Unspeakable Crimes The Best Serial Killer Biopics  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 397 voters 41.9k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up the best true biographical movies about serial murderers

On this list of the best serial killer biopics, you’ll find chilling films detailing gruesome murders and desperate manhunts. Many of the most famous serial killers of all time have had their stories told on the silver screen: Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and more.


One of the greatest serial killer biopics is
Zodiac, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the San Francisco cartoonist involved in the manhunt for the infamous Zodiac killer. Directed by David Fincher, the film garnered positive reviews and kept audiences on the edge of their seats. The actual case of the Zodiac killer remains one of the most notorious unsolved cases in America.


For those that think serial killing is a man’s game, Charlize Theron is here to prove you wrong. In the 2003 blockbuster
Monster, Theron portrays real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, tried and convicted for the murders of six men. For her performance, Theron won both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actress. Vote up the best serial killer biopics below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

1
181 39
Monster is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Monster is a 2003 crime drama film about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was ...more

2
88 47
Dahmer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Dion Basco Dahmer is a 2002 American biopic horror film about the American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeremy Renner stars in the title role. There are two timelines in the film: The "present" ...more

3
63 31
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Ki... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a 1986 American psychological horror film directed and co-written by John McNaughton about the random crime spree of a serial killer who seemingly operates ...more

4
73 41
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Alan Oppenheimer, Jon Gries, Steve Railsback Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Helter Skelter is a 1976 TV film based on the 1974 book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. In the United States, it aired over two nights. In some countries it was shown in theaters ...more

5
68 37
Summer of Sam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Adrien Brody Summer of Sam is a 1999 American crime thriller film that recounts the Son of Sam serial murders. It was directed and produced by Spike Lee and stars John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, ...more

6
65 36
Ted Bundy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Tom Savini, Tracey Walter, Diana Kauffman Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Ted Bundy is a 2002 American crime drama film directed and co-written by Matthew Bright. The film dramatizes the crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy. It stars Michael Reilly Burke in the title ...more

7
67 40
Gacy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Adam Baldwin, Allison Lange, Charlie Weber Gacy is a 2003 direct-to-video biographical-drama film directed by Clive Saunders and written by Saunders and David Birke. The story revolves around the life of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

8
51 29
The Manson Family is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Sage Stallone, Jim Van Bebber, Marc Pitman The Manson Family is a 2003 American crime drama film. The film covers the lives of Charles Manson and his "family" of followers.

9
25 9
The Snowtown Murders is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Heather D. Stoner added

10
43 33
Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Lif... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Laura Tesone, Donna Stewart Bowen, Keith Gearhart Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life is an American true crime film, released in 1993. It stars Carl Crew as Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer, necrophile and cannibal. The film is a first ...more

11
41 32
Badlands is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek Badlands is a 1973 American crime film written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri are also featured. Malick has a small ...more

12
38 31
Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainf... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
maura-quast added Priscilla Barnes, Kane Hodder, Michael Berryman Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield is a 2007 U.S.-American direct-to-video horror film starring Kane Hodder, Adrienne Frantz, Michael Berryman, Priscilla Barnes and Shawn Hoffman. It is based ...more

13
36 30
The Hunt for the BTK Killer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Michael Michele, Maury Chaykin, Robert Forster The Hunt for the BTK Killer is a 2005 biographical telefilm directed by Stephen T. Kay. First shown on CBS it is based on the true story of Dennis Rader killing ten people from 1974 to 1991. ...more

14
34 28
The Boston Strangler is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis, George Kennedy Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Boston Strangler is a 1968 American film based on the true story of the Boston Strangler and the book by Gerold Frank. It was directed by Richard Fleischer, and stars Tony Curtis as Albert ...more

15
31 29
The Hillside Strangler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
C. Thomas Howell, Lin Shaye, Nicholas Turturro The Hillside Strangler is a 2004 film, directed by Chuck Parello and written by Stephen Johnston, loosely based on the true story of the Hillside Strangler serial killers. Kenneth Bianchi was ...more

16
30 35
Karla is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Laura Prepon, Misha Collins, Brandon Routh Karla is a 2006 American-Canadian psychological thriller film. The film is based on the true story of Canada's two most notorious serial killers, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, though the ...more

17
3 3
Evilenko is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Chiara Frisenda added Malcolm McDowell, Marton Csokas, Frances Barber Evilenko is a 2004 English-language Italian crime horror thriller film very loosely based on the Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo. Written and directed by David Grieco, the film stars ...more

18
25 31
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Eric Dane, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clea DuVall Helter Skelter is a 2004 television film directed by John Gray based on the murders of the Charles Manson Family. The film was a remake of the 1976 two-part TV movie. Unlike the 1976 version ...more

19
24 30
Nightstalker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Roselyn Sánchez, Danny Trejo, Bret Roberts Nightstalker is a 2002 film directed by Chris Fisher about Richard Ramirez. It was nominated for two Fangoria Chainsaw Awards.

20
20 30
10 Rillington Place is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
John Hurt, Richard Attenborough, Robert Hardy 10 Rillington Place is a 1971 British crime drama film, directed by Richard Fleischer. It stars Richard Attenborough, John Hurt and Judy Geeson and was adapted by Clive Exton from the book Ten ...more

21
19 29
Deranged is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
John Ratzenberger, Rory Calhoun, Roberts Blossom Deranged is a Canadian-American horror film made in 1974 and directed by Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen. It is also known by the title Deranged: The Confessions of a Necrophile in the USA. It is a ...more

22
16 31
Speck is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Speck Debra Mayer, Stacy Cunningham, Flynn Beck Speck is a 2002 Crime and Horror Film written by Don Adams and Aaron Pope and directed by Keith Walley.

23
14 29
Starkweather is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Serial Killer Biopics
Lance Henriksen, Shannon Lucio, Keir O'Donnell Starkweather is a 2004 film directed by Bryon Werner. Written by Working Class Films founder and prolific screenwriter Stephen Johnston, whose scripts including In the Light of the Moon and Ted ...more