39 Serial Killers Who Are Leos

The Leo sign spans from July 23 to August 22, and is categorized as being strong, fierce, bold, creative, and generous. However, Leos can also be strong-willed, overbearing, vain, and easily seduced by wealth and luxury. That certainly stands true for Leo serial killers like Jack Unterweger and John George Haigh.

Serial killers born in July are known to be incredibly authoritative. They are dominant, and often come across as entitled, as they envision themselves as kings or queens, like the lion that represents the zodiac sign. This is also true for serial killers born in August.

Of course, that's not to say that all Leos are criminals or serial killers. The zodiac signs of serial killers run the gamut. Continue reading to find out more about these Leo criminals, as well as how they embody the fifth sign of the zodiac. For more serial killer zodiac signs, check out our list on serial killers who are Scorpios.

  • Birthday: July 23, 1942

    Serial killer name: The Moors Murderers

    Leo qualities: 

    • Myra Hindley was dubbed "bold and brash" from a young age. She fell in with a dangerous crowd, and later met her literal partner-in-crime Ian Brady while working as a shorthand typist secretary.
    • She was easily seduced by Brady, who she said was the "only man she'd ever met who had clean fingernails." Myra was desperate not to be boring, and her love for Brady was confirmed after he chose to take her to see the film The Nuremburg Trials for their first date.
    • Hindley put on a great facade, hiding her true nature in order to lure children to the Saddleworth Moor, where her partner Brady would assault and murder them. 
    • She was considered, at the time, to be the "most evil woman in Britain."
    • Hindley and Brady received life sentences. Hindley died in 2002 at age 60.
  • Birthday: August 16, 1951

    Serial killer name: Jack the Writer, Knastpoet, Häfenliterat, The Vienna Strangler

    Leo qualities: 

    • Jack Unterweger is the definition of bold and overconfidenct - although perhaps his confidence was not unwarranted, as he was able to get out of jail after a murder conviction, convince everyone he was a changed man, and then turn around and not only murder more women, but interview police about his own crimes.
    • Unterweger was sentenced to life in prison after the brutal murder of an 18-year-old woman in 1976. While serving his sentence, the apparently creative killer wrote his autobiography, Purgatory, as well as a collection of poems and fictional stories. Suddenly he was a celebrated author in Austria. 
    • The Austrian criminal's autobiography convinced everyone that he was not a murderer, but a sensitive soul who went mad because he had grown up without a mother. A movement emerged to free the supposed creative genius, citing him as proof that "art could heal any tortured soul."
    • In 1990, after serving the minimum 15 years of his sentence, the officious prisoner was released, despite 16 counts of sexual assault and abuse, and, you know, the brutal murder of a young woman.
    • Despite Unterweger's supposed miraculous "recovery," in the first year of his release, he killed eight women. And, boy, was this man bold. He not only killed women, but he killed them in the same way that landed him in prison the first time.
    • But no one wanted to believe he could have done it, as while he was busy murdering sex workers, he was traveling the talk show circuit, vainly basking in the praise of his autobiography, and in his ability to become completely rehabilitated in prison. 
    • His fame even sent him to California, as a reporter for an Austrian magazine, covering the dismal conditions of sex workers in the United States. While there, he continued his macabre hobby, murdering women in the exact way he did while in Austria. 
    • While staying at the infamous murder hotel, the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, Unerweger even had the audacity to report on the murders he was committing. 
    • He was so entwined in the investigation, in fact, that he knew when the police finally caught on to him, and fled to Europe. But, seeing as the now infamous killer was easily seduced by wealth and fame, his desperation to stay in the limelight got him caught.
    • The FBI pretended they were reporters from Success Magazine who wanted to pay him $10,000 to tell his side of the story. Unterweger, whose eyes likely turned to dollar signs like in a cartoon, was easily duped, and walked right into their trap.
    • On June 29, 1994, he was found guilty on nine counts of murder, though many believe that Unterweger killed even more. 
    • The obstinate man insisted he would appeal, but was found dead in his cell that very night, having hung himself with his shoelaces. 
    • Birthplace: Judenburg, Austria
  • John George Haigh
    Photo: Horsham Police Station / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Birthday: July 24, 1909

    Serial killer name: Acid Bath Murderer

    Leo qualities: 

    • John George Haigh was clever and determined, deciding, after repeat prison sentences for fraud, that the way to avoid getting jailed was to not leave any victims alive to report the crime.
    • Haigh was very motivated by money, first killing his employers' son, after becoming envious of his luxurious lifestyle. 
    • He was shockingly bold, moving into homes owned by his victims, and selling their possessions for profit. Haigh even kept victim Archibald Henderson's dog and car for himself.
    • He was too confident and became cocky, choosing a victim who lived in the same building as him, and with whom he had been seen socializing.
    • Once Haigh was on trial, he weaved quite the yarn about an obsession with blood since he was a child that had driven him insane - and driven him to kill. His creativity was for naught, however, as the jury found him guilty, and Justice Travers Humphreys sentenced him to death.
  • Birthday: August 7, 1560

    Serial killer name: The Blood Countess

    Leo qualities: 

    • Elizabeth Bathory was regalfierce, and bold as the young ruler of land in Hungary. Unfortunately, she was also vain, to the point where it is believed she bathed in the blood of her poor, servant girls to retain her youthful visage.
    • Bathory was overbearing to a tyrannical level, demanding her staff assist her in the capture and torture of young girls from the local village.
    • The Countess's blood lust was so strong and indomitable, testimonies from her accomplices's trials reported the number of her victims to be upwards of 650 people. As royalty, Bathory herself was never put on trial.
    • Her independent nature came back to bite her as, though she wasn't tried, she was punished, by being bricked into her room, with only a small amount of space for air and food to pass through. She died alone in her room in 1614.
  • Anatoly Onoprienko
    Photo: Zhytomyr Prison / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    Birthday: July 29, 1968

    Serial killer name: The Beast of Ukraine, Terminator

    Leo qualities: 

    • Anatoly Onoprienko's killing spree began on Christmas Eve in 1995, and kicked off the biggest manhunt in Ukraine's history. Just before that he had been in a mental hospital in Kyiv for schizophrenia. But he must have been quite the smooth talker, because he was let out on the grounds that he "posed no danger to the public."
    • Onoprienko killed indiscriminantly, violently attacking entire families, women, and children. After a few of his murders, he also robbed the families, and then set their houses on fire.
    • His murders seemed to often be inspired by greed - with them either being robberies gone wrong, or acts of convenience, like in 1996 when he stopped cars on the highway just to attack all of the passengers and steal their valuables.
    • Onoprienko was cocky, and had no remorse for the brutal crimes he committed. "There is no better killer in the world than me. Anyone who wants to measure up to me can always try. I have no regrets, no remorse, and I would do it again if I could," he told Agence France-Presse. 
    • His boldness ended up getting him caught, after Onoprienko had the gall to move in with one of his relatives, bringing along his stash of weapons and materials stolen from his victims. His cousin turned him in. 
    • Onoprienko escaped the death penalty because the Ukraine entered the Council of Europe in 1995 and abolished the punishment. He died in prison at age 54 in August 2013.
    • Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
  • Karl Denke
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Birthday: August 12, 1870

    Serial killer name: The Cannibal of Ziębice, Papa Denke

    Leo qualities: 

    • Karl Denke hid in plain sight. He didn't hide his crimes by living a low-key life - he was well-known in his small town as Papa Denke. He made up for his murderous hobby by being a friendly, beloved figure in the community.
    • In a ruse followed by killers such as Dennis Rader, Denke was active in his community, volunteering at his church, playing the organ, and carrying crosses for funerals.
    • Denke was bold enough to use said funerals to find victims, inviting migrants and vagrants he met while volunteering to stay at his home. At least 40 of them would never get the chance to leave.
    • Speaking of bold, turns out Denke got creative in a time of intense poverty and farm failures in Poland, turning his victms into human jerky, belts, shoelaces, suspenders, and pickled meat. This is perhaps one of the reasons why no one questioned him for so long. They were desperate for the food he provided.
    • Denke's generous nature - or at least his ruse as a generous man - was such that even when a bloodied man ran to police to tell them he had been attacked by Papa Denke, they didn't believe it. He claimed the attack was in self-defense, so police put him in a cell overnight, but assured him they'd clear everything up the following morning.
    • However, Denke was not willing to chance his freedom. The stubborn man opted instead to go out on his own terms, hanging himself in his cell. When the dumbfounded police prepared to hand Denke's house over to relatives, they discovered his slaughterhouse.