There is an often-repeated myth that we walk past three serial killers during our lifetime without knowing. A scary thought but it’s unlikely you will ever meet a serial killer yourself. There is no denying that they are a rare breed as the FBI now says that serial killers account for fewer than 1 percent of killings. Yet for these following individuals, they had the opportunity to meet a serial killer and later reveal exactly what that experience was like.
These first-person accounts are all, in their own words, a view of a dark world where they met with some of the most notorious and cold-blooded killers on the planet… and lived to tell the tale.
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10 Myra Hindley
Myra Hindley is considered one of the evillest women who ever lived. Alongside her partner Ian Brady, the twisted duo killed five children aged between 10 and 17 between July 1963 and October 1965. Police were able to locate the shallow graves of three victims at Saddleworth Moor in North West England—however, Hindley never revealed where one of the other victims was buried. The monster herself denied the grieving families the right to a proper funeral.
Journalist Yvonne Roberts met with Hindley when she was behind bars at Cookham Wood Prison in Kent. When Roberts asked Hindley how she could possibly snatch and torture a 10-year-old child, the child killer snapped back, “The girl shouldn’t have been out at that time of night.”
Robert writes of her brief time with Hindley, “No empathy, no compassion; a slice of reason completely missing. She is like an old-fashioned telephone switchboard in which the wires are there, but all in the wrong place.”
9 Richard Ramirez
In 1987, Sean Penn was imprisoned at L.A County jail at the same time as serial killer Richard ‘The Night Stalker’ Ramirez. Penn, who was married to Madonna at the time, was serving a brief stint for parole violations whereas Ramirez was sentenced to die in California’s gas chamber after being found guilty of 13 counts of murder.
Clearly excited by the news there was a Hollywood A-lister just a few cells down, Ramirez sent Penn a note via one of the prison guards. Penn revealed the note read: “‘Hey, Sean, stay tough and hit them again—Richard Ramirez, 666,’ with a pentagram and a rendition of the devil.”
Penn then wrote back, “You know, Richard, it’s impossible to be incarcerated and not feel a certain kinship with your fellow inmates. Well, Richard, I’ve done the impossible, I feel absolutely no kinship with you. And I hope gas descends upon you before sanity does, you know? It would be a kinder way out.”
8 Ted Bundy
It is common knowledge that serial killer Ted Bundy loved an opportunity to be interviewed by anyone who would listen. From talking to journalists to FBI profilers and even a priest—Bundy would continue to plead his innocence whilst on death row for murdering 30 young women, many of whom he also decapitated. Reporters then persuaded Bundy to talk in the third person about a hypothetical serial killer so he could recount his own crimes without admitting guilt.
When FBI Agent Bil Hagmaier met Bundy he was at first alarmed by his over-friendliness. He said, “Ted Bundy called me his best friend. Here you have a guy giving you a warm handshake, and you’re thinking, ‘This is the same hand that held a hacksaw while he cut off a young girl’s head.’”
Then Bundy told him truths about his crime that have never been repeated as they are too disturbing to ever be repeated. Hagmaier recalled, “(Bundy) told me some things which I will never repeat, out of respect for the victims’ families. Let’s just say that he did some things to the bodies that were just as horrible as they could possibly be.”
7 Aileen Wuornos
One man who can consider himself lucky to still be alive is Bobby Lee Copus who picked up serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 1990 and lived to tell the tale. Copus was driving his car along I-4 to Orlando when Wuornos asked for a ride; she fabricated a story that her two children needed picking up from the daycare center.
In the car, Wuornos began to state her rates for sexual services but a happily married Copus declined the offer. Speaking at Wuornos’ later trial for murdering seven men, Copus revealed how the cold-blooded killer’s personality switched when he rejected her advances.
He said, “When she propositioned me for the third time, she wasn’t the same person. She opened her purse—I’d seen what I thought was a small-caliber pistol in her purse. At this point, I was really scared. I just wanted her out of my car in the presence of a lot of people.” He pulled over at a truck stop and as soon as she got out the car, he sped away and heard her screaming, “I’ll get you! I’ll kill you like I did the other fat sons of bitches!”
6 Lt. Ken Landwehr on Dennis Rader
Dennis Rader played a fatal game of cat and mouse with detectives for three long decades. Between 1974 and 1991, he killed 10 people in Wichita, Kansas, then sent details of his crimes to the press and police. After a long ‘break’ from serial killing, he resurfaced and resumed sending letters in 2004, which eventually led to his arrest one year later.
Lt. Ken Landwehr was the head of the task force trying to catch the BTK Killer (short for ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’). Rader sent a floppy disc to the police detailing his crimes as he was told it could not be traced back to him. Following his arrest, Rader could not believe the police ended the hunt and had caught him. Landwehr recalls, “He couldn’t get over the fact that I would lie to him. He could not believe that I did not want this to go on forever.”
Even more sinisterly, when he was offered a drink during the interrogation, Rader asked for the name written on the cup to be “BTK”.
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5 Joseph DeAngelo
Joseph DeAngelo terrorized California in the 1970s and ’80s as the ‘Golden State Killer’. DeAngelo was methodical in his crimes; he tied up his victims, and would often casually pause to drink or fix himself something to eat. He committed 13 raped more than 50 victims, and over burgled over 100 homes, yet managed to avoid capture until 2018.
During his interrogation, DeAngelo still displayed his ability as a calculated serial killer. Retired investigator Paul Holes, who was working on the Golden State Killer case at the time, revealed, “Once (DeAngelo) was placed in that interview room, he was in a posture that he did not move from for over an hour. He was absolutely motionless. He did a very slight movement and we’re like, ‘He’s moving!’ And then he would stop and freeze. I’ve never met anyone who’s been able to be so motionless for so long.”
Adding, “One of the female detectives said, ‘That’s what he was doing back in the day.’ She was right. This was a guy who had the physical ability to go into somebody’s backyard, be in the shadows and just go absolutely motionless for hours while he’s watching what’s going on inside the house. Just seeing that, even though he’s an older man, you see this innate ability.”
4 Edmund Kemper
Those who have heard of Edmund Kemper will be aware he is one of the most terrifying serial killers in history. Standing 6ft 9″ tall and weighing 300 pounds, his victims had little chance of escaping their tragic fate in his hands. As a teenager, he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents on a remote farm where he quickly became bored. Kemper shot and killed both his grandparents and following his arrest, he told detectives, “I just wondered how it would feel to shoot grandma.”
Sent to Atascadero State Hospital, one of the most disturbing quotes was from a psychiatrist who Kemper had managed to manipulate during his time in the hospital. Before his release, the psychologist stated, “If I were to see this patient without having any history available, I would think that we’re dealing with a very well adjusted young man who was free of any psychiatric illnesses. It is my opinion that he has made a very excellent response to the years of treatment and rehabilitation and I would see no psychiatric reason to consider him to be of any danger to himself or to any member of society.”
Kemper left the hospital and he later went on to murder six young females, his own mother, and her friend.
3 Dr. Harold Shipman
Dr. Harold Shipman is considered one of the most prolific serial killers in history. His total victim count is believed to be around 250 which earned him the nickname “Angel of Death” as many of his patients were happy and healthy until he paid them a visit.
Shipman’s work colleagues remember how much time he spent looking after his patients and even going above and beyond what was expected of a doctor. Yet now we have a much darker perspective of his crimes, his seemingly good-natured gestures are rather cruel on reflection.
Dr. Jeremy Dirckze told a later hearing, “He came across as very caring and would go beyond the call of most (doctor’s) duty. Very often we heard stories of what he was doing that the rest of us wouldn’t dream of doing. He used to call in on an elderly disabled patient on his way home after work and would wheel him round the block in his wheelchair.”
In 2004, Shipman committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison.
2 Jeffrey Dahmer
In 1994, serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was left unsupervised with his fellow inmate Christopher Scarver in the showers of the prison gym. Almost 20 minutes later, Dahmer was discovered on the floor; his head and face had been severely bludgeoned with a 20-inch metal bar. He was pronounced dead at the hospital and Scarver admitted his full guilt—he had murdered one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.
Scarver later revealed he killed Dahmer because he had become repulsed by his behavior behind bars. In the prison canteen, Dahmer would play with his food until it looked like severed limbs. Scarver recalled, “He’d drizzle on packets of ketchup as blood. He would put them in places where people would be.”
Remembering the moments before the murder, Scarver continued, “I asked him if he did those things ’cause I was fiercely disgusted. He was shocked. Yes, he was. He started looking for the door pretty quick. I blocked him. He ended up dead. I put his head down.”
1 John Wayne Gacy
Law graduate Jason Moss managed to interview some of the world’s most notorious serial killers including John Wayne Gacy. The serial killer, whose double ego as Pogo the Clown became the face of terror, responded well to Moss and his enthusiasm. When the day of the face-to-face interview came, it finally sank in quite quickly for Moss that he was in the grips of a master manipulator.
During his time behind bars, Gacy had managed to convince the guards he was a model prisoner so he was allowed special privileges such as arranging for his time with Moss to be completely alone. In his book ‘The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer’, Moss writes, “(Gacy) seemed to have arranged the room according to his exact specifications. The space was tiny, even claustrophobic, and he’d placed two chairs side by side so it would be impossible for me to put myself beyond his grasp.”
Adding, “As I finished getting my bearings, the other thing I couldn’t help but notice was that we were seated out of the range of the video camera that was supposed to monitor our conversation.” Tragically in 2006, Moss took his own life at the age of 31 years old.
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About The Author: 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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