Serial killers tend to be white, heterosexual males in their twenties and thirties who are sexually dysfunctional and have low self-esteem. Their methodical rampages are almost always sexual in nature. Their killings are usually part of an elaborate fantasy that builds to a climax at the moment of their murderous outburst. Serial killers generally murder strangers with cooling off periods between each crime. Many enjoy cannibalism, necrophilia and keep trophy-like body parts as mementos of their work. Serial killers are sadistic in nature. Some return to crime scenes or grave sites of their victims to fantasize about their deeds. Many like to insert themselves in the investigation of their crimes and some enjoy taunting authorities with letters or carefully placed pieces of evidence.
Serial killers tend to prey on women and children of their same race. Prostitutes, drifters and hitchhikers are their victims of choice. Some homosexual killers enjoy hunting young boys and gay men. Female serial killers tend to be "black widows" who kill a succession of husbands, lovers, or other family members. They can also be nurses or other medical professionals who become self-appointed "angels of death" murdering babies, elderly, or the desperately ill in a misguided effort to relieve their suffering. Most serial killers grew up in violent households. As youngsters they enjoyed torturing animals, setting fires and were chronic bed-wetters. As adults, many serial have some type of brain damage and are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
Pedro Alonso Lopez (300+) Meet the deadliest serial killer of the Archives. Pedro was known as the "Monster of the Andes" after the impressive numbers of hits he tallied in his three-nation killing spree. A native of Colombia, his prostitute mother kicked him out of their home at age eight for fondling his younger sister. Adding insult to injury he was then picked up by a pedophile and sodomized against his will. By the time he was eighteen he was gang banged in prison and retaliated by killing three of his assailants.
Upon his release he started killing young girls with glee and impunity. By 1978 he claimed to have bagged more than 100 girls in Peru. After a brush with an angry village mob he moved his activities to Colombia and Ecuador where his blood lust averaged about three kills a week. He found killing Ecuadorian girls quite enjoyable because they were "more gentle and trusting, more innocent." Authorities attributed the rash of disappearing girls to active slavery or prostitution rings in the area.
In 1980 a flash flood uncovered the first of his victims. When he was arrested he told his interrogators the frightening tale of his reign of death. At first authorities were skeptical, but all doubts disappeared when he quickly produced more than fifty graves. It is widely believed that three hundred hits is a low estimate for this most prolific serial killer.
Henry Lee Lucas & Ottis Toole (6-200+) The Tag Team from Hell: the Sadist King and the Generalissimo of Pain. The numbers speak for themselves. As a kid, Henry was the poster child of the "Future Serial Killer Club." His alcoholic father, called "No Legs" because of a chance encounter with a freight train, killed himself after repeatedly being humiliated by his abusive wife. When little Henry sliced an eye while playing with a knife with his brother, his bootlegging, prostitute mother -- Viola Lucas -- left his gashed orb unattended for days until it eventually withered and had to be removed by a doctor. Once mom beat him so severely with a piece of wood that he lay in a semi-conscious state for three days before Viola's boyfriend decide to take him to a local hospital. Another time, she cruelly decided to send Hank to school in a dress and with his hair curled.
Years later, in a drunken binge, Henry stuck a knife in his mother's back and proceeded to rape her dead corpse. Later, like on many other occasions, he recanted his act of inscestuous necrophilia. He got 40 years for matricide, but was out after 10. Free again, Henry launched his stellar career as the nation's most notorious random killer.
In 1976, after a chance meeting in a Jacksonville soup kitchen, he joined up with a part-time transvestite and deeply psychotic retard, Ottis Toole, to carry out numerous homicidal escapades. Ottis had a taste for human flesh and had many of his victims for dinner. Henry, however, was not a cannibal because, he said, he disliked the taste of Ottis' barbecue sauce. He was more of a sadist and a necrophile, preferring sex with mutilated bodies and live or dead animals.
The consummate killer couple, they enjoyed picking up hitchhikers to satisfy their lust for blood. Sometimes, when they didn't want to go through the hassle of killing and disposing of their prey, they would just run over the occasional hitchhiker and continue on their merry way. These lethal lovebirds parted ways after Ottis' niece, Becky Powell, shacked up with Henry at the age of seven. The unfortunate lassie was found at the age of fifteen dismembered, stuffed in pillowcases and strewn over a field.
After his arrest, Lucas toured the country as a star killer uncovering evidence of his handiwork for local police departments. In 1985, Dallas Times-Herald journalist, Hugh Aynesworth, claimed their reign of terror was a hoax and that overzealous detectives fed the would-be killers many details of their crimes. Henry and Ottis confessed to more than 600 killings in 26 states. Henry even claimed to have carried the poison to Guyana as a favor to his good friend Jim Jones.
Many investigators still believe that Lucas -- a fifth-grade dropout -- was responsible for just a couple of murders and the real criminals were the officers who fed him information on unresolved cases and coerced confessions. Serial killer expert Robert Ressler believes Henry might be responsible for as little as five killings. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
To many investigators' surprise one of Henry's earliest alleged victims, a Virginia schoolteacher, was found alive and kicking as he was charged with her murder. Not one to hold back his most outrageous boasts, he claimed to have committed murders in Spain and Japan eventhough there's no evidence suggesting he ever left the United States.
Some of the crimes, he said, were committed under orders from the Satanic cult, the "Hand of Death." After confessing to over 300 hits, Hank recanted it all only to confess again when he became born-agai. As he awaits execution on Death Row in Texas, Hank still mentions bits and pieces of evidence linking him to numerous killings in 18 states.
Meanwhile back in Florida, Ottis was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and his death sentence was commuted to six consecutive life termss. In prison Ottis confessed and later recanted killing 6-year-old Adam Walsh, whose 1981 disappearance outside a Hollywood, Florida, mall set off a nationwide manhunt and launched the TV career of his father, John Walsh, as the creator and host of the Fox television series "America's Most Wanted."
On September 15, 1996, Ottis died in a prison hospital of liver failure. Walsh, who repeatedly criticized the police handling of his son's case, questioned why investigators did not try to interview Toole on his deathbed or try for another confession. Speaking from prison after Ottis' death, Lucas said Toole killed Adam and later showed him the remains of the boy in a shallow grave. "I got sick about it. I said let's get the hell out of here."
On March 31, 1998, Texas State District Judge John Carter set June 30 as the execution date for Henry Lee. Although his many confessions, he was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of a female hitchhiker known as "Orange Socks" for the only item of clothing left on her body. During many of his detractions Lucas claimed that he was working as a roofer in Florida when the hitchhiker was killed. No execution date had been set for Lucas until now. He was granted a stay in September 1995 so his claims of false confessions could be investigated. The stay was lifted a year later.
On June 27, 1998 Governor George W. Bush spared Henry's life because of overwhelming evidence proving that Henry was not in Texas when "Orange Socks" was murdered. Although Lucas confessed to killing her, work records and a cashed paycheck indicated he was in Florida at the time of the murder. Bush issued the reprieve on the recommendation of the state parole board. "I can only thank them for believing the truth and having guts enough for standing up for what's right," Lucas said from death row.
"Henry Lee Lucas is unquestionably guilty of other despicable crimes which he has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison," said Bush, in Brownsville for a conference of U.S.-Mexico border state governors. "However, I believe there is enough doubt about this particular crime that the state of Texas should not impose its ultimate penalty by executing him."
H.H. Holmes (200+) Born Herman Webster Mudgett, Dr. Holmes started his criminal career as a medical student by stealing corpses from the University of Michigan. He used the corpses to collect insurance money from policies taken out under fictitious names.
When he moved to Chicago he started a drugstore empire from which he made a fortune. He built a hundred-room mansion complete with gas chambers, trap doors, acid vats, lime pits, fake walls and secret entrances. During the 1893 World's Fair he rented rooms to visitors. He then killed most of his lodgers and continued his insurance fraud scheme. He also lured women to his "torture castle" with the promise of marriage. Instead, he would force them to sign over their savings, then throw them down an elevator shaft and gas them to death. In the basement of the castle he dismembered and skinned his prey and experimented with their corpses.
When police grew suspicious about H.H's activities, he torched the castle and fled. In the burnt hulk of the building, authorities found the remains of over two hundred people. H.H. was caught when one of his insurance schemes was unravelled by Pinkerton detectives. He was hanged on May 7, 1896, after one the first sensational crime trial in America. Not only was Herman the first American serial killer he was also, according to author Scheckter, the first "celebrity psycho." Although he never had the historical presence of his contemporary Jack the Ripper, he did leave behind an impressive trail of blood unequaled for almost eighty years.
Gilles de Rais (140+) A Fifteenth Century French war hero, Gilles was also one of medieval Europe's worst killers. An ally of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Year War, de Rais was instrumental in driving the English out of France. In his later years, after he was named Marshal of France by King Charles VII, he settled in his estates in Brittany, where he turned his heroic impulses towards torture and murder. He enjoyed killing mostly young boys, whom he would sodomize before and after decapitation. When he wasn't feeling up to the task he enjoyed watching his servants butcher the boys and masturbated over their entrails.
Because he was a baron, no one took note of the disappearing children around his castle. A great patron of the arts, Gilles also enjoyed practicing black magic and alchemy. His reign of terror came to an end when the Duke of Brittany dug up the mutilated remains of 50 boys in his castle. He confessed to 140 killings but it is believed that the body count could have been as high as 300. On October 26, 1440, Gilles was simultaneously burned and hanged. His two servant accomplices were simply burned alive.
Luis Alfredo Gavarito (140) On October 30, 1999, Colombian announced that Luis Alfredo Gavarito confessed to raping, torturing and killing 140 children in a five-year killing spree. "Luis Alfredo Garavito has admitted the murder of about 140 children of which we have so far found 114 skeleton," chief prosecutor Alfonso Gomez told a news conference.
Drawing a battered notebook from his pocket, Garavito showed the interrogating judge and psychologist his tally of the killings he claimed during a four-hour confession. Across the pages were 140 lines, each symbolizing one murdered youngster.
The mutilated corpses of the mostly male victims aged between eight and 16 years old have been discovered near more than 60 towns in at least 11 of Colombia's 32 provinces. "The bodies were beheaded and bore signs of having been tied up and mutilated," Gomez said.
The nationwide murder investigation was triggered after 36 decomposing corpses were found near the city of Pereira in 1997. At the time investigators said the children may have been murdered in a black magic ritual. Authorities also considered social cleansing, organ trafficking and pedophilic mayhem as reasons behind the butchery. After an 18-month investigation, Garavito was arrested in the eastern plains city of Villavicencio in Aprilon charges of attempting to rape a child.
Born in Colombia's western coffee-growing region, Gavarito was the oldest of seven children. He was repeatedly beaten by his father and raped by two male neighbors. Garavito was also a heavy alcoholic, and was treated for depression and suicidal tendencies. He said he committed most of the murders after heavy drinking.
Garavito had just five years of schooling and left home at 16, working first as a store clerk, then as a street vendor who sold religious icons and prayer cards. Prosecutors said Garavito found most of his victims on the streets, gaining their confidence by giving them soft drinks and money.
Garavito apparently committed his first murder in 1992. Authorities were unaware of the alleged serial killer until 25 bodies were found in the western city of Pereira. The victims -- mostly boys between eight and 16 -- were found with their throats slit. Some showed signs of torture and rape.
The victims were mostly poor. Many of them were children of street vendors or homeless kids. Garavito -- who was known as "Goofy", "El Loco" and "The Priest" -- passed himself off as "a street vendor, monk, indigent, disabled person or a representative of fictitious foundations for the elderly and children's education, in that way gaining entrance to schools as a speaker," Gomez said.
Garavito moved around the country frequently after the killings began in 1994, and also spent time in Ecuador, where investigations are trying to determine whether he might be linked to child slayings there too.
The most killings took place in the western state of Risaralda, and its capital, Pereira. Forty-one bodies have been found in Pereira and another 27 have turned up in neighboring Valle de Cauca.
Previously authorities charged one Pedro Pablo Ramirez with 29 of the slayings. It is unclear whether Ramirez and Garavito are the same person, or if Ramirez was released or is still in custody.
On December 31, 1998, Colombian police arrested Ramirez in connection with the murder of 29 children. The childrens' bodies - many missing body parts and showing signs of torture - were found in two separate mass graves. The first grave, found on 12 November, was discovered when a boy walking through an overgrown lot saw a skull in the bushes. Authorities who dug up the lot, found several incomplete skeletons and 13 skulls. The second discovery was made less than a week later in a river-bed below a city highway. Investigators have linked Ramirez -- who had previously been in prison for sex crimes -- to at least three killings in Pereira and possibly three others in the nearby town of Armenia.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian (130) On March 26, 1999, Suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder for giving an ailing man a lethal injection and putting it all on a videotape that aired on "60 Minutes." It was the first time in five trials that he was found guilty. The jury took a day and a half to clear him of first-degree murder, which would have meant a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
But they rejected his claim in his closing argument that some acts "by sheer common sense are not crimes." Kevorkian, 70, still could get a life term at sentencing April 14 for the death of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. Prosecutor David Gorcyca said he believes sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of 10 to 25 years on the murder charge. Kevorkian also was convicted of delivery of a controlled substance, which carries up to seven years.
On November 24, CBS aired a tape of the Youk assisted suicide in the program "60 Minutes." The show finished No. 3 in the weekly Nielsen ratings. Prosecutor David Gorcyca filed charges after receiving an unedited tape from CBS. Following the televised suicide, Dr. Death arrived smiling at the police station after being charged with first-degree murder. Kevorkian was released on $750,000 personal bond following his arraignment. "A review of the tapes involving Mr. Youk and Kevorkian present sufficient facts and probable cause to support charges of assisted suicide," Gorcyca said. "Not withstanding Mr. Youk's consent, consent is not a viable defense in taking the life of another, even under the most controlled environment."
Kevorkian, 70, has acknowledged a role in some 130 assisted suicides since 1990, making him the most active known serial killers in the nation. Hisis previous trials, all on assisted suicide charges, resulted in three acquittals and one mistrial. This was the first time he stood trial for murder. In past cases, Kevorkian has said his clients used his homemade devices to start the flow of carbon monoxide or intravenous chemicals that caused their death. In Youk's case, however, Kevorkian administered the injection.
In closing arguments, prosecutor John Skrzynski likened Kevorkian to "a medical hitman in the night" and asked jurors not to let him make a political statement with Youk's death. Kevorkian said he was no more culpable than an executioner because he was merely doing his duty as a physician to relieve Youk's suffering. He compared himself to civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and invited the jury to disregard the law. "Words on paper do not necessarily create crimes," he said. "There are certain acts that by sheer common sense are not crimes. This may be one of them. That's for you to decide."
Attorney David Gorosh, who had been serving as Kevorkian's legal adviser, said he will appeal. He also said he will ask the judge to use her discretion at sentencing and give Kevorkian no jail time. "Dr. Kevorkian is certainly no murderer," Gorosh said. "We believe it's certainly unjust to equate an act of compassion to an act of murder." Kevorkian won the right to represent himself during the trial despite the misgivings of the judge, who asked him: "Do you understand you could spend the rest of your life in prison?" He responded: "There's not much of it left."
On April 13 Judge Jessica Cooper sentenced Dr. Death to 10 to 25 years in prison for the videotaped death of a Lou Gehrig's disease patient. He also was sentenced to three to seven years for delivery of a controlled substance. The fiesty judge lectured the 70-year-old doctor: "This trial was not about the political or moral correctness of euthanasia. It was about lawlessness. It was about disrespect for a society that exists because of the strength of the legal system. No one, sir, is above the law. No one. You had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did and dare the legal system to stop you. Well, sir, consider yourself stopped."
Hu Wanlin (100+) - On January 18, 1999, the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency reported a self-styled "doctor" who practiced the traditional medical art of qigong -- a deep-breathing technique dating back 5,000 years -- was arrested for killing between 100 to 190 patients. Hu Wanlin, 50, from Shangqiu in central Henan province, had been practicing qigong in the area since June 1998. He previously served two prison terms for operating illegal medical clinics in various parts of China.
Qigong masters are said to have the ability to concentrate "qi" or energy in certain parts of their bodies and to use it to help diagnose and cure a wide range of ailments. Authorities allege Hu's home-brewed Chinese herbal medicines included lethal amounts of sodium sulphate. Hu came to prominence in 1997 with his claims of a 90 percent cure rate in treatment of cancer, hepatitis and high blood pressure. He was even the subject of a book, "Qigong Master," which supported his claim to possess mystical healing powers.
When released in 1997 after spending 14 years in prison on murder charges, Hu set up the Hu Wanling Hospital in Taiyuan, Shaanxi province, where authorities allege his treatment caused the death of 20 patients. In November 1997, Hu established the Zhongnanshan Hospital, also in Shaanxi, where 146 people died under his treatment, the report said. After police closed the hospital, Hu fled to Shangqiu, where the local health bureau formally invited him to set up the Weida Hospital. Thirty patients died there under his care.
Pee Wee Gaskins (100+) When he was a young boy Pee Wee watched a cobra eat a live rat at a carnival. According to a later confession he penned, that was the first time he felt attracted to violence. Dubbed America's meanest killer, Pee Wee was always in trouble with the law. He spent most of his youth in and out of reform school and later prison. Because of his pint-size, Pee Wee had to be the "girlfriend" of older, more powerful prisoners. He soon put an end to it by killing a highly regarded inmate while the man was taking a shit, making him a jailhouse legend for the rest of his stay.
In 1969, after being released from prison, Pee Wee got back to killing at an alarming rate. He made a distinction between his "coastal kills," -- people he found while driving around the roadways of the American South that he killed for pleasure -- and his "serious murders," -- people he knew that he killed for specific reasons. Aside from killing, Pee Wee had a thriving business fencing stolen cars. He operated his fencing business out of several properties around the Carolinas. There he also slaughtered many of his prey. His other favorite hunting grounds were the coastal highways, where every six weeks, he went hunting to quell his feelings of "bother-someness."
In the early '80s, Pee Wee was named the "Meanest Man in America" for killing another inmate while in Maximum Security. For his fearless homicidal stunt, Pee Wee was given the death penalty. He was fried on September 6, 1991. His total hits might well have been over two hundred, but law enforcement sources found it impossible to verify all his claims. In the excellent post-mortem auto-biography, "Final Truth," Pee Wee waxed poetic about how he had "a special mind" that gave him "permission to kill."
Javed Iqbal (100) On March 16, 2000, a Pakistani court in Lahore sentenced serial child killer Javed Iqbal to death, saying he would be strangled in front of the parents whose children he was convicted of murdering. Judge Allah Baksh Ranja added that Iqbal's body "will then be cut into a 100 pieces and put in acid the same way you killed the children." His three accomplices, including a 13-year-old boy identified only as Sabir, also were found guilty. Sabir was sentenced to 42 years in jail; the other two accomplices were sentenced to death.
Iqbal, 42, initially confessed to the killings in a letter last year to police. He said he strangled the children, dismembered their bodies and placed them in a vat of acid. He later recanted his confession. Police found the remains of two bodies in a blue vat in his home after his arrest. Police also found pictures of 100 children whom Iqbal in his letter confessed to having killed. They also found clothes belonging to the young victims. Previously, the worst killing in akistani history was in mid-1980s when dozens of people were killed in the Punjab, Sindh and North West Frontier provinces in a series of mysterious night attacks that police blamed on a so-called "hammer group." The attackers broke into houses and bludgeoned victims to death with hammers. They were never found.
Parents of missing children were contacted to sort through clothes and pictures to try to identify their missing children. Most were identified, but police did not recover any bodies. The search for Iqbal was one of the largest manhunts in Pakistan. On December 30 Iqbal walked into the Lahore office of a leading newspaper and turned himself in. He refused to go directly to the police, saying he feared for his life. During his trial, the child killer testified that he was only a witness to the killings. He said his earlier confession was sent as a message to the parents of the missing children, whom he accused of neglect.
Iqbal wrote in his letter to the police that he killed the children, who were mostly beggars, in retaliation for the abuse they inflicted on him following a previous arrest when he was accused of sodomy. He claimed he had been wrongly picked up and badly beaten while in police custody. Curiously, and I guess generously, he also claimed to have killed the street children to highlight their plight. During his six-month killing spree, Iqbal kept a detailed account of the murders, listing his victims' names, ages and the dates of their deaths. He also kept their shoes and bundles of their clothing. Healso recorded the exact cost of disposing of each kid. "In terms of expense, including the acid, it coast me 120 rupees ($2.40) to erase each victim," he wrote.
A week after his sentencing, a Pakistan's top religious said the planned execution of serial killer Javed Iqbal went against Islamic tenets. Though the sentence of the killer called for his body to be cut into 100 pieces and dissolved in a vat of acid, the Council of Islamic Ideology said that would desecrate the killer's body, which would go against the Islamic teaching of respect for the body of the deceased.
On October 25, 2001, the Iqbal and Sabir were found dead in their cell from apparent poinsoning. Their apparent suicides -- as declared by prison authorities -- came just four days after the country's highest Islamic Court had agreed to hear their appeal against the death sentence. Iqbal had voiced fears after his conviction that police would kill him. His lawyer said Iqbal was victim of a police conspiracy. Jail officials said Iqbal had twice made abortive suicide attempts in the past.
Delfina & Maria de Jesus Gonzales (91+) These two deadly sisters ran the bordello from hell in Guanajuato, Mexico. They recruited their prostitutes through help wanted ads and killed them when they stopped pleasing the clientele. Sometimes they even killed the johns who showed up to the brothel with big wads of cash. After too many unexplained disappearances, the cops raided the premises where they found the bodies of eleven males, eighty females, and several fetuses.
Bruno Ludke (80) A German laundry delivery man, Bruno offed at least 80 women between 1928 and 1943. When Nazi officials finally caught up with his lethal hobby, they shipped him off to a research hospital in Vienna where he was used as a human guinea pig by Nazi doctors. When they were done with their experiments, Bruno was executed by lethal injection.
Michael Swango (60 +/-) Authorities suspect Michael Swango, 43, may have poisoned and killed as many as 60 patients under his care over the past 10 years when he worked in Ohio, Quincy, Massachusetts, Virginia, South Dakota, New York and Zimbabwe. In all these places the affable doctor had been suspected in a number of deaths and sudden illnesses. Although he was never charged in connection with any, he was either fired or left his respective jobs while under a cloud of suspicion.
Authorities became aware of alleged career as a "Angel of Death" in 1984 when he worked in Quincy, Illinois, as a paramedic. As with others in his line of mayhem, many of his co-workers complained that they became ill every time he brought them food or drinks such as doughnuts, cool drinks or iced tea. When one of his colleagues found ant poison mixed with sugar among Swango's belongings, police went to search his home.
There they found "how-to" books on homemade weapons and mass destruction as well as books on the occult, several guns, bottles with different concentrations of ant poison, a range of insecticides and rodent killers; and castor beans, from which the almost untraceable poison, ricin, can be obtained. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to five-years' jail for aggravated battery because none of his colleagues had died from the poisonings. "I don't think he intended to kill them," said Judge Dennis Cashman. "I think he wanted to take them to the edge of death. They were like a lab experiment."
While he was serving his sentence, investigators combed the Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus, where Swango had been a medical intern. Nurses told investigators that they had become suspicious because he was seen in several patients' rooms right before they died unexpectedly. "I do not think the evidence was clear one way or the other. I am glad he is not here," said Ohio State University's Larry Carey.
Swango was paroled in 1987 after serving two-and-a-half years of his five-year sentence. Curiously, after leaving prison he continued his career in the health care business with increasingly lethal results. He hopped from job to job and was fired at least three times after he was suspected of wrongdoing or someone learned about his past.
In the early 1990s Swango landed a job at a State University of New York hospital. There, Federal of Bureau Investigation agents investigated 147 patients Swango treated and died. Autopsies were performed on several former patients, but the results were inconclusive. By 1993 -- as police started piecing together his poisenous path -- he dissapeared to re-emerge in Zimbabwe. There he worked at a rural hospital where he was suspended after five patients under his care died in suspicious circumstances.
After his suspension he travelled to South Africa, the modern mecca for serial killings, where he contacted Saudi Arabian health authorities, who offered him a job. Finally in July, 1997, Swango was arrested when he re-entered the United States to pick up a visa en route to his job as a physician in Saudi Arabia. Though he has been arrested for relatively minor fraud charges and illegally prescribing narcotics to patients, authorities hope to uncover enough evidence to expose him as a vicous serial killer.
Andrei Chikatilo (52+) The Soviet Hannibal Lecter. As a kid Andrei's brother was taken by the villagers and eaten during times of famine. Or so he said. As an adult, while he living a double life as a married man, Communist Party member and a teacher, Andrei, enjoyed killing children with impunity .
Chikatilo -- a sexually impotent dirty old man from hell -- lived in Rostov, 500 miles from Moscow, where he preyed mostly on children. He stalked many of his victims in train and bus stations, and had a penchant for disembowelment and mutilation. He was also a cannibal and a sadist. His macabre twelve-year killing spree was finally uncovered in 1992. Chikatilo wasn't exceptionally crafty hiding his crimes. Investigators were hindered by the fact that he was a Party member. Also, the investigation of his crimes was used to flush out many known homosexuals in a Soviet-style attempt at moral cleansing. Many blame the incompetence of Soviet authorities and their refusal to admit the existence of a serial killer in their socialist utopia for his 10-year reign of terror.
Years before his arrest he was brought in for questioning and let go when police found that his blood did not match the semen found in one victim. It is a little known fact that in some rare cases -- Chikatilo being one -- the blood and semen of a person does not necessarily have to match. Free again, Andrei continued on his path of destruction with reckless abandon. Eventually he was arrested because of the determination of two investigators involved in his previous arrest who remembered his name after he was seen coming out of a forrest near a train station.
While he was on trial, his gory descriptions, psychotic behavior and litany of horrors gave the Soviet public their first taste of serial mayhem. "I am a mistake of nature, a mad beast," he said at his 1994 trial where people fainted when they heard how he boiled and ate the sawn-off testicles or nipples of his victims. Andrei was executed by firing squad in prison on February 14, 1994. Chikatilo -- like many others in the Archives -- was the subject of his own grousome movie, "Citizen X" starring Donald Surtherland and Stephen Rhea.
Anatoly Onoprienko (52) On April 16, 1996, police arrested Anatoly Onoprienko, a 37-year-old former forestry student, sailor and mental hospital outpatient, putting an end to the Ukraine's worst killing spree. Anatoly, a native of Zhitomir, was arrested atn his girlfriend's house where he had a 12-gauge shotgun matching the one used in the 40 murders. He also had jewelry and video equipment belonging to some of his victims. While in custody Comrade O. immediately confessed to eight killings between 1989 to 1995. At first he denied other charges, but soon admitted to being the maniac dubbed, "The Terminator" who tallied up to 52 victims in a six-year killing spree.
Onoprienko's rampage began in 1989, when he and accomplice Serhiy Rogozin robbed and killed nine people. The former sailor resumed the killings in late 1995, murdering 43 people in less than six months before police arrested him in April 1996.
On March, 1996, a manhunt was launched across western Ukraine after eight families were brutally murdered in their homes. Most of the victims were in remote villages in the Lvov region near the border of Poland. His blood lust climaxed with a three-month rampage in which he killed more than 40 people in the Ukranian villages of Bratkovichi and Busk. Panic was so widespread in the two villages that an army division was mobilized and armed personnel carriers patrolled the streets. Trying to put a stop to the killings, police imposed a security cordon around Bratkovichi. Undaunted, "The Terminator" moved to nearby villages where he continued his serial killings.
The killings followed a set pattern. "The Terminator" chose isolated houses in the outskirts of villages. He would enter the houses before dawn, round up the family and shoot them all -- including children -- close range with a 12-gauge shotgun. Then he would torch the place and kill whoever crossed his path during his murderous outbursts. He often stole valuables from his victims and sometimes scattered family photographs about the floor. Police arrested Citizen O. in his girlfriend's apartment in April, 1996, after a nationwide manhunt.
On November 23, 1998, the trial of Nasty O. began in the city of Zhytomyr, 90 miles west of Kiev. The accused claimed he felt like a robot driven for years by a dark force, and argued he should not be tried until authorities determine the source of this force. A former forestry student, sailor and soldier, Mr. O claimed his mother died when he was four and his father and brother gave him to an orphanage at seven, and that he had heard voices telling him to do the murders. Dressed in running shoes, an oversized jacket, a knitted hat, and hadcuffs, Onoprienko sat calmly inside an iron cage surrounded by police exuding arrogance and boredom.
Hundreds of people huddled in coats and fur hats in the unheated courtroom were angered by his behaviour. "Let us tear him apart," shouted a pensioner at the back of the court just before the hearing started, her voice trembling with emotion. "He does not deserve to be shot. He needs to die a slow and agonizing death."
In previous interviews Nasty O has rambled endlessly about the CIA and Interpol, unknown powers and future revelations. Psychiatrists, however, ruled him fit to stand trial. "I perceive it all as a kind of experiment," he said. "There can be no answer in this experiment to what you're trying to learn."
Sitting in his cell the Ukranian serial killer that came to be knowsn as the Terminator told Reuters and a regional newspaper: "I have never regretted anything and I don't regret anything now." In the bizarre and emotional hour-long interview he added that cosmic forces planned to destroy humanity and replace it with "bio-robots." With the guards sitting in a row on a green couch just a foot away, Onoprienko looked his interviewers in the eye and spoke in an intense, rapid voice, at times almost fierce, of his early discovery of special telepathic powers.
Claiming hypnotic powers and saying he had information "nobody, not even the president" had access to, he said he had received "permission" to kill, but did not explain what drove him to destroy his victims. "I love all people and I loved those I killed. I looked those children I murdered in the eyes and knew that it had to be done," he said. "For you it's 52 murders, but for me that's the norm." He said he would have been prepared to kill his own son.
While in court, he had very little to say. Asked if he would like to make a statement he shrugged his shoulders, slowly sauntered to the microphone and said: "No, nothing." Informed of his legal right to object to the court's proceedings, he growled: "This is your law, I consider myself a hostage." Asked to state his nationality, he said: "None." When Judge Dmitry Lipsky said this was impossible, Onoprienko rolled his eyes and replied: "Well, according to law enforcement officers, I'm Ukrainian."
Though Onoprienko has remained completely silent during court hearings , when it comes to the media he's a veritable gadfly. The daily Fakty newspaper published an long interview with Citizen O from his jail cell in the central town of Zhytomyr in which the 39-year-old terminator was quoted as saying: "Naturally, I would prefer the death penalty. I have absolutely no interest in relations with people. I have betrayed them." The misunderstood killer added that he was shaken by people's indifference to his crimes. As he slaughtered his victims in one village, "people screamed so loudly that they could be heard in neighboring villages. But nobody came to help them. Everybody went into hiding, like mice."
On February 12, 1999, a Ukrainian court ruled that Anatoli Onoprienko was mentally competent and could be held responsible for his crimes. The regional court in Zhytomyr said that Onoprienko "does not suffer any psychiatric diseases, is conscious of and is in control of the actions he commits, and does not require any extra psychiatric examination." With the latest psychiatric examination showing Onoprienko mentally healthy, he will most likely be convicted and sentenced to death. But he will not be executed because Ukraine has pledged as a member of the Council of Europe to suspend capital punishment and eventually ban it.
Dressed in the same track suit and drab duffel coat he has worn throughout the more than three months of hearings, Anatoly Onoprienko, 39, sat impassively in a metal cage at the front of the provincial courtroom and refused to speak at the end of his trial. Onoprienko's co-defendant Sergei Rogozin, accused of helping in the first nine murders, did speak and proclaimed his innocence.
But while the start of the trial attracted hordes of angry spectators, prosecutor Yuri Ignatenko made his demand for the death sentence on March 3, 199, before a practically empty chamber. And the half-filled court consisted mainly of other judges attached to the court and their staff, whose main emotion was relief at the end of the ordeal. "Thank goodness that's over!" said a secretary leaving the hearing.
"My defendant was from the age of four deprived of motherly love, and the absence of care which is necessary for the formation of a real man," Onoprienko's lawyer Ruslan Moshkovsky told the court. Ignatenko said an examination of Onoprienko's mental health during the investigation had overturned an independent diagnosis of schizophrenia made before his arrest, and a further test ordered by the court confirmed his current mental health.
"Onoprienko's statements about mental seizures, being spied on, voices, and the influence of higher powers...are a simulation of mental illness and a reaction to the situation he is in," Ignatenko said. The prosecutor added that O's motives lay in his own violent nature, unchecked due to what he said was the incompetence of the police force. "In every society there have been and are people who due to their innate natures can kill, and there are those who will never do that," he added.
Two weeks after sentencing, Nasty O. granted an interview to Mark Franchetti, a writer for the London Times:
It took the Ukrainian guard a full two minutes to unlock the heavy metal door to Anatoly Onoprienko's small cell. Even the toughest guards on death row at the 19th-century prison in Zhitomir, 80 miles west of Kiev, are wary of Onoprienko and take no risks. Peering through a narrow opening in the door, one of them shouted at him to stand up and face the wall with his hands behind his back.
Anatoly Ivanuik, the prison's deputy governor, searched the outer corridor meticulously before giving the order for the last bolt to be released. Slowly the door opened. Onoprienko, who once proposed to his girlfriend with a ring he had chopped from the finger of one of his victims a few hours earlier, was ready to grant an audience.
Three years after his arrest, following the largest manhunt ever mounted in Ukraine, Onoprienko showed no remorse as he described wiping out entire families in cold blood, battering children and raping a woman after shooting her in the face.Still defiant, Citizen O takes pride in what he calls the "professionalism" of his crimes. Clearly relishing his notoriety, he often stared at me, trying to make me avert my eyes while insisting that he was a good-natured person and a sensitive music-lover.
"The first time I killed, I shot down a deer in the woods," he said, in a flat monotone, as if reading from his curriculum vitae. "I was in my early twenties and I recall feeling very upset when I saw it dead. I couldn't explain why I had done it, and I felt sorry for it. I never had that feeling again."
"To me killing people is like ripping up a duvet," he said, his piercing blue eyes fixed on mine. "Men, women, old people, children, they are all the same. I have never felt sorry for those I killed. No love, no hatred, just blind indifference. I don't see them as individuals, but just as masses."
Onoprienko's crimes have caused such revulsion in Ukraine, however, that the Ukranian president is considering temporarily lifting a moratorium on capital punishment that was imposed on Marcxh, 1997, in accordance with the rules of the Council of Europe, to execute him. The alternative, to commute the serial killer's sentence to 20 years in jail, would outrage most Ukrainians.
On one occasion he confronted a young girl who was huddled on her bed, praying. She had seen him kill both her parents. "Seconds before I smashed her head, I ordered her to show me where they kept their money," he said. "She looked at me with an angry, defiant stare and said, 'No, I won't.' That strength was incredible. But I felt nothing."
He blew the doors off homes on the edges of villages, gunning down adults and battering children with metal objects. He stole money, jewellery, stereo equipment and other items before burning down the houses.
"He is driven by extreme cruelty," said Dmitri Lipski, the judge who sentenced him, poring over photographs of Onoprienko's crimes. "He doesn't care about anything - only about himself. He is egocentric and has a very high opinion of himself."
A manhunt involving 2,000 police and more than 3,000 troops eventually led to Onoprienko's arrest in April 1996 at his girlfriend's house near the Polish border following an anonymous tip-off. Investigators fear his tally of victims may be higher than 52, as there was a long gap between murders when he roamed illegally around several European countries.
"To me it was like hunting. Hunting people down," mused Onoprienko with a wry smile as he handed me his autograph scribbled on the back of a magazine.
"I would be sitting, bored, with nothing to do. And then suddenly this idea would get into my head. I would do everything to get it out of my mind, but I couldn't. It was stronger than me. So I would get in the car or catch a train and go out to kill."
Onoprienko's first victims were a couple, standing by their Lada car on a motorway: "I just shot them. It's not that it gave me pleasure, but I felt this urge. From then on, it was almost like some game from outer space."
He said he had derived no pleasure from the act of killing. "Corpses are ugly," he said with distaste. "They stink and send out bad vibes. Once I killed five people and then sat in the car with their bodies for two hours not knowing what to do with them. The smell was unbearable."
Some experts view the fact that he grew up without parents and was given up to an orphanage by his elder brother as a clue to his destruction of entire families. Strangely, his most vicious spree coincided with the time when he moved in with the woman he intended to marry and with her children - towards whom, she claimed, he was always very loving.
Onoprienko, however, claimed he was possessed. "I'm not a maniac," he said, without a hint of self-doubt. "If I were, I would have thrown myself onto you and killed you right here. No, it's not that simple. I have been taken over by a higher force, something telepathic or cosmic, which drove me.
"For instance, I wanted to kill my brother's first wife, because I hated her. I really wanted to kill her, but I couldn't because I had not received the order. I waited for it all the time, but it did not come.
"I am like a rabbit in a laboratory. A part of an experiment to prove that man is capable of murdering and learning to live with his crimes. To show that I can cope, that I can stand anything, forget everything."
Onoprienko was adamant last week that he would not appeal to Kuchma to commute his sentence. Instead, he insisted that he should be executed. Suddenly animated, his speech quickened. "If I am ever let out, I will start killing again," he said. "But this time it will be worse, 10 times worse. The urge is there.
"Seize this chance because I am being groomed to serve Satan. After what I have learnt out there, I have no competitors in my field. And if I am not killed I will escape from this jail and the first thing I'll do is find Kuchma and hang him from a tree by his testicles."
It was time to leave.
Ahmad Suradji (42) On May 2, 1997, authorities arrested self-described Indonesian witch doctor Ahmad Suradji after three bodies were found buried in a sugarcane plantation near his home on the outskirts of Medan, the capital of North Sumatra.
Ahmad, also known as Nasib Kelewang or Datuk Maringgi, initially confessed to killing 16 women over a five-year period. A search of Ahmad's property revealed clothes and watches belonging to 25 missing women. Under further questioning the 48-year-old cattle breeder increased the body count of his 11-year rampage to 42. Ahmad's three wives, all sisters, were also arrested for helping him commit the murders and hide the corpses. The oldest wife, Tumini, was tried as his accomplice in his 11-year rampage.
The sorcerer was revered by locals who believed he had paranormal powers, and often asked him for medical and spiritual advice. Many women would hire him to cast magic spells to ensure the faithfulness of their husbands or boyfriends. Neighbors said that many women sought the sorcerer's help believing they would make themselves richer, healthier and more sexually attractive to men. Police believe the victims -- whose ages ranged from 11 to 30 -- may have been too embarrassed to tell their families of their seeking the sorcerer's help so their disappearances were not linked to him. A large amount of them were also prostitutes.
After charging each victim $200 to $400, he would take them to a sugarcane plantation near his home and bury them in the ground up to their waist as part of a ritual. Once in the ground he strangled each woman with electrical cable. Then he drank their saliva, undressed their corpses and reburied them with their heads pointing to his home so to enhance his magical powers. Suradji told police that nine years ago he had a dream in which the ghost of his father told him to kill 70 women and drink their saliva so he could become a dukan, or mystic healer, he said.
The sorcerer was said to be widely respected in his village. Neighbours said he was often willing to help sick villagers and contribute to charitable causes. Nasib, who led police to the bodies in the field next to his home, told officers he needed to kill up to 70 women to gain supernatural powers. Now that the unearthing of 40 corpses testify to Nasib's true mania, police have asked local residents to report any more missing women and children. About 80 families in the area have reported female relatives missing, leading to fears that more bodies could be uncovered.
During their trials both Suradji and Tumini denied the slayings, saying they confessed because they could no longer bear torture by interrogators. On April 27, 1998, an Indonesian court in North Sumatra found the sorcerer guilty of Indonesia's worst killing spree. As the last of the 42 bodies was being unearthed, the deadly sorcerer was sentenced to death by firing squad.
Gerald Stano (41) Born in Daytona Beach in 1951, Gerald tallied a body count of 41 as a result of his deep resentment towards a world of "bitches".; A former short order cook, this mysoginist killer truly enjoyed the act of killing. He did it with glee and impunity. His decade-long crime spree began in 1969 and spanned across three states -- Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His victims of choice were generally prostitutes, runaways and hitchhiking teen agers.
Unlike most other serial killers, he never raped his victims -- instead he submitted them to slow, painful deaths. As one of the investigating officers pointed out, "He thinks about three things: stereo systems, cars, and killing women." Stano was arrested 1978 and charged with the December, 1973, murder of Cathy Lee Scharf, a 17-year-old hitchhiker from Port Orange, Florida.
Stano confessed picking up the teen ager while she was hitchhiking on U.S. 1 in Port Orange and choking her repeatedly over several hours. After finally killing the girl, he dumped her body in a drainage ditch, cleaned up and went roller skating. Hunters found her decomposed body at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville on January 19, 1974.
In 1983 Stano was convicted and sentenced to Old Sparky, Florida's temperamental, three-legged electric chair. He also was condemned for the murders of Susan Bickrest, 24, and Cathy Muldoon, 23, in Volusia County. He got life sentences for six other slayings. After 25 years of appeals, Gerald was executed at 7:00 AM, March 23, 1998. For his last meal, Stano ordered a Delmonico steak, baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits, some French bread with butter and a tossed salad topped with blue cheese dressing. He finished the meal with half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream and two liters of Dr. Pepper.
Stano was the first death row inmate to die in Florida's 75-year-old, oak chair since the March 25, 1997 flaming execution of Pedro Medina. After a foot-long flame leaped from the head of Medina -- the second malfunction by the chair within seven years -- State authorities imposed a one-year moratorium on electrocutions. Investigators eventually determined the malfunction was caused by the executioners' failure to properly apply electrically conducting sponges in the chair's headpiece. With a heavily backed-up execution schedule and coming elections, the state's Senate voted unanimously to reinstate electrocution and scheduled four within an eight-day period.
The first on the block was Stano. The unrepentant killer made no final statement and stared straight ahead as he was strapped in. Following his death -- which, unlike in previous executions, no smoke or flames came shooting out of his head -- his attorneys distributed a written statement in which he thanked his friends and supporters: "Know that I love you all and cherish your love. Thanks for staying with me when people ridiculed you... I am innocent."
Richard "Iceman" Kuklinski (40+) Kuklinski was a professional hit man by trade with a serial killer passion on the side. Although suspected of at least 40 murders, while in custody Rich said that he only killed to support his family. A regular Mr. Short Fuse, Rich killed an unsuspecting motorist for cutting him off. He ran him off the road, beat him to death, than ran over his body repeatedly.
Not the family type, he is said to have once blown the head off the shoulders of a man over a bet. He also allegedly slit a man too see how long it would take him to bleed to death. He once chopped up a body, put it in a 50 gallon drum and placed the drum outside of his favorite hot dog stand. Rich got life and now sits rotting in a jail cell in New Jersey.
Erszebet Bathory (40+) A Sixteenth Century Hungarian Countess, Erszebet enjoyed bathing in blood. This deviant fawn of royalty believed that regular blood baths would halt the aging process. Estimates of the number of girls that were slaughtered for her 10 years of beauty treatments vary from 40 to as much as 600.
The bloody Countess, the widow of a celebrated Hungarian war hero and descendent of the legendary despot Vlad the Impaler, led a life immersed in black magic and sadism. She once had the mouth of a servant sewn shut for being too noisy. In January 1611, after countless rumors about her behavior, a group led by Count Thurzo - Erzsebet's cousin - entered her Castle Csejthe and uncovered a blood-letting in progress.
In order to protect the family name, at the Count's insistance, Erzsebet was never actually "charged" with any crime, although he did have her put under "house arrest." In fact, her royal highness was literally sealed into her tower by masons. The consulate agreed largely because the government had a huge debt it would have had to pay off should they charge her.
Two of her accomplices in her orgies of horror had their fingers removed before being thrown on the fire. Another - the only male - was beheaded then thrown on the fire. The countess died on August 21, 1614, three years after she was sealed in her bedroom. Perhaps her elixir of youth had been working all along.
Moses Sithole (38+) A surprisingly intelligent and gentle mannered Moses Sithole is allegedly South Africa's worst serial killer. The suspected Gauteng serial killer, Sithole was charged in the Pretoria Supreme Court with 38 charges of murder, 40 charges of rape and six of robbery. Between 1994 and 1995 he allegedly strangled women in the Pretoria, Johannesburg and East Rand areas. Most victims were lured to secluded fields where Sithole allegedly assaulted, raped and strangled them with their own underwear or belts.
The series of murders started in June 1994, shortly after Sithole had served house arrest for rape. Between 1994 and 1995 South African authorities were alarmed by the growing number of dead women appearing around Pretoria and Johannesburg. Several of the women were left with their hands tied behind their backs. One woman was blindfolded. Many were found with their heads covered with clothing. Apparently he murdered his first victim because she had shouted at him when he asked her for directions. "I cannot remember her name," he said. "I killed her and left her there. I went straight home and had a shower."
Robert Ressler, the F.B.I. Behavioral Science Unit's former chief, was called in to help with the investigation. Ressler concluded that the killings in Cleveland, a suburb of Johannesburg, and Boksburg, a suburb of Pretoria, were linked. In his psychological profile of the killer he indicated the possibility of two killers acting together.
On October 18, 1995, after a week-long nationwide hunt, police shot and wounded Moses Sithole, an ax-wielding ex-convict with six aliases. When he was arrested, authorities thought Sithole might have been acting in conjunction with David Selepe but no evidence has been uncovered suggesting that both men knew each other. Unfortunately for Selepe, he was killed by police while in custody.
On October 22, 1996, Sithole appeared in court and was charged with 38 murders and 40 rapes. On November 14, Sithole's trial was postponed after the suspect appeared in court looking very pale and with his pants soaked with blood. The HIV positive killer was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for a wound on his knee. According to his defense team, the injury came from a fall he sustained at Pretoria Central Prison.
A jailhouse confession videotape -- made by Charles Schoeman on the condition that Sithole and three other prisoners would get a share of the royalties -- shows a visibly relaxed Sithole in a cell either smoking or chewing on an apple while giving a chilling account one of his victim's lasts moments before death. Sithole -- an avid talker -- was a willing party to a series of video and audio tapes made by fellow prisoners. In them he told fellow prisoners that he hated women and felt he was teaching them "a very good lesson" by murdering them.
Facts contained in the tapes were repeated in a confession to the police and in a phone conversation with a Johannesburg journalist. An unknown caller, identified by voice experts as Sithole, claimed to be the Gauteng serial killer and gave details of where he had left the bodies of several of his victims.
Sithole officially became South Africa's worst serial killer On December 5, 1997. when he was found guilty of 38 murders and 40 rapes. Sithole -- who's overwhelming arrogance had ultimately brought about his downfall -- sat emotionless, taking down notes throughout the three-hour judgment. After the judgment, he gathered up his briefcase and left the courtroom with a smile on his face. The next day, as people in the gallery cheered and applauded, Sithole was sentenced to 2,410 year in jail. Relatives of the victims shouted for his head and called for the return of capital punishment. The judge -- who also made a plea for the restoration of the death penalty -- said he would have sentenced Sithole to death without hesitation.
Donald Harvey (34+) The most prolific killer nurse of the trade. When he was not offing his patients, Donny enjoyed hanging out in the morgue and studying tissue samples. An amateur Satanist, he would joke with the hospital staff about "getting rid of patients." Little did they know, it was no joke.
Harvey murdered with abandon from the early seventies to 1987 when he was finally caught. He claimed that his killings were "mercy" killings even though he sometimes chose horrible substances to bring on death. He also did not limit his work to those hospitalized. He killed a neighbor out of spite by lacing her drink with hepatitis. He would also poison his male lover and then nurse him back to health to win his affection. On another occasion he poisoned his lover's family, killing the mother. He was convicted of thirty-four deaths but it is believed that he actually tallied eighty-seven kills.
Fernando Hernandez Leyva (33-135) Mexican police said a Cuernavaca man they arrested on charges of assault and kidnapping had confessed to killing more than 100 people. Jose Castillo, chief prosecutor of central Morelos state, told a news conference that police arrested Fernando Hernandez, alias "Pancho Lopez." Castillo said he was unaware of any criminal who had a more violent record in Mexican history.
Hernandez also appeared at the news conference, telling reporters: "I committed about 100 homicides and six kidnappings." Castillo said police in four different states had sought the man they knew as "Pancho Lopez" in connection with 38 slayings and dozens of violent assaults and kidnappings. "I killed them because I had to," Hernandez added. "I don't know how to do anything else."
On April 4, a criminal court judge in Cuernavaca, 35 miles south of Mexico City, ordered Hernandez Leyva held over for trial along with three alleged accomplices on several murder, robbery and kidnapping counts. Hernandez Leyva is suspected in 137 killings, six kidnappings and several robberies in Mexico City and the states of Morelos, Jalisco, Colima, Guanajuato and Michoacan.
The 36-year-old suspect told reporters that he is innocent of most of the charges. He admitted to kidnapping a journalist in Jalisco and to killing of a police officer. Hernandez Leyva said judicial police officers had beat him and threatened to rape his wife and take away his children unless he confessed to the crimes. Authorities made no comment about his allegations.
When Leyva was transferred to a state prison after crowds of victims' families in Cuernavaca called for his blood. "We want to lynch him," said Joel Uribe Landa, one of about 50 people gathered outside the Morelos state prosecutors' office, where Hernandez Leyva was taken for questioning before being transferred to the state prison. The unusually heavy police detail present during the transfer served a double purpose: to protect the suspect from angry protesters and to make sure he didn't escape, as he has done at least twice over the last 13 years.
Prosecutor Jose Leonardo Castillo Pombo said Hernandez Leyva is a suspect in kidnappings, robberies and as many as 135 murders in five southern Mexican states. Castillo Pombo said he opposed the death penalty, but added that "if the country is legally prepared to apply it, Mexicans should hold a referendum, so that public opinion can decide."
As evidence rolls in from prosecutors in outlying states, the number of potential murder charges against Hernandez Leyva continues to rise. Eleven more murder investigations forwarded by prosecutors in western Jalisco state name him as the prime suspect, bringing the caseload to 33 in four days. But under Mexican law -- in which sentences are served concurrently -- the most Hernandez Leyva is likely to face is a sentence of 50 years in prison, with time off for good behavior.
Hernandez Leyva was arrested in 1982 in Cuernavaca, 35 miles south of Mexico City, on robbery charges but escaped from jail by tunneling through a wall. He was arrested again on suspicion of murder and robbery in 1986, but again escaped from Mexico City's Western penitentiary. Morelos state officials have applied to the federal government for him to be transferred to a maximum security federal prison.
On April 12 Leyva attempted to hang himself in his jail cell. The confessed serial killer, who weighs about 300 pounds, used a rope to try and hang himself from cell bars, but the rope broke and he suffered only abrasions on his neck. A police psychological exam of suspect released earlier concluded that Hernandez Leyva is a "psychopath" who murdered for "personal satisfaction."
John Wayne Gacy (33) Straight out of the he's-such-a-nice-guy file, Johnny was the type of man who liked to dress in a homemade Pogo the Clown outfit to entertain kids. A lonely and sadistic contractor, Johnny also liked to entertain young boys privately in a very different fashion. The prototypical organized killer, he had all aspects of the murder worked out before each kill. Once he entered his murderous fantasy, there was no turning back.
He enjoyed handcuffing his victims, anally raping them, beating them to a pulp, offering to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, reciting verses from the Bible and strangling them to death. In 1978 he was tracked down by the police in Chicago. Thirty bodies were found buried in the crawl space underneath his house, explaining his wife's complaints about the constant stench. As a prisoner, Johnny Boy started a new career as an artist, painting mostly colorful clown pictures, which have been shown in galleries nationwide. He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.
On November 11, 1998, the Chicago Tribune reported that police, acting on a tip from a former detective, were searching for human remains in a parking lot behind Gacy's mother's house. Authorities believe there could be as many as four bodies buried 3 1/2 feet deep. Former Detective Bill Dorsch, now a private investigator, told prosecutors of a night in 1975 when he found Gacy holding a dirty shovel next to the alley where the new search is proposed. "I stopped and said, 'John, what are you doing out here at this time of night with a shovel?"' Dorsch said. Gacy replied: "Well, with all the kind of work I do, there just isn't enough time in the day. So here I am."
Vasili Komaroff (33) A horse-trader during the early days of Stalin, Vasili was known as "The Wolf of Moscow" for his unbridled reign of terror. A peasant, Vasili typically killed for money. His first victim was uncovered in 1921. Many others followed with frightful regularity. There were 21 in all: strangled, bound, doubled-over and dumped in vacant lots around the Shabolovki District. Authorities linked the killings to the horse-trading market un Moscow that happened every Wednesdays and Fridays. As authorities soon discovered, anyone who left with Vasili to see his horses was never seen or heard of again. When police went to his home to question him they found his latest victim stuffed in a sack in the stable. Panicked, "the Wolf" jumped out the window and escaped.
Several days later he was picked up and confessed to the tune of 33 killings, 11 of which were not under investigation. Over the next few days he uncovered five new corpses for the authorities. The other six victims he dumped in the river and their bodies were never recovered. Vasili implicated his wife Sofia as an accomplice. They were both found guilty of multiple homicides and sentenced to death. On June 18, 1923, they went to the "big horse-show in the sky" via firing squad.
Jane Toppan (31+) Born in Boston as Nora Kelly to typical future serial killer misery in 1854. When she was still an infant her mother died and her tailor father was institutionalized for trying to stitch his eyelids shut. After a brief stint in an orphanage, Nora was adopted by the Toppan family and changed her name to Jane. From then on she led a very normal life until, as a young woman, she was jilted by her fiancee, had a nervous breakdown and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide.
Although she excelled as a student in Nursing School, she raised some eyebrows with her morbid curiosity for autopsies. Eventually she was unceremoniously dismissed after two patients died mysteriously under her care.Not the passive type, Jane forged her nursing degree and went out looking for a job as a private nurse.
Jane was a considered a kind and sensitive nurse who regularly took care of the sick and elderly for Boston's best families. However, most of her patients and their families died mysteriously after ingesting some of her "special" potions. Over two decades, Jane blazed through the homes of New England society with her trusty morphine cocktails to the tune of a least 31 deaths.
America's premiere female "Angel of Death," Jane's deadly trail unravelled in the summer of 1901 when all four members of the Davis family dropped dead. Suspicious of the kindly nurse who had treated them, the husband of the fourth victim ordered the Massachusetts State Police to perform an autopsy on his wife. Authorities confirmed that a lethal dose of morphine and atropine killed his wife. Jane fled Boston and was finally arrested in Amherst on October 29, 1901.
In custody Jane confessed to 31 kills. It is believed her true bodycount is somewhere between 70 to 100 deaths. In her 1902 trial, doctors said Jane was "born with a weak mental condition." In true serial killer madness, Jane declared in court, "That is my ambition. To have killed more people -- more helpless people -- than any man or woman who has ever lived." Having fulfilled her wish, she was found insane and sent to the state asylum in Tauton, Massachusetts where she died in August, 1938, at the ripe age of 84.
Although she was remembered by the hospital staff as a "quiet old lady," she still had murderous fantasies permeating her brain. Orderlies remember how she would say, "Get some morphine, dearie, and we'll go out in the ward. You and I will have a lot of fun seeing them die."
Gerard John Schaefer (30+) This homicidal Martin County, Florida, deputy sheriff, though convicted in 1973 of only two mutilation murders, is believed to be responsible for at least thirty killings. A sadistic sex-beast by nature, Schaefer would lure young women off the roads with the help of his badge to torture, mutilate and murder. He enjoyed tying his victims to trees and leaving them there while he went to work as a police officer. Teeth, jewelry identification papers from several missing young women were found in a closet in his mother's house in Ft. Lauderdale.
When he was convicted for first degree murder of two teen-aged girls, Schaefer's wife divorced him and promptly married his defense attorney. Not the resentful type, Gerard gave the lovebirds his blessing and retained the attorney to continue handling his appeals. Curiously, he was later tried for plotting to to kill them both and enjoyed sending them death threats regularly.
Schaefer was also a part-time novelist, penning a lurid collection of tales of sexualized violence called "Killer Fiction" -- available from Feral House -- that was published in 1989 by Sondra London, an old high school sweetheart, who subsequently "shackled up" with Danny Rolling, another sadistic killer awaiting execution in Florida.
On December 3, 1995, Gerard was found dead in his cell at the Florida State Prison in Starke. He had been stabbed 42 times about the head and neck, and slashed across his throat. His sister, Sarah Schaefer, claimed that her brother was murdered by his jailhouse buddy, cannibal killer Ottis Toole, because of information he had obtained on the murder of Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old Hollywood, Florida, boy whose abduction and murder led to the passing of new legislation nationwide regarding missing children. Ottis once claimed he killed young Adam but later recanted. Prison authorities believe Gerard's death was linked to his activities as a jailhouse lawyer. However, confessed double-slayer Vincent Rivera is currently facing trial for murdering Schaefer, allegedly because Schaefer used the last of the hot drinking water on the tier.
Karl Denke (30+) A German innkeeper in Silesia with a taste for the "long pig," Denke butchered at least thirty of his lodgers and kept their pickled remains in the basement of his inn. An avid church-goer who was known locally as "Papa," Karl especialized in slaying beggars, tramps and journeymen who would not be missed. When he was arrested in 1924 he told police that for the past three years he had eaten only sausages made of human flesh.
Micajah & Wiley Harpe (30+) Brothers Big and Little Harpe have been credited by historian Paul I. Wellman with 30+ murders in Kentucky and Tennessee in the 1790's. The wandering types, they enjoyed killing on whim. Once Big Harpe quieted a crying baby by bashing its skull in. Many victims were disposed by stuffing stones within their abdomens before dumping them in the nearest river.
They used a more dramatic method of killing when they temporarily joined Sam Mason's river pirates. After the gang had taken a man prisoner, the Harpes bound him naked to the back of a horse and goaded it to run over a cliff into the Ohio River. Though the river pirates had a reputation for being hard cases, this was too much for them and the Harpes were sent packing. Shortly after that a posse of citizens caught up with Big Harpe and mounted his severed head on a tree. Little Harpe, not as psychotic as his brother, met an uncertain fate, possibly being killed in a river boat fight.
Patrick W. Kearney (28+) The top ranked Californian freeway killer. A fastidiously neat and organized murderer, Pat left his dismembered victims neatly wrapped in trash bags along the Californian highways. Kearney and his live-in lover, David D. Hill, both army veterans, lived in a meticulously clean bachelor pad in Redondo Beach, from where they launched their homicidal escapades. The "Trash Bag Murders," as they were known, started in 1975 and ended on July 5, 1977, when the couple walked into the Sheriff's Information Center in Riverside, saw a wanted poster of themselves and surrendered. Hill was subsequently released for lack of evidence. Kearney shouldered the guilt and confessed that killing "excited him and gave him a feeling of dominance."
Wayne Williams (28) Suspected of being the Atlanta Child Murderer, Wayne killed mostly young, black boys and dumped their bodies in the Chattahoochee River. He was caught when he departed from his modus operandi and smoked a couple of adults. When he was arrested Wayne was described as the "Pillsbury Doughboy." Unlike many other serial killers, he was soft-spoken, mild-mannered and friendly.
His thick glasses, soft features and delicate hands made him an unlikely candidate for commiting 28 murders. Many black leaders characterized his arrest as being racial in nature. However, as his trial progressed, Wayne emerged as a person emotionally capable of murder with an "inadequate personality" and an "obsessive need for control." Though at first he presented himself as an innocent victim of circumstance who happened to be at the worng place at the wrong time, when FBI agents searched the home he shared with his retired-schoolteacher parents, they found books on how to cheat polygraph tests as well as the crucial fiber evidence that eventually linked him to 12 murders.
After his arrest the killings ceased for a period, or so did police say. Some police say evidence against him was flawed and believe the case should be reopened. Williams' lawyer claimed a Klansman named Charles Sanders confessed to the police that he helped the KKK kidnap and murder 21 black children. Allegedly, this evidence was suppressed to avoid a race war.
John Douglas, the FBI agent whose profile led to Wayne's arrest, believes he was probably one of four killers active in the area. Douglas believes that evidence links Williams to at most 12 murders. According to the retired Federal agent, there are still black children being murdered in Atlanta and local authorities -- scared of what they might uncover -- are trying to keep a lid on it.
On June 5, 1998, two investigators of the widely publicized Atlanta missing and murdered children cases said again they believe convicted killer Wayne Williams is innocent. DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey and Fulton County Police Chief Louis Graham, both Atlanta police homicide investigators at the time the rash of killings occurred in the early 1980s, made the assertions on "Dateline NBC." The state has also introduced evidence of 10 other murders, for which Williams was never indicted. Police ultimately blamed him for 24 deaths.
Williams was convicted of murder in the deaths of Nathaniel Cater, 27, and Jimmy Ray Payne 21, two of 29 young Altanta blacks murdered between 1979 and 1981. Williams was convicted of two of the homicides, but 22 others were closed after his conviction; five cases remain open.
After the conviction, authorities blamed Williams, who is black, for 22 other slayings but never charged him. Five of the 29 murders investigated by a special police task force remain officially open. The 41-year-old freelance photographer and talent scout was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to two life terms.
Williams became a suspect in the string of murders in May 1981 when police staking out a bridge over the Chattahoochee River -- where some of the victims' bodies had been found -- heard a splash and stopped Williams as he drove away. Two days later, the body of Cater was found downstream.
The main prosecution evidence against Williams was tiny fibers found on the bodies and matched to rugs and other fabrics in the home and cars of Williams' parents. His attorney said he is pushing for DNA testing to set him free after 18 years in prison. Lawyer Lynn Whatley said he is trying to raise the money to have tests--using advances in the science--conducted on hair and blood that linked Williams to two murders.
Fritz Haarmann (27+) Born in 1879, this perverted German pederast and his lover, Hans Grans, stalked the train stations of post-WWI Hannover searching for young boys. Always the enterprising killers, they would sell the flesh and clothing of their victims for fun and profit. Their deadly trade was first discovered in 1924 when bones from twenty-seven bodies were dredged out of the Leine River. A coat from one of the missing boys was traced back to the murderous love birds. Once in custody, Fritz started confessing. Haarmann enjoyed the attention he received during the trial and boasted of having killed up to forty people. He was decapitated on April 15, 1925. His lover Grans, who was not involved in the killings, received a twelve year sentence for selling stolen merchandise.
Roger Andermatt (27) On September 11, 2001, 32-year-old Swiss nurse, claiming he acted out of compassion, confessed to killing 27 elderly and ailing patients over a six-year period. The nurse, identified as Roger Andermatt, was arrested at the end of June after a suspicious death in a nursing home. He subsequently admitted killing nine patients there. Suspecting the toll might be higher, police launched a full investigation into mysterious deaths in other homes where Andermatt worked. Under interrogation, Andermatt confessed to 18 other killings, including 12 in a home for invalids in the central Swiss town of Sarnen.
If the death toll is confirmed, Andermatt will become Switzerland's worst serial killer. Andermatt allegedly gave his victims an overdose of tranquilizers or smothered them with a folded plastic bag or a small piece of cloth over the mouth and nose. In some instances, the nurse claimed he first sedated the patients before suffocating them.
Andermatt insisted his motives were "sympathy, compassion and a desire to end the suffering of the patient." But he also confessed that in some cases he was simply overwhelmed by the stress of work. The government in Obwalden, the small state where Andermatt lived and where many of the murders took place, said it was in shock. "The government regards it as tragic that such a crime could happen in such well-known and trusted surroundings," it said.
Dean Corll (27) Born on Christmas Eve, 1939, this Texan maniac enjoyed killing young boys in the comfort of his own home. Friendly Dean would invite kids into his house to sniff glue and then, when they passed out, he would slip on the handcuffs and party in their butts all night long before snapping their life away. Not the shy type, Dean enjoyed biting his victim's dicks off and kept a collection of them in a bag. In August 1973, one of his teen-aged helpers, Elmer Wayne Henley, shot and killed the portly psychopath after saying he would help him snatch more youngsters. Police found seventeen bodies under the floor of a boat house Dean rented as well as the bag full of severed genitalia.
Juan Martin Cantu (26) For more than a decade, Juan Martin Cantu lived with his wife in a ramshackle house near the Gulf Coast of Texas and worked odd jobs. On the side this model neighbor had a life as a hit man. The truth came out after Cantu was arrested on a charge of felony marijuana possession. During his interrogation, he admitted he had served time in Texas and Mexican prisons and that he also was responsible for 26 murders for which he had never been charged, precinct Deputy Constable George Gavito said. "I asked him, 'Do you get off on this, get a joy from it?' And he smiles and he tells me, 'You know, it gives me a thrill," Gavito said.
Cantu, jailed under the name Juan Martin Medrano, has a criminal record in Texas that dates to at least 1974, when he was convicted of burglary. After at least two more felony convictions for lesser offenses, he confessed in 1978 to six slayings, Gavito said. He was transferred to a Mexican prison under the terms of a 1970s treaty that allows foreign nationals to transfer to facilities in their home countries, but he was released four years later, police said. He had been living in Laguna Heights since at least 1991.
Cantu, 46, grew up the son of a poor rancher in the small Mexican state of Morelos. His first victim apparently had threatened his brother. By 17, he had become a contract killer, Gavito said. "He sat down with me and he told me that he started to kill people when he was 14," Gavito said.
Gavito said Cantu placed the unsolved murders in several Mexican cities: Vera Cruz, Ciudad Juarez and Matamoros. He also said he killed people in Brownsville, Houston and Dallas; in Naples and Jacksonville, Fla.; and in Alabama. Investigator Lt. Joe Garcia said Cantu had been a known hit man for drug kingpin Cacho Espinosa.
Bruce Lee (26) Not to be confused with the martial arts legend, but instead a deformed epileptic pyromaniac who legally changed his name in honor of his Kung-Fu-fighting hero. This British arsonist once torched an old man after arguing with him over what to feed the pigeons. He killed eleven more people when he set an old age home ablaze. In 1980 British police arrested him in a public bathroom frequented by gay men while he was looking for a blow job. He confessed to all his crimes and is now locked up in an insane asylum practicing his Kung-Fu kicks.
Leonard Lake & Charles Ng (11-25) This pair of survivalists from hell built a torture chamber and snuff film parlor in a remote Northern California ranch to fuel their perverse lustmord. Lake, who went underground in 1982 after skipping bail on a weapons charge, was fond of his survivalist doomsday plan called "Operation Miranda," which would be enacted immediately after the WWIII radioactive dust settled. He was building a system of underground bunkers around the cabin at Wilseyville, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, where mindless female slaves would cater to every one of his needs. (It's reassuring to know that even sadists plan to survive the apocalypse.)
A pathological woman-hater who had been abandoned my his mother as a child, Lake preyed on men to use their money and their identification, and preyed on women for sex. In one of the siezed videotapes Lake expounds on his views on women. "I guess the bottom line of my statement, the simple fact is, I'm a sexist slob," he says. "I enjoy using a woman ... but in the long term I don't want to bother." On one of the tapes Lake mentions "The Collector" -- a novel by John Fowles about an obscure little clerk with a penchant for butterfly collecting who nets a lovely, twenty-year-old woman -- as his inspiration.
In April 1985, Lake and Ng videotaped themselves mistreating two captive women at Lake's home in Wilseyville, in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Calaveras County. Kathy Allen, a San Francisco-area supermarket clerk, and Brenda O'Connor, Lake's neighbor, were never seen again. Lake on tape threatens the women with rape and death if they don't agree to cooperate as sex slaves. He repeatedly uses the plural "we" while Ng stands by, Calaveras County District Attorney Peter Smith pointed out as the prosecution finished its summation. Ng, naked, is seen on tape getting a massage from a nearly nude Allen; Ng cuts away O'Connor's shirt and bra as she pleads for her husband and baby, who are also among his alleged victims.
When captured in 1985 for a bungled shoplifting attempt, Lake committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill. When police reached Lake's ranch they uncovered a "truckload of bones," and a body stuffed into a sleeping bag. They also found videotapes and photos documenting their reign of terror. Ng, the only known serial killer with no vowels in his last name, escaped to Canada where he was later arrested for another bungled shoplifting attempt. In 1991, after fighting extradition for six years, he was returned to California where he is charged with conspiring in the sadistic killings of 12 people: two infants, three women and seven men. Authorities say Ng and Lake imprisoned, raped and tortured the women while using the men's identities to take money from banks, credit accounts and even to collect a Super Bowl pool.
The son of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman, Ng has proved to be an astute corruptor of the legal system. Using every ruse, the former ex-Marine has been able to postpone his trial for 13 and a half years. At one point, after having fired a series of defenders, Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan allowed Ng to act as his own attorney. After several months Judge Ryan reinstated a public defender to the case to stop any more postponements by the crafty alledged serial killer. Finally, on October 26, 1998, his trial -- considered by many legal experts the , most expensive trial in California legal history -- began in Orange County.
A man who was to play a pivotal role in the trial of accused serial killer Charles Ng has died in a car accident in Calgary, Canada. Ng, arrested in Calgary 13 years ago after a worldwide manhunt, allegedly confessed his crimes to fellow inmate Joseph Maurice Laberge. Laberge, 46, died May 19 in a car accident near Crossfield, 18 miles north of Calgary. Laberge -- whose name has not been revealed until now because he was under a witness protection program -- was alone. Foul play has been ruled out.
During his stint on the witness stand, Charles Ng denied that his videotaped threats were real, saying they were just "bluffs" to sexually excite his pal Leonard Lake. Throughout his trial in Orange County, Ng's lawyers claimed that the Hong Kong native was merely a patsy under the spell of Leonard Lake. In fact, on the witness stand Ng claimed that he knew nothing about the murders, even after helping his friend bury a couple of bodies. When he was questioned by prosecutor Sharlene Honnaka about the videotaped abuse on Kathy Allen, the shoplifting ex-marine testified that he had apparently it blocked out memory. The tape shows Allen giving Ng a massage. "It wasn't a pleasant memory I would try to remember," Ng said. "It didn't stick out in your mind that you had a woman that had been kidnapped?" Honnaka said. "My subconscious may be blocking it. That's my testimony," Ng said. He added that "nothing sexual" occurred with Allen, although he took a shower with her.
Other testimony revolving around graphic cartoons he made in a Canadian jail read like the script of an absurdist play. Ng blamed most of the content of cartoons on Maurice Laberge. When Honnaka showed a drawing depicting Lake whipping a woman while Ng stands by eating a bowl of rice, Ng said it was a satire of the allegations, "to show how ludicrous this sort of thing is." Another drawing depicted a man of Asian appearance cooking a baby in a wok and the phrase, "Daddy died, momma cried, baby fried." Ng admitted drawing "the majority of it," but said he had been goaded by Laberge.
Mr. Good Will himself, Ng said he drew the cartoons only for the amusement of Laberge. "Every time I send him a cartoon or we collaborate on a cartoon, he'd laugh." He added that the cartoon was a joke referring to rumors that Lake and him had microwaved a baby. Other "satiric" cartoons showed Ng smashing a a baby in a pillowcase against something, Lake drowning a baby in a pillowcase and a man strangling a woman with pantyhose during sex.
Prosecutor Honnaka replayed segments of the videos, asking Ng what he meant by telling a shackled Brenda O'Connor: "You can cry and stuff like the rest of them, but it won't do you no good." "What do you mean by 'the rest of them?"' Honnaka asked. "There's no 'rest of them,"' Ng said. "I just try to project that seriousness ... so she wouldn't resist." Ng told the prosecutor he was acting tough -- like a character in a Death Wish movie -- when he cut away O'Connor's shirt and bra and told her: "You're totally ours."
"I don't want to act like a wimp, put it that way," Ng said. "You don't want to act like a wimp with a woman who's asking about her husband and her baby and her friend?" Honnaka countered. "At that time I didn't know who those people were," said Ng. O'Connor, a 19-year-old neighbor of Lake's, disappeared in April 1985 about the same time as Lonnie Bond, 27, their son Lonnie Bond Jr., 1, and friend Scott Stapley, 24, who lived in San Diego at the time. Ng said he helped Lake bury Bond and Stapley, and that was the first time he had seen a dead person so closely. That and the treatment of O'Connor, who was pregnant, left Ng "pretty disturbed about it afterward," he said.
In a jailhouse interview with the Sacramento Bee, convicted serial killer Charles Ng said he was shocked and angry for being sentence3d to death. "It's a strange experience," he said. "It's just like the doctor telling you that you have a terminal disease . . . You think you are psychologically prepared for it, but it's still like a big shock."
Three days before the jury's recommendation, juror Karen Barrett received a call from a man who said he was "Charles" and told her: "I just wanted to tell you, you are very nice." Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan allowed the juror to remain on the panel; she said she was "nervous" but would not be prejudiced by the incident. Ng refused to say whether he called the juror, but said Barrett was "the only one who gave me a smile and looked me in the eyes. I don't know whether she had something going on or not."
On February 24, 1999, a Santa Ana jury found Charlie guilty of 11 counts of first-degree murder. To expedite the process, a deadlocked count count was dropped by the judge. The jury also found special circumstances of multiple murder that makes Charlie eligible for the death penalty. Ng looked down at the defendants' table as the verdicts were read and showed no reaction.
Dr. Stuart Grassian, a Boston psychiatrist, said Ng's severe personality problems developed early in life because of a strict upbringing in Hong Kong. "He was never encouraged as a child to be assertive," Grassian said. "He was always morbidly shy as a child and when teachers would say that he didn't speak in class, his father would beat him with a cane. He felt debased, devalued. He was told he was stupid."
Ng loved animals, Grassian said, and was devastated when one of his pet chickens was killed by a family member and wound up on the dinner table. Grassian said that once Ng came to the United States he sought guidance from authority figures because he was incapable of determining his own path in life.
Dr. Stuart Grassian described Ng, 38, as a classic "dependent personality" -- an abused child and someone who would latch onto authority figures and do their bidding in order to gain acceptance. "Charles Ng was the type of person that would have ended up in South America drinking Kool-Aid," said Grassian, referring to a mass suicide by poison at Jonestown in Guyana. "I don't think he was predestined in terms of violence or sadism."
"He didn't know how to be assertive because they don't teach you that in Hong Kong," said his defense lawyer William Kelley. "He wanted to be told what to do." As a child in Hong Kong Ng was beaten with chains by his father and spent so much time being ordered around that he became dependent on others to tell him what to do. "He was just like any other kid," said Alice Shum, Ng's aunt, speaking through a Cantonese interpreter. "A regular kid. He was shy. He was quiet."
Ng came to the United States from his native Hong Kong in 1978 on a student visa to attend the College of Notre Dame near San Mateo. He was studying biology, but dropped out after the first year because of poor grades, he said. Ng then joined the Marines. He said he grew up watching American war movies and that he had always been fascinated by the military. In San Francisco, he met a recruiter who enlisted him even though he was not a citizen or a permanent resident.
He eventually ended up at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station in Hawaii, where he ran afoul of the military authorities when he and three other soldiers raided a weapons depot. "It was just a chance for gun enthusiasts to get their hands on things that you couldn't get in the outside world," he said. Rather than face a court-martial, Ng fled.
He made his way back to Northern California, where he met Lake, a fellow Marine and a Vietnam veteran. "Part of me saw him as the father or big brother I always wanted," Ng said. Their friendship was interrupted in 1982, when federal authorities raided their mobile home and seized a large stash of weapons and explosives. Ng, still wanted by the military, was court-martialed. Lake jumped bail and became a fugitive. Ng served time at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., then rejoined Lake in 1984. That's when the killing started.
During the penalty phase of his trial "Ng the victim" told jurors with graphic descriptions of how he was trussed up and bodily carried to some of his court appearances even though he never resisted, and showed photographs of a cage that was built to hold Ng when he arrived in Calaveras County after being extradited from Canada.
Poor Charlie's lawyers then tried to depict him as a caring and loving man. According to the lawyer, the evercaring Ng offered consolation to his friends in times of grief and sent them gifts and artwork from prison.
One Betty Kirkendall of Cleveland, Oklahoma, testified she made friends with Ng after her son was murdered in 1983 and she decided to take up prison ministry. Mrs. Kirkendall said she was having problems with her husband, had been raped and had no one to communicate with when she began writing letters to Ng while he was imprisoned at Leavenworth, Kan., for weapons theft while serving in the Marine Corps.
When he was released from Leavenworth they decided to meet in person. She said she met Ng at the home of a friend in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and the next day picked him up in her car and drove to a motel. After they had sex, she said, she never saw him again and she felt later that it had been a mistake. Of the climactic meeting, she said, "It certainly wasn't for sex. It was my way of saying, I really care for you."
Chuck Farnham of San Jose, California, testified he wrote to Ng a year ago when he heard they had the common hobby of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. He said they began to talk by phone and Ng comforted him over the death of his father. "Of all the people I know I was surprised that with all his problems he had this genuine concern about what I was going through."
Juan Corona (25) Born in 1934, Corona moved to Yuba City, California in the early 50's as a migrant worker. There the Mexican national established himself as a family man and labor contractor, that is, until he was charged with hacking twenty-five men to death. His handiwork was uncovered on May 19, 1971, by a Japanese farmer touring the peach orchard where Corona's labor crew was working. Most of the victims were drunken transients and migrant workers who no one missed. Corona, a burly father of four, was linked to the murders through a couple of receipts found in the clothing of two of the dead.
Most of the victims were stabbed or hacked to death, and bore signs of homosexual assaults, which lead people to believe that the killer could be Juan's openly gay brother. In 1970, a young Mexican's scalp was sliced open with a machete, in the cafe run by Natividad. The victim pressed charges agains Natividad, trying to get $250,000.00 in damages. Natividad fled to Mexico, and the case was left unsolved.
During his trial the defense tried to place the blame on Natividad, however there was no evidence placing him in the area at the time of the rampage. The jury deliberated for 45 hours before convicting him on multiple counts of murder. A month later Juan was sentenced to 25 consecutive terms of life imprisonment. While in prison, Corona lost his eye when he was attacked by four inmates. Currently Juan resides at Corcoran State Prison, where he is said to pace the yard obsessively mumbling to himself. In March, 1999, Corona was attacked by prisoners when several inmates invaded the recreation yard of prison's protective unit. Corona, now 65, is said to be sick and suffering from dementia. During the security breach, the ransacking prisoners also smashed Chales Manson's acoustic guitar. Prison officials said Corona sustained minor injuries.
Marcel Petiot (24+) While in medical school Marcel was already considered a thief. As a young doctor he was no better. It is believed that he killed three of his patients in Villanueve, France. Forced to leave the area, he moved to Paris where he continued his career as a swindler and a crook. During WW2, Doctor Petiot saw a golden opportunity to make lots of money. He bought a house in Rue Lesueur and customized it to become a sound-proof killing machine. There he killed up to 63 people, mostly Jews and others trying to escape the Nazis. The crafty Doctor told his victims that he was a member of the French Resistance and was able to arrange for their safe passage to South America for a steep fee. After receiving the money the doctor gave his victims a lethal injection saying it was a "vaccination" against foreign diseases. He would then lead them to a sound-proof room where he told them to wait for their Resistence escort. By then the poison would take over, the good doctor enjoyed watching their deaths through specially built peep-holes.
A thorough annihilator, he would mutilate the corpses and drop them into a lime pit. Later he started incinerating his ever increasing pile of dead. In early 1944 he was arrested and held briefly when he choked the neighborhood with the fetid smell of burning corpses coming from his incinerator. Policemen called to the scene found 27 mutilated bodies in the basement which, he said, were Nazis killed by the Resistance. Claiming to merely be doing his patriotic duty he convinced the cops to let him go. Free again, Marcel promptly disappeared.
After the war Parisians still remembered the stacks of bodies found in the Doctor's home. A newspaper accused Petiot of being a Nazi sympathizer and that the dead were patriots killed for the Gestapo. Wanting to clear his name the doctor sent a letter to the papers claiming that the Nazis had set him up and planted the bodies in his basement.
He was arrested again in October 1944 and charged with 24 murders. During his trial he claimed to have killed up to 63 enemies of France. No one believed his ties to the Resistance. He was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death. The deadly doctor was guillotined on May 26,1946. It is widely believed that Marcel killed many more and dumped corpses into the Seine. Authorities believe that Petiot was also responsible for several dismembered bodies found in Bois de Boulogne near Paris in 1942.
Bela Kiss (24) A Hungarian serial killer, Bela's exploits were immortalized in a play by the surrealist poet Antonin Artaud called 23. In 1912, after Bela moved with his wife to the village of Czinkota, she started having an affair. Soon the lovers disappeared and Bela told neighbors that they had eloped. The deadly cuckold then started collecting 55-gallon metal drums. He told the village constable that they were filled with gasoline as a precaution for the coming war.
In 1914 Bela was drafted into the military and sent to the battlefield. By 1916 news had returned to the village that Bela died in combat. When soldiers passed through Czinkota looking for fuel, the constable remembered the drums of gasoline in the Kiss household. When the soldiers opened the drums they were startled by the discovery of 24 corpses preserved in alcohol. Apparently Bela, calling himself Hoffman, placed personal adds in newspapers describing himself as a "lonely widower seeking female companionship." Those who answered were promptly garroted and stuffed into 55-gallon drums. Not surprisingly, two of the corpses found were those of his wife and her lover.
After the gruesome discovery, authorities traveled to the hospital were Bela died. There they were told that the Bela that died there was a young man. Apparently Bela had switched identities with one of the dying on the battlefield and was able to escape. There have been subsequent sightings of him in Budapest and persistent rumors have placed him in New York working as a janitor. But in Hungary he is remembered as the one who got away.
Helene Jegado (23+) Born in Brittany, France, in 1803, Helene once complained, "Wherever I go, people died." Sure they did. Because she enjoyed poisoning them. As a teenager, she started her career as a domestic and started experimenting with poison. Eventually she wiped out the family of seven for whom she was working. Most of her subsequent employers suffered the same fate. Curiously, no one suspected her of any wrongdoing because of her pious demeanor.
In 1831, after killing one too many families and fearing arrest, she joined a nunnery and took her vows. There she was suspected of offing several sisters before renouncing God and returning to her job as a domestic. As before, people started dying in her wake. Strangely she kept getting hired for new jobs.
She laid off the arsenic between 1841 to 1849 but then started dipping into it again. After two deaths in the household where she was working police started suspecting her after her overtly defensive manner during a routine questioning. Furthermore, traces of arsenic were found in the bodies of the most recent victims as well as many of her former employers. However, Helene never admitted her guilt, In 1851 she was guillotined just the same for her wave of terror.
Ted Bundy (22+) The Picasso of the serial killing community. Ted was handsome, charming, intelligent, self-assured, with a brilliant future, and deadlier than a rattlesnake. Using his good looks, he was able to invisibly abduct and kill his victims and continue with his seemingly charmed life. From early 1974 to early 1978, the stranger called "Ted" stalked young women on college campuses, at shopping malls, in apartment buildings and grade schools in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Colorado and finally Florida.
This law student and Young Republican liked to wear an arm sling to appear vulnerable and get women to help him with his groceries. Once he lured his victims to the door of his car he would bludgeon them and take them away to privately enjoy their death. He favored killing pretty, dark-haired cheerleader types. He would attack his prey with blunt objects and was fond of raping and biting them. The bite marks on one of his victims were used as evidence against him at his trial in Florida.
As a teen, Bundy was shy and sensitive. At a Seattle crisis center, he counseled the depressed, the alcoholic, the suicidal. He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Washington in 1972, designed a program for dealing with habitual criminals and wrote a pamphlet on rape for the King County crime commission.
Although no one knows for sure how many women Bundy killed, his first victim is believed to be Mary Adams, 18, whose battered body was found in her Seattle bedroom on January 4, 1974. In the next year and a half, police investigated several disappearances and killings of women in the West, some of them since linked to Bundy.
He was arrested in August 1975 and convicted in March 1976 of kidnapping Carol DaRonch in Utah. That fall, he was charged with killing a Michigan nurse in Aspen, Colorado. On December 30, 1977, after a previous failed attempt, Ted escaped from the Denver court house through a window while awaiting trial. He relocated to Tallahassee, Florida, near Florida State University where he perpetrated his blood-soaked "Guernica" of crime. In January 15, 1978, he set forth on a night of butchery and killed two girls, Margaret Bowmanand Lisa Levy, and wounded two others, Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner, in and around the Chi Omega sorority house in Tallahassee.
Two weeks later, on February 9, he stole a van and killed 12-year-old Kimberly Leach who she abducted outside her school in Lake City, Florida, for which, eventually, he was fried. Poor Kimberly's body was found in a pig trough next to a plaid jacket that was not Ted's. She was buried in a cemetery near a Purina plant under a heart-shaped tombstone with her picture on it. Two weeks later, on February 15, Ted was arrested after he was spotted by David Lee, a Pensacola policeman, in the stolen VW van.
Ted defended himself in trials in Utah, Colorado and Florida as the police tried to put together a trail of dead girls leading to him. During his various trials, a very self-possessed Ted Bundy defended himself garnishing praise and a legion of female admirers. After 11 years of trials and appeals, then-Florida Gov. Bob Martinez signed the final death warrant against Bundy on Jan. 17, 1989. Ted Bundy was electrocuted on January 24, 1989 at Florida State Prison.
On the night before his execution, Bundy talked of suicide, recalled Bill Hagmaier, chief of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes. "We had some discussions about morality and the taking of another life and his concerns about trying to explain to God about his actions," Hagmaier added. For his last meal he had steak, eggs, hash browns and coffee.
On September 20. 1999, Ted Bundy's mom held a news conference to say her son didn't commit his first murder at age 14; but the mother 8-year-old Ann Marie Burr of Tacoma believes he did. "I resent the fact that everybody in Tacoma thinks just because he lived in Tacoma he did that one too, way back when he was 14," said his mother Louise Bundy. However, Burrs and several investigators believe young Bundy stole Ann Burr from her bed on Aug. 31, 1961, and killed her.
Bundy denied involvement in Ann's death up until his execution in Florida in 1989. In 1986, he wrote to the Burrs, saying, "I do not know what happened to your daughter Ann Marie. I had nothing to do with her disappearance. "You said she disappeared Aug. 31, 1961. At the time I was a normal 14-year-old boy. I did not wander the streets late at night. I did not steal cars. I had absolutely no desire to harm anyone. I was just an average kid."
Arnfinn Nesset (22+) The deadliest Norwegian of the Archives. A balding, mild mannered nursing home administrator, Arnfinn is believed to have slaughtered up to 138 patients over a 20-year nursing career. In 1977 Arnfinn became the director of the Orkdal Valley Nursing Home. As he took his post, an unusual number of patients started dying.
No one suspected anything until 1981 when an employee noticed the purchase of a large amount of curacit, a derivative of the poisonous curare used as a muscle relaxant.
Police brought Arnfinn, the man in charge of purchasing the curacit, in for questioning. First he claimed he bought the drug to kill a pack of wild dogs around the nursing home. Then, inexplicably, he started confessing to killing 27 patients. At one point he exclaimed "I've killed so many I'm unable to remember them all." In 1983 the lethal administrator was convicted of 22 murders. He was handed a 21-year sentence, the maximum allowed by Norwegian law. Last we heard from him, Arfinn changed his name, became a born-again Christian, and back on the streets.
Earl Nelson (22+) This Bible quoting drifter killed mostly landladies of boarding houses. After killing them he stuffed them under his bed before going to sleep. Dubbed the "Dark Strangler" and later "Gorilla Murderer" for his large, powerful hands. He is known to have committed twenty-two murders and was suspected of at least three more. He was captured and hanged in Canada on January 13, 1928. As he stood with the noose on his neck he told spectators "I stand innocent before God and man. I forgive those who have wronged me and ask forgiveness of those I have injured. God have mercy!"
Norman Afzal Simons (22) Norm is believed to be South Africa's "Station Strangler." He is presently serving a 25-year sentence for the 1994 murder of 10-year-old Elroy van Rooyen.
Since 1986 South African authorities had been stumped by the growing body count of young boys of mixed race appearing dead around Cape Town. At one point they asked for help from the Interpol and the FBI. Robert Ressler, the retired FBI expert who coined the term serial killer was called in to develop a psychological profile of the killer. With Ressler's profile in hand and the sharp work of South Africa's leading profiler, Dr. Micki Pistorious, authorities where able to nab their suspect. Police think Simons, a very well-educated man who speaks seven languages, is the "Station Strangler," South Africa's most notorious serial killer. I an eight-year murder spree, the "Strangler" is believed to have killed 21 boys and a young man, all of mixed-race.
His moniker comes from having found many of his victims in train stations. Most were later found in shallow graves around Cape Town after being sodomized and strangled. One body was found with a note that read: "One more, many more in store." Elroy, his final victim, was last seen boarding a train with Simons at Cape Town's Strand train station. His body was found 10 days later with his hands tied behind his back. According to police, Simons claimed his brother, who was murdered in 1991, was living inside him. He also started hearing voices after his brother sodomized him that ordered him to kill.
Thierry Paulin & Jean-Thierry Mathurin (21) Known as the "Old Ladies Killer" and the "Monster of Montmartre" these two men terrorized elderly Parisian ladies in the district of Montmarte from 1984 to 1987. Paulin, a native of Guyana, was a black transvestite drug addict with dyed platinum blonde hair. His boy-toy, Mathurin -- a waiter from the Caribbean island of Martinique -- was eventually charged as an accomplice in nine of the 21 sadistic slayings committed by the transvestite killer.
The first victim was Anna Barbier-Ponthus, 83. She was found bound, gagged and beaten to death on October 5, 1984. On October 9, 1984, firefighters discovered the body of Suzanne Foucault, 89, bound and with a plastic bag wrapped over her head. On November 5, Iona Seigaresco, 71, was found bound with electrical chord and beaten to death in her flat on Boulevard de Clichy.
Confirming police suspicion that a serial killer was praying on older women in the Montmarte district, on November 7 Alice Benaïm, 84, was found dead in her apartment. The next day, Marie Choy, 80, was found dead next door. She was bound with steel wire and was forced to drink causic soda before being beaten to death. The day after Maria Mico-Diaz, 75, was found bound, gagged and was nearly hacked in two with 60 stab wounds.
The similarities of all cases were quickly determined by police. All victims were old women ranging from 60 to 95, living alone in Montmarte. In all cases, they were attacked at the moment they opened their door on their way back from the market. Inside their apartments, the women were tortured, bound with electrical chord, gagged and beaten, strangled, stabbed or smothered to death. The apartment was then ransacked in search of money and other valuables.
The frantic Parisian police -- overwhelmed by public outcries and a terrified citizenry -- went into overdrive and arrested 60 junkies and assorted perverts hoping to crack the case. At the time Paulin and Mathurin left Paris and went to Toulosse where they hung out in gay clubs, did tons of coke and ended up separating after a fight.
Back in Paris Paulin severely beat his drug dealer who tried to cheat him. The man called the cops and got Paulin arrested and sentenced to 16 months in jail. Even though authorities had latent prints of Paulin from several crime scenes, they were not able link him to the string of deaths terrifying Montmarte.
In 1987 he was freed for good behavior and was back on the streets drug dealing. In a pre Dennis Rodman fashion statement, he started wearing earrings and dyed his hair platinum blonde. Never one to slack, by November he started killing old ladies again at his usual breakneck pace. The weekend of his 24th birthday he killed three old ladies. Another grandmother he left for dead was able to give the cops a description of her assailant.
Obviously, a black man with platinum blonde hair and earrings was not hard to find. On December 1 a cop recognized him on the street and arrested him. Once in custody Paulin panicked and fingered his old pal Jean-Thierry Mathurin as an accomplice.
While in jail at Fleury-Mérogis. Paulin felt like a star. He collected every newspaper clipping about him and proudly showed them off to other inmates. Paulin knew he had AIDS since 1985. On March 10, 1989, his health took a turn to the worse. He died the night of April 16 of AIDS related complications. His trial was never concluded so he was never found guilty of the crimes he committed. However, there is no doubt in the minds of French authorities that he was the "Monster of Montmartre."
Carl Panzram (21) Not from the "Mister Nice Guy" file. The most unrepentant killer of them all. Carl started his criminal career by getting arrested at age eight for drunk and disorderly behavior. It was downhill ever since. His killing spree spanned two continents. While in Africa he hired eight blacks to help him hunt crocodiles. Instead, he killed his hired hands, sodomized their corpses and fed them to the hungry reptiles. He boasted of committing thousands of robberies, larcenies, arsons and having sodomized a thousand men.
Panzram had received a 20-year prison sentence for burglaries and was sent to a federal prison at Fort Leavenworth Prison, Kansas, in 1928. There, he began to write his memoirs of sodomy and murder, and he beat a prison laundry room worker to death. Panzram quickly confessed to the killing, asked to be hanged and got his wish. When an anti-death penalty group tried to save him, he was quoted as saying, "I wish you all had one neck, and I had my hands on it." On September 5, 1930, Panzram got his death wish. Mean to the very end, while on the scaffold Panzram snapped at his executioner, "Hurry it up, you bastard. I could hang a dozen men while you're fooling around."
In his book Panzram blamed the prison system and society for turning him into a monster. He wrote that he was "not the least bit sorry" for the murders, rapes and robberies he committed during his lifetime. In 1970, his memoirs were published and later became the basis of a movie, Killer: A Journal of Murder.