Idiots Guide: Hall of Horror / American Serial Killers

There is an understandable morbid curiosity that exists among human beings when it comes to serial killers. The perpetrators of sinister deeds that embody evil in it’s purest form, have faces that must be seen. There is an unspoken translation of personal horror that invades our most private moments. The randomness of it all. The reality of madmen walking this earth. A silent prayer that our paths never cross. After all, ‘There by the grace of God…’, right? This list is not weighted on merit, there is no honor being bestowed here. This list documents these men for the purpose of historical note, and morbid curiosity.


#10. Kenneth Bianchi and Angel Buono / ‘The Hillside Stranglers’ / Buono Sentenced to Life. Bianchi Sentenced to Life. Buono died of heart attack (2002).  

Bianchi Buono

‘The Hillside Strangler’ actually refers to the murderous deeds of two different men,    Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono. Both of whom were convicted of the Rape, Torture, Kidnapping, and  Murder of  10 female victims.  Their ages ranging from 12 to 28 years. They accomplished their unspeakable evil during late 1977 and into 1978. The fine residents of Los Angeles, California during that time found themselves gripped with fear, and for very good reason. There were two of them!

#9. Richard Ramirez / ‘The Night Stalker’ / Sentenced to Death (1989) 

Ramirez Hernandez

What made the ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez such a menace was his method of mayhem.  His predilection for murderous home invasions terrorized the people of Los Angeles before he moved up north to continue his act in San Francisco. His diabolical behavior lasted from June 1984 until August 1985. He was named the “Night Stalker” by the media during that time. He murdered people in their homes with a variety of weapons: handguns, machetes, tire irons, knives,  and hammers. Gruesome stuff. In total Ramirez was convicted of 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. Makes you wonder when he ever had the time to eat and sleep. He died in prison while on death row for some 23 years.

#8.  Dennis Rader  ‘BTK Killer/ Strangler’ / 10 Consecutive Life Sentences (2005) 


It turns out that ‘BTK’ is an acronym for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’. Dennis Rader‘s murderous modus operandi. I’m sure you can imagine the horror. Worse still, Rader made a habit of sending letters that described his killings and the awful details to law enforcement, and media outlets. The killings stopped temporarily in the 1990s, and through the early 2000s.  Then in 2004 he started murdering again. This time he finally got caught. His arrest in 2005 led to an eventual guilty plea. Rader was sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences, which he is currently serving at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.

#7.   John Wayne Gacy / ‘The Killer Clown’ / Executed by the State of Illinois  (1994) 


His nickname was ‘Killer Clown’, his grotesque reality was that of a serial killer and rapist. John Wayne Gacy murdered and sexually assaulted in excess of 33 teenage boys and pre-adult men. In the years between 1972 and 1978,  Cook County, Illinois was not a safe place to be for the boys/men who fit Gacy’s fancy.  The ‘Killer Clown’ was arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to death by the state of Illinois in 1980. After 14 years sitting on death row, he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center in 1994.

#6. Gary Ridgeway / ‘The Green River Killer’ / 48 Consecutive Life Sentences (2003)

Gary Ridgeway

The ‘Green River Killer’ was born Gary Ridgeway in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1949. His life ‘work’ coalesced with his being convicted in conjunction with 49 murders. Later on Ridgeway went on to confess to many additional murders. Thus giving Mr. Ridgeway the dubious honor of being the most prolific serial killer in American history. His murders centered on women and young girls throughout the Washington State area, a period that spanned the 1980s and 1990s. Many of these women were allegedly involved in the prostitution trade, but vulnerable runaways were equally at risk. His ‘Green River’ nickname evolved from his favorite place to dispose of his victims.

#5.  Edmund Kemper / ‘The Co-ed Butcher/Killer’ / Life in Prison No Parole (1973)  

Edmund_Kemper 1973

Edmund Kemper is a serial killer and necrophile (yes, that kind)  who terrorized residents of California during the 1970s. This was after murdering his grandparents when he was just 15 years of age. Clearly, his 5-year term as a juvenile didn’t correct his demons.  Kemper went on to murder and dismember 6 women who were hitchhiking in Santa Cruz. Not satisfied, Kemper then went on to murder his mother, and another individual. He wasn’t ‘caught’ per say, as he turned himself in to authorities after his murderous acts. He is also a man of imposing size at 6’9 inches tall, and the fact that he owns an I.Q. in the 140’s in beyond frightening. Frankenstein with an intellect.

#4.  Tommy Sells / ‘The Coast to Coast Killer’ / Executed by the State of Texas (2014)

Tommy Lynn Sells

Tommy Lynn Sells is thought to have murdered at least 22 people, although exact numbers may never be ascertained. He murdered entire families at times. He murdered people in at least 7 different states across the country. Ironically, Sells was executed by the State of Texas on April 3rd of 2014 for one murder, the 1999 death of Kaylene Jo Harris.

#3.  David Berkowitz / ‘The Son of Sam’ 6 Consecutive Life Terms of 25 years each 

David Berkowitz 2

The New York City summers of 1976 -1977 belonged to ‘The Son of Sam’ also known as the ’44 Caliber Killer’. This man had the worlds greatest city in the grips of paranoia and fear the likes that had never been seen before. His method of madness carried a sense of randomness that terrified millions. David Berkowitz used a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver to hunt down and murder 6 innocent victims, and he wounded 7 additional people before his reign of terror was ended in July of 1977. Much like the ‘BTK’ killer, Berkowitz began sending taunting letters, mocking the police investigation. Needless to say this prompted huge media interest, and this story became among the most highly publicized in history. The ‘Son of Sam’ became a worldwide fascination. On June 12, 1978, Berkowitz was convicted, and sentenced to 6 consecutive life stints. He is rotting in a cell at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York

#2.  Ted Bundy / ‘Mr. Bundy was a Necrophile ‘ / Executed by the State of Florida (1989)  


By the time it was all said and done Ted Bundy was a convicted serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile who confessed to upwards of 30 murders in 7 different states between the years of 1974 and 1978. His targets were usually young attractive women, who often fell for his good looks and charm before the devil exposed it’s true face. The actually number of murders he committed will never be known. He was executed by the state of Florida in 1989. Good riddance.

#1.   Jeffery Dahmer / ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ / Murdered in Prison (1994) 

JeffreyDahmer 2

Jeffery Dahmer‘s life culminated in being convicted and sentenced in 1992 to 16 consecutive life terms in prison for the rape, murder, and dismemberment of at least  17 men and young  boys in the years between 1978 and 1991. What made him extra evil was his predilection  towards necrophilia, cannibalism, and the storing of skeletal remains. Very few people shed a tear when it was reported that he was murdered in prison by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver in 1994. The evil that some men are capable of is astounding.