The definition of a serial killer is: “A person who murders two or more people, in two or more separate events over a period of time, for primarily psychological reasons.”
However, in order feature on our list of the worst serial killers, two victims doesn’t even come close!
In the history of the world, serial killing has occurred probably since man first stood up on two legs- and doubtless also before.
Given such a vast source of claimants to the title of “worst serial killer,” our Life Daily team decided to focus on 20th century killers only – and there are plenty of them.
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- List of 10 most sadistic serial killers of 20th century who have tortured their victims brutally before killing: 10. Dean Corll (28+ victims).
Most Notorious Serial Killers Of The 20th Century
The us especially has had its justifiable share of homicidal psychopaths who willed harm upon their fellow humans. Here are 10 serial killers who committed their crimes before the turn of the 20th century. 10 Samuel Mason.
One extraordinary aspect of our research revealed that the most prolific serial killers come from South America and the former Soviet Union – four from each area on our list of ten. Surprisingly, The United States only managed one entry.
The other interesting fact to note is that all the worst serial killers were men – and most of the victims were women and children.
Something to reflect upon as you browse through the list:
1. Pedro Alonso Lopez – Period 1990’s – Victims 310/350+
Because he operated in Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru, this child-murderer and rapist was known as “The Monster of the Andes”. His victims were young girls between the ages of 8 and 12. He was onvicted in 1983 of killing 110 young girls but confessed to killing over 300.
Incredibly, though he may be the most prolific serial killer of the 20th century, he was released in 1998.
2. Luis Garavito – Period 1990’s – Victims 172/400+
This child-murderer, torture-killer, and rapist known as “La Bestia” (“The Beast”) also operated in Columbia. He was convicted of killing 138 victims but suspected of murdering over 400 – mostly street children. Garavito has served one of his sentences, but there are another 20 prosecutions against him preventing his release.
American Serial Killers Of The 20th Century
3. Daniel Camargo – Period 1974-1986 – Victims 150+
Yet another child-murderer from Columbia and Ecuador, he was believed to have possibly raped and killed over 150 victims, primarily young virgin girls. He confessed to killing 72 victims, and was imprisoned with Pedro Alonso Lopez.
Worst Serial Killers Of The 20th Century
He strangled young girls in Colombia and was arrested, but he escaped from prison and started killing again in Ecuador. He was re-arrested in 1989 and killed in jail.
4. Pedro Rodrigues Filho – Period 1967/2003 – Victims 100+
And another killer from South America; this time, Brazil. He was convicted and sentenced to 128 years, but the maximum term in Brazil is 30 years. He has claimed to have killed over 100 victims, 47 of them inmates. He also killed his father – and ate a piece of his heart. He killed his first two victims at the age of 14, and was first arrested in 1973.
5. Serhiy Tkach – Period 1984-2005 – Victims 80/100
The first serial killer on our list NOT from South America! He operated in the Soviet Union and Ukraine. He was a former Ukrainian police criminal investigator who suffocated girls aged between 8 and 18, and performed sexual acts on their bodies after they were dead. He claims to have killed 100.
10 Most Brutal Serial Killers
6. Ahmad Suradji – Period 1986-1997 – Victims 70/80
He was convicted of strangling at least 42 women and girls in a series of ritual slayings in Indonesia. He believed that their deaths would give him magical powers. He was executed by firing squad on 11 July 2008.
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7. Gary Ridgway – Period 1982-2000 – Victims 71/90+
He was the United States’ most prolific serial killer. He was a truck painter, and confessed to killing 71 women. He was also known as “The Green River Killer.” He almost exclusively targeted sex workers from Seattle. He was suspected of killing over 90 victims, confessed to 71, and was convicted of 49. Ridgway is incarcerated at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington.
8. Alexander Pichushkin – Period 1992-2006 – Victims 60
Best known by the name of “The Chessboard Killer, ” he was convicted of murdering 48 victims and suspected of killing 60. He actually claimed to have murdered 62 people, because he didn’t know that two of his victims had survived. His stated goal in life – to become Russia’s most prolific serial killer!
9. Andrei Chikatilo – Period 1978-1990 – Victims 56
He operated in Russia, and was variously known as the “Butcher of Rostov”, “The Red Ripper”, or “The Rostov Ripper,” he was convicted of the murder of 53 women and children and executed in 1994. As an observation on the Russian justice system, it was reported that another man had been previously convicted and executed for the same crimes.
10. Gennady Mikhasevich – Period 1971/1985 – Victims 43/55
He strangled females in the Soviet Union and Belarus. Besides killing, he robbed his victims of money and valuable items – which he would sometimes give to his wife as a gift!
Those who qualified for inclusion on our list of worst serial killers represent an aspect of the human psyche we would rather ignore.
It is easy to understand how one person can kill another in an act of passion, or self defense. It is almost impossible to comprehend mass killing.
What do you feel about serial killers? Did you note that very few received the death penalty?
Share your thoughts with our readers by using the comments feed below.
From Ted Bundy to Charles Manson, these infamous murderers had no problem finding love after they were convicted.
The advent of 24-hour news and true crime entertainment has turned serial killers and other convicted murderers into celebrities of sorts. But no matter how infamous these “celebrities” are, many of them still boast a flock of fawning fans — and some of them even find love.
In 1979, the trial of Ted Bundy made history as one of the first murder trials ever broadcast nationally to American homes. While the serial killer’s crimes were clearly shocking to the general public, this case was also illuminating for the flirtatious female response it received. Bundy even famously got married to a longtime admirer in the middle of his trial.
Bundy wasn’t the only murderer to find love — and tons of female fans — after being arrested for unspeakable crimes. In 1993, countless women followed the trial of brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who had viciously murdered their own parents. And even the infamous cult leader Charles Manson met a woman who wanted to marry him while he was in prison.
A bizarre phenomenon in our media-centric world, some of history’s worst killers have been treated like rock stars — but why? One possible theory is hybristophilia — the official term for being sexually attracted to people who commit outrageous crimes. Indeed, there are some women out there who openly identify as hybristophiles, and others who strongly hint at feeling this unusual attraction.
However, psychologists have also pointed out that some women who “love” killers might actually just love the media attention that comes along with their association to someone so notorious. And in other cases, it may simply be an extreme version of a woman thinking she can change a man — despite his heinous crimes.
Of course, most women make it a point not to date, marry, or have children with murderers. However, the women below were so smitten with these violent convicts that they actually did. Here’s how things turned out for them.
Afton Burton And Charles Manson
FacebookAfton Burton and Charles Manson received their marriage license on November 7, 2014. However, the pair never ended up getting hitched.
Without question, Charles Manson was one of the most infamous cult leaders of the 20th century. In the 1960s, his LSD-fueled philosophies inspired societal dropouts so much that they were willing to commit murder for him. While Manson never actually killed anyone himself, the “Sharon Tate murders” committed by his followers in 1969 cemented him as the face of evil.
Devoted Manson Family cult members either trusted in his apocalyptic visions or simply enjoyed the criminal lifestyle they were encouraged to follow. Either way, their vicious crimes in California arguably marked the end of the counter-culture movement that had taken off in the 1960s.
In 1971, Manson was convicted for the murders of the famous actress Sharon Tate and six other people. Although he was initially sentenced to death for his crimes, California temporarily suspended the death penalty in 1972. So he was simply sentenced to life in prison instead.
But for Afton Burton, Manson was innocent of all charges — and a wrongly imprisoned environmentalist. While it’s true that Manson wrote rather eloquently about humankind’s destruction of the environment, the evidence against him for his horrific crimes was extensive.
Manson had been infamous around the world for nearly 20 years before Burton was even born. And yet she was so drawn to the convict that she became determined to catch his eye — and an official promise to marry her. And that’s exactly what she did.
Burton began corresponding with Manson when she was just 17 years old — all because a friend showed her his environmental writings. She would eventually use all her savings to move from her home in Illinois to California, where she started visiting Manson in prison in 2007.
“I was forcefully excommunicated from my friends for a long period of time in my teen years,” Burton recalled. “I couldn’t have any contact at all with any of them. It had a big effect on my life.”
This sacrifice on Burton’s part so that she could see Manson ultimately led to the pair becoming a couple — and getting their marriage license on November 7, 2014. Burton, whom Manson called “Star,” was 26 years old at the time. Manson was 80.
As she explained on her pro-Manson website, Burton said part of her desire to wed him was that marriage would allow her access to information and documents that are usually only reserved for family.
MansonDirectManson said their relationship was a publicity stunt, while Burton claimed that their wedding was postponed “due to an unexpected interruption in logistics.”
While Burton was clearly enamored with Manson, the former cult leader said that their wedding plans were “a bunch of garbage.”
“That’s trash. We’re just playing that for public consumption,” he told reporters. Ultimately, Burton claimed on her website that they postponed the wedding “due to an unexpected interruption in logistics.”
But even when wedding bells appeared to be around the corner, Burton’s family stood by her side all the while. Not even her devout Baptist father allowed Charles Manson to ruin his relationship with his daughter.
“We have not, we are not going to, and we never will, no matter what she does in her life, disown our daughter,” Phil Burton said.
Many believe that Burton was only involved with Manson so that she could take control of his estate after he died. Eerily, a rumor circulated in 2015 that she was marrying him in the hopes of receiving the rights to his body — so she could put his corpse on display and charge people to see it.
However, others wonder if Burton was simply put under a spell similar to that of his former Manson Family followers. When he was put into solitary confinement, she shaved her head and carved an “X” into her forehead just like his “girls” did during his 1971 trial.
To this day, Burton maintains that her relationship with Manson was mutual and remains fond of him even after he died in 2017.