11 Killers Who Brought Their Victims In and Out of Consciousness

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.

Photo: Ranker / Ranker

  • Jeffrey Dahmer Drilled Holes Into Victims' Heads While They Were Still Alive
    Photo: user uploaded image

    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.

  • Ted Bundy Lied To His Victims When They Regained Consciousness
    Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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. Afterward, 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.

  • The BTK Killer Repeatedly Choked His Victims To Near-Death
    Photo: Kansas Department of Corrections / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    Dennis Rader, better known as the "BTK Killer" (as in bind, torture, kill), sadistically snuffed out the lives of at least 10 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.

  • The Toy-Box Killer Played Tapes Of What Was To Come

    The Toy-Box Killer Played Tapes Of What Was To Come
    Video: YouTube

    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.

  • Sailson Jose das Gracas Strangled Victims Over And Over

    Sailson Jose das Gracas Strangled Victims Over And Over
    Video: YouTube

    Sailson Jose das Gracas, a 26-year-old serial killer from Brazil, murdered a total of 42 people, both men and women, over a nine-year period. His killings involved the use of firearms, knives, and manual strangulation. He took pleasure in what he did and considered his acts an adrenaline rush.

    Gracas, now held in a maximum security prison in Rio de Janeiro, preferred white women. He would stalk them for months, and when the time came, he slid into their homes and attacked, relishing in their terror. He enjoyed the exchange and became aroused by their "fighting, screaming, and scratching me." It was watching their lives end that turned him on. He often stuck around and masturbated while staring into their still-open eyes.

  • Peter Sutcliffe, also known as the "Yorkshire Ripper," spread chaos throughout Britain during the late 1970s, killing at least 13 women, including 11 sex workers and two students. He was arrested in 1981, after cruising around in the red-light district, prowling for his next victim. In court, he confessed to hearing voices, which emanated from the headstone of a dead Polish man.

    Sutcliffe's routine was to attack his victims unexpectedly and hit them over the head with heavy ball and peen hammers. It was only then that the true horror began. Fading in and out of consciousness, the victims would endure multiple stabbings in the neck, chest, and stomach. Sutcliffe didn't always finish the job; many victims survived, severely mutilated and psychologically disturbed.