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John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942—May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer. He was born and raised Catholic in Chicago and had a very distressed and distant relationship with his stern and abusive alcoholic father, John S. Gacy. He worked briefly in Las Vegas before returning to Illinois. He attended a business college and started a moderately successful career as a shoe salesman where he became a prominent member of the Jaycees. In 1964 he married and moved to Waterloo, Iowa where he managed a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant belonging to his wife’s family.
However, Gacy’s first marriage fell apart after he was convicted of child molestation in 1968. He was sent to prison for this crime but he was a model prisoner and was paroled in 1970 after serving only 18 months. After he was released, he moved back to Illinois. He successfully hid this criminal record until police began investigating him for his later murders. In 1971, he bought a house in an unincorporated area surrounded by the Chicago neighborhood of Norwood Park, lived there with his widowed mother and established his own construction business, PDM Contracting. He married a woman he had known since high school, and she and her two daughters moved in with him, and his mother moved out. He became a prominent and respected member of the community. In addition to his clown act, he became a committee member for the Democratic Party. In this capacity, he was even able to meet and be photographed with future-First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
It was also during this time that he claimed his first known victim, a teenage boy he picked up at a bus depot. His marriage fell apart and his wife divorced him in mid-1976. Gacy began a double life: respected member of the community by day, sexual predator and murderer by night.
No suspicion fell on him until December 12, 1978, when he was investigated following the disappearance of a teenage boy, 15-year-old Robert Piest, who was last seen with Gacy. A search of his house, by Des Plaines detective Joseph Kozenczak, revealed a number of incriminating items related to other disappearances. On December 22, 1978 Gacy went to his lawyers and confessed. He claimed he had first killed in January 1972. He confessed to 33 murders, indicating where the bodies were in 29 of the cases—buried under his house and on his property. The other four he said were thrown into the nearby Des Plaines River after he ran out of space beneath the crawlspace under his house. Most of the victims were young male prostitutes or teenage runaways. Some victims were also teenage boys whom Gacy had hired through his contracting firm. At least one of the victims was picked up at the bus station. The youngest victim was nine years old. The oldest was around 20. Nine of the victims’ bodies were so badly decomposed that they were never identified. The bodies were uncovered from December 1978 to April 1979, when the last known victim was found downstream in the Illinois River.
Trial and Execution
On February 6, 1980, Gacy’s trial began in Chicago. During the trial, he made a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. However, this plea was rejected outright—his lawyer made the claim that Gacy had moments of temporary insanity at the time of each individual murder, but before and afterwards, somehow regained his sanity to properly lure and dispose of victims. Also, Gacy had made an earlier confession to police, and was unable to have this pulled as evidence. He was found guilty on March 13 and sentenced to death.
On May 10, 1994, Gacy was executed in the State Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois, by lethal injection, after finishing his last meal consisting of shrimp, fried chicken, fresh strawberries, and then fries. His execution was a minor media sensation, and large crowds of people gathered for “execution parties” outside the penitentiary, with numerous arrests for public intoxication, open intoxicants and disorderly conduct. In an unusual display of gallows humor, the so-called “Gacy’s Day Parade” (a parody of the “Macy’s Day Parade”) ensued. Vendors sold T-shirts and Gacy merchandise, and the people cheered at the moment when Gacy was pronounced dead.
Gacy’s execution also proved problematic when the chemicals used in the lethal injection were mixed in a way that caused them to solidify, and as a result, he reportedly took 27 minutes to die. As a result of this problem, Illinois adopted a different method of lethal injection.
According to reports, Gacy did not express remorse. His last words were to the effect that killing him would not bring anyone back, and it is reported his last words were “You can kiss my ass”, which he said to the Chief Chaplain of the Illinois Department of Corrections, Dr. William Fontaine prior to Gacy being led into the execution chamber.
Some have pointed to his poor relationship with his abusive, alcoholic father, his head trauma and subsequent blackouts in his teenage years as some basis for his acts. There has also been some speculation that murdering men and boys — whom he called “worthless little queers and punks” — was Gacy’s subconscious expression of self-hatred for his own homosexuality (Gacy claimed to hate gays and “gay-acting people,” and that he was bisexual.)
Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka Video Tape Transcript
These tapes were to be played on two 30-inch video monitors at the front of the gallery, one on each side of the courtroom. The sets were on 6-foot-high platforms that were discreetly sheathed in a somber black cloth. There were also two huge television sets in front of the jurors, while Bernardo, the defense, and the prosecution lawyers, along with the judge, all had their own smaller screens.
Just before the tape was turned on that morning, Judge LeSage looked down at the gallery that was filled to capacity and issued a warning: “I want to caution the audience that what you are about to see next is explicit… if you wish to remain, you can.”
"Play it, please," said Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan.
The first scene had been taped in the basement recreation room of the Homolka house not long after Tammy Lyn’s death. Karla Homolka was on her back, lying on a rug before the fireplace, naked, her legs spread wide apart while she masturbated for the camera, which was positioned a few feet away, at about knee level, and pointed directly at her vagina.
Gasps of surprise and disgust, perhaps even shock, along with plenty of embarrassed giggles, could be heard throughout the courtroom as the camera lingered on Homolka’s exposed body for several minutes while she stimulated herself. To many in the courtroom, showing that particular video seemed an amazing way for the Crown to treat the woman who was scheduled to be their chief witness. For the previous two years, ever since her arrest, Homolka’s face had been almost as well know as the prime minister’s. She had been seen on television in footage taken at her wedding, with her friends, and at her trial. There had been countless photographs of her in newspapers and magazines around the world. But few people in the courtroom that day were expecting to see a triple-X-rated tape, a close study of the country’s most infamous woman in a variety of sexually explicit positions.
The prosecutors, though, had their reasons for showing the video. On it, she and Bernardo talked about the death of Tammy Lyn. Although Bernardo’s trial for her death might well follow his trial for first-degree murder, the Crown wanted to present evidence on Tammy’s death as part of its general picture of the relationship between the two. Homolka’s dialogue on the tape, Houlahan had said in his opening address, had been scripted by Bernardo. That is, Bernardo had told her what to say when she was on camera, and if she didn’t obey him, she was punished with a beating.
But what the court saw was a seemingly relaxed Homolka pulling down her husband’s pants, fondling his penis, which she called Snuggles, and then performing fellatio during most of the tape, stopping every now and then to talk about what had happeded to her dead sister.
"I loved it when you fucked my little sister," Homolka said to Bernardo, who was lying on his back beside the roaring hearth, moaning softly while she rubbed his penis.
"I loved it when you fucked Tammy. I loved it when you took her virginity. You’re the king. I love licking your ass, Paul. I’ll bet Tammy would have loved to lick your ass. I loved it when you put Snuggles up her ass."
Bernardo could be seen reaching for his drink while Homolka continued to fondle his penis. She did it for several minutes, but he never climaxed. He took a sip from his drink, glancing at the back of her head while she worked on him, and asked about her thoughts on the night Tammy died. “How did you feel?”
"I felt proud. I felt happy," she replied.
"I felt horny. It’s my mission in life to make you feel good."
"This is why I’m gonna marry her," Bernardo said, looking at the camera and holding up his drink while Homolka continued performing fellatio. "SkÃ¶l to the king."
"I’m glad you made me lick her cunt," Homolka continued, after pausing to take a break from the oral sex.
"Are you a fully fledged dyke?" Bernardo asked, a reference to Homolka having sex with her sister.
"No, I’m not."
"You were having sex with your little sister."
"That was different. It was my little sister," she replied, stroking his penis.
"Love in the family," Bernardo said. "Do you believe in that concept?"
"You know I had fun doing it," Homolka said. "You know I liked it."
"What did it teach you?"
"Well… we like little girls, I like you to fuck them. If you’re gonna fuck them, then I’m gonna lick them. All the little girls."
"What age should they be?"
"Because it will make you happy."
"But why 13?"
"That’s a good age."
"Because why?" he persisted.
"Because they’ll still be virgins."
"What are you saying?" Bernardo asked, looking down at Homolka’s head. She stopped to look up at him.
"I’m saying I think you should fuck them and take their virginity. Break their hymens with Snuffles. They’re all our children, and I think you should make them ours even more."
"You’re right," Bernardo said. "You’re absolutely right. That’s a good idea. When did you come up with it?"
"Just now," she replied. She resumed the oral sex for a while longer, then stopped and told Bernardo she had a surprise for him. She walked past the camera to her bedroom, beside the rec room, came back with a paper bag a few minutes later, and sat down beside Bernardo. Inside the bag was a brassiere and a pair of panties.
"It’s Tammy’s," she said, handing him the bra. He smelled it while she began stroking his penis with the underwear, before resuming the fellatio. A few minutes later, when he still hadn’t reached a climax, she stopped and continued talking about her dead sister.
"I want to rub Tammy’s underwear all over your body," she said, and did so. "It will make you feel so good. I’m so glad you took her virginity, Paul. I wish we had four kids, Paul."
"So you could fuck each one of them. How does the king like that?" she asked, stroking his penis rapidly with her sister’s underwear.
"Yeah," he replied, in obvious pleasure. She continued for serveral minutes, but when he never climaxed, she said, "I think the king should turn over." He did as he was instructed.
"Okay," he said.
"Because his little slave has some more things to say and do."
Bernardo rolled off his back and got down on his hands and knees while Homoka positioned herself behind him. Then she probed with one hand for his anus and began licking it while she stroked his penis with her other hand. She did this for several minutes, and he moaned in pleasure, at times calling her his “little asslicker.” When he failed to reach a climax, they changed positions yet again.
Bernardo lay on his back again and rested his hands behind his head. Homolka took a long-stemmed rose from a nearby vase and dragged it slowly across his chest, and then up and down his errect penis.
"You know what we’re gonna do with this?" she asked, holding up the rose. "We’re gonna take this to Tammy’s tomorrow, and put it on her grave."
"Because it will give you pleasure. You loved her. She loved you. You were her favorite, you know. The things that you did, you know I loved it. The way you fucked her in what, 60 seconds? She loved it. She loved it."
"Your titties are bigger than hers."
"And they taste better," he said. "When Tammy was alive, what did you used to do?"
"You made me lick it," she replied, resuming the oral sex, "and suck it. And now I’m doing it on my own because I loved it, Paul. I loved everything you did with her. She was our little playtoy."
"And we both loved her so much."
"Yes," Homolka agreed, fondling his penis again. "Our little virgin. She loved us."
"I didn’t give you my virginity, so I gave you Tammy’s instead. I loved you enough to do that."
Homolka then talked about another time Bernardo had brought a young girl home and had sex with her in the basement of her parents’ house while she watched. “You fucked her,” Homolka said, “with this.”
She gazed at his penis, tenderly stroking it. “You fucked her cunt,” she said. “She sucked you. She sucked Snuffles. She put it in her mouth, like this.” After more minutes of oral sex with no climax, she continued: “You put her on her knees. You fucked her. And I let you do that because I love you, because you’re the king.”
She rubbed his penis for several moments before saying, “I want you to do it again.”
"This summer, because the weather is too bad in the winter. If we can do that then it’s good."
"Good," he agreed.
"If you want to do it 50 more times, we can do it 50 more times," she said, a reference to him bringing home more young girls. "If you want to do it every weekend, we can do it every weekend. Whenever we can. Because I love you. Because you’re the king. Because you deserve it."
"Virgin cunts for me," Bernardo chimed in.
"Virgins just for me. It’ll make me happy… going from one cunt to another, from one ass to another. Will you help me get the virgins?"
"Yes, I’ll go in the car with you if you want, if you think that’s best. Or I’ll stay here and clean up afterwards. I’ll do everything I can because I want you to be happy. Because you’re the king."
Bernardo still hadn’t climaxed. Homolka shifted down toward his feet.
"Ooh, footsies," he said.
She started sucking on his toes, first one foot, then the other. “Got to treat the king like a king,” she said.
"Good. And what else?"
"I’m your little cocksucker," she said. "My nipples are so hard. I’m your cunt. Your little slut. Your little asslicker. Your little virgin."
"It’s good to be king," Bernardo said, looking at the camera and raising his glass again.
Homolka licked the soles of his feet. “I’m your cunt-licking slut,” she said, “the keeper of your virgins. Your ass-licking bitch. And I love you. I want to marry you.”
And there the tape ended, with Bernardo still unable to climax.
Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan said the video would be played again, to enable the jurors to follow the dialogue on the second viewing with a transcript prepared by the police. But before the monitors were turned on, many in the public gallery got up and left. They had seen more than enough of the illustrious couple on the first playing of the tape.
Arthur Shawcross (June 6, 1945—November 10, 2008) was an American serial killer, also known as The Genesse River Killer in Rochester, New York. He was born in Maine but his family moved to Watertown in New York State when he was young. While several later tests showed Shawcross’ intelligence to be sub-normal or even “borderline retarded”, he received As and Bs in his first two years of grade school. His IQ was tested to be “low-normal” when he was in the fifth grade. Shawcross was prone to behaviors such as bullying, chronic bed writing and physical violence. He eventually dropped out of high school in 1960 and when he was 21 he was drafted by the Army, in April 1967. At this time he divorced his first wife and gave up the rights to their eighteen-month-old soon, whom he never saw again.
After his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma as an armorer. His second wife Linda experienced several aspects of his disturbing behavior, especially a penchant for starting fires; an Army psychiatrist told her that Shawcross gained “sexual enjoyment” from the act. Linda Shawcross also witnessed her husband kill their six-month-old puppy in a sudden fit of rage by throwing him against a wall. Shawcross moved with his wife (who would soon divorce him) from Oklahoma to Clayton, New York where he began committing crimes such as arson and burglary. His offenses earned him a five-year sentence to be served in Attica but he was eventually transferred to the Auburn Correctional Facility and would serve a total of twenty-two months. He was paroled in 1971 and returned to Watertown, eventually getting a job and marrying for the third time. In 1972, Shawcross sexually assaulted and murdered 10-year-old Jack Owen Blake after luring the boy into some woods. Four months later, he raped and killed eight-year-old Karen Ann Hill who was visiting Watertown with her mother for the Labor Day weekend. Arrested for these crimes, Shawcross confessed to both murders. Under a plea bargain he was to reveal where he laid Jack’s body. He was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. He served 14 1/2 years in prison before being released on parole in 1987.
After moving from place to place he ended up in Rochester, New York. He married Rose Walley while in Rochester. He also met Clara Neal, who became his mistress. Working nights as a food wholesaler and living near the center of town, he didn’t even have a car. People found him to be friendly, and mild mannered. They didn’t know of his dark past. In March 1988 the body of a 27-year-old prostitute was found floating in Salmon Creek. In September another body was found. Over a year later in October of 1989, a third was found and in early November, a forth. Later that month a fifth. Police believed the murders were too similar to be the work of different people. Arthur followed the news of the murders closely. He warned his wife Clara to be careful. He also hung out at the local Dunkin’ Donuts to talk with the cops about the case. He was captured soon later and was convicted of 11 murders (primarily prostitutes), with a 12th not officially charged to him. Shawcross was spotted by the surveillance team (and by an eyewitness) standing near his car, urinating, on a bridge over Salmon Creek; upon whose frozen waters the body of his final victim was dumped. He was stopped in Spencerport on January 3, 1990 and was later arrested. He eventually confessed in custody.
Shawcross, who had served in Vietnam had told many outlandish tales of committing gruesome crimes (including cannibalism), often perpetrated while alone in the jungle. From the time Shawcros returned, he told acquaintances of seeing American soldiers “skinned from their neck to their ankles”, and claimed to have decapitated two women he had victimized, “placing” their heads on poles. FBI criminal profiler Robert K. Ressler reviewed the PTSD claim and wrote that “his claim of having witnessed wartime atrocities was patently outrageous and untrue.” Shawcross was gound guilty of 10 counts of second degree murder and was sentenced to 250 years to life in prison. A few months later, he was taken to Wayne Country to be tried for Elizabeth Gibson’s murder. He pleaded guilty and was given a life sentence.
In a 2006 interview, Arthur Shawcross claimed to have been sexually abused as a child by his mother and also admitted sexually abusing his younger sister as a child. He also claimed to murder the prostitutes in revenge for supposedly having sex with an HIV-positive prostitute. A few of the prostitutes had their vaginas cut out which Shawcross ate, supposedly in order to speed up the process of death. Arthur Shawcross was held at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York until he died on November 10, 2008 at the Albany Medical Center.
Tsutomu Miyazaki (August 21, 1962—June 17, 2008), also known as The Otaku Murderer, The Little Girl Murderer, and Dracula, was a Japanese serial killer. Between 1988 and 1989, Miyazaki mutilated and killed four girls, aged between four and seven, and sexually molested their corpses. He drank the blood of one victim and ate a part of her hand. These crimes shocked Saitama Prefecture, which had few crimes against children.
During the day, Miyazaki was a mild-mannered employee. Outside of work, he randomly selected children to kill. He terrorized the families of his victims, sending them letters recalling in graphic detail what he had done to their children. To the family of victim Erika Nanba, he sent a morbid postcard assembled using words cut out of magazines: “Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”
He let the corpse of his first victim, Mari Konno, decompose in the hills near his home, then chopped off the hands and feet which he kept in his closet. He charred her remaining bones in the furnace, ground them into powder and sent them to her family in a box along with several teeth, photos of her clothes and a postcard reading: “Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove.”
On July 23, 1989, he attempted to insert a zoom lens into the vagina of a grade school-aged girl in a park near her home. He was attacked by the girl’s grandfather. Eventually he was promptly arrested by police who had responded to the grandfather’s call. A search of Miyazaki’s two-room bungalow turned up a collection of 5,763 videotapes, some containing anime and slasher films (later used as reasoning for his crimes). Interspersed among them was video footage and pictures of his victims. He was also repeated to be a fan of horror films and had an extensive collection. He retained a perpetually calm and collected demeanor during his trial, appeared indifferent to his capture. The media soon came to call him “The Otaku Murderer”. His killings fueled a moral panic against otaku, accusing anime and horror films of making him a murderer.
Miyazaki’s father refused to pay for his son’s legal defense and eventually comitted suicide in 1994.
During the trial, Miyazaki often blamed his atrocities on “Rat Man” an alter ego whom he claimed forced him to kill. Believed to be insane, Miyazaki remained incarcerated throughout the 1990s while Saitama Prefecture put him through a battery of psychiatric evaluations. The Tokyo District Court judged him still aware of the gravity and consequences of his crimes and therefore accountable. He was sentenced to death on April 14, 1997 and was hanged on June 17, 2008.
Mohammed Bijeh Persian: محمد بيژه ) (February 7, 1975-March 16, 2005) was an Iranian serial killer. He confessed in court to raping and killing 16 young boys between March and September 2004, and was sentenced to 100 lashes followed by execution.
Nicknamed the “Tehran Desert Vampire” by the press, Bijeh and an accomplice lured young boys into the desert telling them they were hunting for animals. The actual number of victims is believed to be higher than 16. His accomplice, Ali Gholampour, (or Ali Baghi) was sentenced to 100 lashes and 15 years in prison.
Execution: On March 16,2005, in front of a crowd of about 5,000, his shirt was removed and he was handcuffed to an iron post, where he received his lashings from different judicial officials. He fell to the ground more than once during the punishment, but did not cry out. A relative of one of the victims managed to get by security and stab Bijeh. A blue nylon rope was then put around his neck and he was hoisted about 10 meters in the air by a crane until he died. He was hanged in Pakdasht, Iran, the town near the desert area where the killings occurred.
Paul Kenneth Bernardo, (born August 27, 1964 in Scarborough, Ontario), is a Canadian serial killer, known for the murders he committed with his wife Karla Homolka. They were dubbed the “Ken and Barbie” murderers by the press.
Bernardo was the product of an extramarital affair between his mother, Marilyn, and an ex-boyfriend; her husband, Kenneth, listed the baby’s last name as Bernardo to avoid her indiscretion becoming public. Kenneth Bernardo was a pedophile and peeping tom who molested his daughter; the scandal surrounding Kenneth Bernardo’s crimes notably affected his son, who excelled in school to overcome the public shame. When Bernardo was a teenager, his mother told him he was illegitimate during an argument.
Bernardo graduated in 1987 from the University of Toronto at Scarborough. He joined the Toronto office of PricewaterhouseCoopers that September. A few months later, he met Homolka, and they started dating. Homolka would later say that he began abusing her immediately, calling her his “sex slave.” They each encouraged each other’s violent behavior: Homolka said she would not deny him anything, and urged (or at least allowed) him to brutalize her and, eventually, other women. Bernardo, meanwhile, demanded from her total submission, which included helping him commit murder and rape.
By 1990, Bernardo was spending large amounts of time with the Homolka family, who liked him. He was engaged to the eldest daughter and flirted constantly with the youngest one. He had not told them that he had lost his job as an accountant, and instead was smuggling cigarettes across the nearby U.S.-Canadian border. He had become obsessed with Tammy Homolka, peeping into her window and entering her room to masturbate while she slept. Karla Homolka helped him by breaking the blinds in her sister’s window to allow Bernardo access. In July, Bernardo took Tammy across the border to get beer for a party. While there, Bernardo later told his fiancee, “they got drunk and began making out.”
According to Bernardo’s testimony at his trial on July 24, 1990, Karla Homolka laced spaghetti sauce with crushed Valium she had stolen from her employer, Martindale Animal Clinic. She served dinner to her sister, who soon lost consciousness. Bernardo began to rape Tammy while Karla watched.
Over the summer, he supplied Tammy and her friends with gifts, food, and sodas that had “a film and a few white flecks on the top.”
Six months before their 1991 wedding, Karla Homolka stole the anaesthetic agent Halothane from the clinic. On December 23, 1990, Homolka and Bernardo administered sleeping pills to the 15-year-old in a rum-and-eggnog cocktail. After Tammy was unconscious, Homolka and Bernardo undressed her and Karla applied a Halothane-soaked cloth to her sister’s nose and mouth.
Karla Homolka wanted to “give Tammy’s virginity to Bernardo for Christmas” as, according to Homolka, Bernardo was disappointed by not having been Karla’s first sex partner. With Tammy’s parents sleeping upstairs, the pair filmed themselves as they raped her in the basement. Tammy began to vomit. The pair tried to revive her, then called 911, but not before they hid evidence, dressed Tammy, and moved her into her basement bedroom. A few hours later Tammy Homolka was pronounced dead at St. Catharines General Hospital without having regained consciousness.
On June 15, 1991, Bernardo kidnapped fourteen-year-old Leslie Mahaffy, whom he then raped and murdered. Her dismembered body was found in Lake Gibson near St. Catharines, Ontario. On April 16, 1992, Bernardo, with Homolka’s help, kidnapped Kristen French from a church parking lot. Again, Bernardo abused her, then murdered her. Later that year Bernardo increasingly became abusive towards Homolka, and as a consequence she left him in January 1993. In return for a plea bargain (12 years in prison) Homolka agreed to testify against Bernardo in his murder trial. This plea bargain received much public criticism from Canadians.
Six videotapes found at the home of Bernardo and his wife Homolka were used as evidence in Bernardo’s trial. Depicted are the rapes of Tammy Lyn Homolka, Kristen French, and Leslie Mahaffy. Also depicted is the rape of an unidentified girl known only as “Jane Doe.”
Bernardo’s trial for the murders of French and Mahaffy took place in 1995, and included detailed testimony from Homolka and videotapes of the rapes. The trial was subject to a publication ban to prevent the public from knowing details until after the trial. This led to many people driving to the United States and sharing newspaper reports from there. The trial was held in Toronto rather than St. Catharines, due to the inability to find an impartial jury in the city where the killings occurred. During the trial, Bernardo claimed the deaths were accidental, and later claimed that his wife was the actual killer. On September 1, 1995, Bernardo was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison. Later, Bernardo was also declared a “Dangerous Offender”, virtually ensuring that he will never be released on parole. Since his conviction, he has been held in solitary confinement at the Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario. He occupies a very small cell 23 out of 24 hours a day and is allowed one hour of exercise in a small walled-in yard. He is kept apart from the other male prisoners to ensure his safety.
Homolka was released from prison on July 4, 2005. Several days before, Bernardo was interviewed by police and his lawyer, Tony Bryant. According to Bryant, Bernardo claimed that he had always intended to free the girls he and Homolka kidnapped. However, once Mahaffy’s blindfold fell off, allowing Mahaffy to see Bernardo’s face, Homolka was concerned that Mahaffy would identify Bernardo, and hence report Homolka to the police. Further, Bernardo claimed that Homolka planned to murder Mahaffy by injecting an air bubble into her bloodstream, eventually causing an embolism.
Albert Henry DeSalvo "The Boston Strangler" (September 3, 1931 - November 25, 1973) was a serial killer active in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1960s. Between June 14, 1962, and January 4, 1964, thirteen single women between the ages of 19 and 85 in the Boston area were murdered. All thirteen women were murdered in their apartments, strangled with articles of clothing after being sexually assaulted. Without any sign of forced entry into their dwellings, the women apparently either knew their assailant or voluntarily allowed him into their homes.
While the police were not convinced that all of these murders were the work of a single individual, the public believed so. Despite police efforts to solve the case, it was the alleged Strangler who caused his own capture.
On October 27, 1964, a stranger entered a young woman’s home posing as a detective. He tied his victim to her bed, proceeded to sexually assault her, and suddenly left, saying “I’m sorry” as he went. The woman’s description led police to identify the assailant as Albert Henry DeSalvo and when his photo was published, many women identified him as the man who had assaulted them. Earlier that night, he had posed as a motorist with car trouble and attempted to enter a home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The homeowner, future Brockton police chief Richard Sproles, became suspicious, and eventually fired a shotgun at DeSalvo. At this point, DeSalvo was not suspected of being involved with the stranglings. It was only after he was charged with rape that he gave a detailed confession of his activities as the Boston Strangler. However, there was no evidence to substantiate his confession. As such, he stood trial for earlier, unrelated crimes of robbery and sexual offences. DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison in 1967. He was murdered six years later in the prison infirmary.
Lingering doubts remain as to whether DeSalvo was indeed the Boston Strangler. At the time that he confessed, people who knew him personally did not believe him capable of the vicious crimes (however, it is not uncommon for people who knew a serial killer to never have suspected him to be capable of such violence. In the case of Mary Sullivan, murdered January 4, 1964, at age 19, DNA) and other forensic evidence gathered nearly 40 years later by her nephew Casey Sherman and published in his book A Rose for Mary (2003) suggested that DeSalvo was not responsible for her death. For example, DeSalvo confessed to sexually penetrating her, yet the forensic investigation revealed no evidence of sexual activity. There are also suggestions from DeSalvo himself that he was covering up for another man, the real killer.
DeSalvo was the subject of the 1968 Hollywood film The Boston Strangler, starring Tony Curtis as DeSalvo, and Henry Fonda and George Kennedy as the homicide detectives who apprehend him. The movie was highly fictionalized; it assumed DeSalvo was guilty, and it portrayed him as suffering from multiple personality disorder and committing the murders while in a psychotic state. DeSalvo was never diagnosed with, or even suspected of having, that disorder. DeSalvo was one of the serial killers whose murders were recreated by the killer in the movie Copycat.
Yang Xinhai “The Monster Killer”
He was a Chinese serial killer who confessed to committing 65 murders and 23 rapes between 1999 and 2003, and was sentenced to death and executed for 67. He was dubbed the “Monster Killer” by the media. He is the most prolific serial killer China has seen.
Early life: Yang was born on July 29, 1968 in Zhumadian, Zhengyang County, Henan Province, China. His family was one of the poorest in their village. The youngest of four children, Yang was clever but introverted. He dropped out of school in 1985, at age 17, and refused to return home, instead traveling around China and working as a hired labourer.
Crimes: In 1988 and 1991, Yang was sentenced to labor camps for theft in Xi’an, Shaanxi and Shijiazhuang, Hebei. In 1996, he was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted rape in Zhumadian, Henan and released in 1999.
Yang’s killings took place between 1999 and 2003 in the provinces of Anhui, Hebei, Henan and Shandong. At night, he would enter his victims’ homes, and kill all of the occupants mainly farmers with axes, hammers and shovels, sometimes killing entire families. Each time he wore new clothes and large shoes.
In October 2002, Yang killed a father and a six-year-old girl with a shovel and raped a pregnant woman, who survived the attack with serious head injuries.
Arrest, trial and execution: Yang was detained on November 3, 2003 after acting suspiciously during a routine police inspection of entertainment venues in Cangzhou, Hebei. Police took him in for questioning and discovered that he was wanted for murder in four provinces. As news of his arrest and crimes spread, the media dubbed him the “Monster Killer”.
Shortly after he was arrested, Yang confessed to 65 murders, 23 rapes and five attacks causing serious injury: 49 murders, 17 rapes and five attacks in Henan; eight murders and three rapes in Hebei; six murders and two rapes in Anhui; and two murders and one rape in Shandong. Police also matched his DNA with that found at several crime scenes.
On February 1, 2004, Yang was found guilty of 67 murders and 23 rapes, and sentenced to death in Luohe City Intermediate People’s Court, Henan. At the time of his sentencing, official Chinese media believed he had carried out China’s longest and grisliest killing spree.
Yang was executed on February 14, 2004, by a gunshot to the back of the head.
Motive: According to some media reports at the time of his arrest, Yang’s motive for the killings was revenge against society as a result of a break up. Allegedly his girlfriend had left him because of his previous sentences for theft and rape. Later media reports claimed that his enjoyment of robbery, rape and murder was the motive.
While Yang never formally provided a motive, he was quoted as saying: “When I killed people I had a desire. This inspired me to kill more. I don’t care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern…I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.”
Items found in Ted Bundy’s 1968 Volkswagen Beetle after a 1975 arrest.
Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy (November 24 1946 – January 24 1989) was an American serial killer and rapist who murdered numerous young women across the United States between 1974 and 1978. His total number of victims is unknown. After over a decade of vigorous denials, Bundy eventually confessed to over 30 murders. Bundy is often considered the prototypical American serial killer — indeed, the term ‘serial killer’ was coined in order to describe him.
Bundy is believed to have been a sociopath. He is usually described as an educated, handsome and charming young man despite the brutality of his crimes. Typically, he murdered young women and girls by bludgeoning them, and sometimes by strangulation. He is also believed to have raped many of his victims, in addition to mutilating and molesting their bodies after their deaths.
While some Bundy experts, including Rule and former King County detective Robert D. Keppel, believe Bundy may have started killing as far back as his early teens (an eight-year-old girl from Tacoma, Ann Marie Burr, vanished from her home when Bundy was 15), his earliest confirmed murders were committed in 1974, when he was 27.
Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, Bundy entered the basement bedroom of Joni Lenz, an 18-year-old student at the University of Washington, and bludgeoned her with a crowbar while she slept. Bundy also removed a steel rod from Lenz’s bed frame and sexually assaulted her with it. She was found the next morning, in a coma, lying in a pool of her own blood. Lenz survived the attack, but suffered permanent brain damage.
Bundy’s next victim was Lynda Ann Healy, a senior at the University of Washington. On January 31, 1974, Bundy broke into Healy’s basement room, knocked her unconscious, dressed her in jeans and a shirt, wrapped her in a bed sheet, and carried her away. A year would pass before her decapitated remains were found in the mountains east of Seattle.
Between January and June of 1974, Bundy stalked and killed at least eight young women in Washington State alone, a spree that culminated in July with the abduction, in broad daylight, of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund from Lake Sammamish State Park near Seattle. Bundy had a remarkable advantage as his facial features were attractive, yet not especially memorable. In later years, he would often be described as a chameleon, able to look totally different by making only minor adjustments to his appearance, e.g., shaving or changing his hairstyle.
That autumn, Bundy moved to Utah to attend law school in Salt Lake City, where he resumed killing in October with the murder of Melissa Smith, the 17-year-old daughter of Midvale, Utah, police chief Louis Smith. Bundy raped, sodomized, and strangled Smith. Her body was found nine days later.
Next was Laura Aime, also 17, who disappeared on Halloween. Her remains were found nearly a month later, on Thanksgiving Day, on the banks of a river.
Aileen Wuornos interviewed one day before her execution.
Aileen Wuornos and her victims:
- Richard Mallory, age 51—November 30, 1989—Electronics store owner in Clearwater, Florida. Wuornos’ first victim was a convicted rapist whom she claimed to have killed in self-defense. Two days later, a Volusia County, Florida, Deputy Sheriff found Mallory’s abandoned vehicle. On December 13, Mallory’s body was found several miles away in a wooded area. He had been shot several times, but two bullets to the left lung were found to have been the cause of death. It was on this murder that Wuornos would eventually be condemned.
- David Spears, age 43—Construction worker in Winter Garden, Florida. On June 1, 1990, his nude body was found along Highway 19 in Citrus County, Florida. He had been shot six times.
- Charles Carskaddon, age 40—May 31, 1990—Part-time rodeo worker. On June 6, 1990, his body was found in Pasco County, Florida. He had been shot nine times with a small-caliber weapon.
- Peter Siems, age 65—In June 1990, Siems left Jupiter, Florida, for New Jersey. On July 4, 1990, his car was found in Orange Springs, Florida. Moore and Wuornos were seen abandoning the car, and Wuornos’ palm print was found on the interior door handle. His body was never found.
- Troy Burress, age 50—Sausage salesman from Ocala, Florida. On July 31, 1990, he was reported missing. On August 4, 1990, his body was found in a wooded area along State Road 19 inMarion County, Florida. He had been shot twice.
- Charles “Dick” Humphreys, age 56—September 11, 1990—Retired U.S. Air Force Major, former State Child Abuse Investigator, and former Chief of Police. On September 12, 1990, his body was found in Marion County, Florida. He was fully clothed and had been shot six times in the head and torso. His car was found in Suwannee County, Florida.
- Walter Jeno Antonio, age 62—Police Reservist. On November 19, 1990, Antonio’s nearly nude body was found near a remote logging road in Dixie County, Florida. He had been shot four times. Five days later, his car was found in Brevard County, Florida.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is a pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England, in late 1888. The name originated in a letter sent to the London Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer.
The victims were women earning income as prostitutes. Most victims’ throats were slit, after which the bodies were mutilated. The removal of internal organs from three of the victims led some officials at the time of the murders to propose that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge.
Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer because of the savagery of the attacks and the failure of the police to capture the murderer.
Because the killer’s identity has never been confirmed, the legends surrounding the murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. Many authors, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories about the identity of the killer and his victims.
Metropolitan Police files show that the investigation began in 1888 and eventually came to encompass eleven separate murders, stretching from 3 April 1888 to 13 February 1891, known in the police docket as the “Whitechapel murders”. In addition, authors and historians have connected at least seven other murders and violent attacks with Jack the Ripper. Among the eleven murders actively investigated by the police, five are almost universally agreed upon as the work of a single killer, collectively called the “canonical five” victims:
- Mary Ann Nichols (nicknamed “Polly”) killed Friday 31 August 1888. Her body was discovered by a man named Charles Cross at about 3:40 A.M. on the ground in front of a gated stable entrance in Buck’s Row (now Durward Street), a back street in Whitechapel 200 yards from the London Hospital. Her throat was severed deeply by two cuts; the lower part of the abdomen was partly ripped open by a deep, jagged wound. There also were several incisions running across the abdomen, and three or four similar cuts on the right side caused by the same knife used violently and downwards.
- Annie Chapman (maiden name Eliza Ann Smith, nicknamed “Dark Annie”) killed Saturday 8 September 1888. Her body was discovered about 6 a.m., lying on the ground near a doorway in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. Like Mary Ann Nichols’s, her throat was severed by two cuts, one deeper than the other. The abdomen was ripped entirely open and the uterus was removed.
- Elizabeth Stride (nicknamed “Long Liz”) killed Sunday 30 September 1888. Her body was discovered about 1 a.m., lying on the ground in Dutfield’s Yard, off Berner Street (now Henriques Street) in Whitechapel. There was one clear-cut incision on the neck; the cause of death was massive blood loss from the nearly severed main artery on the left side. The cut through the tissues on the right side was more superficial, and tapered off below the right jaw. That there also were no mutilations to the abdomen has left some uncertainty about the identity of Elizabeth’s murderer, along with the suggestion her killer was disturbed during the attack.
- Catherine Eddowes (also known as “Kate Conway” and “Mary Ann Kelly,” from the surnames of her two common-law husbands, Thomas Conway and John Kelly) killed Sunday 30 September 1888 (the same day as the previous victim, Elizabeth Stride). Her body was found in Mitre Square, in the City of London. The throat was, as in the former two cases, severed by two cuts; the abdomen was ripped open by a long, deep, jagged wound. The left kidney and the major part of the uterus had been removed. She was 46. Her murder, and the murder of Elizabeth Stride would go on to be called “The Double Event” in the media, and across London.
- Mary Jane Kelly (called herself “Marie Jeanette Kelly” after a trip to Paris, nicknamed “Ginger”) killed Friday 9 November 1888. Her gruesomely mutilated body was discovered shortly after 10:45 A.M., lying on the bed in the single room where she lived at 13 Miller’s Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields. Her throat had been severed down to the spine, and her abdomen virtually emptied of its organs. Her heart was missing.
The authority of this list rests on a number of authors’ opinions, but historically the idea has been based upon the 1894 notes of Sir Melville Macnaghten, Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police Service Criminal Investigation Department. Macnaghten did not join the force until the year after the murders; and his memorandum, which came to light in 1959, contains serious factual errors about possible suspects. There is considerable disagreement about the value of Macnaghten’s assessment of the number of victims. Some researchers have posited that the series may not have been the work of a single murderer, but of an unknown larger number of killers acting independently. Authors Stewart P. Evans and Donald Rumbelow argue that the “canonical five” is a “Ripper myth” and that the probable number of victims could range from three (Nichols, Chapman, and Eddowes) to six (the previous three, plus Stride, Kelly, and Martha Tabram) or more. Macnaghten’s opinion of which crimes were committed by the same killer was not shared by other investigating officers, such as Inspector Frederick Abberline.
Except Stride, whose attack may have been interrupted, mutilations of the “canonical five” victims became increasingly severe as the series of murders proceeded. Nichols and Stride were not missing any organs; but Chapman’s uterus was taken, and Eddowes had her uterus and a kidney carried away and her face mutilated. While only Kelly’s heart was missing from her crime scene, many of her internal organs were removed and left in her room.
The “canonical five” murders were generally perpetrated in the dark of night, on or close to a weekend, in a secluded site to which the public could gain access, and on a pattern of dates either at the end of a month or a week or so after. Yet every case differed from this pattern in some manner. Besides the differences already mentioned, Eddowes was the only victim killed within the City of London, though close to the boundary between the City and the metropolis. Nichols was the only victim to be found on an open street, albeit a dark and deserted one. Many sources state that Chapman was killed after the sun had started to rise, though that was not the opinion of the police or the doctors who examined the body. Kelly’s murder ended six weeks of inactivity for the murderer. (A week elapsed between the Nichols and Chapman murders; three between Chapman and the “double event”.)
The large number of horrific attacks against women during this era adds some uncertainty as to exactly how many victims were killed by the same man. Most experts point to deep throat slashes, abdominal and genital-area mutilation, removal of internal organs, and progressive facial mutilations as the distinctive features of Jack the Ripper’s modus operandi.
Robert C. “Bobby” Greenlease (1947-1953) was the son of multi-millionaire automobile dealer Robert Cosgrove Greenlease, Sr., of Kansas City, Missouri. He was the victim of a kidnapping in September 1953 that led to the largest ransom payout in U.S. history at the time; however, Bobby Greenlease’s abductors had no intention of returning him to his family. Before the ransom demand was even issued, the young boy was murdered by his abductors, Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Emily Brown Heady. Kidnapper Bonnie Heady said that from the moment she showed up at his school claiming to be a relative taking him to his sick mother, that he just took her hand and went along with anything he was told to do.