It’s odd how serial killers always appear normal. That is, until their closet doors are opened and bodies come pouring out. Then all of a sudden that “normal person” is standing in a court room with an X carved into his forehead. It’s strange when a family member steps forward saying, ‘As a child he loved to light things on fire and often strangled small animals. We just always thought he was being a kid.’ You would be scared out of your mind if you found out that the guy you once dated cremated a human skull in your fireplace. These scenarios may seem unreal but they are not. America has been a host to hundreds of serial killers over the years, some worse than others.
Perhaps we should start with one of America’s most gruesome serial killers, Theodore ‘Ted’ Bundy. ‘Ted’ was a handsome and charming fellow. At one time he attended Washington University, bagged groceries, and even volunteered at a suicide hotline. On paper he could have easily been categorized as “the boy next door.” The only problem was that the “boy next door,” had dead bodies next door!
Ted Bundy is recognized as one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. He raped and murdered dozens of women during the years of 1974 and 1978. Prior to his death, he admitted to murdering at least 30 people. The truth is we will never truly know how many people he murdered.
Ted often got drunk and went in search of his victims in a public place. He’d somehow manage to gain their trust, lure them into his car, and bludgeon them over the head with a crowbar. Almost every skull found showed proof of this force trauma. That’s right, there were skulls.
This sick man often used a hacksaw to decapitate his victims. On death row he admitted to keeping the skulls in his room before eventually disposing of them on Taylor Mountain. He was extremely attached to his victims. He even admitted to visiting the bodies on the mountain after they were disposed of. He would go back over and over again. He’d lie with them, apply makeup on their faces, and have sex with the bodies until putrefaction made him abandon them.
The night before his execution, during an interview with Doctor James Dobson, Ted confessed that pornography helped “shape and mold” his violent behavior. He also said that violence in the media is what turns boys into Ted Bundys’. The following morning, on January 24, 1989 he was executed by Electric Chair at Florida State Prison.
At least 17 men and boys were murdered by this next killer. Known for his sex crimes, the murders by Jeffery Dahmer were particularly gruesome as well. Sodomy, necrophilia, dismemberment, and cannibalism, seemed to be a favorite of his. After being arrested for fondling a 13-year-old boy in Milwaukee, Dahmer convinced a judge that he just needed therapy and was released on five-year probation. That was a big mistake! It wasn’t long after when Dahmer began his gruesome murder spree. By the end of 1991 he was killing one person a week.
Dahmer’s apartment was proof that he was one of America’s worst serial killers. With corpses stored in acid-filled vats, severed heads in his refrigerator, and what would have been an altar of candles with human skulls were found. Apparently, he was trying to create “zombies.” The court found Dahmer guilty on 15 counts of murder and was beaten to death in prison by Christopher Scarver on November 28, 1994.
This next guy is arguably the worst of the worst. The police suspected Ed Gein when a woman named Bernice Worden went missing in 1957. When the police entered a shed on his property, they found what was left of her corpse. She was hanging upside down with her head decapitated. Her ribcage was split open and the body was disemboweled. An autopsy revealed that she had been shot and that the mutilations to her body occurred after her death.
When they entered the house, they found a heart in a pan on the stove. The place was overflowing with pieces of dead bodies. He had been murdering people for quite some time. He even dug up his own dead mother and mutilated her. They eventually found that it was his mother’s heart in the pan. Aside from murdering his victims, he skinned, exhumed, and decorated his home with parts of them. He made clothing and multiple pieces of furniture out of them. He had bowls made of skulls and masks made of facial skin and vulva. Gein also made a woman-skinned suit that looked like his mother. He supposedly always wanted to turn himself into a woman and killed people for use of their skin. The experiments and projects eventually became cannibalistic. The house in Plainfield Wisconsin became known as “The House of Horrors.”
Police counted the body parts as 15 women total. Gein tried to reassure everyone that he never had sex with any of them (As if that mattered). He was admitted to Waupan State Hospital and died of cancer at the age of 78.
I hope you didn’t think movies like, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are totally fictional. If you did, I’m sure that information about these three famous American serial killers has changed your mind. Their gruesome murders have certainly stuck with us over time. I bet the strange man that lives across the street looks a bit different now. I bet you’re questioning to yourself, “Could he be America’s next worst serial killer?”