1Axeman serial killer
All murders by the ‘Axeman of New Orleans’ were racially motivated, but a less plausible theory behind these murders was that the killer wanted to promote jazz music. He primarily targeted Italian immigrants in New Orleans. From 1918 to 1919, he killed 6 people with an axe, which often belonged to the victims themselves. His now infamous letter which he sent out in March 1919 stated that he would spare the occupants of any place where a jazz band was playing. On that night, all dance halls reached capacity and amateur bands played jazz at hundreds of house parties and there were no murders that night.
2. After his crimes were discovered, serial killer Marcel Petiot grew a beard and joined the police using the alias Captain Valeri. "Valeri" was assigned to find Petiot until someone recognized him, months later.
3. A female serial killer named "Phantom of Heilbronn" was linked to 40 crimes, 6 of which were murders. In 2009, it was discovered that she didn't exist and her DNA was simply contamination from the cotton swabs used at the crime scenes.
4. In the process of trying to catch serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, Soviet police ended up solving more than 1000 unrelated crimes, including 95 murders and 245 rapes.
5. After the capture of a serial killer (Robert Black) of children, a police officer found his own daughter tied and gagged in the back of the killer's van.
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Room of Forgotten Souls
Richard Trenton Chase was commonly known as ‘The Vampire of Sacramento’ and he only went into unlocked homes because he believed he was a vampire and locked doors meant he was not welcome. Upon entering, he killed and then cannibalized his victims. He was a paranoid schizophrenic and a necrophiliac, who blamed his murders on Nazi UFOs. He was the first serial killer to be classified as a "Disorganised Killer" by Robert Ressler from the Behavioural Science Unit. His crimes were so disturbing that many investigating officers were scarred for life. Being aware of the violent nature of his crimes, his fellow inmates feared him and often tried to persuade him to commit suicide.
7. Venezuelan serial killer Dorangel Vargas was given the nickname "Hannibal Lecter of the Andes" after he confessed to killing and eating at least 10 individuals. He said he rejected overweight men because they had too much cholesterol, and the elderly were spared because their flesh was contaminated and very tough. In 2016, he was involved in a prison riot in which he killed two other inmates and served their remains to other inmates.
8. H.H. Holmes, a 19th century serial killer in the US, opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind. It included soundproofed bedrooms, trap doors, walls lined with blowtorches and two incinerators.
9. Dennis Rader, the infamous Kansas serial killer gave himself his nickname, “The BTK killer.” In 1978, he sent a letter to a television station, claiming responsibility for the murders of 3 victims and suggested many possible names for himself, including the one that stuck, which was an abbreviation for "bind, torture, kill". He installed security systems as a part of his job, and many of his clients had installed the alarms to stop BTK from ever entering their homes, unaware that BTK himself was installing them. He evaded capture for 30 years and was finally caught after he sent a floppy disk to the police, which they told him was untraceable. It contained metadata from a deleted Microsoft Word file.
10. Ashton Kutcher had a girlfriend named Ashley Ellerin who was murdered by a serial killer (Michael Garguilo) while they were dating.
Rodney Alcala was a serial killer who was active in the 70s. Despite his status as a convicted rapist and registered sex offender, he was accepted as a contestant on The Dating Game. He won, but the bachelorette refused to go on a date with him because she deemed him to be "creepy". He was said to have an IQ of 160, and interrogated himself on the witness stand during his trial, in Smeagol-Gollum fashion, switching his voice and demeanor. He is currently serving a life sentence for seven murders.
12. A female Italian serial killer (Leonarda Cianciulli) disposed of bodies by making them into bars of soap.
13. When demolishing the house of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West, every brick was crushed and every timber beam was burned in order to discourage souvenir hunters.
14. A woman was commissioned to write a book about a presumed serial killer in Washington while the killer's identity was unknown. That killer turned out to be Ted Bundy, a close friend and former coworker of the writer.
15. In the midst of a 3-year killing spree, over which he is believed to have murdered up to 130 people, serial killer Rodney Alcala was a featured contestant on 'The Dating Game' and was picked by the bachelorette. She never followed up on the date because she found him "creepy".
Serial killer James French's last words in the electric chair were "How's this for your headline? French Fries."
17. There was a Macedonian journalist/crime reporter named Vlado Taneski who was also a serial killer. He reported on his own crimes and eventually got caught because he wrote articles on the murders with information that had not yet been released and only the killer would have known.
18. Hustler Magazine owner Larry Flynt survived an attack by a serial killer (Joseph Paul Franklin) but was paralyzed from the waist down. He pleaded for his attacker to not be executed, saying "a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.
19. Serial killer Joseph Christopher who was also known as the “.22-Caliber Killer” tried to admit himself to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in the same month when he began his "killing spree." He was denied entry and was recommended counselling therapy instead. He went on to kill at least twelve African American men and boys and wounded numerous others.
20. Russian serial killer Alexander Pichushkin targeted elderly homeless men by luring them with free vodka. After drinking with them, he killed them with a hammer and then pushed the vodka bottle into the open wound in their skulls. He killed at least 49 people, and possibly as many as 60. After his arrest, he claimed, that killing his victims made him feel like God. He was given the nickname "The Chessboard Killer" as his aim was to kill 64 people. That’s the number of squares on a chessboard. He however later recanted this statement, saying that he would have continued killing indefinitely if he had not been stopped.
In 1996, a 10-year-old boy named Zach Ramsay disappeared not far from his apartment and was never found. One witness reported seeing Ramsay with a man named Nathaniel Bar-Jonah before he disappeared. After Ramsay disappeared, Nathaniel, who was a short-order cook, started holding cookouts in which he served burgers and chilli to his guests. He said he had gone deer hunting. He however did not own a rifle or a hunting license. In his apartment, detectives found a recipe book with recipes asking children's body parts with contemptuous titles such as "little boy pot pie," "French fried kid," and phrases such as "lunch is served on the patio with roasted child."
22. Robert Hansen was a serial killer who was active in the early 1980s. He would kidnap women and release them in Alaska’s Knik River Valley. He would then hunt them, armed with a knife and a Ruger Mini-14 rifle.
23. Sture Bergwall, Sweden's most notorious serial killer was incarcerated after confessing to at least 30 murders and crimes such as rape and cannibal. He was later found to have been a manipulative liar. He never actually killed a single person.
24. John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer who raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. He became known as the Killer Clown because he used to perform at children's hospitals and charitable events as "Pogo the Clown". Years before committing these murders, he used to work at a mortuary in Las Vegas. While being employed there, Gacy once slept in a coffin with a dead teenage boy but grew frightened and jumped out. He then travelled back to Illinois after the incident. He claimed that his first victim was a male acquaintance whom he saw in his room holding a knife over him when he woke up from sleep. Gacy said his involuntary orgasm from the murder was the "ultimate thrill" he had ever experienced.
25. Pakistani serial killer Javed Iqbal confessed to the sexual abuse and murder of 100 young boys, ranging in age from 6 to 16. He was sentenced to death by being strangled in front of his victims’ families, then dismembered and burned in a vat of acid, in the same way, he had killed his victims. He was found dead in his cell before the execution could be carried out.