Unspeakable Crimes The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
Originally by
58.7k votes 6.2k voters 267.9k views 79 items

List Rules Notable serial killers from movies and television.

Who are the best fictional serial killers of all time? These are serial killers featured in television shows and on film. To be clear, there is a difference between a serial killer and a mass murderer. A serial killer is one who kills individually, stalking a victim and murdering them in cold blood. Some of the most memorable movie and TV characters ever have been serial killers, so be sure to vote for the ones you liked the most -- and vote down any you didn't like. Also, feel free to re-rank this list any way you want, and add any notable fictional serial killers who are missing.

The creepiest film and TV serial killers often steal the show with their terrifyingly cool, chilling scenes. They manage to elude the good guys who are dutifully tracking them down, often for most of a movie or television show. Eventually, almost all of the fictional serial killers listed here are caught, but not before they leave behind horrifying reminders of their sick and twisted abilities. They are, quite often, some of the best movie villains of all time or the creepiest characters on television.

When you think of the "best" fictional serial murderers, who comes to mind instantly? Hannibal Lecter? That's certainly one of the most famous and memorable serial killers ever on film, thanks to Anthony Hopkins (who won an Academy Award for the role in 'Silence of the Lambs'). Or how about mommy-obsessed Norman Bates (Anthony Hopkins), the serial killer who scared the wits out of everyone in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'? There is no doubt that both of these characters are iconic, and among the most utterly terrifying figures in film. Both, interestingly enough, were brought to the small screen in 2013: Lecter in the NBC horror drama 'Hannibal' and Bates in A&E's drama 'Bates Motel.'

Are serial killers the new vampires now? Could be. One thing is certain: The fictional serial killers listed here are among the characters you absolutely, positively do not ever want knocking at your door.

1
2,636 497
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,394 749
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Psycho

3
2,206 802
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter

4
1,608 678
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Psycho

5
1,572 476
Joker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
graser20 added Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Animated Series, Fight Batman Fight!

6
1,408 547
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Halloween Universe

7
1,334 638
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Nightmare on Elm Street

8
1,151 582
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Seven

9
1,112 551
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,225 542
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs

11
1,122 607
Jigsaw is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Saw Universe

12
1,164 521
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
939 481
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

14
923 605
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

15
641 550
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killer

16
701 526
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Misery

17
736 555
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Scream Universe

18
705 580
Chucky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Child's Play Universe

19
460 558
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killers

20
519 560
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman

21
481 504
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Ring

22
545 565
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

23
466 546
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Heroes, Heroes

24
346 605
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Basic Instinct

25
460 434
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Red Dragon

26
327 239
Captain Spaulding is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects

27
323 496
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Talented Mr. Ripley

28
407 493
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Dexter

29
369 196
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added American Horror Story

30
194 289
Red John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added

31
294 371
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added

32
213 189
Light Yagami is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Travis MacPherson added Death Note, Death Note: Re-light: L's Successors, Death Note

33
306 455
Joe Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Following

34
252 409
Henry Lee Lucas is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dismalhead added Henry Lee Lucas Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

35
271 369
Mr. Earl Brooks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
wiabux added Mr. Brooks

36
363 379
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Horror Story: Asylum

37
203 254
Stu Macher is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Scream

38
213 237
Billy Loomis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Scream

39
215 178
The Creeper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
TimTima added Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Jeepers Creepers 4

40
197 220
Firefly Family is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Firefly Family House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects

41
124 416
Early Grayce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
RobMeusel added Kalifornia

42
65 41
Carrie White is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Herr_Frau added Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

43
148 168
Spike is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
dark wish added Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

44
255 234
Stewie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

45
151 238
Tiffany is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky - Bride Of Chucky & Seed Of Chucky

46
98 299
Benjamin Linus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
sheldonbhowe added Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces

47
138 222
Frank Breitkopf is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Pepe2002 added Frank Breitkopf Criminal Minds

48
155 224
Hannah McKay is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
GlennSwan added Dexter

49
224 247
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

50
134 290
Jeff the Killer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
ezioaditore088 added Jeff the Killer