We know the true names of several vicious and frightening serial killers, names which have entered into our collective cultural consciousness—infamous names like John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Henry Lee Lucas, Ottis Toole, Dennis Rader (AKA BTK), and Gary Ridgeway (AKA The Green River Killer).
But what of those killers out there who, like Rader and Ridgeway, have fairly infamous killer nicknames, but whose true identity remains a mystery? Arguably, these killers are far more terrifying than the names listed above because we still know very little about them, least of all their real names. From world-renowned figures like Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer, to lesser-known, but no less horrific murderers like Servant Girl Annihilator and the Monster of Florence, these unknown serial killers captivate our imaginations, and thus gain access to our worst nightmares.
- 1Zodiac Killer is the pseudonym of an unidentified serial killer who operated in Northern California from at least the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, ...more
- 2Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. In both the ...more
- 4The Long Island serial killer (also referred to as LISK, the Gilgo Beach Killer or the Craigslist Ripper) is an unidentified suspected serial killer who is believed to have murdered 10 to 16 people ...more
- 5The Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) is name given to the perpetrator(s) responsible for the murders of two girls and two boys in Oakland County, Michigan in 1976 and 1977. The victims were held ...more
- 6The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, serial rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. He is believed ...more
- 7The Axeman of New Orleans was an American serial killer active in New Orleans, Louisiana (and surrounding communities, including Gretna), from May 1918 to October 1919. Press reports during the ...more
- 8The Cleveland Torso Murderer (also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run) was an unidentified serial killer who was active in Cleveland, Ohio, United States in the 1930s. The killings were ...more
- 9The Texarkana Moonlight Murders, a term coined by the news media, were a series of unsolved murders and other violent crimes committed in and around Texarkana in the spring of 1946 by an unidentified ...more
- 10A serial killer, who became known as the Servant Girl Annihilator, preyed upon the city of Austin, Texas, during the years 1884 and 1885. The sobriquet originated with the writer O. Henry.The series ...more
- 11The Freeway Phantom is a media epithet for an unidentified serial killer who was active in Washington, D.C. from April 1971 through September 1972. ...more
- 14The Colonial Parkway Murders were committed by an apparent serial killer believed to have murdered at least eight people along the Colonial Parkway of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia (or nearby) ...more
- 15The New Bedford Highway Killer is an unidentified serial killer responsible for the deaths of at least nine women and the disappearances of two additional women in New Bedford, Massachusetts, between ...more