30 Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught

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List of serial killers who were never caught in their lifetime. It’s comforting to know that most serial killers get caught and put behind bars to pay for their crimes. Families of the victims get some sort of peace knowing that justice has been served, while locals get the relief of knowing that a dangerous person has been taken off the streets. Unfortunately, not all serial killers are apprehended. Throughout history, a few serial killers have escaped the grasps of law enforcement, due to their cunning and ability to stay under the radar.


Many of the unsolved serial killer crimes became huge mysteries in human history, from the elusive Zodiac Killer to the menacing Jack the Ripper, with no definitive suspects attached to the crimes. Other serial killers got away with the crimes until after their deaths, when their names were attached to the crimes nobody knew they committed in their lifetime. Some of these are serial killers on the loose, currently under investigation.


Which serial killers managed to never get caught? The killers on this list are mostly known by their media-given nicknames due to their elusive nature. Whether they will ever be discovered is still a mystery.

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  1. In a terrifying period between 1972 to 1974, five black children were murdered and mutilated in Manhattan. No one was ever sentenced, but one suspect, Erno Soto, confessed to one of the murders. Unfortunately, he was considered unfit to stand trial and committed to a psychiatric hospital.

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    • Birthplace: United States of America
  2. Beginning in 1985, at least 10 people in Los Angeles were murdered by a mysterious killer. The killer was named "The Grim Sleeper" due to his hiatus from murder that lasted 14 years. There is currently a suspect for the murders, Lonnie David Franklin, but no conviction.

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: California, United States of America
  3. As one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, the Zodiac Killer made a name for himself as he killed at least 5 people and bragged / taunted local newspapers with letters about his crimes. While multiple suspects have been named, the case currently remains unsolved and inactive.

  4. In 1946, 8 people were attacked by an unknown killer that was sometimes dubbed the Phantom Killer. The town of Texarkana lived in terror from February to May as couples were brutally attacked. Throughout the history of the case, almost 400 people were arrested on suspicion of being the Moonlight Murderer.

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    • Birthplace: United States of America
  5. The Bone Collector

    In West Mesa, the remains of 11 women were found in the desert. While the bodies were discovered in 2009, many of the victims had been missing 5 years. Nobody was ever arrested, but there were multiple suspects, two of which died before 2009.

  6. The Atlanta Ripper

    In 1911, 15 women were brutally murdered by an unknown killer in Atlanta. There were other suspected victims, but only 15 women were confirmed to be killed by the same man. No suspect was arrested.

  7. In 1888, at least 5 prostitutes in London were murdered by an unknown serial killer. Much of the information known about the killer known as Jack the Ripper is based on rumors and a letter from the alleged killer that appeared in London newspapers. It was widely believed the the Ripper was likely a doctor.

  8. Stoneman

    In 1989, Calcutta, India, saw the murders of at least 13 people by a killer that was named the Stoneman by the media. Most of the victims were homeless beggars and were bludgeoned to death. Over the years, other incidents have popped up and were suspected to be the result of the same killer.

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    • Birthplace: India
  9. The Axeman

    The Axeman of New Orleans was an active serial killer in 1918-1919 who brutally killed 12 men and women with an axe. The Axeman famously sent letters to the newspapers claiming he would spare any house that played jazz music loudly.

  10. The Honolulu Strangler

    The Honolulu Strangler is considered Hawaii's first serial killer after an unknown assailant killed 5 women in 1985-86. One major (unnamed) suspect was considered for the crimes, but with no witnesses willing to go forward, the police were forced to let him go.

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    • Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
  11. The Babysitter

    The Babysitter, sometimes known as the Oakland County Child Killer, murdered at least four children in the late 1970s. Two boys and two girls were kidnapped over a period of 13 months, and their bodies were left throughout Oakland. There were other suspected victims as well.

  12. The Cleveland Torso Murderer killed 12-to-15 men and women and left their bodies dismembered throughout Ohio. The crimes took place throughout the '30s. Many of the victims were so badly cut up that they couldn't be identified. 

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    • Birthplace: United States of America
  13. In London, during 1964-1965, at least six prostitutes were murdered. Their naked bodies were dumped in the river or around London. Since the killer's methods were so like Jack the Ripper, he was named Jack the Stripper.

  14. The Colonial Parkway Killer

    At least three couples were murdered in 1986-1989 by a serial killer to found victims along the Colonial Parkway in Virginia. Many investigators believe that the killer could be in law enforcement and working with a partner, but no suspect has been identified. 

  15. In 1885, at least 16 women were murdered in Austin, TX, by a killer who attacked victims in their beds. The killer would attack sleeping men and women before dragging away the woman to kill outside. The murders ended when extra police were hired for the investigation and the locals created a vigilance committee. 

  16. The Doodler is likely responsible for the murder of at least 14 gay men in San Francisco. The murders began in 1975 after the killer met his victims in nightclubs and other gay hot spots. Three victims survived, but since helping in the investigation would out them to the public, they chose not to testify against a suspect in court.

  17. Bible John

    Three women were murdered in Scotland during 1968-1969 after attending the Barrowland Ballroom. The investigation pointed towards convicted serial killer, Peter Tobin, who killed women in the same area. However, he was never tried for the crimes.

  18. The Freeway Phantom

    Six women were kidnapped, raped, and strangled to death in 1971-1972 in the D.C. area. The victims were black girls from 10-to-18 years old. Robert Elwood Askins was suspected of the crimes, but never charged. He died in prison at 91 years old, denying his part in the crimes to his grave.

  19. In Mumbai, India, 7 people were killed by the same unknown suspect. A beer bottle was found next to each victim, leading to the nickname Beer Man. One man was convicted of one of the murders, but cleared of the other 6 victims. The alleged killer was acquitted soon after.

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    • Birthplace: India
  20. The Rainbow Maniac

    In 2007-2008, 13 gay men were murdered in Brazil by a killer dubbed The Rainbow Maniac by the media. The victims were shot in the head in Paturis Park. A suspect, Jairo Francisco Franco, was arrested for killing a gay man, but he has yet to be charged with the original 13 murders.

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