List 16 Of The Most Notorious Serial Killers In The USA

Serial murderers have always captivated the interest of society.

Nonetheless, there is a growing interest due to the almost continuous release of movies, TV series, documentaries, and podcasts delving into the most atrocious crimes committed in our society over the past 50 years or so. 

Dahmer—Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a Netflix series, has most recently had true crime enthusiasts enthralled, spurring their curiosity to learn more about serial murderers and how they operate with their criminal minds and methods.

Here we have compiled the list of the most notorious serial killers in the USA. 

Harold Shipman – Doctor Death

Regarded as one of the deadliest serial killers in contemporary history by the number of victims, Dr. Shipman (Harold Shipman), a British general practitioner from Nottingham, is notorious for his crimes committed between 1975 and 1998, resulting in the deaths of around 250 people while in his care. Despite being convicted for 15 murders, he ended his life by hanging himself in his cell in 2004. 

Richard Ramirez- The Night Stalker

American serial killer, r*pist, and burglar Richard Ramirez terrorized residents of California, especially Los Angeles, between 1984 and 1985 before being eventually apprehended by the police authorities. 

After being tried on 43 counts, including 13 murders, the vicious criminal, also known as Night Stalker, was ultimately found guilty and given the death penalty. 

He passed away from cancer while being executed.

H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes, an American serial murderer, confessed to 27 killings and claimed to have potentially killed close to 200 people. Despite this, he was sentenced to death for the murder of his partner Benjamin Pitezel. 

In a bid to carry out his crimes, he constructed a hotel that later became known as the Murder Castle. His story influenced a bestseller book.

Edmund Kemper

At a height of 6 feet 9 inches and with an IQ of 145, Edmund Kemper murdered his grandparents at the age of 15. 

After spending several years in a high-security institution, he went on a killing spree, ultimately murdering his mother, her best friend, and several college classmates, seeking the death penalty, but was instead given eight life sentences.

Fred West

Between 1967 and 1987, an English serial killer brutally murdered at least twelve people in Gloucestershire, often with his second wife, Rose West. 

All the victims were teenagers, and at least eight of these killings involved r*pe, bondage, torture, and mutilation. The dismembered bodies of the victims were frequently buried in the garden or cellar of the Gloucester home of the Wests, known as the House of Horrors. 

His wife, Rose West, also killed her stepdaughter, Charmaine. In 1994, the couple was apprehended and charged.

Charles Cullen

American serial killer Charles Cullen confessed to killing up to 40 victims during his 16-year nursing career in New Jersey. 

Further investigations revealed that he had killed many more people during interviews with law enforcement, psychiatrists, and the media. 

He did not recollect their names specifically, but remembered the details of their killings. Experts estimate that Cullen may have killed 400 people in total, making him the most prolific serial killer in history. 

The number of his victims is 29, and Judge Armstrong in New Jersey sentenced Cullen to eleven consecutive life terms on March 2, 2006; he will not be eligible for parole until 2388.

Jack, The Ripper

He was an Unknown serial killer active in 1888 in the poor neighborhoods near Whitechapel in London’s East End. 

Attacks attributed to Jack the Ripper frequently involved East End of London slum-dwelling female prostitutes.

Due primarily to the unusually violent killings and extensive media coverage, people began to believe more and more in a single serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Ted Bundy

In the middle and late 1970s, an American serial murderer named Ted Bundy abducted, r*ped, and killed several women and girls.

He eventually admitted to his crimes and received the death penalty. His life has inspired numerous books and films.

John Wayne Gacy- The Clown Killer

John Wayne Gacy, between 1972 and 1978, is known to have killed at least 33 adolescent boys and young men, 26 of whom he buried in the crawl space of his Chicago home.

He was known as the “Killer Clown” because he often entertained children at social events in a self-made clown costume. He was injected with a fatal dose in 1994.

Jeffrey Dahmer- The Milwaukee Cannibal 

Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most notorious serial killers ever found guilty in America, tormented the Milwaukee area in the 1980s.

He specifically targeted young men and boys, luring them to his home under false pretenses, then torturing and killing them. 

He was eventually detained in the early 1990s and murdered in 1994 by another prisoner.

Gary Ridgway- The Green River Killer

Gary Ridgway was found guilty of killing 49 women as part of a serial killing spree by transporting them to isolated locales, strangling them, and then dumping their corpses in the Green River. 

The cops caught him with the use of DNA technology. He also served in the Vietnam War. 

Samuel Little

One of the most active murders in American history was the serial killer Samuel Little

Little admitted to killing 93 people in 19 states between 1970 and 2005 after going unnoticed for decades.

In 2019, the FBI confirmed 50 entries out of the total, with most of his victims being young Black women who were marginalized. When Little was arrested in 2012, Los Angeles police connected him to DNA evidence discovered at the crime scenes and managed to prosecute him for the murders of three women in the late 1980s.

Aileen Wuornos

The American serial killer Aileen Wuornos robbed seven of her male clients while engaging in street p*ostitution along Florida’s highways in 1989–1990.

Wuornos claimed that all the homicides were carried out in self-defense, stating that her clients had either r*ped her or attempted to do so.

For six of the murders, Wuornos received a death sentence, and on October 9, 2002, after spending 12 years on Florida’s execution row, she was executed.

Belle Gunness

Also known as Lady Bluebeard, Belle Gunness is alleged to have murdered hundreds of young girls after immigrating to the US from Norway in 1881 and settling in Chicago.

After successfully escaping suspicion following the murder of her first husband due to lack of evidence, she acquired a farm in Indiana through the money from her insurance coverage and second marriage. She then placed newspaper ads seeking a husband and murdered several suitors who responded.

Despite allegedly perishing in a fire on her farm, her crimes were uncovered when the remains of her victims were discovered on her property.

Nikko Jenkins

Among the over 3000 people on death row in America, Nikko Jenkins stands out for embarking on a killing spree that claimed four lives.

Jenkins’ story is particularly unusual due to the early start of his criminal career and the justification he provides for it.

The convicted killer claims that he murdered four people—three men and a woman—as a sacrifice for the serpent god Apophis or Apep from ancient Egypt.

An even more peculiar aspect of this narrative is the assertion by a woman named Dawn Arguello that she and the murderer have fallen in true love.

Elizabeth Bathory

Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian countess, is suspected of murdering hundreds of young girls in the early 17th century.

She was imprisoned in her Castle mansion until her death in 1610 after being charged with horrifying serial killings. 

Bathory reportedly murdered at least 600 people, setting a Guinness World Record for the most female murderers. 

Her deeds earned her the moniker Blood Countess, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula might have drawn inspiration from her. 

Bathory may not have committed all the crimes attributed to her, but she was charged with a harrowing list of crimes against minor noblewomen who came to her for instruction and training and female servants.


Especially when numerous victims or murders are carried out in a brutal manner, the media and public consciousness often focus on the crimes of serial killers.

The number of victims, as well as potential victims, is listed for every known serial killer from the 20th century to the present. 

The precise number of victims attributed to serial killers is frequently unknown, and even if they are found guilty of a small number of murders, it is still possible that they committed many more.

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