With Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy serving as the poster children for serial killers, keeping track of murder sprees has become a sick pastime for some of the world’s darkest hobbyists.
Obviously, U.S. media tends to focus on American serial killers, but the truth remains that there are thousands of serial killers across the globe who have never received as much attention. And if you ask me, that’s what makes them even more terrifying.
Here are 13 of the world’s deadliest serial killers you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Alexander Pichushkin — The Chessboard Killer
Pichushkin became known as the Chessboard Killer following his arrest when dates for all his alleged murders were found written on a chessboard. He was convicted in Moscow of killing 48 people in 2007. Because of the severity of his killings, Russia briefly considered reinstating the death penalty.
2. Luis Alfredo Garavito — The Beast
Garavito has a confirmed kill count of 137 people, but from sketches drawn in prison, the real number is expected to be somewhere in the 300s. His victims were boys ranging from ages eight to 16. He would offer the kids gifts and money and then take them on long walks before raping and murdering them.
3. Mary Ann Cotton
Marry Ann Cotton was famous for killing three of her four husbands and cashing in on their insurance policies. In total, she is suspected of having 21 victims, most of whom were children. Her weapon of choice was arsenic. She was arrested, convicted, and executed in 1873.
4. Peter Kürten –– The Vampire of Düsseldorf
Kürten’s murderous rampage targeted women and young girls. His preferred methods of killing were stabbing, strangulation, and bludgeoning his victims with a hammer. His motives for more than nine murders were sexual gratification and striking back at an oppressive society…which is ironic in the worst way.
5. Tsutomu Miyazaki — The Little Girl Murderer
In the span of one year, Miyazaki killed four little girls ranging from ages four to seven by strangulation. Upon his arrest, he was convicted and sentenced in 1997, but he would not be executed until over a decade later in 2008. It is believed that his murders were inspired by Japanese anime and ***********.
6. Robert Pickton
Pickton received the longest criminal sentence for murder that Canadian officials have ever issued. He is suspected of killing roughly 49 victims. This former pig farmer’s preferred method of murder was strangulation with a small metal wire. He was eventually caught because of his own carelessness.
7. Francisco Antonio Laureana — The San Isidro Rapist
Over a six-month span, Laureana was responsible for the rapes and murders of 15 women. He killed his victims every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Upon arrest, he was murdered in a police shootout after he revealed a concealed gun he was carrying in his bag.
8. Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludeña — The Apostle of Death
Ludeña’s murderous spree was his attempt at purging the planet of drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, and criminals. His weapon of choice was a pistol equipped with a silencer that he made out of a pair of slippers. His official murder count is 17, but he claims to have killed over 25 people.
9. Countess Elizabeth Báthory — The Blood Countess
Known as the Blood Countess, this killer is recognized as one of the most prolific female murderers of all time. At one time, it was suspected that she and four contributors were responsible for over 650 deaths. She was accused of committing a variety of torturous acts as well as practicing vampirism.
10. Thug Behram — The King of the Thugs
The leader of a practicing Oudh cult, Behram is believed to have been responsible for an estimated 930 deaths. Most of his murders were committed by strangulation with a ceremonial Rumal cloth. Not much is known about his killings, but we do know that he was hanged in 1840.
11. Amelia Dyer
Dyer was considered a “kid farmer.” She would look after children for money until they could be adopted. Under her care, an unknown number of infants died, causing doctors to become suspicious. She had a previous conviction of child neglect and had spent many months in and out of mental institutions. When seven small infants were fished out of the Thames, Dyer was finally arrested and charged for her crimes.
12. Dennis Nilsen
Nilsen found his victims by picking up male students and homeless men from local bars. He killed at least 15 people and was known to preserve their dead bodies for sexual acts. His crimes were discovered after his attempt at disposing of human remains caused his drain to become clogged.
13. Leonarda Cianciulli — The Soap-Maker of Correggio
Leonarda Cianciulli earned her nickname after she murdered three women and used their remains to make soap and teacakes. She began her murderous soap production after discovering that her son had joined the Italian Army during World War II. In order to protect her child, she believed she had to perform human sacrifices.
Well if anyone needs to reach me this evening, they’ll have no trouble. After putting together that list, it’s not like I’ll be able to sleep or anything!