11-15 Disturbing Serial Killers
11. Ted Bundy dated my aunt. I grew up in Kirkland, Washington, which is right outside of Seattle. My aunt lived in Ballard at the time. They dated for a few months and it just sort of fell apart.
Ted Bundy used to work on a suicide hotline. His coworker during the late, lone hours in the middle of the night was actually researching and talking about the murders to him during their shared shift as he was going about killing people during off work hours. She says she never felt afraid, never suspected him. She has been a police officer and now writes true crime. It took her many years to accept that he was a serial killer capable of all that. She finally was able to write a book “The Stranger Beside Me”. She says oddly enough, he saved more lives on that Suicide Hotline than he ever took. That chilled her.
My aunt said that he was one of the most polite, nicest people that she had ever met. Successful murderous sociopaths are usually charming, gracious, attractive, humorous and charismatic. It’s a skill they cultivate very young. As their behavior escalates, their ability to wiggle out of it has to keep up if they want to have the latitude to continue their games. Sociopaths who don’t learn those skills are limited in their games/victims because people are on guard around them.
Not all sociopaths are killers. Studies show that many successful CEOs of major corporations are compliant sociopaths. They usually stay inside the letter of the law, but still see other humans as stepping stones or suckers.
If you’re interested, John Ronson wrote a really great book about this: The Psychopath Test, in which he interviewed various levels of sociopaths. Also, the book Tangerine by Edward Richard Bloor is the most realistic book I’ve ever read describing what it was like growing up with a sibling who enjoyed torturing others. The most disturbing part for me was how accurately he detailed the way in which adults turned a blind eye to problems.
They couldn’t deal with the horrible idea of their child being fu*ked up, so they buried it. The consequence was that the siblings often had to live through the horror because the adults failed to protect them. It’s basically saying, “Yeah, this is too uncomfortable and difficult and extreme to conquer, so you little ones get to feel the discomfort, difficulty and extreme cruelty. Good luck with that.”
12. They’re obviously all creepy, but the ones that were never caught have to be the creepiest, because they’re still out there. Also creepy are people you are so close to, you will never suspect are a killer.
When I was in high school, one of my friends murdered his family kind of out of nowhere.
The day it happened, it started to get around to my friends that something went down at his house. This was before most people had cell phones, and texting wasn’t a thing at all, so throughout the day, more and more people were contacted and headed over to the guy’s (whose name is Andy) best friend’s house. The first officers on scene got his name and his brother’s name mixed up, and we were all told that his brother had snapped and shot their parents and then him, then called the police and gave himself up with no struggle. So we all got together, mourned as a group or whatever, then got up and went to school the next day.
Shortly into the first hour of classes, everyone who was a known friend of Andy’s was pulled out of class and called into the office. Once we were all there, the principal told us that Andy was alive, and that he had actually been the one who committed the murders. Everyone was pretty shocked. This dude was a totally harmless stoner who never even really seemed to disagree with anyone, much less have violent tendencies. I personally went into my standard compartmentalization/disassociation mode and just dealt with it by going kind of numb to it. The funeral was really rough. They had an open casket viewing even though his parents were both shot in the face. Andy claims to have no memory of doing it, and what they’ve pieced together is that he for whatever reason went into his dad’s gun locker, pulled out a rifle and shot his parents in their kitchen. It didn’t look like there was any kind of struggle. His brother came up from their basement and he shot him at the top of the stairs. He then called the police and told the dispatcher that his parents were dead, and when she asked who killed them he said he had. He went outside and stood on the lawn waiting for the police to come. Once they got there, he went into a full on panic asking about his brother. He had no idea that he’d shot him.
He got 18 years for each murder, I think, and was sent to prison. I wrote to him here and there in the beginning, but his replies just felt really strange to me. I feel a little bit guilty now about fading out of his life, but it was honestly really, really hard to reconcile the person I was friends with the person I was writing to, the person who killed his family. He sounded very stiff and hollow in the replies. I guess that makes some sense.
13. I knew James Holmes in college. He was one year ahead of me, but same major. I remember taking classes with him. He also did a bit of research in the vivaria and so did I but in separate labs. So our paths crossed often.
I remember him being super paranoid. I remember filling out health questionnaires/medical clearance forms for a final that required in vivo work and access to the vivarium. He threw fit in our lab, telling our TA he wasn’t going to fill it out. He finally did, but put a disclaimer on the bottom of it. It was bizarre. I think that was around 2008/09. I think he was already unraveling then.
I remember when I found out about Aurora shooting I was working when my old college roommate texted me asking if I heard about the shooting in Colorado followed shortly by her texting me who did it. My roommate remembered him clearly from a GE class we both took with him. I remember feeling scared for some reason when I put the name to a face. My teeth started chattering wildly. I was shocked.
It still freaks me out to this day remembering working in labs and having class discussions with that guy. We were definitely not friends but, I probably saw him nearly every day for at least a couple years. I can still see him working across from me under a fume hood in my mind’s eye anytime his name is brought up.
14. A likely serial killer was arrested in western Michigan this spring, after a 16-year-old girl he allegedly kidnapped managed to escape from his moving minivan. Jeffrey Willis was charged with kidnapping, and police quickly connected him to the murder of a 36-year-old woman in 2014, Rebekah Bletsch, who was shot three times in the head along a road where she frequently jogged.
Willis has since been connected to the disappearance of another attractive female, Jessica Heeringa, who vanished while working the late shift alone at a gas station/convenience store in the Muskegon area in April 2013.
The state police detective that testified at Willis’ preliminary examination in court last month said they found on his computer at home photographs of Rebekah Bletsch and her initials on a computer file, along with the date of her death. But it’s what else they found that freaks me out.
Here is an excerpt from a local news website’s story on Willis’ preliminary exam:
“There were a lot of disturbing files” on Willis’ computers and hard drives, Michigan State Police Sgt. Chris Prevette testified.
They included videos downloaded from the internet of necrophilia, sex with dead people, Prevette told the court. They also included “kidnap and kill” videos, thousands of them, downloaded from the internet, some showing actors playing the roles of killer and victim. Others, Prevette said, were real.
The videos “depicted individuals pulling up alongside of females on the side of the road. When they approached her, that female took off running into a field. Once in the field, they chase after her attack her sexually assault her. There were other videos depicting the same thing where at the end of the video they murder. They show this in an acting way and we also found videos that showed this that are not acting,” he testified.
“Real life?” Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson asked. “They’re real life,” Prevette said.
After the hearing, Hilson said police don’t know who the victims are in the “kidnap and kill” videos or where they’re from, but are working with national and international agencies to find out.”
Where do necrophilia and “kidnap and kill” videos come from? How can there be that many? And how was Willis tapped into a network of them?
15. Jane Toppan. A nurse turned serial killer, but not an “angel of mercy”-style one. She wanted to make people suffer, and she got off sexually on that. She would experiment with drugs, shoot up her patients, and then climb into bed with them and masturbate against them (and probably worse, but it was the 1800s so it wasn’t reported), as they were dying. Once she was kicked out of hospitals, she went on to murder a whole family for whom she worked as a private nurse. She confessed to 33 murders, but probably killed far more.
16-20 Disturbing Serial Killers
16. (Same respondent as above) Belle Gunness is pretty scary too. Not so much her motives and methods, which are pretty basic (lure Scandinavian guys from her homeland to her farm in Indiana, kill them with an axe and take their money they’d brought thanks to her lonely hearts ad), but the fact that after she was suspected, her farm burned down, and they found a body of a woman and Belle’s children. Except it wasn’t Belle, because she was a large woman, and the body was much smaller and probably the maid. Nobody knows what happened to her after that.
17. (Same respondent as above) How about Vlado Taneski? He was a journalist covering the crime beat in Macedonia, who killed little old women and then wrote about their murders for his newspaper. That additional element I feel makes him even more disturbing, even if his methodology isn’t that startling compared to some of the others. It takes a seriously fu*ked up mind to plan all that out just to have something to write about.
18. (Same respondent as above). Theresa Knorr, who murdered two of her children (so doesn’t qualify specifically) has always disturbed me. She had three boys and three girls. She shot her oldest girl in the back in a fit of rage when the girl wanted to run away. The girl survived for a few years, but kept on being abused, so wanted to leave. Knorr agreed to let her leave if she dug the bullet out without surgery or anesthetic. Unsurprisingly, her daughter lost her mind from this, was tied to the table and kept on the floor, and eventually lapsed into a coma. Knorr and her sons drove the comatose girl out to the highway and lit her on fire, leaving her remains in a box. The second girl was shut up in a closet for days on end, locked in there nonstop, and lost her mind as well, starved and driven mad, and disposed of similarly, with the two boys pressed into helping mom again. The third daughter survived and saw her mom brought to justice, but died young due to cancer no less.
19. John Wayne Gacy. Man, can you think about being a 14 year old boy and having someone offer to give you some money for an afternoon of work, only to wake up after being drugged to a fat CLOWN who is torturing you? He killed so many, so many BOYS. One who escaped had begged for Gacy to kill him as he tortured him; another had permanent liver damage from the chloroform. And there are probably more that were found underneath his floorboards.
20. Toy box killer. Every time I think about him it really gets into my head and I can’t stop thinking about how fu*ked up it is. He played the girls he captured a tape describing what to expect during their stay – read the transcript, it’s crazy. He allowed his dogs to rape the women while his friends drank beer and watched. This is maybe the most scary part. How is it possible that someone like him was able to find several accomplices?
An interesting note is that he didn’t kill all of his victims, he brainwashed them and some made it back into society with just a three to six month hole in their memory. It’s so seriously unfair that he died from a heart attack. He deserved so much worse.