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  • Jeffrey Dahmer. Ted Bundy. John Wayne  Gacy. And of course, the mysterious  

  • Jack the Ripper. They're names that strike  fear into the hearts of any true crime buff.  

  • These are the household names of serial  killers, but they're not the whole story.  

  • It's estimated that in 1987 alone, there  were almost two hundred serial killers  

  • operating in the United States - and you  probably haven't heard of most of them.

  • But that doesn't mean they were any  less deadly than the more famous ones.  

  • Here are thirteen of the most terrifying  serial killers you've never heard of.

  • #13. Vickie Dawn Jackson

  • Hospitals are places of healing, and one  of the most important positions there is  

  • the nurse. While the doctors  do the trickiest procedures,  

  • nurses are the ones who interact the most  with patients. That gave Vickie Dawn Jackson,  

  • a nurse at a North Texas hospital, the opportunity  she needed. She was known as a wallflower in town,  

  • a quiet woman who never attracted much  attention. But at her hospital in 2001, there  

  • was a mysterious epidemic of cases where patients  came down with mysterious respiratory ailments and  

  • died - despite sometimes being hospitalized for  minor ailments. Up to twenty patients had died,  

  • and the hospital soon realized that Jackson  had been the last person to see all of them.

  • But what was killing them?

  • The investigation soon revealed missing vials  of mivacurium chloride, a drug that can paralyze  

  • the breathing reflex. Despite a syringe with  traces of the drug being found in her house,  

  • and witnesses reporting that she referred to  “taking careof patients who were causing  

  • trouble, it took over a year for her to be  arrested! While she could have faced the  

  • death penalty for the ten counts of murder she  was charged with, she ultimately pled No Contest  

  • to the charges and is serving a life sentenceBut her attorney is calling for a new trial

  • No one expected her to be a serial killerbut the same can't be said for the next killer.

  • #12. Carl Panzram

  • Born to East Prussian immigrants in Minnesota,  

  • Carl Pazram was trouble from the time  he was young. He was a notorious bully,  

  • and was in court for being drunk and disorderly  from as young as eleven years old in 1902! His  

  • parents sent him to a reform school, and he was  treated horribly by the staff members - leading  

  • him to burn it down. He spent the next decade in  and out of juvenile hall and eventually prison,  

  • getting into fights wherever he went - but he  was just ramping up his campaign of violence.  

  • Under an alias, he joined a ship's crew, and he  and a fellow sailor stole a boat and killed the  

  • inhabitants. While his partner in crime was  arrested, Panzram had his key to the world.

  • His reign of terror was only beginning.

  • After robbing the William H.  Taft Mansion in Connecticut,  

  • Panzram had enough money to go anywhere he  wanted. He traveled the world, killing men  

  • and boys alike. He was particularly fond of  luring drunken sailors away and killing them.  

  • While he was arrested a few times for minor  crimes, they never tied him to his murders,  

  • and he went on to travel to Portugeuese Angola  and kill people while working on an oil rig. It  

  • was 1928 when he was finally arrested back in  America for a burglary and confessed to several  

  • murders. He was given a sentence of twenty-five  years to life - and quickly turned it into a death  

  • sentence by murdering a foreman. As he awaited  execution, Panzram penned an autobiography  

  • where he claimed to have murdered twenty-two  people - although only proof of five was found.  

  • He went to the gallows in 1930, taunting  the executioner before the final drop.

  • The next killer had a distinctly more  innocent personality - sometimes.

  • #11. Harrison Graham

  • Harrison Graham was a seemingly non-descript  man living in Philadelphia in the 1980s.  

  • He had history of problems in school and  showed signs of an intellectual disability,  

  • but had mostly lived a quiet life and  worked in the construction industry.  

  • But by 1983, he was living in a notorious  drug den and had begun dealing pills himself.  

  • He still had a reputation as a good neighborbut there was just one problem - a foul smell  

  • coming from his apartment. His landlord tried  to evict him, but Graham refused to let him in  

  • and fled out the fire escape. The police  were called to break open the apartment.

  • What they found was horrifying.

  • Two recently-killed women's bodies were found  within, as well as five skeletons of women who  

  • had been killed long ago. A massive manhunt  was launched for Graham, and he was eventually  

  • convinced to turn himself in by his mother. Therehe confessed to the killings, saying he strangled  

  • the women while on drugs, but it soon became  clear he may not have been in his right mind.  

  • He was fixated on a Cookie Monster toy and seemed  to switch between three personalities - “Frank”,  

  • a drug-addicted killer; “Junior”, a confused  toddler; andMarty” a friendly man eager to  

  • cooperate. While the judge rejected his insanity  defense and he was convicted of all the murders,  

  • there were doubts about his competence. He  was sentenced to death - but was required to  

  • serve out a life sentence first, meaning  he would never be executed. In prison,  

  • he was a model inmate - and actually  became an ordained minister.

  • The next killer was discovered  in an even more shocking fashion.

  • #10. Bela Kiss

  • The year was 1914, and World War I was sweeping  across the European continent. Countless young  

  • men on both sides of the conflict were drafted  into action, and one was the quiet Hungarian  

  • tinsmith Bela Kiss. Twice married and the father  of two, Kiss was very interested in finding  

  • himself another woman. He had long-distance  correspondences with women through newspapers, and  

  • claimed to offer his services as a fortune-tellerHis neighbors thought him an odd man, particularly  

  • for his obsession with the large oil drums  he used to hoard gasoline for the coming war.

  • They had no idea how right they were.

  • After Kiss was drafted, the Budapest police  came to confiscate the drums of gasoline for  

  • use by soldiers. But the drums were giving off  an odd smell, and when the soldiers opened them,  

  • they were horrified - each of the drums  contained the body of a murdered woman.  

  • In total, twenty-four bodies were found, and  suddenly Kiss became one of the most wanted  

  • men in Europe. A search of his house found that  he had been collecting information about murder,  

  • and had been defrauding and killing women  for years. The military police eventually  

  • tracked Kiss down to a Serbian hospital, but  the savvy serial killer was one step ahead.  

  • He placed another soldier's body in his  bed, escaped - and was never seen again.

  • He wasn't the only serial killer to terrorize  the European continent in the early 1900s.

  • #9. Peter Kurten

  • German Peter Kurten had one of the most common  stories of serial killers - being raised in an  

  • abusive home himself. Kurten didn't take  long to follow in his father's footsteps,  

  • enjoying torturing animals and attempting to  drown a playmate at the age of five. He would  

  • later claim to have begun his killing spree at  the age of nine, pushing a child off a raft and  

  • leaving him to drown. As an adult, he spent time  in and out of prison for a series of petty crimes,  

  • and his crimes soon escalated. Unlike many serial  killers, he didn't have a favorite weapon - he  

  • would use whatever was available, and police  had no idea a serial killer was on the loose.

  • But Kurten would soon gain the  nicknameThe Vampire of Dusseldorf”.

  • Kurten would kill at least nine victims over his  decades-long killing spree, but he was undone by  

  • a simple mistake. When a young woman named  Maria Budlick escaped from him in the woods,  

  • she told of her close encounter with Kurten  in a letter to a friend. When the letter,  

  • addressed incorrectly, was opened bypostal worker, she gave it to the police,  

  • who got enough information from Maria to finally  arrest Kurten. While his attorneys attempted an  

  • insanity defense, the jury was horrified  by his many crimes and sent him to the  

  • guillotine. His head is currently on display  at Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Wisconsin.

  • This next killer was about  as unassuming as it gets.

  • #8. Lydia Sherman

  • Born in 1824, Lydia Sherman was an orphan raised  by her uncle, and married her first husband at  

  • sixteen. But after he lost his job in 1864,  Sherman wasted no time - she poisoned him with  

  • arsenic after taking out insurance money on himShe collected the payout - and then set her sights  

  • on more targets. Three of her young children  “died tragicallyof typhoid fever within the  

  • next year - except that the true cause of death  was arsenic, once again, allowing her to collect  

  • the insurance money. In total, she would poison  six of her own children, three husbands, and two  

  • stepchildren - but would go undetected until 1872,  because who would suspect a widow? When she was  

  • eventually arrested and convicted of second-degree  murder, she would even be able to escape and find  

  • work as a housekeeper to a rich widower. He would  be soon to meet an unfortunate fate as well,  

  • but Sherman was eventually caught and returned to  prison, dying less than a year later from cancer.

  • The next killer was able to carefully  abuse his position of authority.

  • #7. Gerard Schaefer

  • In Martin County, Florida in 1972, Gerard John  Schaefer, Jr. was the law. A sheriff's deputy,  

  • he had been working patrol since he was  twenty-five years old. But he had a sick  

  • obsession. From a young age, he had been fixated  with spying on young women and killing animals.  

  • He was fired from a teaching job and rejected  from the priesthood in quick succession  

  • before turning to law enforcement. That job  would come to an end as well when he picked  

  • up two teenage hitchhikers and kidnapped themtying them up in the woods. When they escaped  

  • and reported Schaefer, he claimed he had  just been trying to teach them a lesson.

  • He was fired, but it was only the beginning.

  • Two months later, Schaefer would kidnap and  murder two teenage girls, and similarities  

  • between that case and the hitchhikers who escaped  led police to look into Schaefer. They searched  

  • his house and found disturbing stories full of  descriptions of kidnapping and murdering women  

  • who he referred to aswhores”. While Schaefer  was only convicted of the two murders and given  

  • a life sentence, he was suspected in the  murders of up to thirty women and girls  

  • around the country - something he would boast  about to anyone who would listen. But he would  

  • take those secrets to his grave when he was  stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in 1995.

  • This next killer led a campaign of  terror across the great white north.

  • #6. Robert William Pickton

  • Robert Pickton was a pig farmer in a small town  in British Columbia, and he had a dark past. He  

  • and his brother's farm was a run-down place that  many people suspected was a front for criminal and  

  • gang activity, and in 1997 he was arrested for the  attempted murder of a sex worker. But Bill Hiscox,  

  • a worker on the farm, noticed one thing he  couldn't ignore - women who visited the farm  

  • kept going missing. After police obtained  a warrant to search the farm for fireworks,  

  • they were able to get enough evidence  to charge Pickton with six murders,  

  • for which he was sentenced to life in prison - but  they eventually added charges for twenty murders.  

  • While he wasn't convicted of these new  charges, he reportedly taunted authorities  

  • that he was only one short of fifty murders when  he was caught. Pickton wound up being notable not  

  • just for being the most prolific serial killer in  Canadian history, but for inadvertently bringing  

  • attention to the number of First Nations  Canadian women who go missing each year.

  • Our next killer was able to hide  behind a pretty face - for a time.

  • #5. The Co-Ed Killer

  • It was 1967 when the area of Ann ArborMichigan was terrorized by a serial killer.  

  • Young women started turning up dead  one by one after being stabbed,  

  • strangled, or mutilated. The first victim, Mary  Flezar, would be found on an abandoned farm by  

  • two teenage boys, but it would be almost  a year before the horror repeated itself.  

  • When the second victim was said to have been  seen with college student John Norman Collins,  

  • the police questioned him - but the charming  young man was soon let go for lack of evidence.  

  • Six more young women would be found dead, but when  Collins' name came up again, the police zeroed  

  • in on him and searched his house. They found  bloodstains, and Collins was charged with murder.  

  • The handsome all-american boy was revealed  to have a dark obsession with bondage,  

  • torture, and murder - and it earned him life  in prison, where he remains to this day.

  • But the rest of these killers madename for themselves in sheer numbers.

  • #4. The Harpe Brothers

  • Often considered America's first serial killers,  

  • Micajah and Wiley Harpe were terrorizing the  American south almost as long as there was a  

  • United States. These two loyalists to the British  crown had been on the wrong side of the war,  

  • and became notorious outlaws. Unlike many other  serial killers, they didn't have a specific type  

  • of victim, and they didn't seem to be obsessed  with killing itself. They committed robberies,  

  • they set fire to buildings, and  they targeted women and men alike.

  • It wouldn't be long before posses were  organized across Appalachia to hunt for them.

  • While they shared many traits with the Highwaymen  of the times - often brutal robbers who targeted  

  • travelers - the Harpes seemed to be in  it as much for the thrill as anything.  

  • They may have killed as many as fifty people  before joining up with the notorious Mason  

  • Gang of river pirates. But when they killed the  leader and tried to collect a bounty on him,  

  • they were recognized and arrested. And afterbrief escape attempt, the violent rampage of the  

  • Harpe brothers ended at the gallows - their heads  put on display as a warning to other outlaws.

  • These next killers were among the most unlikely.

  • #3. Los Poquianchis

  • Rancho El Angel was a notorious hub of  prostitution and other criminal activity  

  • in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. But it wasn't  run by your everyday Cartel leader - it was run by  

  • the Gonzalez Valenzuela sisters, a quartet of the  most ruthless women Mexico has ever seen. Maria  

  • Delfina, Maria Del Carmen, Maria Luisa, and Maria  de Jesus got away with their crime spree for years  

  • until police picked up a woman named Josefina who  had been working as a go-between for the sisters.  

  • She was suspected of kidnapping girls to be taken  to Rancho El Angel, and she quickly spilled all.

  • What she revealed shocked everyone.

  • The sisters had made Rancho El Angel one of  the worst sites of mass murder in Mexican  

  • history. The police raid found the  bodies of almost a hundred people.  

  • The sisters had been killing prostitutes  when they became too sick or old,  

  • forcing them to swallow drugs for transport,and  murdering men who came there with lots of money  

  • on them. Their crimes exposed, the sisters finally  faced trial. Delfina and Carmen died in prison,  

  • Maria Luisa went mad and was sent to  an asylum, and Maria De Jesus completed  

  • her forty-year sentence and was releasedwith her whereabouts post-prison unknown.

  • The next killer turned the last frontier  into his personal killing grounds.

  • #2. Robert Hansen

  • Scarred by acne and shy due to a stutter, Robert  Hansen didn't seem like the intimidating type.  

  • But his unassuming appearance hid a seething  hatred for the women who ignored him. After  

  • serving a stint in the Army Reserve, Hansen moved  to Alaska with his second wife and became deeply  

  • involved in hunting. He was arrested several  times for assaults, thefts, and abductions,  

  • but it wasn't until 1972 that  the horrors really started.

  • Robert Hansen was about to  go hunting for bigger game.

  • He began targeting sex workers around Anchoragekidnapping and torturing them. But he wasn't  

  • satisfied with simply killing them. He would  release them and then proceed to hunt them like  

  • animals. Bodies were found around Anchorage, but  no connection was found until one of his targets  

  • managed to get away. Cindy Paulson managed to  escape before being taken to Hansen's isolated  

  • cabin, and described his truck enough to  police that they were able to find him.  

  • Hansen was charged with seventeen murders, but  is believed to have killed up to twenty-one.  

  • He was sentenced to 461 years plus life in  prison, where he remained until his death in 2014.

  • But for the most prolific killer of them  all, you have to go to South America.

  • #1. The Monster of the Andes

  • Pedro Lopez grew up in Colombia, one of thirteen  children, and displayed disturbing behavior from  

  • when he was young - reportedly abusing his  siblings. By eighteen, he was a car thief,  

  • and did time in prison where he  reported being horribly abused.  

  • He was released - but what came out of  prison was something different and terrible.  

  • He would soon move to Peru and begin  targeting young girls. He claimed to  

  • have killed over a hundred when he was captured  by a local tribe. They planned to execute him,  

  • but a local missionary convinced them  to hand him over to the police instead.

  • The police released him - a terrible mistake.

  • He would return to Colombia, and then to Ecuadorand continue his hunt until he was caught in 1980  

  • while trying to abduct a girl by some market  traders. When he was taken into custody,  

  • he confessed to killing over a hundred girlsWhile the police were dubious, they were about  

  • to get horrifying proof - a flash flood revealed  a mass grave containing many of his victims.  

  • He was sentenced to prison for killing 110  girls, but was shockingly released in 1998.