Which are the worst Top 15 American serial killers?
It is more than difficult to create a list with the Top 15 as some get ranked by the number of their victims while others by their vicious methods of killing. But here is our attempt to select the worst Top 15 American serial killers based on a mix of their victim count and methods of killing.
No 1. Jeffrey Dahmer
Between 1988 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 men in Milwaukee. The escape of his would-be 18th victim led to his capture. Dahmer used to dismemb and eat parts of his victims, many of which were found in his apartment at the time of his arrest. Dahmer died in prison in 1994.
No 2. Ted Bundy
Bundy confessed to 30 murders on his arrest, though authorities believe the actual death toll is much higher. He was executed by electrocution in 1989.
No 3. Albert Fish
Albert Fish was a child rapist and cannibal. He said that he “had children in every state” and the number of victims was 100. He was a suspect in at least five murders and confessed to three. Fish also confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was on trial for the kidnapping and murder of Grace Budd, and was executed by electric chair.
No 4. Richard Ramirez – The Night Stalker
Richard Ramirez aka “The Night Stalker”, went on a killing spree in the Los Angeles that included shootings, mutilations, and rapes. He was caught in East LA after his mugshot was broadcast across Southern California. He was tried, convicted, and died in 2013 while waiting execution at San Quentin Prison.
Over the course of 20 years, Gary Ridgway aka “The Green River Killer”, would lure, kill, and dispose of at least 49 victims before his capture in 2001. While the number of confirmed deaths numbers 49, Ridgway confessed to killing 71 women in his interviews after capture. He is currently serving 480 years in a Washington prison without the possibility of parole.
No 6. Dennis Rader – BTK
Dennis Rader aka “BTK Killer” (blind, torture, kill), was charged with the murders of 10 people in Kansas between 1971 and 1994. In 2004, Rader began communicating with police, and did the mistake of sending them information on a floppy disk that would eventually traced back to his residence. Rader was apprehended and charged with the murders and is currently serving ten consecutive life sentences in a Kansas jail.
No 7. John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy aka “The Killer Clown”, raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 boys and men between 1972 and 1978, in Chicago, IL. Police discovered 29 bodies hidden in the crawl space of his house, and admitted killing more men which he disposed of in the river. He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.
No 8. Edmund Kemper
Edmund Kemper aka”Co-Ed Killer”, murdered 10 victims before surrendering to police in 1973. Kemper killed his grandparents when he was only age 15 years old, and continued his killings after being released. In 1972 Kemper killed his mother and a friend as well as six female college students who he mutilated and had sex with after their deaths. He eventually called police and waited for his arrest. He is currently serving a life sentence in the general population in a California jail.
No 9. Joseph James DeAngelo
Joseph James DeAngelo aka “Original Night Stalker” and “Golden State Killer” murdered at least 10 women and committed 50 rapes that spread from San Francisco to Orange County between 1946 and 1986. He was arrested on April 2018 and currently is on trial.
No 10. The Boston Strangler
Between 1962 and 1964, The Boston Strangler claimed the lives of 13 women, mostly by strangulation, and always involving sexual assault. His murder spree started in 1962 and ended in 1964. In late 1964, Albert DeSalvo was arrested for the rape of a woman and while in prison, he confessed to the murders. He was never convicted for them and died from a prison stabbing in 1973.
No 11. Aileen Wuornos
Between 1989 and 1990, Aileen Wuornos murdered seven men who approced her for her prostitution “services”. A minor traffic accident in one her victim’s cars led to her arrest and eventual 2002 execution.
No 12. Joseph Naso
Joseph Naso aka “Double Initial Murders” murdered four women in California’s Bay Area between 1977 and 1994. The victims all had alliterative names (Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons, and Tracy Tafoya) He disposed of their bodies in trafficked areas and was also suspected of the Alphabet Murders in Rochester, NY in the 1970’s where three young girls with alliterative names were murdered and disposed of in wooded areas.
No 13. Long Island Serial Killer
He is also known as the Craiglist Ripper or Gilgo Beach Killer and is suspected to have murdered 10 to 16 people over a period of 20 years. The victims were believed to be involved in prostitution or similar activities. The bodies were dumped along Ocean Parkway near the remote Long Island, New York beach towns Gilgo and Oak Beach in Suffolk County, as well as the area of Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County. He was never identified.
No 14. David Berkowitz
David Berkowitz aka Son of Sam is a serial killer from U.S. who murdered six people in New York City between 1976 and 1977. He plunged the city into the largest manhunt in New York history. Also known as Son of Sam, he was arrested on August 10 and was sentenced to six consecutive 25-years-to-life terms.
No 15. The Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac Killer or Zodiac was a serial killer in Northern California, who committed murders from at least the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. Police confirmed 5 dead and 2 injured, but he claimed to have killed 37 people. The Zodiac sent a series of taunting letters to the local Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms of which only one was solved. The killer’s identity remains unknown to this day.
If you want to read more about individual serial killers, you can visit our Serial Killer Category.
Do you think we missed a serial killer “worthy” of being in the Top 15? Let us know.