America's Most Famous Serial Killers

By 6.4k votes 1.4k voters 790k views 110 items tags f p @
Some of the worst serial killers in history are accounted for here on the list of America's most famous serial killers. Perhaps infamous is a better description of these convicted killers, but as their murderous exploits have captured, and continue to capture, the attention of the public, they remain known as famous serial killers.

The notable serial killers on this serial killers list include some of the most famous female serial killers in history as well as some as yet unknown serial killers who may still be walking among the general public. Many of these men and women served as inspirations for the best fictional serial killers ever and as a jumping off point for adults to scare children across the world into blind obedience.

Who are the worst serial killers in history? What are the most famous American serial killers? This list of notable serial killer from the US is a collection of some of the most grisly murders in history and, if you desire, you can cast your vote for the worst serial killers in US history.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 1 ReRank
  • 2 See list ranked by
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 461
    - 142
    Ted Bundy embarked on a five year killing spree in 1974 that would not end until his capture in 1979. Bundy confessed to 30 murders on his arrest, though authorities believe the actual death toll is somewhere around 100. He was executed by electrocution in 1989.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 43 (1946-1989)
    • Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States of America
    • Profession: Criminal
  2. 2
    + 258
    - 87

    The Zodiac Killer

    The Zodiac Killer was responsible for at least five, and as many as 37, people in Northern California between December 1968 and November 1969. In this time the Zodiac, whose identity to this day is still unknown, sent menacing and cryptic messages to local newspapers in and around San Francisco, and continued to send ciphered messages to the newspapers after the killings had stopped. Though many books and articles have named possible suspects, the case remains open and unsolved.

  3. 3
    + 279
    - 98
    John Wayne Gacy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list America's Most Famous Serial Killers
    Photo: user uploaded image
    John Wayne Gacy, known as "The Killer Clown", raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 boys and men between 1972-78 in Chicago, IL. He was discovered by the police to have 29 bodies hidden in the crawl space of his house, and admitted to having killed more men which he disposed of in the river. He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 52 (1942-1994)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Clown
  4. 4
    + 295
    - 107
    Jeffrey Dahmer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list America's Most Famous Serial Killers
    Photo: Freebase
    Between 1988-91, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 men in Milwaukee, WI before the escape of his would-be 18th victim led to his capture. Dahmer is perhaps best known for dismembering and consuming parts of his victims, many of which were found in his apartment at the time of his arrest. Dahmer died in prison as the result of a work detail beating in 1994.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 34 (1960-1994)
    • Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States of America
    • Profession: Criminal
  5. 5
    + 204
    - 79
    H. H. Holmes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list America's Most Famous Serial Killers
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Dr. H.H. Holmes confessed to 27 murders, and is believed to have killed as many as 200 people, during the time period surrounding the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Holmes ran a hotel equipped for killing- outfitted with gas lines into guest rooms, giant furnaces, lime and acid pits, and large vaults- and would torture, suffocate, and strangle his victims before disposing of them in the facility. Holmes was apprehended in Boston in 1894 and died by hanging in Philadelphia in 1896.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 35 (1861-1896)
    • Birthplace: Gilmanton, New Hampshire, United States of America
    • Profession: Physician
  6. 6
    + 178
    - 65
    Richard Ramirez - The Night St... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list America's Most Famous Serial Killers
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Richard Ramirez, "The Night Stalker", went on a killing spree in the Los Angeles area that claimed the lives of at least 13 and as many as 16 in a spree that included shootings, mutilations, and rapes of his actual and intended victims. He was caught in East LA after his mugshot was broadcast across Southern California and he was accosted by a mob in the process of attempting to steal a car. He was tried, convicted, and died at 53 awaiting execution at San Quentin Prison.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 53 (1960-2013)
    • Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, USA
  7. 7
    + 168
    - 60
    Over the course of nearly 20 years, Gary Ridgway, known as "The Green River Killer", terrorized the areas surrounding the Green River in Washington's King County where he would lure, kill, and dispose of at least 49 victims before his capture in 2001. While the number of confirmed deaths numbers 49, Ridgway confessed to killing as many as 71 women in his interviews after capture. He is currently serving 480 years in a Washington prison without the possibility of parole.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
  8. 8
    + 138
    - 61
    Dennis Rader - BTK is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list America's Most Famous Serial Killers
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    Known as the "BTK Killer" (blind, torture, kill), Dennis Rader was charged with the murders of 10 people in Kansas including four members of a neighboring family and several other he stalked and became obsessed with between the years of 1971-94. In 2004, Rader began communicating with police, even going so far as to send them information on a floppy disk that would eventually be traced back to his residence. Rader was apprehended and charged with the murders and is currently serving ten consecutive life sentences in a Kansas jail.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: 70
    • Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States of America
    • Credits: Feast of the Assumption: BTK and the Otero Family Murders, NBC News Presents: BTK Confessions
111 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >