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To Die for; 10 Serial Killers Who Have Everyone Swooning

Updated on April 20, 2015

Hybristophilia - Sexual arousal upon being with a partner who has committed heinous crimes, such as murder.

1. Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers, is also one of the most charming. Bundy used his good looks and charisma as a method of ensnaring his victims. Often pretending he had an injury or a broken-down car, he would lure women into his grasp with his killer smile.

The catalyst to Bundy's killing spree was a rough break-up with his college girlfriend. All of his victims were college women with brown hair and a middle-part. Typically, he kidnapped his victims, only to rape them and ultimately beat them to death. Women went missing in Seattle, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Florida as Bundy made his way through the states.

When a cop found rope, duct tape, and other incriminating evidence in Bundy's car, he was inevitably incarcerated; only for Bundy to escape by jumping through a window. Eight days later he was recaptured. This still wasn't the end of his murder road trip, because he managed to escape a second time by creating a hole in the ceiling. That very night in 1978, he broke into a sorority house and raped and murdered two women in their beds.

Ultimately, Bundy's charming smile couldn't prevent him from being sentenced the death penalty three times; Two for the sorority women, and one for the kidnapping and murder of twelve-year old Kimberly Leach. Ted Bundy was executed in Florida by the electric chair on January 24, 1989.

During his trial, Bundy became a sort of celebrity to the public. Since his execution he has gained a massive amount of female "groupies" and will always be one of the most popular killers in history.


Charles Starkweather shortly after his arrest.
Charles Starkweather shortly after his arrest. | Source

2. Charles Starkweather

One of the youngest killers, Charles Starkweather killed 10 people in a two-month-long road trip in 1958. Starkweather was a high school drop-out, and had a fascination with James Dean and his attitude. Charles murdered Caril Ann Fugate's (his fourteen-year old girlfriend) family after they demanded he stay away from Caril. Together, Caril and Charles lived in her home for a week, locked inside and leaving fake notes on the door from her deceased mother. They executed several murders of family and close friends.

Caught in a car chase and shot at by the police, Starkweather was incarcerated and sentenced the death penalty. Charles was executed by the electric chair in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 25, 1959. Since then, he has inspired several books and music. Even Stephen King claimed to be influenced by learning about the murders in his youth.

3. Paul John Knowles (The Casanova Killer)

Paul John Knowles, also known as Lester Daryl Gates, lived a life full of crime. Raised in Florida, he was sent through different foster homes as a child, and was first incarcerated when he was only nineteen-years old.

While in prison, Knowles corresponded with a woman named Angela Covic. Convinced he would marry her, he was heartbroken when she called off the wedding due to a psychic's warning of a dangerous man. Upset and bitter over his loss, he went on killing spree. He killed several women by shooting them and strangling them with things like phone cords. Usually, he would kidnap and rape the women before killing them. Before he would flee the scene, he usually stole things like a television set or a car.

Finally, Paul John Knowles was caught in Georgia when he crashed a stolen car from one of his victims. After his arrest, he admitted to the murder of thirty-five people, yet is tied to eighteen. The day after his arrest, Knowles was shot and killed by a police officer in self-defense.

4. Vera Renczi (The Black Widow)

Born in Romania to a wealthy family, Vera began having affairs with older men when she was just fifteen. Her whole life, Vera's friends described her as jealous and controlling, which was proven in her future marriages. Both of her marriages failed due to her jealously and attacks of "being abandoned" when they stopped giving her attention. This was a pattern with all of her lovers. She was obsessed with finding the perfect love, yet was always convinced her lovers were looking at other women.

Due to insecurities and need for control over men, in the 1920s, Vera poisoned thirty-five men with arsenic the second she believed they were straying from her grasp. Not only did she kill her lovers, but she murdered her only son, Lorenzo, when he discovered the truth about his mother.

Eventually, Vera was having an affair with a married man, and his wife became suspicious when he never returned home. This led to her capture, when police searched her home and found thirty-five labeled coffins in her wine cellar.

Unfortunately, there are no true pictures of the murderer, yet she is said to be extremely beautiful. One can only imagine with all the lovers she took!

5. Richard Ramirez

At a young age, this serial killer was mentored by his cousin, Mike. Mike told him torture and murder stories from his time in the Vietnam war. This fascinated Ramirez and these stories instigated his later actions. The need for blood truly set in when Mike allowed Richard to be present as he murdered his wife.

Not only did Richard have an addiction for killing, he also took part in illegal drugs with Mike. He considered himself Satanic and had the sign on his palm throughout his trial. He committed several burglaries and stole cars. Ramirez's murder spree lasted for two years, his first victim being a seventy-nine year old woman.

Ultimately, he is known for molesting and torturing more than twenty-five people, and killed more than twelve. His violent acts usually took place in the victim's home. Finally, Richard Ramirez was caught when his fingerprints werfe discovered in a stolen vehicle. He received nineteen death sentences.

6. H.H. Holmes

Herman Webster Mudgett, under the alias of H.H. Holmes is considered to be America's first serial killer. He murdered an estimated amount of one-hundred-fifty people, yet the exact amount remains unknown.

Holmes had an interest in medicine and practiced surgery on animals. He went to medical school, where he stole corpses for false insurance claims. On top of murder, Holmes committed several acts of fraud.

Eventually, Holmes moved to Chicago where he took over a pharmacy and turned it into a three-story "Murder Castle." He turned this castle into a hotel during the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the World Fair, which made it easy to capture his victims.

He seduced and murdered his guests in the rooms located on the top floor of the hotel. These rooms had gas jets in them, along with trap doors and chutes to the basement.

Holmes was first arrested for fraud, which eventually led to his house of horrors being discovered for what it really was. He was hanged in 1896 in Philadelphia.

7. Charles Manson

Charles Manson was a cult leader in the 1960s. He created the "The Manson Family," which consisted of over one-hundred followers. Most of these followers were young girls who believed he was Jesus. Two of these followers were Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten, who both stood trial with Manson later on.

Manson was influenced by drugs like LSD, Armageddon from the Book of Revelations, and Scientology. He had a pathological ego, and believed he was the New Messiah.

He gathered his followers and they moved to a deserted ranch in San Fernando Valley, where they were all under the influence of psychedelics and Manson's rules. Together, Manson's cult committed thirty-five cold-blooded murders. All of these murders were connected to several Hollywood residents. The cult leader never killed anyone with his hands, yet he directed the girls through the murders. These were called the Tate-La Bianca Killings.

The cult was caught when they were arrested for vandalism, not murder. Eventually, the girls were connected to the murder of Sharon Tate and other Hollywood residents. Most of the perpetrators were sentenced to life for the killings. Charles Manson is serving a life sentence in Corcoran State Prison.

8. Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most well-known serial killers, was also the most brutal. He molested and killed seventeen men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He sought mostly African American men, luring them to his home with things like drugs and the promise of sex or money.

Dahmer was considered a necrophiliac, and did a list of things to his victims to gain sexual pleasure. He dismembered his victims, consumed their flesh, performed lobotomies, and injected muriatic acid like a shot. After his victims were dead, he would perform sexual acts, then keep the genitals as trophies. Another form of souvenir that he kept were photos that he took of the victims throughout the entire process.

Dahmer had a rough past, and was an alcoholic at a young age. He dropped out of school due to his alcoholism, and eventually enlisted in the army due to his father's wishes. Dahmer was sent to Germany for the army, yet only lasted two years because he was discharged for his alcoholism.

Jeffrey Dahmer was caught by the police when one of his victims escaped, and was found running down the street, disheveled with handcuffs on. The killer's trial was short, for it only took five hours to convict him. Dahmer plead insanity, yet ion February 17, 1992, he was found guilty and very much sane. He was sentenced fifteen consecutive life terms, yet died in 1994 by a fellow inmate.


9. Anatoly Onoprienko (Terminator)

Anatoly Onoprienko killed fifty-two people in the Ukraine between the years of 1989-1996. His murders were in response to inner voices that demanded him to kill. Believing he had powers, he claimed he could stop hearts with his mind through yoga and control animals with hypnotism and telepathy.

Anatoly was handed over to an orphanage at a young age, and claimed that this predetermined him ending up in prison. He usually killed in a specific pattern. He'd choose an isolated family home, and shoot the male, spouse, and children. Afterward, he would set the house on fire and flee the scene.

10. Robledo Puch (The Death Angel)

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he committed eleven murders between 1971-1972. He would target watchmen and security guards, and kill them in various methods such as: Stabbing, shooting, strangling, and slitting the throat.

He also committed seventeen robberies, two kidnappings, and one rape. He killed with a male lover, who died in a car accident. After his death, he took a second lover, Carlos Somoza. Puch killed Somoza, which ultimately led to his arrest at twenty. On his lover's murder. Robledo said, "Kill whoever gets in my way."

Puch was sentenced life imprisonment, which is the highest sentence in Argentina. His last words in court were, "This has been a Roman circus. One day I'm going to get out and kill you all." He has been in prison ever since.

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    • profile image

      Allison 10 months ago

      Are you 100 % positive Robledo was gay..i thought the two guys were just accomplises

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      This is fascinating. You've clearly done your research. This is a great read.

    • Dominique Bonten profile image
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      Dominique Bonten 2 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee.

      Thank you for following back! All of your articles and extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing that with me, that's so cool! I would have loved to be able to talk to him.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the following. I've got to run but I just wanted to mention that Ted Bundy was our paperboy when I was growing up in Tacoma. :)