The Most Famous Serial Killers In America And Their Twisted Crimes

Richard Ramirez. Image credit:
Richard Ramirez. Image credit:
  • The trial of Ted Bundy was the first time in history that a trial was completely televised.
  • The killings of Ed Gein served as inspiration for the movies Psycho and Silence of the Lambs.
  • Albert Fish sent a letter to the mother of one of his victims, describing exactly how he killed her.

American history is filled with many wondrous achievements and amazing people that left their mark on the country, and also the entire world. However, there are two sides two every coin, and some of the most gruesome crimes ever committed have happened in the United States.

The FBI coined the term serial killer during the 1970s, because of all the killings that were happening across the country. Some of the most known serial killers in the world have performed heinous acts all over the country, and this article will present the ones that were considered the most famous.

7. Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy. Image credit:

Let us start things off with a name most of you have heard numerous times. Ted Bundy was not what you would consider that a serial killer might look like. He was well educated, handsome, and described by many as incredibly charming. This made his brutal killings even more surprising.

Bundy was raised in a weird family, without a father, and believed his whole life that his grandmother was, in fact, his mother and that his mother was his sister. His childhood and adolescence were challenging, but he managed to graduate from the University of Washington, after which his murderous spree began. His victims were mostly attractive female students, and his first murder was committed in Seattle in 1966. 

He killed several more women throughout the next few years and was eventually arrested. However, it doesn’t stop there. He managed to escape police custody twice, moved to Florida and continued killing there. He killed several members of a sorority there, and his final crime is especially gruesome - he raped and murdered a 12-year old girl. He was finally arrested for good and became a media sensation because his trial was fully televised, the first time in history that has happened. He was sentenced to death and executed in 1989.

6. Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer. Image credit:

The first murder Jeffrey Dahmer ever committed was in 1978. He was only 18 years old then, but his killings continued until 1991 when he was finally arrested. His arrest happened after a man managed to escape him in Wisconsin and notified the police. The police raided Dahmer’s apartment and were shocked by what they have found.

Numerous pictures of mutilated bodies, actual severed heads and genitalia, and a bathtub filled with acid that he used to get rid of the bodies. He killed 17 people in total.

Interestingly, Dahmer was convicted of rape, three years before the police found out he was a serial killer. He served a year for that and continued killing, before his arrest in 1991. His trial was sensational, making the world interested in serial killers. He received 957 years in prison, but an inmate killed him after two years.

5. Belle Gunness

Belle Gunness. Image credit:

Moving on further into the past, we come to the woman known as “Lady Bluebeard.” She went to the United States from Norway in 1881 and lived in Chicago. While there, she married a man but soon murdered him. No evidence was found, so she walked free while also receiving insurance policy money that allowed her to buy a farm in Indiana. There she remarried but killed her second husband as well.

Again, the police found no proof. Then she started placing newspaper ads searching for a husband. Multiple men came to visit her farm, but she killed all of them. Just one survived and managed to escape to tell the tale. She was never arrested though, her farm caught fire, and she supposedly died in it. Many bodies of her victims were found in the remains.

4. Albert Fish

Albert Fish was a deranged man that was found guilty of raping, killing and cannibalizing three young children in the early 20th century. Image credit:

Albert Fish is perhaps best known for his many nicknames. He was known as “The Brooklyn Vampire,” “The Werewolf of Wysteria,” “The Moon Maniac,” “The Boogey Man,” and “the Gray Man.” he was a deranged man that was found guilty of raping, killing and cannibalizing three young children in the early 20th century.

He boasted that he did the same to at least a hundred more children. However, nothing more could be proven. He even sent a letter to the mother of one of his victims, where he described how he killed the little girl in detail. 

3. John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy. Image credit:

John Wayne Gacy was beloved by his community in Chicago, known as the person that performed as a clown at children’s birthday parties. What his neighbors did not know was that he already served time in jail for sexually assaulting a teenage boy, and soon found out an even more shocking secret. In 1978, one of the neighborhood boys went missing, and people reported that he was last seen with Gacy.

Once the police got the search warrant for his house, at first, they found some clothes that belonged to boys that went missing earlier. With further investigation, they found a small crawl space beneath the house, mostly because of the odor coming from there. There, they found decomposing bodies of his other victims. There were 29 boys in total, all of which Gacy raped and murdered. He kept the bodies hidden there for years. He was executed in 1994.

2. Ed Gein

Ed Gein. Image credit:

Ed Gein supposedly served as inspiration for the popular movies Psycho, Silence of the Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He grew up in Wisconsin, leading an isolated life. His father was an abusive alcoholic, while his mother was extremely traditional, instilling Gein with a fear of women and sex.

His entire family died within five years, and he was left all alone, living on his family farm, where he decided to create a shrine dedicated to his mother. After thirteen years of living alone there, the police appeared one day, after getting a tip about a missing woman.

They found not only the dead body of that woman but multiple other horrors as well. Ed Gein used mutilated bodies of people killed and turned them into furniture, but also clothes. Most of those things were made from bodies he dug up from graveyards, but some of them he killed himself. He believed he was using these body parts to revive his mother, and it was discovered that he had schizophrenia. Because of his disease, he spent his remaining years in a mental hospital.

1. Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez. Image credit:

Richard Ramirez was responsible for terrorizing the people of Los Angeles for over a year in the 1980s. He would break into peoples’ homes and murder whoever was living there, sometimes raping them as well. He did not pick his victims, whoever was in the house that he broke into would get killed. He used multiple weapons, ranging from guns to knives, and never expressed any regret for committing such crimes. He died in jail before being executed.


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