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10 Deadliest Serial Killer Couples By Kill Count
Serial killers are sinister human beings who act out their most twisted desires at the expense of an innocent victim’s life. Typically, they choose to kill alone—but what happens when two serial killers not only meet—but also fall madly in love with each other?
Forensic psychologist Tom Powell, who spent more than a decade working for the Department of Corrections in Vermont, told NBC, “They see this as a viable way to strike back at the world. Through either enactment of fantasies in the privacy of their own home or use of pornography that might be on point to what their deviant interests might be.”
These following lethal lovers all decided to strike back at the world in the deadliest way possible.
10 Ian Brady and Myra Hindley—5 Victims
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley – the ‘Moors Murderers’ – committed some of the most notorious crimes of the last century in England. In 1961, Hindley met Brady – who read Nietzsche, Mein Kampf, and other books on Nazi atrocities – at the chemical plant where they both worked. Hindley thought she’d found a kindred spirit.
Later, when Brady revealed his obsession with committing the ‘perfect murder’, Hindley was quick to comply. In 1963, they murdered their first victim, 16-year-old Pauline Reade, who was a school friend of Hindley’s sister. Hindley later claimed that she only lured the girl to Saddleworth Moor, waiting in her van while Brady killed the girl before the pair buried her.
They murdered four more victims and Hindley delighted in carrying around a cord that she used to strangle one victim and playing with it in front of people. Another deeply disturbing fact about their crimes is the couple made a tape recording of a victim pleading for her life.
With the death penalty abolished in England while Brady and Hindley were in custody, Hindley lived out the rest of her life in prison, dying of pneumonia in 2002. Brady followed her to the grave in 2017.
9 Gwendolyn Graham and Catherine May Wood: 5 Victims
Gwendolyn Graham and Catherine May Wood from Grand Rapids, Michigan, both worked as nurses at Alpine Manor when they fell for each other and began to play a dangerous game. In 1987, they began a twisted thrill-seeking game of suffocating elderly patients and attempted to spell out the name M.U.R.D.E.R using the first names of their victims. They only got to E instead—spelling ‘MURDE’—before their evil crimes came to an end.
Wood eventually confessed the murders to her ex-husband after Graham was transferred to another hospital and Wood was worried the patients who were children would be harmed. A Michigan Attorney General stated, “The vicious nature of the crimes, the helplessness of the victims, the wilful targeting of those victims because of that helplessness, the abuse of the caretaker relationship, the pure malice evidenced by taking souvenirs of the victims, and the sheer number of victims… Combined, these factors reveal a truly exceptional series of heinous crimes and a perpetrator more depraved than civilized society can bear.”
The pair were arrested; Wood received 20 years behind bars and Graham landed life in prison.
8 Alton Coleman and Debra Brown—8 Victims
In 1984, Alton Coleman and Debra Brown went on a two-year-long killing spree, between six different states, that left eight people dead. Their relationship was a master and slave scenario with Coleman ruling over Brown.
The first three victims were aged between 7 and 9 years old before they moved on to an older couple who they attacked with a lead pipe. All of their victims were African-American who they befriended before killing them in cold blood. They were finally caught when one victim managed to survive a brutal attack and testify in court. As their sinister crimes had been carried out in so many different states, the prosecution decided to leave their trial in Ohio where the worst punishment possible was the death penalty.
Coleman was executed in 2002 and Brown’s sentence was reduced to life in prison. The mother of one victim said of Brown’s sentencing “(She) was right there with (Coleman), committing the same crimes. She bears the same responsibility for them, and she should share his punishment.”
7Ray and Faye Copeland—5—12 Victims
Ray and Faye Copeland killed five drifters at their Missouri farm during the 1980s. When they were convicted of the murders, Ray was 76-years-old and Faye was 69-years-old, which made them the oldest couple in America to receive the death penalty.
Ray was well-known for his fraudulent schemes, he hired the drifters to buy cattle with fake checks. Once the cattle had been bought, Ray would re-sell the livestock at a much higher price and then kill off the drifter. They were finally caught when one drifter spotted human remains at the farm and he reported this to the police.
Faye’s lawyers claimed that she had nothing to do with the murders and she was psychologically abused by her husband. She said, “I begged (Ray) time and time again to please stay out of trouble. We had our home and everything paid for. So why would he turn around and mess all that up just like he has?” That was until they discovered she had made a quilt out of the clothing belonging to the dead men. They both died behind bars.
6 Carol M. Bundy and Doug Clark—7 Victims
Carol M. Bundy and Doug Clark were also known as ‘The Sunset Strip Killers’ following their sexually charged killing spree around the Los Angeles area in the 1980s. Bundy first met Clark in a bar and he introduced himself as the “king of one-night stands.” They soon started living together after discovering they both shared dark sexual desires.
Clark murdered prostitutes and sickeningly brought the head of one of his victims back home to Bundy as a twisted trophy. The pair kept the head in the fridge and used it for their own sickening sex games. He became jealous when Bundy began confessing their crimes to a country singer named Jack Murray who she had taken a liking to. Clark then urged Bundy to murder her fling and she did just that; luring him to a van with the promise of sex before shooting and decapitating him.
Bundy finally broke down and confessed to her colleagues about the killing spree. She later told the police it was “a situation that started out as a fantasy (and) just got badly out of control.” They both received the death penalty.
5 Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate—11 Victims
In the late 1950s, 19-year-old Charles Starkweather and 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate went on a two-month killing spree that shocked the nation. They murdered eleven people in the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The victims were all completely at random—of different ages, gender, social standing, and complete strangers which added to the public’s fear of the shooting spree at the time.
They were finally caught when motorists witnessed a heated argument between the two on the side of a busy road. When the Deputy Sheriff approached the couple, Fugate ran towards him screaming, “He’s going to kill me! He’s crazy! He just killed a man!” The news of their arrest caused a media frenzy. Starkweather later told the police, “I always wanted to be a criminal but not this big a one.”
In 1959, Starkweather was executed aged just 20-years-old and Fugate now lives under a new name in Michigan. The crimes later inspired the film Natural Born Killers.
4 Fred and Rosemary West—12 Victims
Fred and Rose West met at a caravan park when she was around 16-years-old. Rose worked as a prostitute, at her husband’s insistence, and often while he watched. She regularly fell pregnant by both her husband and her customers, giving birth to eight children in total, as well as looking after Fred’s daughter and stepdaughter from previous marriages.
In 1973, the pair were fined for the indecent assault of beauty queen Caroline Roberts, who was abducted and raped before escaping their house. Soon the couple realized that if they wished to continue their crimes, their victims should not be allowed to tell the tale.
Their usual tactic was to offer a woman on the street a lift home, take her back to their house and murder her. Later, the body would be buried in a cellar or back garden. Rose’s gender was crucial in allowing the pair to commit their crimes; women traveling alone at night were more likely to accept a lift from a couple than from a single male driver.
Finally, in 1995, they were convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Fred killed himself while in custody pending his trial and Rose will live out the rest of her days behind bars.
3 Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck – 20+ Victims
Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck became known as ‘The Lonely Hearts Killers’ after luring their unsuspecting victims through lonely hearts ads in the late 1940s. It is believed during their murder spree they killed as many as twenty women.
Fernandez enjoyed the way Beck loved him unconditionally, she even left her own children behind so she could be with him. When they lured the girls back to their home, she posed as Fernandez’s sister, and the victims felt safe knowing there was another woman in the house, so they agreed to stay the night. They buried the bodies in the basement, but when the families of victims became concerned they were missing, the police managed to tie the disappearances to the couple.
They both received the death penalty and were sent to the electric chair. Before their deaths Fernandez cried out, “I wanna shout it out; I love Martha! What do the public know about love?” Beck also confessed her love as she said, “My story is a love story. But only those tortured by love can know what I mean. I am not unfeeling, stupid or moronic. I am a woman who had a great love and always will have it. Imprisonment in the Death House has only strengthened my feeling for Raymond.”
2 Inessa Tarverdiyeva and Roman Podkopaev—30+ Victims
Married Russian couple Inessa Tarverdiyeva and Roman Podkopaev murdered at least 30 people during their six-year reign of terror. Shockingly, Inessa’s two daughters from her first marriage, 25-year-old Viktoria Tarverdiyeva and 13-year-old daughter Anastasiya, also took part in all the crimes.
Together they carried out robberies, targeting homes of rich families, as a daily job. In 2009, the family murdered a paratrooper, Dmitry Chudakov, his wife Irina, and their two children—killing with a semi-automatic rifle. All the Tarverdiyeva family got away with was a camera, laptop, and hairdryer. Other victims included Inessa’s own Goddaughters. She knew their father enjoying hunting and had a collection of guns in the house. The family tortured the two teenage girls and gouged their eyes out before stealing the weapons.
Eventually, they were captured by the police. The father died during the shootout with police but Inessa and her daughters are currently serving their sentences in prison. Speaking of the murder spree, the matriarch of the family said, “It’s just like another day at the office.”
1 Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole—6—100+ Victims
Companions and lovers Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole were self-confessed serial killers. Lucas had a troubled childhood that was full of violence; from an early age, his mother forced him into cross-dressing that caused him to be rejected by all of his peers. Even more disturbingly, his mother was a working prostitute and would force Lucas to watch her with clients. Toole also grew up in a household of abuse and when the pair met in a soup kitchen they quickly became kindred spirits—with a deadly twist.
Toole was swayed towards murder and joined Lucas as an accomplice during his killing sprees. Lucas’ first kill was strangling to death 17-year-old Laura Burnsley, who had refused his sexual advances. Toole later confessed to joining Lucas in 108 murders and Lucas confessed to more than 360 murders—the actual victim count is still unknown.
Toole died behind bars of cirrhosis in 1996. Lucas was sentenced to death row, but in 2001, he was found dead in prison from heart failure aged 64-years-old. His grave in Texas was left unmarked due to threats of vandalism.
For more lists like this, check out 10 ‘Real’ Serial Killers Who Never Existed, and 10 Craziest Privileges Serial Killers Enjoyed In Prison