There is something about the psyche of a serial killer that has always intrigued me. What is it that makes one desire to take the life of another human being? Is it truly evil? Is it a psychological problem? Is it a flaw in the chemical balances in the brain? One thing for sure, it is beyond the normality to commit murder over and over, and there is a darkness about it that even the innocent fear could be within them.

Many people will not even read a book about serial killers. There seems to be a fear that by reading about it, we may open up some desire to murder that is hidden deep within us. If you tell someone you have a book on Serial Killers, they will often look at you askew, as if wondering what darkness you are hiding. But there is something about Serial Killers that intrigues most of us, even if we will not admit to it. That is why so many will watch horror movies and read books about murders. It's almost as if reading about fictional killings is okay, but true Serial Killers is not.

Oct 29, 2010

John Wayne Gacy

Name: John Wayne Gacy

Born: May 17, 1942 (Chicago Illinois)

Died: May 10, 1994

Cause and Effect:
John Wayne Gacy was often beaten by his father, whom he was named after. At the age of 11, John was knocked unconscious by a vicious swing and through out his teen years would have black outs.

John Wayne Gacy left school without graduating and traveled to Las Vegas in hopes of making his fortunes. Instead, he ended up working in a mortuary where he showed an unhealthy interest in the bodies.

Model Citizen:
In 1964, John married Marlyn Myers, whose father owned a string of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. Soon after, Gacy joined the family business and became a restaurant manager. Soon the couple had a child and John became very active in local charities and community groups around their new home in Waterloo, Iowa. By all accounts, John Wayne Gacy was the model citizen, but underneath that image was a monster waiting to be let out. That monster first showed its face in May of 1968 when Gacy was charged with raping Mark Miller, a young employee. John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to 10 years for sodomy and his wife divorced him.

Released from prison after only 18 months for good behavior, his mother helped him get back on his feet. His father died while he was in prison. John bought a new house in the Chicago Suburbs and in June of 1972 he got married again, this time to a divorcee, Carole Hoff, who had two daughters of her own. John, Carole and her daughters became very popular in the neighborhood as they would throw parties with Western or Hawaiian themes and became active in Democratic politics.

The Monster begins to show again:
As time went on, rumors began to spread about Gacy's conduct with teenage boys he would hire. By 1975, his marriage began to deteriorate as Carole started finding homosexual pornography around the house. John refused to apologize and even told her he preferred men over women. They divorced in 1976.

The Killings:
Little did anyone know, while John was married to Carole, he had been picking up strangers in Chicago's gay bars and after killing them, would bury the bodies under their house. Even the neighbors had made complaints about the horrible smells coming from their house. With his marriage over, John's lust for killing was in full force.

Gacy would either pick up strangers, or lure men from his work force back to his home where he would offer them alcohol and marijuana. He would then offer to show them a magic trick where he would have them put on a pair of handcuffs. His victims, now subdued, were at his mercy as he tortured them then strangled them to death as he had sex with them.

The Clown:
Gacy continued to lure men to his home and kill them, burying them under the house. Though his neighbors still continued to complain about the smell, they never suspected what was happening. John continued to throw parties and dressing up as "Pogo the Clown" to visit sick kids in hospitals. He became such a valued member of the Democratic Party that he even had his picture taken shaking hands with the First Lady Roslyn Carter.

His Mistake:
In February of 1978, Gacy abducted Jeffrey Rignall. He chloroformed him, raped him and tortured him, but rather than killing him, Gacy dropped him off in a park. When Rignall went to the police, they showed little interest and the young man managed to act alone as he tracked Gacy down and made an official complaint.

On October 16th, Gacy still had not been charged with a crime when he killed 15 year old Robert Piest. When the young man turned up missing, his parents found that he was going to meet John Gacy to see about a job. When the police questioned Gacy, he played ignorant, but the officer was not satisfied and checked his house. Finding suspicious evidence like handcuffs, pornography and drugs, along with the smell coming from the house, they confronted Gacy who eventually confessed to a single murder.

When the police went back and started digging, they were shocked to find not one body, but dozens buried underneath his house. In all, there were 28 victims buried under the house. Gacy's 5 most recent victims had been dumped in nearby rivers as he had run out of space under the house.

The Sentence:
Gacy tried to plea insanity, however the jury decided that any man who would dig graves ahead of time for his victims was not the act of a man taken by uncontrollable sudden urges. Finding the murders to be in premeditation, John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to death.

Gacy obtained a sort of celebrity status as his admirers were able to call a premium rate number and listen to his refute of the charges against him. He gave frequent interviews and showed his fans his paintings. Toward the end of his time on Death Row, Gacy began to claim that he had never killed at all, but was the victim of an elaborate conspiracy.

On May 10, 1994, John Wayne Gacy was put to death by lethal injection.

Total Kills:
Confirmed - 33

Oct 19, 2010

Jeffrey Dahmer

Name: Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer

Born: May 21, 1960 (Wisconsin)

Died: November 28, 1994

Cause and Effect:
There seems to be no true explanation as to why Dahmer turned to killing and cannibalism. Other than his parents arguing a lot, his home life was by all apparent reasons, normal. At a young age he simply began to become fascinated by dead animals. As a teen he began to ride around on his bike, looking for road kill to dismember.

The Killing:
During the summer of 1978, Dahmer's parents went through a divorce and as he was about to graduate, they both moved out of the house and left Jeffrey there alone. His response was to go out and pick up a hitch hiker, Stephen Hicks, take him home and have sex with him. When the Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer picked up a bar bell and hit him in the head then strangled him to death. Jeffrey then dismembered the corpse and buried it nearby.

Jeffrey had become an alcoholic and trying to stop it, his Father forced him to enlist in the Army in 1979 at the age of 18. His army life did not last however as he was discharged for habitual drunkenness. Jeffrey then moved in to his grandmother's basement. In 1982, Dahmer was arrested for indecent exposure and then again in 1986. The second time, he was ordered to counseling. However, the counseling did not help as the next year he went out and killed three people.

The first of those victims was Steven Tuomi, who he met in a gay bar. He murdered Tuomi in a hotel, put the body in a suitcase, then took it home. At home he had sex with the body then dismembered it. The next victim was James Doxtator, a 14 year old Native American boy. The third was a Mexican youth by the name of Richard Guerrero. Dahmer's grandmother could no longer stand his drunkenness nor the strong smells coming from his living quarters and evicted him.

In 1988, Jeffrey Dahmer moved into his own flat in Milwaukee. The next day after moving in, he lured a 13 year old Loation boy to his place and paid the boy to let him photograph him nude. Dahmer drugged the boy and fondled him, but did not harm him physically. The boy's parents turned Dahmer in and he was sentenced to one year in prison for sexual assault. While Dahmer was waiting for his sentencing date however, he killed Anthony Sears.

Final Killing Spree:
After 10 months in prison, Dahmer was released and he went on to kill some more. Between June of 1990 and July of 1991, Dahmer killed 12 more men. In the end he was killing nearly a victim per week and his treatment of them became stranger as he went. Dahmer would drill holes into his victims heads and pour acid into them. Jeffrey would place some body parts in his refrigerator and their skulls on an altar in his bedroom.

One of the more bizarre stories is the killing of Konerak Sinthasomphone, who was the brother of the Loation boy Dahmer had molested. After being drugged, Konerak was able to escape from Dahmer's home and ran outside where two young African American women found him and called the police. However, Dahmer was able to convince the police officers that the drugged and bleeding Konerak was his boyfriend and the officers released Konerak back into Dahmer's possession. Dahmer took Konerak home and murdered him. Dahmer went on to kill his last four victims inside of the next few weeks.

An End to the Killings:
On July 22, 1991, Tracy Edwards, and adult black man escaped Dahmer's apartment and waved down a police car. Taking the officers back to the apartment, they found a human head in the refrigerator. By August 22, Dahmer was charged with 15 counts of murder and in 1992 he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences.

Death of the Killer:
In prison, Jeffrey Dahmer refused to be placed in solitary confinement. In 1994, an inmate smashed Dahmer's skull with an iron bar and killed him.

Oct 18, 2010

Ted Bundy

Name: Theodore Robert Cowell - At the age of 5 years old, he took his step-father, John Bundy's name.

Born: November 1946 - (Vermont)

Died: January 24, 1989

Cause and Effect:
While in college, Bundy met Stephanie Brooks, who had long dark hair that was parted in the middle. As Bundy became obsessed with her, she lost interest in him and when she left for college, she broke it off with him. His obsession with Stephanie Brooks and his devastation at losing her would explain why his victims had long dark hair parted in the middle. This could also explain why his most violent spree was in a sorority house.

The Killing Spree:
On February 1974, in Seattle, Ted Bundy killed Lynda Healy, whom he had abducted from her basement flat. Over the next few months, Bundy went on to kill five more women. All with long dark hair, parted in the center. On July 14th, Ted Bundy killed two more women, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund. Bundy liked to place his arm in a cast and act innocent as he asked women to help him do something at his car.

When witnesses came forward, one of whom was a young woman who had declined to help him, police put out a description of him and calls began to come in. One of these calls was from Meg Landers who feared it was her boyfriend who had alarmed her with his sudden interest in violent sex and bondage. Her boyfriend was Ted Bundy. However, when the police investigated him, Ted being a young republican law student, seemed to harmless and the lead was dropped. Over the next few months, the bodies of Denise and Janice were found with a third unidentified woman. The following month, two more bodies were found.

Ted Bundy then moved to Utah where he abducted and killed three more women in the month of October. Then on November 8th, he tried to abduct Carol DaRonch from a shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Impersonating a police officer, Ted lured her to his car, but when she became suspicious of his car being a Volkswagen Beetle, she struggled then escaped. Later that night Bundy abducted and murdered 17 year old Debbie Kent.

The Arrest:
In the new year of 1975, Ted Bundy moved again, this time to Colorado. In the first 6 months he killed four more women. Just before the fourth body was found, a police officer stopped Bundy in Salt Lake City and finding a stocking mask and handcuffs, he arrested Ted Bundy. Carol DaRonch who had escaped him at the shopping mall was brought in and picked Bundy out of a police line-up. The evidence was enough to convict him of attempted kidnapping. As evidence came up to link Bundy to other murders, he was taken to Aspen Colorado and tried for the murder of Caryn Cambell.

The Escape:
Then during a court appearance, Ted Bundy escaped and spent 8 days hiding out in Aspen before being recaptured. Then Bundy managed to escape yet again as he cut a hole in the roof of his cell and crawled out through the ceiling, cutting another hole and dropping into a janitors room to simply stroll out of the jail unchallenged.

Bundy fled to Tallahassee, Florida and two weeks after his escape he killed again. Subtlety aside, Bundy simply broke into a college sorority house and brutally raped and murdered two young women and left another badly injured. The following month, Ted Bundy murdered his final victim; 12 year old Kimberly Leach.

The Final Capture:
Three days after killing Kimberly Leach, Ted Bundy was caught again and convicted of 1st degree murder. The overwhelming evidence against him was the matching of his teeth to the bite marks in his victims. In July of 1979, he was sentenced to death by the electric chair.

Celebrity Status:
Being a law student, Ted Bundy launched several appeals and began to gain some celebrity status. While he was in prison, he confessed to over thirty murders. Women began to propose marriage to him. One woman even succeeded in exchanging marriage vows with him when she appeared as a defense witness at an appeals hearing.

On January 24th, 1989, Theodore Robert Bundy was put to death. He was 42 years old.

Total Kills:
Confirmed - 20
Confessed - 30
Possibly as many as 100

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