In American history there have been more than a few people who have scared an entire nation and have become the most infamous of all murderers. This is the darkside of history.
In 1971, Manson was tried and sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder. The acts that happened on the night of August 9th, 1969 sent the country into a state of shock as actress Sharon Tate and four her friends were murdered at Tate’s home. The next night, August 1oth, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered viciously by members of the infamous group; The Manson Family. Manson remains in prison to this very day claiming he is innocent of any involvement in the crimes.
Charles Ng and Leonard Lake
Charles Ng and his accomplice Leonard Lake are believed to have tortured, raped and killed as many as 11 and possibly up to 25 victims at Lake’s ranch in Calaveras County, California. What was most disturbing was when police found video tapes of the crimes showing the raping and murdering of campers that they abducted. They were only caught after one person escaped their clutches and was found by a park ranger. As police searched the ranch they found human remains. Lake committed suicide before he could be convicted and Ng was identified as Lake’s partner. After a lengthy extradition to the United States from Canada, Ng stood trial in 1998 on twelve counts of murder of which he was convicted of the next year. Ng is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
John Wayne Gacy “The Killer Clown”
Gacy became the face of fear and ruined created everyones fears of clowns when he sexually assaulted and murdered 33 teenagers and young men between 1972 and 1978. He often lured his victims into his home before murdering them. When police searched his home they found that 26 of his victims were buried in the crawl space under his home. He would often keep them there for weeks or months to decompose before dumping the bodies into a near-by river. Gacy spent 14 years on death row for the murders of 33 men and boys before he was executed on May 10, 1994.
Nothing was more chilling than when the public caught their first glimpse of serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. The weak chin, the normal hair and glasses and less than impressive build didn’t seem to be a threat at all. That’s what made him so terrifying. he looked normal. He blended into the crowd and scariest of all; you would never see him coming.
Dahmer raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Some of the details of his crimes are so disturbing and unsettling, we wont mention them here. He was eventually caught when a victim escaped and alerted police. Dahmer was convicted of 15 murders in 1992 but just two years into his sentence, he was beaten to death by a broomstick. A fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution was so disgusted by the details of Dahmers crimes, he decided to end the life of one of histories most disturbing murderers.
Richard Ramirez “The Nightstalker”
Ricardo Ramírez sent the West Coast into a panic between 1984 and 1985. Ramirez was Nicknamed “The Night Stalker” because he would sneak into homes while his victims slept. Once inside, he would shoot, stab and mutilate his victims, often leaving cryptic, satanic messages written among the house. In disturbing details from his surviving victims, he would often make his victims “swear to satan” when asked if they were telling the truth. Once they would swear, he would kill them. His signature was to smear a pentagram of blood on the walls of the crime scenes or even on the victims themselves. Ramierez was sentenced to life in prison and remained on California’s death row until his death from cancer in June 2013.
Bundy was handsome, charming and an absolute psycho serial killer and rapist who kidnapped and murdered young women during the 1970s. Bundy would find his victims in a public and lure them to hidden or secluded areas where he would assault them and murder them.
12 of the victims were decapitated and reports say that he even kept several of the heads as trophies. Bundy managed to escape from authorities twice and committed three more killings. In court he defended himself and even though all the evidence pointed to him being the murder, women still fell in love with the smooth talking and handsome psycho. He was found guilty and executed in 1989.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. “Grim Sleeper”
Lonnie Franklin Jr. of Los Angeles has been dubbed the “Grim Sleeper.” The accused murderer of 11 women over a thirty year span (and a 20 year gap between murders) terrorized women in LA for decades and earned him the dubious nickname.
The original murders of prostitutes started in the early 1970’s and ended in 1988. After 14 years more similar crimes starting to happen again in 2002. After years of evidence and searching, detectives with LA homicide finally linked Franklin to additional killings after reviewing hundreds of old case files. He is currently on trial for the murders of ten women but he may be responsible for over 100 missing women.
David Berkowitz “Son of Sam”
The Son of Sam. Just the name alone was scary. What did it mean? David Berkowitz terrorized New York in the summer of 1976 when he Used a .44 calibre revolver to randomly shoot 6 people dead and injuring another 7. Berkowitz would often send taunting letters to police and the press in which he discussed more victims and murders.
Berkowitz confessed to the killings in August 1977 and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for each murder. He is still on death row.
Edmund Kemper “Co-ed Killer”
“The Co-ed Killer” was a terrifying and brutal serial killer and necrophile in California in the 1970s. He murdered his grandparents when he was just 15 years old and later lured and killed and 6 hitchhikers in the Santa Cruz area. He later dismembered the women and dumped the bodies in a nearby river. To complete his devastation of his family, he murdered his mother before turning himself in to authorities. He was found guilty and asked for the death penalty. Instead tax payers are still paying for Kemper as he received life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Gary Ridgway “Green River Killer”
Gary Ridgway became of the the most notorious serial killers in the US when he was arrested in 2001 for murdering 4 women and confessing to killing at least 70 women total. Washington state suffered through the 1980’s and 1990’s when prostitutes were being murdered or disappearing at an alarming rate. Ridgeway managed to avoid the death penalty by giving detailed confessions about his murders and even showed police where he dumped the bodies of his victims. In total, Ridgeway was convicted of 49 murders. He remains in prison serving life without parole.
Dennis Rader “BTK” Killer
The BTK killer Dennis Rader was found guilty of murdering 10 people in Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas. For almost 20 years Rader sent letters to police under his assumed name BTK ( Bind, Torture, Kill)- In the letters, Radar spoke of how he enjoyed killing and how the police would never catch him. BTK was known to stalk his victims, break into their homes and then would tie up his victims before eventually strangling them to death. Police were getting close in 1988 but all of a sudden BTK disappeared from trace. The letters and the murders just stopped. BTK suddenly reappeared in mid- 2005 when he sent a floppy disc to the press. This was the lucky break the police were waiting for. The stand up citizen, cub scout leader and volunteer at the local church Rader was arrested and charged for the killings which he immediately confessed to. He is serving 10 consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole.