No matter what anyone says, it’s not weird to be interested in the sordid lives of the bogeymen that crisscrossed North America on serial killing sprees. What they did was atrocious and unforgivable, but there’s something about delving into the psyche of a madman that's intrinsically fascinating. Serial killer art is one way to peer into the brains of real-life monsters you grow up hearing about.
As it turns out, there are more serial killers who painted than those who didn't or don’t make art in anyway. It’s as if they’re compelled to produce content, whether it be by painting a picture of a friendly clown or by murdering a series of young men. Put on some Iron Maiden and take a look at these paintings done by serial killers.
It’s entirely possible serial killers who made art were just trying to get attention in any way they could, because they’d become addicted to the fame of being a villain, and what’s more villainous than being an artist? Think about it, serial killers and painters are incredibly similar. They stay up late, they’re demanding of their subjects, and most of them are very particular about the style in which they work.
If you ever get a chance to own any art by serial killers, take a hard pass on the paintings on this list, unless you’re actively trying to die alone.
Serial Killer Details: The details of John Wayne Gacy's case are enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. He molested, raped, and murdered young men and boys, then buried him in his basement.
After Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men, he started painting self-portraits of the character he played at birthday parties, Pogo the Clown. So, yeah, also, John Wayne Gacy was an actual clown.
Art Score: The colors on Gacy's paintings are straight out of a '70s Coca Cola commercial, and the subtle angles on Pogo's face hint at the danger in his eyes.
Serial Killer Details: For a while, Glen Edward Rogers, The Casanova Killer, was on the top of the FBI's ten most wanted list, which is a victory in and of itself. Rogers was convicted of killing several people but he has claimed to have murdered more than 70 people. He later recanted his statement and said that he was kidding.
Art Score: This painting is good, in a kind of cartoonish way, but the $200 price tag seems steep.
Serial Killer Details: For Henry Lee Lucas, it was about quantity, not quality, and his body count tops out to potentially hundreds of victims across the South. Maybe? Even after Lucas' death from natural causes, people are debating whether or not he could have murdered hundreds of people while drifting across the United States. At one point, his self-professed murder toll was 600.
Art Score: Lucas's artwork doesn't actually look like it was made by a serial killer at all.
Serial Killer Details: Arthur Shawcross, The Genesee River Killer, claimed 10 victims in a little over one year in small area of upstate New York. Most of the women he killed were prostitutes, and at his trial he plead no guilt by reason of insanity, which didn't end up working. He claimed to have eaten the flesh of his victims, and told horror stories of war atrocities he committed in Vietnam, despite never having seen combat.
Art Score: His sketches are pretty creepy.