Around the World List
Aileen Carol Wuornos
(February 29, 1956 - October 9, 2002)
She met Tyria J. Moore, became her lover and when passion faded, they became close friends. The adventures of the couple escalated rapidly. On Christmas Eve 1989, the corpse of Richard Mallory, who was known for his love of alcohol and women, was found in the forests of Daytona Beach, Florida. The body had three shots of a 22-caliber pistol. A year later, six more bodies which had been murdered in a similar way were discovered. All the victims were middle-aged men, whose bodies appeared near a street or road, after being robbed and killed with the same weapon.
In order to support herself, Aileen sold the valuables she had stolen from her victims. While selling Richard Mallory’s camera and radar detector, and a toolbox belonging to another victim, she was discovered.
The police could finally arrest Wuornos when Tyria Moore agreed to cooperate with them. Her friend confessed to six murders and claimed self-defense. Almost immediately, she and her lawyer sold the movie rights to her life. On January 27, 1992, a jury found Aileen Wuornos guilty of first-degree murder and recommended the death penalty. In 2001, the killer announced that she would not seek any appeal of her sentence: “I killed those men. I robbed them as cold as ice. And I would do it again. There’s no reason to keep me alive because I would kill again. There’s hatred crawling through my body . . . I’m so sick of hearing that I’m crazy. I’ve been evaluated so many times. I am competent, sane and I’m trying to tell the truth. I’m someone who hates life and would kill again.” She was executed in 2002.
(October 8, 1956 - October 8, 2001)
He sent a letter to the police and the newspapers of Lahore, where he confessed to have strangled and dismembered his victims, chosen from fugitives and homeless orphans. He also said that he was planning to drown himself in the Ravi River. Police arrested him and launched the biggest manhunt in the history of Pakistan, until they captured his accomplices. One of them died under police custody by jumping from a window. Iqbal said in court that he was innocent and that the whole thing was a joke, planned to draw attention to the lack of control of children in poor families. He claimed that his statements were made under duress. Over one hundred witnesses testified against Iqbal, and he and his accomplices were convicted. Iqbal was sentenced to death by hanging. On the morning of October 8, 2001, Iqbal committed suicide in prison.
Luis Alfredo Garavito
(January 25, 1957)
Born in Colombia, he is known as the beast, the monk, the priest or the madman. He is considered the biggest child serial killer in humanity and the second serial killer in the world. After being captured by the Colombian authorities, Garavito confessed to murdering 172 children. According to psychologists, he committed sexual assaults against minors because his older uncle had repeatedly raped him in his own house, in front of his parents.
Garavito denied having raped his victims. He said he had committed the crimes under Satan’s orders and promised to rehabilitate, after becoming a member of the United Pentecostal Church of Colombia. Although the sentence for his crimes amounted to 1,853 years of imprisonment, the murderer was sentenced under a penal system that, at the time, applied a maximum sentence of 40 years, with possible reductions for cooperating with the authorities and showing a particular interest in studies.
José Antonio Rodriguez Vega, The Old Lady Killer
(December 3, 1957 - October 24, 2002)
A Spanish serial killer, he murdered at least 16 women aged 60 to 93 years between August 1987 and April 1988. On May 19, 1988 he was arrested while walking down the streets. His trial began in 1991 in Santander. At the time of his arrest, he confessed to the crimes, but when testifying in court, he said the women had died of natural causes. He had simply left them unconscious. Rodríguez Vega would identify a victim and follow her, until he became familiar with every aspect of her routine. When he knew her well enough, he impersonated a television delivery man or a builder and offered to make any repairs. He would later visit her and accompany her for a while, to gain her trust and have free access to her home. When he executed his crimes, he took a trophy from each of them. The victims’ relatives identified objects in Vega’s house, linking him to the cases. He was sentenced to 432 years in prison. But in 2002, while serving his sentence in the prison of Topas, in Salamanca, he was stabbed and killed by two inmates. The next day, he was buried in a common grave.
(January 20, 1959)
He is considered the worst serial killer in the history of New York. In February 1987, his father committed suicide to end his suffering caused by cancer. At that time, Joel began collecting books about serial killers. Joel liked to change his methods each time, making it difficult to find a pattern to identify him. Joel Rifkin would later confess to a forensic psychiatrist that he had visions and that he knew he would die at age 64, like his father. He said he also knew that victim number 17 would be the last one, since he was 34, which is 17 multiplied by two. He also said that he killed prostitutes so that his father would not feel alone in the afterlife. He was stopped by a traffic inspector because his truck had no plates. He wasn’t driving at high speed, but he didn’t stop as commanded. Ten minutes later, he hit a traffic light. In the back of the truck, they found the decomposed body of a woman. Despite having countless pieces of evidence against him, he pleaded not guilty to the murders. He received a life sentence.
Anatoly Onoprienko, The Beast of Ukraine
(July 25, 1959 - August 27, 2013)
Onoprienko had an average height and an athletic appearance. He was rational, educated, eloquent and merciless. Onoprienko’s crimes began in the late 1980s. With the police chasing him, Onoprienko emigrated to Austria and then France, Greece and Germany, where, after being arrested for burglary, he would be expelled. Back in Ukraine, he committed an avalanche of crimes. Between October 1995 and March 1996, he killed 43 people. Then, he began to enter houses and massacre entire families. Up to eight families were attacked and killed by Onoprienko in Odessa, Leopoli and Dnipropetrovsk. He entered the houses shortly before dawn, gathered the inhabitants and killed men with a gun, and women and children with a knife, an ax or a hammer. Then he set the house on fire. If someone crossed his path, they also ended up dead. He even killed a three-month-old baby in his cradle, suffocating him with a pillow. The period in which he committed the murders was relatively short and prolific. Police found a stolen gun and 122 items belonging to the victims in his apartment. Once arrested, he confessed to the first eight crimes immediately and then admitted that his list contained 52 victims. His trial was one of the most complex and expensive ones in the history of Ukrainian justice. More than 400 witnesses and hundreds of specialists testified. He was convicted but the death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment. He died of a heart attack in prison in Zhitomir on August 27, 2013, at the age of 54.
Richard Ramírez, the Night Stalker
(February 29, 1960 - June 7, 2013)
He killed 14 people in Los Angeles between 1984 and 1985. His father was extremely violent with him and his brothers. He witnessed his cousin murder his wife in cold blood with a shotgun. At age 24, he began his serial murders without specific methods, which made it harder to capture him. He killed people regardless of their sex, race or age. His weapons could be baseball bats, knives or guns. His modus operandi also varied. Since he could kill either without leaving a trace or leaving traces everywhere, he believed he was protected by the devil. He was captured thanks to his last victim, who survived the attack and saw Ramirez escape in a van. Los Angeles was filled with posters with the face of the “Night Stalker.” As Ramirez was out of town, he was unaware of his arrest warrant. Upon his return, a group of people, who recognized him on the street, tried to lynch him. He had to be rescued by the police itself. On October 3, 1989, he was sentenced to death. But Ramirez died in 2013 of liver failure at a hospital in California, while awaiting his execution.
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, The Milwaukee Cannibal
(May 21, 1960 - November 18, 1994)
He is an exception. He was a child loved by his parents who had a good education and a happy social life. He is responsible for the deaths of 17 men and boys, between 1978 and 1991. He is known not only for the number of people he killed, but also for practicing necrophilia and cannibalism.
His strategy was recurring: he invited men to pose for some pictures, put drugs in their drinks, strangled them and had sex with them. Then, he photographed the bodies and he also took pictures detailing their dismemberment. He used acids to dissolve the bodies, but kept their head and genitals as trophies. In May 1991, he made some burr-holes in the skull of a 19-year-old boy to inject acid in his brain. But the boy escaped, running naked through the streets, prompting neighbors to alert the police. The boy could not speak because he was in shock. Dahmer claimed that the young man was his lover and that he was drunk. The murderer managed to confuse the police, who found no proof. On July 22, 1991, another young man escaped in handcuffs. The police decided to make further investigations. They found photographs of corpses, human remains and a head in the refrigerator of his house. Dahmer tried to escape but was arrested. The jury declared him sane and sentenced him to 15 consecutive life terms. He died during a fight in the Portage prison.
Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, The Godfather of Matamoros
(November 1, 1962 - May 6, 1989)
He was a Mexican drug trafficker and leader of a cult led by several mafia bosses and police officers. The sect, which was based in Matamoros, Mexico, performed hidden ceremonies. In order to carry them out, they kidnapped different people and made human sacrifices. In 1989, when a 21-year-old American tourist disappeared in Matamoros, during the recess, the police began a thorough investigation. They soon discovered the actions of the sect and after arresting several members, found out that they were responsible for the murder of the young man. On May 6, the same year, they cornered Constanzo and four of his followers. After a couple of hours of confrontation, determined not to go to prison, Constanzo ordered one of his followers to kill him.
Thierry Paulin, The Beast of Paris
(November 28, 1963 - April 16, 1989)
Paulin was a student who had few friends and was ashamed of his dark-colored skin. In October and November 1984, eight elderly women were murdered in Paris. Beaten to death, their heads were found in plastic bags. According to forensic experts, one of them had been forced to drink drain cleaner. Between December 1985 and June 1986, eight more elderly women were killed. The police could not identify the murderer, but concluded that it was the same as before. In 1986, Paulin learned he was HIV-positive. Knowing that his illness would cause his imminent death, he organized big parties with credit cards and money stolen from his victims. The following year, in just two days, Paulin murdered three women. One of them, which Thierry thought was dead, recovered and was able to provide his description. Paulin was arrested while celebrating his 24th birthday. He admitted everything. Charged with 18 murders, he assumed responsibility for 21 murders and was sent to prison to await trial. A year later, Paulin was hospitalized for his illness in a state of almost total paralysis and died on the night of April 16, 1989. The film J’ai Pas Sommeil (I Can´t Sleep), by Claire Denis, was based on his story.