When a serial killer is caught, there’s a reasonable assumption that the justice system will take care of the problem. The murderous psychopath will be found guilty by the courts and sentenced to life in prison, to be hidden far away from you and the people you love. The streets are once again safe to walk without fear of becoming prey to a serial killer’s whims. However, that perfect fantasy of justice is not always the case. In some cases, serial killers are actually set free to live among your family, friends, and the rest of the non-lethal population.
The serial killers on this list are not currently serving time behind bars. Many of them served a short amount of time behind bars before being set free, while a few others escaped from prison to live life on the lam. Some of these serial killers are still a threat to society, while others have been declared safe by psychologists and other officials.
Which serial killers have been set free? Which have escaped? This list features the serial killers who are at large and no longer behind bars.
- Photo: SIC
As one of the scariest serial killers in human history, Pedro López was responsible for the rape and murder of hundreds of children in Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. He was caught in 1980 but was released from prison in 1998. López never showed any remorse for his crimes and even vowed to kill again once he was released.
Lopez is currently free, but his whereabouts are unknown. Some suspect that he has been murdered, while others believe that he has returned to murder.
- Age: 71
- Birthplace: Santa Isabel, Colombia
- Video: YouTube
Karla Homolka was one half of the murderous couple that haunted the people of Canada. Homolka, along with her husband Paul Bernardo, raped and murdered multiple women, including her own sister. When the couple was discovered in 1993, Homolka turned over evidence on her husband in exchange for a reduced sentence.
She was released in 2005. She is believed to be living in Canada under a new name.
- Age: 49
- Birthplace: Port Credit, Ontario, Canada
- Video: YouTube
When Mary Bell was just 11 years old, she had already killed a young boy by strangling him. She killed another child only two months later. She was convicted of manslaughter in 1968. Bell was freed at the age of 23 and able to change her name to start a new life.
- Age: 62
- Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Louis van Schoor
In South Africa, Louis van Schoor is believed to have shot more than 100 Black or mixed race people, killing around 39.
However, he was finally discovered in 1992. After serving only 12 years for the crimes, he was released in 2004.