WEB site is brought to you by Group 5 of Professor Sheilds' Survey of Criminology
class at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. We hope to provide you
with information that you might not have had before but are glad that you
do now! Some of what you will read in this WEB site was obtained
from various other sites. A good portion of the statistics and facts
we present here were found in the CD ROM Software Program MIND OF A KILLER
by Kozel Multimedia, Inc. (For more about MIND OF A KILLER and to
purchase a copy of the CD-ROM, just go to www.serialhomicide.com/cases.htm)
We have taken every possible precaution to assure that the information
we are providing is accurate. If anyone should find any discrepancies,
please let us know and
we will do our best to correct our mistake as soon as possible. Our
hope is to give you, the reader, a more in depth look at Serial
PROFILE OF A SERIAL KILLER
Most are of good
intelligence, though few continue their education past High School or vocational
Middle to lower
weight, and appearance
Can seem calm
and reasonable, polite and friendly
to the common stereotype of the "crazed killer"
Majority are Caucasian
A small fraction
About 10% have
been African American though the numbers are rising
2-3% are Latino,
Asian, and Native American
Over 1/3 of all
Serial Murders are committed by teams; most have 2 offenders, some as many
CATEGORIES AND TYPOLOGIES
Based on information gathered at crime scenes,
the FBI is able to categorize the killer as one of
two types: 1) Organized - those who carefully
plan or execute their murders.
2) Disorganized - those who kill
are based on psychology, motive, or behavior. One typology
into four "types".
- those who respond to voices or visions.
- those who see themselves as ridding society of certain groups, such as
or the elderly.
- those who derive some form of pleasure -- particularly sexual -- from
Power or control
oriented - those whose primary source of pleasure is not sexual,
but the ability
to control and exert power over a helpless victim. Angelo
Buono- "The Hillside Strangler"
Bianchi-"The Hillside Strangler"
The FBI estimates
the number of offenders in any given year to be 35; though it may be as
high as 100 -- or even more!
The number of
identified Serial Killers has surged since the late 1960's.
There have been
a greater number of cases in that time period than in nearly two centuries
of American history prior.
are often active for a period of a year or more.
Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560 to George and Anna Bathory, a powerful
Protestant family in Transylvania. She was known as the Hungarian
or blood countess. Some also referred to her as a vampire.
She spent most of her life residing in what is now the Slovakian Republic.
During her childhood, Elizabeth was often seized by uncontrollable fits
of rage and unpredictability.
In 1571, her cousin Stephen became king of Transylvania and later obtained
the throne of Poland assuring Elizabeth a powerful position. In 1575,
at the age of 15, Elizabeth
Bathory married a 26 year old soldier named Count Ferenc Nadasdy.
To him Elizabeth bore four children. Nadasdy was frequently away
from home leaving many responsibilities for Elizabeth to attend to.
This is the point at which Elizabeth began to harshly discipline the household
staff and more often than not the young girls as well.
It was not uncommon in this time period to discipline servants, but Elizabeth's
ways bordered on inhumane. As time passed, she would find even the
smallest things to be wrong just for an excuse to punish.
Vain and extremely afraid of getting old, Elizabeth took to bathing herself
in the blood of the young victimized girls so as to absorb their youth
into her pores.
In 1604 Elizabeth's husband died after 25 years of marriage. She
now began spending the majority of her time at a manor house in Cachtice.
In the summer of 1610, an initial inquiry began and on December 29, 1610
Elizabeth was arrested. During her trial a register of the names
of her 650 victims was found in her living quarters. The countess
was spared the fate of execution with the help of her cousin and
was instead sentenced to solitary confinement in the Castle of Cachtice.
The room in which she was confined had no windows and a locked door through
which Elizabeth was never to pass under any circumstances.
Elizabeth Bathory died four years later at the age of 54 on August 21,
1614. Her body was found face down on the floor.
JOHN WAYNE GACY
John Gacy Sr. was an alcoholic tyrant in his home, a crude exaggeration
of the famous "Archie Bunker" character but with every trace of humor wiped
away. He took no pains to hide his disappointment with the son who
bore his name. Inflicting brutal beatings and hurling him across
a room were the least offenses. In more pacific moments he was satisfied
to damn John, Jr. as a "sissy" who was "dumb and stupid" and pretty much
useless in the scheme of things. In time the "sissy" portion of his
groundless accusations would appear to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Chicago born in March of 1942, Gacy grew up doubting his own masculinity
and took refuge from sports and other "manly" activities through precocious
hypochondria. Struck on the head by a swing at age eleven, he suffered
periodic blackouts for the next five years until their cause -- a blood
clot on his brain -- was finally dissolved with medication. Deprived
of one affliction, he developed -- or imagined -- another, settling on
the symptoms of a heart ailment that seemed to come and go depending on
After graduation from business school, Gacy became a shoe salesman though
he had his sights set on better things. He married a coworker whose
parents owned a fried chicken restaurant in Waterloo, Iowa and stepped
into a ready-made role as the restaurant's manager. He was a whiz
kid on the job, belying everything his father had to say about his intellect
and drive. He ascended to a post of admiration and respect among
the local Jaycees, so his wife and friends were absolutely unprepared for
John's arrest in May of 1968 on charges of coercing a young employee into
homosexual acts spanning a period of months. Those accusations were
still pending when Gacy hired a teenage thug to beat the prosecution's
witness. More charges were now filed. Striking a bargain, Gacy
pled guilty to sodomy and the other felony counts were dismissed. Sentenced
to ten years in prison, he was released in eighteen months for proving
to be a "model prisoner."
With the state's
permission, Gacy moved back to Chicago where he established himself as
a successful building contractor. Divorced while in prison, he soon
remarried and settled in a middle-class neighborhood where he was popular
with his neighbors and was often the host of elaborate holiday theme parties.
On the side he was active in Democratic politics -- once posing for photos
with the wife of President Jimmy Carter --
-- and as
"Pogo the Clown", performing in full makeup at children's parties and charity
Few of his new acquaintances knew anything about
the Iowa arrest, and those who heard a rumor were assured that John had
merely done some time for "dealing in a little porn."
On February 12, 1971, Gacy
was charged with disorderly conduct in Chicago on the complaint of a boy
he attempted to rape. The accuser, a known homosexual, failed to
appear in court for Gacy's hearing and the charges were dismissed.
Parole officers in Iowa were never notified of the arrest or accusations
and Gacy was formally discharged from parole on October 18, 1971.
By his own estimate, the first
murder occurred less than three months later, on January 3, 1972.
The victim, picked up at a bus terminal, remains unidentified but his death
was typical of Gacy's future approach. In searching for prey, Gacy
sometimes fell back on young friends and employees, but more often than
not he would troll the streets of Chicago for hustlers and runaways.
Like the Hillside Strangler, he would sometimes flash a badge and gun,
"arresting" his intended victim. Others were invited to the Gacy
home for drinks or a game of pool. John would show them "tricks"
with "magic handcuffs", later hauling out the dildo and garrote.
When he was finished, John would do the "rope trick" -- strangulation --
and his victims would then be buried in a crawl space underneath the house.
In later years, as he ran out of space downstairs, he started dumping bodies
in a nearby river.
Planting corpses in the crawl
space had its drawbacks, notably a rank, pervasive odor that the killer
blamed on "sewer problems." Gacy's second wife was also in the way,
her presence limiting his playtime to occasions when she left the house
or traveled out of town. Their marriage fell apart in 1976 and Gacy
was then able to accelerate his program of annihilation. Between
April 6 and June 13, 1976, at least five boys were slaughtered at Gacy's
home and there seemed to be no end in site. On October 25 of that
year he killed two victims at once, dumping their bodies into a common
grave. As time went on his targets ranged in age from nine to twenty
and covered the social spectrum from middle-class teens to jailbirds and
Not all of Gacy's victims
died. In December of 1977, Robert Donnelly was abducted at gunpoint,
tortured and sodomized with a dildo in Gacy's house of horror, then released.
Three months later, 27-year-old Jeffrey Rignall was having a drink at Gacy's
home when he was chloroformed and fastened to "the rack", a homemade torture
device similar to one used by Dean Corll in Houston. Gacy's spent
several hours raping and whipping Rignall, applying the chloroform with
such frequency that Rignall's liver suffered permanent damage. Regaining
consciousness beside a lake in Lincoln Park, Rignall called police at once
but it was mid-July before they got around to charging Gacy with a misdemeanor.
The case was still dragging on five months later, when Gacy was picked
up on charges of multiple murder.
On December 12, 1978, Robert
Piest disappeared from his job at Chicago pharmacy. Gacy's construcion
firm had recently remodeled the store and Piest had been offered a job
with the crew and informed coworkers of his intention to meet "a contractor"
on the night of his diappearance. Police dropped by to question Gacy
at his home and they immediately recognized the odor emanating from his
crawlspace. Before they finished digging, Gacy's lot would yield
28 bodies with five more recovered from rivers nearby. Of the 33
victims, nine would remain forever unidentified.
In custody, Gacy tried to
blame his murderous activities on "Jack", an alter-ego (and coincidentally,
the alias he used when posing as a cop.) Psychiatrists dismissed
the ruse, and the defendant was convicted on all counts at his 1980 murder
trial. Life sentences were handed down on 21 counts of murder, covering
deaths that occurred before June 21, 1977, when Illinois reinstated capital
punishment. In the case of twelve victims murdered between July 1977
and December 1978, Gacy was sentenced to die. He was executed in
South Carolina's electric chair on May 10, 1994 -- the 26th anniversary
of his first arrest for sexually assaulting an Iowa boy in 1968.
OF JOHN WAYNE GACY
Billy Carroll, Jr
Frank Wayne "Dale" Landingin
Who could he be? Thatís
the question that has baffled the police and investigators for over 100
years, but with more evidence coming forth, maybe someday we will know
who Jack the Ripper could be. Until then lets look at what we have in the
way of victims, method of murder, evidence, and suspects. Maybe we can
get you to be a ripper investigator along with hundreds of other people.
It is most commonly
accepted that Jack killed and mutilated five women starting with Mary Ann
Nicoles on August 31 1888, however there was
on prior killing that has been place in the group, Martha Tabram (August
7, 1888). Then came the most publicized of Jackís victims. Annie Chapman
was killed on September 8, 1888, and was the first victim to make the paper
and to be tied into a serial killer. The last three that are in the generally
accepted group of jackís victims and the dates of their murders are; Elizabeth
stride (Sept. 30, 1888), Catherine Eddowes (Sept. 30, 1888), and Mary Jane
Kelly (Nov. 9, 1888). However these may not be the only murders that Jack
committed, and there is a very controversial list of up to twelve more
people starting as early as December 26,1887 and lasting as long as April
Mary Ann Nicols
August 31, 1888
September 8, 1888
September 30, 1888
Mary Jane Kelly
September 30, 1888
November 9, 1888
The old theory of the way
Jack attacked and killed his victims was that he came at them from behind,
although a new second theory based on notes of body placement and post
mortem examinations has arisen. This second theory basically says that
the victims were all prostitutes making a sale, and were drunk or believed
to have been drunk at the time of their attack. While the victims had their
hands busy lifted there skirts Jack would grab them by the throat and strangle
them to death or unconsusness. Then he would lay them to the ground with
their heads to their right side, and slash their neck. Jack would
stayed to the left of his victims throughout the attack to avoid the blood.
After this then Jack would disembowel them, removing sex organs or whole
organ parts (like a kidney) with out damaging any other organs. So he had
to be skilled with a knife or maybe Jack was a surgeon.
and evidence gathering over 100 years ago was like the evidence at the
O. J. trial almost non existing. Remember this
was a time before scientific investigation, and to catch a criminal you
had to see them doing it, or luck into a confession. However no one
was ever convicted of the crimes. There were some letters written
to the police that fell into the hands of George Sims, a Victorian reporter
that was thought to be the ripper at one time. The letters did give some
clues toward naming who is now thought to be the real Jack the Ripper.
These letters fell into the hands of two investigators Stewart Evens and
Evens and Gainey discovered
a homeopathic physician from the United States by the name of Francis Tumblety
not only fit the profile but was in England at the time of the Ripperís
murders. Tumblety was also a suspect at that time, but was arrested for
other sex crimes. Then he jumped bail, fled to France, and onto the United
States where he died in 1903 at the age of 70. Was this Jack the Ripper?
Due to the time frame it happened, and poor police communications, and
all those tall tales about him, can anyone ever be sure, maybe it was Prince
Albert Victor the grandson of Queen Victoria, or the queens doctor (Dr.
Thomas Neil Cream), or one of eighteen subjects. Itís one of those misteries
we may never now about for sure.
Dr. Thomas Neil Cream
Prince Albert Victor
INFORMATION ON SERIAL KILLERS CHECK OUT THESE WEB SITES
The Jack the Ripper