List of serial killers by number of victims
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A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, in two or more separate events over a period of time, for primarily psychological reasons. There are gaps of time between the killings, which may range from a few days to months, or many years. This list shows serial killers from the 20th century to present day by number of victims. In many cases, the exact number of victims assigned to a serial killer is not known, and even if that person is convicted of a few, there can be the possibility that they killed many more.
Organization and ranking of serial killings is made difficult by the complex nature of serial killers and incomplete knowledge of the full extent of many killers' crimes. To address this, multiple categories have been provided in order to more accurately describe the nature of certain serial murders. This is not a reflection of an individual's overall rank, which may or may not vary depending on personal opinion concerning the nature and circumstances of their crimes. The fourth column in the table states the number of victims definitely assigned to that particular serial killer, and thus the table is in order of that figure. The fifth column states the number of possible victims the killer could have murdered. Some of these crimes are unsolved, but were included because they are the work of a serial killer, despite nobody being caught.
Serial killers with the highest known victim count
The most prolific modern serial killer is Harold Shipman, with 218 proven murders and possibly as many as 250 (see "Medical professionals", below). Excluding these "Medical professionals and pseudo-medical professionals", with their ability to kill simply and in plain sight, and Serial killer groups and couples (below), this list is a compilation of modern serial killers currently with the highest verifiable murder count.
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Luis Garavito|| Colombia
|1992 to 1999||138||172–300+||Child-murderer, torture-killer, and rapist known as "La Bestia" ("The Beast"). Confessed to killing 140 boys between eight and 16 years old over a seven-year period in Colombia and neighboring countries. He is suspected of murdering over 300 victims, mostly street children.|
|Pedro López|| Colombia
|1969 to 1979||110||300+||Child-murderer and rapist, known as "The Monster of the Andes". Targeted young girls, between the ages of eight and 12. Arrested in 1980 and convicted in 1983 of killing three young girls, but claimed to have killed hundreds. Despite being believed to be one of the most prolific serial killers of the twentieth century, he was released in the late 1990s.|
|Javed Iqbal||Pakistan||1998 to 1999||100||100||Child-murderer and rapist, known as "Kukri", Iqbal murdered 100 street children by strangling them and covering up his crimes by dissolving the bodies with acid. He was arrested in 1999 thanks to a letter he sent a newspaper, and was set to be executed in the manner described by the judge who stated, "You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed, Your body will then be cut into 100 pieces and put in acid, the same way you killed the children." However, he died in custody before he could be executed.|
|Mikhail Popkov||Russia||1992 to 2010||78||81||Serial rapist-killer nicknamed "The Werewolf", who was active for two decades in Angarsk, Irkutsk and Vladivostok. After being convicted of 22 murders in 2015, he confessed to an additional 59 murders, of which he was convicted of 56 in 2018.|
|Daniel Camargo Barbosa|| Colombia
|1974 to 1986||72||180||Child and woman murderer, believed to have possibly raped and killed over 150 victims, primarily targeting female children as they were more likely to be virgins. Confessed to killing 72 victims. He strangled young girls in Colombia and was arrested, but he escaped from prison and he started killing in Ecuador; rearrested in 1986, he was incarcerated in the same Ecuadorian prison as 300+ serial killer Pedro López. Camargo was killed in jail by the nephew of one of his victims.|
|Pedro Rodrigues Filho||Brazil||1967 to 2003||71||100+||He claimed to have killed over 100 victims, 47 of them inmates. He also killed his father and ate a piece of his heart. He killed his first two victims at the age of 14; he was first arrested in 1973. Convicted and sentenced to 128 years, but the maximum one can serve in Brazil is 30 years.|
|Kampatimar Shankariya||India||1977 to 1978||70||70+||This mysterious Indian serial killer used a hammer to kill over 70 men and women between 1978 and 1979, his last words were, "I have murdered in vain", he declared. "Nobody should become like me.".|
|Yang Xinhai||China||2000 to 2003||67||67||Known as the "Monster Killer". Would enter victims' homes at night and kill using axes, meat cleavers, hammers, and shovels. Executed by gunshot in 2004.|
|Andrei Chikatilo||Soviet Union||1978 to 1990||53||56||Known as "The Butcher of Rostov", "The Red Ripper" or "The Rostov Ripper". Convicted of the murder of 53 women and children between 1978 and 1990. One man was previously convicted and executed for his first murder. Executed by gunshot in 1994.|
|Anatoly Onoprienko|| Soviet Union
|1989 to 1996||52||52+||Known as "The Beast of Ukraine", "The Terminator" and "Citizen O". Convicted of the murders of nine people in 1989 and 43 people in 1995–1996. Traveled throughout Europe illegally from 1990 to 1995; whether he killed during this time is unknown. Sentenced to death, later commuted to imprisonment for life. Died from heart failure in 2013.|
|Samuel Little||United States||1970 to 2005||50||93||Was convicted of killing three women, but later investigations linked 31 other murders to him. Little is now thought to be America's most prolific serial killer. He claims he killed as many as 93 victims total, three above his initial confession of 90, the FBI later confirmed a total of 50 murders linked to Little. The investigations into his crimes are ongoing.|
|Florisvaldo de Oliveira||Brazil||1982||50||50+||Known as "Cabo Bruno"; former police officer and vigilante who murdered criminals in the outskirts of São Paulo; murdered by unknown assailants in 2012.|
|Willy Pickton||Canada||1983 to 2002||49||49||Nicknamed "The Butcher"; Robert Pickton was a Canadian serial killer who killed 49 women and disposed of their bodies by feeding them to his pigs. He was convicted of only 6 murders but charged for his proven 49 victims. Unfortunately, much to the anger of the victims families, the remaining 43 charges were stayed or dropped.|
|Gary Ridgway||United States||1982 to 2000||49||71–90+||Truck painter who confessed to killing 71 women. Also known as The Green River Killer. He almost exclusively targeted sex workers from Seattle. Suspected of killing over 90 victims, confessed to 71, convicted of 49. Sentenced to life without parole.|
|Alexander Pichushkin||Russia||1992 to 2006||48||60||Known as the Chessboard Killer. Convicted of murdering 48 victims and suspected of killing 60. Claimed to have murdered 62 people, because he did not know that two of his victims had survived; stated goal of becoming Russia's most prolific serial killer. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Wang Qiang||China||1995 to 2003||45||60+||Killed 45 and raped 10 from 1995 to 2003. Executed in 2005.|
|Ahmad Suradji||Indonesia||1986 to 1997||42||70–80+||Convicted of strangling at least 42 women and girls in a series of ritual slayings he believed would give him magical powers. Executed by firing squad in 2008.|
|Raman Raghav||India||1965 to 1968||41||41||In the late 1960s Raman Raghav went on a violent rampage in Mumbai, India. He bludgeoned 41 people to death inside their huts while they slept.|
|Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha||Brazil||2011 to 2014||39||~39||Brazilian security guard who confessed to the murders of 39 people. Attempted suicide in prison. Sentenced to 25 years.|
|Moses Sithole||South Africa||1994 to 1995||38||38+||Known as South Africa's Ted Bundy. Preyed on unemployed women, posing as a businessman and luring his victims with the prospects of a job, before leading them to an isolated place, where he raped, tortured, and murdered them. Sentenced to 2410 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 930 years.|
|Serhiy Tkach|| Soviet Union
|1984 to 2005||36||80–100||A former Ukrainian police criminal investigator, suffocated girls aged between eight and 18 and performed sexual acts on their bodies after they were dead. Claims to have killed 100. Sentenced to imprisonment for life. Died from heart failure in 2018.|
|Gennady Mikhasevich||Soviet Union||1971 to 1985||36||43–55+||Strangled women. Besides killing, he also robbed his victims of money and valuable items (that he would sometimes give to his wife as a gift). Executed by firing squad in 1987.|
|Hadj Mohammed Mesfewi||Morocco||1906 and earlier||36||36+||Known as "Marrakesh Arch-Killer"; drugged, mutilated and murdered women; executed 1906.|
|Vera Renczi|| Romania
|1920 to 1930||35||~35||Romanian serial killer nicknamed, "The Black Widow" convicted of killing 35 men through arsenic poisoning but confessed to only killing 32 victims. Renczi is the world's most prolific female serial killer. However, there is very little information about Renczi and her crimes because personal information (criminal history, academic records, etc.) were not cataloged as well as they are today, making some criminologists believe she was a figure of Romanian folklore rather than an actual person.|
|Ted Bundy||United States||1974 to 1978||35||36+||American serial killer known for his charisma and good looks. Bundy officially confessed to 30 homicides, but had confessed to killing 35–36 women in the past, and some estimates run upwards of 100 or more. Infamous for escaping from prison twice and murdering multiple victims in one day; sometimes abducting women from the same location within hours of one another. He was executed by electric chair in 1989.|
|Clementine Barnabet||United States||1911||35||35||An axe murdering voodoo priestess who murdered African-American families at nighttime.|
|John Wayne Gacy||United States||1972 to 1978||33||34+||Known to have murdered a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978, 26 of whom he buried in the crawl space of his Chicago home. Gacy was known as the "Killer Clown" due to the fact he often entertained children at social events dressed in a self devised clown costume. Executed by lethal injection in 1994.|
|Ali Asghar Borujerdi|| Ottoman Empire
|1907 to 1934||33||33||Known as "Asghar the Murderer". Killed 33 young adults in Iraq and Iran. Executed by hanging in 1934.|
|Vasili Komaroff||Soviet Union||1921 to 1923||33||33||Known as "The Wolf of Moscow"; horse trader who killed 33 men. Executed by firing squad in 1923.|
|Fernando Hernández Leyva||Mexico||1982 to 1999||33||100+||Confessed to 100 murders and six kidnappings at the time of his arrest in 1999 (he had been arrested previously in 1982 and 1986, the second time for murder, but escaped from prison), but later retracted and claimed that he had been beaten by the police and his family threatened in order to force him to confess. Accused of as many as 137 murders in five southern Mexican states, convicted of 33 murders and sentenced 50 years in prison. Tried unsuccessfully to kill himself in prison. If his claim of 100+ victims were true then Leyva would be one of the world's worst murderers, currently he is Mexico's worst documented serial killer.|
|Ramadan Abdel Rehim Mansour||Egypt||1999 to 2006||32||32+||Gang leader known as al-Tourbini ("The Express Train"). Raped and tortured homeless children, mostly boys aged 10 to 14 years old, aboard the trains between Cairo, Alexandria, Qalyubia and Beni Sueif. The victims were usually thrown off the moving train when they were dead or in agony; other times they were thrown into the Nile or buried alive. Executed in 2010.|
|Volga Maniac||Russia||2011 to 2012||32||32||Killed elderly women in several Russian regions; Kazakhstani native Pavel Shayakhmetov, found guilty of killing two elderly women in Samara, was arrested on suspicion of committing these murders, but police forces believe that the real perpetrator, possibly originating from Tatarstan, is out there.|
Serial killers with 15 to 30 victims
This part of the list contains all serial killers with 15 to 30 proven victims who acted alone and were neither medical professionals nor contract killers.
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Karl Denke|| German Empire
|1900 to 1924||30||42+||Killed and cannibalized poor travelers and homeless vagrants. Kept a ledger recording his murders with at least 31 names in it (including Vincenz Olivier, his only surviving victim), thus confirming at least 30 victims. But due to the massive amount of human remains found in his apartment, his kill count is suspected by many to exceed 42 victims. Committed suicide by hanging himself in his holding cell before he could be tried.|
|Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito||Brazil||1989 to 2003||30||42||Pedophile who sexually abused, murdered and mutilated children in Maranhão and Pará; sentenced to 217 years imprisonment.|
|Luis Gregorio Ramírez Maestre||Colombia||2010 to 2013||30||30||Killed motorists in various municipalities before his 2012 capture.|
|David Thabo Simelane||Swaziland||2000 to 2001||28||45||Sexually assaulted women he befriended in forests, stabbing or strangling them afterward; sentenced to death.|
|Zhang Jun||China||1993 to 2000||28||28||Robbed 22 stores in several Chinese provinces, killing 28 people in the process. Executed in 2001.|
|Cedric Maake||South Africa||1996 to 1997||27||35+||Known as the "Wemmer Pan Killer" and "Hammer Killer". He killed his victims with different instruments such as guns, rocks, a knife, and a hammer. Authorities attributed the murders to two serial killers because of the inconsistent modus operandi. In some cases he killed his victims with a rock, in others he shot them, and in others he murdered tailors with a hammer. Maake was arrested after Moses Sithole was found guilty of 38 killings and sentenced to 1,340 years in prison.|
|Mariam Soulakiotis||Greece||1939 to 1951||27||27+||Known as "The Woman Rasputin"; convent abbot believed to have murdered wealthy women and children who came into her church; the true number of her victims is a matter of debate. She officially murdered 27 and killed an additional 150 children through neglect.|
|Bruce George Peter Lee||United Kingdom||1973 to 1979||26||26||Epileptic arsonist who killed people in the city of Hull; sentenced to life imprisonment, but was later institutionalized.|
|The Stoneman||India||1985 to 1989||25||25+||12 homeless people were murdered in their sleep in Bombay between 1985 and 1987, and 13 in Calcutta in 1989—in all cases, by dropping a large rock over their head (an additional victim escaped, but could not identify the attacker). No one was ever charged with any of the murders.|
|Juan Corona||United States||1971||25||25+||Corona was convicted of murdering ranch laborers and burying them in orchards. He was sentenced to 25 terms life imprisonment. Died from natural causes in 2019.|
|Fritz Haarmann||Germany||1918 to 1924||24||27+||Also known as the Butcher of Hanover and the Vampire of Hanover, because of his preferred method of killing by biting through his victim's throat, sometimes while sodomizing them. He would then dump the bodies in the nearby river Leine. Believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men, he was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and executed by guillotine in 1925.|
|Béla Kiss||Hungary||1912 to 1916||24||24+||Evaded arrest and conviction after the discovery of 24 bodies hidden in large metal drums on his property in 1916. At that time he was serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and deserted when the military was notified of the murders by civilian authorities. His final whereabouts and fate are unknown, as is his final victim count.|
|Majid Salek Mohammadi||Iran||1981 to 1985||24||24||Killed mainly women he considered unfaithful to their husbands, sometimes the children accompanying them too; committed suicide before he could be sentenced.|
|Yvan Keller|| France
|1989 to 2006||23||150||Known as the "Pillow Killer"; killed and robbed old women in France's Alsace region, but also confessed to up to 150 murders, including in Germany and Switzerland; committed suicide before trial.|
|Ronald Dominique||United States||1997 to 2006||23||23+||Louisianian serial killer, known locally as the Bayou Strangler and murdered victims in the Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, Iberville Parish and Jefferson Parish. Sentenced to eight life terms.|
|Juan Fernando Hermosa||Ecuador||1991 to 1992||23||23||Known as "Niño del Terror"; youth gang leader who murdered mostly taxi drivers and homosexuals in Quito; murdered on his 20th birthday by unknown assailants.|
|Earle Nelson|| United States
|1926 to 1927||22||25||Necrophiliac who primarily targeted boarding house landladies on the US West Coast during 1926; he was also known as "Gorilla Killer" or "the Dark Strangler". Captured after two murders in a small (now ghost) town in southern Manitoba. Found guilty, hanged by Canadian authorities in January 1928.|
|Mikhail Novosyolov|| Soviet Union
|1977 to 1995||22||22||Known as the "Necrophile Rebel"; killed his victims with blows from heavy objects, then had sexual intercourse with their corpses; sentenced to civil commitment.|
|Manuel Octavio Bermúdez||Colombia||1999 to 2003||21||50+||Colombian pedophile and serial killer. Known as "El Monstruo de los Cañaduzales" (The Monster of the Cane Fields). He confessed to killing 21 children in remote areas of Colombia. Sentenced to 40 years in prison.|
|Patrick Kearney||United States||1965 to 1977||21||43+||Would pick up young male hitch-hikers or young men from gay bars near Redondo Beach, California, and kill them. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|William Bonin||United States||1979 to 1980||21||36+||Bonin and three accomplices are known to have murdered a minimum of 21 youths aged between 12 and 19 in and around Los Angeles. As the majority of his victims were discarded alongside various southern California freeways, Bonin became known as the Freeway Killer. Convicted of 14 of the freeway murders, he was executed by lethal injection in 1996.|
|Vasile Tcaciuc||Romania||1917 to 1935||21||26+||Romanian man who lured victims and then murdered them with an axe. He was arrested in 1935 after a dog found a dead body in his house. He confessed to having committed at least 26 murders. He was shot dead by a policeman while trying to escape from prison.|
|Yoo Young-chul||South Korea||2003 to 2004||21||26||Used a hammer to murder mostly older victims, until his focus shifted to the decapitation and mutilation of escorts after being dumped by a girlfriend who worked in that profession. Was sentenced to death and currently incarcerated.|
|Francisco Guerrero Pérez||Mexico||1880 to 1908||21||21||Known as "El Chaquero"; the first captured serial killer in Mexico, who killed prostitutes in Mexico City; died in 1910 from cerebral thromboembolism and another, unspecified cause.|
|Abdullah Shah||Afghanistan||1990s||20||20+||Killed travelers on the road from Kabul to Jalalabad serving under Zardad Khan. Also killed his wife. Executed by gunshot in 2004.|
|José Paz Bezerra||Brazil||1960s to 1970s||20||20+||Known as the "Morumbi Monster"; sexually violated, tortured and then murdered at least 20 women in São Paulo and Pará; sentenced to 30 years imprisonment and later released in 2001.|
|Bulelani Mabhayi||South Africa||2007 to 2012||20||20||Known as the "Monster of Tholeni"; killed women and children in the village of Tholeni; sentenced from 25 years to life imprisonment.|
|Mohan Kumar||India||2005 to 2009||20||20||Lured female victims with promises of marriage and gave them cyanide, claiming they were contraceptive pills, Sentenced to death in 2013.|
|Alexander Spesivtsev||Russia||1991 to 1996||19||82+||Cannibal known as "The Novokuznetsk Monster"; admitted to 19 murders, but 82 bloody sets of clothes were found in his home, along with jewels and photographs of possibly unidentified victims. Found insane and interned in a mental hospital. His mother was sentenced to 16 years in prison for luring Spesivtsev's victims to their home.|
|Larry Eyler||United States||1982 to 1984||19||23+||Known as "The Interstate Killer"; sentenced to death for the 1984 murder and dismemberment of 15-year-old Daniel Bridges. He confessed to other homicides of young men and boys in five separate states. Died of AIDS complications in 1994.|
|Surinder Koli||India||2005 to 2006||19||30+||Between 2005 and 2006, a domestic servant of Indian businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, Surinder Koli, kidnapped, raped, murdered, and dismembered 19 people, mostly children. Convicted.|
|El Psicópata||Costa Rica||1986 to 1996||19||19+||("The Psychopath") Unidentified serial killer who killed 19 people with an M3 submachine gun in three Costa Rican towns, always south of the Florencio del Castillo Highway.|
|Sergei Ryakhovsky|| Soviet Union
|1988 to 1993||19||19+||Known as the Balashikha Ripper, he was convicted for the murders of at least 19 victims. Died from tuberculosis in 2005.|
|Yevgeny Chuplinsky||Russia||1998 to 2006||19||19+||Known as the "Novosibirsk Maniac"; killed prostitutes in Novosibirsk; despite extensive police search and the capture of another serial killer, he was only arrested in 2016; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|M. Jaishankar||India||2008 to 2011||19||19+||Accused of killing at least 19 women. Charged with 13 murders, he escaped during a trial transport. Killed eight more people in two months before he was recaptured. Sentenced to 27 years. Committed suicide by slashing his wrists with a shaving blade in prison on 27 February 2018.|
|Ansis Kaupēns||Latvia||1920 to 1926||19||19||Army deserter who committed 30 robberies and killed 19 people; one of the most infamous Latvian criminals; executed by hanging in 1927.|
|Vadim Ershov||Russia||1992 to 1995||19||19||Known as the "Krasnoyarsk Beast"; committed 70 crimes around the Krasnoyarsk area, including 19 murders and eight attempted murders; sentenced to death, commuted to life imprisonment.|
|Velaphi Ndlangamandla||South Africa||1998||19||19||Known as "The Saloon Killer"; robbed who murdered people around Mpumalanga in his crime spree; sentenced to 137 years imprisonment.|
|Yavuz Yapıcıoğlu||Turkey||1994 to 2002||18+||40+||Killed in various cities of Turkey. 18 murders proven and accused of more than 40 by eyewitnesses and relatives.|
|Paul John Knowles||United States||1974||18||35+||Killed 18 people in various states in 1974. Claimed 35 murders. Known as the "Casanova Killer"; shot dead by FBI agents.|
|Thierry Paulin||France||1984 to 1987||18||21||Known as "The monster of Montmartre". Killed and robbed elderly women. Died of AIDS in 1989 in prison before trial.|
|Randall Woodfield||United States||1979 to 1981||18||44||Known as "The I-5 Killer" and "The I-5 Bandit." Suspected of as many as 44 murders. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Umesh Reddy||India||1996 to 2002||18||18+||Confessed to 18 rapes and murders. Sentenced to death.|
|Christopher Mhlengwa Zikode||South Africa||1994 to 1995||18||18+||Known as "Donnybrook Serial Killer" murdered 18 people in Donnybrook, KwaZulu Natal from 1994–1995.|
|Asande Baninzi||South Africa||2001||18||18||Killed 18 people in three months, including a family of four; given 19 life sentences and 189 years of imprisonment.|
|Huang Yong||China||2001 to 2003||17||25||Lured and murdered 17 teenage boys, although he is suspected of 25 murders between September 2001 and 2003. Executed by firing squad in 2003.|
|Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludeña||Peru||2005 to 2006||17||25||Known as "El Apóstol de la Muerte" ("The Apostle of Death"). Convicted of 17 murders and claimed 25. Sentenced to 35 years in prison.|
|Darbara Singh||India||2004||17||23||Sexually assaulted and then murdered children of non-Punjabi immigrants; died in 2018 while serving a life sentence.|
|Sergei Dovzhenko||Ukraine||1992 to 2002||17||19||Killed people because they were "mocking" him; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Donato Bilancia||Italy||1997 to 1998||17||17||Burglar who murdered 17 people, mainly prostitutes, between 1997 and 1998, during a six-month period. Known as the "Prostitutes Killer" and the "Liguria Monster". Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Irina Gaidamachuk||Russia||2002 to 2010||17||17||Known as "Satan in a skirt". Killed 17 elderly women between 2002 and 2010. Sentenced to 20 years in prison.|
|Randy Steven Kraft||United States||1971 to 1983||16||65–67||Convicted of 16 counts of murder but left a cryptic "score card" referring to at least 65 victims. May have had an accomplice. Sentenced to death.|
|Mohammed Bijeh||Iran||2004||16||20||Raped and killed at least 16 boys and teenagers. Nicknamed the "Tehran Desert Vampire". Was convicted and executed after being lashed in front of a crowd in 2005.|
|Michel Fourniret|| France
|1987 to 2001||16||19||Known as the Ogre or Beast of Ardennes. He was caught after a failed kidnapping in 2003.|
|Sipho Agmatir Thwala||South Africa||1996 to 1997||16||19||Nicknamed the Phoenix Strangler after the area in which he committed his crimes; he raped and strangled 19 women; arrested, he was found guilty of 16 murders.|
|Saeed Hanaei||Iran||2000 to 2001||16||19||Confessed to luring 16 prostitutes to his home and killing them in an attempt to "cleanse" the city of Mashhad. His actions were dubbed "The Spider Murders". Executed by hanging in 2002.|
|Jeffrey Dahmer||United States||1978 to 1991||16||17||Dahmer ate some of his victims and kept their body parts in his freezer. Was sentenced to life imprisonment; murdered in prison in 1994.|
|José Antonio Rodríguez Vega||Spain||1987 to 1988||16||16+||Nicknamed El Mataviejas (The Old Lady Killer), he raped and killed at least 16 elderly women, aged from 61 to 93 years old, in and around Santander, Cantabria. He went unrecognized for over a year because he moved his victims into their beds after they were killed; no autopsies were made and the deaths were attributed to natural causes. He also took trophies from his victims that he held in a particular room of his home; about 10 percent of these trophies remained unclaimed, implying the existence of other victims. He was stabbed to death by two inmates while incarcerated in 2002.|
|Elias Xitavhudzi||South Africa||1950s||16||16||Nicknamed Panga man for his use of a machete (locally known as a "panga"). He stabbed and robbed his victims between 1953 and 1959; arrested, he was executed by hanging in 1960.|
|Jimmy Maketta||South Africa||2005||16||16||Pleaded guilty to and convicted of 16 murders and 19 rapes committed over the nine-month period of April to December 2005.|
|Jack Mogale||South Africa||2008 to 2009||16||16||Raped and strangled women in the Donnybrook area. Convicted of 16 murders and 19 rapes, nine kidnappings, robbery and assault.|
|Robert Lee Yates||United States||1975 to 1998||16||16||Killed prostitutes in the "Skid Row" area of E. Sprague Avenue in Spokane, Washington. Sentenced to 408 years in prison and two death sentences.|
|Carroll Cole||United States||1948 to 1980||16||16||Killed 16 people in California, Nevada, Texas. Executed by lethal injection in 1985.|
|Charles Ray Hatcher||United States||1969 to 1982||16||16||A habitual criminal, confessed to the rape and murder of over 20 young and adolescent males. Escaped from prison several times and was declared a "manipulative institutionalized sociopath". Sentenced to life; committed suicide by hanging himself in prison in 1984.|
|Yuri Ivanov||Soviet Union||1974 to 1987||16||16||Known as the "Ust-Kamenogorsk Maniac"; Kazakhstani rapist who killed girls and women who spoke negatively of men; executed 1987.|
|Vladimir Mirgorod||Russia||2003 to 2004||16||16||Known as "The Strangler"; raped and strangle women in Moscow, also killing one of the victims' son; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Lee Choon-jae||South Korea||1986 to 1994||15||Also known as the Hwaseong serial murders. Most of the victims were bound, gagged, and strangled to death with their own clothes. It sparked the largest criminal case in South Korea with two million officers mobilized and over 21,000 suspects investigated. A suspect was identified in 2019, but he could not be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations. He later confessed to killing 15 people, in addition to the murder of his sister-in-law.|
|Dorángel Vargas||Venezuela||1997 to 1999||15||Homeless cannibal known as "The People Eater" (El Comegente) and "The Hannibal Lecter of the Andes". Murdered a homeless man and was institutionalized. After escaping the institution, he went on to kill ten other men and was arrested. In 2016, he and several other inmates killed three others and Vargas fed their remains to them.|
|Ravinder Kumar||India||2008 to 2015||15||30+||Serial rapist who killed children of poor families.|
|Atlanta Ripper||United States||1911||15||21||Unidentified serial killer(s) who killed at least 15 Atlanta women in 1911, possibly as many as 21 in total.|
|Robert Hansen||United States||1980 to 1983||15||21||Prostitutes he kidnapped were released into the Alaskan wilderness for him to hunt down like animals. Based on discovered remains, police suspect him of six murders in addition to the 15 for which he was convicted. Sentenced to 461 years plus life. Died from unspecified health problems in 2014.|
|Ángel Maturino Reséndiz|| United States
|1986 to 1999||15||18||Known as the "Railroad Killer" because his killings were committed near the railroad tracks he used to traverse the country. He was charged with and/or confessed to 15 murders occurring from 1986 to 1999 in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, and Kentucky. He was also suspected in a 1997 California murder case and claimed two additional killings he refused to elaborate on. Executed by lethal injection in 2006.|
|Chester Turner||United States||1987 to 1998||15||15+||Convicted of killing 15 people in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s. Sentenced to death.|
|Elifasi Msomi||South Africa||1950s to 1956||15||15||Killed his victims with an axe or a knife in the 1950s; executed by hanging in 1956.|
|Florencio Fernández||Argentina||1950s||15||15||Stalked his victims, then would beat and bite them while they were asleep. Died from natural causes a few years after his 1960 arrest.|
|Bai Baoshan||China||1983 to 1997||15||15||Robber who killed 15 people while robbing several police stations; executed by gunshot in 1998.|
|Maurizio Minghella||Italy||1978 to 2001||15||15||Killed five prostitutes; imprisoned and released, after which he killed 10 more; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Alexander Labutkin||Soviet Union||1933 to 1935||15||15||Known as the "One-Armed Bandit"; killed people in the forest near the Prigorodny settlement using a revolver; executed 1935.|
Serial killers with 5 to 14 proven victims
This part of the list contains all serial killers with five to fourteen proven victims who acted alone and were neither medical professionals nor contract killers.
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Carl Eugene Watts||United States||1974 to 1982||14||80+||Believed to have killed over 80 women in multiple states, in 1982 Watts accepted a plea bargain in Texas in which he would plead guilty to a lesser charge and be granted immunity from murder charges in exchange for providing information on his victims; as a result he confessed to 12 murders and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on the lesser charge. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in separate trials in Michigan in 2004 and 2007, and died of cancer a week after the 2007 sentence was handed down.|
|Philipp Tyurin||Soviet Union||1945 to 1946||14||29||Known as the "Leningrad Maniac" and the "Hellraiser"; murdered people for monetary reasons at his hut in Leningrad; executed 1947.|
|Zdzisław Marchwicki||Poland||1964 to 1970||14||21+||Also known as Vampire of Zagłębie. Killed 14 women in 1964–1970 in Poland's region of Dąbrowa Basin. Zdzisław Marchwicki was most likely the man responsible for the killings; however, his guilt remains in dispute. Executed in 1977.|
|Monster of Florence||Italy||1968 to 1985||14||16||Unidentified killer who shot couples in lovers lanes and mutilated the women, taking their sexual organs and in the last two cases, also their left breast. 69-year-old farmer Pietro Pacciani was controversially convicted of 14 crimes in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison, but he was released following allegations that the scant evidence had been planted in an attempt to close the case, which was by then the largest and most mediatic in Italy's criminal history. Pacciani was scheduled for retrial in 1998 when he died after taking medication contraindicated to his heart problems. Pacciani's two alleged accomplices, Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti, were sentenced to life and 30 years in prison, respectively. Some believe that none of the accused were guilty, and that Lotti incriminated himself and the other two because he was homeless and wanted to live in prison.|
|Joachim Kroll||West Germany||1955 to 1976||14||Known as the "Ruhr Cannibal" and "The Duisburg Man-Eater"; died from a heart attack in prison in 1991.|
|Arthur Shawcross||United States||1972 to 1989||14||Committed arson and burglary, served two years of a five-year sentence. Within a year of his release, he raped and murdered two children in 1972. Under a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 25 years. Released after serving 141/ years, he began killing again a year later, targeting prostitutes. Known as the "Genesee River Killer", "Genesee River Strangler", "Rochester Strangler", and "Monster of the Rivers", he strangled and battered his victims. Sentenced to life without parole. Died of cardiac arrest in 2008.|
|The Doodler||United States||1974 to 1975||14||Unidentified serial killer who sketched then stabbed to death 14 gay men in San Francisco. Surviving victims did not wish to testify, so the killer was not identified.|
|Marcelo Costa de Andrade||Brazil||1991||14||Known as The Vampire of Niterói. Raped and killed 14 children in Rio de Janeiro and Niterói. Drank the blood of his victims. Found not guilty by reason of insanity.|
|Julio Pérez Silva||Chile||1998 to 2001||14||Known as The Psychopath from Alto Hospicio; killed 14 women. Sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004.|
|Sergey Shipilov||Russia||1995 to 1999||14||Known as the "Velsk Chikatilo"; killed female hitchhikers in the town of Velsk, most of them while out on prison leave; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Abdufatto Zamanov||Russia||2002 to 2004||14||Killed people out of personal hostility; also raped two young girls; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Jeong Nam-gyu||South Korea||2004 to 2006||14||Kidnapped, raped and murdered people; committed suicide.|
|Amir Qayyum||Pakistan||2005||14||Known as "The brick killer". Killed 14 homeless men with rocks or bricks when they were asleep. Sentenced to death in May 2006.|
|Jake Bird||United States||1930s to 1947||13||44||Sentenced to death for the murders of two people; confessed to 44 other murders; 11 were substantiated and he was suspected in the others. Executed by hanging in 1949.|
|Belle Gunness||United States||1900? to 1908?||13||40+||Norwegian-born murder-for-profit killer who murdered her suitors and relatives in Indiana. High possibility of committing over 40 murders. May have faked her own death in the fire that destroyed her home in 1908; her children had died of strychnine poisoning before the fire, and the woman's body found next to them was decapitated and, reportedly, smaller than Gunness' own. Ultimate fate unknown.|
|Cleveland Torso Murderer||United States||1934 to 1938||13||40+||Unidentified serial killer, also known as "The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run", who targeted drifters and derelicts, of whom only two were identified, between 1934 and 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio.|
|Kaspars Petrovs||Latvia||2003||13||38+||Confessed to strangling 38 elderly residents of Riga, Latvia, in 2003. Convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the robbery and murder of 13.|
|Richard Ramirez||United States||1984 to 1985||13||20||Killed 13 people between 28 June 1984, and 24 August 1985, in Los Angeles. Known as the "Night Stalker". Ramirez was sentenced to death in 1989, and died of B-cell lymphoma in 2013 while still on death row.|
|Sleepy Hollow Killer|| South Africa
|1990s to 2007||13||16+||Raped and murdered women, mostly sex workers, around Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.|
|Peter Sutcliffe||United Kingdom||1975 to 1980||13||15||Killed 13 women between 30 October 1975, and 17 November 1980. Most victims were killed by a combination of bludgeoning and stabbing, and all but two were killed in the county of Yorkshire. Owing to the modus operandi and location of the murders, Sutcliffe became known as the "Yorkshire Ripper." Sentenced to 20 concurrent life sentences. After three years he was sent to a secure psychiatric facility, where he served 25 years before being found "fit to leave" in 2009. Government officials and courts ruled in 2010 that he will never be released. In 2015, he was declared "no longer mentally ill", and transferred to a maximum security prison.|
|Francisco Antonio Laureana||Argentina||1974 to 1975||13||13+||Raped 15 women in San Isidro, killing 13 of them. Shot and killed during a firefight with police.|
|Tamara Samsonova||Russia||1995 to 2015||13||13+||Known as the "Granny Ripper"; killed and allegedly cannibalized people in her apartment; committed to a psychiatric clinic.|
|Herbert Mullin||United States||1972 to 1973||13||Despite detailed confessions, prosecutors decided not to try him for the first three crimes, instead focusing on crimes that conflicted with his insanity plea. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Boston Strangler||United States||1962 to 1964||13||Although Albert DeSalvo was widely thought to be the Boston Strangler, police and others analysing the case have long doubted the truth of his confession. Sentenced to life for a series of rapes, he was murdered in prison. DeSalvo's body was exhumed for DNA testing, and compared to a substance found on the exhumed body of the Boston Strangler's last victim. In 2001, it was declared not to match, but in 2013 officials announced that improvements in DNA extraction technology produced viable samples from the degraded evidence. DeSalvo's body was reexhumed and found to match.|
|Lorenzo Gilyard||United States||1977 to 1993||13||Known as "The Kansas City Strangler". Killed up to 13 prostitutes in the Kansas City area from 1977 to 1993. Sentenced to life in 2007.|
|Vladimir Storozhenko||Soviet Union||1978 to 1981||13||Known as the "Smolensky Strangler"; tortured and murdered women for sexual pleasure; four other innocent men were initially convicted for his crimes; executed 1984.|
|Vasiliy Kulik||Soviet Union||1984 to 1986||13||Known as the Irkutsk Monster; killed at least 13 victims from 1984–1986. Executed by firing squad in 1989.|
|Nikolai Dudin|| Soviet Union
|1987 to 2002||13||Known as the "Grim Maniac"; killed his father in 1987, and after release, killed 12 more people while intoxicated; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Denis Pischikov||Russia||2002 to 2003||13||Known at the "Shivering Creature"; robbed and killed elderly people around the Moscow Oblast and Vladimir Oblast; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Nikolay Shubin||Russia||2004 to 2006||13||Paranoid schizophrenic who killed people who beat him in chess games; sentenced to compulsory treatment.|
|Johannes Mashiane||South Africa||1982 to 1989||13||Known as "The Beast of Atteridgeville", he was found guilty of 13 counts of murder and 12 counts of sodomy from 1982–1989. Committed suicide by throwing himself under a bus while being pursued by police in 1989.|
|Mukosi Freddy Mulaudzi|| South Africa
|1990 to 2006||13||Known as "The Limpopo Serial Killer"; escaped convict, originally responsible for two murders, who murdered 11 more after his prison escape; given 11 life sentences.|
|Thozamile Taki||South Africa||2007||13||Known as the "Sugar cane serial killer", he murdered 13 women. Convicted in 2010.|
|Rainbow Maniac||Brazil||2007 to 2008||13||Unidentified serial killer who shot gay men in the head (except one, who was bludgeoned) in the Paturis Park of Carapicuiba.|
|Naceur Damergi||Tunisia||1980s to 1988||13||Raped and killed minors in the Nabeul region; executed by hanging in 1990.|
|Adolf Seefeldt|| German Empire
|1908 to 1935||12||100||Known as the "Sandman"; sexually abused young boys in their sleep, then poisoned them; suspected of 100 murders in total. Executed by guillotine in 1936.|
|Donald Henry Gaskins||United States||1953 to 1982||12||31–80+||Known as "The Meanest Man in America", Gaskins was convicted of nine murders committed in South Carolina between 1973 and 1975. He was suspected of 31 murders. Two victims had been murdered while Gaskins had been incarcerated—one while Gaskins had been on death row. Later claimed on death row that he had murdered between 80 and 110 victims. Executed by electric chair in 1991.[self-published source]|
|William Suff||United States||1986 to 1992||12||22||Previously served 10 years of a 70-year sentence for beating his baby daughter to death. Beginning two years after his release, this county store clerk raped, stabbed, strangled, and sometimes mutilated 12 or more prostitutes in Riverside County, California. Known as the "Riverside Prostitute Killer" and the "Lake Elsinore Killer." Sentenced to death.|
|Vladimir Romanov|| Soviet Union
|1991 to 2005||12||20||Known as the "Kaliningrad Maniac"; pedophile who raped and murdered girls and young women in the Kaliningrad Oblast; committed suicide while imprisoned.|
|Maury Travis||United States||2000 to 2002||12||17||Killed prostitutes in the St. Louis area from 2000 to 2002. Caught when he mailed an Expedia.com map showing where to find a body to a St. Louis newspaper. Committed suicide by hanging in prison.|
|Dennis Nilsen||United Kingdom||1978 to 1983||12||15–16||Picked up young men in London between 1978 and 1983 and dismembered them, keeping various body parts around his home. Died from surgical complications in 2018.|
|Kenneth Bianchi||United States||1977 to 1978||12||15||Convicted of strangling 12 female victims aged 12 to 28 and suspected in another three cases. One of the "Hillside Stranglers". Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Charles Sobhraj|| Thailand
|1975 to 1976||12||13||French con man known as "The Bikini Killer" or "The Serpent" that targeted Western tourists in vacation spots of South-east Asia, often with the help of female accomplices. Imprisoned in India from 1976 to 1997, and from 2004 serving a life sentence in Nepal.|
|Juhani Aataminpoika||Finland||1849||12||Killed 12 people in southern Finland between October and November in 1849, and he was also known by nickname "Kerpeikkari", which means 'executioner'. He was initially sentenced to death, but the sentence was changed by order of the Emperor to 40 lashes and life imprisonment in Suomenlinna. He has been characterized as the first serial killer in Finland.|
|Abdallah al-Hubal||Yemen||1990 to 1998||12||Killed seven people after a Yemeni reunion; fled prison, then proceeded to kill a young couple and three more people; killed during a shootout with police.|
|Nikolai Shestakov||Soviet Union||1975||12||Known as the "Luberetsky Maniac"; truck driver who raped and killed girls and young women; supposedly executed in 1977.|
|Anatoly Sedykh||Russia||1998 to 2003||12||Raped and killed women around Lipetsk, then robbed their corpses; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Joseph Christopher||United States||1980 to 1981||12||Known as "The Midtown Slasher"; racist who killed 12 people, all but one of them African Americans, in 1980 and 1981, between upstate New York and Georgia, mutilating two of them. Sentenced to life imprisonment, died in prison age 33 of breast cancer.|
|"Paraquat murders" killer||Japan||1985||12||Unidentified serial killer who carried out a series of indiscriminate poisonings in Japan in 1985 that killed 12.|
|Enriqueta Martí||Spain||c.1900 to 1912||12||Unknown||Self-proclaimed witch that abducted, prostituted, murdered and made potions with the bodies of small children that she sold in Barcelona. Remains of 12 different children were identified in her home, but she is believed to have murdered more. Murdered in prison by fellow immates while awaiting trial in 1913.|
|Herb Baumeister||United States||1990 to 1996||11–16||25+||Strangled gay men and buried their bodies in his backyard in Indiana and Ohio; 11 men were found in the yard but only five were identified. Committed suicide by shooting himself when faced with arrest.|
|John Bunting||Australia||1992 to 1999||11||Ringleader in the Snowtown murders (aka Bodies in the Barrels Murders); sentenced to 11 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.|
|Sergey Golovkin|| Soviet Union
|1986 to 1992||11||40+||Killed at least 11 boys in the Moscow area between 1986 and 1992. Executed by gunshot in 1996; last person executed in Russia before the death penalty was abolished.|
|Juana Barraza||Mexico||late 1990s to 2006||11||29–49||Female wrestler who bludgeoned or strangled elderly women to rob them. Sentenced to 759 years.|
|Zhang Yongming||China||2008 to 2012||11||17–20||Sold flesh of his victims as 'ostrich meat' and kept eyeballs in wine. Executed.|
|Jack Unterweger|| Austria
|1974 to 1992||11||15||Served 14 years in Austrian prison because of a murder in 1974; killed at least nine prostitutes after his release. Was a small media star in Austrian media in the early 1990s and, on behalf of Austrian police, was arrested in the US, where he may have killed another three prostitutes. Hanged himself in 1994 after being sentenced to life in prison.|
|Vaughn Greenwood||United States||1964 to 1975||11||13||Known as the "Skid Row Slasher". Killed 11 people, suspected of two more. Cut victims' throats from ear to ear and may have drank their blood. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Benjamin Atkins||United States||1991 to 1992||11||Known as "The Woodward Corridor Killer". Raped and strangled his victims before abandoning their bodies in vacant buildings. Died in prison in 1997, age 29, from AIDS.|
|Nannie Doss||United States||1927 to 1954||11||Responsible for 11 deaths between 1927 and 1954. Known as the "Giggling Nanny", the "Giggling Granny", and the "Jolly Black Widow". Sentenced to imprisonment for life. Died of leukemia in 1965, age 59.|
|Clifford Olson||Canada||1980 to 1981||11||Considered a dangerous offender, meaning that Olson could never have been released from prison. He had three parole applications rejected. Died from cancer in 2011.|
|Henri Désiré Landru||France||1915 to 1919||11||Unknown||Nicknamed "Bluebeard", he put notes in the lonely hearts section of newspapers under different aliases, presenting himself as a widower that wanted to marry a war widow. He killed at least 10 women and the teenage son of one of them, and burned their bodies after he had gained access to their assets. Executed by guillotine in 1922.|
|West Mesa Killer||United States||2003 to 2005||11||Remains of 11 women, who disappeared between 2003 and 2005, were found buried in the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2009 and attributed to a bone collector.|
|Anthony Sowell||United States||2007 to 2009||11||Unknown||Known as The Cleveland Strangler, he was convicted of killing 11 women between 2007 and 2009, and is suspected in another series of murders in the 1980s, with the two sets of killings separated by a 15-year stint in prison. Sentenced to death.|
|Andre Crawford||United States||1993 to 1999||11||Murdered 11 women between 1993 and 1999. Sentenced to life in prison.|
|Francisco García Escalero||Spain||1987 to 1994||11||Known as "The Killer Beggar". A necrophilic, schizophrenic homeless man found insane and confined to a psychiatric hospital after killing 11 prostitutes and other homeless people between 1987 and 1994. Died in 2014.|
|Robledo Puch||Argentina||1971||11||Convicted of 11 murders and multiple other crimes including attempted murder and sexual assault. Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1980.|
|Adnan Çolak||Turkey||1992 to 1995||11||Killed 11 elderly women aged 68 to 95 and raped six others. Sentenced to death but commuted to life in prison after Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004.|
|Seisaku Nakamura||Japan||1938 to 1942||11||Teenage serial killer known as the "Hamamatsu Deaf Killer" for having being born deaf. Murdered 11 people (including his brother) and attacked many others, among them his father, sister, brother-in-law and nephew. Tried as an adult and executed by hanging.|
|Very Idham Henyansyah||Indonesia||2008 and earlier||11||Known as the "singing serial killer" and "Ryan", the artistic name he adopted while awaiting his execution in prison, where he recorded an album and wrote his autobiography. "Ryan" confessed to murdering 11 people including a toddler; 10 of his victims were buried in his parents' home backyard while the last one was butchered and hidden in a suitcase. Sentenced to death.|
|Francisco de Assis Pereira||Brazil||1997 to 1998||11||Rapist and serial killer, known as "O Maníaco do Parque" (The Park Maniac). He was arrested for the torture, rape and death of 11 women and for assaulting nine in a park in São Paulo, Brazil during the 1990s. Pereira found his victims by posing as a talent scout for a modeling agency. Sentenced to 268 years.|
|Roshu Kha||Bangladesh||2008||11||Raped and murdered garment workers after being rejected by his lover. Sentenced to death.|
|Gao Chengyong||China||1998 to 2002||11||Known as "Chinese Jack the Ripper"; killed women and then mutilated their corpses. Executed in 2019.|
|Marie Alexandrine Becker||Belgium||1933 to 1936||11||Poisoned wealthy clients while working as a seamstress. Died in prison in 1942.|
|Ruslan Khamarov||Ukraine||2000 to 2003||11||Seduced, raped and then killed women in his home; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Yevgeny Petrov||Russia||1998 to 2003||11||Known as the "Novouralsk Ripper"; pedophile who kidnapped, raped and killed young girls around Novouralsk, mutilating and burning their corpses afterwards; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Rudolf Pleil||West Germany||1946 to 1947||10||25||Known as Der Totmacher ("The Deadmaker"). Convicted of killing a salesman and nine women. Claimed to have killed 25. Committed suicide by hanging in 1958.|
|Milton Johnson||United States||1983||10||17||Known as "The Weekend Murderer" killed up to 17 people. Sentenced to life without parole.|
|Long Island serial killer||United States||1996 to 2011||10||14||Unidentified serial killer also known as "The Gilgo Beach Killer". Believed to have murdered 10 to 14 people associated with the sex trade over a period of 15 years.|
|Daniel Lee Siebert||United States||1979 to 1986||10||13||Convicted of a 1979 manslaughter; killed 10 people across America in three months in mid-1980s including two children and a Southside Slayer victim. Sentenced to death; died from cancer in prison in 2008.|
|Joseph James DeAngelo||United States||1979 to 1986||12||Top suspect in the murders committed by "Golden State Killer", "Original Night Stalker", and "East Area Rapist". Committed at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California in the 1970s and 1980s. He was identified and arrested in 2018 after DNA evidence confirmed it was him.|
|Lonnie David Franklin Jr.||United States||1985 to 2007||10||25||Known as the "Grim Sleeper" for the alleged 14-year hiatus he took from murdering between 1988 and 2002. Shot and strangled his victims, mostly women, around South Los Angeles. Sentenced to death.|
|Sergey Cherny||Russia||1999||10||11||Strangled women around Smolensk; suspected of the drowning death of another woman; died in 2001 from pneumonia while in a special psychiatric hospital.|
|Bobby Joe Long||United States||1984||10||10+||Known as "The Classified Ad Rapist"; killed 10 women in Tampa Bay, Florida in 1984. Sentenced to death. Executed by lethal injection on 23 May 2019.|
|Stewart Wilken||South Africa||1990 to 1997||10||10+||Known as "Boetie Boer"; raped, sodomised and murdered 10 victims from 1990–1997. Sentenced to seven life terms.|
|David Randitsheni||South Africa||2004 to 2008||10||10+||Kidnapped 19 people, raped 17, and murdered 10. Sentenced to 16 consecutive life sentences plus 220 years in prison; hanged himself three weeks after conviction.|
|Edmund Kemper||United States||1964 to 1973||10||Called "The Co-ed Butcher." At age 15, he confessed to murdering his grandparents and served six years as a criminally insane juvenile. He was released in 1969. In 1972 and 1973, he murdered and dismembered six young women, then killed his mother and her friend. He was sentenced to eight counts of seven years to life.|
|Dennis Rader||United States||1974 to 2004||10||Known as the BTK Killer. Murdered 10 people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita), Kansas, between 1974 and 1991. Sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole for 175 years.|
|Ali Kaya||Turkey||1997 to present||10||Known as "the baby faced killer"; responsible for 10 murders. Escaped from prison and later recaptured.|
|Robert Wagner||Australia||1992 to 1999||10||Secondary ringleader in the Snowtown murders and best friend of John Justin Bunting; sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.|
|Jeanne Weber||France||1905 to 1908||10||Transient baby-sitter who strangled children in her care. Declared insane. Hanged herself in prison in 1918.|
|Henry Louis Wallace||United States||1990 to 1994||10||Confessed to 10 murders in Charlotte, North Carolina. The victims were all women that he knew. Sentenced to death.|
|Angelo Buono Jr.||United States||1977 to 1979||10||Convicted of strangling 10 women. One of the "Hillside Stranglers". Died in prison from a heart attack in 2002.|
|Satish||India||1995 to 1998||10||Killed 10 girls who were between the ages of five and nine. He was arrested from Bahadurgargh, Haryana after a long chase by Haryana police.|
|Zhou Kehua||China||2004 to 2012||10||A former soldier who targeted ATM users. He killed 10 people and evaded the law for eight years, before being shot in a shootout with police after a year-long manhunt.|
|Kang Ho-sun||South Korea||2006 to 2008||10||Sentenced to death in 2010 for killing 10 women, including his wife and mother-in-law.|
|Eduard Shemyakov||Russia||1996 to 1998||10||Known as the "Resort Maniac"; Ukrainian who raped, killed and dismembered women in St. Petersburg, supposedly cannibalizing one of the victims; sentenced to compulsory treatment.|
|Oleg Kuznetsov|| Soviet Union
|1991 to 1992||10||Robbed, raped and killed people around Russia and Ukraine; sentenced to death but commuted to life imprisonment.|
|Stanislav Rogolev||Soviet Union||1980 to 1982||10||Known as "Agent 000"; killed and raped women, managing to avoid capture through suspected knowledge of the investigation against him; executed by firing squad in 1984.|
|Volker Eckert|| West Germany
Czech Republic (suspected)
|1974 to 2006||9–13||19+||German trucker who confessed to having abducted, tortured and killed five prostitutes through his route in Western Europe, plus strangling a 14-year-old girl in his native West Germany in 1974, when he was 15. Police considered him perpetrator of nine murders (with four more being possible); he hanged himself in prison before being convicted.|
|Louis van Schoor||South Africa||1986 to 1989||9||100||Former security guard who was convicted of seven murders and two assassinations, but confessed to a reporter that he murdered 100 people; sentenced to 20 years in prison and released on parole in 2004.|
|Peter Kürten|| German Empire
|1913 to 1930||9||79||Charged with nine murders and seven attempted murders. Dubbed "The Vampire of Düsseldorf" by the contemporary media. Executed by guillotine in 1931.|
|Roger Dale Stafford||United States||1974 to 1978||9||34||Killed nine people in two states, including a family of three; his wife implicated him in 34 total murders in different states; executed by lethal injection in 1995.|
|Norman Afzal Simons||South Africa||1986 to 1994||9||22||Known as the "Station Strangler", convicted of only one of 22 cases of murder and sodomy of young children near Cape Town. Sentenced to imprisonment for life.|
|Francis Heaulme||France||1984 to 1992||9||20||Convicted of killing nine people, but suspected in the murder of dozens. He is known as the "Criminal Backpacker" due to his travels throughout France. He left a trail of bodies wherever he went.|
|Joel Rifkin||United States||1989 to 1993||9||17||Known as "The Drifter", killed prostitutes in New York City, most of them drug addicts. Convicted of nine murders but believed to have committed 17; also suspected of being the unidentified Long Island serial killer. Sentenced to 203 years to imprisonment for life.|
|Dagmar Overbye||Denmark||1913 to 1920||9||15||Murdered between nine and 25 children—of which one was her own—during a seven-year period. In 1921, she was sentenced to death in one of the most talked about trials in Danish history, that changed legislation on childcare. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Overbye was working as a professional child minder, caring for babies born outside of marriage, murdering her charges. She strangled them, drowned them or burned them to death in her masonry heater. The corpses were either cremated, buried or hidden in the loft. Died in prison in 1929.|
|Kenneth McDuff||United States||1966 to 1992||9||14+||Known as "The Broomstick Killer"; death sentence for 1966 triple-murder was commuted. Killed again three days after 1989 parole and 10 further times in Waco, Texas until 1992. Executed by lethal injection in 1998.|
|Robert Joseph Silveria Jr.||United States||1981 to 1996||9||14+||Known as "The Boxcar Killer"; freight train rider convicted of beating to death fellow transients and confessed to dozens more.|
|Richard Biegenwald||United States||1958 to 1983||9||11+||Known as "The Thrill Killer". Killed at least nine people in Monmouth County, New Jersey and is suspected in at least two other murders. Died of respiratory and kidney failure in 2008.|
|Alexander Bychkov||Russia||2009 to 2012||9||11||Described in his personal diary how he killed 11 men who were alcoholics and tramps. Confessed to eating body parts of his victims. Found guilty of nine murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|New Bedford Highway Killer||United States||1988 to 1989||9||11||Unidentified serial killer who killed nine women and disappearance of two others between 1988 and 1989.|
|Maryvale serial shooter||United States||2015 to 2016||9||11||Motorist who shot 12 people in separate events in Phoenix, Arizona, killing nine. Aaron Saucedo was charged with the shootings and two additional murders in 2017.|
|Viktor Fokin||Russia||1996 to 2000||9||10+||Known as the "Grandfather Ripper"; pensioner who lured, killed and then dismembered prostitutes and alcohol abusers in his home, disposing of the remains in garbage containers after; died while imprisoned at a corrective labor colony.|
|Edgecombe County Serial Killer||United States||2000s||9||10||Unidentified serial killer who killed nine women and possibly another who disappeared since 2005 around Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Antwan Pittman was convicted in one case.|
|Joseph Paul Franklin||United States||1977 to 1980||8–15||20||White supremacist shooter who confessed to 20 murders and several attempted murders. Executed by lethal injection in 2013.|
|Yoshio Kodaira|| China
|1928? to 1946||8–11+||Unknown||A serial rapist, Kodaira killed his father-in-law in 1932 and eight to 10 women in Japan between 1945 and 1946, engaging in necrophilia after the fifth murder. Previously (1920s) he had been deployed to Northern China as a sailor in the Imperial Japanese Navy, where he was free to target the locals. Hanged in 1949.|
|Keith Hunter Jesperson||United States||1990 to 1995||8||160||Dubbed the "Happy Face Killer", Jesperson was convicted of killing eight women by strangulation.|
|Rodney Alcala||United States||1971 to 1979||8||130+||Known as the "Dating Game Killer" for appearing on the game show The Dating Game in the middle of his killing years. Was convicted of at least five murders, though his actual total is estimated to be much higher.|
|Kiyotaka Katsuta||Japan||1982 to 1983||8||22||Strangled or shot people to rob them, using a gun he had stolen from a policeman after running him over with his car. Hanged in 2000.|
|Pierre Chanal||France||1980 to 1988||8||17||Military instructor suspected of killing boys and men in Marne; committed suicide before trial.|
|Christopher Wilder||United States||1984||8||13+||Killed eight women during a spree before accidentally shooting himself; suspected in the disappearance and murder of more than five more.|
|Axeman of New Orleans||United States||1918 to 1919||8||12+||Unidentified serial killer of at least eight people in the New Orleans area from May 1918 to October 1919.|
|Vladimir Retunsky||Russia||1990 to 1996||8||12||Known as the "Povorinsky Maniac"; kidnapped, raped and killed hitchhikers in his hometown of Povorino, possibly abusing their corpses; initially sentenced to death, but later reduced to 15 years imprisonment and released in 2015.|
|Gilbert Paul Jordan||Canada||1965 to 1987||8||10||Known as the "Boozing Barber", he would typically find alcoholic women in bars in Vancouver's destitute Downtown Eastside, buy them drinks or pay them for sex and encourage them to drink with him. When they passed out, he would pour more liquor down their throats. The resulting deaths were reported as alcohol poisoning and generally ignored by police as the intentional murders blended in with the common occurrence in that neighbourhood. Died in 2006.|
|Nikolai Dzhumagaliev||Soviet Union||1980 and earlier||7||50–100||Lured women in a park at night and hacked them with an axe as part of a plan to rid the world of prostitution. Also cooked parts of his victims and ate them himself or served them to other people as part of ethnic dishes. Found innocent by reason of insanity and interned in a mental institution.|
|Manuel Delgado Villegas|| Spain
|1964 to 1971||7||48||Wandering criminal known as El Arropiero ("The Arrope Trader") and El Estrangulador del Puerto ("The Strangler of Puerto"). Confessed to the impulsive murders of 48 people of different sex, age, wealth and sexual orientation in three countries (including his girlfriend, whom he strangled during sex), but police only investigated him for 22 murders in Spain and was considered proven author of seven. Some of his victims were killed with hand to hand combat techniques that he had learned in the Spanish Foreign Legion. Diagnosed with XYY syndrome and interned in a mental institution until his death in 1998.|
|Ershad Sikder||Bangladesh||1991 to 1999||7||43+||Career criminal and corrupt politician responsible for numerous torture murders in the 1990s; convincted on seven counts and executed 2004.|
|Ivan Milat||Australia||1990s||7||23–37||Convicted of the Backpacker murders; sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences plus 18 years without the possibility of parole. May have had accomplices.|
|Michael Wayne McGray|| Canada
|1980s to 2010s||7||18||Convicted of the murder of six people in the late 1990s, including a woman and her 11-year-old daughter. Claims to have killed 11 others, including murders committed while on parole and while on a three-day pass from prison. Finally imprisoned for life, killed a cellmate in 2010.|
|Kenneth Erskine||United Kingdom||1986||7||11||Known as "The Stockwell Strangler", he was a burglar who raped and strangled at least seven elderly women after breaking into their homes.|
|David Carpenter||United States||1979 to 1981||7||11||Known as "The Trailside Killer"; murdered women on San Francisco-area hiking trails between 1979 and 1981. Sentenced to death.|
|Vladimir Kuzmin||Russia||1997||7||11||Raped, murdered and robbed mostly young boys and men in Moscow; assisted in his first two murders by Denis Kalistratov; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Bruce McArthur||Canada||2008 to 2017||7||10–100||Gay serial murderer and rapist who would target homosexual men, and hide their bodies in garden planters.|
|Tommy Recco||France||1960 to 1980||7||10||Murdered his godfather in 1960; after release, killed six cashiers in two separate store raids; also suspected of murdering a trio of German tourists.|
|Ohio Prostitute Killer||United States||1981 to 2004||7||10||Supposedly murdered prostitutes and exotic dancers; his first victim was Marcia King, who was identified in 2018.|
|Derrick Todd Lee||United States||2002||7||10||Known as the "Baton Rouge or South Louisiana Serial Killer" convicted of three murders. Believed to have murdered several other women in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Sentenced to death, died in 2016.|
|Tomás Maldonado Cera||Colombia||2002 to 2018||7||10||Known as "The Satanist"; killed people in Barranquila for the purpose of satanic rituals.|
|David Berkowitz||United States||1976 to 1977||6||Known as "Son of Sam", he went after young women and couples killing 6 people and wounding 7 others with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. He was caught when an eyewitness to his last murder saw he had a parking ticket on his car. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole in 1978.|
|Tommy Lynn Sells||United States||1980 to 1999||6||70?||Drifter active throughout the United States who specialized in killing children and multiple victims after breaking into their homes. Caught when a 10-year-old girl survived his attack and provided a description of him. Executed in 2014.|
|Władysław Mazurkiewicz||Poland||1950s||6||30||Known as "The Gentleman Killer". Indicted of, and confessed to having committed 30 murders; convicted of six and hanged in 1957.|
|Gong Runbo||China||2005 to 2006||6||20+||Found guilty of the murders of six children and teenagers aged between nine and 16 from 2005 to 2006; executed in 2007.|
|Cristopher Chávez Cuellar||Colombia||1990s to 2015||6||15+||Known as "The Soulless"; killed between 6 and at least 15 people starting from the 1990s, including 4 underage brothers; sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.|
|András Pándy||Belgium||1986 to 1990||6||14+||Former clergyman nicknamed "Father Bluebeard", killed his two wives and four of his children with the help of a fifth he was having an incestuous affair with, and whom denounced him to the authorities seven years later. Sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002.|
|John Wayne Glover||Australia||1989 to 1990||6||13||British ex-pat living in Australia. Known by the media as "The Granny Killer" as he targeted elderly women; committed suicide while in prison in 2005.|
|Alexander Sergeychik||Belarus||2000 to 2006||6||12||Killed between six and 12 people under the influence of alcohol. Executed in 2007.|
|Adrián Arroyo Gutiérrez||Costa Rica||2014 to 2015||6||11||Known as "The Southern Psychopath"; raped and strangled drug-addicted prostitutes in San José; sentenced to 110 years imprisonment.|
|Joseph Naso||United States||1977 to 1994||6||10||A freelance photographers who raped and strangled to death women in California. Arrested in 2011 and sentenced to death two years later. Known as "The Double Initial Killer" since first four victims to be identified bore double initials.|
|Terry Peder Rasmussen||United States||1978 to 2002||6||6+||Known as the "Chameleon Killer"; main suspect in the Bear Brook murders, as well as other murders.|
|Richard Cottingham||United States||1977 to 1980||5||85–100||Killer operating in New York and New Jersey who often targeted prostitutes and utilized mutilation as well as dismemberment in his killings. Known as the "Torso Killer", convicted of five murders. He made claims of victim count as up to a hundred, however, there was no evidence to support this and is considered unsubstantiated.|
|Zodiac Killer||United States||1962 to 1977||5||37||Targeted young couples. Remains unsolved but open in the California jurisdictions where the five certain Zodiac murders occurred. Potentially 37 total victims claimed but unverified.|
|John Floyd Thomas Jr.||United States||1957 to 2009||5||17–25||Serial murderer and rapist with one of the longest criminal careers in the US.|
|Carl Panzram|| United States
|1915 to 1929||5||22||From 1920 to 1928, he claimed in a posthumous autobiography to have committed over 22 killings, and sodomy of more than 1000 young men. Executed in 1930 by hanging.|
|Steve Wright||United Kingdom||2006||5||5–22||Referred to as "Suffolk murders", "Ipswich murders", "Ipswich Ripper", "Suffolk Ripper", "Suffolk Strangler", "East Anglia Ripper", "Red Light Ripper" and "the Suffolkator". Murdered five prostitutes, all of whom worked in Ipswich in 2006. There are possible links to previous Suffolk prostitute killings.|
|Michel Peiry|| Switzerland
|1981 to 1987||5||11||Known as the "Sadist of Romont"; Swiss soldier who sexually abused and murdered at least 5 hitchhikers in several countries; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Hubert Pilčík||Czechoslovakia||1948 to 1951||5||10+||Made money smuggling people across the Czechoslovakia-Germany border, but killed most of his customers. Total number of his victims is unknown.|
|Thomas Dillon||United States||1989 to 1992||5||Killed outdoorsmen in rural Ohio by sniping them from afar with a hunting rifle.|
|Joe Metheny||United States||1976 to 1996||5||10||Butchered his victims, then served them at BBQs at his roadside stand; died in prison.|
Serial killers with fewer than five proven victims
This part of the list contains all serial killers with fewer than five proven victims who acted alone and were neither medical professionals nor contract killers.
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Charlie Brandt||United States||1971 to 2004||4||29||Committed suicide by hanging after murdering his wife and niece. The latter was also decapitated and eviscerated in a manner strongly similar to 26 unsolved murders of women in Florida, starting in 1973, the year Brandt moved to the state. Brandt was later considered the culprit in one of these murders, due to his strong resemblance to a suspect who was filmed by a traffic camera near the place where one body was found. He could not be officially tied to the other crimes due to lack of evidence. Previously, when he was 13 years old in 1971, he attempted to murder his whole family with a gun, for no apparent reason. His mother (who was pregnant) died in this attack, but his father survived, and his sister escaped.|
|Robert Black|| United Kingdom
|1981 to 1986||4||18+||Convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering four girls aged between five and 11. Suspect in other earlier child murders in the UK and other European countries. Died weeks before he was to be charged with a fifth child murder.|
|Max Gufler||Austria||1946 to 1958||4||18||Poisoned and drowned four women, but suspected of killing 18 in total.|
|Ernesto Picchioni|| Kingdom of Italy
|1949 and earlier||4||16||Murdered people who approached his home; died of cardiac arrest in 1967.|
|Baekuni||Indonesia||1993 to 2010||4||14||Pedophile who raped and killed young boys; initially sentenced to life imprisonment, but changed to the death sentence.|
|Igor Chernat||Soviet Union||1985 to 1986||4||13||Known as the "Evil Spirit of Kaukjarvi"; Ukrainian soldier who raped and killed women in Kamenka, selling their stolen items afterwards; executed 1987.|
|Ricky Lee Green||United States||1985 to 1986||4||12||Bisexual drifter who killed people he met in bars; his wife assisted in two of the murders; executed in 1997.|
|Robert Hicks Murray||United Kingdom||1912 and earlier||4||11+||Bigamist who murdered his wife and three children in a murder-suicide; posthumously revealed to have killed previous wives as well.|
|Dallen Bounds||United States||1999||4||4+||Murdered a Radio Shack manager, and a florist at their respective places of business. Then murdered two acquaintances before taking two others hostage and committing suicide. Suspected of additional murders in the Pacific Northwest.|
|Stephen Port||United Kingdom||2014 to 2015||4||4+||Nicknamed "The Grindr Killer", Port met his victims via online gay social networks. He used gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a date rape drug, adding it to drinks given to his victims, raped them, and murdered four of them in his flat in Barking, east London.|
|Robert Maudsley||United Kingdom||1974 to 1978||4||4||Sentenced to life without parole in 1974 for murdering a man who had shown him pictures of young boys he had sexually abused. Subsequently, killed another child sex offender in Broadmoor high-security hospital and two more, including a child sex offender, in prison. Has been held in solitary confinement since 1983.|
|Ted Kaczynski||United States||1978 to 1996||3||3||Domestic terrorist and serial bomber known as the ‘Unabomber’, Kaczynski was responsible for more than two dozen bombings of universities and one airline bombing from 1978 to 1996, justified by Kaczynski by his philosophy that technological advancements would destroy humanity. Arrested in 1996 due to his brother David recognizing the then unidentified Unabomber's manifesto titled: Industrial Society and Its Future, as the work of Kaczynski. Currently imprisoned at ADX Florence.|
|Richard Kuklinski||United States||1948 to 1986||3||100–250||Hitman for hire known as "the Iceman", believed to have killed not only as a hitman but also on his own initiative.|
|Robert Ben Rhoades||United States||1989 to 1990||3||50+||Convicted of murdering three women in Texas and Illinois between 1989 and 1990. Sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Peter Tobin||United Kingdom||1991 to 2006||3||48||Scottish rapist and serial killer known to have killed at least three young women. Also a suspect in the Bible John murders, committed in Glasgow during the late 1960s.|
|Pedro Padilla Flores||Mexico||1986||3||30||Killed three women in 1986; fled to the US but recaptured and deported back to Mexico; main suspect in the Ciudad Juárez Murders.|
|Billy Glaze||United States||1986 to 1987||3||20+||Known as "Butcher Knife Billy". Killer convicted of raping and murdering three Native American prostitutes in Minneapolis in 1986 and 1987.|
|Bertha Gifford||United States||1909 to 1928||3||17||Found not guilty by reason of insanity of three arsenic poisonings and suspected of 14 other killings, mostly children, in Missouri.|
|Bernhard Prigan|| Allied-occupied Germany
|1947 to 1952||3||16||Killed women near highways; confessed to a total of 16 murders.|
|Stephen Griffiths||United Kingdom||2009 to 2010||3||14||Known to have killed three prostitutes, but claims to have killed 14 to beat "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe. Dubbed himself the "Crossbow Cannibal" as he killed his victims with a hammer and crossbow and then later ate parts of them.|
|Koos Hertogs||Netherlands||1979 to 1980||3||12||Dutch serial killer convicted of abducting, torturing, raping and killing three girls. Suspected of killing a further three to nine girls and young women in the 1970s.|
|Chisako Kakehi||Japan||2007 to 2013||3||10||Poisoned her husband and two other men to death, but suspected in another seven deaths; sentenced to death.|
|Dorothea Puente||United States||1982 to 1988||3||9–25||Ran a boarding house in Sacramento where she poisoned tenants and buried them in the yard in order to steal their social security checks.|
|Patrick Mackay||United Kingdom||1973 to 1975||3||12||Burglar suspect of 12 violent murders during robberies, charged with five and convicted of three. Bragged that he had killed 11 people. In prison for life.|
|Leonarda Cianciulli||Kingdom of Italy||1939 to 1940||3||-||Murdered three women in the town of Correggio, Reggio Emilia, and turned their bodies into soap and cakes.|
|Albert Fish||United States||1924 to 1932||3||9-100+||American serial killer and child rapist who confessed to three murders for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.|
Medical professionals and pseudo-medical professionals
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Harold Shipman||United Kingdom||1975 to 1998||218||250||Convicted of 15 murders and responsible for the deaths of 218 patients identified by inquiry but is believed to have killed up to 250 people. He injected diamorphine into his patients and then falsified the medical records, reporting that his patient had been in poor health. Hanged himself in prison.|
|Miyuki Ishikawa||Japan||1940s||103+||169||Killed more than 103 newborn children. As a maternity nurse she killed infants born to parents unwilling to care for them during the prohibition of abortion in Japan. Arrested in 1948 and sentenced to four years in prison.|
|Niels Högel||Germany||1999 to 2005||85+||300||Nurse who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of more than 85 people. In November 2017, German prosecutors said that the number of victims was at least 106, with Högel admitting, in October 2018, to murdering 100 patients. By May 2019, he was believed to be the most prolific serial killer in peacetime Germany with up to 300 victims over fifteen years.|
|Louay Omar Mohammed al-Taei||Iraq||2005 to 2006||43||Medical doctor found to have killed 43 wounded policemen, soldiers and officials in Kirkuk; was a member of an insurgent cell.|
|Donald Harvey||United States||1970 to 1987||37||57–87||Self-professed Angel of Death. Worked as an orderly in Cincinnati-area hospitals and preyed on his patients. Claimed to have killed 87 patients starting at age 18. Active 1970–1987. Sentenced to 28 life sentences in Ohio.|
|Jane Toppan||United States||1885 to 1901||31||Nurse that confessed to poisoning 31 patients for her own sexual gratification. After overdosing them she would get in bed and lie with them as they died. Found not guilty by reason of insanity and interned in a mental institution until her death in 1938.|
|Stephan Letter||Germany||2003 to 2004||29||29+||Nurse who killed 29 patients; sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006.|
|Anders Hansson||Sweden||1978 to 1979||27||A Nurse Aide who poisoned victims with gevisol and ivisol. His actions were called "The Hospital Murders" (Swedish: Sjukhusmorden).|
|Marcel Petiot||France||1926 to 1944||26||63||Active 1926 and from 1942 to 1944. Petiot is suspected of having killed up to 63 in total. Executed in 1946.|
|Arnfinn Nesset||Norway||1983 and earlier||22||27–138+||Norwegian nurse and most prolific known serial killer in Scandinavian history, convicted in 1983 of poisoning at least 22 patients with Curacit; however he initially confessed to 27 murders; later he retracted his confessions and claimed he had killed 138 patients. Was released from prison in 2004 after serving 21 years, the maximum punishment possible by Norwegian law.|
|Roger Andermatt||Switzerland||1995 to 2001||22||22||Known as the "Death-Keeper of Lucerne"; nurse who killed 22 patients; most prolific Swiss serial killer in history; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|Charles Cullen||United States||1988 to 2003||18–29||35–400+||Nurse in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who murdered at least 29 patients between 1988 and 2003, but experts believe the number could be as high as 400. Cullen has admitted to more murders, which authorities believe are likely, but the murders cannot be verified due to lack of records.|
|Sonya Caleffi||Italy||2003 to 2004||5||18||Nurse who poisoned terminally-ill patients; sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.|
|Maxim Petrov||Russia||2000 to 2002||12||19||Doctor who killed his patients in St. Petersburg. Suspected of 19 murders.|
|Ann Arbor Hospital Killer||United States||1975||10||10||Poisonings of 10 patients at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in 1975. Filipino nurses Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez were tried for the crimes.|
|Ludivine Chambet||France||2012 to 2013||10||10||Known as "The Poisoner of Chambéry"; nurse's aide who poisoned elderly patients; sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.|
|Petr Zelenka||Czech Republic||2006||7||21||Killed his victims with a lethal injection of heparin from May to September 2006. Ten people survived his murder attempt. Suspected of up to 14 additional murders.|
|Orville Lynn Majors||United States||1993 to 1995||6||130||LPN in Vermillion County Ind., Preyed on elderly patients—thought to have killed many of them with injections of potassium chloride. Sentenced to 360 years in Indiana.|
|Efren Saldivar||United States||1989 to 1997||6||50+||Respiratory therapist who killed six patients, possibly as many as 120.|
|Christine Malèvre||France||1998 and earlier||6||30||Nurse who killed terminally ill patients claiming that they had asked her to help them die, something denied by their families. Sentenced to 12 years in prison for six murders and suspect of 30.|
|Antoinette Scieri||France||1924 to 1925||6||12+||Nurse who poisoned her elderly patients. Death sentence was commuted to life in prison and she died in prison.|
|Kristen Gilbert||United States||1990 to 1996||5||70+||Nurse at a Massachusetts Veterans Medical Center who injected male patients with epinephrine, causing heart attacks. Sentenced to life without parole.|
|Amy Archer-Gilligan||United States||1910 to 1917||5||48+||A nursing home proprietor believed to have poisoned as many as 60 patients from her homes and her second husband. Charged with five murders originally, this was lowered to just one following her admission of guilt, and was found guilty of second degree murder. Died in a mental hospital in 1962.|
|Michael Swango|| United States
|1981 to 1997||4||35–60+||Medical Doctor who killed patients.|
|Kermit Gosnell||United States||1989? to 2011||4||100+||Gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic, was charged with eight and convicted of four murders. Three babies were born alive, then killed by cutting the infant's spine with scissors. One mother died due to complications. Testimony indicated hundreds of similar procedures carried out by Gosnell and his staff.|
|Edson Izidoro Guimarães||Brazil||1999 and earlier||4||131||Nurse who injected patients with potassium chloride or removed their oxygen mask. Confessed to five murders which he claimed to be mercy killings and was convicted of four in 2000; sentenced to 76 years in prison. He may have killed as many as 131 patients for money, as he was paid $60 for informing local funeral homes of a patient's death so that they could contact the deceased's relatives first.|
|Richard Angelo||United States||1987||4||25||Known as "The Angel of Death". New York nurse convicted of four murders, linked to six other deaths. Suspected of killing up to 25 people.|
|Beverley Allitt||United Kingdom||1991||4||-||Convicted of murdering four children and attacking another six in the Lincolnshire hospital where she worked as a nurse. Given 13 life sentences.|
|Andrés Ulises Castillo Villarreal||Mexico||2009 to 2015||3||12+||Known as "The Chihuahua Ripper"; drugged, raped and then killed men in Chihuahua; sentenced to 120 years imprisonment.|
|Elfriede Blauensteiner||Austria||1981 to 1995||3||10+||Known as "The Black Widow"; poisoned people for material gain; died from a brain tumor in 2003.|
Serial killer groups and couples
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Murder Incorporated||United States||1920s to 1940||400||1000+||Murder Incorporated or Murder Inc. for short, was large criminal enterprise of small contract-killing groups that were collectively known as Murder Inc. Run by Albert "The Mad Hatter" Anastasia and or his close associates, the organization was responsible for the assassinations of key witnesses of early Cosa Nostra activities, so as to make them 'disappear' and break the case against the lead mobsters whenever they went to trial. In 1941 the group was exposed by former member Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and subsequently ceased to exist.|
|Philadelphia poison ring||United States||1931 to 1938||114||Gang of 16 that poisoned Italian immigrants with arsenic in order to collect their life insurance. The leaders, cousins Herman and Paul Petrillo, were executed in the electric chair in 1941 while the rest were given life sentences.|
|Delfina and María de Jesús González||Mexico||1955 to 1964||91+||Two sisters who ran a brothel in Mexico, hired numerous prostitutes and murdered at least 80 of them after they were deemed useless during the span of 10 years. They also killed 11 men. Probably the work of four of the sisters, sentenced to 40 years in prison. Body count varies due to the combined work of the sisters being impossible to assign to them individually.|
|Peng Miaoji, Ding Yunjia and Su Xiaoping||China||1998 to 1999||77||84||Fleeing to Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Henan provinces and 21 provinces and cities 33 administrative villages; during 38 burglaries, killed 77 people, seriously injured three others.|
|David Avendaño Ballina and his followers||Mexico||1997 to 2007||70||70||Sex servant gang who robbed and then poisoned their clients; the leader Ballina was arrested in 2008.|
|Angel Makers of Nagyrév||Hungary||1911 to 1929||50||300+||26 women who poisoned their husbands (sometimes also their parents, lovers and children) with arsenic under the guidance of midwife Júlia Fazekas and her accomplice, Susi Oláh.|
|Long Zhimin and Yan Shuxia||China||1983 to 1985||48||48+||Shaanxi Province Wang Shou villagers Long Zhimin and Yan Shuxia in the home has killed 48 people.|
|Bian kuang, Fu Xinyuan and Luo Lianshun||China||2001 to 2002||41||Manufacturing 51 cases of murder, robbery, rape, killing 41 people. Bian Kuang personally killed 39 people.|
|Ryno-Skachevsky gang||Russia||2006 to 2007||37||Racist skinhead gang, led by Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, who killed people from non-European ethnicities or backgrounds; both sentenced to 10 years of penal labour.|
|Gang of Amazons||Russia||2003 to 2013||30||Family of robbers and serial killers, led by the parents Inessa Tarverdiyeva and Roman Podkopaev.|
|Dean Corll, David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley||United States||1970 to 1973||28||29+||Corll, known as "The Candy Man", killed at least 28 teenage boys and young men in Houston between 1970 and 1973. Corll was then shot and killed by one of the two teenage accomplices he recruited to assist him in the abductions of the victims on 8 August 1973. This accomplice, Elmer Wayne Henley, informed the police of the trio's murders the same day Corll was murdered.|
|Brabant killers|| Belgium
|1982 to 1985||28||40+||Gang made up by at least three extremely violent robbers, none of whom was ever identified or apprehended. Their bloodlust increased dramatically in their last year of activity, when they began shooting passersby before a robbery, including children, for no seeming reason. Some have theorized links to Operation Gladio.|
|Adolfo Constanzo and Sara Aldrete||Mexico||1987? to 1989||25+||"The Godparents of Matamoros". Leader and second-in-command of a drug-smuggling cult that abducted men to perform human sacrifices.|
|Shankill Butchers||United Kingdom||1975 to 1982||23||23+||Ulster Loyalist gang led by Lenny Murphy, who killed people in sectarian attacks.|
|Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk||Ukraine||2007||21||"The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs". A pair of 19-year-olds who, over the course of less than a month, attacked and murdered passersby while out on walks. They recorded videos of some of the murders, including one which subsequently leaked to the Internet.|
|Marcelo de Jesus Silva and his death squad||Brazil||? to 2010?||20+||Brazilian man convicted of 20 counts of murder, robbery, drug trafficking and death squad. As he had 1.28m in height, he was nicknamed Chucky and Pigmeu. Murdered in 2010 by rivals traffickers.|
|Wang Zongfang and Wang Zongwei||China||1983||19||Killed soldiers using various arms in three provinces. Executed in 1983.|
|Anísio Ferreira de Sousa and followers||Brazil||1989 to 1992||19||Satanic ring that abducted, mutilated and sacrificed children in Altamira, Brazil. The leader, Ferreira de Sousa, was convicted to 77 years in prison for four murders and two attempted murders.|
|Ripper Crew||United States||1981 to 1982||18||Abducted women, mostly prostitutes, then raped, tortured and killed them in Chicago, Illinois.|
|John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo||United States||2002||17||Killed seven people from February to September 2002 and 10 in the Beltway sniper attacks of October 2002. Muhammad was executed in 2009, while Malvo received life imprisonment.|
|Vladyslav Volkovich and Volodymyr Kondratenko||Ukraine||1991 to 1997||16||20+||"The Nighttime Killers". Murdered homeless men and lone drivers with a variety of weapons.|
|Death Angels||United States||1973 to 1974||16||Four African-Americans who killed 16 white people and injured between eight and 10 in San Francisco (Zebra murders).|
|Lainz Angels of Death||Austria||1983 to 1989||15||49–200+||Known as the "Lainz Angels of Death"; Waltraud Wagner, Irene Leidolf, Stephanija Mayer, and Maria Gruber were nurses at the Lainz General Hospital in Vienna who admitted to murdering 49 patients.|
|The Cleaners||Russia||2014 to 2015||15||15+||Neo-Nazi gang, led by Pavel Voitov and Elena Lobacheva, who murdered alcoholic tramps and beggars; Voitov sentenced to life imprisonment and Lobacheva to 13 years in a penal colony.|
|Fred West and Rosemary West||United Kingdom||1967 to 1987||12||20||Mainly targeted young women but were also found guilty of the murder of their own daughter. Also found guilty of raping another daughter. Buried the victims around their house and local area of Gloucester. Shortly before he committed suicide in 1995, Fred West said there were more victims.|
|Briley Brothers||United States||1971 to 1979||12||Three brothers and an accomplice responsible for 12 murders in the 1970s in Richmond, Virginia.|
|Mailoni Brothers||Zambia||2007 to 2013||12||Three brothers who killed at least 12 people from 2007 to 2013. Killed by Zambia Army Commandos in 2013.|
|Leonard Lake and Charles Ng||United States||1982 to 1985||11||25||Abducted women, used them as sex slaves, and then murdered them, together with any men, women, and children who got in their way. Lake committed suicide upon arrest, but Ng was later convicted of killing 11 people. Between 1982 and 1985, Lake and Ng were believed to have abducted and killed as many as 25 victims, as evidenced by human remains found on Lake's California ranch.|
|Shen Changyin and Shen Changping||China||1999 to 2004||11||Found guilty of the murders of 11 prostitutes.|
|Polatbay Berdaliyev and Abduseit Ormanov|| Uzbekistan
|2011 to 2012||11||Raped, robbed and murdered women along desolate roads; both sentenced to life imprisonment in both countries.|
|Wolfgang Abel and Marco Furlan|| Italy
|1977 to 1984||10||27||The victims, seemingly chosen at random and killed by different methods, were found next to letters written in Italian, signed "Ludwig" and containing Nazi imagery, that gave a reason for why the murder had been committed. Abel and Furlan were arrested in Castiglione delle Stiviere while dousing a crowded discothèque with gasoline and sentenced in 1987 to 30 years in prison for all crimes (later reduced to 27).|
|Juan Carlos Hernández and Patricia Martínez||Mexico||2012 to 2018||10||20||Known as the "Monsters of Ecatepec"; couple who raped, murdered and cannibalized women.|
|Joshi-Abhyankar serial murderers||India||1976 to 1977||10||Four Pune commercial art students (Rajendra Jakkal, Dilip Sutar, Shantaram Kanhoji Jagtap and Munawar Harun Shah) that broke into random people's homes and businesses and strangled them with a nylon rope. Executed by hanging in 1983.|
|Gerald and Charlene Gallego||United States||1978 to 1980||10||Killed 10 victims in Sacramento, California. Gerald Gallego died of cancer before his death sentence could be carried out. Charlene Gallego was released July 1997.|
|Viña del Mar psychopaths||Chile||1980 to 1981||10||Jorge Sagredo and Carlos Topp committed 10 murders and four rapes from 5 August 1980 to 1 November 1981 in the city of Viña del Mar. Executed by firing squad in 1985, they became the last people executed in Chile.|
|Yevgeny Nagorny and Sergei Stavitsky||Russia||1998||10||Killed clients with expensive cars in their autoshop in order to sell them; sentenced to life imprisonment.|
|National Socialist Underground||Germany||2000 to 2007||10||Neo-Nazi group who killed 10 ethnic Turks in the Bosphorus serial murders from 2000 to 2007. Most victims were small business owners killed in broad daylight with a gunshot to the face. Two of the suspects committed suicide and a third, Beate Zschäpe, was apprehended in 2011.|
|Tadeusz Grzesik and the Bureaucrats Gang||Poland||1991 to 2007||8||20+||Robbed and killed people in several Polish voivodeships, mainly owners of exchange offices.|
|Edgar Álvarez Cruz and Francisco Granados||Mexico||1993 to 2003||8–10||14+||Kidnapped, drugged, raped and then killed women in cotton fields.|
|The Ciudad Juárez Rebels||Mexico||1995 to 1996||8||10–14||Gang of serial killers, led by Sergio Armendáriz Diaz and Juan Contreras Jurado, who killed women in Ciudad Juárez; claimed to work for Abdul Latif Sharif.|
|The Manson Family cult killings||United States||1967 to 1969||7||7||A California desert cult formed by Charles Manson in 1967, the ‘Manson Family’ committed a series of murders in name of promoting Manson's goal of causing a race war that he called Helter Skelter.|
|Ray and Faye Copeland||United States||1986 to 1989||5||12||Oldest couple ever sentenced to death in the United States at the ages of 75 and 69; convicted of killing five men; modus operandi was to hire unskilled drifters as farmhands and later kill them.|
|Ian Brady and Myra Hindley||United Kingdom||1963 to 1965||5||12||Responsible for the "Moors murders": they abducted, raped, tortured and murdered at least five children in the Manchester area before burying their victims on Saddleworth Moor as part of an experiment in "existential experience". The case attracted much media coverage long after the two were sentenced, especially in the United Kingdom, as Hindley sought release from prison from the 1980s but was refused and died in prison. Five victims were identified although Brady periodically claimed that there were up to twelve.|
|The Skin Hunters||Poland||2002 and earlier||5||Unknown||Hospital crew that killed patients in order to get bribes from nearby funeral homes. Two doctors and two paramedics were convicted for the murder of five patients, but the investigation is continuing, with over 40 remaining suspects.|
|Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine||United States||1984 to 1999||4||19+||Known as the "Speed Freak Killers"; California duo initially convicted of four murders from 1984 to 1999.|
|Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck||United States||1947 to 1949||3||20||Known as the "Lonely Hearts Killers", Fernandez and Beck extorted women Fernandez met through lonely hearts advertisements. Both were arrested in Michigan in 1949 for the murders of a woman and her two-year-old daughter, but Michigan authorities waived prosecution and extradited the pair to New York to face trial for a murder that occurred there because New York had the death penalty while Michigan did not. They were convicted of that murder and executed in 1951.|
|Beasts of Satan||Italy||1998 to 2004||3||18||Cult members responsible for ritualistic murders, and are suspected in other cases, including suicides.|
|Name||Country||Years active||Proven victims||Possible victims||Notes|
|Ivomoku Bakusuba||Burundi||1940s||67||Confessed to killing 67 children by strangling them with a bedsheet. Committed suicide, "probably in late 1940s or in early 1950s". As information on this serial killer was only revealed by a police officer in 2018 during a conversation with a Brazilian writer, and there is no information on his conviction, the confirmation that he was a serial killer is debatable.|
|Bruno Lüdke|| German Reich
|1928 to 1943||51||86||Mentally disabled, Lüdke was arrested after being discovered with a corpse. Police declared him insane and imprisoned him in a psychiatric hospital, where he died when he was experimented on. The only evidence tying him to the crimes was a confession that may have been physically coerced. He was never given a trial and he is generally[by whom?] considered innocent.|
|"Highway of Tears" Killer||Canada||1969 to 2018 ?||18||83||All the victims were young women and were last seen on Highway 16 in British Columbia between Prince George and Prince Rupert. If they were all victims of the same person, it would be one of the most proficient serial killers in Canada and one with the longest career in the world. Some of the murders have been linked to American criminal Bobby Jack Fowler, although he was in prison at the time others were committed.|
|Gerald Stano||United States||1969 to 1980||22+||41||Confessed to killing 41 women in mostly Florida and New Jersey areas. Some controversy surrounds the case as he is believed by some to have been a serial confessor.|
|Orlando Sabino||Brazil||1966 ? – 1971 ?||12||Suspected of murdering 12 people in Minas Gerais and Goiás, as well as mutilating several animals; sentenced to 38 years imprisonment and died from a heart attack in 2013. There are many theories that he was actually framed by the Military Dictatorship in Brazil, who did the murders for political reasons.|
|Pedro Rosa da Conceição||Brazil||1904 to 1911, ???||3||17||Brazilian mass murderer who killed three people and wounded thirteen others on April 22, 1904. Killed his cellmate and a guard in 1911, and is said to have murdered a family of twelve people in an unspecified date and year. Died in 1919. The family murders are not verified.|
|Henry Lee Lucas||United States||1960 to 1983||3||3000+||Confessed to killing at least 600 people but later recanted and is suspected of lying about a majority of the murders. He originally offered a list of 77 women from 19 different states, but as he confessed to more and more murders, the details became increasingly more bizarre. Some included dismemberment, necrophilia, even cannibalism. Lawmen linked Lucas and Ottis Toole to 81 murders only. Convicted of 11 murders. The true number of murders committed by Lucas is unknown, but it is likely Lucas was not nearly as prolific a serial killer as he initially claimed to be, as most of his murder confessions were thoroughly discredited, and he himself claimed only one murder—that of his mother.|
|Charles Quansah||Ghana||1993 to 2001||8||34||Quansah, who had been in prison for rape twice, was held as a suspect in the deaths of 34 women across the country, including his girlfriend who was strangled in 2000, and eventually confessed to eight murders. He later denied the killings, claiming that the confessions had been extracted under torture, and that the police had also tried unsuccessfully to force him to implicate a number of politicians including former president Jerry Rawlings, his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman and an unidentified member of president John Kufuor's administration.|
|Ottis Toole||United States||1980 to 1983||7||100–125||Initially convicted of three counts of murder, later pleading guilty to four more murders before dying in prison. A sometime accomplice of convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, Toole admitted to—and retracted multiple times—over 100 counts of murder, rape, arson and cannibalism, and was the suspect in several other unsolved murders. In 2008, police announced that they had identified Toole as the likely murderer of Adam Walsh, and would be closing the case as a result.|
|Wayne Williams||United States||1979 to 1981||2||24–31||Believed to have perpetrated the Atlanta murders of 1979–1981. After being convicted of two murders and sentenced to life imprisonment, authorities closed 22 other unsolved murders, declaring Williams to have been the perpetrator. Williams has maintained his innocence and the case was reopened in 2005.|
|Joe Ball||United States||1937 to 1938||2||20||Bootlegger and barman known as the "Butcher of Elmendorf", the "Bluebeard of South Texas", and "the Alligator Man" because of the alligator pit he had in the back of his bar and where he entertained clients by throwing live animals to the reptiles. Ball killed two barmaids but he shot himself fatally in the chest when police came to question him and was never arrested or interrogated. Yellow press and pulp magazines later exaggerated his exploits, claiming that he had killed up to 20 women and fed them to the alligators, but this was never proven and caused some of Ball's relatives to sue such publications. Police investigated about a dozen women that had worked at Ball's place and were missing at the time of his suicide; some were found alive in San Antonio, but others could not be accounted for.|
|Abdul Latif Sharif||Mexico||1995||1||18–20||Egyptian chemist known as "The Jackal of Ciudad Juárez". After migrating to the United States in the 1970s, Sharif served 14 years in prison for several rapes but fled to Mexico when he was about to be deported to his home country. There, he was accused of up to 20 of the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez but was convicted of only one, to 30 years in prison, where he died of natural causes in 2006. As the high rate of female murders has continued to this day in Ciudad Juárez, it has been claimed that Sharif was used as a scapegoat by the Mexican police.|
|Daisuke Mori||Japan||2000 and earlier||1||11+||Nurse that was sentenced to life imprisonment for one murder but suspected of killing at least 10 others. He might have confessed to some of the murders in order to protect others.|
|Bevan Spencer von Einem||Australia||1979? to 1983||1||10||Arrested for three and convicted of one of "The Family Murders", where four teenagers and one young adult, all male, were drugged, kidnapped, raped and mutilated for several weeks before their bodies were abandoned in the countryside near Adelaide. Police believed that von Einem had several accomplices, none of whom was publicly identified or detained, and at the time of his trial it was widely reported that the murders had been committed by a group of four to 12 high-profile Australian men; von Einem himself claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy. He has also been considered a suspect in the disappearance of two girls near the Adelaide Oval in 1973 and the high-profile Beaumont children disappearance in 1966.|
|Edgar Matobato||Philippines||1988 to 2013||0||Hundreds||Self-confessed hitman and serial killer claiming to have killed people as part of the Davao Death Squad; his claims' authenticity has been challenged.|
|John Bodkin Adams||United Kingdom||1946 to 1956||0||163||Acquitted in a highly unusual trial in 1957 of murder but later found guilty of fraud. Archive evidence shows that he was almost certainly a killer but that his prosecution was sabotaged for political reasons.|
|The Man from the Train||United States||1898 to 1912||0||40–100+||Murdered entire families in their sleep, arriving and departing by train. Existence (and probable but not proven identity) discovered more than 100 years after the murders, by analysis of contemporary records, showing a markedly common modus operandi for many previously unconnected murders.|
|David Parker Ray||United States||1950 to 1999||0||60||Torture-murderer possibly aided by numerous accomplices, including his girlfriend. Targeted victims in the Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, area. Convicted of attempted killing of three victims and is suspected of 60 murders, even though no bodies were ever found. Known as the "Toybox Killer" for the self-built mobile home he used in the rape, torture, and killing of women.|
|Smiley Face Killer||United States||1990s to 2000s||0||40+||Theoretical serial killer(s) thought by some sources to have drowned college-aged young men across the northern part of the country since 1997; most experts suggest that the deaths were accidental.|
|Marie Besnard||France||1927 to 1949||0||13||Charged with the murders of 13 relatives with arsenic, all of whom had Besnard as their sole designated heir, but acquitted of all charges after three high-profile trials that lasted a decade.|
* Proven victims being victims the serial killer was tried for, explained by the killer in a detailed confession, or victims most scholars of the subject agree upon.
- Axe murders
- List of serial rapists by number of victims
- List of rampage killers
- List of serial killers by country
- Spree killer
- Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying entry on "Serial Killers" Archived 2007-11-05 at the Wayback Machine (2003) by Sandra Burkhalte Chmelir
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- "Serial killer". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
A person who murders 3+ people over a period of > 30 days, with an inactive period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification.
- Holmes, Ronald M.; Holmes, Stephen T. (1998). Contemporary Perspectives on Serial Murder. SAGE Publications. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7619-1421-1. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
Serial murder is the killing of three or more people over a period of more than 30 days, with a significant cooling-off period between the murders [...] The baseline number of three victims appears to be most common among those who are the academic authorities in the field. The time frame also appears to be an agreed-upon component of the definition.
- Wayne Petherick (2005). Serial Crime: Theoretical and Practical Issues in Behavioral Profiling. Academic Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-08-046854-9. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
Three killings seem to be required in the most popular operational definition of serial killing since they are enough to provide a pattern within the killings without being overly restrictive.
- R. Barri Flowers (2012). The Dynamics of Murder: Kill or Be Killed. CRC Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-4398-7974-0. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
In general, most experts on serial murder require that a minimum of three murders be committed at different times and usually different places for a person to qualify as a serial killer.
- Harold Schechter (2012). The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. Simon and Schuster. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-4391-3885-4. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
Most experts seem to agree, however, that to qualify as a serial killer, an individual has to slay a minimum of three unrelated victims.
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- Media related to Serial killers at Wikimedia Commons