When a serial killer is caught, there’s a reasonable assumption that the justice system will take care of the problem. The murderous psychopath will be found guilty by the courts and sentenced to life in prison, to be hidden far away from you and the people you love. The streets are once again safe to walk without fear of becoming prey to a serial killer’s whims. However, that perfect fantasy of justice is not always the case. Sometimes, serial killers don’t spend the rest of their days behind bars. In some cases, they have actually been set free to live amongst your family, friends, and the rest of the non-lethal population.
The serial killers on this list are not currently serving time behind bars. Many of them served a short amount of time behind bars before being set free, while a few others escaped from prison to live life on the lam. Some of these serial killers are still a threat to society, while others have been declared safe by psychologists and other officials.
Which serial killers have been set free? Which have escaped? This list featured the serial killers who are at large and no longer behind bars.
Karla Homolka was one half of the murderous couple that haunted the people of Canada. Homolka, along with her psychotic husband Paul Bernardo, raped and murdered multiple women, including her own sister. When the couple was discovered in 1993, Homolka turned over evidence on her husband in exchange for a reduced sentence. She was released in 2005 after serving only 12 years in prison.
Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale and Leanne Bordelais, is a convicted Canadian serial killer who helped her husband rape and murder at least three women. She attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 ...more
Birthplace: Port Credit, Ontario, Canada
Credits: The Fifth Estatesee more on Karla Homolka
As one of the scariest serial killers in human history, Pedro Lopez was responsible for the rape and murder of hundreds of women in Columbia, Eduador, and Peru. He was caught in 1980 but only served 14 years in an Ecuadorian prison. Once he was released, he spent three years in a mental hospital in Colombia. He was declared sane in 1998 and released on $50 bail. Lopez is currently free and suspected of further murders in Colombia.
Pedro Alonso López is a Colombian serial killer, accused of raping and killing more than 300 girls across his native country, then Peru and Ecuador, and possibly other countries. Aside from uncited local accounts, López’s crimes first received international attention from an interview conducted by ...more
Birthplace: Santa Isabel, Colombiasee more on Pedro López
When Mary Bell was just 11 years old, she had already killed two young boys in separate incidents by strangling them and mutilating one with scissors. She was convicted of manslaughter in 1968. Twelve years later, when she was age 23, Bell was freed and able to change her name to start a new life. She won a court order that permanently protects her identity and that of her daughter – a protection for convicts now known as a "Mary Bell order." According to reports as recently as 2009, Bell had become a grandmother.
Mary Flora Bell is a British woman who, as a child, strangled to death two little boys in Scotswood, an inner-city suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne. She was convicted in December 1968 of the manslaughter of the two boys, Martin Brown and Brian Howe. Bell was 11 when she was convicted for killing Brown ...more
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdomsee more on Mary Bell
Louis Van Schoor
In South Africa, Louis Van Schoor killed at least seven men who he claimed were burglars. After each murder, he'd be cleared by officials without so much as a caution. However, he was finally discovered in 1992. After serving only 12 years for the crimes, he was released in 2004.