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12 Murderers Who Had Their Own Signature Killing Style

Murder is always horrendous, but when it’s committed in a unique, deviant way, there’s something even more sinister to the crime. While some serial killers stick to guns or knives, others prefer a strange, distinctive act that satisfies their demented curiosity or perverse sexual needs. Here are some historic killers and the strange and unusual ways they killed their victims.

  • Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice / Wikimedia Commons / Fair Use

    Charles Albright is known as the Texas Eyeball Killer and the Dallas Ripper for good reason. In 1990 and 1991, Albright terrorized the Dallas community by going after what he felt were easy targets: female sex workers. 

    His technique was to pick up women, shoot them, and then dump their half-naked bodies - but not before he removed the eyes from his victims and kept them as souvenirs.

    Some could say it began at age 11, when Albright started a taxidermy class at the behest of his overprotective adoptive mother, Delle Albright. Young Albright took to it immediately, going so far as to remove the eyes from birds, leaving two buttons sewn on where the eyes used to be. Throughout his life he was obsessed with women's eyes, including painting them and cutting them out of photographs.

    In December 1991, Albright was charged with the murder of Shirley Williams, only one of three suspected victims, due to her hairs turning up inside his vacuum. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

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  • Albert DeSalvo Strangled His Victims With Their Own Underwear

    Before anyone knew who he was, Albert DeSalvo was dubbed the Boston Strangler back in the 1960s, when he went on a killing spree from 1962 to 1964. He preyed on the weak and lonely, sneaking into women’s homes - many of them older women - savagely raping and then strangling them to death. 

    His typical method was to strangle the victims with their own underwear or stockings. Once he was finished choking them, he’d then tie the underwear into a bow around the woman's neck. He then ransacked her home and took some of the victim’s belongings for a keepsake.

    DeSalvo ended up in jail, but not for murder. While he was a convicted rapist, he was never found guilty of killing, even after he confessed to strangling 13 women. 

    In 1973, DeSalvo was stabbed to death in prison. In 2001 his remains were exhumed in an attempt to match his DNA with a DNA sample from the home of his last and final victim, Mary Sullivan. Results were inconclusive. However, in 2013, police took a DNA sample from a water bottle DeSalvo's nephew drank from and determined with 99.9% certainty that Albert DeSalvo raped and murdered Ms. Sullivan. Police then concluded that he was likely responsible for all of the murders attributed to the Boston Strangler.

  • Jeffrey Dahmer Tried To Turn His Victims Into Zombies

    Photo: Revere Senior High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Jeffrey Dahmer, dubbed the Milwaukee Cannibal, kept the community on high alert from 1978 to 1991 with his serial killings. He preyed on teenage boys and men, subjecting them to the extremes of torture.

    Dahmer's pattern was to rape and kill his victims, followed by dismembering them and later consuming parts of their bodies. Dahmer was also reported to have sex with the corpses he left behind.

    His motivation was to create a submissive zombie sex slave to attend to his needs. He’d capture his victims and then drill a hole in their heads or inject hydrochloric acid or boiling water as a crude form of "brain surgery," thinking he’d be able to take over their minds. 

    Dahmer was arrested in July 1991, at which time authorities discovered severed heads and male organs inside his apartment. He was convicted and given life in prison, but he was killed by another inmate, Charles Sarver, in 1994.

  • Ted Bundy Severed The Heads Of Some Of His Victims

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Between 1974 and 1978, Bundy committed unspeakable acts of violence within several different states. He was charming and attractive, making it relatively easy to lure in women and girls, some as young as 15. 

    Bundy dismembered some of his victims after he brutally killed them and removed the heads to keep as trophies, as he once told a detective he did with victim Georgeann Hawkins. He was also known to have sex with the corpses, and was thought to be sexually attracted only to unconscious women.

    Bundy reportedly killed 30 people during his crime spree in the '70s. Convicted in 1980 and sentenced to death in Florida, he died by the electric chair in 1989.