It takes a sick person to be a serial killer, but it takes a really sick person to draw out the act, photograph the process, make conversation with the victim, and bring them in and out of consciousness. These brutal killers belong to a distinct breed of monsters - the ones who enjoy sadism and prolonged agony, vicious men who woke their victims up for more, lied to them about their chances, or about what had happened to them, and where they were.
Whether it's the promise of escape, the variety of techniques used, or the disorientation that comes with such trauma, the element of hope was always there, making these cases particularly gruesome. Victims regained consciousness, only to lose it again. Sometimes this process took minutes, sometimes days. These killers (this list only focuses on men, but that doesn't mean women aren't capable of cruelty) conjure up our deepest fears. They sexualized the pain and despair, and many had special rooms and tools prepared to maximize the suffering of their victims.
Most of them looked like us, acted like us, and some even exhibited bits of charm and personality. Many had families of their own, and jobs, which they performed diligently. The BTK Killer was a churchgoing census field operations supervisor with a wife and kids. The Muswell Hill Murderer was a security guard, who was active in the trade union movement. The Bike Path Killer enjoyed gardening, factory work, and coaching little league baseball.
Keep reading below to see the horrible ways these seemingly normal men tortured their victims by toying with them as they drifted in and out of consciousness.
Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America's most infamous serial killers, preyed on gay African American men in Milwaukee, WI during the late 1980s. He picked up the men in bars and brought them home, tempting them with sex, money, and alcohol (the alcohol was laced with drugs). Once unconscious, Dahmer would strangle his victims, although sometimes he kept them alive intermittently. He was finally captured after 13 years of barbarism.
Perhaps the single most disturbing thing Dahmer did was drill holes into his victims' skulls, deep into their brains, while they were still alive and drugged. He was also known to inject muriatic acid into them. Dahmer documented the process by taking photographs of the bodies in various stages of death and decomposition, in the aim of reliving the experience. He preserved pieces of his victims in his refrigerator and performed sex acts on them regularly.see more on Jeffrey Dahmer
Ted Bundy, another notorious American serial killer, murdered at least 30 women between 1973 and 1978. Known to be charming, his methods were anything but: he would strangle them from behind, with a ligature, while raping them. Bundy's sickening spree began in Florida, but swerved all over the country. After five years, he was finally apprehended and died in the electric chair in 1989, probably a more humane choice than he ever offered.
Bundy was sexually turned on by unconscious women. He would beat them over the head with a crowbar and handcuff them to the inside of his car, attempting to "calm" them with lies about how they got there, should they regain consciousness. Afterwards, he would drive them to dump sites and continue the assault. In some cases, he would choke his victims within inches of their lives, only to revive them and do it all over again. He took pleasure in their disorientation.see more on Ted Bundy
Dennis Rader, better known as the "BTK Killer" (as in bind, torture, kill) sadistically snuffed out the lives of at least ten victims in and around Wichita, KS between 1974 and 1991. Rader taunted the authorities with notes after the killings, which eventually led them right to him. He was apprehended in 2005 and continues to sit in a prison cell.
Rader was known for his cruelty. He would bind his victims until they passed out from slow asphyxiation, only to regain consciousness and be forced to undergo the process again. As is the case with sexual sadists, Rader was aroused by their suffering and masturbated during the ritual, usually on top of items of their clothing. In court, he explained that he used a squeeze ball to tighten his grip after his hands grew numb from the manual strangulation. He would eventually choke them all to death.see more on Dennis Rader
David Parker Ray, deemed the "Toy-Box Killer," was a serial killer who tortured and murdered as many as 60 people in Arizona and New Mexico in the '90s. His violent acts took place in his trailer truck, which was soundproofed and equipped with a recording device, through which he would describe to his victims what horrifying events were to come.
Ray wanted his victims to see everything, too. He mounted a mirror to a makeshift gynecological table, where he would bind and maim them. He used surgical blades, clamps, saws, generators, and other such tools. When victims regained consciousness, Ray replayed sections of the tape to them, as they lay powerlessly. In this way, he inflicted a great sense of dread in them and exerted total control.see more on David Parker Ray