Special Report

The Most Depraved Serial Killers in History

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tommy Lynn Sells
> Number of victims: 70 (alleged)
> Modus operandi: Stabbing, bludgeoning, strangulation, shooting
> Location: Texas
> Time frame: 1985-1999
> Serial killer’s fate: Executed in 2014

Tommy Lynn Sells had a chaotic childhood during which he was molested and abandoned by his family. He claimed to have murdered at least 70 people, though police believe it was more like 22. He was apprehended after he murdered a 13-year-old girl and attempted to kill a 10-year-old girl. Among his more heinous crimes was wiping out a family in Illinois. Sells’ rage was summed up in this quote after he was caught: “I am hatred. When you look at me, you look at hate. I don’t know what love is. Two words I don’t like to use are ‘love’ and ‘sorry,’ because I’m about hate.” He was executed by lethal injection in 2014.

Source: nala_rinaldo / RooM via Getty Images

Ahmad Suradji
> Number of victims: 42
> Modus operandi: Strangulation
> Location: Indonesia
> Time frame: 1986-1997
> Serial killer’s fate: Executed in 2008

Ahmad Suradji, an Indonesian cattle-breeder, confessed to killing 42 girls and women over an 11-year period. He lured them by claiming he was a mystic who could make them rich. Suradji strangled them with a cable after burying them up to their waists at a sugarcane plantation near his home in North Sumatra as part of a ritual. The heads of his victims faced his house, because he believed that would give him extra power as a sorcerer. He was sentenced to death by firing squad and executed in 2008.

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Tsutomu Miyazaki
> Number of victims: 4
> Modus operandi: Strangulation
> Location: Japan
> Time frame: 1988-1989
> Serial killer’s fate: Executed in 2008

Tsutomu Miyazaki is among the most depraved serial killers on this list. He abducted Japanese children, killed them and performed necrophiliac acts on them. He kept body parts as trophies and sent correspondence to victims’ families describing the murders. He was apprehended trying to molest a girl in a park. Police found body parts in his apartment and other evidence of his crimes. Miyazaki blamed the killings on an alter ego named “rat man” who he said forced him to commit the crimes. His father was so appalled and humiliated by his son’s crime that he committed suiсide. Miyazaki was hanged in 2008.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Aileen Wuornos
> Number of victims: 7
> Modus operandi: Shooting
> Location: Florida
> Time frame: 1989-1990
> Serial killer’s fate: Executed in 1992

Aileen Wuornos never had a chance at a normal life. Her father was a child molester who killed himself after she was born, and her mother abandoned the family shortly afterward. She was left with her mother’s parents who were abusive alcoholics. Wuornos began her life as a sex worker at 11 and had her only child, given up for adoption, at 14. She eventually moved to Florida to ply her sex trade. Wuornos was convicted for killing six of her seven victims – men she picked up while working as a prоstitute along Florida highways – and was executed by lethal injection in 2002. Charlize Theron won a Best Actress Oscar for portraying her in the 2003 Wuornos biopic “Monster.”

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Luis Garavito
> Number of victims: 147 (estimated)
> Modus operandi: Stabbing
> Location: Colombia
> Time frame: 1990s
> Serial killer’s fate: In jail

Luis Garavito is a serial killer from Colombia, serving a life sentence for murdering at least 147 boys and possibly as many 400. Garavito took advantage of a prolonged civil war in Colombia that made children homeless. He preyed on the most vulnerable children, masquerading as a priest, farmer, or street vendor to earn their trust and offer them employment. Then he would attack, torture, and sexually abuse them before killing and in some cases beheading them. In 1997, the discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of 36 boys triggered a nationwide manhunt. Garavito was caught when authorities found a note near one of the victims that had the address of Garavito’s girlfriend.

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