Sometimes, it's the ones you least expect. These dangerous, notorious serial killers all had perfectly normal jobs and many were considered kind, contributing citizens in their communities. But then things took a turn. Which serial killers had normal day jobs? This is a list of serial killers with normal jobs before they changed career paths and took up killing.
A serial killer is defined as someone who murders three or more victims over a relatively short interval. Though it has been said that serial killers often fail to keep jobs for long periods of time, such as Ted Bundy, who held a number of low-end jobs, some psychologists also claim that serial killers can appear to be completely normal and have high-functioning lives. John Wayne Gacy, for example, was a highly respected individual within his community, and Dennis Rader was the elected president of his church.
Though many assume that most serial killers are rooted in violent families and abusive upbringings, there are many examples of serial killers who grew up in normal families with surprisingly average childhoods. Thus, it's hard to pinpoint conclusive personality characteristics of serial killers since the motives for killing can vary anywhere from wanting to be a hero by saving victims they previously poisoned, to sick and sadistic pleasure.Here's a list of serial killers who had surprisingly normal jobs, although some are a bit creepy. Ice cream truck driver, anyone?
Day jobs: British Army cook, London police officerOften described as the "British Jeffrey Dahmer," Dennis Nilsen was a serial killer in London who murdered 15 young men from 1978 to 1983 before he was arrested and charged with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
- Age: 75
- Birthplace: Fraserburgh, United Kingdom
Day jobs: literature teacher, day laborer, regional sports managerAndrei Chikatilo was a Russian Soviet serial killer whose victim count included at least 52 women and children, whom he sexually assaulted and mutilated. He committed the murders between 1978 and 1990 before he was arrested and confessed to 56 murders. In 1992, he was tried for 53 of the killings. He was convicted, sentenced to death, and executed in 1994.
- Age: Dec. at 57 (1936-1994)
- Birthplace: Sumy Oblast, Ukraine
Day job: doctorHarold Shipman was found guilty of 15 murders using lethal injection and falsifying death certificates, but he may have been responsible for up to 250 murders. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 but hung himself in his cell. Shipman had even appeared in a documentary as an expert on mental illness.
- Age: Dec. at 57 (1946-2004)
- Birthplace: Nottingham, United Kingdom
Day job: ADT Security Services alarm installerFrom 1970 to 1990, Dennis Rader, known as the BTK killer (Bind, torture, and kill) terrorized the Wichita, Kansas area until he was finally arrested and his identity was revealed in 2005. Many unsuspecting ADT clients hired the company to protect themselves from Rader, not knowing that it was he who they had just invited into their homes. Rader seemed to be an average married father of two. He is currently serving 10 life sentences in a Kansas prison.
- Age: 76
- Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States of America