The prolific serial killers making up this list are responsible for the murder and sexual abuse of hundreds of people. The fact that so few people can destroy the lives of so many people is nothing short of terrifying. Yet, reading about them is strangely fascinating, not just because of how extreme their crimes are, but because peering into their lives may answer questions in dire need of an answer.
Luis Garavito “The Beast”
Garavito is one of the most prolific serial killers in the world. It was proven in court that he killed a total of 138 people, but it’s possible he’s killed over 400 hundred. The prolific Colombian serial killer mainly went after street children. Garavito confessed to having committed rape, torture and murder of 138 children and teenagers. He was given a total of 1,853 years and 9 days. He lured the children into trusting him with promises of chocolate, and money. In 1992 male children from the ages of 6 to 16 began disappearing at an incredible rate. At first this went unnoticed because police reports were rarely filed, but this changed in 1997 with the appearance of mass graves.
Lopez is another serial killer who claimed to have hundreds more victims than we are aware of. Although we’ve proven 100 murders, there could still be another 200 we aren’t aware of. Lopez was the seventh son of a prostitute, but left home while still a child. His mother kicked him out after seeing him touch his sister’s breast. He became a beggar on the street, but was offered food and shelter by a stranger. He was in such a desperate situation, it isn’t surprising he would go with the strange man.
But, instead of going to a safe place, he arrived at an abandoned building where he was raped repeatedly. While being raped, Lopez became determined to do the same to as many little girls as possible. After this he lived as a beggar on the streets again, for a year, until he fled to the town of Bogota and was discovered by an American couple.They began looking after him, and enrolled him in a school for orphans. However, while he was there he was molested by a teacher. Lopez ran away and went back to the streets. With a childhood like this it’s easier to understand how he became the “Monster of the Andes”. After getting out of prison for some reason, he went missing.
Camargo raped and murdered 150 underage girls. He was convicted in 1989 but only sentenced to 16 years, which is the maximum sentence in Ecuador. While in prison, he actually shared a cell with Pedro Lopez. But, while Pedro may have been set free, Camargo died in prison. The cousin of one of his victims took it upon himself to guide Camargo to an early grave. His mother died when he was young, and his father was cold and distant. His stepmother would abuse him violently, and sometimes forced him to dress as a girl. This led to him becoming a victim of bullying.
He preyed on young, lower-class, women, and pretended to be a foreigner looking for a priest, and in need of a guide. While they were acting as his guide, he would lead them into a forest, claiming to look for a shortcut. If they got suspicious and left, he would let them, but if they followed him into the forest, they would become another victim.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Unlike the cold, calculating killers mention above, Filho was the angry, explosive type of killer. He killed his first victim when he was only 14. It was the vice mayor, who had recently fired his father. He fled, and became involved with a woman named Maria Aparecida Olympia. Some gang members killed Filho’s girlfriend. Filho went on rampage, killing and torturing people in order to find out the identity of his partner’s killer. After discovering that his father had murdered his mother, Filho killed his father, and ate a part of his heart. He was arrested in 1973. While incarcerated, he killed 41 inmates. He’s responsible for 71 confirmed murders, but claims to have killed 100 people.
Abul Djabar was a major serial killer in Afghanistan. He was convicted of raping and murdering 65 young men and boys. Two people were executed for his crimes before he was finally discovered to be the real perpetrator. His modus operandi was to strangle his victims with a turban while raping them. He was arrested while attempting to rape another victim. He’s one of the most prolific serial killers in Afghanistan’s history.
Yang Xinhai committed 67 murders, and 23 rapes in only 4 years. He first killed in 1999 and ended his spree in 2003. He became the most prolific serial killer in China, and gained the moniker, “Monster Killer”. Yang spent time in labour camps twice, for theft, and served a 5 year sentence in prison for attempted rape. He got out in 1999, which is when he began to sneak into family’s homes at night. He butchered entire families with axes, hammers, and shovels. Xinhai always wore different clothes, and large shoes when committing crimes. In 2002 he killed a father, and his six year old daughter with a shovel, then raped a pregnant woman, who just barely survived. His motive was most likely the fact that he enjoyed his crimes, but a hatred of society may have also come into it. Societal ostracisation is common among prolific serial killers.
“When I killed people I had a desire. This inspired me to kill more. I don’t care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern… I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.”
Anatoly Onoprienko “The Beast Of Ukraine”
Also known as “the Terminator”, and “Citizen O”, Onoprienko was arrested in 1996 and confessed to 52 murders. Onoprienko was an orphan and claims that this is what led to him becoming a serial killer. There is probably some truth to this, as studies have shown that in Russia, children who age out of the orphanage system, are highly likely to go into crime. 60% of the females will go into prostitution, and 70% of the males will become hardened criminals.
Onoprienko said himself that 70% of orphans spend time in prison. Mental illness seems to be a major part of what led him to kill, as he claims he killed in response to inner voices. His Modus operandi was to target families by causing a commotion outside of a family home. After drawing their attention he would then kill the family, starting with the father, then the mother, and finally hunting down the children. He would burn down the house to destroy evidence, and then kill any witnesses.
Wang Qiang is one of most prolific serial killers in Chinese history. He killed 45, and raped 10. Qiang wasn’t just a serial killer, and a rapist, but also a necrophiliac. He grew up in a small village in China. As you would expect, his childhood was dark, and he suffered serious abuse. His father was an alcoholic, and addicted to gambling, this may be what led him to become such an abusive father. Qiang’s father didn’t even allow him to go to school and get an education. Qiang began killing in 1995, and was finally caught in 2003. His execution took place that same year.
Nazi police officials discovered a man named Ludke had killed a total of 51 peole. Ludke preferred female victims. His spree began in 1928, and ended in 1943. During interrogation he appeared to suffer from some sort of intellectual disability. For example, he couldn’t tell the interrogators how many minutes there were in an hour. During the interrogation, he confessed to many crimes. This makes it seem like a pretty open and shut case, so why did he come out of the interrogation covered in bruises? He was then sent off to the Institute of Criminological Medicine, where medical experiments were performed on him, until he died in an experiment gone wrong in 1944. There were a number of oddities in his case which have raised some eyebrows.
Before his arrest, he was known for being a petty thief, and a peeping tom. It’s possible that the Nazis purposely made false accusations, so they had an excuse to perform experiements on him. Afterall, it’s unlikely someone who couldn’t work out how many minutes where in an hour, could get away with killing so many people for such a long time. This is backed up by the fact that he was never put on trial, and claimed that he would have been killed if he didn’t confess. It seems odd that a petty criminal, with an intellectual disability would be able to mastermind so many murders.
Ahmed was an Indonesian serial killer, who claimed to be a sorcerer, and believed he had the potential to become a great mystic healer. In a dream he had, his father visited him, and claimed that he could become a mystic healer, by drinking the saliva of 70 dead young women. Simply waiting to find the dead bodies would take too long, so he took it on himself to kill the women. He would claim to be a sorcerer and invite women to his house, where he would perform spells on them to help them in their relationships, or so he claimed. He buried them halfway up to their waste, claiming it was part of the ritual, but in reality, it was just to immobalise them before strangling them to death. As many as 42 women became his victims. His arrest took place in 1997.