Wait a minute, didn't we already do this? Well, the last post got me to thinking about people who have left lasting impressions on our society, and I decided "Hey, I talked about leaders who formed our country, but what about the dirt?"
What about the dirt? What about the other end of the spectrum? What about those "people"-nut jobs, wackos, and others who have no concern for others? Those who have their own agenda, who march to the beat of their own drum, who actually listen to the voices in their heads and act on those messages?
Have you guessed who I am talking about yet?
Serial killers. Lets take a look at one of the other products that this country does well, the taking of life-be it "official", i.e. in time of war or as the ultimate punishment for a crime.
Here is one who put the art of serial killing on the map! Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history, and with more than 30 murders under his belt, who would be crazy enough to deny it? Bundy's "calling card", if you will, was that he specialized in white middle-class women between the ages of 15 and 25 who all resembled his ex-fiance Stephanie Brooks. Not only did these women all remind him of her, they got him all hot and bothered after he murdered them! Raping the corpses was not enough for ol` Teddy, he also collected their skulls. His nick-name was "lady-killer" and he was executed by electric chair in Florida in 1989.
Aside from being a hopeless drunk who dissected animals as a kid and got kicked out of the Army, Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys during his 10 year killing spree. Dahmer was a straight-up cannibal who raped his victims, cut off their limbs, poked around in their brains, and then ate the choicest bits. He was quite a smooth talker, during one interaction with the cops, he explained away one of his victims' escape into the street as a fight that he was having with his "boyfriend"-and the cops believed him, returning the dazed 19-year old to Dahmers custody. the cops also failed to investigate the strange smells emanating from Dahmers house. When asked why, the cops replied "Well, he seemed like such a nice guy!" Jeffy, nice guy that he was, was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.
A personal note here-I was confined in Menard Correctional when Jeffrey came through there on his way to his date with destiny. He was universally hated by most of the prison population because of his predatory acts towards children. The white inmate population started a rumor that Jeffery specifically liked dining on small black children, with the intention of getting him killed by the blacks. It worked.
The vast majority of prison inmates might be scum and have a whole host of other societal issues, but they will not stand for a baby raper or killer. You walk through the gates with that jacket, and you will not walk out. Ever.
Rader was the 1990's consummate serial killer, murdering all of his victims in the same fashion-bind, torture, and kill-which earned him the moniker "BTK". rader seemed like a perfectly normal guy: leader of his sons Boy Scout troop and president of his church. He was a family man-and a scary-smart killer. After each kill, he would send a note or news report directly to the local police, saying that BTK had struck again. He wanted his name to be heard and talked about. This plan worked (somewhat) flawlessly, with Rader releasing letters into the early 2000's. Rader is currently serving 10 murder sentences, which puts his earliest release date at 2180. RIP, BTK!
Gary Leon Ridgeway
In true crazy-killer fashion, Ridgeway eventually confessed to more than twice the number of murders that he was convicted of. Ridgeway was convicted of killing 48 women, most of the prostitutes. He thought of killing as his career-nothing more and nothing less. He would strangle and kill his victims and then hide them in the woods, returning later to the bodies to have sex with them. Ridgeway was discrete for a while, until five of his victims showed up in the Green River, at which point a nickname was conned and the manhunt was on. His nickname was, of course, the Green River Killer, and he is currently sentenced to lifer in prison without parole.
While not technically a serial killer, Gein's exploits in the 1950's have live on in infamy, being the direct inspiration for the movie plots of "Psycho", "The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre", and "The Silence Of The Lambs". Gein had a thing for visiting graveyards late at night and exhuming the bodies in order to craft trophies from their skins and bones. Oh, he killed a couple of people too, but mostly he just collected parts for those who were already dead. How did he get way with it for so long? Well, nobody really wonders what happens to the dead after they are dead, but once Gein actually killed someone, the cops were all over his ass. Gein died of respiratory failure at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in 1984, and his grave has been repeatedly vandalized over the remaining years.
Now, America by no means has a lock on wack-jobs! So, to keep things fair, I thought I would toss in a couple of foreigners, just to see how we stack up against the world.
This cattle-breeder turned sorcerer had a thing for strangling women and having their skulls face his house, which he believed brought him greater supernatural powers. He would bury his victims up to their waists and then slowly strangle them. During his 11 years as a respected witchdoctor in the community, he is said to have killed over 42 women. It would seem that the Indonesian police apparently were not thinking "serial killer" at the time, and it took them quite a while to uncover Suradji's sick schemes. He confessed that he onlystarted killing women because the spirit of his father appeared to him in one of his dreams and instructed him to drink the saliva of the women he killed in order to improve his skills as a mystic healer. His skill set was a bit off, as he was executed by an Indonesian firing squad in July 2008.
Countess Erzsebet Bathory
The queen of serial killers and without a doubt one of the most prolific, the fact that Bathory's 600 kills took place before America was even founded is reason enough to include her on this list. Her victims were young and helpless virgins, who were slaughtered and then drained of their blood. After every draining, the Countess would soak in the virgin's blood as a way to "purify" her system and maintainher youthful appearance. How did she get away with murder on this scale? Well, back in the day (Bathory died in 1614), being a Countess means never having to say you are sorry! Her accomplices were punshed by death, but the Countess received what passed for house arrest in the 17th century. She was confined to the walls of her castle, and after four years without a drop of virgin blood, she finally died. No word on whether or not she left an attractive corpse, though!