The 5 Worst Killers In United States History

The United States has had its share of cold-blooded killers. I have always wondered what goes on in the minds of these individuals to kill the way they did. This hub will not be able to answer that question, but it will describe all I can find on each of these killers.

It has always been my opinion that the more educated you are on a subject such as this, the better probability of it not happening to you.

Many people don't consider how many actual victims there are from senseless murders such as these. Not only do you have the actual murder victim, but also their family and friends.

I hope that this hub will help you understand some particulars that may save you or someone else you know in the future. Until evil is completely wiped out on Earth, there will always be killers. Some of them have reason to kill, but many just find a "thrill" from doing it. Killing is a drug to them and they are addicted.

Here are the five worst in United States history.

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Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway was born on February 18th, 1949. His murders all happened in the State of Washington, mainly in the Seattle area. These murders were all committed in the 1980s and 90's.

Gary was known as the Green River killer. He is thought to have murdered 90+ people.

Ridgway's choice of victims were mainly prostitutes who he would strangle and dump near the Green river.

His choice in victims was easily understood after learning of his younger years and how his Mother treated him. In his childhood, Gary had issues of bed-wetting. His Mother was very stern and would belittle him to other family and friends. He felt both a fear of her and a sexual attraction to her.

Gary became a suspect in the killings in 1984, but he took and passed a polygraph test, which tells you how accurate they are.

Ridgway was finally caught by use of D.N.A. He was spared the death penalty through plea bargain. He confessed to 48 murders.

Gary was sentenced to 48 life sentences plus 480 years and he is incarcerated in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington.

As you can see from the video that he added another victim to the list;his wife.

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Donald Henry Gaskins

Donald's nickname was PeeWee. He was a small man; 5'4".

Gaskins was a career criminal. As a child he committed burglaries and thefts and was sent to reform school.He showed early that he had it in him to kill when he beat a girl with a hammer for insulting him.

Later on Gaskins was sent to prison where he murdered his first person, Hazel Brazell. Gaskins cut his throat to gain a hard reputation in prison. It gave him a taste for murder.

Donald had an addiction to murder. He would every few weeks travel up and down the South looking for hitchhikers to kill. These all happened in the late 1960s and Gaskins called them Coastal kills.

In 1970 Gaskins started making "serious" kills. They were people who had made fun of him or people he knew. He was even paid to kill.

Gaskins, while in prison, killed another inmate by using C-4 explosive.

Gaskins admitted killing somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 people. It is known for sure he killed 9 and suspected of many more.

Gaskins was electrocuted in South Carolina on September 6th,1991. Many people in South Carolina cheered when he got killed in the chair.

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Richard Kuklinski

Best known as the Iceman, Kuklinski was a hit-man for the mob. He claimed to have murdered over 200 people, but that has never been verified.

Richard's childhood was chaos. His Dad was a rapist and a murderer. Richard was known to torture animals which is a good sign of a future killer.

It took years to catch Kuklinski because he used many different forms to kill people. Cyanide was his favorite.

In 1988 he was sentenced to 5 life sentences for 5 murders and in 2003 he plead guilty to killing a New York detective adding another 30 years.

Kuklinski's death is still considered quite suspicious but was ruled natural. He was scheduled to testify against Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.Gravano was at one time a key figure in organized crime and a killer himself.

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David Parker Ray

This was one sick bastard. Never was one of his murder victims bodies found.

Ray was so deranged he spent $100,000 to construct a torture chamber in his Truth or Consequences, New Mexico home.

His capture came when a woman he and his accomplice, Cindy Hendy, were torturing, escaped.

Hendy testified against David and it was proven a fact that he had murdered at least 14. It is believed he murdered up to 60 though.

Ray was sentenced to 223 years but died soon after being sent to prison from natural causes.

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Belle Gunness

Belle is the only woman in this list. She was a very smart serial killer and was not discovered as such until after her death.

Belle mainly killed for insurance money. Husbands and children mysteriously died or disappeared.

When the hog pen on Belle's farm was dug up, many remains were found.

Belle was born in Norway and came to America's heartland. Her murders all happened in Indiana and Illinois.

© 2011 Greg Boudonck

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Comments 13 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Gave me the creeps looking at these murderers. I hope you are not writing about it because you are an admirer (saw that on tv - Castle, I think, since they say that killers usually have an interest in other killers). Thanks for scaring the heck out of me.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 5 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

No admiration here at all; if you read the first part of my hub you should plainly see that.

It is sad that you would believe something you were told from a television set.

If that was true, what about all the media that publishes material on subjects such as this?

I write to learn. you cannot fight a war against evil if you don't know what that evil is.

I must say elayne001, that it hurts that you would even think I could be like that. If you have read much of my material at all, I would think that would be the furthest thing from your mind.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I am sorry if I offended you. I guess I have been watching too many murder mystery shows. I am so glad to hear that you do not admire these people, but want us to know how to protect ourselves. You can unpublish my comment if you want to.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 5 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

No that is ok Elayne.

I kind of understand why you said it, but in the same sense why wouldn't we suspect everyone who watches one of those shows if it was true.

I want to leave it up for anyone else that may think that way.

I must say I am happy you were concerned though, because in all actuality, you never know who may be a killer.


figment profile image

figment 5 years ago from Texas

Great Hub... so well written and composed!


Painted Seahorse profile image

Painted Seahorse 5 years ago from Woodstock, GA

Real chilling! I only knew of the Green River Killer; the others I'd never heard of. If I were making my own list, I'd also include John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the one, I forget his name, who was the basis for the movie Psycho. Interesting, albeit disturbing, information!


reignmaker1911 profile image

reignmaker1911 5 years ago from CHICAGO

Surely H.H. Holmes deserve to be in the top five. Not to mention the devourer of children, Albert Fish. Along with Ed Gein, the real life model in which the movies, "Psycho" and, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" were inspired.


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Question. How did Donald Gaskins get accest to c-4 in prison? I read the book Iceman, about Richard Kuklinski. He didn't seem to have much of a chance growing up. I believe he was a very dangerous man who killed many people but the number of victems I am sure were esaggerated.


CAT671 5 years ago

Your articles and research must have lead you to help people. You may be a sign of calling to do justifying deeds to perhaps solve families issues or crimes done in various places all over the world. There is just thing that bothers me about serial killings and media or ads that promote hate crime. Your call of duty is perhaps to some people the guardian to watch these predators lurk and lure victims of the innocent and for the vulnerable. Only people who give back must have experience great trauma themselves or have witnessed it among or along with others. What a violent and cruel demonic world we are in that God gave us to live and live happy lives or perhaps he only knew that it would be up to his children to use common sense and facts to bring or resolve unsolved crimes to justice. Very honored that there are more people who find criminal law one of the unique professions that most people fear off. Good deeds only are known by those who service man kind for all the good of family life.

Government and Education Services just isn't enough to pay it choice that only one feels they must say and do in order to move on living.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Froggy213....I am automatically drawn to books, articles, movies....any form of True Crime. These "freaks" were my life's work, so to speak. I have studied, researched and worked closely with law enforcement and psychiatrists on numerous cases. You speak the truth when you say it is very important for the general public to be AWARE. No, we can't always spot a psychopath or crazed serial murderer...but to remain in the dark or totally ignorant is a frightening position to find yourself. The US certainly does have beyond it's share of these sick, evil killers. Many many people are interested and fascinated by the study of the minds, backgrounds of these people. Very interesting hub. Thank you.


Victoria 4 years ago

Wondering why one of the very first accounts of a serial killer in the US wasn't even mentioned. Herman Webster Mudgett, AKA Dr. Henry Howard Holmes? Anyone who reads anything on this man will have a new outlook on the subject. Built a "castle" in Chicago with doors opening to cement walls and used over 15 builders so no one person would know the layout of his torture dungeon. I had to write a paper on him, and it was quite chilling information. Read the book The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. People have been sick for centuries, not something new.


La 2 years ago

The Zodiac Killer Should definitely be in the list he sent notes to the police and said it had his identity in it till this day we do not know who he is he killed i believe 14 people. (correct me if im wrong.) The police did put Arthur Leigh Allen to jail for 3 years because they didn't have very good evidence on him i dont think its Arthur Leigh Allen. He wanted attention obviously...he wanted himself in the newspaper 1 letter even proves it


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Thank you all for the added info you have provided.

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