Unspeakable Crimes The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
Originally by
58.8k votes 6.2k voters 268.1k 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.

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2,640 497
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,396 753
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Psycho

3
2,210 803
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter

4
1,613 678
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Psycho

5
1,574 478
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
1,411 548
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Halloween Universe

7
1,335 640
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Nightmare on Elm Street

8
1,153 582
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Seven

9
1,114 553
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,229 542
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs

11
1,125 608
Jigsaw is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Saw Universe

12
1,166 522
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
940 482
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

14
923 606
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

15
642 551
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killer

16
705 526
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Misery

17
737 556
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Scream Universe

18
706 582
Chucky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Child's Play Universe

19
460 559
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killers

20
521 560
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman

21
483 504
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Ring

22
546 565
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

23
466 547
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Heroes, Heroes

24
346 606
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Basic Instinct

25
461 434
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Red Dragon

26
328 239
Captain Spaulding is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects

27
408 493
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Dexter

28
323 497
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Talented Mr. Ripley

29
370 197
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added American Horror Story

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194 290
Red John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added

31
295 372
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added

32
213 190
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

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306 456
Joe Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Following

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253 409
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
272 369
Mr. Earl Brooks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
wiabux added Mr. Brooks

36
365 379
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Horror Story: Asylum

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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
216 178
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

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125 416
Early Grayce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
RobMeusel added Kalifornia

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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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

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