8-days of Halloween: Day 5, Murderers

Not a lot of ‘funny’ stories about murderers, unless you watch ‘Dexter’, which I don’t, so I’m going to let this be one of the creepier articles.  I’m going to list stories/movies that are supposed to ‘based’ on true events.  I’ll do my best to also debunk anything that was reported as true for the sake of sales and then found to be a marketing story– for example, The Blair Witch Project.

Psycho (1960) – Ed Gein*

Exorcist (1973) — 13-year-old boy in Mount Rainier, Maryland in 1949. But, the boy’s actual home lay in Cottage City, Maryland, and the exorcism was performed in St. Louis.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Ed Gein* again and debunked by many, many other articles as being fictional even though marketed as being based on true events.

Audrey Rose (1977) — Frank De Felitta was inspired to write the novel — and later the movie script — after he heard his six-year-old son, Raymond, who’d never taken piano lessons, playing music perfectly on the family piano. De Felitta consulted a Los Angeles occultist, who called Raymond’s talent as an “incarnation leak,” explaining that the boy had lived many lifetimes. The incident led to the author’s personal belief in reincarnation.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) — The movie was inspired by the legend of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, a Scotsman of the 15th or 16th century who reportedly headed a 40-person clan that killed and ate over 1,000 people, living in caves for 25 years before being caught and put to death. His life has inspired numerous stories and films worldwide, including The Hills Have Eyes and the British film Raw Meat, but most serious historians today don’t believe that Bean ever existed.

Amityville Horror (1979) — Perhaps the most notorious horror movie “based on a true story,” the film is based on a self-proclaimed nonfiction book describing what George and Kathy Lutz experienced during their four weeks in the house, including disembodied voices, cold spots, demonic imagery, inverted crucifixes and walls “bleeding” green slime. Most, if not all, of the events portrayed in both the book and the movie have been called into question by investigators, and it is widely believed that the entire incident was a hoax.

The little girl names the ‘pig’ and her parents don’t believe her until they are out in the yard at night and look up to see the pig watching them from the girl’s bedroom.

PS: I read the book and it was scarier than the movie, but once I found out it was a hoax it took a little bit of the bite out of the suspense.

The Entity (1981) — In 1974, paranormal researchers Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff investigated the case of a woman believed to be named Doris Bither. Bither lived in Culver City, California and claimed to have been physically and sexually assaulted by an entity. Gaynor and Taff witnessed objects move in her house, captured photos of floating lights and saw a humanoid apparition, but they never saw it assault the woman and never tried to capture it. Gaynor stated that the attacks diminished when Moran moved.

Gothic (1986) — In the rainy summer of 1816, Percy Shelley and Mary Godwin (soon to be Shelley) visited Lord Byron at his Swiss villa. Due to the rain, they stayed indoors discussing the animation of dead matter and reading German ghost stories. Byron suggested they each write their own supernatural tale, and Godwin came up with Frankenstein, while Byron wrote what would later be adapted by Polidori into The Vampyre.

Based on H. Rousseau, The Sleeping Gypsy. I’ve already made mention how this poster ruined me for all men below the height of 5’8″.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) — Writer/director John McNaughton was inspired by serial killer Henry Lee Lucas**, who had an accomplice named Ottis Toole and a romantic relationship with Otis’ young relative (his niece, Frieda Powell). However, the movie’s killing spree is based more on Lucas’ confessions than on actual fact. Lucas confessed to 600 murders, in part because the confessions led police to offer him improved conditions in jail. Most of his confessions were disproved, but Lucas was still convicted of 11 murders, including that of Powell, and spent the rest of his life in prison.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) — Buffulo Bill aka Jame Gumb, based on Ed Gein*(supposedly) and Ted Bundy***, second book by Thomas Harris to feature Dr. Hannibal Lector.

The Mothman Prophecies (2002) — Reports of sightings of a large, unidentified winged creature — dubbed the Mothman — occurred in Point Pleasant, West Virginia for 13 months between 1966 and 1967. Then, on December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge, connecting Point Pleasant to Ohio over the Ohio River, collapsed, killing 46 people.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) — The film was inspired by Anneliese Michel, a 16-year-old German girl who, in 1968, began displaying symptoms of demonic possession. For years, she suffered paralysis, self-abuse, starvation and demonic visions until 1975, when two priests performed exorcisms of what was believed to be several demons over 10 months. During that time, Anneliese barely ate, and she died of starvation in July 1976. Her parents and the priests were tried and found guilty of manslaughter. They were sentenced to six months in jail.

Jennifer Carpenter ‘nails’ the creepy quotient to the wall for Emily Rose.

Wolf Creek (2005) — Greg McLean originally wrote the script as fiction, but upon learning of two real-life Australian killers who attacked travelers, he edited the story to reflect the real cases –- namely, Bradley John Murdoch, who killed a British tourist and tried to abduct another in July 2001, and Ivan Milat, who picked up hitchhikers and took them into the woods to torture and kill them during the ’90s. Both Murdoch and Milat were captured and sentenced to life in prison.

An American Haunting (2006) — The movie is based on the legend of the Bell Witch, a tale that originated in Tennessee in the 1800s. It is believed by many to be a work of fiction, although the characters in the story were real. According to the tale, John Bell was poisoned by the ghost, and although the film’s marketing declared that it is “validated by the State of Tennessee as the only case in US history where a spirit has caused the death of a human being,” there is no such validation on record. Some claim that The Blair Witch Project was also influenced by the story.

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) — The film’s inspiration was the Parker family, who moved to Connecticut in 1986 to be close to the specialists treating their 14-year-old son, Paul, for cancer. In the basement, where Paul slept, they discovered embalming equipment that implied that the house had been a funeral home. They reported encountering unexplained phenomena, like bloody floors, disembodied voices and shadowy figures. Paul became possessed by a force that caused him to attack his family. Eventually, an exorcism was performed to cleanse the house.


Ed Gein, 1957

*Why did Ed Gein inspire such horror? Probably due to being one of America’s first documented case of serial murder along with other forms of psychopathy. He successfully murdered 2 women, Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden, but was tried for only one murder and convicted in 1968.

Our culture leans towards desensitization of a brutal murder, especially when viewing his total body count being that of only 2; he could instead be classified, in my opinion, as a signature killer rather than a serial killer.  I don’t believe there is a number requirement to be in one category or the other (in fact the terms can be interchangeable at times), but Ed was driven by desires that caused him to desecrate corpses from nearby graves, not just those of Ms. Hogan and Ms. Worden.

Ed and his older brother, Henry, were raised by their domineering mother, Augusta Gein, on an isolated farmstead outside of Plainfield, WI. She emotionally stunted the boys, punishing them for making friends and furthermore teaching them that women were tools of the devil, including herself.

After the death of their father the boys picked up odd jobs. On May 16, 1944 Henry Gein had decided to burn off some brush from the property. Ed reported him missing the following morning and when authorities came to search Ed was able to lead them right to the body. Some investigators believed that Ed had killed Henry because the area around the body was free of fire damage.  It is thought that because Henry had started rejecting the teachings and beliefs of Augusta that Ed had silenced him.

Ed was not a genius as portrayed by many of his contemporary counterparts in film. He was arrested after Bernice Worden, the owner of the local hardware store, went missing and her son had reported Ed was the last patron.  The sales receipt-book confirmed that Ed had been the last paying customer and when police searched the family farm they found Ms. Worden, hung upside down in a shed dressed out like a hunter would a deer and her decapitated head found in the house.

Further disturbing evidence was found in the home, and Ed admitted that he had raided local cemeteries in order to accumulate the following:

  • Four noses
  • Whole human bones and fragments
  • Nine masks of human skin
  • Bowls made from human skulls
  • Ten female heads with the tops sawn off
  • Human skin covering several chair seats
  • Mary Hogan’s head in a paper bag (his first victim)
  • Bernice Worden’s head in a burlap sack (his second/last victim)
  • Nine vulvae in a shoe box
  • A belt made from human female nipples
  • Skulls on his bedposts
  • Organs in the refrigerator
  • A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade
  • A lampshade made from the skin from a human face

It is also said that he had started sewing himself a ‘woman suit’ after the death of his mother so he could dress up like a woman.

Easy to see now how Alfred Hitchcock would be inspired to use this person as a back-drop to the character Norman Bates in Psycho, or Thomas Harris for Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs, or by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper for Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

***Theodore (Ted) Robert Bundy, An American Classic in Horror: You can find his story of course on Wikipedia, but I recommend you hop on Amazon.com and buy yourself the first-hand account by Ann Rule from The Stranger Beside Me.

What you won’t get on Wiki that you will from Ann is her personal impressions from working with Ted Bundy, not only after his arrest (like many authors who interview accused murders), but she actually worked with Ted at a crisis hot-line in Seattle, WA. Ann Rule is able to lend the perspective of not just being a renowned true-crime story-teller, mostly focusing on crimes from around the Pacific Northwest, but from her experience as a police officer in Seattle.

One of the most ironic moments mentioned by Ann in her book about Ted is that had any of her own daughters been closer to Ted’s age she would have been happy to have them date him… that is before the Lake Sammamish disappearances and the sketch of a man appeared on the news described as driving a tan or bronze VW Beetle was reported.

On July 14th, 1974, two women disappeared from Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, WA. Five female witnesses described a handsome young man wearing a white tennis outfit with his left arm in a sling, speaking with a light accent, perhaps Canadian, perhaps British. Introducing himself as “Ted”, he asked their help in unloading a sailboat from his tan or bronze-colored Volkswagen Beetle. Four refused; one accompanied him as far as his car, saw that there was no sailboat, and fled. Three additional witnesses saw him approach Janice Anne Ott, 23, a probation case worker at the King County Juvenile Court, with the sailboat story, and watched her leave the beach in his company. About four hours later Denise Naslund, an 18-year-old woman who was studying to become a computer programmer, left a picnic to go to the restroom and never returned.

Once the sketch (shown on the right above) and description of a man introducing himself as ‘Ted’ to women and asking them to assist him load a boat onto his VW Beetle emerged in the news with authorities asking anyone who recognized the description to report it to the police Ann submitted Ted Bundy’s name, reluctantly, to authorities.

Oh, and just so you don’t think Ann had odd tastes of what constituted ‘attractive’ since the above photo isn’t the most flattering (and really, when in the 70’s were photos flattering?), Ted was a bit of a chameleon and certainly ‘cleaned up’ good. Here are some more examples of how his appearance could change.


Now I’d like to make it clear that I’m not idolizing these individuals, but we are talking about Halloween and things that are freaky, and nothing is more upsetting than knowing the abhorrent could be living right next door to you.

Here is an infographic found on Infographic Showcase regarding Serial Killers:

Click to enlarge

~Disclaimer by FF-LOL editor: it should be noted that most serial murderers suffer from an over-abundance of pride and often inflate their numbers. However, in countries where reports of missing girls/women or the poor would go uninvestigated it is not entirely impossible either.~

Pedro Lopez (300+ victims) in Peru, Columbia, Equador, South America: After his first jail term he started preying on young girls in Peru. He later claimed that, by 1978, he had killed over 100 of them. He had been caught by a native tribe, who were preparing to execute him, when an American missionary intervened and persuaded them to hand him over to the state police. The police soon released him. He relocated to Colombia and later Ecuador, killing about three girls a week. López later said “I like the girls in Ecuador, they are more gentle and trusting, more innocent.” The authorities had previously believed the disappearance of so many girls was due to sexual slavery or prostitution.

López was arrested when an attempted abduction failed and he was trapped by market traders. He confessed to over 300 murders. The police only believed him when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave of many of his victims.

An A&E Biography documentary reports that he was released by Ecuadorian prison on 31 August 1994, and re-arrested an hour later as an illegal immigrant, and handed over to Colombian authorities who charged him with a twenty year old murder. He was found to be insane and held in a psychiatric wing of a Bogotá hospital. In 1998 he was declared sane, and released on $50 bail. The same documentary says that Interpol released an advisory for his re-arrest by Colombian authorities over a fresh murder in 2002. He has not been heard from or seen since his release and to date, no one knows if López is dead or alive.

Dr. Harold Shipman (218+ victims) in England, UK: was an English doctor and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history with 218 murders being positively ascribed to him, although the actual number is probably much higher.

On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of 15 murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge recommended that he never be released.

After his trial, the Shipman Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith, investigated all deaths certified by Shipman. About 80% of his victims were women. His youngest victim was Peter Lewis, a 41-year-old man. Much of Britain’s legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a direct and indirect result of Shipman’s crimes, especially after the findings of the Shipman Inquiry, which began on 1 September 2000 and lasted almost two years. Shipman is the only British doctor found guilty of murdering his patients.

In March 1998, Dr Linda Reynolds of the Brooke Surgery in Hyde, prompted by Deborah Massey from Frank Massey and Son’s funeral parlour, expressed concerns to John Pollard, the coroner for the South Manchester District, about the high death rate among Shipman’s patients. In particular, she was concerned about the large number of cremation forms for elderly women that he had needed countersigned. The matter was brought to the attention of the police, who were unable to find sufficient evidence to bring charges; The Shipman Inquiry later blamed the police for assigning inexperienced officers to the case. Between 17 April 1998, when the police abandoned the investigation, and Shipman’s eventual arrest, he killed three more people. His last victim was Kathleen Grundy, a former Lady Mayor of Hyde, who was found dead at her home on 24 June 1998. Shipman was the last person to see her alive, and later signed her death certificate, recording “old age” as cause of death.

Grundy’s daughter, lawyer Angela Woodruff, became concerned when solicitor Brian Burgess informed her that a will had been made, apparently by her mother (although there were doubts about its authenticity). The will excluded her and her children, but left £386,000 to Shipman. Burgess told Woodruff to report it, and went to the police, who began an investigation. Grundy’s body was exhumed, and when examined found to contain traces of diamorphine (heroin), often used for pain control in terminal cancer patients. Shipman was arrested on 7 September 1998, and was found to own a typewriter of the type used to make the forged will.

The police then investigated other deaths Shipman had certified, and created a list of 15 specimen cases to investigate. They discovered a pattern of his administering lethal overdoses of diamorphine, signing patients’ death certificates, and then forging medical records indicating they had been in poor health.

**Henry Lee Lucas (189+ victims) in Michigan, Texas, and possibly Florida, USA: His first murder was that of his own mother in 1960 in Michigan.  He claimed self-defense, but that was rejected and he was sentenced to 20-40 years for second-degree murder.  After serving 10 he was released due to prison over-crowding.

In Florida, he made the acquaintance of Ottis Toole in 1976 and had a sexual relationship with Toole’s 12-year-old niece, Frieda Powell, who had escaped from a juvenile detention facility. Lucas and Toole both called Powell “Becky,” partly to disguise her identity and because Powell preferred it over her given name.

Lucas said he and Powell argued at a Bowie, Texas truck stop and claimed that Powell left with a trucker. Lucas would eventually be charged with Powell’s murder, although a waitress at the truck stop supported Lucas’s account in court. Lucas allegedly carried out many of his later murders with Toole as an accomplice.

Henry Lee Lucas had a habit of confessing to crimes, recanting them, and then confessing to more murders.

Ultimately, Lucas was convicted of 11 homicides. He was sentenced to death for the murder of an unidentified woman dubbed “Orange Socks,” as those were the only items of clothing found on her. Her body was discovered in Williamson County, Texas, on Halloween 1979.

Dan Morales, Mattox’s successor as Texas Attorney General, concluded that it was “highly unlikely” that Lucas was guilty in the “Orange Socks” case. Though initially skeptical of the Lucas Report, he came generally to support its findings.

Williamson County prosecutor Cecil Kuykendall discounted Lucas as a suspect in the “Orange Socks” case and has stated his opinion that Lucas’ confession drew attention from a far more viable suspect, further noting evidence that Lucas was in Florida, working as a roofer, during the time that “Orange Socks” was killed. As cited in an Amnesty International report, Mattox stated that during the time “Orange Socks” was killed, there were “work records, check cashing evidence, all information indicating Lucas was somewhere else. We found nothing tying [Lucas] with the crime he confessed to and was convicted of.” Mattox’s office decided not to intervene, so certain they were that the state appeals court would overturn Lucas’ conviction in the “Orange Socks” case.

Lucas told Shellady that he confessed to the murder in an effort at “legal suicide,” and that he “just wanted to die.” Lucas expressed what Shellady describes as “deep regret and sorrow” for offering false confessions, stating that he “was not aware how crooked they [Texas authorities] were until it was too late.” The Houston Chronicle article also notes that Lucas offered various motives for his confession spree: Improving his conditions, a desire to embarrass police, and feeling guilt over killing Powell and Rich.

Lucas’s sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush. It was the first successful commutation of a death sentence in Texas since the re-institution of the death penalty in Texas in 1982. He died in 2001 from heart failure.

Luis Garavito (138+ victims) aka ‘La Bestia’ in Columbia, South America: In 1999, he admitted to the rape and murder of 140 young boys. The number of his victims, based on the locations of skeletons listed on maps that Garavito drew in prison, could eventually exceed 300. He has been described by local media as “the world’s worst serial killer” because of the high number of victims.

Once captured, Garavito was subject to the maximum penalty available in Colombia, which was 30 years. However, as he confessed the crimes and helped authorities locate bodies, Colombian law allowed him to apply for special benefits, including a reduction of his sentence to 22 years and possibly an even earlier release for further cooperation and good behavior.

In subsequent years, Colombians have increasingly felt that due to Garavito’s approaching early release, his sentence is not sufficient punishment for his crimes. Colombian law originally had no way to extend the sentence, because cases of serial killers like Garavito had no legal precedent in the country and thus the legal system could not properly address this case.

Garavito’s victims were poor children, peasant children, or street children, between the ages of 6 and 16. Garavito approached them on the street or countryside and offered them gifts or small amounts of money. After gaining their trust, he took the children for a walk and when they got tired, he would take advantage of them. He then raped them, cut their throats, and usually dismembered their corpses. Most corpses showed signs of torture.

Garavito was captured on 22 April 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children. However, he is still under investigation for the murder of 172 children in more than 59 towns in Colombia.

Javed Iqbal (100 victims) in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan: In December 1999, Iqbal sent a letter to police and a local Lahore newspaper confessing to the murders of 100 boys, all aged between six and 16. In the letter, he claimed to have strangled and dismembered the victims – mostly runaways and orphans living on the streets of Lahore – and disposed of their bodies using vats of hydrochloric acid. He then dumped the remains in a local river. In his house, police and reporters found bloodstains on the walls and floor with the chain on which Iqbal claimed to have strangled his victims, photographs of many of his victims in plastic bags. These items were neatly labeled with handwritten pamphlets. Two vats of acids with partially dissolved human remains were also left in the open for police to find, with a note claiming “the bodies in the house have deliberately not been disposed of so that authorities will find them.”

Iqbal confessed in his letter that he planned to drown himself in the Ravi River following his crimes but after unsuccessfully dragging the river with nets, police launched what was, at that time, the largest manhunt Pakistan had ever witnessed. Four accomplices, teenage boys who had shared Iqbal’s three-bedroom flat, were arrested in Sohawa. Within days, one of them died in police custody, apparently by jumping from a window.

It was a month before Iqbal turned himself in at the offices of the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Jang on the 30th December, 1999. He was subsequently arrested. He stated that he had surrendered to the newspaper because he feared for his life and was concerned that the police would kill him.

Although his diary contained detailed descriptions of the murders, and despite the handwriting on the placards in his house matching Iqbal’s, he claimed in court that he was innocent and that the entire affair was an elaborate hoax to draw attention to the plight of runaway children from poor families. He claimed that his statements to police were made under duress. Over a hundred witnesses testified against Iqbal and he and his accomplices were found guilty.

This is disputed now because 26 of the children he claimed to have killed were found alive after his death. Iqbal was found dead in his jail cell, allegedly from suicide, but some believe he was murdered.

Daniel Barbosa (72 victims) in Columbia and Ecuador, South America: Camargo had a de facto union with a woman named Alcira and had two children with her. He fell in love with another woman, Esperanza, age 28 whom he planned to marry, but then found out that she was not a virgin. This became a deep root of Camargo’s fixations, and he and Esperanza formed an agreement that he would stay with her if she aided him in finding other virgin girls to have sex with. This began a period of their partnership in crime. Esperanza was Camargo’s accomplice, luring young girls to an apartment under false pretenses and then drugging them with sodium seconal sleeping pills so that Camargo could rape them. Camargo committed five rapes in this way, but did not kill any of the girls. The fifth child that they abused in this way reported the crime, and both Camargo and Esperanza were arrested and taken to separate prisons. Camargo was convicted of sexual assault in Colombia on April 10, 1964.

Strange, I don’t see the spot for ‘homicidal maniac’.

In 1973 he was arrested in Brazil for being undocumented. Due to a delay in sending Camargos criminals records from Colombia he was deported and released with his false identity. When he returned to Colombia he took up a job as a street vendor in Barranquilla selling television monitors. One day when passing by a school he kidnapped a nine-year-old girl, raping her and murdering her so that she could not inform the police like his previous victim had. This was his first assault involving murder.

Camargo was arrested on May 3, 1974 in Barranquilla, Colombia when he returned to the scene of the crime to recover the television screens that he had forgotten beside the victim. Even though it is believed that he raped and killed more than 80 girls in Colombia, Camargo was imprisoned in Colombia after being convicted of raping and killing a nine-year-old girl. He was initially sentenced to 30 years in prison, but this sentence was reduced to 25 years, and he was interned in the prison on the island of Gorgona, Colombia on December 24, 1977.

In November 1984 Camargo escaped from Gorgona in a primitive boat after having carefully studied the ocean currents. The authorities assumed that he died at sea and the press reported that he had been eaten by sharks.

He eventually arrived in Quito, Ecuador. He then traveled by bus to Guayaquil on 5 or 6 December, 1984. On December 18 he abducted a nine-year-old girl from the city of Quevedo, in the province of Los Ríos Ecuador. The next day a 10-year-old girl also disappeared.

From 1984 to 1986 Carmago committed a series of at least 54 rapes and murders in Guayaquil. The police at first believed that all the deaths were the work of a gang, not understanding that one man could have killed so many. Camargo slept on the streets, and lived off of the money he could gain by reselling ballpoint pens in the streets. Occasionally he supplemented his income by selling clothing or small valuables belonging to his victims.

Camargo was arrested by two policemen in Quito on 26 February 1986 only a few minutes after he had murdered a 9-year-old girl named Elizabeth. The policemen were on patrol and approached him at the height of the avenue Los Granados, thinking that he was acting suspicious. They were surprised to find that he was carrying with him a bag containing the bloody clothes of his latest victim, and a copy of “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoyevsky.[1] He was taken into custody and later moved to Guayaquil for identification. When he was arrested he gave a false name, Manuel Bulgarin Solis, but he was later identified by one of his rape victims who escaped.

Daniel Camargo very calmly confessed to killing 71 girls in Ecuador since escaping from the Colombian prison. He led authorities to the dumping grounds of those victims whose bodies had not yet been recovered. The bodies had been dismembered. While he told the Ecuadorean authorities of the locations of the bodies and how the sadistic crimes were committed, he showed no feelings of remorse. After raping his victims, he had hacked, slashed and crushed the girls with a machete. He gave a cynical explanation for choosing children. He wanted virgins “because they cried”; this apparently gave him greater satisfaction.

According to Camargo, he killed because he wanted revenge on woman’s unfaithfulness. He hated them for not being what women are supposed to be. His victims were all virgins.

It was reported that in November 1994, he was murdered in prison by Luis Masache Narvaez, the cousin of one of his victims.

Pedro Rodrigues Filho (70+ victims) aka Pedrinho Matador in Brazil, South America: Not much is listed on WIKI about Pedro, he was arrested in 1973 and in 2003 (why the long gap?) was convicted of murdering at least 71 people.

He has claimed over 100 victims, 47 of them prison inmates; he killed for “personal pleasure”. He also killed his father at the age of 18 after stabbing his mother, Manuela, with a machete. Pedro ate a piece of his heart.  He killed his first two victims at the age of 14

Yang Xinhai (67  victims) aka Wang Ganggang, Yang Zhiya, and Yang Liu in Zhengyang County, Henan Province, China: Yang was detained on November 3, 2003 after acting suspiciously during a routine police inspection of entertainment venues in Cangzhou, Hebei. Police took him in for questioning and discovered that he was wanted for murder in four provinces. As news of his arrest and crimes spread, the media dubbed him the “Monster Killer”.

Shortly after he was arrested, Yang confessed to 65 murders, 23 rapes and five attacks causing serious injury: 49 murders, 17 rapes and five attacks in Henan; eight murders and three rapes in Hebei; six murders and two rapes in Anhui; and two murders and one rape in Shandong. Police also matched his DNA with that found at several crime scenes.

On February 1, 2004, Yang was found guilty of 67 murders and 23 rapes, and sentenced to death in Luohe City Intermediate People’s Court, Henan. At the time of his sentencing, official Chinese media believed he had carried out China’s longest and grisliest killing spree.

Yang was executed on February 14, 2004, by firing squad.

Giuseppe “Pino” Greco (58+ victims) Palmero, Sicily: Not to take anything away from a good hitman for the mob, but you’ll have to wait for me to do a series on The Godfather. Click here to jump to Wiki to read about one of the most prolific hit-men in history.

Woo Bum-kon (57 victims) Uiryeong, South Korea: Woo was a mass/spree murderer, but considering what set him off, I’ll still take the time to mention what happened.

Woo, who was a South Korean police officer, had an argument with his live-in girlfriend, Chun Mal-soon, on the afternoon of April 26, 1982, after she had woken him by swatting a fly on his chest. Enraged, he left the house and went to the police station, where he reported for duty at 4 p.m., and began drinking heavily. At about 7:30 p.m. Woo returned home, punched and kicked his girlfriend and smashed the furniture, before making his way to the armory. As the other officers were at a meeting, he managed unnoticed to gather an arsenal, consisting of two M2 carbines, 180 rounds of ammunition, and seven hand grenades.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Woo began shooting passers-by in a marketplace in the village of Torongni, where he also wounded Chun Mal-soon, who had gone to investigate, after hearing shots in the village. His next stop was at the post office in the nearby village of Kungryu, where he killed three phone operators and cut off the telephone lines to prevent others from calling emergency services. From that point on he proceeded from village to village, taking advantage of his position as a police officer to gain entry to the houses and shoot its inhabitants. That way Woo managed to kill 18 people in the village of Ungye, and 24 more in the village of Pyongchon. At one point, he ordered a 16-year-old boy to get him a soft drink from a grocery store. After getting what he had asked for Woo shot the boy and his family.

Woo shot most of his victims, but in one case he killed an entire family with a grenade. Although police were alerted one hour after the beginning of the killing spree, he was able to avoid capture and continue his rampage for a full eight hours. In the early hours of April 27, after rampaging through five villages in Uiryeong county, Woo took his final two grenades and strapped them to his body. He hid in the farmhouse belonging to 68-year-old Suh In-Su, holding him and his family captive, when police finally caught up with him. As police forces were closing in, he set the grenades’ fuses, killing himself and three hostages. Mr. Suh himself survived gravely injured.

Altogether, with a toll of 57 dead and 35 injured, the rampage of Woo Bum-Kon was the worst killing spree in modern times before the Norway attacks of July 22, 2011. Chun Mal-soon later said that her boyfriend “suffered from an inferiority complex and had been bothered by villagers’ comments on their living together unmarried.” Later on, the provincial chief of police was suspended, and four other officers were arrested for negligence of duty.


For another list, which does include some repeats as above, see the 20 Most Prolific Serial Killers of All Time on Manolith.com


Oh, geez, after all that I have to lighten it up a tad.  Thank God for The Oatmeal.  I bring you his How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.

If you are still unclear as to whether or not your cat is plotting your demise The Oatmeal created a handy quiz to help you better determine your kitty’s homicidal tendencies.

**[Update Oct 2012]  The Oatmeal has a new book “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” as well as a great info graphic on some homicidal kitteh statistics that he designed based on research performed by National Geographic and the University of Georgia “Kitty Cam” project.


Hope you guys enjoyed!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s