Top 10 Infamous Serial Killers in America: Part 2

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
A serial killer is defined as someone who commits more than three murders over a period that spans more than one month. For the most part, serial killers commit murder for some sort of psychological benefit: sometimes they want fame and attention, other times it's to fulfill a sick sexual fantasy, and still in different cases it is to grab some sense of control over other living things. Whatever the motive, serial killers terrify entire communities with their crimes. counts down the top 10 most chilling, real-life serial killers in American history. In this video, numbers 5 through 1. WARNING: Mature themes.
Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 most chilling, real-life serial killers in American history. In this video, numbers 5 through 1.

#5 – Dennis Rader – BTK Killer

On the exterior, Rader’s life was normal: he was married, had kids and held down steady jobs. However, in 1974 the BTK or “Bind Torture Kill” Killer began murdering people in Kansas by various means. Shortly thereafter, he taunted authorities with letters that described his crimes. Rader’s last known murder was in 1991, and over a decade later the case went cold with no suspect. However, in 2004, BTK resumed communications and made a number of mistakes that got him caught. Rader was sentenced to ten consecutive life sentences with no possibility for parole for 175 years.

#4 – Gary Ridgway – The Green River Killer

He proved you can get away with murder… for a while. Ridgway was violent in his youth: at age 16 he stabbed a six-year-old, who survived. He eventually began frequenting prostitutes, despite unwavering religious beliefs. In fact, many of his murder victims from the ‘80s and ‘90s were prostitutes or runaways whom he picked up, had sex with, strangled, then dumped near the Green River. After being suspected and cleared early in the investigation, Ridgway was finally arrested in 2001. He then confessed to 71 unconfirmed murders, and was sentenced to 48 consecutive life terms in 2003.

#3 – Ed Gein – The Plainfield Ghoul, The Mad Butcher

This Wisconsin native inspired not one but three of the most famous movie killers. The effeminate Gein grew up with a deep attachment to his abusive mother, and he eventually decided he wanted to become a woman. Only three murders were actually attributed to him, but he was terrifying because he robbed graves and murdered in order to form a “woman suit” he could wear. When authorities searched his house after his capture, they found paraphernalia made of human body parts littering his home. Gein died of cancer while incarcerated for one murder in a mental institution in 1984.

#2 – John Wayne Gacy – Killer Clown

Gacy is why we’re afraid of clowns: this seemingly upstanding citizen dressed up as Pogo the Clown for local children’s parties. However, behind the scenes he molested teens who worked for him, in addition to other crimes. He spent 18 months in jail for sodomy before he moved and continued assaulting young boys. The murders began in 1972: he mostly assaulted then strangled employees of his landscaping company and other male youths, then buried them around his house. He was finally arrested at the end of 1978, and was convicted of 33 murders two years later. Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 1994.

#1 – Jeffrey Dahmer - The Milwaukee Cannibal, The Milwaukee Monster

Dahmer first became known to police as a registered sex offender. However, the murders began in 1978. Dahmer often picked up his male victims in gay bars and had sex with them before drugging and killing them. When the police finally searched his apartment, they found decomposing corpses and body parts, as well as photos of his victims in various states of torture. Dahmer is also said to have engaged in both necrophilia and cannibalism. In 1992, he was sentenced to 15 life terms, but he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate two years into his term. Because of the disturbing nature of his crimes and his outwardly articulate and calm demeanor, Jeffrey Dahmer is the worst serial killer of all time.