America's Most Famous Serial Killers

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? Who are the most famous serial killers who are still alive? 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.

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  • Ted Bundy
    Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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.

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    • Age: Dec. at 42 (1946-1989)
    • Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States of America
  • John Wayne Gacy
    Photo: Police Department photographic records / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    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.

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    • Age: Dec. at 52 (1942-1994)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • Jeffrey Dahmer
    Photo: uploaded by tool100

    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.

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    • Age: Dec. at 34 (1960-1994)
    • Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States of America
  • H. H. Holmes
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / 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

     
    • Age: Dec. at 34 (1861-1896)
    • Birthplace: Gilmanton, New Hampshire, United States of America
  • The Zodiac Killer
    Photo: San Francisco Police Department / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    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.

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  • Gary Ridgway - The Green River Killer
    Photo: King County Sheriff's Office / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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.

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    • Age: 73
    • Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America