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Top 10 Serial Killers Only Crime Buffs Know About
For every Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy, there are just as many maniacs, murderous mugs, and mind-meltingly malicious madmen who never get the same levels of public awareness. The more famous gory crimes, although often packaged and traded onward via novels, TV shows, and movies, horrific (and perversely glamorous, in a way), should also be considered for what they truly are—evil. So too for these lesser-known killers.
The purpose of this list is to bring to your awareness some of the heinous crimes and killers you may not be aware of, but not to glorify or entertain. These monsters should always play second-fiddle to their victims, whose names must be upheld for eternity—when not mentioned below (for the sake of word count or lack of identification), we urge you to follow the links and read or watch further. Their names and descriptions are there. The murderous scum who dispatched them should be held up as the most awful examples of man’s capacity to spread mayhem and inhumanity—they are to be scorned and belittled, mocked, and held as cautionary.
May all the victims rest in peace. And all the killers, well, use your imagination.
10 William Suff
Known as “The Riverside Prostitute Killer,” William Suff’s reign of terror plagued Riverside County, California, from 1989 to 1991. He took a job as a warehouse clerk in California in 1984, moving there from Texas. Suff was still on parole when he took this job, having served 10 years of a 70-year sentence for beating his two-month-old daughter to death back in 1974. He was described as “mild-mannered” and “quiet.” Like a lot of serial killers.
Suff mainly targeted heroin-addicted prostitutes in Riverside County and Lake Elsinore, brutally killing his victims, mutilating their bodies, and posing many of them post-mortem. He killed 12 women, primarily by strangulation or stabbing.
Sam Lyttle, the father of Suff’s first (known) victim, 28-year-old Kimberly Lyttle, spoke at Suff’s appeal hearing against his 1995 death penalty conviction back in 2014: “It took me a long time to even mention my daughter’s name without bursting into tears.”
Suff’s sentence was upheld.
9 Peter Moore
Over a three-month-period in the winter of 1995, English-born Peter Moore killed four men across North Wales. He lured them with the promise of a sexual rendezvous before mercilessly stabbing them to death. Moore had also spent the previous 20 years assaulting and raping men across the area and over the border in Merseyside, England—a total of 39 attacks.
He first tried to blame the slayings on a fictitious lover of his that he named “Jason,” seemingly after the supernatural murderer in the Friday the 13th movie franchise (chilling when you consider that he was a cinema operator). After he was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of release, Moore was asked why he had committed the crimes.
Moore remained a creepy SOB in prison, befriending Britain’s most prolific serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman (before that monster killed himself in 2004). With friends like these, who could sleep easy?
8 Rasu Khan
A common thief gets picked up by police in Tongi township, Bangladesh, in July of 2009. The man had stolen a fan from a mosque, a petty theft punishable by a fine or a moderate jail sentence. After some questioning by the local cops, the fan thief, Rasu (also referred to as “Roshu”) Khan, confessed to a far more heinous crime. He had bound, raped, and murdered garment factory worker Shahida Begum on August 18, 2008.
Not only this, but he also confessed to killing a further 10 women. Details remain scant on these crimes, but Khan was clear about his motive. He wanted to “kill 101 women and then spend the rest of his life as an ascetic in a Sylhet shrine”…after raping the ones he “found attractive.” Khan was sentenced to hang and, as of the last reports in 2015, apparently remains on death row.
7 Emile Dubois
“Robin Hood” type figures remain popular in the public consciousness.
Take Franco-Chilean serial murderer Emile Dubois. Having fled his homeland due to his impoverished conditions and France’s loss in the Franco-Prussian war, Dubois committed various crimes on his journey across the globe, eventually settling in the port city of Valparaiso, Chile.
He acted as a confidence man, earning the trust of wealthy businessmen before robbing and killing them. Finally, Dubois tried to stab a 70-year-old English dentist named Charles Davies in 1905. Dubois thought Davies wouldn’t be at his apartment and planned to ransack the home, but Davies was home. After a violent scuffle, Dubois fled, leaving Davies bloodied and dazed but conscious enough to raise the alarm.
Dubois was captured and arrested. At his home, police found a diary listing all his victims, stolen booty, and burglary tools. In 1907, he was executed by firing squad. Many among the Chilean literati were won over by Dubois’s charms (projecting their own gripes with society). So much so, in fact, that his grave in Valparaiso is now a shrine.
6 Ramadan Abdel Rehim Mansour aka “al-Tourbini”
Ramadan Mansour, known by his sobriquet “al-Tourbini,” looks like a scary monster. He was, after all, the leader of an Egyptian street gang.
He had a penchant for brutally raping and murdering young boys. Mansour did this as a perk of his high position on the streets of Cairo: one boy, 12-year-old Ahmed Nagui, reported Mansour to police when the monster tried to sexually assault him. After the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence, Mansour punished the boy by raping him. And killing him. Mansour did this to 31 more children.
His nickname roughly means “express train,” the location of most of his crimes. Before he was hanged in 2010 for his laundry list of atrocities, many Egyptian people engaged in a sick form of hero worship for the man, echoing the strange reaction many Japanese people had for cannibal killer Issei Sagawa when he was deported back to his homeland. Restauranteurs, shop owners, and tuk-tuk drivers in his hometown of Tanta used the al-Tourbini name for their products and properties.
5 The North Kanto Kidnapper
Japan is well-known for running like clockwork—from bullet trains to hyper-modern technological devices that make the “Land of the Rising Sun” seem more like the “Land of the Not-Too-Distant Future.”
Their policing and legal systems suck, however.
From 1979 to 1996, a series of heart-wrenching abductions and murders occurred. The first was that of Maya Fukushima. The five-year-old girl went missing from a shrine near her house in Ashikaga. Her body was found stripped and bundled in a rucksack next to the Watarase River. Then came the 1984 slaying of Yumi Hasebe, who went missing from a pachinko parlor. The five-year-old’s body was found two years later, dumped a mere mile away from her home.
In 1987, eight-year-old Tomoko Oosawa went missing after leaving her house in Osa to go play. Her body was found nearly a year later by the Tone River. Three years later, in 1990, Japan saw the murder of Mami Matsuda. The four-year-old was snatched from a pachinko parlor, and her body was dumped by the Watarase River (similar to the first murder above). Finally, in 1996, 4-year-old Yukari Yokoyama went missing, also from a pachinko parlor. She has never been found.
The police bungled the investigations. In 1991, a man named Toshikazu Sugaya was convicted of the murder of Mami Matsuda based on DNA evidence. An investigative journalist later discovered that the DNA testing method was essentially bunk. In 2009, Sugaya was released after seventeen years behind bars. When Mami Matsuda’s mother requested the return of her daughter’s belongings after police said they were no longer investigating, they refused to return one item—Mami’s underwear. The clothing had the murderer’s semen on it—the only item with crucial DNA evidence, evidence that could lead to uncovering the true killer. But then again, the cops would look like fools if the bereaved family took matters into their own hands. Justice cannot be served if those tasked to protect and serve refuse to seek it.
4 The Ratcliff Highway Murders
London, England: 1811
The first attack was leveled against the Marr family in the seedy docklands of London. The family (Timothy, his wife Celia, their baby Timothy, apprentice James Gowan and a maid named Margaret Jewell) lived above their draper’s shop. At around midnight of December 7, the assailant gained entry to the building and slaughtered all who were inside. He used a shipwright’s hammer.
The second attack fell 12 days later at the King’s Arms Tavern at 81 New Gravel Lane. A lodger at the inn, Joh Turner, had escaped the building crying “Murder!” and alerting the nearby constables and a crowd of locals. Inside the building were the bodies of the proprietors, John and Elizabeth Williamson, and their maid Bridget Harrington. John’s head had been crushed using an iron crowbar, and his throat had been slit. His hand was also nearly severed. Both Elizabeth and Bridget were discovered in the parlor, their skulls caved in and their throats cut. Elizabeth was cut so deeply; she was nearly decapitated.
The primary suspect was one John Williams, a sailor who lodged at a nearby inn. The circumstantial evidence all pointed to his having committed the murders—he had been accused of stealing a fellow seaman’s maul hammer (corroborated by the innkeeper…for a reward that corresponded to the debt that had landed him in prison). Also, Williams had torn and bloodstained shirts washed by a local laundress around the aftermath the first murders and Turner attested to having seen him in the establishment during opening hours (but not during the time of the killings or afterward). Williams’s subsequent suicide while awaiting trial was taken by the powers-that-be as a further affirmation of his guilt.
It does, however, seem that all this “evidence” was coerced or gained by bribery. This strange case is overshadowed by a slightly more famous serial slaying in Whitechapel, London, 70 years later. You know who; the one “From Hell.”
3 Adolf Seefeldt aka “The Sandman”
Adolf isn’t a very popular name anymore. One man possessed of that unfortunate name was Adolf Seefeldt. He was evil too.
Seefeldt lured 12 (or more) young boys onto pine preservations between 1933 and 1935, abused them (perhaps while in a hypnotic state), and then killed them. It is still a matter of conjecture as to exactly how they died—he either poisoned them with some homemade concoction that was untraceable at the time or simply left the children in a hypnotic trance to die from exposure. Either way, they beheaded Adolf after he was uncovered as the perpetrator.
The most chilling mental image of these crimes? Every victim was dressed in a sailor suit, the quintessential early 20th-century garb of boyhood. May he rot in hell with his namesake.
2 The Frankford Slasher
From 1985 to 1990, North Philadelphia was haunted by a brutal serial slayer. Dubbed the “Frankford Slasher,” this elusive monster raped and stabbed 8 or 9 female victims.
Why the uncertainty of “8 or 9”?
Well, a man named Leonard Christopher was arrested and sent to prison for the murder of Carol Dowd, 46, in 1990. While he was imprisoned, the slasher struck again. It could be that Dowd was not a victim of the slasher or that Christopher was indeed the killer and the final victim, 30-year-old Michelle Dehner, was the subject of a copycat killer. All we know is that whoever killed the remaining seven victims (Helen Patent, 52, Anna Carroll, 68, Suzanna Olszef, 64, Jeanne Durkin, 28, Catherine M. Jones, 29, Margaret Vaughan, 66 and Theresa Sciortino, 30), be it Leonard Christopher or another killer, we still cannot truly say we know who the Frankford Slasher was.
1 Juan Fernando Hermosa
Back in the early 1990s, the city of Quito, Ecuador, was being menaced by a homicidal gang. They were dubbed “The Terror Gang”—how awful. But major cities suffering under the predations of organized street gangs are, unfortunately, worldwide and commonplace.
However, what is more disturbing is that this was a gang of children.
All aged between 15 and 16 years old, the gang was led by Juan Hermosa. He killed a total of 22 people in a four-month period. He killed some during armed robberies or carjackings with his gang, some because he didn’t like the victim, and some because he just wanted to—all with a 9mm pistol. While incarcerated, Hermosa convinced his girlfriend to smuggle a handgun into the juvenile detention center to aid in his escape attempt. He murdered a guard during his successful flight.
He was returned to serve the rest of his whopping four-year sentence, getting out around the time of his twentieth birthday. Hermosa’s freedom was short-lived, however. His body was discovered beaten, mutilated, and full of bullets near the Aguarico River in Ecuador’s north-eastern Sucumbíos province.