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.
Albert DeSalvo Strangled His Victims With Their Own UnderwearPhoto: Boston Police Department / Fair Use
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 ZombiesPhoto: 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 VictimsPhoto: 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.
Ed Gein Used Body Parts As Home FurnishingsPhoto: Bryanwake / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
In Wisconsin during the '50s, Ed Gein killed women and kept parts of them to create things in his home. But, he began his intrigue with the dead in cemeteries.
After Ed's oppressive mother died, he began roaming cemeteries and digging up corpses that looked like her. He used the decomposing skin to make rotten-flesh upholstery for his furniture. He practiced necrophilia and did taxidermy on human bodies. When his crimes escalated to murder, he kept human organs in his home and made clothing and accessories from body parts. When he was arrested, police found a female victim strung up in his barn with her torso gutted like a hunted animal.
Gein was only convicted of two murders - though authorities suspect there were more - and sent to a mental health facility because he wasn’t mentally fit to stand trial. In 1984, he died from cancer.
Richard Trenton Chase Drank His Victims' BloodVideo: YouTube
Richard Trenton Chase was granted the title Vampire of Sacramento. In the '70s, he went on a murder spree, killing six people in one month and an entire family a couple of years later. What made his crimes so disturbing was that he not only cut up his victims, but he drank their blood. Chase also supposedly ate part of the brain from one of his victims, who was pregnant at the time.
Growing up, Chase always displayed abnormal personality traits that eventually led him to frequent mental hospitals. His love of blood became evident in his early 20s, when he killed animals and ate them raw or blended up.
In 1979, Chase was convicted and sentenced to death row. However, he killed himself by overdosing the following year in his cell.