Composites of the most
notorious serial killers

HARI's Serial Collection presents riveting composite portraits of 24 serial killers.

These criminals and their horrifying deeds live on in popular culture, attaining mythical status. What draws people to their dark, disturbing stories? Perhaps what fascinates most is the gap between their twisted inner lives and their unassuming outward appearances.

 

These portraits will prompt viewers to question why some killers become celebrities while others are forgotten?  Credits

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Title

Edition

Luis Garavito

88

Description

Amid the drug and paramilitary violence in 1990s Columbia, Garavito raped and killed as many as 200 boys over nine years. All poor, they were not a police priority. Arrested in 1999, he has been charged with 172 deaths so far. Called the worst serial killer ever, he is in prison and fighting cancer.

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Ted Bundy

88

Description

Heartthrob actors Mark Harmon and Zac Efron played him in films as a charming lunatic. To lure the women he kidnapped, raped and murdered (at least 30), he wore his arm in a sling or his leg in a fake cast, and asked for help. Once they got in his car, it was all over. He was executed in 1989.

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Edition

Samuel Little

88

Description

Strangled 93 women from 1970 to 2005, more than any U.S. serial killer. He preyed on prostitutes, drug addicts, often poor women of color, whose loss fell off the radar. His fetish for the female neck began as a boy and strangulation “turned him on.” Convicted in 2014, he died in prison in 2020.

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Harold Shipman

88

Description

After his dear mother died of cancer at 43, he became a doctor. Then he began killing. When a woman’s will was forged to benefit Shipman, an autopsy found a morphine overdose (mom’s pain med). Some 215 of his patients died the same way. Britain’s worst serial killer, he hung himself in prison in 2004.

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Richard Ramirez

88

Description

Influenced by a sadistic Vietnam vet cousin, he worshipped satan and killed at least 14, and raped and tortured two dozen more. Called the Night Stalker for his nighttime home attacks in L.A., he was ID’d by police who released a mug shot, which led to his arrest. He died of cancer in prison in 2013 at age 53.

Title

Edition

Charles Cullen

88

Description

A New Jersey nurse who murdered as many as 45 patients over 16 years at 10 hospitals, he is serving life in prison. He gave the old or sickly overdoses of hard-to-detect drugs. Despite suspicions, he always found another job. While in jail he gave a kidney to save a man’s life. Netflix is making the movie.

Title

Edition

Dennis Rader

88

Description

Family and company man, Boy Scout troop leader and president of his church council, he killed 10 people in Kansas from 1974 to 1991. In boastful letters, he called himself B.T.K. for “bind, torture, kill.” He sent one to police on a floppy disk; they used its metadata to catch him. Now 76, he began a life sentence in 2005.

Title

Edition

Charles Manson

88

Description

A cultural obsession since the night in 1969 when he sent followers to an L.A. home, where they butchered five people (including actress Sharon Tate), then two more the next night. The motive is unclear. Kill rich whites to spark a race war? A C.I.A plot to demonize the left-wing? He died in prison at age 83.

Title

Edition

Pedro Lopez

88

Description

The Monster of the Andes confessed to raping and strangling 300 girls—in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru—all aged nine to 12. Police found 70 bodies. Abused as a child, he targeted girls “with a look of innocence.” Discharged from a psychiatric facility in 1998, he disappeared. If alive, he would be 74.

Title

Edition

Edmund Kemper

88

Description

A deeply troubled child, his mother humiliated him verbally. At 15, he killed his grandparents. In his mid-20s, he murdered six coeds. Mother came next; he made sure to cut out her tongue and larynx. Her best friend came last. When sentenced in 1973, he said “Well, it’s all over now.” He remains incarcerated.

Title

Edition

David Berkowitz

88

Description

Randomly shot 13 people, killing six. He called himself the Son of Sam and terrified N.Y.C. in the mid-1970s. A recent book says he didn’t act alone but as part of a satanic cult. A parking ticket led to his arrest. He’s in prison, has a website and is a born-again Christian, calling himself the Son of Hope.

Title

Edition

Alexander Pichushkin

88

Description

At 18, he pushed a boy out of a window. “This first murder, it’s like first love,” he said. Then he killed mostly homeless men in Moscow’s Bittsevsky Park, luring them with vodka, then hitting them with a hammer.  Charged with 48 counts of murder; he claims it is 61. Sentenced to life in prison in 2007.

Title

Edition

Zodiac Killer

88

Description

The self-named Zodiac Killer was linked to at least five murders in Northern California in 1968-69. He sent letters that included his coded identity, and witness descriptions led to a composite sketch. Both the code and the case are both unsolved.  Director David Fincher turned the story into the 2007 feature Zodiac.

Title

Edition

Jeffrey Dahmer

88

Description

Committed rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism in the murders of 17 men over 13 years. It all finally ended when the next victim managed to flee his Milwaukee apartment. The police found a severed head in the fridge, among other souvenirs. Died in prison in 1994, beaten to death by another inmate.

Title

Edition

Ahmad Suradji

88

Description

He was a shaman in Indonesia. Women and girls came to him to enhance their beauty or wealth. He took their money and their lives.  He buried 42 clients to their waist, then strangled them with their heads pointing towards his house, believing that gave him magical powers. Killed by firing squad in 2008.

Title

Edition

Aileen Wuornos

88

Description

The first woman to fit FBI criteria for a serial killer, Wuornos shot seven men in Florida. A prostitute who was violently raped, she turned on her clients. In the film Monster, Charlize Theron won an Oscar by depicting her as a damaged woman—neither man-hating lesbian nor feminist hero.  Executed in 2002.

Title

Edition

Tsutomo Miyazaki

88

Description

Killed four girls aged 4-7 in 1988 and ‘89 in Tokyo, dismembering and sexually molesting their corpses. He also drank their blood and ate parts of two of them. As a boy he collected pornographic anime; he took videos of his victims. He showed no remorse; his father killed himself. Miyazaki was hanged in 2008.

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Edition

Jane Toppan

88

Description

Adopted by the Toppans of Lowell, Mass. (her mother died and her father was mentally unfit), she became a nurse. Officially, she killed 31 by drug overdose from 1887 to 1891; the total is surely higher. She held and caressed her dying victims for the thrill of it. Found insane, she died in an asylum in 1938.

Title

Edition

John Wayne Gacy

88

Description

An abused child who struggled with his homosexuality, he sexually assaulted, tortured and strangled 33 young men and boys in Chicago. Called the Killer Clown, he wore the costume at kids’ events, not when he killed. Victims were buried under his house. He said the funny smell came from sewer problems. Executed in 1994.

Title

Edition

Gary Ridgway

88

Description

Killed at least 48 women, mostly prostitutes, for 20 years until DNA evidence led to his arrest in 2001. His mother shamed him for bedwetting, then washed his genitals. He married three times yet often had sex with prostitutes. He strangled and dumped his victims in the Washington woods. Serving a life sentence in prison.

Title

Edition

Joel David Rifkin

88

Description

Adopted as an infant by a Long Island family, he killed 17 women, mostly prostitutes, by strangulation. Some were murdered and dismembered at the family home without mom or sis finding out. Pulled over for a missing license plate in 1993, police found a corpse in the trunk. He is serving a life sentence in prison.

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Edition

Amelia Dyer

88

Description

She took in babies for a fee in Victorian England, promising a loving home. She starved them at first, then killed them faster to boost profits. A strangled baby in a parcel was found on the Thames, leading to her arrest. She may have killed as many as 200. She was hanged at Newgate prison in 1896.

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Edition

Bobby Joe Long

88

Description

Raped and murdered 10 women and raped dozens more in Florida, a spree that ended when he freed a 17-year-old after her abduction. Fibers from his car linked him to the other victims. Divorced from his high school sweetheart, he began killing when he learned his new girlfriend was seeing another man. Executed in 2019.

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Edition

Myra Hindley

88

Description

Hindley and her lover Ian Brady sexually abused, tortured and murdered five children in Manchester, England in the mid-1960s. She fell in love with Brady. When he told her there was no God, she stopped going to church. He was the leader, but she lured the children to him. She died in prison in 2002.

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