaulted in the same manner. They were all assaulted vaginally and there was no evidence of oral or anal assault on the victims. The DNA analysis on semen from each crime scene revealed that the same offender was responsible for all four assaults. This would indicate that the offender was capable of ejaculation and, therefore, was not sexually dysfunctional.
The victims were covered with bedclothes so that the offender would not get blood on himself. This is evidenced in the progression and adaptation of the offender’s methods in committing the crimes. In the first crime scene, it is likely that the offender did get blood on himself. The fire log was covered in blood and there was blood spatter on the scene. This would indicate a direct contact between the victims and the fire log. The blanket was not pulled over their heads when they were struck. In the subsequent crime scenes, the offender covered the victims before striking them in the head. Because he later uncovered them to remove ligatures, we believe the act of covering was for "function” as opposed to “fantasy”.
An adaptation of the method of operation was seen in the offender's actions between the first crime scene and the remaining crime scenes. The offender adapted his methods when he covered his victims in the last three crime scenes. The offender also changed his methods when he took the ligatures and the blunt force instruments away from those same crime scenes. Valuable jewelry sold as one of a victims business ventures was in plain view and left behind. Jewelry was also removed from the third crime scene while other items of value were left undisturbed.
The offender took the time to alter the crime scenes. He altered the crime scenes by removing weapons and ligatures. In doing so, he made them appear as though burglaries had occurred. Items taken were of no real value while other items of value were left behind. The offender took the time to disturb items within the residences that would appear to be consistent with a burglary having taken place. In the first case, several large cushions from the furniture in the living room were removed as to indicate the offender had searched for valuables under the seat cushions. In this scene, several items of value were easily accessible and were not taken. In the case of MANUELA WITTHUHN, the
offender removed a large television set and left it on the patio. It is unlikely that
the offender intended to carry the television set over the high fence used as a point of exit at the rear of the residence. This behavior would be consistent with someone altering the scenes to make it look as though burglaries had occurred
Based on analysis of similar cases indicating that crimes of this nature are generally interracial, and the demographics of the areas of the crime scenes, it is believed that the offender is a white male.
Age is difficult to predict because this analysis is a measure of an offender's emotional age as opposed to his chronological age. Factors such as incarceration or institutionalization can delay the emotional growth of an individual. We believe that the emotional age of your offender would have ranged from approximately 26 to 30 years of age at the time of the crimes. This is based on review of similar cases revealing that this type of offender is the most mature.
The offender would be described as intelligent. This was evident in his ability to plan and carry out the crimes in advance. He was prepared for his crimes when he arrived at the victims’ residences. He brought a weapon for control purposes as well as bindings, a cutting instrument, and in one instance a screwdriver. He had the ability to plan and organize his thoughts in advance. He also had the intelligence and ability to adapt his method of operation.
The offender likely was in good physical condition. This is based on the physical strength necessary to cause the serious injuries resulting from the beating of the victims with blunt force instruments.
Since the offender blended into these communities, it is likely that he dressed well and did not call attention to himself when in these areas.
The offender was probably using a vehicle that was in good condition. He traveled great distances between crime scenes and would need to have a reliable, well-running vehicle for his endeavors. This type of offender would spend a great deal of time searching for his victims and would need a reliable mode of transportation. He would have parked near the areas of the crime scenes for a long period of time while he assaulted and killed his victims. Since the areas were described as affluent, the offender likely owned a vehicle
that would not “stand out” when parked near these areas for a period of time. Because the offender needed a vehicle in good condition that would fit into the area, it is likely that he had some means of income to afford the travel and a reliable car. He also failed to take cash and some valuable items at the crime scenes indicating he likely already had some means of income. This offender spent a great deal of time searching for and conducting surveillances on his victims at night and therefore was not employed during the early morning hours.
Typically, the first crime scene in a series of homicides will be the closest to the comfort zone of your offender. In this series, the first homicides occurred in Ventura, California, more than 120 miles from the remaining crime scenes. The offender’s comfort zone would have been in this area, meaning that the offender either initially resided or worked nearest to this area at the time of the offense.
It is significant that there was more than a five-year time span between the third and last homicides that were located only a little over a mile apart in Irvine, California. We have discussed the offender’s comfort zone being nearest to the first crime scene in Ventura, California. The killer returned to the same area in Irvine to kill again more than five years later indicating that he was also comfortable with this area.
This offender would have a criminal record. As stated, he has likely committed burglary. Since it is believed that he “peeped” on his victims, it is possible that he had been arrested for loitering and prowling or had been identified through uniform patrol’s field interviews as a result of suspicious activity. He would likely also have a criminal history for assaultive behavior from his deep-seeded anger towards women. This could include arrests for altercations or disturbances with both men and women. The main issue would have been that the offender was angered by the woman and this would have triggered the assaultive behavior.
The fact that the killer attacked his victims inside their homes is significant. The few serial killers that have been known to attack inside the victims’ residences proved to have histories of committing burglaries. In these four cases, the offender also was able to enter in a stealth manner without alerting his victims. Based on these facts this offender would likely be an accomplished cat burglar.
Research has provided information on the likely characteristics and traits of this type of offender. He would likely have been described by those who knew him as being neat, articulate, intelligent and organized. He also would likely have been described as rigid, arrogant, domineering and possessing an attitude of superiority. He would be further described as manipulative, a chronic liar, and unremorseful. He may have an interest in survivalist groups or racial prejudicial groups. This type of offender does not suffer from delusions where there is no sense of reality. He would know the difference between right and wrong.
The offender was very methodical. After the first crime, he took care not to get blood spatter on himself when striking his victims by covering the bodies. His behavior was repetitive with respect to his performing the same acts during each crime. He arrived at the crime scenes prepared with a “kit”. He selected his victims through peeping. He approached the victims in the same manner. He bludgeoned all the victims to death and sexually assaulted all the women in the same manner.
He planned his attacks very carefully, with great attention to detail, and likely would have rehearsed his attacks, either literally or in his fantasy many times. Virtually every phase-weapon, transportation, travel routes, instruments of torture, and bindings-would have been pre-planned, with the exception of the victim.
It is likely that this offender selected these affluent areas to offend for two reasons. First, these areas provided a degree of seclusion for him. All the residences were single-family homes with access to main highways. The properties were corner lots, had fenced yards or were located on cul-de-sacs, providing a degree of privacy. Peeping in the windows of these residences would be a lower risk than peeping in more populated areas such as apartment complexes or military housing. Secondly, this type of offender typically has a
grandiose sense of self-importance and believes that he is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or higher status people. Because of this arrogant attitude, the offender probably selected these affluent areas because he felt his victims were “worthy” of him.
This offender searched for his victims, spending a great deal of time and covering numerous miles. This type of offender most often attacks strangers because he does not want any ties between the victim and himself. The offender selected these communities to find a victim and then through peeping would select a specific victim. In the case of the HARRINGTONS, DNA analysis revealed that the victims had engaged in sexual intercourse prior to their death. JANELLE CRUZ was entertaining a male friend in her bedroom when they heard noises outside her bedroom window. We conclude that he observed the victims by peeping and reaffirmed his belief that the women were “whores” based on the behavior he observed.
This type of offender will formulate a plan to gain access to his victim. In this series, the offender selected his victims, observed them and then gained entry. Offenders with this sexual proclivity have been known to overpower a victim with a weapon and immediately instill fear. In all but one case, the offender likely gained entry via an unlocked door. He did, however, have the tools to force entry if needed. In the third case in this series the offender used a screwdriver to pry open a sliding glass door.
He likely prepared his equipment, or a “kit”, including whatever is needed to gain access to his victim. In these cases, the offender brought ligatures, a cutting instrument, a control weapon and a burglary tool to the crime scenes.
This type of offender used a method of killing that reflected his desire for complete mastery and control over his victims. In those scenes where two victims were killed, the offender was not discouraged by the fact that two people were present. In fact, it is more likely that the offender was gratified with his ability to have complete mastery over two people. Since this offender enjoyed the infliction of pain, whether physical or psychological, the elimination of the targeted victims’ spouses served two purposes: one, the increased pleasure of controlling more than one person; and two, to have complete mastery over the targeted victims through the fear and pain inflicted by the killing of their spouses. This would cause the female victims to suffer enormously while being restrained
and unable to defend themselves. All this was at the core of the offender’s desires and was reflected in his methods of killing.
The offender made the conscious decision to bludgeon his victims to death rather than to use some other simpler form of murder. This is apparent because he brought blunt force instruments into the victims’ homes. It is likely that he chose this violent form of death due to his enormous hate for the female victims. In doing so, they would suffer greatly. To kill them easily or quickly would not have been satisfying for him.
This offender was angry with women and used sex and physical force as weapons to punish and degrade them. He exhibited extreme anger and rage toward his female victims when he bludgeoned them to death. This behavior revealed his intense rage for the female victims and what they represented. He used excessive levels of force as the result of his rage, which was exhibited in the form of frenzied attacks on his victims. It is possible that in the mind of the killer these victims were a symbolic representation of a conflict involving a female. He blamed these women for his problems and believed he was superior to all women. He was getting even with women for their real or imagined wrongs. The victims were bound when they were killed and, therefore, were not able to resist their attacker. The amount of force used by the offender was extreme especially considering that they were bound and compliant.
Although the two male victims were also struck in the head with blunt force instruments, it is not believed that the offender was exhibiting his rage towards them as he did the female victims. He eliminated the men to concentrate on the intended female victims. The offender intellectualized the killings of the male victims. He logistically removed them as potential threats. He also likely intellectualized that the male victims got what they deserved because of their association with these women that he viewed as being low class and promiscuous.
Because the offender did prepare for his crimes in advance by bringing items with him, it is extremely significant that the blunt force instruments came from the exterior of the victims’ residences. It is assumed he had a weapon when he arrived on the crime scenes because he was able to control two people alone while inside the residences. The offender didn't use the weapon he brought with him because the weapon, likely a firearm, could be linked to him. He then likely planned to utilize a weapon from the crime scene. In using a log, pipe and possible a sprinkler head, he would not be connected to the murder weapon. This reveals that the subject was very evidence conscious. He further revealed his sophistication by removing the weapons from the crime scenes. Because the subject is so evidence conscious, it is believed that the offender disposed of the weapons soon after the crime and was not saving the items as trophies.
The offender might have studied methods of killing without leaving evidence. His planning murders and planning not to use a weapon connected to him, as well as removing evidence from the scenes, indicates he was knowledgeable and very sophisticated in this area. His knowledge could have been gained through experience or perhaps even military training.
It cannot be ruled out that the offender was employed by the military at the time of the crimes. It was reported that a naval station and a marine base were in close proximity to the crime scenes. In addition, the decorative knot tied on the ligatures of the first two victims was described as having a nautical or sailing application that can be used in the military service.
In order to justify the killing of these women, the offender needed to convince himself that these women were “whores”. First, the behavior he witnessed while prowling and peeping convinced him that the women were promiscuous. Secondly, when the subject engaged in sexual intercourse with the women this reaffirmed his belief that the women were promiscuous. The offender was enraged by his perception of the women’s behavior and his anger was the direct motivation for killing these women. The sexual assaults were not the primary motivation for the attacks. The sex occurred as a method of the offender justifying in his mind that the women were “whores”. Because of this rage, he made a conscious decision that they should die.
Fantasy is a component of this offender’s methodology. This offender has mentally rehearsed what he would like to do. There typically are masturbation fantasies in which he thinks about what he would like to do if he had the opportunity. He then actually made the choice to move from fantasy to action and made a plan to do it. When the offender committed his crime, he enacted his sexual fantasy. He was carrying out an action that had been previously imagined.
Items belonging to the victims are taken to provide a means for the offender to relive his crimes. In the first homicide, the victim’s personal jewelry was taken; however, the valuable jewelry she sold as one of her business ventures was in plain view and left behind. Jewelry was also removed from the third crime scene while other items of value were left undisturbed. The offender typically fantasizes about the crimes he has committed and receives gratification from these fantasies.
It is believed that the knots tied on the ligatures had significance to the offender. In the first case, the two victims’ ligatures were tied with decorative diamond knots around the wrists; however, the ankle ligatures were tied with a square knot. We believe the diamond knot was significant to your offender. He likely had fantasized about his crimes prior to committing them and had imagined the use of bondage and the tying of ligatures with this decorative knot.
The offender likely engaged in a number of sexually deviant behaviors. Research on sexual behavior has shown that when an individual engages in one sexually deviant behavior, it is likely that they will engage in a number of other sexually deviant behaviors. In these cases, the offender engaged in voyeurism when he peeped into the windows of the victims, he engaged in sexual bondage by use of ligatures and he received sexual gratification from the infliction of pain on his victims. These behaviors involved an intense sexual desire to perform a certain act, which provided sexual gratification. Sexually deviant behaviors involve human or non-human objects and do include child sexual abuse.
Because this offender needs domination, control and manipulation for sexual arousal, we would expect to see a history of assaultive or abusive behavior towards partners. This would result from the offender’s aggression toward his partner because this type of person will often use brutal force. If he was not arrested for incidents related to this behavior, an investigation into his relationships would likely indicate this type of abuse. The offender when in a relationship, would be able to come and go as he pleased, being the dominant and aggressive member of the relationship. The offender, however, would not have likely maintained lengthy relationships with women. Based on his deep rooted
hostility towards women, this offender was, in all probability, not married at the time of the crimes.
His sexual history would have included binding his partner during sexual intercourse. The binding of his sexual partner is a method of domination and control. This type of offender is sexually aroused when he is able to completely dominate and control. His sexual relationships will reflect this desire. Physical evidence revealed that the offender was sexually functional.
The offender was able to ejaculate during the commission of each sexual assault and therefore was not sexually dysfunctional. As is the case with offenders who are dysfunctional, he was not likely burdened by anxiety and was not unsure of himself. On the contrary, this offender was likely arrogant and confident in his abilities. The sexual assault occurred to demonstrate that the women were “whores”. The sexual interaction was about how the offender viewed the women. Having intercourse with them reaffirmed his belief that they were promiscuous. Since the sexual activity was not about how the offender viewed himself, his performance or masculinity, he would then not have a problem with sexual function.
It is significant that the offender was sexually functional. Research and comparison of similar cases reveal that most offenders exhibit some form of sexual dysfunction. This offender is among a small group of offenders that are sexually functional. This is significant because, in attempting to link similar cases, it would be unlikely that this offender would have committed crimes in which the offender was sexually dysfunctional and did not ejaculate.
There is documentation through the assessment of similar cases and research that this type of offender will attack strangers while having a compliant victim at home. Their appetite for sadistic sex would be described as insatiable. Women who have had sexual relationships with this type of offender reported that anal intercourse eventually became the regular routine and vaginal intercourse ceased. In addition, women involved with these offenders have reported being strangled to the point of unconsciousness during sexual acts.
This type of offender seeks sex with compliant victims to include prostitutes. We believe it was likely that this offender likely engaged in sex with prostitutes. He would have engaged in the same type of sexual acts with the prostitutes as he did with his victims. The insatiable appetite for sexual bondage, mastery and control would all be central themes to the sex acts performed. The analysis of behavior of similar offenders indicates that these types of offenders have reportedly engaged in sex with prostitutes but have not killed them because they differed in status from the type of women they victimized. It is likely that they are not harmed because of their different status and also because the offender does not have a need to punish them since they did not represent their victims.
It is believed that the offender followed media accounts of the crimes he committed. Because the first victims were prominent in the community, there was a vast amount of media attention. It is likely that the offender followed the media accounts of the murders and adapted his methods according to what was disclosed to the public. It was disclosed that the victims had been bound and struck with a log. Subsequent to this, the offender removed the ligatures and blunt force instruments from the scenes.
We believe this offender altered the crime scenes in attempt to disguise his motivation for these crimes and, in doing so, attempted to manipulate law enforcement so as not to link the crimes together. The offender was motivated by extreme anger, but altered the crime scenes to appear as though burglaries had occurred. As stated previously, items were moved and/or taken to give the appearance that burglaries had occurred. We believe the offender attempted to mislead authorities into investigating “just another burglary” that ended with the death of the victims. In the first case in which LYMAN and CHARLENE SMITH were killed, the crime was relayed in detail to the public through the media who had access to a large amount of evidentiary information. If subsequent murders revealed the same circumstances, the possibility existed that because of the enormous amount of media on the SMITH case, an investigator on a subsequent crime scene in another area might remember the SMITH case and associate the crimes together. We believe the offender disguised his motivation for the crimes because he did not want the murders linked together. Manipulating law enforcement into investigating the crimes separately would decrease the total information collected and therefore would decrease the likelihood of the cases being solved.
This is the most likely of all offenders to record his crimes. This can be done in many forms such as photographs, audio recordings, sketches, writings or newspaper clippings. In the first homicide of LYMAN and CHARLENE SMITH, newspaper accounts listed many details of the crime and the investigation. We believe the offender read the newspaper articles because he altered his behavior following their publication. We believe therefore the offender likely saved the newspaper articles concerning the homicides. The recording of these events is so that the offender, again, can fantasize and relive his crimes. Such fantasy provides sexual gratification for the offender.
It is suggested that additional investigation might be made into the decorative knot tied by the offender on the wrists of the first victims, LYMAN and CHARLENE SMITH. The knot was described by an expert as a decorative diamond knot with sailing applications or interior design applications. Further information may be obtained by consulting with Navy personnel. Specific knots have specific nautical uses. It may be possible to identify the type of use this knot would have in the Navy and therefore identify the occupation or type of individual who would have a practical use for this knot in his profession.
It is significant that five years and three months passed between the third and fourth homicides which occurred approximately 1.7 miles apart. The offender ceased committing these crimes but returned many years later to the same area. If the offender was incarcerated, institutionalized or moved from the area for a period of time, he later returned to the same city and community where he last killed. This would be a significant area for him and may be considered a comfort zone. This offender likely had ties to this area either through employment or residence. If not already done, investigation may uncover individuals who were transferred and returned to this area during this time frame
as well as individuals released from incarceration during the same time parameters.
These crime scenes present a significant set of facts concerning the type of area, location of the scenes and the extensive travel accomplished by the offender. The offender killed in a distance that spanned more than 120 miles across the West Coast of California. The crime scenes were all in close proximity to the freeway system and were all in affluent communities. The offender killed in two different counties in California and traveled a great distance between the two counties omitting the county between the scenes. In doing so, the offender chose not to kill in Los Angeles County, which offered numerous potential victims residing in affluent communities. Also, it is noted that the offender appeared to potentially have two different comfort zones. Because of this set of facts, it is believed that it would be beneficial to retain the services of Kim Rossmo, Vancouver Police Department, British Colombia, Canada, an expert in Geographic Profiling. Geographic Profiling could provide investigators with more specific information concerning the locations that the offender frequented, resided and worked.
The offender spent a great deal of time preparing and searching for a victim. The investigation reveals that the offender likely watched his victims through their windows prior to gaining entry. We would expect that the offender did spend a lot of time peeping in windows of others who did not become victims of homicide. The offender used a diamond knot on the wrists of his victims. Sexual bondage was very significant and important to the offender’s sexual arousal. The use of bondage and voyeurism are considered paraphilic behaviors. Such behaviors are intense sexual deviant behaviors that offer the individual sexual gratification. These behaviors are often “clustered”, meaning that an offender will often engage in a number of sexual deviant behaviors, or
paraphilias. In addition, the behaviors do not subside just because the offender
may have escalated to homicide. Because they are “intense” sexual desires, the offender will continue to engage in such activity for sexual gratification. These behaviors will remain constant. Records may be reviewed pertaining to reports of peeping in these areas and similar communities. Reports of domestic complaints involving sexual bondage and aggression can be reviewed for suspect development.
Individual queries of separate state and federal DNA databases may be considered. It is unlikely that the offender ceased this type of behavior. If he is still living, we would expect him to commit similar crimes. The likelihood does exist that he has moved from the area and therefore it would be important to inquire on a broad spectrum. Inquiring separately with each system that exists would ensure the thoroughness and quality of the comparison. Since a possibility does exist that this offender was employed by the military service, it may be fruitful to search incident reports, domestic complaints with bondage and the DNA databases available through the military.
At the time of occurrence for each homicide, teletypes were issued by the law enforcement agencies requesting information on these crimes or similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Since that time, teletypes have been reissued, searches of the California databases have been conducted and continuous searches of the offender’s DNA against new entries into the California DNA database system are ongoing. In addition, information concerning all four cases was submitted to the FBI’s VICAP system in an effort to link them to any homicide with similar characteristics nationwide. To date there are no known repetitions of these crimes.
In assessing this information the possibility exists that the offender either is in jail or has been institutionalized for a long period of time. The latter is not very likely since this offender was intelligent, methodical and would not suffer from a delusional type of disorder if he suffered from mental illness. There is also the possibility that the offender moved out of the country and resides in an area where the crimes would not be documented for linkage purposes. And finally, in attempting to assess where the offender may currently be located, the offender could possibly have died by either suicide or homicide. It is not uncommon for some individuals with the offender’s characteristics to take their own lives. More important, however, were the behavioral characteristics indicating his rage for the female victims. We have discussed his anger for real or perceived wrongs committed by a female or females and his need to inflict severe emotional and physical pain on women. His rage was so intense that he could justify why the men in two cases “deserved” to be killed by associating with these women.
The rage and anger would be more significant factors in determining this offender's demise as opposed to some of the other personality characteristics. Because of his deep-seeded hate towards women, the possibility exists that the offender could have been involved in a violent confrontation with a woman, or because of a woman, resulting in his death. It is also possible if the offender were deceased that he could have been killed in an attempt to commit a similar crime. If he were killed as a result of his entering a residence at night, the behavior seen in the four crimes assessed would not be present and, therefore the crimes would not have been linked through conventional means. We would suggest a search of investigations involving violent disturbances or burglaries resulting in the death of a male offender.
Should a viable suspect be developed in this investigation it is our recommendation that a consultation be scheduled with a Criminal Investigative Analyst (Profiler) regarding specific strategies for a specific individual. Assistance can be provided with an Indirect Personality Assessment of the suspect.
The most important aspect of the interview would be the preparation.
These types of offenders are aware of who they are and what they are, and because they are “police buffs” they are very much aware of law enforcement and investigative techniques. It would be important then for the law enforcement officers to understand the personality of this type of offender, the cases, the individual suspect and the paraphilias, or sexual deviant behaviors that he engages.
It is important to understand that these types of offenders are masters of manipulation, are intelligent, articulate, will consent to an interview, and likely will decline access to a lawyer. They are experts on themselves and their crimes.
The interviewer should know everything possible about the investigations.
The interviewer should have a rank of detective or higher, dress professionally in a dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie. The interviewer should be of equal or superior stature, build or condition in order to dominate and control the interview. The interviewer should be of equal or superior intelligence, be articulate, formal and professional at all times during the interview. The interviewer should be confident, calm and relaxed and at no time show personal feelings or emotion during the interview. The offender would likely view such feelings as weakness.
Should other cases committed by this offender become known following
the completion of this analysis, we reserve the right to amend our assessment.
Serial Killer Weapons of Choice
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
In the united states, guns are used in murder more than any other weapon, cutting or stabbing is next and a tiny percentage are murders involving blunt objects, personal weapons, strangulation, asphyxiations and fire... serial killings do not stay inside the national average by weapons. The 140 serial killers below seem to bear this out. Twenty eight used guns, Twenty seven used a knife, fourteen used blunt objects, twenty used personal weapons, and Thirty one used strangulation, six by asphyxiation, and two byfire, Thirty nine are in the 'all other' category.
Aileen Wournos – gun Albert Desalvo (Hillside Strangler) strangled with articles of clothing. Altemio Sanchez - strangulation Alton Coleman with Deborah Denise Brown - ligature strangulation Andrei Chikatilo – knife Andrew Cunanan - gun Angel Maturino Resendiz – rocks, sledgehammer, a pointed garden tool, a tire iron, an air hose coupling (to bludgeon them with). Also used a gun. Anna Maria Zwanziger – Poison Arthur Shawcross - strangulation and battered women to death Belle Gunness – poison Beverly Allitt - drugs The Bloody Benders- hammer and a knife Bruce George Peter Lee – arson Carl Panzram – gun CarltonGary – strangulation with stockings Cayetano Santos Godino – a hammer and a nail. Charles Cullen - overdoses of insulin, and the heart medication digoxin Charles Quansah – strangulation Chester Dewayne Turner -strangulation CliffordOlson – strangulation, hammer, knife Christopher Peterson - gun ColonIreland – suffocation with a plastic bag, strangled with a noose Coral Eugene Watts - stabbing, slashing, strangulation and bludgeoning. Dagmar Overbye - strangled them, drowned them or burned them to death in her masonry heater. Dana Sue Gray – utility knife, fillet knife, phone cord, Daniel Ruda and wife Manuela – stabbing David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) – gun David Gore - alligators, gun David Parker Ray - whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, and surgical blades and saws Dennis Nilsen - strangulation and drowning Dennis Radar - strangulation Derrick Todd Lee - knife Donald Harvey – smothering, disconnected an oxygen tank, smothered with plastic bags, also killed with morphine and a variety of drugs. Donald Henry Gaskins – hatchet, knife, poison, drowning, fists Earle Nelson – strangulation Ed Gein - .22-caliber rifle Eddie Leonski – strangulation Edmund Emil Kemper III – gun, smothering Efren Saldivar - injecting a paralytic drug which led to respiratory and/or cardiac arrest. Elfriede Blauensteiner – poison Elizabeth Bathory – torture Edric Edgar Cooke – vehicle, gun Fritz Haarmann - killed them by biting through their throats Gary M. Heidnik – gun Gary Ridgeway – strangulation Genene Jones - injections of heparin and later of succinylcholine (killed babies) George Chapman – poison Gertrude Baniszewski – torture Gerald Gallego Jr. and Charlene Williams - tire iron, gun, and shovel Gerard John Schaefer - torture Gilles De Rais – torture Gwendolyn Graham and Catherine May Wood - smothering Harvey Murray Glatman - strangulation Helene Jegado - arsenic Henri Desire Landru – strangulation Henry Louis Wallace – strangulation, gun Herbert Mullin - baseball bat, knife, gun Heriberto "Eddie" Seda - gun Ian Brady and Myra Hindley - shovel, knife, strangulation, axe Maria Gruber, Irene Leidolf, Stephanija Meyer, and Waltraud Wagner - overdose of morphine, while one held the victim's head and pinched their nose, another would pour water into the victim's mouth until they drowned in their bed. Ivan Milat – knife, gun Janie Lou Gibbs - poison Jerry Brudos - bludgeoning and strangulation Jeffery Dahmer – barbell, torture Jim Jones - poison Joachim Kroll – strangulation Joe Ball – Alligator John Allen Muhammad – gun John Regiunald HallidayChristie – choked John Childs – knife, sword, axe, lead pipe, strangulation. John Wayne Gacy – Underwear, socks, ropes, handcuffs John Wayne Glover – hammer, strangulation Joseph Paul Franklin - gun Joseph Vacher – knife Juan Vallejo Corona - machete-like weapon. Karl Denke – axe Kendall Francois - strangulaion Kenneth Erskine – strangulation Kristen Gilbert - injected patients them with epinephrine, causing them to have heart attacks. Lemuel Smith – smothering Leonard Christopher – knife Lorenzo Gilyard - ligature Luis Garavito – knife Mack Ray Edwards – gun Manuela Ruda – knife Marc Dutroux – torture Marie Noe - suffocation Mark Goudeau - guns Mary Ann Cotton – poison Mary Bell – strangulation Michael Hughes - strangulation Michael Swango – poison Michael Wayne McGray – knife Nannie Doss - rat poison Nathaniel White - knife Patrick Kearney – gun Paul Dennis Reid, Jr. - gun Paul John Knowles – choked, strangulation, gun Peter Kudzinowski - knife Peter Kurten – strangulation, knife Philip Carl Jablonski – gun, suffocation, knife. Ray Copeland and Faye - gun Raman Raghav - a hard and blunt object Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck - hammer, strangulation, drowning Randall "Randy" Woodfield - knife Randy Steven Kraft – strangulation, gun, and a combination of torture and drugs. Ravindra Kantrolle – knife, strangulation Rhonda Bell Martin - poison Richard Angelo – drugs Richard Trenton Chase – gun Richard Ramirez – gun, knife Richard Fran Biegenwald - gun Robert Berdella – torture Robert Black – strangulation Robert Hansen – knife Robert Lee Yates – gun Sante Kimes – drowning Sylvestre Matuschka – train derailment Ted Bundy - bludgeoning and strangulation. Terry Blair – gun, strangulation Dr Thomas Neill Cream – poison Thug Behram – strangulation Tillie Klimek – poison Timothy Wayne Krajcir -gun Tommy Lynn Sells – knife Vincent Johnson – strangulation Westley Allan Dodd – knife William Bonin – strangulation William George Heirens – knife, William MacDonald – knife William Patrick Fyfe – knife William Suff – strangulation, knife Yaang Xinhai - axes, meat cleavers, hammers, and shovels.
Unsolved Serial Killer weapons:
Serial Shooter - shotgun Zodiac Killer – gun, knife The Grim Sleeper, California (unsolved) - gun or strangulation. Servant Girl Annihilator - Several victims were stabbed by some sort of spike in the ears or the face, he raped them before slashing or axing them to death. Axeman of New Orleans – need I say it, an axe. Bible John (unsolved) – strangulation Jack the Ripper – knife
Serial Killer Who Wore Disguises
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Serial killers become whatever they need to be in order to get close to their victims. We can agree with that, but in the long run, not many of them used disguises that we know of, although we can also agree that because of the fact that they blend in so will with society, the so called 'mask of sanity' is always there. Most of them look and act like regular members of the community.
Serial killers who used disguises:
Mark Goudeau - wore a wig of dreadlocks and a floppy fisherman’s hat as well as wearing disguises.
Andrew Phillip Cunanan – the FBI warned while looking for him that he may be dressed as a woman. Chameleonesque Andy, he was known for adroitly using disguises and makeup to change his appearance.
Ted Bundy – disguised as a person in need.
Dennis Radar - dressed as a Southwestern Bell employee, wearing a yellow hard hat and carrying a company manual and fake identification. His disguise was used to gain entry to the Wegerle home. Radar also wore a mask that he had put on his last victim. Rader had drawn in eyebrows, eyelashes, red lips and nostrils to a mask to make it look more life-like. "I pose myself in bondage pictures with my mask," Rader told authorities. Authorities found masks, some with red cheeks and long, dark eyelashes, at Rader's home. They also found photos of Rader tied in bondage while dressed as a woman in a wig and wearing a mask.
The Zodiac Killer - used a black mask with his symbol on it.
Louis Alfredo Garavito - often used a number of disguises to attract and lure his victims. He posed as a monk, street vendor, disabled person and even as a charity representative for a pretend children's organization.
Charles Sobhraj - A master of disguise, 'The Serpent' used stolen passports for different identities.
Angel Maturino Resendiz -used false identity papers to slip in and out of the country.
The Axeman – Rumors had it that he dressed up as a woman.
John Horace Oughton – The paper bag rapist, wore a paper bag over his head.
John Charles Eichinger - wore a "Scream" mask he stored in a cooler.
Ed Gein – wore the facial skin of women.
Andre DiMera – The Salem slasher – Wore a mask of Roman whenever he killed. Roman was the investigator and protector of a women target of The Salem Strangler.
East Area Rapist – EAR, He wore a ski mask, gloves, dark clothing with long sleeves, and tennis shoes or military-style boots.
Danny Rolling - wore black clothes, a ski mask and glove, and camped out in the woods during his Gainesville crime spree.
Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, Hillside Stranglers – pretended to be policemen making an arrest.
Sipho Dube – pretended to need directions or pretended to be a person of authority.
John Robinson – Internet Slavemaster – made people think he was a social service provider using the internet.
YOO Yeong-chul - He pretended to be a policeman, showing a forged identification card which he had made himself.
The Harps, Big and Little – They pretended to be the posse out after themselves.
George Russell - Eastside Serial Killer - pretended to be a cop.
Randy Woodfield - Often wore a false beard and hooded sweat shirt during his attacks.
Bill Bradford – pretended to be a photographer looking for models.
Unidentified possible serial killer in London - posed as a television researcher to trick his way into the woman's home and try to strangle her. He also pretended to be looking for a room to rent for his daughter.
Juana Barraza - ruled the Mexican women’s wrestling circuit as “The Silent Lady,” but she became infamous for another moniker, “La Mataviejitas”—the old-lady killer. Starting in the 1990s, Barraza knocked on the doors of Mexico City’s elderly women, pretending to be a social worker. Once inside, she grabbed a sock, piece of string or phone cord—whatever was handy—and strangled her victims to death (until blood oozed from their ears).
Rafael Resendez- Ramirez - changing names and Social Security numbers and using glasses and facial hair to hide his identity
By Jessica Fairfield
Published in Serial Killer Magazine
Anyone who's studied serial killers even remotely can tell you many of them wear masks in public and remove it when they kill. The masks they wear are so well made that sometimes even when all the evidence points to one individual, the authorities do not make an arrest because they don’t believe such a friendly person could be a cold-blooded killer. This was the case with Ted Bundy. After a description and composite drawing were released, four different calls came in (one from Ted’s own wife) claiming that a Mr. Theodore Bundy fit the suspect's description perfectly. He was questioned briefly and detectives made judgments and decided to remove him from the suspect list. They felt such a gentleman couldn’t possibly be the serial killer on the loose. Bundy’s genius and ingenuity are the cause behind many unnecessary deaths. His public persona was such a good disguise that he had had everyone who knew him (or thought they did) fooled completely. When Bundy was proven to be the killer these same people were absolutely stunned.
In many cases above and beyond Ted’s the personality killers present to the public represent upstanding, friendly, and well-to -do citizens, leading nothing but an ordinary life. In fact nothing could be farther from the truth. As a result of their alter egos some well-known serial killers have actually portrayed themselves as heroes or good Samaritans when presented with such opportunity.
Before his arrest Ted volunteered for a suicide hotline. While there he worked alongside author Ann Rule who claims Ted saved more lives then he took. During another occasion Ted was witness to a purse snatching and took it upon himself to chase down the thief and retrieve the purse. And there is still another time Ted was able to help out. He pulled a drowning toddler from the water. I’m sure regardless of anything else Ted ever did the parents of the toddler he saved appreciated his help.
John Wayne Gacy, one of the most despicable killers ever, loved to dress as a clown, a well known fact, but what is not so commonly known is the fact that he would perform as Pogo the clown, for free, for children’s hospitals. He’d also host a BBQ in his town every year. He did all the cooking himself on a grill that stood mere feet away from his collection of dead bodies.
Arthur Shawcross, infamous for his string of murders near Genesee River in New York, was also the savior of at least one life. Before he’d ever killed anyone that authorities knew about, he was in jail for setting fire to an old workplace. While there a riot broke out and several prisoners had a guard cornered and would have undoubtedly killed him had it not been for Arthur stepping in and helping the cop out of the situation. It earned him an early release. However it was during another incident when someone needed Shawcross’ help that his switch went and he made his first kill.(according to authorities, but according to Arthur’s records he’d killed several times before while in the army) While wandering the woods one day he came across a young boy stuck in a mud hole. He pulled the boy to safety and then instructed him to go home and clean up. Instead he followed behind Shawcross through a creek and deeper into the wood. Somewhere along the line the boys company became a bitter annoyance for Arthur and he lashed out, leaving a slaughtered little boy in the repulsive aftermath. However he did not stop there. He proceeded to cannibalize the boys heart and genitals as well as raping his corpse. Afterwards the boy was burried in a shallow grave, but this was not the end of his degradation. Arthur later returned and dug up the body for more necrophilia. After this kill he killed a little girl but then changed his victims of choice over to hookers and took up the method of disposing of the bodies in the Genesee River, thus earning him his nickname, the Genesee River Killer.
Robert Berdella was a member of the crime watch in his community in Kansas City, Missouri. He also turned half of his own home into a halfway house for troubled youths. Yet, another room in the same house was reserved especially for the torture and death of seven young men. One man made it out alive by pure luck. His ranges of torture endured had been particularly disturbing; one of Berdella’s cruel methods was to inject his victims with animal tranquilizer to turn them into what he called “playtoys”. All were kept alive for torture until they died from lack of food and water. After death the bodies were dismembered in his tub and thrown out in trash bags. Had it not been for the one victim who did escape, its hard to say how long this hellhole would have been able to carry on. After his arrest Robert claimed he was a decent human being and to back this up he set up trust funds for the families of his victims.
To each and every person are good and bad qualities. The dark side of serial killers is very demented. The fact that they can limbo in and out of personalities however should come as no surprise. We all wear our own masks in public and take them off when we're home. In the world of norms the mask although not shielding murder can be hiding something just as despicable. In any case should a good deed not be a good deed just because of the other actions a person has committed? How would the near-drowned toddler feel had Ted not been there? Would the prison guard have found his own means out of his sticky situation had Shawcross not been there? After Arthur had been convicted of murder, did it change the guard's opinion of him? And, while were at it, I wonder if the victims families ever used the money flowing in from the trust fund arranged by their dead relative's murderer.
by Chris Bartholomew
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989
Macabre - The Ted Bundy Song Lyrics
Here's a story of Ted Bundy, murdered young girls Monday through =
Lure them into his car, then they wouldn't see tomorrow.
He killed Monday through Sunday, his name was Ted Bundy.
He murdered young girls and left them in the woods.
He would get them in his car, they wouldn't go far.
He would hit them on the head, with an object until they were dead.
Murdered young girls in several states, from jail two times he =
Until the end he denied his crimes, he was convicted, then he fried.
He killed Monday through Sunday, his name was Ted Bundy.
He murdered young girls and left them in the woods.
He would get them in his car, they wouldn't go far.
He would hit them on the head, with an object until they were dead.
Born: 24 November 1946 Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont Died: 24 January 1989 (execution) Best Known As: The smooth-talking serial killer who blamed porn
Name at birth: Theodore Robert Cowell
Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, smooth-talking serial killer who confessed to raping and killing more than 20 young women between 1974 and 1978. Executed in Florida in 1989 for three murders, his crimes began in Washington State in 1974. Bundy committed his attacks on women while leading a seemingly normal life, first in the Seattle area as a local Republican Party campaigner, then in Salt Lake City as a law student at the University of Utah. He was arrested during a traffic stop in 1975, after police found evidence linking him to a kidnapping in Utah and a murder in Colorado. While in jail in Utah, investigators in Washington and Colorado pegged Bundy as a suspect in the disappearances and murders of several others. He was convicted of kidnapping in Utah in 1976 and sentenced to 15 years in jail, but he escaped in late 1977 and made his way to Florida, using the name Chris Hagen. Shortly after arriving in Tallahassee, Bundy attacked four women in a sorority house at Florida State University, killing two. A few weeks later he raped and killed a 12 year-old girl in Lake City, Florida. Bundy was finally apprehended when a Pensacola police officer arrested him for driving a stolen car.
Items found in the car:
Large, clear plastic drinking cup
Meadow Gold milk carton
Fig cookie wrapper
Two Camel cigarette wrappers
Two Marlborough cigarette wrappers
Paper stickers from Christian Book Store
Grocery store receipt
Kentucky fried chicken box
Brown paper grocery bag
Carefree gum wrapper
Plastic window scraper
Two Colorado license plates
Latent fingerprint taken from driver's side window
The car contents were, as he was thought to be... normal.
He was born Theodore Robert Cowell and remained so for a few years. After he moved to Tacoma with his mother, she changed his last name to Nelson. Within a year after that, his mother Louise Cowell met Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. They later married and Johnnie Bundy legally adopted Theodore and changed his last name to Bundy.
No one is really sure who his biological father was. His mother gives two different stories for this. The name on his birth certificate was Lloyd Marshall. However, she later spoke of being seduced by a war veteran named Jack Worthington. There is one other option, however. Some members of Bundy's family think that his grandfather may also be his biological father. He was mentally unstable, violent and abusive. He would also fly into a rage if anyone spoke of Ted's biological father.
Bundy describes incidents of his grandfather Samuel abusing the family dog. He also claimed that Samuel would swing neighborhood cats around by their tails. Ted himself has been said to torment animals with knives. He would mutilate animals with the knives which seemed to fascinate him.
Young Ted was active in the Methodist Church and even served as Vice President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. He was also involved in the Boy Scouts of America club. Although later he stated: "I didn't know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social interactions." He was often described as shy and introverted at this age.
His criminal activities began before he finished high school. He was a habitual liar. He compulsively stole and shoplifted. He later claimed that he was also involved in voyeurism at a young age specifically by peeping into windows. He was arrested twice as a juvenile but the records were later expunged.
He started taking classes upon his graduation from high school in 1965 in Psychology and Oriental Studies. After a serious girlfriend broke up with him for his lack of ambition, he rededicated himself to Psychology and earned his degree in 1972. He was well liked by his professors and graduated with honors.
He started dating a woman with a child (relationship lasted six years) while concurrently and covertly re-establishing his relationship with his girlfriend who dumped him. After a year of their born again relationship, he proposed and she accepted. Two weeks later, he dumped her and began his killing spree. He would not break up his six year relationship to another woman until he was arrested for kidnapping in 1976. There are many who say that most of his victims looked like the girlfriend who originally dumped him (long dark hair parted in the middle).
He volunteered at a suicide crisis center alongside a now famous crime author, Ann Rule
as a part of his psychology classes. A serial killer trained in talking people out of killing themselves. Ann Rule was researching the crimes Ted committed all the while not knowing it was her friend who committed them. She later published a book called: "The Stranger Beside Me" detailing her relationship with Ted and the numerous crimes he was convicted of.
Ted was heavily involved with the Republican Party. In 1968, Ted managed the Seattle office of Nelson Rockefeller's presidential campaign and attended the Republican Convention in Miami. After his graduation in 1972, he went to work for the state Republican Party. He was later involved in a minor scandal when the democrats found out that Ted had been following one of them around posing as a college student and taping their speeches and reporting the information back to his Republican office.
He caught a purse snatcher and was given a commendation from the police department. He also saved a drowning toddler once by diving into a lake after him. He wrote rape-prevention books and became active in politics gaining the attention of very important, highly known people. Ted worked many low paying jobs to pay for college. He was a busboy at a hotel, a messenger, and clerks at various stores. He left most jobs after only a few months. Some employers said he was a good worker while others gave him less than favorable comments.
Bundy used stolen credit cards to purchase more than 30 pairs of socks while on the run in Florida; he was a self-described foot fetishist.
Bundy went on trial for murder, proclaiming his innocence and defending himself in court. The televised trial showed that Bundy could look and talk like a lawyer; many viewers couldn't believe a poised, normal-looking guy could be guilty of such brutal crimes. After Bundy was convicted and sentenced to death, he reluctantly began to confess to previous unsolved murders, saying an "entity" inside him drove him to rape and kill. In a failed effort to delay his execution he offered to provide more details and confessions, but the state of Florida electrocuted him on 24 January 1989. On the eve of his execution, Bundy was interviewed by Christian media personality James Dobson. Under Dobson's questioning, Bundy claimed an addiction to pornography and alcohol led him to commit violent crimes.
Louise Bundy's younger sister Julia recalled a disturbing incident with her young nephew. After lying down in the Cowells' home for a nap, Julia woke to find herself surrounded by knives from the Cowell kitchen. Three-year-old Ted was standing by the bed, smiling at her.
In a letter written shortly before his escape from the Glenwood Springs jail, Bundy said "I have known people who...radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say 'I am afraid of you.' These people invite abuse... By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?"
In a 1980 interview, speaking of a serial killer's justification of his actions, Bundy said "So what's one less? What's one less person on the face of the planet?"
When Florida detectives asked Bundy to tell them where he had left Kimberly Leach's body for her family's solace, Bundy allegedly said, "But I'm the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet."
There was a rumor of Ted Bundy's ghost terrorizing prison guards and inmates at the prison. A guard who asked not to be identified says that Bundy's Ghost appears in the area where he was executed and in his former cell where he spent his last hours before being put into Florida's Electric Chair. Up until the end Bundy tried to save his life by offering to tell where more bodies were buried but in the end they refused to give him any more time and he was executed. It is been reported that the Wardens staff have even threatened to fire guards if they spread the story of Ted's Ghost being at the prison.
Bundy modus operandi - He would approach a potential victim in a public place, even in daylight or in a crowd, as when he abducted Ott and Naslund at Lake Sammamish or when he kidnapped Leach from her school. Bundy had various ways of gaining a victim's trust. Sometimes, he would feign injury, wearing his arm in a sling or wearing a fake cast, as in the murders of Hawkins, Rancourt, Ott, Naslund, and Cunningham. At other times Bundy would impersonate an authority figure; he pretended to be a policeman when approaching Carol DaRonch. The day before he killed Kimberly Leach, Bundy approached another young Florida girl pretending to be "Richard Burton, Fire Department", but left hurriedly after her older brother arrived.
Bundy had a remarkable advantage in that his facial features were attractive, yet not especially memorable. In later years, he would often be described as chameleon-like, able to look totally different by making only minor adjustments to his appearance, e.g., growing a beard or changing his hairstyle.
All of Bundy's victims were white females and most were of middle class background. Almost all were between the ages of 15 and 25. Many were college students. In her book, Rule notes that most of Bundy's victims had long straight hair parted in the middle—just like Stephanie Brooks, the woman to whom Bundy was engaged in 1973. Rule speculates that Bundy's resentment towards his first girlfriend was a motivating factor in his string of murders. However, in a 1980 interview, Bundy dismissed this hypothesis: "[t]hey...just fit the general criteria of being young and attractive...Too many people have bought this crap that all the girls were similar — hair about the same color, parted in the middle...but if you look at it, almost everything was dissimilar...physically, they were almost all different."
After luring a victim to his car, Bundy would hit her in the head with a crowbar he had placed underneath his Volkswagen or hidden inside it. Every recovered skull, except for that of Kimberly Leach, showed signs of blunt force trauma. Every recovered body, except for that of Leach, showed signs of strangulation. Many of Bundy's victims were transported a considerable distance from where they disappeared, as in the case of Kathy Parks, whom he drove more than 260 miles from Oregon to Washington. Bundy often would drink alcohol prior to finding a victim; Carol DaRonch testified to smelling alcohol on his breath.
Hagmaier stated that Bundy considered himself to be an amateur and impulsive killer in his early years, and then moved into what he considered to be his "prime" or "predator" phase. Bundy stated that this phase began around the time of the Lynda Healy murder, when he began seeking victims he considered to be equal to his skill as a murderer.
On death row, Bundy admitted to decapitating at least a dozen of his victims with a hacksaw. He kept the severed heads later found on Taylor Mountain (Rancourt, Parks, Ball, Healy) in his room or apartment for some time before finally disposing of them. He confessed to cremating Donna Manson's head in his girlfriend's fireplace. Some of the skulls of Bundy's victims were found with the front teeth broken out. Bundy also confessed to visiting his victims' bodies over and over again at the Taylor Mountain body dump site. He stated that he would lie with them for hours, applying makeup to their corpses and having sex with their decomposing bodies until putrefaction forced him to abandon the remains. Not long before his death, Bundy admitted to returning to the corpse of Georgeann Hawkins for purposes of necrophilia.
Bundy confessed to keeping other souvenirs of his crimes. The Utah police who searched Bundy's apartment in 1975 missed a collection of photographs that Bundy had hidden in the utility room, photos that Bundy destroyed when he returned home after being released on bail. His girlfriend Elizabeth once found a bag in his room filled with women's clothing.
When Bundy was confronted by law enforcement officers who stated that they believed the number of individuals he had murdered was 36, Bundy told them that they should "add one digit to that, and you'll have it." Rule speculated that this meant Bundy might have killed over 100 women. Speaking to his lawyer Polly Nelson in 1988, however, Bundy dismissed the 100+ victims' speculation and said that the more common estimate of approximately 35 victims was accurate.
In December 1987, Bundy was examined for seven hours by Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a professor from New York University Medical Center. Lewis diagnosed Bundy as a manic depressive whose crimes usually occurred during his depressive episodes. To Lewis, Bundy described his childhood, especially his relationship with his maternal grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor Cowell. According to Bundy, grandfather Samuel Cowell was a deacon in his church. Along with the already established description of his grandfather as a tyrannical bully, Bundy described him as a bigot who hated blacks, Italians, Catholics, and Jews. He further stated that his grandfather tortured animals, beating the family dog and swinging neighborhood cats by their tails. He also told Lewis how his grandfather kept a large collection of pornography in his greenhouse where, according to relatives, Bundy and a cousin would sneak to look at it for hours. Family members expressed skepticism over Louise's "Jack Worthington" story of Bundy's parentage and noted that Samuel Cowell once flew into a violent rage when the subject of the boy's father came up. Bundy described his grandmother as a timid and obedient wife, who was sporadically taken to hospitals to undergo shock treatment for depression. Toward the end of her life, Bundy said, she became agoraphobic.
11/24/46-Is born as Theodore Robert Cowell in a home for unwed mothers in Burlington, Vermont. 5/19/51-Bundy's mother, Louise, marries Johnnie Bundy and her son takes his step-father's last name. Spring, 1965-Graduates from Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington. Fall, 1965-Enrolls at the University of Puget Sound and attends the school until the spring of 1966. Fall, 1966-Enrolls at the University of Washington where he courts Stephanie Brooks, who closely resembles his future victims. Attends University of Washington until spring of 1969. Fall, 1968-Brooks breaks off relationship with Bundy. Early 1969-Visits his birth town of Burlington, Vermont, and learns for certain that his mother is Louise and that he is illegitimate. Fall, 1969-Re-enters University of Washington and meets Liz Kendall, who would be his girlfriend throughout the span of most of the murders. Spring, 1973-Graduates form the University of Washington. 1/5/74-Attacks Joni Lenz in her Seattle apartment. Lenz survives. 2/1/74-Abducts Lynda Ann Healy from her basement bedroom in Seattle. 3/12/74-Abducts Donna Manson from the campus of Evergreen College. 4/17/74-Abducts Susan Rancourt from the Central Washington St. campus. 5/6/74-Abducts Kathy Parks from the campus at Oregon St. 6/1/74-Abducts Brenda Ball from Burien, Washington. 6/11/74-Abducts Georgeann Hawkins from an alley near her University of Washington fraternity house. 6/17/74-Brenda Baker's body is found in Millersylvania St. Park. It is unknown when she was abducted. 7/14/74-In separate incidents, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund are abducted from Lake Sammammish St. Park. 9/2/74-A Jane Doe is abducted from Boise, Idaho. Fall, 1974-Enters the University of Utah Law School. 9/7/74-Portions of the bodies of Ott, Naslund, and Hawkins are recovered two miles from lake Sammammish St. Park. 10/2/74-Abducts Nancy Wilcox. 10/18/74-Abducts Melissa Smith from Midvale, Utah. 10/27/74-Smith's body is found in Summitt Park near Salt Lake City, Utah. 10/31/74-Abducts Laura Aimee from Lehi, Utah. 11/8/74-Botches the abduction attempt of Carol DeRonch but abducts Debby Kent later that day from her school parking lot in Bountiful, Utah. Thanksgiving, 1974-Aimee's body is found. 1/12/75-Abducts Caryn Campbell from a hotel in Aspen, Colorado. 2/18/75-Campbell's body is found near the motel she disappeared from. 3/3/75-The skulls of Healy, Ball, Parks, and Rancourt are found near Taylor Mountain in Washington. 3/15/75-Abducts Julie Cunningham from Vail, Colorado. 4/6/75-Abducts Melanie Cooley from her school in Nederland, Colorado. 4/23/75-Cooley is found dead twenty miles from Nederland. 5/6/75-Abducts Lynette Culver from her school playground in Pocatello, Idaho. 6/28/75-Abducts Susan Curtis from the campus of BYU while attending a youth conference. 7/1/75-Abducts Shelley Robertson from Golden, Colorado. 7/4/75-Abducts Nancy Baird from Layton, Utah. 8/16/75-Is arrested for possession of burglary tools during a traffic stop in Salt Lake City. The incident eventually results in an arrest in the DeRonch attack. 2/76-Abducts Debbie Smith in Utah. 3/1/76-Is found guilty of aggravated kidnapping in the DeRonch attack. 4/1/76-Smith's body is found at Salt Lake International Airport. 6/30/76-Is sentenced to one-to-fifteen years in prison. 6/7/77-Escapes from the Pitkin County Law Library in Colorado while preparing for his upcoming trial in the Campbell murder. 6/13/77-Is apprehended in Aspen, Colorado. 12/30/77-Escapes from Garfield County Jail in Colorado and flees to Tallahassee, Florida. 1/14/78-Attacks several women at the Chi Omega sorority house in Tallahassee, killing Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. Also attacks Cheryl Thomas in her house nearby, seriously injuring her. 2/9/78-Abducts Kimberly Ann Leach from her school in Lake City, Florida. 2/15/78-Arrested while driving a stolen VW in Pensacola, Florida. 4/12/79-Leach's body is found in Suwanee St. Park in Florida. 7/27/78-Indicted for the murders of Levy and Bowman. 7/31/78-Indicted for the Leach murder. 7/7/79-Leach and Bowman murder trial begins. 7/23/79-Found guilty of the murders of Levy and Bowman. 7/31/79-Sentenced to death for the murders of Levy and Bowman. 1/7/80-Trial begins for the Leach murder. 2/6/80-Found guilty of Leach murder. 2/9/80-Sentenced to death for Leach murder. 7/2/86-Obtains a stay of execution only fifteen minutes before he is scheduled to die. 11/18/86-Obtains a stay of execution only seven hours before he is scheduled to die. 11/17/89-Final death warrant is issued. 1/24/89-Executed in the electric chair at 7:16 AM. Several hundred people were gathered outside the prison and cheered when they saw the signal that Bundy had been declared dead.
Serial Killer Afficionados- And the fear of being chastized
by Evil Lucy Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Serial Killers and True Crine are of interest to many people. Some people are very open about their interest, and spend their time reading books on the above mentioned subjects, buy murderbilia *Memorabilia from Serial Killers, Mass Murderers...etc*. Some people are creative when it comes to these monsters launching websites, artwork, poems and other forms of literature. The psychological interest in the Macabre is not new, it has been around for ages, but we live in a society that is free (sometimes). People who used to own Nazi books immeadiately after 1945 were chastized and called Nazi Sympathizers, while some people who do to this day are merely just interested in the subject.
The interest of Serial Killers and Mass Murder varies from person to person. Writing from a personal standpoint, I became fascinated with Serial Killers after my Mother told me the horrible story of Pedro Alonzo Lopez (The Monster of the Andes), I was born in Santa Fe De Bogota, Colombia in 1982, Lopez's slaying were in 1980. Lopez was charged with the mass slaughter of over 300 children in surrounding Ecuador and Peru. My Father was a Military Police Officer who was involved in the case since the begining abductions in Santa Fe De Bogota.
Years later, My Mother left Colombia and took me with her to the United States. When I asked her why, she told me that the crime and murder were just too much. Which always made me think: Crime does affect life, not just the sanctitty and mortality of life, but the destiny, interest and passions of people.
Since I was young, and heard the stories of Lopez, I became fascinated with Serial Killers, and started reading about them from age 12. I would be fascinated with stories of Jack The Ripper. And as time grew, I realized that I had quite the niche when it came to writing, thus combining my passion of the written word, with my fascination with these Monsters. I write as a wya of justifying and exploring the senseless and brutal crimes of these Men and Women. I admit, I like to read about Serial Killers, I like to read about their crimes, I don't in any way condon what they have done to innocent people, quite frankly I think the majoirty would think like I do.
I make no qualms of my interest in this rather gruesome subject at all. Others that I know personally who are also interested in True Crime and Serial Killers feel that they must conceal their interest. They fear reprecussions from people who: "won't understand or think I'm crazy and psycho". They fear being chastized, and that's understandable. Half of my living is based on Serial Killers, and the Macabre. I make no secrets about it, I don't care what people think. But on the flip side, I am a married woman, I have a family, I have a career, and only a handful of people know about that "other side", the side that wears a suit, the side that pays their bills and picks up china patterns. There are serialphiles out there who remain in the proverbial closet, and they have graced me with interviews, their side, their fears, and their interests.
Michael (not his real name) works at the same company that I work at (which shall remain anonymous), he is in a very high position of authority. He is handsome, well dressed and spoken. The all American guy who loves beer and football, but also has an interest in Serial Killers.
Evil Lucy: Michael, tell me about how you got into True Crime?
Michael: It started when I was a little kid, and I saw the Friday the 13th movies. And although my parents told me that it was all made up I knew that there had to be truth to the story (not that Freddy is real), but there were people out there who killed children in astounding quantities.
Evil Lucy: And how did all of that make you feel, and how old were you?
Michael: I was about 10 years old when all that Friday the 13th stuff came out. I remember hearing the word: "Serial Killer" and having no idea what that meant. So I asked an older friend to take me to the library and look up what a Serial Killer was. I found a book on the subject, I can't remember the name, but it talked about Jack The Ripper, and other Serial Killers. The Jack The Ripper story stuck with me the most because he was never caught, and how there could be a possibility that he was English Royalty also intrigued me. Like he killed in the dark, and marked whores for death. I think that was nuts. And after that I got into more Horror Movie books and Magazines like Fangoria, and some movies were based on Real Crimes, and little by little.
Evil Lucy: Do many people or do any people at all know about your interests?
Michael: Only a few people, I have to keep quiet about it because of my job, and my Family is very Catholic and think my interests are disgusting. My parents said that it was just a phase when I was a kid, and in some respect maybe it was. But if I see a good book on True Crime at Barnes and Noble I'll buy it. But I am also guilty of picking up other books on different subjects just not to get noticed.
Evil Lucy: Why?
Michael: Though I don't care what some clerk thinks about me, I guess my Catholic guilt still makes me scared about picking up something that could be considered blasphemous.
Burrito (apparently not a real name) is a young woman who works with Animals every day. She is very quiet and speaks almost in monotone.
Evil Lucy: So how did you get into Serial Killers?
Burrito: I always had an interest in World War 2 and the Nazis, Dr. Mengele and all his horrible acts against the Jews. One day I was watching The History Channel, and saw a show about Jeffrey Dahmer and the things that he did. I was disgusted, but I put the History Channel as a favourite channel and would watch things on the Nazi's downfall and then another Serial Killer documentary.
Evil Lucy: And aside watching these documentaries, have you read any books on Serial Killers.
Burrito: I have but they have been library books that I keep at School. My Mom is very snooping and goes through my things. She thinks that my books on Nazi stuff is just a School project, and that I am just interested in History. Which is true, I don't think Hitler was great or anything like that. I've read a couple of books on Ted Bundy, and saw "American Psycho" which was a really good movie. I also heard about "The Black Dahlia" and that's the one case I'm into.
Evil Lucy: And do people know about your interests?
Burrito: The whole war crimes thing, yes my friends do know about that, they do know about how I like the Black Dahlia case, sometimes I have to tell people who she was. But I feel that this is my personal business. I like what I like, I don't feel a need to be up in people's faces about it, I have my interests and they are just that MY INTERESTS!!!!
Evil Lucy: Do you think that what I am doing are just "pushing in people's faces?"
Burrito: No, because you write and compose your art for people to see, you're not being disrespectful, you're just providing art for people of similiar interests.
As you can see the subject of Serial Killer interest varies from person to person. Some people are: "in your face" about it, some are quiet, some are plagued with guilt for liking the gore and blood and drama of it all. As the saying goes: "Sex sells" but Violence is definitely catching up.
Methods of Disposal
By Jessica Fairfield
Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
Usually when you think of a serial killing you think about the fact that they killed. That is the main factor in serial killers, but once the killing part is out of the way the killer is faced with a decision. Should they eat the body, burn the body, bury the body, or just leave it where it dropped. For some serial killers, such as Ed Gein or Dennis Nilsen the corpse in front of them is their whole motivation. They will proceed to commit necrophilia or cannibalism at this point. The bodies will remain with them until they’ve completed what they started. After that they will be faced with disposal of what remains. For these types of killers the act of murder may or may not be enjoyable, but it is what necessary to get what they want. For other killers it is a completely different story. The corpse that stares back at them mockingly must be destroyed or hidden. Depending on how pre-meditated the murder was the killer may already have a selected location for the disposal. Other will make a hasty and shallow attempt at hiding or destroying the body. These types of killers have usually acted on impulse and once they murdered the individual they were in a hurry to resume their normal life. Still others such as John Wayne Gacy would keep their victims close by. It may be that they are lazy, stupid, or crazy or maybe it's because they want the bodies close by. Some killers actually prepare a location just for the disposal of their victims. H H Holmes kept his home/death factory in working order. One level of hell was for torture and death and another level was for dismemberment, burning or dissolving of the bodies. The Zodiac and Jack the Ripper, two unsolved murder mysteries left the bodies of their victim's right out in public because they wanted the bodies found. They would call in to police to be sure that the victim's mangled remains were discovered. Both killers probably felt as untouchable and lucky as they were.
Each and every case of murder is unique. Even in the case of a black widow who chooses the same types of victims and poison in each case you can find the inside story by studying the cases closely. For example, maybe in the first killing as an inexperienced killer she gives a fatal dose of the poison to a man she had intended on killing slowly. By her next killing she’s learned to lessen the dosage, but maybe this time it takes longer then she had expected. So on and so forth until she gets it perfect. You can see the way a killer perfects their methods of obtaining victims, killing them, and disposing of them. In some cases killers have out-smarted us so thoroughly that we have no idea how the victim was caught, killed or where the body is at.
Methods of disposal can be so important that some serial killers are known more for their chosen method of disposal than they are for the murders themselves. John George Haigh (The Acid Bath murderer) would dissolve the bodies of his victims in 40 gallon drums of sulfuric acid. Afterwards he’d dump the sludgy remains down a sewer drain. He was under the misconception that if no body could be found no conviction could be made. He was dead wrong. Besides, the police were able to retrieve 28 pounds of human fat, three gallstones, a piece of a foot, 18 bone fragments, and a pair of dentures. John George Haigh was hanged for his crimes.
John Reginald Christie kept one victim in his garden, two in a shed, his own wife under some floorboards, and three more female victims in a kitchen cupboard. Before he moved out he covered the cupboard with some wallpaper. The bodies were soon discovered when the new family started making renovations. Dean Corll rented out a boat house for his victims. Belle Gunness kept the dismembered remains of 12 victims on her farm. Fritz Harmann and Hans Grans sold bodies to the black market as meat during the depression. H H Holmes would occasionally sell his victims to medical schools.
Joe Ball, another killer famous for his chosen method of disposal ran a Bar/Restaurant with a rather unusual attraction out back. He had a manmade pond with five alligators. The regulars around town would get drunk and watch as Joe threw stray animals to his gators. The town's members could appreciate a good kill when it came to cats and dogs but after six waitresses and two ex wives went missing people began to wonder what he was really feeding his pets. When the detectives approached him in his Bar/Restaurant he blew his own brains out. His alligators were sent to the San Antonio Zoo. Hard as it may be to swallow, many killers have used animals to help them cover up their crimes. Many cannibals would throw the scraps they weren’t eating to the strays. In Canada in 2002, it was discovered that Robert Pickton had disposed of 18 prostitutes by feeding them to his pigs on his pig farm. He’d run their bodies through a wood chipper beforehand.
So obviously a killer's chosen method of disposal is very important when trying to learn about them. It can explain how resourceful, cunning and smart they are or it can tell how sick, twisted, and evil they are. In some cases it is hard to say which is the lesser of two evils, the murder or the means in which the body was handled afterwards. There really isn’t any proper way to dispose of a body after you’ve killed though. Ted Bundy left six of his victims lying in bed with their covers pulled up. They appeared to be fine until further inspection. However, the fact that their daughter was in bed looking cozy or peaceful was likely not much consolation to the fact that she was brutally murdered. The bottom line is that serial killers are deranged and everything they do will be just as deranged as they are themselves.
Serial Killer: The Human Being By Kait Wellman Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
For centuries, maniacal and clinically disturbed people have been committing murders. Finding peace and solace in drowning a young child, enjoying dining on the tender meat of a human thigh, or simply falling asleep next to a rotting corpse; these are all things that satisfy and complete a murderer, if only for several moments. These delightful feelings produced through the death of another human being calm and deeply enrich a killer’s psychosis. A killer will go to great lengths to find this cherished sensation, travelling great distances, stalking a victim for weeks, or indulging in sadomasochistic pleasures. Murdering becomes a romanticized thought, arousing the killer’s insatiable appetite as he or she imagines their fantasies coming to reality. The longer the wait for the next victim, the greater the appeal for killing slowly rises. The killer reaches his or her fanatical climax much like an orgasm when finally they end the life of their selected prey.
What the killer feels next is not ecstasy, but rather immediate disappointment. The killing could have been executed better, could have lasted longer, and could have solved the loneliness the killer might be suffering from. Trivial and small insignificant details rack the brain of the killer, leaving them with the belief that the next killing might be perfect. With each murder, the intricate standards are set higher and higher, the killer becoming madly obsessed by obtaining that indescribable ideal emotion of agile strength, fantastic glory, and terrific splendor attained from the very first murder they committed. People who must kill in multitudes are called serial killers. They often kill more than three people in a short span of time, have what is called a “cooling off” period, and then continue their search for more victims. A sexual element, though not always the case, is usually included in the killings.
America has had a remarkable number of serial killers, eighty-five percent of them currently dominating the nation according to the FBI. What seems to interest the innocent public is primarily why these killers do what they do. This is not an easy question to tackle, by far. Early childhood abuse usually plays a large part in the killer’s actions and deeds. Edmund Kemper was locked in a basement by his mother when he reached puberty, while Charles Manson was sent to school in girl’s clothing courtesy of his mother’s constant belittling. John Wayne Gacy was violently attacked regularly by his father, attempting to show his young son what a real man should be.
When a serial killer emerges from his shell, it is sometimes seen as a rebellion against what they have lived through. Not only are they scarred and badly traumatized by the events of their childhood, but they have the need to inflict the same or more pain that they once endured. This is where the argument begins: does childhood abuse always turn a person into a serial killer? No, for we see victims of this kind of cruelty every day, leading “normal” and civilized lives. A product of environment does not always affect a serial killer. What distinguishes a serial killer from the average person is simply the compulsion to murder. But the whys of this are infinitely impossible to pin down depending on each killer.
Serial killers begin their killings at a very young age, their victim’s notoriously small animals such as domestic cats, dogs, or birds. Reasons vary from killer to killer, but some want to torture these defenseless creatures as an act of dominance. After a brutal beating from a parent or relative, the killer might want to inflict the pain they feel on another living thing. Some killers dissect the animals because they are simply curious of what the vital organs and intestines look like. Finding a rat or a squirrel, other killers merely take pleasure in suffering and death, finding that blood on their hands interests them more than any childhood game on the playgrounds. Cannibals, in their early years might find satisfaction in eating the raw flesh of a mouse or cat. Furthermore, fledgling child serial killers often keep souvenirs of the animals, keeping parts of the carcasses in shallow graves they might later dig up later to relive their crimes. Skeletons of these animals are sometimes hidden in backyards or private sheds. Although hard to attain, some killers are even able to keep their animals in jars filled with formaldehyde.
The next stage for an adolescent serial killer is sometimes petty crime, including theft, arson, and rape. Before they are able to ultimately commit murder, they must test the waters, so to speak, to see what they can get away with. Many of these killers are not able to conceal their crimes as easily as they had hoped, and end up in juvenile detention centers or reform schools. Edmund Kemper, an exception in the “law” of serial killing, murdered his grandparents at age 15, earning him five years in a state hospital. Albert DeSalvo was taught by his own father at an early age how to burglarize homes and shops, which came in handy when he finally did begin his full crime spree at age 31. For teenage future serial killers, this is a time for them to learn skills for social manipulation and to successfully gain the trust of people they might later take advantage of.
By the time the killer reaches college age, he is beginning to understand that his fantasies of murder can become a reality if given the proper opportunity. The organized killer begins to plan elaborate schemes, dreaming in precise detail what he will do to his victim. The killer will attain all of his implements in advance; guns, knives, rope, or poison. He treasures his weapons lovingly, delighted that these will be his trophies once he is able to search out the perfect victim.
The “perfect victim” is sought by the killer in an exact manner, for the victim must fit the superlative image of whomever the killer has desired since first deciding to kill. Once the victim has been chosen, the killer usually stalks the home looking for dates and times that the victim will be alone for long spans of time. Dennis Rader was an avid stalker and spent weeks surveying the homes of young single women he would eventually “bind, torture, and kill.”The longer the killer stalks, the more ravenous he becomes for blood, suffering, and agony. Much like a rollercoaster, the killer slowly and gradually climbs to the top, believing the excitement he will feel as he descends will be the thrill of his life.
The unorganized killer, sometimes known as a mentally insane person, does not search out a “perfect victim,” nor does the killer plan out exactly how he will devise the murder. An example might be that of Jack the Ripper, who found prostitutes on the streets of London and tore them to shreds in plain sight. At the same time, though, Jack was reportedly incredibly accurate when slitting open his victim’s chest cavities. Another spontaneous serial killer was Andrei Chikatilo, a Russian citizen with a keen interest in young children. After meeting them at a train station, he lured them to a secluded area in the woods where he tortured, killed, and ate them. David Berkowitz, suffering from severe schizophrenia, mercilessly murdered six young people in the mid 1970’s simply by walking by their parked cars in Brooklyn, NY.
The sexual deviant is well known among America’s roster of serial killers. Many killers demand sex to prove their dominance, raping and sodomizing the victim in a tremendously violent fashion. Some killers who are normally impotent in their marriages find that they can maintain an erection when they are face to face with their chosen victim. The forbidden act of raping someone gives the killer enormous gratification, fulfilling their sexual urgency in colossal measures.
Ed Gein, reportedly impotent, realized that he could have sex with corpses without a laughable comment from his dead lovers. Other killers are over-enthusiastic about sex, commanding their spouse to perform intercourse six or seven times a day. When their spouses refuse, the killers simply turn to their victims, who are unable to reject the killers while bound and gagged. Albert DeSalvo, so tortured by his sex addiction, sought out the elderly, the least likely to fight back. Raping and then strangling them with their own stockings, he left the police to find a cheerfully loopy bow around the necks of his thirteen victims.
Simple violence without sex is another form of serial killing. Bashing in the heads of their victims, beating them to death, and torturing them to the point of unrecognizable human features, serial killers are enamored with certain sadism and bloodshed. At first, this general operation is a vision of beauty to the common serial killer, but some later find it revolting, becoming sick and terrified of what they have done. This is the remorseful serial killer; one who can distinguish right from wrong and understands what he has done is not normal and absolutely horrendous. However, once the serial killers have begun killing, the addiction of slaying innocent people devours their conscious and they are unable and unwilling to end their vicious cycle. Jeffrey Dahmer admitted to his family and the court how enthusiastically sorry he was about the deaths of 17 young boys. Dahmer was genuinely sickened and vociferously disgusted about his crimes, volunteering for the death penalty. He sincerely believed that he should die for what he had done to so many innocent adolescent boys.
The remorseless serial killer does not see his crimes as erroneous, somehow believing that taking lives is his calling in life. Often, the remorseless killer has some kind of mental defect, perhaps brought on by a severe head trauma or hereditary traits that warrant him able to commit violence without guilt. Henry Lee Lucas, among many others, was brilliantly pleased with his murders, boasting nearly five hundred victims had died at his hands. Nannie Doss immediately admitted every detail of her murders, claiming she had killed simply because she was bored with her many husbands. Another female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, originally maintained that she was assaulted by her victims and had no choice but to kill them. She later confessed that in cold blood, she had murdered willfully and happily seven innocent men. America’s Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez reportedly had his skull crushed as a child by a dresser and later had a history of brain damage. His methods of killing varied, but were all impossibly and indisputably atrocious. By slitting their throats, beating them to death with a hammer, or shooting them in the face, all can be seen as the work of an extremely mentally ill person.
Some serial killers find that they possess enough charm and appeal to lure anyone they chose to their victim’s ultimate demise. Theodore Bundy was a perfect example of this kind of trickery, using only one line to attract his victims, “Hi. I’m Ted.” The monstrosities he committed are almost nauseating, but spoke volumes about the way he was able to operate so easily with women. Bundy had never been a victim of childhood abuse, nor had he been molested as a youngster, but he had a sexual addiction that was unprecedented.
A sex addict feels the same way as someone who finds that food tastes good. Once the euphoria of sex is discovered, the addict cannot stop. Although Bundy suffered from a severe case of sex addiction, he was indelibly violent about it. Perhaps the most astonishing case was that of the Chi Omega murders. In one night, Bundy broke into the sorority house of several co-eds, raped and beat two young women and bludgeoned three others to death. Bundy has been famously known as a psychopath, portraying himself as a well-meaning and charismatic man, while still holding the opinion that women were merely people to be raped and murdered.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing was the name given to the practically ancient man named Albert Fish. Seen as a kind and grandfatherly type, nobody could guess that Fish was actually a child molester and cannibal. Bringing ten-year-old Grace Budd to an abandoned house, Fish stripped the young girl nude and strangled her. He dined on her body for the next several days until she began to decompose. Fish sent a letter to the Budd home shortly thereafter explaining in great detail what he had done to Grace. The one assurance he gave the appalled Budd family was that Grace had died a virgin. When Fish was apprehended, it was found that he was afflicted with an acute addiction to sadism. Whether beating himself with a nail-embedded paddle or exacting “punishment” on another, Fish could not control his overwhelming desire for pain. It is said that he even looked forward to his own execution, believing it to be the definitive aching pain he had been longing for his entire life.
Without sophistication and wit, other killers spend their time in the shadows, realizing that they are not part of normal society. By creeping shyly through the streets, they are all virtually unknown killers, keeping their lives private and waiting for the correct victim to find them. After all, some killers are just indiscriminate about who to abduct, torture, and murder. Cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi victimized prostitutes in the late 1970’s, leaving dead bodies in open areas, earning them the title of The Hillside Stranglers. Not only did they strangle their victims, but they bizarrely found pleasure in injecting the women with various window cleaners, and even used electric shock as a torture method.
Other socially awkward serial killers haunt the streets. Jeffrey Dahmer was one of those killers, a lonely and disillusioned young man with a mean penchant for hard alcohol. Dahmer had a decent upbringing, never abused and never molested. He had also never had any history of early head trauma, suggesting he was a sane person who was aware of right and wrong. Alcohol seemed to have not only dominated his life, but had an unusual effect on him when it came to committing crimes. Frequenting local gay bars, Dahmer understood that the only way to get someone to come home with him was to drug their drinks. In the privacy of his home, he mercifully drugged them to the point of passing out. He then strangled them while they slept, finding his ultimate fulfillment at his disposal.
Believing that he was repulsive to any living person, Dahmer strangely attached himself to his corpses, sleeping next to them and lovingly stroking their cold bodies. When the stench of death permeated his home, he decided to keep some of his corpses with him forever- by eating them. Though Dahmer is one of America’s top known cannibals, it is a little known fact that Dahmer did not only and primarily eat every one of his victims. Eating some of them served two functions; one, he could dispose of them by eating them, and two, Dahmer wanted to keep his visitors with him as long as possible, in his own stomach.
The truth about Jeffrey Dahmer is not that he murdered innocent victims without a thought in his mind. Dahmer was truly repentant about his crimes, and admitted that he knew what he had done was wrong. His belief, during his trial, was that he should die for his crimes, for there was no use for his damnable actions in life. His wish came true, in the form of a mop handle and a jealous fist in prison. Dahmer was beaten to death by another inmate after serving two years in prison.
It is indeed repulsive what these serial killers have done. By raping, strangling, bludgeoning to death, or eating the contents of one’s vital organs, we see the distinction between each killer. We find that they are sinful and wicked killers devoid of “normal” emotions or thought processes. It is not fair what they have done, the pain they have inflicted on others, the undeserved violence imposed on innocent citizens. By showing us the awful nature and rule of true evil, we learn that everyone can be a victim if not guarded by reason and a degree of caution. This is not to say that any person is at fault for their own peril. Serial killers are discrete and usually trustful individuals, and that is why they are so often able to capture people quite literally.
Serial killers are startlingly frightening in any capacity, leaving society haunted by the killer’s absolute lack of concern and accountability. But the fact that killers lack this kind of sincere apologetic responsibility has to show America- the entire world- that something is deeply wrong with these killers. A sick person is sent to a doctor, not an executioner. To stop these terrible things from happening, we have to realize that these killers are not another species. They are human beings with damaged mental disorders.
Humanizing a serial killer is difficult, but it must be done to prevent another future Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, or Jeffrey Dahmer. With profound and relentless psychological testing, a myriad of reasoning and understanding can come from these human beings we tend to call “monsters.” If every man in America is to be judged fairly, then the same should be done for serial killers. If compassion and truth must be shown to every man in court, the same respect should be shown to serial killers. Instead of the typical response to serial killing being that of great horror and repulsion, a shred of general empathy could be regarded, for isn’t a serial killer also a victim of their own tragically diseased mind?
Male Vs. Female Serial Killers By Melissa Hogle Published in The Serial Killer Magazine
When people think of serial killers they generally think of men and that's hardly a surprise since a vast majority of serial killers are, in fact, male. But it would be a mistake to think that women, "the fairer sex" as the old saying goes, aren't every bit as capable of multiple murders as their male counterparts. They tend to go about their murders a little differently, and select different kinds of victims to prey upon, but they are no less guilty of their crimes and get no less of a thrill in causing the deaths of others. And, of those chosen to be their victims, they are no less terrifyingly dangerous.
Male serial killers are well known for being abhorrently violent towards their victims. They stab, shoot, and bludgeon. Their kills are unmistakably aggressive, there's no hiding a serial murder done by a man should the body be found. This isn't the case with women serial killers. They kill in much more quiet, far less detectable, methods but whether they are "gentler" methods is really a moot point: Would you rather be shot in the head or smothered by a pillow?
Likely, more than even smothering, female serial killers are known for poisoning their victims. It's hardly a surprise...poisons are easily accessible, difficult to detect (compared to a knife wound), and incredibly effective. Nannie Doss, a.k.a. the "Giggling Granny", killed four husbands, two children, a grandchild, two sisters, and her mother between the years of 1929-1953 by slipping rat poison in their whiskey, coffee, or stewed prunes. Rat poison, by the way, tends to include the rather infamous poison of arsenic as an ingredient; this deadly poison is also found in wallpaper, paint, weed killer, pesticides, and tanning products. So it's almost natural that women aiming to kill should end up using arsenic, it's likely already in their home or part of an easily excusable purchase ("Well of course I bought a large supply bug spray, I have a garden and whole backyard to tend to!").
I Love You To Death
Another major, and somewhat frightening, difference between male and female serial killers is their victim choice. Male serial killers select victims they don't know and a great deal of their efforts goes into trolling for victims that suit their needs (this is outside, of course, the few that sometimes start or end their killings with a relation such as Ed Kemper with his grandparents and mother). For the most part, if able, they gear their victimology towards their sexual preference; straight male killers go for women, gay male killers go for men, bisexual killers will attack either, and pedophile killers target children. But, no matter what, they tend towards targeting strangers; whether it’s those they come across the day of the kill or those they follow for awhile to get to learn the routine of, the victims themselves are not those the killer has known for years and have an already established relationship with. This is not true with female serial killers.
Victims of women serial killers are close to them, victim and killer know each other and have a relationship of some kind; the victims are dating, related to, or otherwise under the care of the killer. Due to the victims they select these killers have earned themselves rather catchy monikers such as Blackwidows for those women who marry, then kill, men over and over (frequently having the secondary motive of gaining life insurance money from them as with Mary Ann Cotton who killed 20-21 people, including 4 husbands) and Angels of Death for those nurses choosing to prey upon their helpless patients. One more recent Angel of Death was Genene Jones of Texas who killed as many as 46 infants and toddlers from 1971-1984. Using injections of the blood-thinner heparin and the muscle-relaxant succinylcholine to induce medical crises in her patients she would then try to revive them in order to receive praise and attention...sadly most the little ones in her care never survived that first injection.
So, with these keys differences in male and female serial killers it's only natural to wonder if there are any similarities. Yes, there's one core similarity...They both get a sick, sadistic, sexual thrill out of their kills. Jane Toppan played nurse as she killed 31 people via poison from 1885-1901 and, once caught, confessed that killing gave her a "voluptuous delight". She went on to admit that her murders were motivated by "an irresistible sexual impulse" and that she would climb into the beds of her victims as they were in their death throes in order to achieve orgasm. ...Man or woman it's clear that a serial killer will have that same underlying motive of achieving a twisted pleasure from their victims’ pain and death. So why the differences in methodology and victimology?
It's somewhat related to the cliché of men having to "stick it wherever they can" and women needing to "settle down and nest". Male sexuality is penetration-based, it's promiscuous, and it’s rather undiscriminating. In the male serial killer, that relates to weapons that enter or batter the body, killing an individual of their preference (male/female/child) and quickly moving on to the next and then the next, and making whatever strangers they can their prey. Women serial killers, on the other hand, need to have a relationship with the victim before they kill the person. Their pleasure comes not from violating some stranger's body with a penile substitute (such a knife or bullet) but from perverting the very concept of love into a gruesome show of tenderness and intimacy and, from there, the differences in the rest arise.
(End Note: There is one exception to the rules above: Aileen Wuornos. But, since she's the exception and not the rule in female serial killers she'll be covered separately at another point in time.)
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ULTIMATE SERIAL KILLER COLLECTIONS
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COMPLETE FBI FILES IN GIANT PERFECT BOUND BOOKS
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THE VERY RARE LAST INTERVIEW OF TED BUNDY BEFORE HIS EXECUTION (PLUS OTHER RARE FOOTAGE)
The all American boy next next door, Ted Bundy, was one of the world's most vile and sadistic killers. He claimed never to commit these crimes however until weeks before he was executed. This DVD includes the two very rare last interviews where Bundy spills the beans and tells all. This is a must have for any serious collector and comes with amazing cover art by Johnny machine!
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THE SON OF SAM - RARE FOOTAGE OF DAVID BERKOWITZ
This DVD includes hours of rare and lost footage of the Son of Sam, David Berkowitz (including the rare interview where David Berkowitz admits that he was not alone in the killings and his connection to a satanic cult)!
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VERY RARE UNEDITED POLICE FOOTAGE OF JOHN WAYNE GACY (AT GACY’S HOUSE IN 1978) ON DVD
This is an ultra rare DVD containing footage of serial killer John Wayne Gacy (AKA Pogo The Killer Clown). Contained on this amazing DVD is over an hour of unedited, uncut raw video taken by the Chicago Police in 1978 while they dug for bodies in Gacy’s house. Also on this DVD is rare interviews and footage of Gacy before and after his arrest! This is truly a collectors item for any one interested in true crime.
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THE CAPTURE OF RICHARD RAMIREZ - THE NIGHTSTALKER
This is a rare collection of local news report when Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez was captured by an angry mob wanting justice, Richard was one of the most violent serial killers that ever lived and left many people dead or severely impared from his violent killing spree.
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This is a rare collection of local news footage and interviews with Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez.
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JEFFREY DAHMER : CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL KILLER
This is the full 90 minute interview between Stone Philips and Jeffery Dahmer. Pretty wild stuff.
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This is a rare collection of local news reports and interviews of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during the 1990s.
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HORROR IN MILWAUKEE - HOURS OF RARE JEFFREY DAHMER FOOTAGE AND ORIGINAL NEWS CLIPS
This DVD includes hours of rare and lost footage of Jeffrey Dahmer.
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This DVD includes over an hour of hard to find footage taken during the Jeffrey Dahmer trial. You will see evidence, witnesses, angry family members and Jeffrey Dahmer himself take the stand. This is a must have for any true collector of the strange and macabre.
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BIZARRE RARE HOME MADE INTERVIEW WITH OJ SIMPSON
Produced in 1996, this rare home video marks one of the most bizarre points of athlete, actor and suspected murderer OJ Simpson’s life. Apparently OJ was frustrated that everybody thought he was guilty, so he produced this video in order to clear his name, reputation…and to find the real killer of Ron and Nicole. That being said, here’s the setup--the majority of the video consists of a one-on-one, no holds barred interview between OJ Simpson and a journalist named Ross Becker. He was allowed to ask any question he wanted (excluding questions about his kids, personal finances, or post trial legal matters) directly to OJ and demand a full response. This interview was billed was “the questions and answers you would have heard if OJ had taken the stand”…After that grilling, OJ personally takes you on the tour of his estate…the scene of the murders…inside his home, and around his yard. He tries to work through bits of incriminating evidence during this tour, hoping that he can be vindicated in the public arena….but he only seems to dig himself deeper. Watch in amazement as this weird spectacle unfolds before your eyes….He definitely should not have made this video.
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RARE CONFESSION FOOTAGE OF GERALD PARKER PART 1
Known as the "Bedroom Basher," serial rapist Gerald Parker thought he had gotten away with murder until DNA testing linked him to the murder of five women and an unborn child in Orange County, California. Police and Navy officials believe Gerald might be responsible for even more killings, specifically three other dead women in Orange County.
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Known as the "Bedroom Basher," serial rapist Gerald Parker thought he had gotten away with murder until DNA testing linked him to the murder of five women and an unborn child in Orange County, California. Police and Navy officials believe Gerald might be responsible for even more killings, specifically three other dead women in Orange County.
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ARMAGEDON IN WACO : RARE DAVID KORESH FOOTAGE ON DVD
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ULTRA RARE HEAVEN'S GATE CULT INITIATION TAPE ON DVD
In 1997 Marshall Applewhite
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This is the very rare FBI Files DVD. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act,
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1985 MANSON INTERVIEW AT VACAVILLE MEDICAL CENTER ON DVD
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CHARLES MANSON VS BILL STOUT : RARE INTERVIEW
Rare Charles Manson Interview
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CHARLES MANSON VS GERALDO RIVERA (RARE UNCUT PRISON INTERVIEW TAKEN BY GUARDS)
Anyone who has seen the episode of Geraldo with Charles Manson knows that something didn't seem right. Well what Geraldo didn't count on is the fact that the prison staff had their own camera filming the entire interview! This is the uncut tape from the prison camera, see what really happened!
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CHARLES MANSON VS ED SANDERS: RARE INTERVIEW
Rare Charles Manson Interview
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CHARLES MANSON VS BILL MURPHY: RARE PRISON INTERVIEW
This is the very in depth BBC interview with Charles Manson.
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CHARLES MANSON VS RON REAGAN JR : RARE PRISON INTERVIEW
Ron Reagan interviews Charles Manson
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This is the full interview between Charlie Manson and Charlie Rose.
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UNCUT CHARLES MANSON SUPERSTAR INTERVIEW
This is the complete uncut interview shown in Charles Manson Superstar.
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THE BEST OF CHARLES MANSONS 1980 INTERVIEWS ON DVD
Charles Manson 1980's Interviews With Tom Snyder, Penny Daniels, Charlie Rose, Nuel Emmons, Geraldo Rivera. This DVD is approx. 4 hr 20 mins Interesting, Great Research Material.
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RARE 1993 INTERVIEW WITH MANSON FAMILY MEMBER PATRICIA KRENWINKEL
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This DVD contains the second 2 hours of 4 hours of raw footage of KTLA from the UCLA archives. Contents (both discs): News footage shot during the Tate-Labianca trial. News footage shot during the Hinman & Shea trials News footage shot during the trial following the Hawthorne gun store robbery. News footage shot during the Leslie Van Houten re-trials in 1977 & 1978. Footage of an interview with Bernard Crow (a.k.a. Lotsapoppa). Footage of interviews with prosecutors Vincent Bugliosi and Stephen Kay. Footage of interviews with Manson Family members Bruce Davis, Sandra Good. Nancy Pitman, and Leslie Van Houten. Footage of the arraignment of Kenneth Como, Catherine Share, Mary Brunner. Footage of Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Steve Grogan and others.
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RARE MANSON FAMILY NEWS FOOTAGE VOLUME THREE
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PRICE : $10
RARE MANSON FAMILY NEWS FOOTAGE VOLUME FIVE
This DVD contains raw footage from the CNN archives. Contents: Coverage of the press conference at the California Institution for Women following the parole hearing of Leslie Van Houten in 2002. Raw footage shot outside of the San Bernardino County courthouse of Van Houten's appearance before Judge Bob Krug with reactions of two lawyers for the Board of Parole Hearings, Van Houten's father Paul and Van Houten's attorney Christie Webb. Segments of several parole hearings over the years, among others Krenwinkel's 1985 hearing, Van Houten's 1987 hearing, Manson's 1989 hearing, Bruce Davis' 2000 hearing.
PRICE : $10
RARE CHARLES MANSON PAROLE HEARING FOOTAGE FROM 1992-1997
This DVD includes very rare parole hearing footage from almost a decade of Charles Mansons Parole Hearings. This is truly a collectors item for any one interested in true crime.
PRICE : $10
NO SENSE MAKES SENSE : CHARLES MANSON
This DVD is a crazy cut up film put together in the 80s featuring a bunch of Charles Manson's rants. Also features rare Manson TV footage of the 70s trail.
PRICE : $10
CHARLES MANSON 1992 PAROLE HEARING
This is the 1992 Parole Hearing of Charles Manson.
PRICE : $10
CHARLES MANSON 1997 PAROLE HEARING
This is the 1997 Parole Hearing of Charles Manson.
PRICE : $10
2007 PAROLE HEARING OF CHARLES MANSON
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California denied parole on Wednesday to Charles Manson, one of America's most notorious mass murderers, in his 11th bid for release. California's Board of Parole Hearings said in a statement that Manson, 72, "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."
PRICE : $10
ALL IN THE (MANSON) FAMILY - RARE FOOTAGE OF THE MANSON FAMILY ON DVD
This DVD includes hours of rare and lost footage of the Manson family. On this DVD you will find an amazing collection of parole hearings, home videos, interviews, news clips and hard to find raw footage not found anywhere else!
PRICE : $10
1990 PAROLE HEARING OF MANSON FAMILY MEMBER PATRICIA KRENWINKEL
This DVD includes the very rare 1990 parole hearing of Manson Family killer, PATRICIA KRENWINKEL. This is truly a collectors item for any one interested in true