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John Wayne Gacy "The Killer Clown" - DEAD - Between 1972-78, Gacy - a married man who hid his homosexuality after an abusive childhood with an alcoholic father - raped, tortured and murdered 33 teenage boys and men, hiding 26 of his victims bodies under his house's crawlspace until the smell of decomposing flesh became so unbearable it was impossible to hide. Having spent 14 years on Death Row at Menard Correctional Centre in Chester (Illinois), on the 9th May 1994 Gacy had his final meal - KFC, shrimp, fries, strawberries and a Diet Coke - and was executed by lethal injection.
The procedure took 18 minutes. With no remorse for his victims, Gacy's final words were simply "Kiss my ass". After death, Gacy's brain was removed and is held in possession by Dr. Helen Morrison, a defence witness at Gacy's trial who was conducting a study into possibly brain abnormalities in psychopaths. Gacy's brain showed no abnormalities.
Albert DeSalvo "The Boston Strangler" - DEAD - Between 1962-64 in Boston, thirteen women were raped and murdered by an unknown assailant, also dubbed "Measuring Man" who'd con his way into their homes. Although DeSalvo was never imprisoned for these murder (instead he was arrested for a spate of similar sex attacks), he repeatedly confessed and retracted his confession. On 25th November at Walpole Maximum Security Prison, fellow inmate Robert Wilson stabbed DeSalvo to death for selling amphetamines at a price deemed too low for the prison's crime syndicate. In July 2013, DNA found in seminal fluid recovered from the murder scene of Mary Sullivan proved a positive match to the DNA recovered from the exhumed corpse of Albert DeSalvo.
Edmund Kemper "The Co-Ed Butcher" - ALIVE - Having murdered his own grandparents aged 15, Kemper was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and committed to Atascadero State Hospital. Six years later, having convinced psychiatrists he was "sane", Kemper was released and went on a killing-spree; abducting, decapitating, defiling and cannibalising the corpses of various young women (including his mother), before turning himself in. At his trial in 1973, he was found to be "sane" and although he requested the death penalty for his crimes, the state of California had temporarily suspended capital punishment, so Kemper received eight life sentences served at the California Medical Facility.
Kemper is considered a "model prisoner", who is responsible for scheduling prisoner's psychiatric appointments as well as being a skilled potter. Although eligible, he was denied parole in 2007 and 2012. His next parole hearing in this year (2017).
Joel Rifkin "Joel the Ripper" - ALIVE - Convicted of murdering 9 prostitutes between 1989-93 in New York City & Long Island, Rifkin was arrested on 28th June 1993 following a high-speed pursuit when officers spotted him driving without licence plates. The chase ended when he crashed into a lamp-post, outside of the courthouse where his trial would ultimately take place. As New York doesn't have the Death Penalty, Rifkin was sent to Attica Prison where - following a spat with murderer Colin Ferguson over who had the most victims - Rifkin spent the next four years in solitary confinement.
In 2000, the state rejected Rifkin's lawsuit which claimed that being in solitary for 1540 days was unconstitutional, a lawsuit which - had he won - would have netted him $77 million. Rifkin was sentenced to a total of 203 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole on 26th February 2197. And before you ask? No, that number is not a typo.
Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker" - DEAD - Between June 1984 and August 1985, Ramirez, a devout satanist terrorised Los Angeles and San Francisco with a spate of 14 burglaries, 11 rapes, 5 attempted murder and 13 brutal murders, many using a machete, a tyre iron and a hammer. On 30th August 1985, Ramirez was the lead story on all news networks and noticing his photo on every newspaper he attempted to steal several cars to escape, but was chased, restrained and hit over the head with a metal bar by his pursuers. On 20th September 1989, Ramirez was sentenced to 13 death sentences at the gas chamber in California... but died of secondary complications to B-cell lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) on 7th June 2013. Aged 53, he had been on Death Row for over 23 years.
Jeffrey Dahmer "Milwaukee Cannibal" - DEAD - Between 1978-91, Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys, some of whose corpses he raped, decapitated and even ate. On 22nd July 1991, he lured 32 year old Tracey Edwards into his home with the promise of $100 to take a few nude photos. Once inside, sickened by a foul odour and unnerved by a drum of muriatic acid (which he used to dissolve body parts), Edwards fled and Dahmer was arrested. Although diagnosed with a schizotypal & psychotic personality disorder, Dahmer was found to be legally sane, and on 15th February 1992 he was sentenced to 15 (later 16) life sentences plus 70 years, as the Death Penalty had been abolished in Wisconsin in 1853.
But on the morning of 28th November 1994, at the Columbia Correctional Institution, as he began his duty of mopping the prison showers, fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver bludgeoned him to death with a 20-inch (51cm) metal bar. As was his wishes, Dahmer's body was cremated and his ashes were divided between his divorced parents.
Dennis Rader "The BTK Killer" - ALIVE - Radar was a sadist who's ominous signature was to "Bind, Kill & Torture" his ten victims between 1974-91. Always believing he was smarting than the Police, he'd often taunt them with letters published in the press, but on 16th February 2005 he sent a floppy-disk of his writing to Wichita news outlet KSAS-TV. On the disk was a Microsoft Word document, the metadata of which identified the writer's place of work (Christ Lutheran Church, of which he was President) and that it was last updated by someone called "Dennis".
Knowing the evidence was circumstantial, Police obtained a warrant to test the DNA on his daughter's pap-smear, which proved a genetically similar DNA match. Radar was arrested and - as Kansas doesn't have the Death Penalty - was sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility where he lives in solitary confinement for his own protection. He will be eligible for parole after 175 years.
Ted Bundy – DEAD - Between 1974-78, across seven states; Washington, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Idaho and California, Ted Bundy (serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and necrophile) assaulted and murdered at least 30 young women, often returning to their decapitated corpses to fulfil his sexual needs until they were so purified, that sex was not possible. Although Bundy was arrested on 16th August 1975 by a police officer who spotted him prowling a residential area in his VW Beetle at dawn in possession of a crowbar, ski-mask, rope, handcuffs and an ice-pick, they were only assumed to be burglary tools. Following a hunch, when Bundy sold his car a month later, the FBI swabbed it and found the hair strands from three unsolved murder cases.
But before he could be arrested for murder, Bundy would kill six more women as they slept in their beds. He was executed by electric chair at Raiford Prison (Florida) on 24th January 1989 at 7:16 am, cremated at Gainesville and his ashed were scattered in an undisclosed location in the Cascade Range of Washington State.
Aileen Wuornos – DEAD - Between 30th November 1989 and 19th November 1990, Wuornos robbed and shot at point-blank range seven men who (she claimed) had tried to rape her as she worked as a prostitute; a defence she would later recant citing robbery. Having sold many of her victim's possessions, and even seen by witnesses driving one of her victims' cars, on 9th January 1991 Wuornos was arrested on an outstanding warrant, during which time Police convinced her former lover - Tyria Moore - to elicit a telephone confession from her in return for immunity. One week later, Wuornos confessed to the murders and was sentenced to death by lethal injection at Florida State Prison on 9th October 2002 at 9:47 am. She declined a last meal and simply had a cup of black coffee. Her body was cremated and her ashes sprinkled under a tree in her native Michigan by her childhood friend Dawn Botkins.
David Berkowitz "Son of Sam" - ALIVE - Between 29th July 1976 and 31st July 1977, alleged satanist David Berkowitz terrorised The Bronx (New York) by killing six people and wounding seven others, most of whom were amorous couples "making-out" in cars. Although the "Son of Sam" killings sparked one of New York's largest man-hunts, eluding Police for a year, Berkowitz was arrested when he attempted to kill dog-walker - Cacilia Davis - who noticed that he escaped in a 1970 yellow Ford Galaxie... which Patrolman Michael Cataneo has ticketed a few minutes earlier for illegal parking. On 10th August 1977, as he left his home, Berkowitz was arrested; his car and home was searched and they found a rifle, a duffel-bag of ammo', a map of the crime scenes, as well as three meticulously written diaries.
On 12th June 1978 Berkowitz was sentenced to serve 25 year-to-life for each murder, at the Attica Correctional Facility. Although he claimed his murders were the direct orders of a demon who manifested itself as a dog called "Harvey" which belonged to his neighbour "Sam", Berkowitz was found sane to stand trial. Since his incarceration, "Son of Sam" has found God as an Evangelical Christian, hence he has now been dubbed by fellow convicts - "Son of Hope".
If you "enjoyed" this blog post, why not take a peek at my other blogs which examine a different side to serial killers such as; Killers as Siblings, Killers As Kids, Killers By Birthday, Killers By County, Killers By Diet , Killers By Drink, Killers By Height, Killers By IQ, Killers By Job, Killers By Lunar Cycle, Killers By Music, Killers By Name, Killers By Nickname, Killers By Star Sign, Killers Last Meals, Killers Last Words, Killers Not Caught, Killers On TV and Killers & Pets.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten quirky & unusual things to do in London” and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totalling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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