Curious about the most talked-about serial killers? Or those lesser-known ones that still give chills? True crime stories are everywhere – It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s a deep dive into humanity’s dark side. Whether you think you’ve heard it all or are just getting started, “The Ultimate True Crime Trivia Book” is your next must-read.Got the nerve? Dive in.

The following is the first chapter from the book “The Ultimate True Crime Trivia Book”

Chapter One

Most Famous Serial Killers

Well, not famous, but infamous. One reason someone becomes a serial killer is because they want notoriety. And for some reason, killing a lot of people is a way to do that.

But it is two sides of the same coin. Whether you are famous for good things or infamous for being depraved and deranged, people know your name. And for some, that is all that matters.

Some serial killers even have their own fan clubs. Let’s talk about some of the most infamous serial killers. Quite a few you may be familiar with.

What was John Wayne Gacy’s nickname?

John Wayne Gacy’s nickname was The Killer Clown.

John Wayne Gacy gave Pennywise a run for his money.

Gacy was arrested for sodomy on a teenage boy in 1968, but only served eighteen months. His first victim was killed in 1972, and his last victim was killed in 1978. During this time, he was married twice.

People are scared of clowns for a reason, and when one of them, Pogo the Clown, turned out to be a serial killer that raped and tortured teenage boys, it proved that under a pound of white makeup and a creepy painted smile was a reason to be afraid.

It is believed that John Wayne Gacy used his persona as a clown and respected member of his community to get close to children and young men. Gacy was a member of the Jaycees charitable organization, a father, and a manager of three KFCs. He also served on his town’s street lighting committee. He performed at birthday parties and charity events. Gacy would make his victims believe they would be part of his act, get them into his home, and then trick them into putting on handcuffs. Once the handcuffs were on, he would rape them. After raping and torturing them, he would strangle them and then bury them on his property.

Gacy was finally caught because of his last victim, fifteen-year-old Robert Piest. Robert went to see Gacy about a job and never made it back home. His mother filed a missing person report, and Gacy was their first stop.

When they finally searched his home, they found twenty-six victims buried underneath his house. In total, John Wayne Gacy raped, tortured, and murdered thirty-three teen boys. He was arrested in 1978, convicted in 1980, and executed in 1994.

What did Ted Bundy do to the bodies of his victims?

Ted Bundy was quite depraved and is one of the most notorious serial killers. While he wasn’t the first, he is definitely one that everyone, even people who aren’t true crime enthusiasts, knows about.

This charming serial killer was born Theodore Robert Bundy on November 24, 1946. While he had a turbulent childhood and was quite shy, he grew up to be charming and charismatic. He was a law student and had been a social worker. He even volunteered at a suicide hotline, which is interesting. A serial killer, someone who found it enjoyable to kill people, was once responsible for talking suicidal people back from the edge. Even though he was able to have normal, romantic relationships, that didn’t stop him from raping and murdering women from Washington to Florida.

He used his good looks and charm to get women to lower their guard. He would even pretend to have an injury and ask for help. Once he got his victim alone, he would knock them out and take them somewhere else to rape and kill them.

He loved visiting their bodies over and over again. It was another way for him to exhort his control over the women. He would have sex with their rotting corpses until there was nothing left, sometimes taking a skull as a souvenir.

Bundy was caught in Utah in 1975, for kidnapping and assault. He was also facing murder charges in Colorado. During his trial, he escaped and headed to Florida, where he killed three people. He was caught again in 1978, and was sentenced to death for the three Florida murders.

He was executed in 1989. He never showed any remorse for his actions.

Did you know?

Most serial killers aren’t loners. When you think of a serial killer, you probably think of a loner. A person without any friends. A recluse that doesn’t know how to act around people. Someone who is socially awkward. Those attributes could describe a lot of people. But not everyone who is reclusive or socially awkward ends up being a serial killer. If they did, we would have a lot more serial killers running around.

In fact, most serial killers are charming with a lot of friends. Some even have families. And that is the scary part. Serial killers often hide in plain sight. They go to work and come home to their spouse and children. They go to church. They coach Little League. They appear to be normal.

Serial Killer Denis Rader (Bind, Torture, Kill) and serial killer Gary Ridgeway both had families, and yet they still managed to kill fifty-eight people between the two of them.

Robert Hansen, also known as the Butcher Baker, had a family when he raped over thirty-one women. He also killed at least seventeen women after abducting them, raping them, and then releasing them into the wilderness in Alaska. He made them think he was going to let them go, but he hunted them down like prey. When he caught them, he stabbed or shot them to death.

Why did Jeffrey Dahmer kill his victims?

Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted of murdering and dismembering seventeen men between 1978 and 1991. He killed his victims because he wanted to turn them into zombies. Yes, zombies. Mindless, submissive sex slaves, to be exact, so he could do whatever he wanted to them, and they wouldn’t fight back.

And the best way to do that? Well, by drilling holes into their skulls and pouring acid or boiling water into the frontal lobe while they were still alive. Needless to say. That did not work.

Jeffrey Dahmer was an interesting case for a few reasons. He raped and, in some cases, ate his victims. He kept pieces of them around his house like souvenirs. A heart was found in his fridge. Penises and skulls were also found in his apartment.

Perhaps the most interesting fact about the Jefferey Dahmer case was that he could have been arrested a month before his actual arrest. Well, he could have been stopped years before if someone actually investigated the strange smells coming from his apartment.

But a month before he was arrested, fourteen-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone was found wandering the streets. He was naked, confused, and bleeding. Two women saw him and called 911, who sent two officers.

Konerak was one of Dahmer’s victims who was lucky enough to escape. Jeffrey panicked and chased after him. When he found him, he was with the two women and the two officers. Dahmer tried to take him away, but the women stopped him. They didn’t trust him and were concerned about the young boy.

They seemed to be the only ones because after Dahmer explained that Konerak was his boyfriend and they had gotten into a fight, the officers let him take Konerak with him.

They never asked Konerak if it was true or not. Konerak could not speak English, but the officers never made an effort to find someone who spoke his language to translate. They didn’t even try to ask him his age.

They just let Dahmer walk off with him. The women recognized Konerak from their neighborhood. They had seen him around and insisted he was a child, but the officers still handed him over. They did follow them back to Jeffrey’s apartment, though. And while they were inside the living room, they smelled something strange. Something foul. If they had investigated and followed the smell, it would have led them to the bedroom where Tony Hughe’s body was decomposing. But they didn’t.

They left Konerak in Dahmer’s apartment and walked away. The two officers could have prevented a murder, Konerak’s murder, but they walked away.

Was Dahmer really that charming? So charming he could explain away a naked young man, bleeding from his rectum, dazed and confused, wandering the streets. Apparently so.

Who was the Night Stalker?

Richard Ramirez personified what scared so many women who lived alone both in the 80s and today. For many people, especially women, home is their safe place—the place where no one is supposed to be able to hurt you. But Richard proved that nowhere, not even your home, was safe.

He earned the nickname by breaking into people’s houses and murdering them.

In some cases, he raped the women first. Usually, serial rapists have a type. A particular type of victim they liked to prey on. It could be due to hair color, age, or ethnicity. His victims varied in age from early twenties to seventy-nine.

When we think about Richard’s case, it brings to mind the nature vs. nurture argument. Are we victims of our environment, or are people born evil? Was Richard always going to turn out as he did? Or did his upbringing bring out the worst in him? Would these urges have stayed dormant if his cousin hadn’t shown him pictures of women he had raped and killed while he was stationed in Vietnam? If he hadn’t seen his cousin shoot and kill his wife?

It’s difficult to say. Ramirez started breaking into houses after his cousin killed his wife. But he didn’t commit his first murder until 1984, when he raped and killed a seventy-nine-year-old woman.

He was convicted of thirteen murders and sentenced to death in 1989. It is believed that he raped and killed other women, but he was not tried for any additional crimes.

While awaiting his death sentence, he was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2013.

Richard Ramirez was one of those serial killers who never showed any remorse for his actions. Even Jeffrey Dahmer, who became a born-again Christian, showed a little remorse. Ramirez was a Satanist, and when he was sentenced to death, he said it wasn’t a big deal. “Death always went with the territory.”

Did you know?

Not all serial killers are white males. There have been serial killers of all races. White men still have a lead on serial killers compared to other races, but the gap is not as big as it was before.

There have been many Asian, African American, and Hispanic serial killers.

Derrick Todd Lee, also known as the Baton Rouge Serial Killer, killed at least seven women. It is believed he killed more, but there is a lack of DNA evidence.

Angel Maturino Resendiz, also known as the Railroad Killer, was linked to fifteen murders: eight in Texas, two in Florida, two in Illinois, and one in Kentucky, Georgia, and California.

Serial killers come from all races from all around the world. You’ll see this later when we examine serial killers from different countries and islands. You will see while these killers come from different backgrounds and ethnicities, there is one thing they all have in common.

Who created a murder castle in Chicago?

Who would build a house specifically for murder? Herman Mudgett, or H.H. Holmes, is considered to be America’s first known serial killer.

Like a lot of serial killers, Holmes got his start torturing animals. He would trap them and then perform some kind of surgery on them. As mentioned before, torturing animals is something that most serial killers did when they were younger.

Why did he build the house?

In 1893, the World Fair was held in Chicago, and people would be coming to the city from all over. Now, if you were a business owner, you would have seen the fair as a great business opportunity to sell your goods.

But if you were a budding serial killer, you would see it as a great opportunity too. People coming in from out of town, no one would notice they were missing. No one but their loved ones back home, and it could be days, months even before they followed their trail to Chicago.

Holmes worked at a drugstore and bought the empty lot across the street. This was where his castle was built. While the ground floor was home to the drugstore, he relocated, and different shops, the upper floors were a confusing horror.

Secret rooms. Secret passageways. Windowless rooms. Doors that led to walls. Strange hallways. Doors that opened from the outside only.

While this may seem like a less-than-smart way to construct a building, it was smart for what Holmes had in mind. He knew what he was going to do in those windowless rooms. And while a person being able to escape was unlikely if a victim did get away, where would they go?

Open a door to a wall?

Run down the strangely-angled hallway and try not to trip.

Even if they did get out of the room, they couldn’t get out of the building. They couldn’t get to the ground floor.

To ensure he was the only one who knew his way around the building, Holmes would fire builders regularly. And when the building was done, he would lure people in. Mostly women, even some of the women he worked with he would torture them in a variety of ways. Rooms fitted with gas lines. A soundproof bank vault. He turned each room into a torture chamber.

Once he was done, the bodies went down a chute to the basement. Once there, the flesh and tissue were removed. He would then take the skeletons and sell them to medical schools.

Some victims were also cremated or stuck in a lime pit so their flesh would decompose quickly.

Holmes went to medical school and had connections, which was why he was able to sell not just the skeletons of his victims but some of their organs as well, and no one questioned it.

Maybe that is the most interesting factor of this serial killer. He sold the remains of his victims to medical schools, and no one thought anything of it.

No one thought, hey, this guy is a pharmacist and works at a drugstore; where is he getting all these skeletons from?

It is said that he was intelligent and charming, but instead of using his intelligence for good, he became a career criminal. As if killing people wasn’t interesting or good enough, he practiced insurance fraud as a way to make money. He would get engaged to women and then kill them once he was sure he had their life savings. And then she would disappear.

The most interesting part of the Holmes case, aside from the murder castle, is the fact that he didn’t get caught because he built a house specifically for murder.

He met up with another career criminal, and they put together an insurance scam, and while that worked for a little while, in the end, Holmes murdered his partner.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, he convinced his partner’s wife that he was still alive. His partner, Ben Pitezel, had children. Holmes was worried that they would become suspicious and go to the police.

Maybe he couldn’t charm them like he did their mother. He killed three of the children and was later caught because of insurance fraud.

He was tried and convicted for killing Ben Pitezel and put to death in 1896.

What did authorities find in Ed Gein’s home?

In Ed Gein’s home, police found four noses, a belt made from female nipples, organs in the refrigerator, nine vulvas in a shoe box, and human skin used as seat covers. And that is just to name a few.

A serial killer is someone who kills more than one person on separate occasions. Ed is not like the other serial killers on this list, as he was only accused of killing two people, but his case is so bizarre that it bears mentioning. It should also be noted that he was suspected in the death of his brother, but the police never thoroughly investigated it.

Ed Gein had a childhood, much like other serial killers, filled with abuse. Abused by his mother, Ed was constantly ridiculed for everything he did, especially when he tried to make friends at school. His mother told him that everyone, outside of herself and his brother, was evil. That all women, except herself, were prostitutes. Ed’s brother, Henry, did not believe everything his mother told him. One night, there was a fire on the farm; while both men went to put it out, only Ed made it out alive.

Police thought it was strange that Ed, even though he had lost his brother in the flames, could lead them straight to his brother’s body. It was also odd that Henry had bruises all over his head, and the area where his body was found was not burned. It was strange, but they still didn’t push Ed to tell them what really happened.

When Ed lost his mother after she had several strokes, his whole world fell apart. She was his best friend. His only friend. His world was wrapped up in her and what she had taught him. Because of her, he didn’t know how to interact with people fully—well, the living at least.

In 1957, Bernice Worden went missing. It didn’t take police long to put together that Ed Gein was the last person to see her at the hardware store where she worked. Her body was found in his shed, while her head was found in the house, along with another missing woman, Mary Hogan.

Yes, that was strange, but it wasn’t the only peculiar thing they found on his property. He told police that between 1947 and 1952, he visited the graveyard at night, dug up several bodies, and took the bodies home with him. He would make things using their bodies, like seat covers, belts, and lampshades.

Ed went to court in November 1957, where he pled not guilty by reason of insanity. Doctors found him mentally incompetent, so in lieu of a trial, he was sent to a mental hospital. In 1968, doctors re-examined him and found that he was able to stand trial, which lasted a week; he was found guilty and sent back to a mental hospital until he died.

Ed Gein inspired a few horror characters that you might recognize: Leatherface, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, and Norman Bates.

Who was Jack the Ripper?

Even with the advances in technology and forensics, sadly, we still don’t know. Jack the Ripper is one of those mysteries that continues from generation to generation.

There have been many theories over the years, but we don’t know for sure, and we probably never will. It’s a bit disheartening to know that someone got away with murder, not just one but several.

Jack the Ripper is one of the most famous serial killers out there, and yet he’s the one we don’t know much about.

While many murders have been linked to Jack the Ripper, the murders that happened in 1888 were linked to one person. The only thing that is certain in the Jack the Ripper case is how he killed his victims. Their throats were cut, and their bodies were mutilated. The victims were cut up in a way that made the police believe the killer had some knowledge of human anatomy.

While there have been many suspects, none of them were ever charged.

Who was the Blood Countess?

Female serial killers are rare, but they do happen. It is uncertain whether female serial killers are as rare as we think they are or if their crimes just go unnoticed. We will talk more about that later. For now, let’s talk about a serial killer who was rumored to be cruel and legendary.

Elizabeth Bathory tortured and murdered young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Elizabeth has been the subject of folklore for generations, but she was a real countess who lived in Hungary. Everything seemed fine until after her husband, Count Ferencz Nádasdy, died in 1604.

After his death, there were stories of her cruelty were everywhere. Now, we all know when you have power, you can get away with a lot. And she did. There were whispers that the countess was killing servant women but they went unchecked for years.

But when rumors swirled that she had killed noble women, people started paying attention.

Her cousin György Thurzó was ordered by the king to investigate. He talked to everyone in the area that surrounded her estate. He learned that his cousin had tortured and murdered at least six hundred young women. Her servants had helped her. It is believed that she used the blood of young women to keep her looking young.

She was never tried for her alleged crimes; instead, she was confined to her chambers at her castle and forced to stay there until her death.

What were Carl Panzram’s last words?

When the noose was slipped around his neck, he said, “I wish all mankind had one neck so I could choke it!” But when the executioner asked if he had any last words, he had one more thing to say. “Yes, hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill ten men while you’re fooling around.”

It would appear, judging by his last words, Panzram was not a fan of people. It is also apparent that he had no remorse for what he had done.

Carl Panzram claimed to have killed twenty-one people and committed thousands of burglaries and sodomy. He never showed an ounce of remorse. His murder spree started in 1920, when he used to lure drunk sailors away from bars and rape and rob them and then kill them—dumping their bodies in the river.

He claimed to have killed at least ten men this way. He then killed someone in Angola and then two boys back in the States. When he was arrested for burglary in 1928, he confessed to multiple crimes.

Because of his criminal record, he was sentenced to twenty-five years; he kept his promise to the warden and killed the first person who bothered him, the foreman Robert Warnke. This murder led him to be sentenced to death.

Carl did not fight for his life. He didn’t appeal. He didn’t want to be saved. He went as far as to threaten human rights groups who tried to advocate for saving his life.

He was executed in September 1930.

Which serial killer had an opera made about their life?

Aileen Wuornos is considered to be America’s first female serial killer. She and her lawyer sold the rights to her story within two weeks of her being arrested.

Aileen was arrested for killing at least six men. She confessed to the murders, claiming self-defense in each murder. Aileen said that the men picked her up and tried to rape her, so she shot them. Aileen had been a prostitute since she was in her teens.

Aileen Wuornos seemed to have a hatred for men. A disdain that ran so deep she was content with killing and robbing them. Never felt any remorse.

Where did her hatred come from? Aileen’s father was in jail for raping a seven-year-old girl when she was born. He was in and out of jail, so she never actually met him. Her mother left her and her brother with her grandparents and never came back.

Aileen claimed that her grandfather raped and beat her when she was young. She claimed that he would let his friends rape her, too, which was how she got pregnant when she was fourteen.

All of this could have fed her hatred for men.

But if she hated them so much, why would she participate in the oldest profession in the world where she would have to come in constant contact with men?

What did Ed Kemper do to his mother?

Many serial killers have a certain disdain for their parents, especially their mothers. They could hate their mothers for abandoning them or because they were abusive or just too hard on them. It is believed that mothers shape who we are and who we become. And when the one person designed to love you and care for you and nurture you doesn’t, it can leave a mark, good or bad.

Ed Kemper thought his mother nagged and yelled at him too much. So, in 1973, he beat her to death with a hammer while she was sleeping. Then he cut off her head and raped her body.

He used her head as a dartboard and stuck her vocal cords in the garbage disposal.

Still blood thirsty, he invited his mother’s friend over and killed her. He left the house expecting the police to come after him. But after a while, he grew bored and annoyed that the police hadn’t found the bodies yet and his crimes weren’t on the radio. He stopped and called the police.

He confessed to being the Co-ed killer.

The Co-ed Killer murdered young women first by stabbing, shooting, or smothering them. Then he took them back to his place so he could rape and cut up their bodies.

While his killing spree happened from 1972 to 1973, his first murders actually occurred in 1964 when he was fifteen. Ed shot his grandmother while she was at the kitchen table. Then, he waited for his grandfather to get home. He shot him too.

He said he wanted to know what it felt like to kill his grandmother, but he only killed his grandfather because he knew he would be angry when he found out.

Some psychologists believed that Ed needed to stay in the hospital, but he was released to his mother. Ed must have been charming and knew what to say to get people to do what he wanted. He was able to talk psychologists into not only releasing him but also sealing his juvenile records.

What would have happened had he not been able to charm the psychologists? If his mother had fought to keep him in the hospital?

As the Co-ed killer, when he was done with the bodies, he dumped them into ravines or buried them.

He pled guilty by reason of insanity. After he was found guilty of eight murders, he asked for the death penalty, but capital punishment had been suspended.

He was sentenced to life.

How did the Green River Killer get his name?

Gary Leon Ridgway earned his nickname Green River Killer because of where his first five victims were found, the Green River.

It is believed that Gary Ridgeway killed at least seventy-one women between 1980 to 1990. He had a penchant for prostitutes. He would pick up women, have sex with them, and then strangle them. After dumping their bodies in remote areas, he often visited their corpses to have sex with them.

Gary had the same conflicting feelings toward his mother that he had toward prostitutes. He hated prostitutes, and yet he still visited them. He hated his mother for how she treated him, but he still had a sexual attraction toward her from a young age.

It could be that Gary often saw his mother when he visited these prostitutes—having sex with them like he wanted to with his mother and then taking his anger out on them like he wanted to do with his mother.

Did Larry Hall’s twin brother help him with his murders?

His brother, Gary, denies it, and the police have never formally charged him, but that hasn’t stopped people from suspecting that Gary knew what his brother was doing.

They say that twins share a special bond. When one is hurt, the other one can feel it. Whether that is true or not, only twins know, but Larry was murdering women and girls for a long time, and his brother claimed to know nothing about it.

Larry Hall could be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, but we can’t say for sure. He has confessed to over thirty-five murders but has since recanted his confessions.

It is common for murderers to confess to murders they didn’t commit. Usually, this happens because they want attention. They want the notoriety that comes from killing multiple people.

Why Larry took back his confession is not known. He received life imprisonment for kidnapping Jessica Lynn Roach. If he was already in prison for life, why not confess to the other murders? Why take it back?

He could not be tried for Roach’s murder because police, even though they suspect he killed her, could not find her body or where she was killed.

Larry Hall still sits in prison and will for the rest of his life. But the families of the women and girls he killed are still waiting for closure.

These serial killers are some of the most well-known serial killers in the world. They are some of the most talked about, constantly appearing in the media even years after they have been tried and convicted.

Is it our fascination with serial killers that breeds more serial killers? Each one trying to outdo the ones that came before.

Or is it something else entirely?

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Written by : Sajjad A

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