Serial Killers, the world have seen many of them. Our society always held a fascination in the stories of serial killers, why do they commit these inhuman crimes? What could be their motivation behind this heinous acts? Their stories are more terrifying than horror stories and the fact they are real is even more chilling. When a man commits a crime in the heat of the moment or by losing control or even in self-defense, we can understand that crime. But a serial killer is someone who doesn’t kill because of rage but their own self-satisfaction. For most of them, the desire to kill is pure joy. There are some serial killers that get an urge to kill, it’s like they have a demon inside their mind they can’t control. It can be hard to understand the psychology of a serial killer. But the terrifying fact is that they are real and they can be anywhere and anyone among us. We have listed ten serial killers who have the most number of victims.
Harold Shipman, one of the most infamous serial killer who has killed more people than any other serial killer in history. Shipman was an English general practitioner who was born on the Bestwood council estate in Nottingham. Both of his parents were devout Methodists and growing up he was a great rugby player in youth leagues. Shipman was really close to his mother, who suffered from lung cancer and passed away on 21 June 1963 when he was 17. He graduated in medicine from Leeds School of Medicine in 1970. Before this in 1966, Shipman got married to Primrose May Oxtoby whom he had four children with.
During his active years from 1975 to 1998 as a doctor, Shipman proved to have killed 218 people. But it is believed he has killed up to 250 people by injecting diamorphine into their body. After that he would falsify the medical records, reporting that the patient had been in poor health. Most of his victims were elderly women, although there were a lot of suspicions that he had killed patients even as young as four. Known as “Dr. Death” or “The Angel Of Death”, Shipman was given sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation that he never be released. Shipman committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison on 13 January 2004, one day before his 58th birthday.
2. Luis Garavito:
Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos or as known as the La Bestia which translates into The Beast is one of the worst killers in history. Garavito is a Colombian serial killer who has proven to have killed about 140 victims and is suspected of murdering over 300 victims based on the locations of skeletons listed on maps that Garavito drew in prison. In his early life, Garavito even had a girlfriend named Teresa who had a child. According to her, Garavito went along very well with her kid. Even his friends described him as kind but easily angered.
Garavito used to target boys between the ages of 6 to 16. Most of his victims were either homeless, peasants or orphaned. He would approach young boys and lured them away by bribing them with small gifts such as money or food. He would offer them odd jobs for easy money. He would even disguise himself to come off as legitimate as possible. Garavito would walk with those boys until they get really tired. At their most vulnerable stage, Garavito would bound their hands and then he would rape and torture them. Some times he would even decapitate them. Before that, he would make the boy endure prolonged rape and torture. He used to stab their buttocks and insert sharpened objects into their anus. He would often even place their severe testicles into their mouth. All the bodies that were found of his victim were naked and had bite marks and signs of anal penetration.
In 1999 after his arrest he admitted to the rape, torture, and murder of 140 children and teenagers. He was given 1,853 years of imprisonment.
3. Pedro Alonso López:
Another notorious Colombian serial killer is Pedro Alonso López who murdered and raped young girls. Lopez was convicted of 110 murders and later confessed of killing more than 300 victims across Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and other countries. Lopez’s mother was a prostitute and according to him, while growing up he witnessed acts of prostitution which had disturbing effects on his psyche. In 1957, his mother caught eight-year-old Lopez fondling his younger sister and evicted him from the family home. According to Lopez, he was picked up by a man from Bogotá and was repeatedly sodomized. When he was 12, an American family enrolled him in a school for orphans where he was allegedly molested by a male teacher. He ran away from there and started to steal cars for a living. He got arrested for that and he claimed that he was brutally gang-raped in prison. He hunted down his rapists and killed them while still being in prison.
After he was released he started to murder young girls in Peru. He was active from 1969 to 1979, and according to him, he had killed over 100 of them by 1978. Later he moved to Colombia and then Ecuador. Lopez was arrested in-between but the police released him. He was again arrested in 1980 but the Ecuador officials freed him 1994. He was known as the Monster of the Andes and all of his victims were girls around nine to twelve years old. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and was released in 1998 for good behavior. Currently, no one certainly knows where he is. For a while, Pedro Lopez even held the Guinness world record for the numbers of murders he committed.
4. Miyuki Ishikawa:
Miyuki Ishikawa was a Japanese midwife who used to work as a hospital director in the Kotobuki maternity hospital and was a serial killer. She was active throughout the 1940s and murdered an estimated 103 to 169 infants with the aid of several accomplices. When she was finally caught the Tokyo High Court gave her only 4 years of imprisonment. Miyuki was married to Takeshi Ishikawa and never children of her own. In the 1940s, Miyuki found many parents were poor and unable to raise their children properly without having any financial struggle. Because of a lack of social and charitable services at that time, Miyuki was unable to help the infants herself. So, she chose to neglect those infants which resulted in many deaths. Later she even started to take money from the parents for her murders. Her husband Takeshi and a doctor named Shiro Nakayama were also a part of this crime. Nakayama aided the couple by falsifying death certificates. The ward office of Shinjuku even ignored their actions. Miyuki and her husband, Takeshi were arrested on January 15, 1948, after a police officer found five babies who were victims of Takeshi. This was said to be the incident that influenced the Japanese Government to began to consider the legalization of abortion in Japan.
5. Steven Massof:
Steven Massof who was an unlicensed abortionist and used work for Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic in Philadelphia testified that he snipped the spines of more than 100 babies after he saw them showing signs of life. American physician Kermit Barron Gosnell was guilty himself of killing infants who were born alive during attempted abortion procedures by having their spinal cords severed with scissors. He was also convicted of manslaughtering a woman. Massof pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder, murder conspiracy and other charges. According to Massof, he regularly saw infants born alive and then killed with scissors at Gosnell’s clinic. Massof also said that Gosnell used to encourage his staff to kill babies born alive. Lynda Williams, Adrienne Moton and Steven Massof all followed his barbaric example.
6. Mikhail Popkov:
Also known as The Werewolf, Mikhail Popkov is a Russian serial killer and rapist who was found guilty of 78 murders and have possibly killed 81 of his victims. He committed his crimes between1992 and 2010 in Angarsk, Irkutsk, and Vladivostok in Siberia. Popkov’s crimes were allegedly motivated by suspicions that his wife, Elena Popkova whom he has a daughter with named Ekaterina, had committed adultery. He used to work as a police officer in the Irkutsk region and later he also worked as a security guard at the Angarsk Oil and Chemical Company, and at a private firm. All of his victims were female who was prostitutes or inebriated young women. He used to sexually assault his victims and then he would kill them with objects like knives, axes, baseball bats and screwdrivers. Often he would even mutilate their bodies. He was arrested in 2012 and was given life imprisonment.
7. Daniel Camargo Barbosa:
Barbosa is a Columbian serial killer who is believed to have raped and killed about 180 victims, though he confessed to killing 72 victims from 1974 to 1986. After Camargo’s mother died when he was very young his father became overbearing and emotionally distant. He was raised by his stepmother who abused and punished him. Camargo fell in love with a girl named Esperanza, but she was not a virgin. They made an agreement that Camargo will stay with her if she aided him in finding other girls. He raped five girls this way and his fifth victim reported him to the police. Both Camargo and Esperanza were arrested and taken to prisons. After his release, he got a job as a street vendor selling television monitors in Columbia. He kidnapped a nine-year-old girl and murdered her after raping her. He was arrested on 3 May 1974 in Barranquilla, Colombia and was transferred to the prison on the island of Gorgona, Colombia.
Camargo escaped from Gorgona prison in 1984. Though everyone thought he was dead Camargo continued his barbaric acts of raping and killing young girls. He was arrested again in Ecuador. Camargo didn’t show any remorse for his victims and went further to explain that he choose virgins because they cried which gave him greater satisfaction. Camargo hated women. Camargo was given only 16 years of jail and was imprisoned with Pedro Alonso López. Camargo was stabbed to death in prison by fellow inmate Geovanny Noguera, who was the nephew of one of the victims.
8. Pedro Rodrigues Filho:
Pedro Rodrigues Filho is a Brazilian serial killer who was convicted of killing 71 people but he claimed that he killed more than 100 people from 1967 to 2003. Pedro pursued and killed other criminals, he unloaded his murderous instincts on those he considered to be bad. When Pedro’s mother was pregnant with him, his father kicked her in her belly, giving Pedro a bruised skull. Pedro wanted to kill from the age of 13. He committed his first murder when he was just 14-years-old. He shot the deputy mayor of Santa Rita do Sapucai because the mayor accused his father of stealing and fired him. He then killed a lookout who was the real thief. Pedro killed his father in city jail after he killed his mother. Pedro stabbed him 22 times and ripped out his heart, chewed a part of it and spat it out. In1973, he was arrested and he spent most of his adult years in prison. 47 of his victims were inmates, whom he killed while he was in jail. Reportedly, once Pedro was getting transferred with another inmate and both of them were handcuffed. But when the door of the car was opened, Pedro had already killed the other prisoner, he said his companion was a rapist. Pedro was released in 2007 but was arrested again in 2011. Although he is currently free and living a completely different life. He has apologized for his crimes and for now, he is writing an autobiography and he also has a Youtube channel.
9. Yang Xinhai:
Dubbed by the media as the Monster Killer, Yang Xinhai was a serial killer from China who murdered and raped 67 innocent people from 2000 to 2003. He is considered as the most prolific known serial killer China has seen from the year of its independence. Growing up Yang was a clever and introverted boy. His family was one of the poorest of the village. After he dropped out of school at the age of 17, he started to travel around China, working as labor. Yang was arrested twice for theft and attempting rape before finally getting arrest in 2003. Yang would enter the homes of his victims’ and kill all of the occupants with axes, hammers, and shovels. Most of them were farmers. Yang killed a father and a six-year-old girl with a shovel and also raped a pregnant woman, who somehow survived the attack with serious head injuries in 2002. Yang was found guilty of 67 murders and 23 rapes in 2004 and was executed by firing squad. When asked about his motive behind this inhuman crimes, Yang said, “When I killed people I had a desire. This inspired me to kill more. I don’t care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern…I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.”
10. Andrei Chikatilo:
Also known as the Red Ripper, Andrei was a Russian serial killer who sexually assaulted, murdered, and mutilated his victims. His victims were mostly young girls and boys. He committed to killing 56 victims but 53 of them were proved. He committed these crimes across Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Uzbek SSR in between 1978 and 1990. Chikatilo was executed in 1994 by gunshot. Chikatilo was born in 1936 and his childhood was blighted by poverty, ridicule, hunger, and war. His father was drafted into the Red Army during World War II. During the Nazi occupation of Ukraine, Chikatilo witnessed bombings, fires, and shootings which terrified his whole childhood. Reportedly, his mother was raped by a German soldier during the war in front of him. From which she had a daughter. Chikatilo started to teach in schools where he committed his first sexual assault on one of his students in 1973.
After several complaints of child molestation against pupils of both sexes, Chikatilo was fired from his teaching job. He started working in a factory based in Rostov as a clerk which produced construction materials. He committed his first murder in 1978. His victim was a 9-year-old girl named Yelena Zakotnova, whom he lured into his secret house and tried to rape her but she resisted so he choked her and stabbed her to death. There were a lot of proved that indicated toward Chikatilo as the killer. Despite this, a 25-year-old man named Aleksandr Kravchenko arrested because he had a past record of raping and killing a girl. He was later executed in 1983. That was the start of Chikatilo’s killing spree. He was executed by gunshot.
Image Source BBC.com