Serial killers have really made the lime-light in the past couple of years. From television to books and films, there is hardly a place we cannot find them. Whether they are portrayed as monsters or heroes, we cannot get enough of them and their ghastly deeds. Unfortunately, these fictional characters give rise to a multitude of serial killer myths, and most of us could not pinpoint a true serial killer simply by looking at them. The simple, appalling truth is that they can be anyone, anywhere and you will never suspect them. The following killers may in fact be living near you.
10. The Long Island Serial Killer – USA (10-14 Victims)
Several remote beach towns have become the dumping grounds of the Long Island Killer over the past 15 years. As the killer has been active for many years, his techniques have evolved as he gains confidence. At first, victims were dismembered and their body parts scattered at various locations. The more recent victims, on the other hand, were found intact. All of them were dumped unburied, underneath thick brush, very close to the roadways. According to FBI profilers, the elusive killer premeditates his attacks, and he may have ties to law enforcement as he clearly displays and advanced knowledge of police procedures. He’s also very familiar with the south shore of Long Island.
9. Gay Serial Killings – South Africa (9 Victims)
Nine gay men have been murdered in South Africa during the past year. It seems like the killer meets the men online, gains their trust, and murders them after being invited into their homes. Activists have asked all gay men to be extremely vigilant when they invite strangers into their homes. Amid accusations of incompetence, the police only recently confirmed that the killings form part of a serial killer investigation. They also believe a gang or copycat killers are targeting men in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as three suspects have already been arrested. However, the killings have continued unabated.
8. The Jennings Killings – USA (8 Victims)
Jennings, Louisiana has been stuck in a state of perpetual terror since May of 2005. Eight women since then have been found murdered, all dumped close to the small town’s back roads. All the women had two things in common: they hung out at a one-room bar on the wrong side of town, and they all had issues with substance abuse. The local residents firmly believe one of the town’s police officials is involved in the murders, and the rumors have led to countless conspiracy theories of cover-ups and twisted politics.
Jennings police have so far been weary of full on admitting that they have a serial killer on their hands, as the women were from different races and the methods by which they were sadistically murdered were different each time. However, the similarities listed above make this an epidemic that the cops simply cannot ignore for very much longer.
7. Edgecombe County Serial Killer – USA (10 Victims)
In Edgecombe County, North Carolina, ten black women have disappeared since 2005 — nine have since been found murdered. All the women and one man (a cross-dressing male found dismembered) were involved in sex trades and had issues with substance abuse. The killer, also known as “The Seven Bridges Killer,” is almost certainly still at-large. A man named Antwan Maurice Pittman was convicted of one of these murders in 2011, and some suspect him of being the Seven Bridges Killer, but the majority consensus is that it’s not him.
Bitter local residents feel that police sat on this case for too long, quite possibly due to the still-hostile relationship between law enforcement and African Americans living in the area. They believe many lives could have been saved had the police acted sooner.
6. Kigali Prostitute Killer – Rwanda (15 Victims)
Since July 2012, 15 prostitutes have been horrifically murdered in the town of Kigali, Rwanda. All of them were found strangled and, in the most notorious murders, three women were killed in broad daylight after entering their home with two men. It has been speculated that the killings were motivated by squabbles over money, or possibly motivated by revenge after a HIV/AIDS contamination.
Neighbors of one victim claimed that the words “I will stop once I have killed 400 prostitutes” were carved into her stomach, but police have dismissed it as a rumor. In September 2012, however, the Rwanda National Police declared that two suspects were arrested, but the investigations were still ongoing.
5. Mexicali Ripper – Mexico (44 Victims)
The multitude of female murders in Mexicali since 2008 have shown such remarkable similarities that officials now firmly believe that a serial killer, or possibly multiple serial killers, are actively targeting women in the city. Some are even speculating that the killings may be the work of an entire family. Of those murdered, only two were not prostitutes or addicts. In some of the cases, the victims were dismembered, and their remains were dumped in desolate spots.
Mexican officials are usually shy to admit the existence of a serial killer due to the vast number of organized crime-related murders; this changed in July 2011 when the attorney general confirmed these murders were not drug or crime related, but definitely the work of a madman.
4. The Smiley Face Killer – USA (200+ Victims)
Although many believe the Smiley Face Killer to be nothing more than an urban legend, the frightening number of young men drowning all over the USA has finally been noticed by the FBI. In each of the 200+ cases, a young man disappeared after a late night of partying, and was found drowned after a certain time. The Smiley Face theory came about when two retired NY detectives examined the evidence and found graffiti depicting the smiley face at many of the drowning sites. They then proposed that the nationwide drownings were not accidental, but rather the work of a serial killer. Investigations by other police forces have disputed this theory however, claiming that alcohol is the main culprit. Be that as it may, families and friends of the deceased have questions that nobody can answer, and until someone does, the death toll just keeps on climbing.
3. The Highway Serial Killings – USA (450+ Victims)
Here’s a case where the serial killer isn’t one person, but quite possibly a whole industry. In 2004, the FBI announced the “Highway Serial Killings Initiative,” after ViCAP analysts discovered patterns in female bodies dumped off US highways. Most of the 450+ victims were involved in the sex trade or otherwise had high-risk lifestyles, and were picked up at truck stops or service stations. Long haul truck drivers became the immediate suspects; to date, at least 10 suspects have been arrested in connection with some of the murders. Unfortunately, hundreds of these killings remain unsolved and more murders occur every month. Apart from truck drivers, the FBI also believes that these killers may be people who need to use the highways daily, due to their specific occupations.
2. The Karachi Child Killer – Pakistan (15 Victims)
A particularly vicious child killer is on the prowl in Mobina Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Five children have already disappeared this year, of which three bodies turned up and two are still missing. In 2012, eight of the 10 reported missing children were found murdered, all of whom had been raped and horrifically tortured as well. The killer gets so carried away during the murders that some of the children have been found with their organs gouged out and their necks torn open.
According to the Madagascar National Helpline, there has been a sharp rise in abductions and murders in Karachi, with more than 190 reported cases of missing children since January. Most of the reported cases came from Mobina Town, Sachal Goth, Mehmoodabad and Sharea Faisal.
1. The Predator of Ciudad Juarez – Mexico (500+ Victims)
Ciudad Juarez is believed to be the most dangerous city in the world. Apart from being the home base for various drug cartels, it has a long history of barbarous crimes committed against women. Since 1993, more than 500 women have died at the hands of vicious killers. Many of these cases have been solved, and the perpetrators jailed, though those were usually members of gangs, cartels, and various cults. Something, or someone, far more sinister lurks to this very day. Roughly a third of these murder cases are so similar, that they can only be the work of a serial killer. Unfortunately, this killer has not been found, and the female disappearances and murders continue to escalate to this very day.