While Florida is known as a popular destination for spring breakers, retirees, and tourists from all around the world, its warm weather and beautiful beaches also seem to attract or produce some of the worst serial killers in America. From deadly babysitters to killer cops, the "Sunshine State" has been home to some of the darkest murderers in the United States, making it one of the top five states where you're most likely to meet a serial killer. Some were creepy serial killer artists, who made their horrific acts perversely aesthetic. Other Florida serial killers, like Ted Bundy and Bobby Joe Long, had nation-wide crime sprees that ended with death row in the Sunshine State. Whatever the case, you may want to consider reading on before that Spring Break trip to Daytona. After all, you definitely don't want to run into any serial killers from Florida.
From November 1989 to November 1990, Aileen Wuornos killed at least six men all over Florida, and when she was eventually apprehended, she told police she'd shot her victims to death because they had either raped her or tried to rape her when they'd hired her for sex. Wuornos changed her account multiple times, at some points stating she didn't act in self-defense, while at other times claiming she killed her victims out of fear for her life, making it difficult to know her true motivations for shooting six men to death.
In January 1991, Wuornos was apprehended at a bar in Port Orange, Florida, after law enforcement matched her to fingerprints found in the car of one of her victims, and she confessed to murdering six men. She was eventually convicted of killing the six victims, and she was given the death penalty for her crimes. On October 9, 2002, Wuornos was executed by lethal injection in Florida State Prison at the age of 46.
- Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / Wikipedia
Bobby Joe Long
From March 1984 to November 1984, Bobby Joe Long kidnapped, raped, and murdered at least 10 women in and around Tampa, Florida, using complicated collars made from knotted rope to inflict intense pain upon his victims. Prior to the murders in 1984, Long had raped at least 50 victims all over Florida. He had preyed upon women advertising items for sale in their local newspapers, earning him the nickname the "Classified Ad Rapist." While he was charged in connection with these assaults, he was never convicted, allowing him to go on to murder several women.
However, Long's reign of terror in the Sunshine State finally came to an end when he released Lisa McVey, a woman he had tortured and raped for more than a day, and the young woman reported the vicious assault to police. Long was arrested on November 16, 1984, and he accepted a plea bargain that required him to confess to eight murders, as well as the abduction and rape of McVey. He was sentenced to Florida's death row.
- Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / Tampa Bay Times
Oscar Ray Bolin
From January 1986 to December 1986, Oscar Ray Bolin, who had worked as a carnival worker and truck driver, murdered three women, Natalie Blanche Holley, 25, Stephanie Collins, 27, and Terri Lynn Matthews, 26, in and around Tampa, Florida. Bolin had stabbed all three women to death, but he wasn't a suspect in the killings until 1990 when his ex-wife called in an anonymous tip implicating her former husband in the brutal killings. According to Bolin's ex-wife, he told her about committing the murders, and his half brother later testified that he had witnessed Bolin viciously beat 26-year-old Matthews.
In July 1990, Bolin was arrested and charged with the murders, and while he was convicted of the killings, he won multiple new trials. However, time and time again, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders, and he was executed by lethal injection on January 7, 2016 at the age of 53. Bolin left behind his wife of two decades, Rosalie. The couple met when she served as a member of his defense team, and she divorced her husband, a respected attorney, and married the convicted killer on live television in 1996.
- Photo: YouTube
From February 1980 to July 1982, teenager Christine Falling from Perry, Florida, choked five children, the youngest being an 8-month-old baby. Her victims' deaths caused the people close to the teenage girl to suspect she was inadvertently spreading a disease to her charges, not purposefully taking the lives of innocent kids and babies. However, her crimes were eventually discovered, leading her to be called the "Baby-sitter from Hell" and the "Killer Baby-sitter." On December 3, 1982, 19-year-old Falling was sentenced to life in prison for killing three children, and while she was incarcerated, she admitted to murdering two additional babysitting charges.
According to Falling, she committed the murders either to quiet her victims or to satisfy a sudden urge to choke them, making for truly senseless crimes. In 2006, the convicted killer was up for parole, but a Florida parole board denied Falling's release from prison.