When you think of serial killers, what comes to mind? If you're like most people, Hollywood movies probably give you a pretty good idea of what these murderers are like. But how accurate is that image? And just how many serial killers are out there right now?
Turns out, the answer to both of those questions might surprise you. The FBI estimates that there are between 25 and 50 active serial killers in the United States at any given time, and many of them have never been caught. Here are just a few more notorious serial killer cases in the United States.
The Denver Prostitute Killer
The Denver Prostitute Killer is the name given to an unknown serial killer liable for the killing of at least 17 women and girls in Denver between 1975 and 1995. Until 2008, each of these crimes was deemed to have been perpetrated by different people.
The killer’s victims were all young females, aged 15 to 25, who were beaten and strangled to death. Most of the women found were hitchhikers, who frequented bars or fast-food locations, and a large majority were found to be prostitutes.
The murders took place in a number of different locations around Denver, but the bodies were left along Interstate 70, mostly in humiliating positions.
The Prostitute Killer's identity is still unknown, but the police have had a few leads. A local resident who was about 30 at the time of the killings and knew the neighborhood well was considered a suspect but never charged.
In two instances, police found eyewitnesses who portrayed the offender as a middle-aged Caucasian male. Even though these pieces of information may not seem like much, they could be key in finally catching the killer.
So, the investigation continues and hopefully, one day soon, the Denver Prostitute Killer will be brought to justice.
West Mesa Bone Collector
The West Mesa murders are a series of unsolved homicides that took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico between 2003 and 2009. A total of 11 women (most of them prostitutes), and one unborn baby, were killed, and their buried bodies were found in various states of decomposition in the desert area known as the West Mesa.
Despite an intensive investigation, the killer's identity has still not been determined. However, there are some clues that have been left behind. For instance, police have found traces of DNA at some of the crime scenes. But even with this clue, the killer has still not been caught.
In 2010, a reward of up to $100,000 was offered for evidence leading to the apprehension and sentence of the person responsible.
The West Mesa murders remain one of the most chilling unsolved cases in recent memory.
The Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The killer's identity remains unknown.
This serial killer is believed to have killed five people and wounded two others in a series of shootings that began in the San Francisco Bay Area in December 1968. The Zodiac Killer used a similar modus operandi in all of the murders, which led authorities to believe that they were dealing with a single individual. The killer would approach his victims, shoot them with a handgun, and then flee the scene.
In some cases, the killer would send taunting letters and cards to newspapers, threatening killing sprees and bombings if they were not printed. Some of the letters included cryptograms, or ciphers, which have never been fully decoded.
The Zodiac Killer was never caught, and the case remains unsolved. Over the years, there have been numerous theories about the killer's identity, but no definitive evidence has emerged to identify any suspect conclusively.
The Zodiac Killer case is one of the most infamous unsolved murders in American history. The case has baffled investigators for over 50 years and continues to captivate the public's imagination.
Long Island Serial Killer
It's been over 12 years since the bodies of 10 women were found in Gilgo Beach, New York. The identity of the killer, who has come to be known as the "Long Island Serial Killer", is still a mystery. Other pseudonyms for the Long Island Serial Killer are LISK, Gilgo Killer, Gilgo Beach Killer, Manorville Butcher, and Craigslist Ripper.
The case began in December 2010, when police received a call about a missing person. Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old prostitute, had disappeared after meeting a client in Oak Beach, Long Island. A search of the area turned up nothing, and Gilbert was presumed dead.
Then, police received another call about a missing person. This time it was Melissa Barthelemy, another 24-year-old prostitute who had gone missing in July 2009. Barthelemy's body was found in a garbage bag near Gilgo Beach.
As the police continued to search for more bodies, they found the remains of eight more women, all of whom were prostitutes who had advertised their services online. The bodies were found in various stages of decomposition, and it is believed that the killer dumped them at different times.
The case remains unsolved, and the identity of the killer is still a mystery. However, there are a few theories about who may be responsible.
Whoever is responsible for the murders, one thing is certain: the Long Island Serial Killer is still at large.
Are there serial killers at large in your hometown? First and foremost, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something feels off or makes you feel uneasy, don't hesitate to get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
Secondly, be sure to keep your family and friends close. Keep in mind that serial killers often target those who are alone or vulnerable. Having a strong support system can make all the difference.
Finally, remember that it's important to report any suspicious behavior to the authorities. By working together, we can all help make our world a safer place.