Let’s be clear: All serial killers are creepy just like rainy days are wet. But some rainy days are wetter than others, and the crimes of some serial killers are so heinous it’s hard to believe they were committed by anything other than a monster. Here are seven creepy serial killers whose crimes will make your skin crawl.
Carl Panzram (pictured above)
Perhaps the most vocally unrepentant killer we could dig up, Panzram’s picture radiates hostility. This Minnesota-born serial killer butchered anywhere from 5-22 people in a period spanning 1920-1929; many of his victims were young men that he tortured and raped before killing. Panzram gleefully owned up to his crimes — he often bragged about his predilection for pedophilia, sexual assault, and murder. Before being put to death in Kansas in 1930, Panzram spat at his executioner, bellowing, “I wish the entire human race had one neck and I had my hands around it!”
Blokhin does not fit the textbook definition of a serial killer, but he deserves placement on this list for serving as Joseph Stalin’s personal executioner, the man who arguably ordered the most state-sanctioned murders in history. Blokhin himself organized and largely carried out the Katyn massacre, giving him the dubious honor of conducting the largest mass murder by an individual in history. Blokhin was a secret police officer who mastered the arts of torture, terrorism and execution; at Katyn, he designed a sloped killing floor and logistical slaughtering line that allowed him to personally kill some 7,000 Polish POWs in 28 day — a death every six minutes. Blokhin was forcibly dismissed from service upon Stalin’s death in 1953. He slipped into alcoholism and died two years later, supposedly from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Dahmer was a frequent practitioner of both cannibalism and necrophilia; his killing was at least partially rooted in his desire to acquire an utterly submissive sexual partner. Perhaps that’s why he drilled holes in some of his victims’ skulls, which he then filled with muriatic acid. According to Dahmer, he hoped to create sexualized zombies that would act on his beck and call. Dahmer targeted male prostitutes and minors, often sexually assaulting his victims before murdering and dismembering them. He was arrested in 1991, convicted of 15 murders in 1992, and sentenced to life in prison. A fellow inmate beat Dahmer to death in 1994.
Colombian Pedro Lopez may be the world’s most prolific serial killer, which is bad enough, except that by all accounts he is also free. The ‘Monster of the Andes’ has committed over 100 confirmed murders, and it is strongly suspected that he’s responsible for over 300 total. Lopez is not just a killer, though — he’s also a serial rapist and pedophile. When he took police to a mass grave of 53 individuals (all his victims, he claimed) the authorities found that the dead were girls between 9 and 12 years old. An A&E documentary claims that Lopez was committed to an insane asylum, from which he later escaped in 1998.
One of the worst serial killers in Chinese history, Yang Xinhai was convicted of 67 murders when he was executed for his crimes in 2004. Xinhai would break into homes and murder all of the occupants therein with a hammer or cleaver, earning him the sobriquet of “The Monster Killer.” Like so many other serial killers, he was a serial rapist as well, found guilty of 23 sexual assaults. Before he was shot, Yang told those who would listen, “I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.”
The doctor will see you now. In 1893 Chicago, Dr. H.H. Holmes opened a facility designed with murderous intent. On the first floor of the block-long building was Holmes’ pharmacy and various shops, but the higher you went, the stranger things got. Holmes had the upper levels of his Murder Castle designed with windowless rooms, doors that opened only from the outside, and staircases that led nowhere. Holmes would lure his victims into these rooms — they were often young women in search of work, or visitors to Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition — where he sealed them inside and deliver death by asphyxiation, incineration, or suffocation. The corpses were dropped down a chute to his basement laboratory where he carefully removed usable organs and arranged the bones into anatomical models to be sold to medical schools. Unusable remains were either incinerated or thrown in a pit of acid. Holmes was eventually apprehended in 1894 and hanged in 1896. Although he’s credited with nine confirmed victims, it’s estimated that the real body count is closer to 200.
If you haven’t seen the excellent movie Citizen X, go rent it now. The made-for-TV film chronicles Andrei Chikatilo’s reign of terror, the most infamous serial killer in the history of the Soviet Union. From sometime around 1978 to 1990, the Ukrainian sexually assaulted, molested, mutilated, and murdered 56 victims. The killings rocked the USSR, triggering an enormous manhunt and, in many areas, massive panic. Chikatilo was eventually captured during a police sting. He was tried, found guilty, and executed for his crimes in 1994.
Feature photo: Murderpedia. Other photos: Murderpedia, Wikimedia Commons