The Shocking True Crime Stories of the 12 Worst Serial Killers in American History
David Berkowitz: Known as the “Son of Sam,” Berkowitz was a deeply disturbed young man who prowled the streets of New York dispensing death with his .44 caliber revolver.
William Bonin: One of a trio of deadly psychopaths who trawled the freeways of Southern California during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bonin was a depraved child killer who abducted, raped and tortured more than 20 teenaged boys.
The Boston Strangler: Albert De Salvo took the fall but most experts agree that he was not the Strangler. So who was the real killer? And how did he get away with the series of brutal murders that so terrified the citizens of Boston?
Ted Bundy: Charming, intelligent and lethal, Bundy is America’s most notorious serial killer, a deadly fiend who cut a swathe of destruction across the country, raping, killing and committing necrophilia on his young victims.
Dean Corll: Along with two willing teenaged accomplices, Corll orchestrated what was at the time the biggest murder spree in American history, raping torturing and killing at least 25 young boys.
Jeffrey Dahmer: Hideously depraved killer who preyed on young homosexual men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, cannibalizing them and conducting bizarre experiments on their bodies.
Albert Fish: He looked like a frail old man, but Albert Fish was actually a psychotic child killer and torturer, with a taste for human flesh.
John Wayne Gacy: Cold-hearted killer who raped, tortured and strangled at least 33 young men, burying their bodies in the crawlspace of his Chicago house.
Randy Kraft: The least well known of California’s three “Freeway Killers.” And yet Kraft was both the most prolific and the most depraved, responsible for the torture killings of as many as 67 young men.
Dennis Rader: Known as the “BTK Killer” (after his M.O.: Bind, Torture, Kill) Radar held the citizens of Wichita, Kansas in a state of fear for over 30 years, during which time he claimed 10 known victims.
Richard Ramirez: A satanic burglar who went by the terrifying sobriquet, “The Night Stalker,” Ramirez raped, battered, shot and stabbed his victims during a bloody reign of terror in 1980’s Los Angeles.
Gary Ridgeway: As the horrific “Green River Killer,” Ridgeway engaged the Washington police in a deadly game of cat and mouse, claiming more that 60 victims over two decades.
As a twelve year old, I borrowed a book from the library thinking it was a vampire novel. It turned out to be the true story of British "vampire" serial killer, John George Haigh. Amazing the things they'll let a 12-year-old check out!
The book made a deep impression, both terrifying and fascinating me. Did such people really exist, I wondered. I soon found out that they did, and in greater numbers than felt comfortable for me to contemplate. Nonetheless, I was fascinated, and even though the librarian wouldn't let me take out any other books on the subject, I became a true crime junkie, burning my way through True Detective magazines by the dozen. Later, I graduated to biographies of killers and the men who hunt them, and to studies of the psychology of murder, forensics and investigative techniques.
Forty years on and I feel as though I've investigated more murder cases than the average homicide detective, studied more serial killers than your average profiler, and spent more time than a conference full of psychologists trying to understand what every true crime buff really wants to know: Why do they do it?
I can’t say that I’ve ever come up with an answer, or even gotten close (if you want to read my musings on the subject you can check them out here) but that’s probably a good thing. As Pedro Lopez, the infamous Monster of the Andes once said, “only those who have taken human life truly understand.”
True crime stories (especially those about serial killers) continue to fascinate and enthrall me and I feel truly privileged to be able to research and write them for a living. My books feature the cases that interest me most. I hope that you will find them equally fascinating.
Well laid out and a good read. This book is very informative and covers some great facts on the twelve dastardly killers it mentions. Keller is a
great true crime author that I hope to read more from in the future.
This is a great book for being free. I'm glad I found it. As a forensic
enthusiast, I found this book to be immensely entertaining.
I am an avid reader of true crime books and Rober Keller is now one of my favorite writers. A lot of the info I already knew but there was a
lot I'd not read before. My worst nighmare was not Bundy or even Gacy
but a cruel, sadist animal named Dean Corll (whom I'd not heard of until
I read this book). The book is quite graphic and it is sickening to
know how someone can do such unspeakable things to another human being.
If you have the stomach for the macabre, then you will certainly enjoy
this one. I have now moved on to another of Mr. Keller's books, Serial
Killers Unsolved. I will review that at a later date.
It'd be nice if somebody compiled a list of serial killers from around the world for a change, instead of always making it look like people
only kill people in the United States, but the title of this book is
certainly appropriate (in that it only focuses on American, or American
born, serial killers), and as the author himself freely admits, his list
of the twelve "worst" is very much subjective.
But since author
Robert Keller included the likes of such fiendish fellows (in the order
they are examined in the book) as David Berkowitz, William Bonin, The
Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy, Ed Corll, Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert Fish, John
Wayne Gacy, Randy Kraft, Dennis Rader, Richard Ramirez, and Gary
Ridgway, I'd say he did a better than average job of zeroing in on a
more than worthy personal pick of some of the absolute worst ever.
The Deadly Dozen would be a relatively quick read for most, but it is
written and researched quite well. Of course it contains a copious list
of frightening and decidedly disturbing details about the personal
background and the bevy of crimes of each killer, but the macabre
material is handled quite tastefully in most cases, and even the faint
of heart will still probably be enthralled while reading the book.
yes, it's yet another one of those biopics that really is hard to put
down. In fact, while reading The Deadly Dozen, I just had to keep
turning those pages. Not necessarily because it's all that enjoyable in
any way, shape or form, to delve a little too deeply into the malefic
minds of such murderous men, but because I sincerely believe that most
people are fascinated in one way or another by serial killers.
all, if you're not like them (and most of us, hopefully, are definitely
not), there does seem to be an irresistible urge that most ordinary
folks have, to get into the demonic heads of such horrifically motivated
hellions, if only just to figure out exactly what it is that makes them
tick. Or what makes them kill, rather. Perhaps the human race, that
marvel of the universe that can send men to the moon, but is still
capable of such incredible depths of senseless, brutal savagery and
inhumanity to mankind itself, will never really know why.