Top 10 Worst Serial Killers By Victim Count
For every good person in the world, there is an equally evil one. Today, you're joining us on a bloody journey through the 20th century. The ten individuals you’re about to see took no regard for human life, killing dozens of innocent people just to fulfill their own twisted desires. The following is a list of the top 10 serial killers active between 1900 and today. Mass murderers are exempted and this list is compiled by looking at only the proven number of murders in the killer's spree.
Luis Garavito – Killed 138
April 22, 1999. Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos is finally taken off the streets, arrested after a spree so devastating that local Colombian media pegged him as the “world’s worst serial killer.” It’s not just the number of confirmed lives Cubillos, known as La Bestia (The Beast) has claimed, but also the nature of the murders. 138 young boys dead – tortured, murdered, and raped by one mentally disturbed man. Cubillos targeted peasant children or young boys susceptible to falling for offerings of money or gifts. They would follow him on a long walk that would inevitably tire them out, leaving them no strength to run or fight back when Cubillos started his ritual of raping and torture. He cut the throats of many of his victims, sometimes turning to dismemberment after the deed was done. Cubillos sits in prison today on a sentence of a mere 22 years, a reduction in 30 years thanks to the killer’s cooperation in finding the bodies of some of his victims. In 2006, Cubillos conducted a public interview where he stated his intent to start a political career to support and help abused children. For the 138 that he brutally and savagely killed and their families, this would surely be more of a slap in the face than a gesture of good intent.
Pedro Lopez – Killed 110
The Monster of the Andes, a man that claimed the lives of 110 confirmed victims. Pedro Alonso Lopez, infamous Colombian rapist and serial killer, may have actually had a final death toll of over 300, though the 190 extra victims has never been confirmed. A troubled childhood that included a murdered father, prostitute mother, incestuous relationship with his sister, a caretaker that sodomized him, and an alleged molestation by a teacher can easily be attributed to Lopez’s psychotic nature. After being arrested for stealing vehicles, Lopez was incarcerated. In prison, he claimed to be subject to sexual assault by brutal gangs and that he hunted down and murdered each of his rapists. Following his release from prison, young girls became Lopez’s prey with sexual assault and strangulation being his modus operandi. Pedro Lopez’s last stint in prison ending in 1998, after being declared sane despite being found insane four years early. He was released on $50 bail. Not surprisingly, in 2002, Interpol released an APB for his arrest after a new murder was unveiled.
Daniel Camargo – Killed 72
At a young age, Daniel Camargo was subjected to the abuse and torture of his stepmother, who often dressed him as a girl and sent him out into the public to be ridiculed. This kind of emotional strain would surely have an impact on a young mind. Daniel’s youth was without criminal activity, but when he met and fell in love with Esperanza, things would take a turn for the worse. Prior to marrying his love, despite a de facto union and two kids with another woman, Daniel found out Esperanza was not a virgin. Though he sought to leave her after the revelation, he agreed to stay only if she aided him in finding other virgins for him to drug and rape. They succeeded in five rapes until the fifth victim reported their activity. After his release, he returned to Colombia where, without warning, he would kidnap, rape, and murder a nine-year-old girl, thus starting a spree that took the lives of what was confirmed to be 72 girls. Under the guise of a foreigner searching for a Protestant pastor on the outskirts of town, Camargo targeted lower-class girls, leading them into the woods under the guise of searching for a shortcut before raping and murdering them, either by strangulation or stabbing. In 1989, Camargo received a conviction of 16 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed in Ecuador. He would only survive 5 of those years, as a cousin of one of his victims would exact revenge on the disturbed rapist.
Pedro Rodriguez Filho – Killed 71
For some, the urge to kill comes early in life, or such is the case for Pedro Rodriguez Filho, a Brazilian man that would later be known as Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey). Pedro’s life started off dramatic after his father inadvertently injured his skull after inflicting damage to his mother’s womb in a fight. At the age of 13, Pedro attempted to murder his older cousin, shoving the boy into a sugar cane press during an altercation. The boy survived, but it wasn’t long before Pedrihno Matador surfaced. At 14, the vice-Mayor of Alfenas, Minas Gerais fired Pedro’s father on suspicions of stealing food from the school’s kitchen. He would be Pedro’s first real kill, followed shortly by who Pedro suspected of being the real thief. After an arrest in 1973, Pedro would do the remainder of his killing in prison, even murdering his own father, who brutally killed his mother with a machete. With a total of 71 confirmed murders, Pedro was charged with 400 years in prison, though he was released after only 34. In 2011, he was picked up again for rioting and false imprisonment.
Kampatimar Shankariya – Killed 70
“I have murdered in vain. Nobody should become like me.” The last words spoken of Indian serial murderer, Kampatimar Shankariya. From 1977 through 1978, the Rajasthan resident took part in a gruesome spree that had all of the characteristics of a deliberate, yet twisted mind. Shankariya took the lives of a reported 70 victims, using the hefty weight of a hammer to brutally beat them to death. After his arrest in 1978, the spree killer had no qualms in confessing to police that he killed people because it brought him great pleasure; ironically, prior to his hanging on May 17, 1979, Shankariya showed a shred of remorse for his heinous actions in his final words.
Yang Xinhai – Killed 67
There’s no secret behind just how disturbed a serial killer’s mind must be, but when one confesses outright a “desire” to kill, it sends chills down your spine. The Monster Killer of China – specifically the states of Anhui, Hebei, Henan, and Shandog – was Yang Xinhai, an introvert with a penchant for sexual assault. After being released from a 3 year stint in prison for attempted rape, Yang’s murder spree began, claiming the lives of 67 by his arrest in 2003. Yang terrorized his victims in their own homes, breaking in with no other motive than to murder everybody present. Axes, hammers, shovels – to Yang, these everyday tools became weapons to do his bloody bidding with. On November 3, 2003, Yang was arrested during a routine inspection of an entertainment venue in Cangzhou, Hebei. After being detained, Yang was quoted as saying, “When I killed people, I had a desire. This inspired me to kill more. I don’t care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern…I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.” By February 14, 2004, Yang’s fate had been determined and, by the end of the day, he was executed.
Abul Djabar – Killed 65
When it comes to brutal methods of murder, Abul Djabar’s means of ending the lives of his victims was amongst one of the most disturbed on this list. Instead of simply slaughtering his prey, Abul would degrade them by raping them first. In the middle of the act, Djabar strangled his victims with his turban, eventually killing them for his own twisted pleasures. Though suspected of being the cause for the deaths of over 300 men and boys, Abul Djabar would only be convicted of 65 counts of murder after being arrested in the midst of attempting to murder another victim. Not counted in Abul’s final death toll were the two innocents that were wrongly tried and executed for Djabar’s crimes. In 1970, the spree would end with the arrest and hanging of Abul.
Andrei Chikatilo – Killed 53
It was December of 1978 in a small coal-mining town near the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. The body of 9-year-old Yelena Zakotnova is found, lacerations in her skin indicating foul play. Pegged for the murder was 25-year-old Aleksandr Kravchenko, who, despite numerous holes in evidence, was convicted and executed for the child’s murder. This would give the real murderer, the future Butcher of Rostov, to begin a killing spree fueled by sexual release. By September of 1984, Chikatilo had brutally murdered fifteen young girls, leaving their bodies in grotesque displays of savagery. The butcher’s reign was threatened when Chikatilo was picked up for attempting to lure his next victims away from a bus station. Despite being in the grasp of Soviet police, a difference between Chikatilo’s blood sample and semen samples found on six of the victims kept him off the 25,000-strong suspect list. Chikatilo resurfaced time and time again, claiming victims on business trips outside of Rostov, throwing the investigation off its trail. A slip in 1990, where he was observed and questioned by an undercover officer after leaving a woodland area, would be the butcher’s last move. When the body of Svetlana Korostik was found in the same woodland area 7 days later, Chikatilo’s name came up. After cross-referencing former employers, officers were able to place Chikatilo in the numerous towns and cities where victims were found. After 53 reported murders, Chikatilo was finally executed on February 14, 1994.
Anatoly Onoprienko – Killed 52
A man with a predetermined destiny or a savage killer worthy of the title “The Beast of Ukraine?” When one first hears of Anatoly Onoprienko’s atrocities, chances are latter seems a more fitting description; but according to this Ukrianian-born killer, his upbringing in an orphanage was what damned him for life. Was it a coincidence, than, that 8 of Onoprienko’s 10 murder sprees were families, typically in their own home? Starting with his first victims in 1989, whom he murdered only after he and accomplice Sergei Rogozin were caught in the midst of robbing them, Onoprienko targeted families, slaughtering them in their own homes with a variety of methods. While his methods of killing changed, Anatoly always followed a pattern of murdering the adult male, working his way down to the children. Typically, he would burn down the house and murder any eye-witnesses to cover his tracks. At the age of 37, Onoprienko moved in with a relative – a move that would eventually lead to his apprehension after his stash of 122 weapons, including a sawed-off TOZ-34 shotgun, was discovered by his relative. After being convicted of a final count of 52 murders, Onoprienko was sentenced to life in prison, where he would remain until his death in 2013.
Gary Ridgway – Killed 49
During the span of 1982 through 2001, Washington state was a blood soaked playground for former Vietnam Vet, Gary Ridgway. Though it would be easy to blame the war for Ridgway’s disturbing nature, even as a young boy there was an evil brewing. At the age of 16, Gary stabbed a six-year-old boy in the liver, laughing after the deed was done, stating “I always wondered what it would be like to kill someone.” Though the boy lived, Gary got his first taste for blood. At the age of 33 in 1982, Ridgway started a spree of murders that would throw the state of Washington into a frenzy, starting with Wendy Lee Coffield. Known as the Green River Killer for his m.o. of dumping bodies in the areas surrounding Green River, Ridgway targeted what were speculated to be teenage runaways and prostitutes, strangling them to death. Even in death, Ridgway offered no reprieve for his victim’s bodies as he often revisited the site to have sex with them. On November 30, 2001, The Green River Killer was picked up after DNA evidence linked him to the string of murders. In order to retrieve his victim’s bodies, the prosecuting attorney, Norm Maleng entered a plea bargain with Ridgway, foregoing the death penalty in favor of life in prison without parol. How many women Ridgway actually killed is unknown, as even Ridgway himself claims to have killed so many that he lost count, but the final confirmed number that he was convicted on was 49.