28 Serial Killer Facts That True Crime Fans Find The Most Shocking

Redditor u/zimmy9921 posed a question: "What are some serial killer facts/facts about serial killers that you find extremely interesting?" The answers are, as expected, shocking and terrifying, but some are also amusing. Get ready for a spine-tingling ride.

A shadowy figure holds a large knife and raises it.
Universal Pictures

1."In the John Wayne Gacy case, there were so many bodies crammed underneath the house that the bodies melted together, and the bones had to be sorted for more than two years to put together the full skeletons."

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2."Pee Wee Gaskins, the most prolific serial killer in South Carolina, drove around in a hearse with a bumper sticker that read I haul dead people. He told people that he needed it to take the bodies of people he killed to his private cemetery."


3."Jeffrey Dahmer gave the people in his apartment building sandwiches that could've possibly been made from his victims’ flesh."

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4."Jeffrey Dahmer had so many bodies in his apartment that he ran out of room and stored one victim in his bathtub. He proceeded to shower over him everyday for a month! Think about that...straddling over a rotten corpse to get fresh and clean for the day."

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5."I have a family member who briefly dated John Edward Robinson. She almost but not quite fit the profile of his victims. One time when he picked her up, her adult son was visiting the house, met him, and shook his hand. He ghosted her after that."

"Also, my mom was living in a mobile home park in Wichita during BTK’s killing spree. My dad was deployed overseas. They had a big German Shepherd who she would put outside for a little bit every night before going to sleep, and she said for a while she had to bring him in early because he would just go crazy barking, growling, and snarling every night. Shortly after he stopped doing that, there was a BTK murder not too far from the mobile home park. Scary stuff." —u/napswithdogs

6."The Hillside Stranglers picked up a young woman to murder. Then they discovered that her father was Peter Lorre, a legendary Hollywood character actor. They let her go because they feared that killing a celebrity's daughter would bring too much attention down."

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7."I am surprised we don't hear more about Robert Hansen in popular culture. He would kidnap women and turn them loose in the Alaskan wilderness, where he would then hunt them down like animals and kill them. He didn't have the highest number of victims, but his method of hunting them for sport is absolutely insane."

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8."Mack Ray Edwards, he was a serial killer who worked for Cal Trans. He'd kill his victims and then bury the bodies in places he would later help build the highways over. Not all his victims have been found, and many are very likely still under some of the California highways you may have driven over countless times."


9."How Jack the Ripper always cut the throats of his victims in a way that stops blood from getting on his clothes."

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10."Aside from the killing, BTK is such a self-serving, pompous piece of shit. He actually makes people fill out an application to write him in prison."

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11."Not necessarily the killer himself, but the use of DNA/ancestry websites to identify the Chameleon Killer and the Golden State Killer is fascinating. In both cases, they uploaded the killer's DNA as a fake profile to find family matches. Then they traced the family history from there and narrowed down the suspects by location, date, etc. Once they find a suspect, they test that person's DNA against the initial sample to confirm a match. Both cases have great podcasts where they go into detail about the process."


12."Ted Bundy worked at a suicide hotline center with author Ann Rule."


13."The Golden State Killer, known at the time as the East Area Rapist, would often break into the homes of couples, making the woman tie up the man. He would stack dishes on the back of the man and threaten that if he heard the dishes fall, he would kill everyone in the house. Then he would assault the woman and ransack the house for hours."


"At a community meeting about the rapist, a macho man stood up and went on a rant about how a real man would never let such a thing happen to him or his wife. The rapist proceeded to attack that man and his wife soon after, meaning he was attending the community meeting about himself." —u/PM-ME-A-SPICY-MEME

14."Jeffrey Dahmer was neglected by his parents in childhood and hadn't even seen his mother for 10 years prior to incarceration. At sentencing, his father and stepmother asked for 10 minutes to say goodbye and hug. His father often visited him in prison, and he had weekly phone calls with his mother. Despite the heinous crimes, they seemed to have some kind of unconditional love."


15."Issei Sagawa. A cannibal who was caught in France and pronounced insane; however, after going to a mental asylum in Japan, they declared him as being sane, and he checked out straight after. He’s still free to this day if I remember correctly, and in interviews has stated that he may kill and eat human flesh again. While I was watching the interviews, I felt beyond unsettled. Really doesn’t make me feel better that he’s still out there."

Paley Center for Media / Via giphy.com


16."Brazilian serial killer 'little Petey' murdered over 40 people in prison. He began by murdering the gang that killed his girlfriend and then stabbing his father, who was in prison for killing his mother, during a visit. He was well liked because he was considered a sort of vigilante avenger, despite killing indiscriminately within prison (no difference between drug possession and a murderer). Because of Brazil's odd sentencing laws, he could only serve a maximum of 30 years, and is currently a YouTuber and ranch hand (I think)."

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17."Mark Brandon Read (aka chopper) was a renowned killer in Australia. However, he only targeted drug dealers and people who made attempts on his life. When he got old, he was told he had liver cancer and had only a few weeks to live. He was asked by the television show 60 Minutes Australia if he wanted one last interview before he died. He accepted. When asked about all the murders, which he previously claimed as self-defense, not him or he covered them up, he just confessed to all of them, claiming they were never self-defense, and he had committed the ones he previously denied."


18."Jeffrey Dahmer didn't eat people with tattoos because he said the ink made the flesh taste weird. Be safe, get inked."

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19."In 1985, the Night Stalker was terrorizing LA. I was a young Marine there, and a friend asked if me and another guy would come stay the night since her parents had to go out of town. I thought it was silly; he hadn't hit Orange County, but anything to get out of the barracks. That night he hit just a few houses down in Mission Viejo. Some kid heard him and alerted his dad, who called the cops. That was the first lead they got. It has always bugged me that I didn't take it seriously at all, and it happened that close. I think we were pretty drunk that night. It was pretty sobering."


20."Dennis Rader, aka BTK (Bind Torture Kill) started communicating with police after years of silence in like 2004. He had gone decades without being caught and once again started sending taunting letters and items to them. He asked them if he could be traced if he sent them his writings on a floppy disc, and they assured him through a communication in a newspaper that no, they couldn't trace him. He sent them a floppy disc, and they found metadata linking to his church. He was arrested shortly thereafter. He was hurt that they would lie to him because he thought they had developed a rapport."

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21."Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer, once put a victim's children in the bathroom with toys while he tied up their mother and killed her. Rader killed the young woman by putting a plastic bag over her head and tying a ligature around her neck. Her young children cried and screamed, repeatedly trying to escape from the bathroom to help their mother. By the time one of Relford's children managed to force the bathroom door open, the 26-year-old mother was dead, and her killer had left the scene."


22."Whenever I read about the BTK Killer waiting for one of his next victims to come home and then getting frustrated and leaving due to her running late, it gives me chills. That woman cheated death."

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23."Dr. Harold Shipman. He lost his mother, watching how morphine eased her pain before she passed. Then he became a doctor, using morphine overdoses to kill people — especially rich old ladies."


24."I don't recall which one it was, but I remember hearing that there was a killer who would only go into the home if the front door was unlocked because otherwise he 'didn't feel welcome.' Lock your doors, people!"

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25."Ted Bundy helped in the investigation of the Green River Killer and made a psych profile, which ended up being closer to the actual Green River Killer than the FBI's own psych profile. That was also a huge part of the inspiration for Silence of the Lambs. Bundy also tried to masturbate to photos of his crime scene when Detective Keppel brought them in — which is why he stopped letting Bundy keep the files."


26."My grandmother met Ted Bundy on her college campus, and he attempted to get her friend to go off with him. My grandmother said she got a bad vibe from him because he was such a happy person, and she felt like he was forcing the emotion a bit much. Her friend, however, wanted to go with him and was completely blinded by his charm. My grandmother took her friend by the hand and walked away."

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27."Paweł Tuchlin, a Polish serial killer, was admitted into a psychiatric ward. He started making sculptures out of bread and was quite good at it. He fell in love with one of the doctors there, and to show his affection he made a vagina out of bread (he used natural hair too) and then gave it to the doctor. She then suffered a mental breakdown."


28."If you wrote John Wayne Gacy, he would send you a questionnaire to see if you were good enough to be friends with him."