20th Century Serial Killers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked 20th Century Serial Killers

 1 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
172
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burlington
Died: January 24, 1989

Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped and murdered a number of women and girls during the mid and late 1970s. He ultimately confessed to his crimes and was sentenced to death by electric chair. Later, the life of one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century inspired a number of books and movies.

 2 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
50
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States of America

Zodiac Killer was an the unidentified American serial killer who spread terror in the northern California from late 1960s to early 1970s. In his letters to police and press, he claimed to have killed 37 people, out of which five were confirmed. Though he was never caught, his case inspired numerous books, films and television series including Clint Eastwood’s classic Dirty Harry.

 3 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
123
Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: November 28, 1994

One of the most notorious serial killers ever convicted in America, Jeffrey Dahmer terrorized the Milwaukee region in the 1980s. He targeted young men and boys, who he would lure to his house on some pretext before torturing and killing them. Finally arrested and imprisoned in the early 1990s, he was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.

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 4 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
121
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States
Died: June 7, 2013

American serial killer, rapist, and burglar, Richard Ramirez terrorised the people of California, primarily Los Angeles, between 1984 and 1985 before being eventually captured by the police. The brutal criminal, also known as Night Stalker, was finally found guilty of 43 charges, including 13 murders and was sentenced to death. While on a death row, he died of cancer. 

 5 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
109
Famous As: Serial Killer & Sex Offender
Birthdate: March 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1994

John Wayne Gacy was a sex offender and a serial killer. He assaulted, raped and murdered at least 33 boys and young men in 1960s and 1970s. He tortured and killed all his victims inside his ranch house near Norridge, a village in Norwood Park. He was given death sentence in March 1980 and was executed in May 1994.

 6 Ed Gein

Ed Gein
31
Famous As: Murderer, Suspected Serial Killer & Body Snatcher
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States
Died: July 26, 1984

Popularly known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein was a murderer and body snatcher. His spine-chilling life insane acts like exhuming corpses and making keepsakes and trophies from their skin and bones, inspired films like The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Psycho.

 7 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
84
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rochester, Michigan, United States
Died: October 9, 2002

Sexually and physically assaulted by her own grandfather during her childhood and teenage years, Aileen Wuornos took to prostitution to support herself. From becoming pregnant at age 14 to engaging in sexual activities in exchange for drugs, Aileen's early life played a major role in turning her into a serial killer. Her story eventually became quite famous in popular culture.

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 8 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
37
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: December 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burbank, California

Edmund Kemper is a serial killer, rapist and a necrophile. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to eight concurrent life sentences in 1973 for murdering ten people, including his paternal grandparents and mother. Most of his victims were female college students and hitchhikers, whom he lured into his vehicle and then killed them. He later decapitated and violated them.

 9 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
48
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States
Dennis Rader, better known as BTK, an abbreviated form of “blind, torture, kill,” is an American serial killer. He murdered 10 people and then sent letters to the police and the media, explaining his crimes. Following a 10-year hiatus, he began sending letters again, leading to his arrest and conviction.

 10 Harold Shipman

Harold Shipman
46
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nottingham
Died: January 13, 2004

One of history’s most infamous serial killers, Harold Shipman was a British GP who is believed to have killed over 200 patients before being nabbed by the police. He was ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment for 15 murders but later committed suicide in prison. The case led to grave concerns about powers and the responsibilities of the Britain’s medical community.

 11 Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe
38
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bingley, England
Died: November 13, 2020

English serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper as he was likened to the infamous unidentified serial killer, Jack the Ripper, by the press. Convicted of killing 13 women and injuring nine other, Peter Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2000, ITV aired a crime drama miniseries based on Peter Sutcliffe's murders titled This Is Personal.

 12 Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway
43
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Nicknamed “the Green River Killer,” Gary Ridgway is a serial killer convicted of killing 49 women by driving them to remote locations, strangling them, and then disposing of their bodies in the Green River. DNA technology helped the police nab him. He had served in the Vietnam War earlier.

 13 Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan
39
Famous As: FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
Birthdate: August 31, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: National City, California, United States
Died: July 23, 1997

Andrew Cunanan was an American spree killer who killed five people, including world-renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace and business tycoon Lee Miglin, during a three-month period. The motive behind the killings remains unknown as he killed himself shortly after the murders. His story has inspired several films and TV series, including the 1998 movie The Versace Murder.

 14 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
47
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

A convicted serial killer, David Berkowitz is believed to have killed six people and wounded seven others. He eluded the police for several months before being captured. He is currently serving six consecutive life sentences in the maximum-security prison, Shawangunk Correctional Facility. He was popularized by the media under the name “Son of Sam.”

 15 Christopher Scarver

Christopher Scarver
31
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: July 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Christopher Scarver is a convicted murderer whose physical assault on Jesse Anderson and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer at the Columbia Correctional Institution resulted in the death of both Anderson and Dahmer. Already sentenced to life for killing a man named Steve Lohman, Christopher Scarver received two more life sentences for killing Anderson and Dahmer.

 16 Albert Fish

Albert Fish
25
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 19, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: January 16, 1936

Albert Fish was an American cannibal, child rapist, and serial killer. Fish confessed to three murders out of the five murders for which he was suspected. However, he claimed to have victimized about 100 people and boasted of having children in every state. His crimes and the subsequent execution by electric chair were dramatized in the film The Gray Man.

 17 Karla Homolka

Karla Homolka
75
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Port Credit, Mississauga, Canada

Karla Homolka raped and killed three minors along with her ex-husband Paul Bernardo. After their arrest, Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Homolka served 12 years in prison following a plea bargain. Although she had claimed that she was an unwilling accomplice to the killings, a videotape that surfaced after the plea bargain suggested otherwise, resulting in public outrage.

 18 Fred West

Fred West
31
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: September 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Much Marcle, United Kingdom
Died: January 1, 1995

Fred West was a serial killer who derived pleasure from acts, such as voyeurism, sexual assaults, murder, and various sexual fetishes that pushed his victims beyond their sexual limits. He committed murders and sexual assaults along with his wife Rose, who worked as a prostitute at their residence. Fred committed suicide at HM Prison Birmingham in 1995.

 19 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
31
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bath, New York, United States

Joseph James DeAngelo is an American serial killer, rapist and burglar who carried out his crimes for many years in 1970s and 1980s and was finally captured by the police in 2018. The former police officer and auto mechanic, who was known by various names like Golden State Killer and Visalia Ransacker, was sentenced to life in prison in 2020.

 20 David Parker Ray

David Parker Ray
19
Famous As: Serial Rapist, Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belen, New Mexico
Died: May 28, 2002
David Parker Ray was said to have killed 60 women from Arizona and New Mexico. He earned the nickname “Toy-Box Killer” for using a sound-proof truck full of items of sexual torture, which he named his “toy box.” Though convicted of kidnapping and torture, he escaped a murder conviction.

 21 Dean Corll

Dean Corll
21
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: December 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Died: August 8, 1973
Dean Corll, also known as the “Candy Man” and the “Pied Piper,” was a serial killer who, along with accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Henley, was responsible for the grisly Houston Mass Murders. The group kidnapped, assaulted, and strangulated or shot at least 28 young men and boys. 

 22 Rodney Alcala

Rodney Alcala
30
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Died: July 24, 2021
Rodney Alcala received a death sentence for five murders in the 1970s, and 25 years for two more murders. Known as “The Dating Game Killer” for his appearance on the show The Dating Game in the middle of the murders, Alcala also collected explicit photos of his victims.

 23 Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Nilsen
44
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 23, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: May 12, 2018

Dennis Nilsen was a Scottish necrophile and serial killer who killed at least 12 boys and young men between 1978 and 1983. Also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, Nilsen committed these crimes in London, England, where he would lure his victims into his house before strangulating them to death. He was convicted in 1983 of six counts of murder.

 24 Tsutomu Miyazaki

Tsutomu Miyazaki
17
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Itsukaichi, Tokyo
Died: June 17, 2008
Japanese serial killer, rapist, and cannibal Tsutomu Miyazaki, better known as the Otaku Murderer or the Little Girl Murderer, kidnapped and killed four girls, from ages 4 to 7, and then dismembered the bodies and indulged in necrophilia. He was convicted in 1997 and hanged to death in 2008.

 25 Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley
46
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: July 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Crumpsall, Greater Manchester, England
Died: November 15, 2002

 26 Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei Chikatilo
11
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: October 16, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yabluchne, Ukraine
Died: February 14, 1994
Andrei Chikatilo, known as the “Butcher of Rostov” and the “Rostov Ripper,” was a Russian serial killer who confessed to killing 56 people, from the 1970s to the 1990s, and was sentenced to death for 52. He also sexually assaulted his victims, who were all either women or children.

 27 Henry Lee Lucas

Henry Lee Lucas
14
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: August 23, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
Died: March 12, 2001
Henry Lee Lucas, also known as “The Confession Killer,” had confessed to killing over 600 people. However, most of his confessions were said to be false. He was convicted of 11 killings and received a death sentence, later commuted to life, for the murder of Debra Jackson.

 28 Robert Hansen

Robert Hansen
43
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 14, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Estherville, Iowa, United States
Died: August 21, 2014

One of America’s most notorious serial killers, Robert Hansen was called ‘The Butcher Baker’ as he owned a bakery. He is said to have killed seventeen women and raped many others in and around Anchorage, Alaska, during the 1970s and 1980s. Most of his victims were strippers and sex workers. He was sentenced to 461 years in prison in 1984.

 29 Ottis Toole

Ottis Toole
19
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Died: September 15, 1996
Ottis Toole was the murder companion of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and was convicted of six murders. One of his victims was 6-year-old Adam Walsh who was kidnapped and decapitated. Adam’s murder inspired a TV movie, too. Toole’s death sentences were later commuted and he died of cirrhosis.

 30 Belle Gunness

Belle Gunness
11
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 11, 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Selbu
Died: April 28, 1908
Also known as the Mistress of Murder Farms, Norwegian-born American immigrant Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset later changed her name to Belle. The brutal murderer is believed to have seduced and then butchered her countless suitors. A headless body found recovered from her burnt house was thought to be hers.

 31 Grim Sleeper

Grim Sleeper
11
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 28, 2020

 32 Carl Panzram

Carl Panzram
16
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: June 28, 1891
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Grand Forks, Minnesota, United States
Died: September 5, 1930

Carl Panzram was a serial killer, rapist, robber, arsonist, and burglar. He is suspected to have killed more than 100 men in total though only five victims could be confirmed. He was mean and cruel from childhood and began committing serious crimes like burglary, rape, and murder as a young man. He was finally captured and executed.

 33 Leonarda Cianciulli

Leonarda Cianciulli
11
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: April 18, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montella
Died: October 15, 1970

Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer who murdered three women and turned their bodies into soaps and tea cakes. She is also known as the "Soap-Maker of Correggio." Between 1939 and 1940, she killed three of her neighbors--all of them middle-aged women--as part of human sacrifices. She was eventually found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to prison.  

 34 Cary Stayner

Cary Stayner
13
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Merced, California

Cary Stayner is a serial killer convicted of the murders of four women in 1999. He had a troubled childhood. His brother Steven was a kidnap victim, and Cary himself was allegedly molested as a young boy. As a young man, he became involved with drugs and entered the world of crime. He is currently on death row.

 35 Genene Jones

Genene Jones
11
Famous As: Nurse Who Killed Several Infants
Birthdate: July 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Texas

 36 Alexander Pichushkin

Alexander Pichushkin
5
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: April 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mytishchi

Known as the Chessboard Killer, Alexander Pichushkin set out to kill people matching all the 64 squares on his chessboard, and would cross out a square with every kill. Mostly targeting elderly people, he managed to kill about 48 to 60 people and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment.

 37 Cleveland Torso Murderer

Cleveland Torso Murderer
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 38 Nannie Doss

Nannie Doss
6
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 4, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blue Mountain, Anniston, Alabama
Died: June 2, 1965

 39 Marc Dutroux

Marc Dutroux
4
Famous As: Criminal, Electrician, Serial killer
Birthdate: November 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ixelles / Elsene
In 2004, the notorious Belgian serial killer Marc Dutroux was convicted on charges of murder, kidnapping and rape and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Earlier, his case aroused widespread public outrage at the inefficiency and corruption of the Belgium’s law enforcement agency and led to the White March which was one of the largest demonstrations in Europe since WWII. 

 40 Marcel Petiot

Marcel Petiot
3
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 17, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Auxerre, France
Died: May 25, 1946

While he was diagnosed with mental illness as a child, French physician Marcel Petiot or Doctor Satan, allegedly killed almost 60 people later. He targeted Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied France, injected them with poison, stole their belongings, and hid their bodies in his basement. He was guillotined for his crimes.

 41 The Long Island Serial Killer

The Long Island Serial Killer
8
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 42 Charles Cullen

Charles Cullen
11
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Orange, New Jersey, United States

 43 Martha Beck

Martha Beck
6
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 6, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milton, Florida, United States
Died: March 8, 1951

 44 William Heirens

William Heirens
5
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois
Died: March 5, 2012

 45 Axeman of New Orleans

Axeman of New Orleans
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 46 Tommy Lynn Sells

Tommy Lynn Sells
8
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: April 3, 2014

 47 The Monster of Florence

The Monster of Florence
0
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Italy

 48 Jack Unterweger

Jack Unterweger
5
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: August 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Judenburg, Styria, Austria
Died: June 29, 1994

 49 Richard Cottingham

Richard Cottingham
5
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: November 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, USA

 50 Anatoly Slivko

Anatoly Slivko
3
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: December 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Izberbash
Died: September 16, 1989

Anatoly Slivko made headlines when he was convicted of killing seven teenage boys in Russia. The serial killer admitted that he had killed the boys to recreate an incident where he had seen a young boy dying in a road accident and had been sexually aroused by the sight.