Serial Killers From The Great State Of Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, and Texas killers are among the most brutal and notorious in the country. There are and have long been more than a few genuine serial killers in Texas, and a Texas serial killer is much like any other. Beyond the sheer number of serial murderers in the Lone Star State, there are some killers whose crimes are especially shocking and terrible.

This list of serial killers in Texas covers gruesome territory, so the squeamish should be advised. Quite a few of these criminals were captured, incarcerated, and ultimately executed, but some, like the Servant Girl Annihilator and the Phantom Killer, were never identified, let alone caught.

Serial killers from Texas are covered on this list, as well as those who killed in the state but were not Texas natives.

  • The Phantom Killer
    Photo: Unknown/Texarkana Daily News / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Phantom Killer

    One of the first serial killers in Texas history, the Phantom Killer murdered five people and wounded three others between February and May of 1946.

    "The Texarkana Moonlight Murders" sent the border town of Texarkana into a panic. The entire town spent months going into lockdown at sunset. The entire ordeal reads like a bad campfire ghost story, with teens murdered on lover's lane, harrowing escapes, and a killer who was never found. 

  • Charles Albright
    Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    Convicted of killing at least three sex workers from 1990 to 1991, the "Dallas Ripper" has another nickname - the Eyeball Killer - that tells you all you need to know about him.

    As the name suggests, Albright surgically removed the eyes of all three of his victims. 

  • Dean Corll
    Photo: US Military / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    "The Candyman" was the stuff of Hollywood horror.

    In the early 1970s, Corll drugged, raped, tortured, and murdered at least 27 boys aged 13 to 19 years old. 

  • Joe Ball
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In the 1930s, Joe Ball's murder spree was such a media sensation that it nearly became the stuff of tall tales, but Ball's numerous female victims were quite real - as were the alligators he fed their bodies to. 

  • Servant Girl Annihilator
    Photo: Fort Worth Gazette / Wikipedia / Public Domain

    Servant Girl Annihilator

    Before Jack the Ripper began his spree in England, the killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator terrorized Texas like a demonic tall tale. Between December 1884 and December 1885, at least seven women and one man were dragged out of their beds as they slept before being stabbed to death. While the crime remains technically unsolved, a 19-year-old named Nathan Elgin is strongly suspected.

    Elgin had connections to all the victims, a club foot that matched a footprint found at one of the scenes, and he was shot to death in February 1886 while attempting to stab a woman to death. 

  • Carl Eugene Watts
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    "The Sunday Morning Slasher" is believed to have killed as many as 100 women between the ages of 14 and 44, kidnapping and torturing them before killing them. The murders took place in several different states, including his native Texas.

    Watts was active for eight years throughout the '70s. He died of prostate cancer while in prison.