The black chronicle of Humanity is full of disastrous chapters. Today’s is dedicated to the serial killers with the highest number of fatalities .
Because, in some cases, the analysis techniques were not as advanced as they are today and because many crimes were committed in remote areas, the list is made based on the number of murders for which these subjects were convicted , since that it is suspected that one of them could be behind more deaths than they are blamed for.
- Another macabre story: Ed Gein, “the butcher of Plainfield”: the ghoul killer.
12 serial killers with the most deaths behind them
In this list we present the serial killers who have caused the most fatalities (that is known) over the centuries.
12. John Wayne Gacy, ‘the killer clown’
Gacy is one of the most memorable serial killers in US criminal history. A respected member of his community, he earned everyone’s appreciation for his alter ego, ‘Pogo, the clown’, a figure that he used to entertain the children of the neighbors who attended the barbecues organized in the garden of your home in the state of Illinois.
He is accused of having abused, tortured and murdered up to a total of 33 adolescents and young people.of various ages, whose bodies appeared buried under the ground of his property, seven of which could not be identified. Another four bodies were found in a nearby river. His life would end with a lethal injection on May 10, 1994.
11. Ted Bundy, ‘the student killer’
Ted Bundy embodied the archetype of the extremely intelligent psychokiller with a dark past. Like many others, he hid the aftermath of a traumatic childhood under a facade of personal charm.that he used to gain the favor of his victims, to later rape and execute them. Her way of proceeding consisted many times in pretending to have an arm in a cast, asking for help to load the books in her car and, once her target was inside her, leaving her unconscious and fleeing the place.
Among all her crimes, there is also that of Kimberly Leach, a 12-year-old girl whom Bundy kidnapped from a patio while she was playing. Despite this, he received correspondence from several admirers during his time in prison, eventually marrying one of them and having a daughter together. In addition, he exercised his own defense during the trial , although it would not help him avoid the electric chair on January 24, 1989.
From 1974 to 1979,Bundy killed 36 girls, all of them with very similar physical features (young Caucasians with dark hair). However, it is believed that he could be the culprit of more than a hundred of them, which is why he is considered one of the serial killers with the most victims in the United States.
10. Manuel Delgado Villegas, ‘El Arropiero’
If there is a sadly famous name in the Spanish criminology of the last century, that is that of Manuel Delgado Villegas, nicknamed “El Arropiero” because he was dedicated to the traveling sale of arrope, a kind of must made from fruit juice.
Illiterate, motherless and of limited intelligence, this erratic criminal committed up to 48 murders throughout the Spanish geography, after unleashing their sexual perversions, subduing the unwary who fell into their clutches. Despite everything, the authorities have always suspected that the final count could rise, due to his aggressive behavior and his insatiable appetite.
He would die on February 2, 1998 due to lung disease, a consequence of his addiction to tobacco.
9. Gary Ridgway, ‘the Green River killer’
He has the dubious honor of being the serial killer with the most victims in the entire United States : Gary Ridgway already experienced an unhealthy urge to kill as a teenager, which he gave free rein to for almost 20 years before being arrested.
A fan of paying for sex, Ridgway had a tremendous contempt for women, specifically prostitutes, to whom they were little more than trash. This allowed him to develop his long criminal career for so long, that he carried out throughout the Green River area, King County (Washington); which earned him his gloomy nickname. By accepting the 49 murders attributed to him, he escaped capital punishment and is currently serving a life sentence.
8. Anatoli Onoprienko, ‘the beast of the Ukraine’
A wave of crimes in the mid-nineties revived the horror in the Ukrainian society of those years, which was recovering little by little from the atrocities committed by another of its most bloodthirsty serial killers, Andrei Chikatilo, “the butcher of Rostov” , executed in 1994.
- More about his story: Andrei Chikatilo: the most famous cannibal in history.
However, the motive of this new monster was not sexual, but economic: he sneaked into the houses he planned to loot at night and, in order not to leave witnesses, annihilated everyone inside, executing them in the same room one by one. regardless of their ages. In total, he ended the lives of 52 people in exchange for the little money and small valuables he collected, with a record number of 43 victims concentrated between October 1995 and March of the following year.
He was sentenced to life in prison in 1998, remaining in prison until his death in 2013 due to a heart attack.
7. Pedro Rodrigues Filho, ‘Pedrinho Matador’
“I kill for Prazer” is tattooed on the front of his right arm. This is how the life motto of Pedro Rodrigues could be summed up, surely one of the most aggressive serial killers in all of Brazil , currently behind bars for taking 71 lives.
Growing up in a hostile environment is one of the risk factors for a predisposition to violence, even more so if drug trafficking is a constant. It was in this environment where “Pedrinho”He would become one of the most dangerous bandits in the Brazilian underworld.
Suffering from a strong inclination for violence due to head trauma from a blow when he was in the womb, his murderous trajectory did not stop even while in prison , where he killed almost 50 people between officials and other inmates.
6. Javed Iqbal
Up to 100 children fell prey to this ruthless Pakistani serial killer. Javed Iqbal was a famous chemical engineer in his place of origin for welcoming and giving work in the metal foundry that he owned to the most helpless kids. Parallel to this charity work, he was dedicated to kidnapping the infants of the suburbs, to later abuse themin the most horrible ways, cut them into pieces and throw the remains into containers filled with acid.
After reaching a hundred murders, he went to the newspaper’s office where days before he had sent a letter confessing that he was the author of the numerous disappearances in recent years. According to his own words, he decided to stop killing of his own free will, since he argued that he could perfectly have reached 500 deaths .
Ultimately, Iqbal was sentenced to be strangled, chopped up, and put in acid once for each dead infant; although the sentence did not become effective, because he died beaten in his cell.
5. Pedro Alonso Lopez, ‘the Monster of the Andes’
Pedro Alonso Lopez spent part of his childhood lacking a solid paternal reference (the head of the family was murdered just months after he was born) and being a first-person witness to a mother who was engaged in prostitution . As if that were not enough, he was sodomized several times since he was eight years old, something that would undoubtedly determine his antisocial character and mark his homicidal trajectory.
Pedro was stopped by a crowd when he was trying to kidnap a little girl, who was holding his mother’s hand. Already at the police station, after several reluctance, he admitted to having killed 110 girls in Ecuador, another hundred in Colombia and more than a hundred in Peru.. At first, the investigators did not grant any credibility to his words, but when he led them to an area in the middle of the field where up to 57 bodies had been buried, they began to see that his testimony was real.
Apparently, “The Monster of the Andes” raped his victims and strangled them while he did it, since he found sexual pleasure in feeling how life was slipping away from them . Once dead, he would bury them in remote areas, where he would probably return to abuse the bodies again. These tombs were for Pedro Alonso Lopez a kind of altar to his work, which increased with each corpse he left behind. He was released in 1998 and his whereabouts are currently unknown.
4. Luis Alfredo Garavito, ‘The Beast’
There are not enough nicknames to catalog the crimes perpetrated by Luis Alfredo Garavito, probably the biggest serial killer in the history of Colombia and all of Latin America.
During a journey of just 6 years (from 1992, when he committed his first murder to 1999, when he was arrested), Garavito acknowledged having killed 192 children between the ages of 6 and 16 . He was also an accomplished rapist who perpetrated up to 200 sexual assaults, plus kidnappings and torture. As if that were not enough, he wrote down in his travel diary a number that corresponded to the age of each of the murdered children, in addition to keeping memories as a trophy.
Already in prison, Garavito revealed that he had also performed satanic ritualswith the bodies, although I never explain how and what he did. It is believed that around 2023 he will be able to get out of prison, benefiting from the possibility of parole for good behavior.
3. Herman Webster Mudgett, ‘Dr. Holmes’
Hiding a somber personality under a halo of superficial charm is a defining trait of the cruelest serial killers (Ted Bundy or Jeff Dahmer, outside this list, are clear examples of it). This same strategy was already used by Herman Mudgett, who pretentiously called himself ‘HHHolmes’ because of his passion for the character created by Conan Doyle.
This swindler of women was dedicated to seducing them in order to later get all the money he could. With what he gathered from his frauds,Mudgett built a hotel that he would call Holmes Castle . This building was actually a labyrinth of secret passageways, with false mirrors through which he could spy on his victims, traps of all kinds (gas chambers included), rooms from which one could not leave, and a basement where he stored the bodies of the guests he killed, to dispose of them quietly.
Although this false Holmes counted ‘only’ 27 murders, the investigations currently amount to more than 200 crimes , since at that time (the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the following) the techniques of criminology did not allow an answer to the final count.
2. Harold Shipman, ‘Doctor Death’
This heartless bloodthirsty took advantage of his status as family doctor to take the lives of up to 215 patients , using a morphine injection that he administered to them in the routine visits they attended.
The renowned doctor began his adventures in 1975, which would extend over two decades through various medical centers in the country. However, it was in Hyde (Manchester) where he founded his own practice and there he would carry out the highest concentration of deaths: 143 .
Thanks to a falsified will in his favor and the exhumation of the corpse of one of his faithful patients (with evidence of a morphine overdose), Shipman was arrested in 1998. As a result, other bodies were unearthed and it was seen that the doctor was behind the deaths. All in all, he became the serial killer with the most victims in the UK . He was hanged in 2004 in his own cell.
1. Erzsebet Bathory, ‘the Blood Countess’
In the past, the cult of blood as a liquid with almost magical properties capable of granting eternal beauty was a common practice among wealthy people. The obsession with eternal youth consumed Erzsebet Bathory, to such an extent that she would become known as ‘the Bloody Countess’, due to the dark treatments she performed with the red liquid, which included black magic rituals.
In order for her blood to preserve its qualities, the sorcerers who worked for her recommended that she should use that of young maidens (“pure of soul”, according to some documents). Bathory, with the help of her servants, who provided her with girls from nearby villages, killed the girls and drank their blood from her. However, the use that she gave to this liquid was extended, since she also smeared her body as if it were just another ointment and bathed in it in large pools.
A total of 650 disappearances are believed to have been the work of the countess and her henchmen, who were tortured and beheaded for their collaboration for years. However, Erzsebet had another fateful fate awaiting her: as the idealist of such carnage and for the practices of witchcraft, she was sentenced to die sandwiched in.
Four years it took the ‘Blood Countess’ to die, despite being imprisoned between four tiny walls, unable to see the sun except through a small crack and being fed just once a day. All in all, she has become the serial killer woman with the most victims in her account , although for some it was nothing more than an attempt to smear her political rivals.
- It may interest you: The 10 best series on serial killers.