Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Top ten least famous serial killers

You’ve heard of Bundy, Dahmer and Gacy, but are you familiar with these serial killers? Deceased serial killer Maury Travis recently made headlines when the current resident of the home in which he is believed to have tortured and killed as many as 20 women, realized she was living in a serial killer’s home and wanted out of her lease. Once the home’s history came out, her landlord graciously complied.

Stephen Griffiths: The crossbow cannibal

He was a criminology student living in a red-light district. Then, Stephen Griffiths killed three prostitutes and proudly declared himself England’s “Crossbow Cannibal.”

Juan Corona, a homophobic serial killer’s story

Were the trials that convicted Juan Corona twice for the murders of 25 California farm workers actually a rush to judgment? Many bits of important evidence didn’t connect Corona to the murders, and very little evidence actually implicated him. Though Corona’s defense attorney did a good job implicating Corona’s openly gay half-brother Natividad, the jury didn’t buy it.

Graham Young, the St. Albans Poisoner

Graham Young, aka the Teacup Poisoner, had a pathological fascination with poison and a detachment from the human race characteristic of the sociopath. These disturbing personality traits enabled him to easily poison family, friends, co workers, even his bosses. His little “experiments” killed four people, and sickened a hundred or more.

Albert Fish, the cannibal who preferred kids

On May 28, 1928, Albert Fish inserted himself into the lives of the Budd family. Gentle-looking and grandfatherly, he cleverly set them at ease and lured their young daughter Gracie and at least five other children to their deaths. A child rapist, killer and cannibal, Fish was executed on January 16, 1936.

John Norman Collins, the Co-Ed Killer

On July 10, 1967, Mary Fleszar was reported missing from her apartment near Eastern Michigan University. On August 7, her badly decomposed body was found near the foundation of a farmhouse two miles north of Ypsilanti. Though he was never convicted of her murder, Flezsar’s tragic and gruesome death is widely thought to be the work of Michigan serial killer John Norman Collins.

The DNA exoneration of David Vasquez & the DNA conviction of serial killer Timothy Spencer

Despite lack of solid evidence, a mentally retarded man is convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1984. It would take four more murders committed in a similar fashion–and a battery of DNA tests–for the real killer to be brought to justice.

Lemuel Smith: Murder within the walls

On May 20, 1969, budding serial killer Smith kidnapped and sexually assaulted two women, one of whom convinced him to let her go, saying that she would not report him. That act of mercy would lead directly to his arrest. After that his victims would receive no such mercy. Ultimately even prison could not keep him from killing.

Wedding bells for Paul Bernardo?

Has cupid finally pierced the stone-cold heart of Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo? Most are skeptical. Last fall, Bernardo reached out and touched the heart of an unidentified Canadian woman. Her father describes her as “brilliant but psychologically and emotionally fragile and lacking in street smarts.” Her family is hoping to change her mind about the serial killer.

Anthony Sowell: The Cleveland Strangler

The complaints against Sowell, the reports of missing women and the stench around his house went ignored by Cleveland police for years — until a naked woman threw herself through his front window. At that point police did take action, but it was too late for the 11 victims they found moldering in his home.

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