Famous serial killers lurk around every corner. They might be your neighbor, your coworker, or even your friend. Deep down we all have a morbid fascination that compels us to dig deeper into the world of real life terror.
So let’s dig deep together, enjoy these terrifyingly interesting facts about some of America’s most famous serial killers.
- H. Holmes is widely considered to be America’s first serial killer.
His full name was Herman Webster Mudgett.
As a child, two of his schoolmates bullied him. Dragging him into a doctor’s office and harassing him with a metal skeleton. This stunt was what actually got him interested in anatomy in the first place. Which because a lifelong fascination.
At the age of 11 he had already been conducting medical experiments on animals. Starting on salamanders and frogs but eventually leading up to kittens, stray dogs, and smaller mammals, like rabbits.
He graduated with a medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1884.
He was exceptionally skilled at insurance fraud. He would take out a life policy on a fictional person, get his hands on a corpse, claim they were the insured individual, and then would cash in on the policy.
He developed the name Dr. Henry Howard Holmes when he moved to Chicago in 1886.
After acquiring a job as a druggist’s assistant, the elderly woman who owned the store disappeared. Which left an opening for him to take over as the proprietor.
He built “the Castle” across the street from the drug store, and while there are no murder pictures, it was a prolific tribute to human death.
He invited Conner, a watchmaker, to set up shop in the castle. With him came his wife Julia and daughter Pearl. H. H. Holmes got Julia pregnant. Conner left, Holmes performed an abortion on Julia resulting in her death. He then chloroformed her daughter, Pearl.
Starting in 1893, the Chicago World’s Fair opened. Holmes took this opportunity to rent rooms to tourist. Most of those tourist were never seen again, his home was named the “Murder Castle.
He donated skeletons to the local medical schools. Due to the shortage no one asked any questions.
He confessed to 27 murders but the authorities believe that the death count ranges closer to 50.
John Wayne Gacy, the killer clown.
John Wayne Gacy was a contractor and business man.
He was known as a “pillar of the community” for his devotion to his community’s affairs and charitable causes.
His clown name was “Pogo the Clown” which he used to perform for sick children at local hospitals.
After getting married he moved to Waterloo, Iowa where he ran a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.
He abducted young men, mostly around bus stations or the local gay distract.
He would torture them and finally do what he called “the rope trick.” He would loop a rope around their neck, slide a hammer through the middle of the cord and the victims’ neck, he would then slowly twist the handle which tightened the rope. During this he reached climax as he watched them slowly strangle to death.
He would bury the bodies in his crawl space. He did, however, eventually run out of room and began dumping bodies in a river.
He tried to convince the court he was insane. That he had split personality and couldn’t be held responsible because “Jack” did it, not him.
They didn’t go for it so in March 1980 he was sentenced to death.
He wasn’t executed until 14 years later but while in prison he drew many cheery, creepy paintings of clowns and other characters.
He liked to brag about his crimes. Feeling like a celebrity.
His last words were “Kiss my ass.”
David Parker Ray, the toy box killer.
Born in New Mexico in 1939, he was raised by his grandfather.
He had 4 marriages, all ending in divorce.
He spend $100,000 on a trailer that he called “the Toy Box.” It was decked out with sex toys and torture devices. Surgical instruments, pulleys, chains, clamps, spreader bars, syringes, and chains were all found inside. As well as a gynecology table with a mirror mounted on the ceiling so the victims could see what was happening to them.
His girlfriend, Cindy Hendy, was his accomplice. His daughter, Glenda Jean Ray, also assisted in one of the killings. As well as Dennis Roy Yancy, for the same killing ass
He often pretended to be a police office and he targeted prostitutes.
The number of his victims ranged somewhere between 14-60.
Some believe that the killing could have started when he was a teenager, sometime in the 50s.
As an adult he served in the U.S. Army. After, he became a mechanic.
Victim, Cynthia Vigil, escaped (only wearing chains and an iron slave collar) and was able to make it to a nearby mobile home, where they gave her a robe and called the police.
After he was arrested, 2 more victims came forward, Angelica M and Kelly Garrestt.
Kelly testified against him in court with Cynthia Vigil.
He would record, audio or video, the torture. He would then take clothing or jewelry as trophies. A few victims were let go, he said he “drugged them to make them forget about what happened.”
He forced his victims to listen to a tape he recorded before he tortured them. You can find a transcription online. It’s eerie and you’ll never get it out of your head.