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10 Creepiest Photos Of Victims Taken By Serial Killers [DISTURBING]

by Cheish Merryweather
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Many serial killers collect twisted, chilling souvenirs (often referred to as “trophies”) from the scenes of their crimes. These trophies can be anything from a lock of their victims’ hair to one of their personal belongings like a driver’s license, jewelry, or clothing. But what happens when a serial killer documents their cold-blooded murder in a photograph? Even worse, what if they wanted to capture their victim on film moments before they died?

SEE ALSO: 10 Creepy Photos Of People Unaware They Are With A Serial Killer

For some of the following victims, looking at a camera in the hands of their serial killer would have been one of the last things they ever saw. The images captured of their torment provide a chilling glimpse into the brutal reality of their deaths.

10 Robert Ben Rhoades

Photo via Pinterest

Serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades stalked the highways of Texas in his mobile torture and death chamber. Rhoades, a long-haul trucker, converted the sleeper cab of his 18-wheel semi truck into a small, makeshift sex chamber where he would torture his victims and rape them for weeks on end. Eventually, he’d kill them in the most brutal manner imaginable—a vicious cycle of “kidnap, torture, kill.”

According to the numerous biographies and documentaries about him, Rhoades was also involved in the swinger and BDSM scene in Houston during the ’80s with his wife. Eventually, Rhoades became a sadist who took his sexual fetish on the road. As he traveled throughout the United States using interstate highways, it’s believed that Rhoades’ picked up and killed more than 50 people beginning in 1975, although he was only convicted of three murders.

Rhoades’ was finally caught on April 1, 1990 (after a self-admitted 15-year murder spree) when Arizona State Trooper Mike Miller found Kathleen Vine nude, handcuffed, and screaming in the cab of his truck. But Rhoades didn’t get life in prison for that crime, he went away for the death of 14-year-old runaway Regina Kay Walters. (Pictured above in an abandoned Illinois barn.) Rhoades captured a chilling moment where Walters appears to back away from him, clearly frightened. This photo of Walters was also used as evidence that he had held her captive for a long time, based on her hair growth and the bruising on her tiny frame. In 1994, Rhoades was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Later in 2012, he pleaded guilty to the 1990 murder of a newlywed couple—Patricia Walsh, 24, and her husband Douglas Zyskowski, 28.[1]

9 Harvey Glatman

Photo credit: WordPress

Harvey “The Glamour Girl Slayer” Glatman, a.k.a. The Lonely Hearts Killer, was a truly frightening and twisted serial murderer in the late 1950s. Sometime around 1957, Glatman posted Lonely Hearts adverts in newspapers to lure his victims in addition to prowling modeling agencies in Los Angeles, eventually posing as a photographer himself. He’d then lure hopeful model back to his apartment in order to take their portraits only to tie them up, and rape them. Glatman would then strangle them and hide the bodies in the desert, all while taking pictures of his victims up until the moment before they lost their lives—each victim appearing terrified and desperate.

Glatman was finally arrested in 1958 after an attempted abduction of Lorraine Vigil who was seen trying to escape her would-be killer’s grasp. When Glatman was questioned about Vigil, he willingly confessed to his past kidnappings and murders, later revealing his “toolbox” which contained all the chilling photos of the victims.

During his sentencing, Glatman dutifully accepted his death penalty, and requested his warden to make no executive effort to save his life. Glatman was executed on September 18, 1959 in a gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison.[2]

8 Rodney Alcala

Photo credit: WNBC

Rodney Alcala was known as The Dating Game Killer because he appeared as a contestant on a popular dating show during his killing spree. He was described as a “killing machine” by investigating detectives as he would strangle his victims, revive them from unconsciousness, and then strangle them again—repeating this twisted process until they died or he got bored.

Serial Killer Rodney Alcala TV Gameshow Appearance

Alcala won his episode of The Dating Game as well as a date with bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw, but she refused to go out on the date with him because she said she found him “creepy.” Alcala is known to have killed three more women after his appearence on television.

Alcala was eventually sentenced to death for the murders of five women committed in California between 1977 and 1979, although it’s believed the real victim count could be as high as 130. This assumption was made after detectives found over 1,000 photos belonging to Alcala in his Seattle storage locker, many of the subjects in the photos appearing nude. In March 2010, the less explicit photos were released to the public in hopes of identifying the people in them,[3] the photo above is but a single example. Thanks to some of the photos going public, Alcala was charged in 2016 with the 1977 slaying of 28-year-old Christine Ruth Thornton.

7 William Richard Bradford

Photo credit: Murderpedia

William Richard Bradford was sentenced to death in California for the murders of his 15-year-old neighbor Tracey Campbell and a Los Angeles bartender at The Meet Market, Shari Miller. In 1984, Bradford met Shari Miller at the bar she worked at and told her he was a professional photographer who could help build her modeling portfolio. He took her to a remote campsite, where she posed for him. Then he strangled her to death. Bradford then sliced off her tattoos and ditched the body in an alley.

Shortly after murdering Miller, Bradford convinced Campbell, his teenage neighbor, that she he could help her become a model and took her out to the desert campsite—the same one where he lured Miller—and photographed her moments before he strangled her. Bradford left Campbell’s corpse at the campsite and covered her face with Miller’s blouse. Bradford was caught after it was discovered that he was the last person to have seen both of the victims alive.

After 18 years on death row, police discovered 54 photographs of unidentified women that belonged to Bradford, including the photos of Miller, in various modeling poses.[4] Detectives released the photos in hopes that they could identify the other potential victims. The majority of the victims in the photos remain unidentified, but since Bradford spent time in Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, Kansas, and Louisiana, the nationwide search is still ongoing. After he lost a 1988 murder trial in which he acted as his own attorney, Bradford was sentenced to death for the murders of Campbell and Miller. In his closing statement to the court, Bradford said, “Think of how many you don’t even know about.” In 2008, he died behind bars of cancer awaiting his death penalty.

6 Robert Berdella

Robert “Bob” Berdella (also known as known as The Kansas City Butcher and The Collector) was a serial killer and torturer who documented his sinister slayings in photographs. Between 1984 and 1987, he murdered at least six men in Kansas City, Missouri. After befriending his victims, sometimes offering them money or lodging, he kidnapped them and physically tormented them for days and weeks on end. He injected caulk in their ears to deafen them, shot drain cleaner into their throats to diminish their ability to speak loudly, administered electric shocks to their bodies, and blindfolded them with bags over their heads.

In the photographs (334 Polaroids and 34 photo prints) he took of his helpless victims, some of them were already dead. The bodies of his victims were then dismembered and either buried in his backyard or left in bags for the garbage crew to pick up. Berdella was caught after his victim, a 22-year-old male prostitute named Christopher Bryson, escaped on his fourth day of captivity. While Berdella was gone for the day, Bryson managed to break free from his restraints and jump from a second-floor window wearing nothing more than a dog collar around his neck. Alongside the disturbing images, police also discovered human remains at his home, including two skulls and notebooks on torture.[5]

5 Jerry Brudos

Photo via Pinterest

Serial killer and necrophile Jerry Brudos was known as The Lust Killer for his perverse attraction to his victims. He killed them in cold blood, oftentimes while wearing women’s clothes, and then kept many of his victim’s shoes as trophies. Since the age of five, Brudos had a fetish for women’s shoes, and he received psychotherapy as a teenager after he was caught stealing women’s underwear. Between 1968 and 1969, he murdered four young women and attempted to attack two others in Oregon.

Sometime in May of 1968, Brudos, dressed as a woman, abducted 18-year-old Karen Sprinker (pictured above) from a shopping mall parking lot and later photographed her in his garage just hours before her murder. He made her pose in lingerie he had bought and then strangled her before dumping the body.

In May 1969, a fisherman found the bodies of Sprinker and Linda Salee, 22, in Oregon’s Long Tom River. That discovery led to the arrest of Brudos on June 28, 1969 where he later pled guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. Sentenced to life behind bars, Brudos never showed any remorse for his crimes—instead, he put the blame on his own mother, claiming she had been abusive all his life.[6]

4 Dean Corll

Photo credit: rebrn.com

Twisted serial killer and torturer Dean Corll abducted, assaulted, and killed at least 28 teenage boys and young men from 1970 to 1973 in Houston, Texas. He was given the nickname The Candyman and The Pied Piper, as he would use candy to lure his vulnerable victims into a false sense of security. Corll was assisted by two teenage accomplices, David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr., both teenagers who would help him bury their victims in various parts of Texas.

Corll’s reign of terror came to an end on August 7, 1973 when Henley fatally shot Corll during one of his kidnappings. Corll demanded that Henley rape one of the two victims he abducted; instead Henley murdered Corll with a .22-caliber pistol in an act of self defense. While Corll died in his Pasadena bungalow that night, Brooks and Henley were sentenced to life imprisonment at their subsequent trials for their roles in The Candyman’s murder spree.

Nearly 40 years later in 2012, a photo (shown above) which is believed to show a 29th victim was uncovered by a filmmaker. The boy appears scared as looks up at the camera while wearing handcuffs. Filmmaker Josh Vargas said, “While rummaging through pictures [belonging to Corll], this Polaroid falls out. I take a look at it and, right off the bat, having studied the case and the crime scene photos and everything, I see Dean’s toolbox, and I see his implements in that toolbox, and I see this kid right here with handcuffs on his arms.” [7]

3 Anatoly Slivko

Photo credit: Bizarrepedia

Soviet serial killer Anatoly Slivko played a disturbing game with his victims in an attempt to recreate his own twisted fantasy. In his early 20s, he witnessed a traffic accident that fatally injured a young boy wearing a Young Pioneers (the Soviet equivalent to the Boy Scouts) uniform. The gruesome scene of the dead Young Pioneer sexually excited him.[8] Two years later, Slivko started running a local children’s club and took advantage of his position in the most sinister way imaginable.

In order to satisfy his fantasies, Slivko would form close friendships with local boys—usually aged between 12 and 15 (never older than 17)—and then lure them to the woods. Slivko would then trick his victims into believing an “experiment” he knew which involved a controlled hanging which would stretch the spine. He would then hang the boys from trees until they were unconscious. Once unconscious, Slivko would strip then naked, fondle them, and film them in suggestive positions.

He also took photographs of the victims as they were asphyxiated. More than 40 boys were molested by Slivko, and he was unable to revive seven of them, leading to their deaths. When police began investigating one boy’s disappearance, several of the children complained they had suffered “temporary amnesia” from the things Slivko did to them. The photos and testimonies were enough to charge Slivko, and he was executed by firing squad on September 16, 1989.

2 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer Polaroids

There are some images you should never search for online. Such is the case for the personal Polaroid collection belonging to serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer that was uncovered during his arrest. Near midnight on July 22, 1991, Milwaukee police officers discovered a man named Tracy Edwards roaming the streets with handcuffs dangling from his wrist. Edwards said a “weird dude” in a nearby apartment had put them on him, and they escorted him to address, which was the residence of Dahmer. When an officer went into the bedroom to find the key for the handcuffs, he noticed photographs of dismembered human bodies lying around.[9]

When Dahmer saw one of the two officers were holding some of the Polaroids of his victims, he fought with them in an effort to resist arrest. As Dahmer was pinned to the ground, one of the officers opened the refrigerator revealing the severed head of a man on the bottom shelf. Dahmer then said, “For what I did I should be dead.”

Dahmer was arrested, but that wasn’t the only grisly discovery in his apartment. Investigators uncovered three additional severed heads, seven skulls, blood drippings collected in a tray, two human hearts, and an entire torso. The chief medical examiner commented, “It was more like dismantling someone’s museum than an actual crime scene.”

1 The Unsolved Polaroid

Photo credit: Crime Magazine

On September 20, 1988, 19-year-old Tara Calico disappeared near her home in Belen, New Mexico, when she failed to return from her regular bike ride in Valencia County. What was believed to have been a kidnapping soon evolved into a potential serial killer case after a chilling Polaroid was uncovered.

Nine months later, a woman discovered a Polaroid in good condition 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers) away in Florida. It showed two apparent victims bound with their arms behind their backs and tape over their mouths. The young woman looked identical to Tara, and the boy was believed to be Michael Henley of Milan, New Mexico, who went missing six months before Tara when he was nine. Parents of both the victims were convinced it was them. Sadly, in 1990, it was discovered that the boy in the photograph was not Michael, as his remains were found, and his death had been a tragic accident.[10]

FBI hopes new photo will help shed light on Tara Calico case

The questions surrounding the Polaroid are still unanswered. One of the most chilling theories online is that this was a photo from another serial killer’s collection. This might very well be one of those cases that will never be solved.

Cheish Merryweather is a true crime fan and an oddities fanatic. Can either be found at house parties telling everyone Charles Manson was only 5′ 2″ or at home reading true crime magazines.
Twitter: @thecheish

Read about more visual media pertaining to crimes on 10 Infamous Crime Photos and 10 Unsolved Crimes That Were Caught On Video.

               
fact checked by Jamie Frater
Cheish Merryweather

Cheish Merryweather is a true crime fan and an oddities fanatic. Can either be found at house parties telling everyone Charles Manson was only 5ft 2" or at home reading true crime magazines. Founder of Crime Viral community since 2015.

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