Tag Archives | Serial Killers

Timing Of Serial Killers’ Murders Follows Math Formula

gacyAt least some serial killers’ murder sprees mirror the wax-and-wane pattern of naturally occurring phenomena including earthquakes, avalanches, and epileptic seizures, suggesting that their attacks can be anticipated and have an involuntary, biological cause. It’s somehow more chilling to know that serial killing is a predictable, “natural” process. MSNBC writes:

Researchers have discovered that the seemingly erratic behavior of the “Rostov Ripper,” a prolific serial killer active in the 1980s, conformed to the same mathematical pattern obeyed by earthquakes, avalanches, stock market crashes and many other sporadic events. The finding suggests an explanation for why serial killers kill.

Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury, electrical engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles, modeled the behavior of Andrei Chikatilo, a gruesome murderer who took the lives of 53 people in Rostov, Russia between 1978 and 1990. Though Chikatilo sometimes went nearly three years without committing murder, on other occasions, he went just three days.

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Jack the Ripper’s Blade Found?

Jack's KnifeVia the Telegraph:
It was found among possessions belonging to Welsh surgeon Sir John Williams, a chief suspect in the Victorian murders. Sir John, known to his family at the time of the killings as "Uncle Jack" was the surgeon to Queen Victoria who lived in London at the time of the slayings. He fled the capital after the murders and later founded the National Library for Wales in Aberystwyth. One of his distant relatives has now unearthed the old black-handled surgeon's knife, which he used for operations, and believes it could be the murder weapon. Tony Williams, 49, Sir John's great-great-great-great nephew, has now published a book, which features the startling image of the knife, to expose his relative's guilt.
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Where Have All The Serial Killers Gone?

1419Will the age of antidepressants render the serial murderer a figment of the past?

In a slice of good news, serial killing sprees occur far less frequently than at their peak twenty years ago and no longer produce iconic American monsters along the lines of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Ted Bundy, all of who seemed to personify people’s worst fears about society. (That said, to many, the horrific massacre in Tucson this past weekend symbolizes the escalation of violent political rhetoric.) Slate looks back at the “golden age of serial murderers”:

Serial killers just aren’t the sensation they used to be. They haven’t disappeared, of course. But the number of serial murders seems to be dwindling, as does the public’s fascination with them.

Statistics on serial murder are hard to come by—the FBI doesn’t keep numbers, according to a spokeswoman—but the data we do have suggests serial murders peaked in the 1980s and have been declining ever since.

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Criminology Student Studied Jack the Ripper, Then Killed Like Him

They caught this guy with CCTV, a “nuisance” the killer’s inspiration didn’t face in the 1880s. John Bingham, Paul Stokes and Gordon Rayner write in the Telegraph:

Jack the Ripper

"A Suspicious Character," London News, October 13, 1888

As he began his shift on Monday morning, the caretaker of the Holmfield Court flats in Bradford settled into his office chair to review the weekend’s CCTV footage. He fast-forwarded the recording, looking out for evidence of vandalism or petty crime.

Instead, he found himself witnessing cold-blooded murder.

In a corridor of the flats, a man chased and grabbed a young woman before knocking her unconscious. The attacker then disappeared from view, only to return moments later with a crossbow which he used to fire a bolt into her head.

The man could then be seen dragging the body out of view, and later going backwards and forwards with bin bags and a rucksack.

The caretaker reached for the phone and dialled 999.

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Serial Killer Won On ‘The Dating Game’

Rodney Alcala, 66, is representing himself in the penalty phase of  his trial.

Rodney Alcala, 66, is representing himself in the penalty phase of his trial.

By Gabriel Falcon for CNN:

“Oh yeah, I remember it quite clearly,” said Jed Mills, the game-show contestant who sat next to Alcala in 1978. “He was creepy. Definitely creepy.”

Found guilty in February of murdering four women and a child, Alcala, 66, is acting as his own attorney in the penalty phase of the trial. He is hoping to persuade the jury in Santa Ana, California, to spare his life.

The crimes Alcala committed date to the late 1970s. Nobody at the time knew the man with the wavy long hair and toothy grin was a psychopath — an unstable, antisocial personality.

That includes Mills, a veteran television and film actor, whose only encounter with Alcala was when both of them appeared on “The Dating Game.”

“That’s when I became part of a nightmare, and I didn’t realize it was a nightmare until 32 years later,” Mills said.

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10 Families Who Killed Together

From the interesting folks at WeirdWorm:
The family that plays together stays together so what does that say about those folks who get a little rough? The mothers who arm their offspring, the brothers who take out their elders or those large extended families who make the neighbors very nervous are not the Norman Rockwell type, but they are in a weird way far more interesting.
Micajah "Big" Harpe
1. The Harpe Family: No Angels Here
The new world held out hope to the cousins Micah and Wiley Harper, but only because the fledging country didn’t know them. After migrating with their families from Scotland as children the pair changed their names to John and William. Because of their constant habit of remaining together the pair was given the witty nicknames of Big Harpe (William) and Little Harpe (John).
The Harpes not exactly men given to more empathic endeavors left home just out of their teens to become slavers or overseers in Virginia. The American Revolution presented them with better opportunities as Troy outlaws where they learned such useful skills as pillaging livestock, burning crops and raping young farm girls. There was a downside to their new lifestyle namely a country side from North Carolina to Kentucky, who knew them and wanted to see them both dangle at the end of twin ropes. The men took up with at least three women and produce many children who traveled with them.
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How A Sausage Shop Helped Hide A Killer For Years

Mark Puente writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The stench in the air near East 123rd Street and Imperial Avenue left residents baffled for years.

Drain pipes were flushed. A sewer line was replaced. But the smell still lingered.

Some residents believed the overpowering odor came from a 57-year-old sausage shop on the corner. Others were still convinced it was the sewers.


Last week, police discovered the source of the odor — it was beyond residents’ worst fears. At least six decomposing bodies lie in and around the house at 12205 Imperial Ave. The corpses could have been accumulating there for years, authorities said.

Anthony Sowell, 50, is being held in City Jail on a rape warrant as detectives try to determine if he killed the six women. All the bodies found inside the home Thursday and Friday have been identified as black females. Five died by strangulation, according to police.

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