Whether evil, disturbed, or just plain mental, our society seems to have both a repulsion and fascination with the lives and minds of evil serial killers. Who are these serial killers and what motivates them to take the life of another human being? We really don’t know. But what we do know is that as humans, we are capable of some gruesome things. Take these torture devices which are meant to inflict the most pain possible. What sort of mind comes up with such terrible devices for the specific reason of torture? Serial killers in desguise maybe? Who knows. These are 25 of the most evil serial killers of the 20th Century.
Dennis Rader (the BTK Killer)
Dennis Raider murdered 10 people in Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas between 1974 and 1991. Obsessed with notoriety, Raider sent taunting letters to police under the name BTK which stood for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’. Rader stalked his victims before breaking into their homes, then bound their limbs before strangling them. Having disappeared in 1988, BTK reemerged in 2005 when he sent a floppy disc to the press (this was to be his downfall). Tracing him via the floppy disc, Rader was arrested and charged upon which he immediately confessed. He is serving 10 consecutive life sentences with an earliest possible release date of February 26, 2180.
Donald Henry Gaskins
In 1969, Gaskins began killing a series of hitchhikers he picked up while driving around the coastal highways of the American South, torturing and mutilating his victims. He claimed to have killed 80 to 90 people. He was arrested in 1975, when a criminal associate confessed to police that he had witnessed Gaskins killing two young men. He was convicted of eight murders and was sentenced to death which was later commuted to life imprisonment without parole. Remarkably Gaskins went on to commit another murder within the high security prison, killing a fellow inmate. He is the only man to have ever killed an inmate on death row.
An American-born Scottish serial killer known to have killed nine people across southern Scotland between 1956 and 1958, Manuel is suspected of having killed as many as 18 people. Police were unable to prove his guilt until his final murders, when some banknotes Manuel had been using to pay for drinks in Glasgow pubs were proven to be stolen from one of his victims. He confessed to these murders after his mother confronted him at the police station where he was being held. Manuel was hanged at Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison for his crimes in July 1958. He was one of the last prisoners to be hanged in Scotland before they ended capital punishment.
John George Haigh
Known as the “Acid Bath Murderer” John George Haigh was an English serial killer during the 1940s. He was convicted of the murders of six people, although he claimed to have killed nine. A professional con man, he targeted wealthy individuals and charmed them into believing he was a successful businessman. He lured his victims to a derelict warehouse before shooting them. He then dissolved their bodies in sulfuric acid before forging papers in order to sell their possessions and collect their life savings. In spite of the absence of the victims’ bodies, there was sufficient forensic evidence to convict Haigh of murder. In 1949 he was sentenced to death and hanged at Wandsworth Prison.
Fred & Rose West
Between 1967 and 1987 Fred West and his wife Rose tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls. The pair were finally apprehended and charged in 1994 after police obtained a search warrant and located several human bones buried within the garden and under the floor boards of their home. During his trial, Fred West hanged himself prior to being convicted. In 1995 Rose West was jailed for life having been found guilty on 10 counts of murder.