Unspeakable Times
41.0k readers

Scotland's Most Brutal Serial Killers

Updated April 24, 2020 41.0k views7 items

While not necessarily well known abroad, these Scottish serial killers are notorious in their home country. Serial killers have a natural tendency to attract public attention and spark a lot of debate. Due to the often compulsive nature of their crimes, the public is left pondering the idea of nature versus nurture. Are some people simply born murderers or do environmental factors turn someone into a killer? Whatever you believe, you can browse this list of famous Scottish serial killers to broaden your knowledge of their grisly brand of crime. 

The United States is considered the serial killer capital of the world due to the high rate of serial killers in the country. However, serial murderers from Scotland are just as well known in the country as figures like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer are in the United States. These horrific killers often put their victims through prolonged torture prior to killing and were motivated by everything from monetary gain to a pure desire for violence. 

  • Angus Sinclair

    Video: YouTube

    Angus Sinclair was found guilty of the 1977 murders of teenagers Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, crimes that came to be known as the World's End murders. Prior to this conviction, he had previously served 10 years in prison for murdering an 8-year-old girl when he was 16 via strangulation.

    Sinclair was in jail again, this time serving a life sentence for a string of sexual assaults against children, by the time DNA evidence linked him to the murders of Eadie and Helen Scott at the World's End pub in Edinburgh. 

    He wasn't convicted of the murders until 2014 and was sentenced to life in prison with a guaranteed minimum of 37 years served. He died in prison at age 73 in March 2019.

    • Photo: kim traynor / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

      Brendan Burke and William Hare committed at least 17 murders in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1828. They would sell the corpses of their victims to Doctor Robert Knox, an anatomy lecturer, as he needed materials for dissection.

      When the men faced trial, Hare was offered immunity for testifying against Burke and accepted the deal. Burke was eventually found guilty of murder and died via hanging. 


      • Video: YouTube

        Robert Black kidnapped, raped, and murdered four girls - ages 5 to 11 - in the UK and Scotland from 1981 to 1986. He was captured after a witness saw him abduct a neighborhood girl in 1990. He was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2016.

        He is believed to have been responsible for several other unsolved child abductions and murders in the 1980s.

          More Robert Black 

          #55 of 61 The Scariest Serial Killers In History#36 of 44 The Heights Of The Most Notorious Killers#24 of 40 40 Famous Serial Killers of Children