Famous Serial Killers Who Are Still Alive

This is a list of famous serial killers who are still alive. When serial killers are caught, after a long period of horrific, evil crimes, it’s almost expected that their lives will be coming to an end. So it’s remarkable to hear about serial killers that are still alive, most of whom are serving life sentences in prison.

Some serial killers who could've been on death row took plea deals, so now they will be serving life in prison. Dennis Rader, also known as BTK, was caught in 2005, and still remains in prison. Very few serial killers who have been caught have been released from prison, but there are still some odd exceptions where the law and morality don’t intersect.

Are these some of America's most famous serial killers? There are some famous mass murderers on here, too. How did these serial killers murder their victims? This list answers these questions and more about some of the world’s most notorious living serial killers. For example, Wayne Williams, believed to be responsible for the Atlanta child murders is still in prison, as is David Berkowitz, AKA Son of Sam. If you're curious about famous serial killers still alive, be sure to bookmark this page. It will feature a list of murderers, such as the worst death row inmates. 

What serial killers are still alive? Well, there are more serial killers alive today than you might expect. Gary Ridgway is one of many serial killers in prison. Rosemary West, one-half of a duo who committed unspeakable crimes, is one of many famous murderers still alive. Paul Bernardo is probably one of the most dangerous serial killers alive. But there are unfortunately plenty of other serial killers currently in prison.

Many famous serial killers were murdered in jail. The male and female serial killers on this list either received life sentences or managed to avoid life in prison. These rare serial killers may have taken the lives of at least three people, some with victim numbers over 50, yet are still alive themselves.


  • David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, terrorized the people of NYC in 1976-1977. Berkowitz claimed he was told by a demon dog to shoot his victims. He killed 6 people before getting caught in August 1977. Berkowitz received 6 life sentences.

    • Born: 06-01-1953
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Dennis Rader - BTK
    Photo: El Dorado Police Department / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    Better known as the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader killed 10 people in his native Kansas over a span of almost 20 years starting in 1974. Rader bound, tortured and killed his victims and then sent letters to the police and news outlets bragging about his crimes. He was caught in 2005 and sentenced to life in prison, one life sentence for each murder.

    • Born: 03-09-1945
    • Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States of America
  • Often known as the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway killed at least 48 people, with the number of victims probably closer to 90. Ridgway lured prostitutes away to be strangled and raped. He dumped the bodies in the forested areas in Washington, but some were also found in the Green River. He was caught in 2001 after nearly twenty years of murders and sentenced to life in prison. 

    • Born: 02-18-1949
    • Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
  • Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a former police officer known as the Golden State Killer, killed 13 people and raped 50 during a series of break-ins throughout the state. Officials originally thought multiple offenders committed the crimes, but DNA evidence led to the realization it was one person. DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 based on DNA tracing from family members on public genealogy sites.

    In June 2020 he pleaded guilty to 13 murders and 13 rapes, and admitted committing other sexual assaults that he wasn't prosecuted for because the statute of limitations expired.

    On August 21, 2020, a Sacramento County judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.


  • Charles Cullen
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    While working as a nurse over the course of 16 years, Charles Cullen killed at least 40 victims - although the suspected number is actually in the hundreds. He killed patients through overdoses and medical contamination in New Jersey and Pennsylvania hospitals. Cullen was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 127 years in prison

    • Born: 02-22-1960
    • Birthplace: West Orange, New Jersey
  • Wayne Williams
    Photo: Bradliebler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Throughout 1979-1981, Atlanta was terrorized by the Atlanta Child Murders where 29 children were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered. Police began to suspect that he was the dreaded child serial killer in 1981. Although Williams still maintains he is innocent of the child murders, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

    • Born: 05-27-1958
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia