Humans are capable of performing extremely gruesome acts, far more heinous than just murder. Just take a look at the number of murderers and serial killers in the world. But serial killers are far more inhumane than the murderers. In most cases, there is no logical reason or personal vendetta against the victim but just a psychological urge to kill. To fulfill this urge they often go to great lengths and apply various tactics so as to avoid being caught. Here we have brought together the stories of ten such serial killers whose cunning tactics will give you the chills.
1. H.H. Holmes
Holmes was a 19th-century serial killer who built a maze-like hotel, “Murder Castle”, where he lured in and killed as many as 200 people.
Dr. Henry Howard Holmes was one of the first documented serial killers. Besides being a serial killer, he was also a successful con artist and bigamist. To assist him to kill his victims he opened a hotel which was later referred to as the “Murder Castle”. The “castle” was a multi-use building with the upper floor allocated as a hotel. Viewed from outside it was just a big building. Its interior, honeycombed with trap doors and secret passageways and walled-up rooms, was nothing short of a haunted house.
The guests who came to reside in this building were the ones killed by Holmes. In the hotel, the victims were chloroformed, gassed, strangled, or even beaten to death. Their bodies were disposed of in cellar pits containing quicklime and acids. Also, some of their skeletons were sold. Most, if not all the victims, were women. H.H. Holmes confessed to twenty-seven murders, but it is commonly said that he had killed as many as 200.(1,2)
2. Dennis Rader
Nicknamed “BTK”, this killer installed alarms as a part of his job. He learned how to enter into homes unnoticed and started brutally killing people in their homes.
For over thirty years this serial killer, Dennis Rader, terrorized his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. The reason for his murderous behavior was he could not reach sexual satisfaction without binding, torturing, and killing other human beings. His unnatural urges started developing during his school days. He began by strangling local cats and dogs.
He made his fantasies a reality in 1974 when he started working at ADT Security Services, a home security company. His job was to install security alarms which helped him to learn how to enter another’s home without detection. He started by killing four people from the same family. At one point he even started sending taunting letters to the police and newspapers telling them about the murders. He got caught when he sent a floppy disk to Fox TV. He thought it couldn’t be traced. He is currently serving ten consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.(1,2)
3. Amelia Elizabeth Dyer
A Victorian era killer, she would promise to take care of illegitimate babies, pocket the money, pawn the baby’s clothes, and then strangle the babies. She killed more than 400 infants over a period of twenty years.
Hailed as one of the most prolific serial killers in history, Amelia Elizabeth Dyer murdered hundreds of infants in her care. Trained as a nurse and widowed in 1869, she turned to “baby farming” in order to support herself. Baby farming is the practice of adopting unwanted infants in exchange for money, and then either taking care of them or giving them to couples who were willing to adopt.
Under this guise, she would adopt illegitimate or unwanted children to collect the fee. Then she would murder them, strangling the babies by winding tape around their neck. She had even claimed that she liked watching the babies with tapes around their neck. After murdering them, she used to dispose of the bodies herself. Dyer killed as many as 400 infants before being caught.(source)
4. Kenneth Bianchi
Also known as the Hillside Strangler, he posed as an undercover police officer, ordered women into his car, and then took them home to sexually abuse, torture, and kill them.
This American serial killer, kidnapper and rapist, Kenneth Alessio Bianchi, was deeply troubled from a young age. His adoptive mother described him as being “a compulsive liar” from the time he could talk. His murder spree started in 1977 when he moved to Los Angeles with his cousin, Angelo Buono.
Both Bianchi and his cousin would cruise around Los Angeles in Buono’s car. They used fake badges to persuade women that they were undercover police officers. Their victims were women and girls aged twelve to twenty-eight from various walks of life. They would then order the victims into Buono’s car which they claimed was an unmarked police car. After taking them home, they would experiment with various methods of killing, such as lethal injection, electric shock, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Later, he started working as security guard and lured two female students into a house and murdered them.(source)
5. Albert Fish
A child rapist and cannibal, Fish lured young boys by offering them food and then raped, tortured and murdered them. He claims to have “had a child in every state”.
American serial killer, Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish, was a child rapist and cannibal who once boasted that he “had a child in every state”. He started having sexual relations with boys since the early age of twelve and began raping boys by the time he was twenty. Fish chose people who were either mentally handicapped or African-American as his victims. That’s because he assumed these people would not be missed when he killed them. He would often lure young children through various means and took them to a secluded place. He then tortured, mutilated, and murdered them with his “implements of Hell” which included a meat cleaver, a butcher knife, and a small handsaw.
Fish had an obsession with cannibalism too. He often prepared himself a dinner consisting solely of raw meat and served it to his children. He once claimed to have killed as many as one hundred children, but it is not known if the statement was truthful. In 1936 he was executed by electric chair for the kidnapping and murder of Grace Budd.(source)