8 Serial Killers More Interesting Than Ted Bundy
What a time to be alive (sounds like something Ted Bundy might have said once). Seriously though, computers fit in our front pockets, people are becoming rich stars off of YouTube, and serial killers are not only known for mass murder but mass fandom as well. The times are weird, and that’s very evident in both the recent Netflix releases of on Ted Bundy. He was the subject of both a docu-series and a docu-drama, starring Zac Efron as the killer himself.
Audiences are fascinated by serial killers. Series like Making a Murderer and The Staircase are massive hits for streaming services. Bundy is just the latest killer to be immortalized. The story of a good-looking, seemingly normal young man who murdered multiple women and escaped jail on several different occasions is fascinating indeed, but he isn’t the only serial killer who deserves the spotlight. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of eight serial killers who are infinitely more interesting than Bundy.
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Jeffrey Dahmer, the "Milwaukee Monster," is everything that Ted Bundy was, but a thousand times scarier. While Bundy mostly stuck to making young women his victims and dabbled in the occasional "finger food," Dahmer was a whole different story. Dahmer was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment in 1992 after being convicted of the rape, murder, and dismemberment of 17 boys and young men from 1978-1991. The dismemberment included necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts, namely the victims' skeletons.
Dahmer would be beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1994 and the world was better because he was no longer part of it.
Richard Ramirez was labeled "The Night Stalker," which sounds like a pretty awesome name for a comic book superhero. Ramirez was anything but heroic, however. Some people become bad people; others are just born that way. Ramirez is, arguably, among the latter.
Between the years of 1984-1985, Ramirez broke into a number of homes in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area, where he would burglarize, rape, and murder a number of residents before his eventual capture. Ramirez was a noted Satanist and never expressed any sort of remorse for the crimes he committed. The man was truly the embodiment of evil and he would remain that way until his death in 2013.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos was convicted on six counts of first-degree murder, all of them men. Wuornos claimed that each of the men tried to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. She later admitted that only one of the men she killed had raped her but that “the others were trying to.”
Aileen Wuornos was not born as a bad person. Circumstances and life’s hardships took their toll on the woman. She had so much anger and so few outlets and her behavior was the result of a perfect storm. She was taken advantage of by countless men throughout her life and while her actions were deplorable, it’s a little easier to sympathize with her over somebody like Dahmer or Charles Manson. Wuornos was not, it could be argued, a monster. But if she was, it’s because the world made her that way.
Whoever Framed the West Memphis Three
This is, perhaps, one of the most fascinating ‘technically-solved-but-mostly-unsolved’ murder cases of the past 50 years. In May of 1993, three 8-year-old boys were reported missing. They would eventually be found, dead. One of the boys was repeatedly stabbed and circumcised, with contusions and lacerations to his back, scrotum, and penis.
Looking for somebody to blame, the people of West Memphis, Arkansas quickly pointed fingers at three other young boys: Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin. All three young men were convicted of the murders and mutilations of Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and James Moore. Misskelley and Baldwin were sentenced to life imprisonment, and Echols was sentenced to death.
The only problem is, they didn’t do it. Because of terrible police work, public outcry, and the fact that Damien Echols wore black and liked Metallica, the people and courts of West Memphis assumed the three teenage boys were the killers.
Those boys grew into men behind bars, all the while maintaining their innocence. Finally, in 2011, the three men were given the opportunity to enter an "Alford Plea," which would allow them to leave prison while still maintaining their innocence, though they were still considered to be guilty.
This story was the subject of multiple books, movies and documentaries, the best of which is the Paradise Lost trilogy, directed by Joe Berlinger. Many people are happy that the West Memphis Three were finally released, but one sinister question still remains.
If the WM3 didn’t kill those three young boys…who did?
Another convicted murderer about to re-enter popular culture is Charles Manson. Manson was the famed leader of a cult he dubbed "The Family," and he and his followers murdered more than nine people in the greater Los Angeles area. While Manson did not, technically, commit the majority of these murders himself, he was convicted nonetheless.
While men like Dahmer and Bundy were more introverted, Manson had a way with words and a natural magnetism that drew people into his web of lies. That web would eventually lead to the murder of Sharon Tate, the wife of famed director Roman Polanski. Charles and his "Manson Family" were a terrifying movement in the ‘60s, and the world has still not quite recovered from the "Helter-Skelter" that he created.
John Wayne Gacy
“It’s fun to be a clown,” John Wayne Gacy once stated. Ever since then, people have been terrified of clowns. Gacy was charged with the rape and murder of over 33 young men, many of whom he buried in the crawl space underneath his house.
When he wasn’t tricking unsuspecting men into certain death, Gacy acted as a public ambassador. He would frequently volunteer for fundraising events and parades and he would do so behind a mask of greasepaint. Gacy dressed up as Pogo the Clown for many community events and children’s birthday parties. He was always a big hit and was deemed to be a "pretty good guy" by those who knew him. But nobody ever truly knew Gacy.
And nobody ever will.
Jack the Ripper
Speaking of never knowing, the world may never truly know who "Jack the Ripper" actually was. He is an unidentified serial killer who took the lives of multiple women around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888.
The killer, whomever he was, wrote a series of letters to the media and Scotland Yard, detailing the crimes he had committed and would continue to commit. While some believed the letters were a hoax, they never traced back to any actual developments in the case. Jack the Ripper, whomever he (or she) was, would never be brought to justice. While whoever the real killer is has long since died, Jack the Ripper is a legend that will forever haunt the midnight shadows of foggy London town.
The construction of The World’s Fair in Chicago from May of 1893 to October of that same year coincided with the construction of a house for Dr. Henry Holmes, commonly known as H.H. Holmes. The house, which would later be dubbed "The Murder Castle," was originally designed to be a hotel for guests coming to the fair. In actuality, The Murder Castle would be the site of innumerable murders, all reportedly perpetrated by Holmes himself.
Holmes has been called America’s first serial killer, and his house has become the stuff of legend. It was allegedly full of secret passageways, staircases that led to nowhere, and a basement of torturous implements. H.H. Holmes was convicted of a number of murders, but it was reported that he could have killed more than 200 people in a three-year span.
Ted Bundy had an interesting story, but compared to the rest of the killers on this list, he was just a boy next door.