20 Serial Killers Who Served in the Military

List Rules
Serial killers who enlisted in the military

List of serial killers who served in the military. Who are some serial killers who have been in the military? This is a list of serial killers with known military backgrounds. It's difficult to define characteristics that meet every serial killer's profile. Though some may have had excellent careers in the military profession, others performed less than satisfactory and were discharged within a short period of time.

Who are some serial killers who performed well in the military? Robert Lee Yates, for example, had a long military career. Charles Whitman earned many honors during his military career, and Timothy McVeigh loved military service. Other serial killers who did not do well in the military include Dennis Rader whose career was described as "unremarkable" and Dean Corll who outwardly hated military service. Then there's Charles Ng who was sentenced to 14 years in military prison for stealing weaponry and attempted desertation.

There are also other serial killers who were discharged from the military for personality disorders and could not move up in the ranks. Jeffrey Dahmer was discharged from the military when his performance began to suffer due to his alcoholism. Randy Steven Kraft was discharged after disclosing his sexuality.

This is a list of serial killers who where in the military service.


  • David Berkowitz - The Son of Sam
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    David Berkowitz was a New York City serial killer who was arrested in 1977 for a series of shooting attacks with a .44 caliber revolver. In more than a year, Berkowitz murdered six victims and wounded seven others while terrorizing New York City with acts of arson.

    Prior to his killing spree, an eighteen-year-old Berkowitz enlisted in the US Army in 1971 and was honorably discharged after serving in the US and South Korea. 

  • Believed to have murdered at least 71 victims who were mostly women and prostitutes in the late '90s. He was convicted of 49 murders and is serving a life prison sentence in Washington. Prior to his killing spree, Ridgeway joined the Navy and was sent to Vietnam where he served on a supply ship.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, before he was convicted of 15 of the murders and sentenced to life in prison in 1992.

    Jeffrey Dahmer was an alcoholic who dropped out of college and, at his father's urging, enlisted in the U.S. Army. He trained as a medical specialist and was deployed to Germany in 1979. He was discharged from the military in 1981 after his performance suffered due to his alcoholism.
  • Often described as the "British Jeffrey Dahmer," Dennis Nilsen was a serial killer in London who committed the murders of 15 young men from 1978 to 1983 before he was arrested and charged with six counts of murder and two of attempted murder. Prior to his killing spree, Nilsen joined the British Army and enlisted in the Army Catering Corps where he became a cook and served for 11 years.

    He earned a General Service Medal before he was discharged, at his own request, in 1972.