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.
Known as the Genesee River Killer, Shawcross first killed in 1972 by sexually assaulting and murdering a 10-year-old boy after luring him into a wooded area in Watertown, New York. He then raped and killed an eight-year-old girl, for which he was captured and convicted of manslaughter. Serving 14 years in prison he was released in 1988 and went onto brutally kill 12 female prostitutes between the ages of 22 and 59. Eventually captured at the scene of his last murder, Shawcross confessed to all 12 murders and was sentenced to a 250 years imprisonment. He died in prison of cardiac arrest in 2008.
Peter William Sutcliffe is a British serial killer known as “The Yorkshire Ripper”. In 1981 Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others. He targeted prostitutes in Leeds and Bradford causing a climate of fear across northern England. When arrested in January 1981 (for driving with false number-plates), police questioned him about the killings and he confessed. At his trial, he pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of diminished responsibility, but his defense was rejected by the jury. He was sentenced to serve life in prison without parole and remains in Broadmoor Maximum Security Mental Hospital to this day.
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez was an American serial killer and Satan worshiper who terrorized Los Angeles between 1984 and 1985. Nicknamed the “Night Stalker”, Ramirez broke into the homes of many of his victims and then shot, stabbed, rapped and mutilated them. His victims ranged between the ages of a nine year old girl to a married couple in their late sixties. Notably he smeared pentagrams on the walls of his crime scenes. Captured in 1985, Ramirez was sentenced to death and remained on California’s death row for 23 years until he died of complications from B-cell lymphoma in June 2013.
Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also committed necrophilia and ate parts of his later victims, dismembering and cooking parts of their bodies. Dahmer was eventually caught after a would-be victim managed to overpower him and alert police. In 1992 Dahmer was convicted of 15 of the murders and sentenced to 15 terms of life in prison. However just two years into his sentence he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.
The British equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nilsen was a homosexual killer who murdered 15 gay men in London, England between 1978 and 1983. He dissected his victims’ bodies, then burned or flushed the remains down the toilet. This led to his capture when human flesh was discovered in his sewage system. Nilsen was convicted in 1983 of six counts of murder with two attempted murders and was sentenced to life in prison. He remains imprisoned at Full Sutton maximum security prison in Yorkshire, England without the chance of release.