From the darkest moments of criminal history a TRUE CRIME roundup of the most vile serial killers that make Charles Manson seem a puppy dog.
Richard Trenton Chase:
While many crime buffs may not be familiar with the name Richard Trenton Chase, this American serial killer was evil enough to earn the nickname "The Vampire of Sacramento" due to his bloody killing spree during a month in the 1970s where he drank the blood of his six victims and ate their flesh, according to the TruTV Crime Library.
Powered by the highly irrational belief that he needed to prevent the Nazis from turning his blood into powder through poison, Chase made his first kill in a drive-by shooting on December 29, 1977 when he gunned down a 58-year-old engineer. His next victim was far more cold-blooded as he broke into the home of a pregnant woman, shot her dead, had sex with the mutilated corpse, and then bathed in her blood. Several similarly graphic killings soon occurred, the worst being of a 22-month old boy whose internal organs he ate before disposing of the body at a nearby church.
His bizarre choice of burial place led to Chase's arrest when a witness saw him leaving the scene and police found fingerprints and shoe-prints. He was found guilty of six counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to death in the gas chamber. The cannibal's fellow inmates were so scared of his flesh-eating fetish that they tried to convince him to commit suicide, which he seemingly did on December 26, 1980 by overdosing on antidepressants.
Desperate for company, Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the country's most notorious serial killers when he murdered at least 17 young men between 1978 and 1991 after inviting them into his home. The Wisconsin native's first murder occurred when he was just 18 when he picked up a hitchhiker and killed him because he “didn’t want him to leave.” In 1988, Dahmer was arrested for sexually fondling a 13-year-old Laotian boy, but despite serving 10 months in a work camp there was no sex registry at the time, and he returned to oblivion after serving five years probation.
The compulsion to kill haunted and his methods of murder escalated to include rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. The lonely predator would lure his victims into his now infamous Milwaukee apartment where he would drug them, before eventually getting the idea of creating "zombies" or submissive, eternally youthful sexual partners by drilling holes in their skulls and injecting hydrochloric acid into their frontal lobes.
After one would-be victim escaped, police searched the apartment and made the grisly discovery of severed heads, multiple photographs of murdered victims and human remains, severed hands and penises, and human remains in the fridge.
Dahmer pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but a 1992 trial found him guilty of 15 counts of murder and he was sentenced to life for each. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, Wisconsin.
Dashing and charismatic, Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy won the trust of his female victims before snuffing out their lives. He claims to have committed up to 30 homicides across seven states between 1974 and 1978. The dark-haired seductive serial killer commonly approached his victims feigning injury, before overpowering them, luring them into his Volkswagen and bludgeoning them with a crowbar and taking them to a secluded spot. He often returned to the crime scene for several hours, grooming and performing sexual acts with the decomposing corpses and is said to have kept the decapitated heads of some women at his apartment for months.
Self-described as "the most cold-blooded son of a b***h you'll ever meet," Bundy was initially arrested in Utah in 1975 for aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal assault, but it soon became clear that he was responsible for a much longer list of grisly crimes across the country.
While facing murder charges in Colorado, he successfully pulled off two dramatic escapes and committed multiple assaults and three more murders on the run, before being recaptured in 1978 in Florida, where he received three death sentences in two separate trials. The sadistic sociopath was eventually given the electric chair in the Sunshine State's Raiford Prison in 1989 at age 42.
The acronym BTK is as far from a BLT as you can get, instead of a juicy sandwich it stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill," the favorite activity of serial killer Dennis Rader, who used his M.O. on at least 10 victims in and around Wichita, Kansas, between 1974 and 1991. Rader came up with the eerie shortcut in letters to police and news media bragging about the killing sprees – calling his victims “projects” and describing their deaths as “putting them down" like euthanizing animals.
The organized murderer carried a "hit kit” in a briefcase or a bowling bag containing guns, tape, rope and handcuffs, along with "hit clothes," that he would ditch right after the crime. Rather than a quick death, Rader took pleasure in taunting his victims by strangling them until they lost consciousness, reviving them and then strangling them again, because the near-death experience reportedly sexually aroused him.
He got away with his sadistic acts until his ego got the better of him and after a lengthy hiatus of boasting letter writing, he put pen to paper again in 2004 and was eventually arrested a year later. The attention-hungry killer said he re-sparked communication after a book and TV show came out on his killings, and because his children had grown up and he was bored with too much time on his hands. He was sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences adding up to 175 years with no chance of parole and is currently at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.
Known as the Butcher of Rostov and The Red Ripper, Andrei Chikatilo terrorized the Ukraine for 12 years where he amassed 53 victims. His first documented murder occurred in 1978 in the small mining town of Shakhty, near Rostov, when he lured a nine-year-old girl into a house planning to rape her. When she struggled, Andrei stabbed her and his sexual arousal made him decide he could only be satisfied while slashing women and children to death. Another man was arrested and executed for the crime, and thus began Chikatilo's lifetime of horror.
He began approaching prostitutes, homeless people or runaways at bus or railway stations and enticing them to follow him to a nearby forest where they met their gruesome fate. Unable to get an erection, he would go into a murderous rage that was hidden from the headlines by the state-controlled media due to the Soviet Union's opinion that mass murder was a capitalist notion.
Giving in to his sick compulsion for over a decade, he was finally caught for good after he was spotted by police surveillance at the Donleskhoz Station. After initially pleading his innocence, he eventually confessed and his trial in 1992 became the first major media event of liberalized post-Soviet Russia, during which he was kept in a cage in the corner of the courtroom to prevent being attacked by victims' families. On October 15 of that year he was found guilty of 52 out of 53 murder charges and sentenced to death for each. He was executed by a single gunshot to the head on February 14, 1994.