10 Lesser Known Serial Killers
What is worse than serial murder? The fact that there are so many that a list such as this can be created. These are all killers who are not as well known as many of the serial murderers, but they are equally evil.
In all, there are eleven women either dead or missing that are linked to John Robinson. All of these women either vanished or were killed over a 16 year period. Robinson, a married middle-aged father of four, had a hunger for murder and money. Robinson was a sadomasochist, and met some of the women though his internet identity as the “Slavemaster.” Others he met through personal ads and other means.
His secrets were uncovered when two metal 55-gallon barrels were located on his property in rural Kansas and each barrel contained a female body. A few days later, three more female bodies were found in barrels in a storage locker rented by Robinson in Missouri. Robinson was convicted of the murders of the two women found in Kansas, and a third woman who’s body was never found. He was given the death penalty.
Unbelievably, Robinson gave the baby of one of his victims to his brother and sister-in-law to raise, telling them it was a legal adoption. He even charged his own brother $5,500 in bogus adoption fees. Robinson also cashed about $43,000 in social security and alimony checks meant for three of his victims.
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Born in 1952, Larry Eyler became known as the “Highway Killer” after some of his victims were found alongside highways. In his early 30’s Eyler started picking up men under the guise of consensual sex, with a bit of bondage thrown in. Once he got the victims to a secluded area and handcuffed them, Eyler would brutally beat the victim, and then kill them. Most of his victims were found disemboweled, with their pants pulled down.
Eyler was connected to one of his crimes by a tire track he left at one of the scenes, and was later observed dumping 8 trash bags in a dumpster. Police found the remains of a 15-year-old boy inside. Eyler was sentenced to die by lethal injection. Eyler confessed to the attorney handling his appeal that he had committed 21 murders. He offered to give information on these murders if his sentence would be commuted to life. The state refused to make a deal. Eyler died in 1994 at the age of 41 of AIDS-related complications. Two days after his death, the attorney handling his appeal went public with the details of the 21 murders Eyler claimed as his own. His confessions matched the physical evidence at the scenes, and the 21 cases of serial murder were closed.
Starting in the summer of 1929, Kurten held the city of Dusseldorf, Germany, in a grip of fear. Almost every week a fresh corpse was found, horribly slashed or bludgeoned to death, sometimes sexually assaulted. Most of the victims were young women, although men and children were not excluded. This unassuming killer sent police friendly letters explaining where undiscovered corpses lie, even going so far as to draw them a map. His atrocities continued for 15 months totaling over 30 murders. Kurten told authorities he liked to kill, “the more people the better. Yes, if I had had the means of doing so, I would have killed whole masses of people — brought about catastrophes”. He prowled for victims nightly finding sexual gratification in the slayings. The one way he achieved the ultimate satisfaction in killing was to catch the blood spurting from a victim’s wounds in his mouth and swallow it. Hence, Peter Kurten became known as the Vampire of Dusseldorf. Kurten was guillotined in Cologne, Germany on July 2, 1931. In his last moments, he said he wondered if he would hear his own blood spurting after his neck was severed.
Arthur Shawcross (born June 6, 1945) is an American serial killer, also known as The Genesee River Killer. He claimed most of his victims after being paroled early following a conviction for murdering a child. He was born in Maine, but the family moved to Watertown in New York State when he was young. Shawcross dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and when he was 19 he enlisted in the army. He fought in the Vietnam War where he was to later confess he had murdered and cannibalized two young Vietnamese girls, although there is nothing to back up this claim.
Back in civilian life, living in Watertown once more, Shawcross married four times, but his wives invariably left him after a short time because of his violent and erratic behavior. It was there, in May 1972, that he murdered 10-year-old Jake Blake. He lured the boy to some woods where he assaulted and strangled him. Four months later, he raped and killed an eight-year-old girl named Karen Ann Hill. Arrested for these crimes, Shawcross confessed to both murders but was later able to obtain a plea bargain with the prosecutors. He would plead guilty to killing just Karen Ann Hill on a charge of manslaughter, instead of first-degree murder, and the charge of killing Jake Blake would be dropped. With little evidence to go on, prosecutors went along with this, and the self-confessed double child killer was given a 25-year sentence. Shawcross served 15 years before he was released on parole in March 1987. He had difficulty settling down as he was chased out of homes and fired from workplaces as soon as neighbors and employers found out about his criminal record. Eventually he settled in Rochester, New York, and lived with a woman named Clara. Starting in March 1988, Shawcross began murdering prostitutes in the area, claiming 11 victims before his capture less than two years later. They were usually strangled and battered to death, and were often mutilated as well. After the last victim’s body was found in January 1990, the police decided not to remove it and instead keep surveillance on the area, based on a psychological profile that suggested the killer would return to the scene. Shawcross was spotted masturbating as he sat in his car on a bridge over the creek in which the body of his final victim was floating. He was arrested and eventually confessed in custody.
Bobby Joe Long, a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas, viciously raped and murdered at least nine women from May 1984 to November 1984 in Tampa, Florida. He was born October 14, 1953, in Kenova, West Virginia. While he was quite young his mother left his father and took Bobby Joe to Tampa, Florida. They moved around Tampa frequently, staying with relatives or in rented rooms. He and his mother slept in the same bed until he was 13. His mother tended to be overly protective and dramatic, but still Bobby Joe Long managed to suffer a series of severe head injuries beginning at age five, when he was knocked unconscious in a fall from a swing and had one eyelid skewered by a stick. At 6 he was thrown from his bicycle, crashing headfirst into a parked car, with injuries including loss of several teeth and a severe concussion. At age 7, he fell from a pony onto his head and remained dizzy and nauseous for several weeks. He also seemed to have gotten into countless fist fights with relatives and classmates.
Between 1980 and 1983, Long terrorized the Florida communities of Miami, Ocala and Fort Lauderdale as the “Classified Ad Rapist,” preying on housewives in mid-day attacks. Dropping by while their husbands were working, Bobby Joe Long typically produced a knife, bound his victims, raped them violently, and robbed their homes before he fled. Between May and November 1984, Bobby Joe Long strangled, stabbed and shot at least nine victims, with a tenth suspected but never charged against him. In early November, he abducted a 17-year-old girl off the street and raped her, but let her live. Two days later he raped and killed one last victim, before being arrested and charged. The girl who had been spared was able to describe him and his car to police. He was sentenced to death for raping fifty women and killing nine.
Carl Panzram was one of America ‘s most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers. Embittered by years of torture, beatings and sexual abuse both in and out of prison, Panzram evolved into a man who was meanness personified. He hated everyone, including himself. “I was so full of hate that there was no room in me for such feelings as love, pity, kindness or honor or decency,” he said, “my only regret is that I wasn’t born dead or not at all.” He lived a nomadic existence, committing crimes in Europe, Scotland , the United States, South America and once killed six men in a day in Africa and fed their bodies to hungry crocodiles. In 1920, at the age of 29, Panzram committed his first murder, killing some sailors in New York he lured away from a bar, shooting them and dumping their remains into a river. Panzram also shot a man dead for trying to rob him. He later raped and killed two small boys, beating one to death with a rock and strangling the other with a belt.
Beginning in July 1975 with his first attack, Sutcliffe killed thirteen women and left seven others for dead. The seven survivors were told how lucky they were, but with physical, emotional and psychological scars that would never completely heal, they didn’t feel very lucky. Some would even believe that they would have been better off if the man they had known for so long as The Ripper, had succeeded in killing them. Sutcliffe committed his first known assault in Keighley on the night of 5 July 1975. He attacked a 36 year old woman who was walking alone, striking her unconscious with a ball-pein hammer and slashing her stomach with a knife. Disturbed by a neighbor, he left without killing her.
Dennis Andrew Nilsen (born November 23, 1945) is a Scottish serial killer who lived in London. During a murderous spree lasting five years, he killed at least 15 men. Nilsen did not fit the standard profile of a serial killer. As a child he was repulsed by cruelty to animals. As an adult he worked to help the downtrodden at his job with the Manpower Service Commission. Even in his murders, Nilsen killed out of a grotesque form of love. He “killed for company.” Nilsen was a homosexual and experienced a series of failed relationships. In 1978, he picked up a boy in a pub and brought him back to his London apartment. Afraid the boy would leave him in the morning, Nilsen killed him in his sleep. He kept the body around his apartment for days, posing it bathing, eating dinner, watching T.V., sleeping in bed, and in other activities as though it was his boyfriend. This pattern continued, with Nilsen recruiting “companions” at local pubs, until a plumber found bones and rotten flesh in the apartment’s sewer system. Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison in 1983 after confessing to fifteen murders.
Haarmann had begun his crime rampage in September 1918, a time in which Germany was suffering economic depravation and severe food shortages. A young runaway by the name of Friedel Roth disappeared from home on the 25th, writing to his mother only to say that he would not return home until “she was nice again.” Various friends of the boy were forthcoming with information and eventually led the police to no.27 Cellerstrasse, the home of a man they claimed had seduced Friedel. A detective surprised one Fritz Haarmann in bed with a young boy and he was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for seducing the juvenile. Unbelievably, the rooms were not searched and, upon interrogation five years later, Haarmann confessed that the “murdered boy’s head was stuffed behind the stove wrapped in newspaper.”
This homicidal Broward County, Florida, ex-policeman, though convicted in 1973 of only two mutilation murders, is believed to be responsible for at least thirty more killings. A sadistic sex-beast by nature, Schaefer would lure young women off the roads with the help of his badge to rape, torture, mutilate and murder. He enjoyed tying his victims to trees and leaving them there while he went to work as a police officer. Teeth, jewelry and clothing from several missing girls and young women were found in a trunk in his mother’s attic.