American Serial Killers

Just as popular as America is for being a super power and the most advanced nation of the world, it also suffers for being one of the most debauched nations. Believe it or not, America has been the address of some of the world’s most treacherous serial killers. Call them evil, disturbed, or simply mental; serial killers are no figments of imagination. In fact, they are very much a part of our modern society. They inflict individuals or ‘targets’ with pain using torturous devices and have become infamous for their acts. What motivates a person to turn into a serial killer is not definite. While most of them turn to killing after being victims of substance abuse and sexual, others turn after experiencing a major breakdown of civil conduct, and still others have no background for turning into terrorizing individuals. Whatever the case may be, these convicted killers and their murderous exploits have captured the attention of the public for many centuries now. America has had numerous serial killers who killed men, women, children and even infants for various reasons and motives. Though most of them have been put behind the bars, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there are still unknown serial killers who may be walking among the general public. Find out in details about America’s most notorious serial killers, their motives behind their actions and their fate.

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 American Serial Killers

 1 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz .
13
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.”

 2 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy.
19
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.

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 3 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy.
12
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 4 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez.
48
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 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer.
27
Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S.
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.

 6 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer.
6
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

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.

 7 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper.
2
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.

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 8 Ed Gein

Ed Gein.
1
Famous As: Murderer
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.

 9 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer).
9
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, U.S.
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 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos.
10
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Troy, 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.

 11 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo.
6
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bath, New York

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.

 12 Gary Ridgway

Gary Leon Ridgway .
2
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.
7
Famous As: Serial killer
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 H. H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes .
9
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gilmanton, New Hampshire, U.S.
Died: 1896 AD
American serial killer H.H. Holmes was sentenced to death for the murder of his accomplice Benjamin Pitezel but confessed to 27 murders and might have killed almost 200 people. He had set up a hotel, later known as the Murder Castle, specifically for this purpose. He inspired a bestselling book.

 15 Israel Keyes

Israel Keyes.
4
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Richmond, Utah, United States
Died: December 2, 2012

Israel Keyes was a serial killer, rapist, and burglar, who had killed at least three people. He previously owned a construction business and had served the U.S. army. Israel was fond of Ted Bundy and committed suicide while awaiting trail in the case related to the murder of Samantha Koenig.

 16 Danny Rolling

Danny Rolling
4
Famous As: American serial killer
Birthdate: May 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana
Died: October 25, 2006

 17 Albert Fish

Albert Fish.
3
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.

 18 Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid.
4
Famous As: Gunman
Birthdate: November 17, 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 14, 1881

Billy the Kid was a gunfighter of the American Old West whose notoriety grew when he escaped from jail after killing two sheriff's deputies. He remains one of the most notorious personalities of the American Old West, whose life has been often dramatized in popular culture. His story has inspired over 50 films, including Billy the Kid, and The Outlaw.

 19 Rodney Alcala

Rodney Alcala.
5
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas
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.

 20 Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams.
6
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Wayne Williams is an American serial killer currently serving life imprisonment for the murders of two men in Atlanta, Georgia. Although he is convicted of only two murders, Wayne Williams is suspected to have committed at least 23 of the 30 murders that took place in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. His chilling story has inspired TV series and films.

 21 Robert Hansen

Robert Hansen.
4
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Estherville, Iowa
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.

 22 Christopher Scarver

Christopher Scarver.
5
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.

 23 Dean Corll

Dean Corll.
1
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. 

 24 David Parker Ray

David Parker Ray.
1
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.

 25 Henry Lee Lucas

Henry Lee Lucas.
1
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.

 26 Joel Rifkin

Joel Rifkin
2
Famous As: American serial killer
Birthdate: January 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York

 27 The Long Island Serial Killer

The Long Island Serial Killer
0
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 28 Ottis Toole

Ottis Toole.
2
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.

 29 Bobby Joe Long

Bobby Joe Long.
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: October 14, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kenova, West Virginia, United States
Died: May 23, 2019

Bobby Joe Long was an American rapist and serial killer who kidnapped, raped, and killed at least 10 women in Florida in 1984. The information provided by one of his last victims named Lisa McVey, whom he had released after raping over a period of 26 hours, helped the police to track him down. He was sentenced to death.

 30 Grim Sleeper

Grim Sleeper
1
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 28, 2020

 31 Michael Swango

Michael Swango.
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: October 21, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, United States

 32 Cary Stayner

Cary Stayner.
5
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.

 33 Leonard Lake

Leonard Lake
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: October 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: June 6, 1985

 34 Charles Starkweather

Charles Starkweather.
4
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Died: June 25, 1959

 35 Jerry Brudos

Jerry Brudos.
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 31, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota
Died: March 28, 2006

Jerry Brudos was an American necrophile and serial killer who killed at least four women between 1968 and 1969 in Oregon, USA. Brudos, who had a fetish for women's shoes, started killing women for their shoes. His life and style of crime inspired a song from the 2003 album Murder Metal, which was recorded by extreme metal band Macabre.

 36 Carl Panzram

Carl Panzram.
3
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 28, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warren, 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.

 37 Robert Ben Rhoades

Robert Ben Rhoades
1
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: November 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Council Bluffs, Iowa

 38 Cleveland Torso Murderer

Cleveland Torso Murderer
0
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 39 Kenneth Bianchi

Kenneth Bianchi
2
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: May 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, USA

 40 Charles Cullen

Charles Cullen.
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Orange, New Jersey, United States

 41 Axeman of New Orleans

Axeman of New Orleans
0
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 42 Robert Berdella

Robert Berdella.
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 31, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Died: October 8, 1992

 43 Todd Kohlhepp

Todd Kohlhepp.
4
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Florida

 44 Herb Baumeister

Herb Baumeister
3
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: April 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Butler-Tarkington, Indiana, USA
Died: July 3, 1996

 45 David Owen Brooks

David Owen Brooks
1
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 12, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: May 28, 2020

 46 Richard Cottingham

Richard Cottingham
1
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: November 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, USA

 47 Tommy Lynn Sells

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

 48 Anthony Sowell

Anthony Sowell
1
Famous As: American serial killer
Birthdate: August 19, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ohio

 49 Adolfo Constanzo

Adolfo Constanzo
3
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: November 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: May 6, 1989

 50 Kendall Francois

Kendall Francois
1
Famous As: American serial killer
Birthdate: July 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York
Died: September 11, 2014