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. Sometimes, serial killers don’t spend the rest of their days behind bars. In some cases, they have actually been set free to live amongst 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 featured the serial killers who are at large and no longer behind bars.
As one of the scariest serial killers in human history, Pedro Lopez was responsible for the rape and murder of hundreds of women in Columbia, Eduador, and Peru. He was caught in 1980 but only served 14 years in an Ecuadorian prison. Once he was released, he spent three years in a mental hospital in Colombia.
He was declared sane in 1998 and released on $50 bail. Lopez is currently free and suspected of further murders in Colombia.
Pedro Alonso López (born 8 October 1948) is a Colombian serial killer, who was sentenced for killing 110 girls, but who claims to have raped and killed more than 300 girls across Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Aside from uncited local accounts, López's crimes first received international attention from an interview conducted by Ron Laytner, a longtime freelance photojournalist who reported interviewing López in his Ambato prison cell in 1980. Laytner's interviews were widely published, first in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, 13 July 1980, then in the Toronto Sun and The Sacramento Bee on 21 July 1980, and over the years in many other North American papers and foreign publications, including ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Santa Isabel, Colombiasee more on Pedro López
Karla Leanne Homolka (born May 4, 1970), also known as Leanne Teale, is a Canadian serial killer who, with her first husband Paul Bernardo, raped and murdered at least three minors. She attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and death of her sister Tammy.Homolka and Bernardo were arrested in 1993. In 1995, Bernardo was convicted of the two teenagers' murders and received life in prison and a dangerous offender designation, the full maximum sentence allowed in Canada. During the 1993 investigation, Homolka stated to ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Port Credit, Ontario, Canadasee more on Karla Homolka
When Mary Bell was just 11 years old, she had already killed two young boys in separate incidents by strangling them and mutilating one with scissors. She was convicted of manslaughter in 1968. Twelve years later, when she was age 23, Bell was freed and able to change her name to start a new life.
She won a court order that permanently protects her identity and that of her daughter – a protection for convicts now known as a "Mary Bell order." According to reports as recently as 2009, Bell had become a grandmother.
Mary Flora Bell (born 26 May 1957) is an English woman who, as a child aged 10–11 in 1968, strangled to death two male toddlers in Scotswood, a district in the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne. She was convicted in December 1968 of the manslaughter of Martin Brown (aged 4) and Brian Howe (aged 3).Since her release from prison in 1980, she has lived under a series of pseudonyms. Her identity has been protected by a court order, which has also been extended to protect the identity of her daughter. In 1998, Bell collaborated with Gitta Sereny on an account of her life, in which she details the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her prostitute mother and her clients. ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdomsee more on Mary Bell
In South Africa, Louis Van Schoor killed at least seven men who he claimed were burglars. After each murder, he'd be cleared by officials without so much as a caution. However, he was finally discovered in 1992. After serving only 12 years for the crimes, he was released in 2004.