Serial killers are scarier than any ghost or haunted house because we know for a fact that they really exist in this world. The horrendous crimes these murderers commit are often too shocking to believe, and we wonder how these people weren't caught or flagged earlier in their lives.
Well, as this list proves, most serial killers can function well enough to pass as everyday people. This list includes television appearances by several high-profile serial killers before they were infamous for their horrendous crimes. Just by looking at them, it's hard to believe that these people are murderers, but the truth is that they are all cold-blooded killers. Below, you'll find clips of serial killers on popular shows like The Dating Game, Jeopardy, and Celebrity Masterchef, while no one surrounding them suspects the true nature of the person they're with.
The Master Chef And Serial Poisoner
Do you ever think the minor background players on your favorite reality shows might be hiding a dark secret?
In June 2014, an episode of Masterchef aired that featured English singer JB Gill serving pasta and meatballs to bus drivers. It wasn't until later that people realized that one of the chefs working with him was Stephen Port, who was arrested in October 2015 for poisoning four men.
It's frightening to realize that the man cooking with Gill met men through gay websites, lured them somewhere, and then poisoned them. Coincidentally, three of Port's victims were found right around the time this episode aired.
The Dating Game Killer
Would you go on a blind date with a serial killer? That's almost what happened to an unlucky woman named Cheryl Bradshaw on The Dating Game back in 1978 when she chose Rodney Alcala over the other contestants. When asked what his "best time" would be, he answered "nighttime," further explaining that "nighttime's when it really gets good." His response to what food he would be (a banana) had just as much innuendo, with Alcala telling Bradshaw, "Peel me."
On air, Alcala might have been charming and funny, albeit definitely creepy, but his extracurricular activities made him one of the most notorious killers of all time. Nicknamed the Dating Game Killer because of his appearance on the show, Alcala turned out to be a horrendous serial killer and rapist. It's confirmed that he killed several people, but his actual tally is probably in the dozens. He enjoyed strangling his victims.
Bradshaw didn't end up going on the date with Alcala, describing "I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy." It's been speculated that her refusal to go on a date with him after this show aired might have spurred him to commit even more murders.
The BTK Killer, An Upstanding Community Member
Otherwise known as the BTK Killer (for "bind, torture, and kill"), Dennis Rader was a notorious serial killer active in the Wichita, Kansas, area from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The BTK Killer was particularly adept at blending in, and when he was finally captured and charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, his community was shocked. He had a wife, who had no idea of his horrendous hobby, and he was even the president of his local church council. He actually gave an interview on air once about animal attacks (snippets of which can be viewed here), and watching the video, it's hard to imagine Rader being a twisted serial killer.
The Game Show Contestant Who Revealed A Clue On Air
On December 22, 1985, John Cooper ended millionaire farmer Richard Thomas and his sister Helen in their home. Four years later, Cooper appeared on the dart-related game show Bullseye. He didn't win, which psychologists say would have been extremely infuriating to him. A month later, he killed two more people, Peter and Gwenda Dixon, with a shotgun.
In fact, his appearance on the show helped prove he was the killer. On the show, Cooper talked about how lovely Pembrokeshire is, which is where he murdered the Dixons.