On this page you will find some basic information on the charachteristics, and motives of a serial killer.
I will also be listing some of the most prolific serial killers, and the methods they used to kill thier victims.
I will be adding to this list frequently. What can I say?...To many serial killers...to little time! So come back often for updates, and enjoy!
Charachteristics of a Serial Killer.
Kills are seperate, often escalating over a period of time, sometimes years, and will continue until the killer is taken into custody, or dies.
Killing tends to be one on one. Although there have been instances where a serial killer has killed more than one at a time.
There is no (or very little) connection between the perpitrator and the victim.
Although there may be a "pattern" or "victim trait", individual murders with in a series rarely display a clearly defined or rational motive.
Motives of a Serial Killer.
Acts in responce to voices and is instructed by these voices to perform the act of murder. These killers are usually schitzophrenic and psycotic.
They think it is their responsibility to rid society of unwanted elements.
Kill because murder causes them pleasure.
Kills for sexual gratification with acts that are usually sadistic.
Kill for a desire for a thrill or experience.
Kills for personal gain. The killer premeditates the act to require financial gain or materialistic goods.
Kills for the desire to have control over the life and death of others.
The Serial Killers.
Ed Gien: Kills 2+
Ed Gein grew up with a dominating mother. When she died he masterbated over her dead body. This is where it all started. Ed Gein participated in grave robbing and a strange type of transvestite necrophilia. He would carve out the genitalia of female cadavers and wear them over his own. Ed Gein found uses for all parts of the anatomy. He had a belt made of nipples, a skin vest that he would wear, mobiles made out of noses, skulls on his bed posts, cranial bowls for soup, drums made out of skin, etc...Although Gein was only linked to 2 murders (although linked to many more) few other serial killers lived up to the same degree of wierdness.
Jeffrey Dahmer: Kills 17
As a kid, Dahmer liked to torture and kill little animals. As an adult he did the same to humans. He would lure gay, black men to his apartment, kill them, and have them for dinner. He would have sex with the corpses (and always wore a condom). He enjoyed sex with the dead better because they couldn't get up and leave. He would experiment with different ways of disposing of his victims remains. When captured police found three dissolving bodies in fifty-five gallon acid vats in the bathroom. They also found four severed heads, seven skulls, skeletons in the closet, and a penis in a lobster pot. They also found a heart in the freezer. Dahmer was ironically murdered in prison by another inmate. His brain was preserved, at the request of his mother, for future study.
John Wayne Gacy: Kills 33
This sadistic child molester liked to entertain boys privately in a very different fashion. A typical organized killer, he had all aspects of the murder worked out before each kill. Once he entered his murderous fantasy, he would let loose. He enjoyed hand cuffing his victims, anally raping them, beating them to a pulp, reciting verses from the bible, and then strangling them to death. Thirty bodies were found burned in the crawl space underneath his house. In prison, John started a new career as an artist, painting mostly colorful clown pictures, which have been shown in galleries nationwide. He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.
Ted Bundy: Kills 22+
The posterboy of the serial killer community. He was handsome, charming, and deadlier than a rattlesnake. This law student and Young Republican liked to wear an arm sling to appear vulnerable, and to get woman to help him with his grocieries. He favored killing pretty, dark-haired, cheerleader types. He would rape and bludgeon them to death. He was also fond of biting them. The bite marks on one of his victims was used as evidence against him at his trial. Bundy was fried by the state of Florida in 1989.
Zodiac Killer: Kills 37+
The elusive Zodiac is the most prolific killer in California. The Zodiac, a killer obssessed with publicity, sent twenty-one letters to various news papers boasting of his crimes. He obtained his astral moniker after he scribbled zodiac signs around several of his crime scenes. He started his killing spree in 1966 and faded around 1974. The survivors from his attacks have described him as a heavy set man with glasses, and red hair. In one of his letters he explained that he killed "because it is so much fun". His master plan was to collect "slaves for the afterlife". Now some believe that Zodiac moved to New York where he continues with his deadly forays.
Albert DeSalvo (The Boston Strangler): Kills 13
The Boston Strangler began murdering in 1962. At first he only killed elderly woman. He would rape and strangle them. Sometimes he would shove foriegn objects like bottles or broomsticks into the womans vagina. He would always leave a "signiture" at the murder scene. His "signiture" was tying a stocking or ribbon (the murder weapon) around the womans neck. Towards the end of 1962 he began preying on young woman. These new victims lead to new methods of murder. In one instance he stabbed a woman two dozen times. DeSalvo was sent to a mental institution for a short period. He was institutionalized for all of the rapes he committed NOT the murders. While in the mental institution he bragged about the murders. It was then that authorities realized who DeSalvo really was. DeSalvo was never convicted of the murders. He was given a life sentance for the rapes. In 1973 he was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate.
Jack the Ripper: Kills 5
Jack the Ripper is one of the most infamous killers of all time. The murders began in 1888, in the Whitechappel section of London. Murders here were not uncommon. It was the brutallity of these murders that brought it attention. A prostitute named Mary Ann Nicholis was found butchered. Her body was left lying in the gutter. Her throat had been slashed, nearly severing her head. A slash through her stomach and vagina had been mutilated. The next body was found about a week later. Her head was almost completly severed and she was evicerated. A while later police recieved a letter bragging about the murders, it was signed "Jack the Ripper". A few weeks later Jack had a committed a double murder. His first victim had her throat slashed, yet Jack was frightened away by an oncomming wagon. Later that night he captured another prostitute. He slashed her throat, slit her from froin to breast bone, removed her organs, and took her kidney. His last murder was the most grisly of all. Jack encountered yet another prostitute and she brought him home. In the bed he slashed her throat, cut off her nose, removed her breasts, evicerated her, and carved flesh off of her legs. Jacks murders ended there, he was never heard of again. He was never caught.
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