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.
2. Ashton Kutcher had a girlfriend named Ashley Ellerin who was murdered by a serial killer (Michael Garguilo) while they were dating.
3. 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.
4. A female Italian serial killer (Leonarda Cianciulli) disposed of bodies by making them into bars of soap.
5. 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.
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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.
7. 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".
8. Serial killer James French's last words in the electric chair were "How's this for your headline? French Fries."
9. 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.
10. 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.
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.
12. 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.
13. 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."
14. 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.
15. 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.
16John Wayne Gacy
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.
17. 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.
18. Serial killer Pedro López killed over 300 girls and was released on $50 bail in 1998. He is currently free.
19. The real-life Pa from The Little House on the Prairie is suspected, by his daughter, to have killed a family of serial killers (Bloody Benders).
20. Two cousins, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono Jr. kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered 10 women and dumped their naked bodies on the hillsides of Los Angeles. While actively murdering women, Kenneth Bianchi was also applying to join the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department. He also attended several ride-alongs with police officers who were searching for the Hillside Strangler. One time, the duo posed as undercover police officers and stopped a female driver. They however dropped their plan to abduct and murder her after learning that she was the daughter of actor Peter Lorre, who was known for playing disturbed characters.
Wyatt Earp may have descended from America's first serial killers, the Harpe Brothers. He murdered up to 40 people and even bashed an infant against a tree for crying. One was beheaded and his head was left on a spike. That area is still known in Kentucky as "Harpe's Head'.
22. A serial killer named the Doodler, who targeted gay men in 1970's San Francisco would sketch his victims nude before murdering them. Though 3 victims survived, and a suspect was identified, none were willing to "out" themselves in open court in order to convict the suspect.
23. Christman Genipperteinga was a 16th-century German serial killer who is reported to have murdered 964 individuals. This included 6 of his newborn babies he had birthed from a sex slave he held captive for 7 years. One find day, she convinced him to let her go to the town where she betrayed him by dropping peas for the town's men to follow and capture him.
24. Joseph Briggen was Californian hog farmer who always had blue ribbon prize pigs at the state fair and his pigs always drew the highest prices at auction. When asked about his success, he often boasted, "it's all in the feeding". It turned out he had been killing the ranch hands and grinding their bodies up for hog feed. One of his ranch hands found some body parts and reported him to the police.
25. Israel Keyes was a serial killer who would travel via plane from Alaska to the continental U.S. to bury murder kits. He would return years later to retrieve them and kill at random. He had no victim profile.