Serial killers are bad because they kill people, and killing people serially is generally frowned upon. However, there are some famous killers that have reached almost mythical levels from their deeds. What’s even more insane, is that when given a different lens to look at them through, you just might change your perspective on them…here are a few famous killers looked at from a new angle:
#4 – CHARLES MANSON:
WHAT HE’S FAMOUS FOR: Being crazy. Also, on August 8, 1969, Manson sent some members of his “family” to kill everyone inside a residence where he felt that he was getting the cold shoulder. Unfortunately, the house was occupied by 8 and 1/2 months pregnant movie star, Sharon Tate, her former lover and friend, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger (of coffee fame) and screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski (yes that’s a name, I didn’t just slap my keyboard). They were all brutally murdered.
On the night after the Tate murders, Manson’s family went to the residence of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and murdered them as well.
WHAT YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Even though Charles Manson is a tremendous personality and very persuasive, he never killed anyone…not one person. That’s not to say that he wasn’t an accessory to murder, and he absolutely gave the order for his minions to kill, but as far as killing anyone himself it never happened. He was convicted through California’s joint-responsibility rule and sentenced to death. Shortly after his sentence, California abolished the death penalty so instead of sentencing him to being butt-plugged with a pine cone, then they abolished that idea and sentenced him to life.
Manson was also fairly musical…musical enough for Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys to supposedly steal one of his songs (according to Manson). Dennis Wilson in earlier times had introduced Manson to Terry Melcher who was a record producer. When Manson was blown off later by Terry Melcher, it was Melcher’s house that Manson sent his family over to in order to “kill everyone inside”. Melcher however, had moved to Malibu and the residence unfortunately was now owned by Sharon Tate.
WHY YOU’LL SEE HIM IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: Again, he never killed anyone…he’s telling the truth about that in his parole hearings. That being said, according to the FBI, a serial kill is “the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events, with a cooling-off period between events.” Then the definition of a mass murder is, “…the murder of four or more victims at one location, within one event.” – Manson doesn’t fit into either of those, so we’ll just call him a dirty little sumbitch.
#3 – JACK THE RIPPER
WHAT HE’S FAMOUS FOR: Jack the Ripper was a serial killer that operated in Whitechapel, London on or around 1888. Unlike Grand Theft Auto, Jack didn’t beat his hookers. Instead, the 5+ victims were mostly prostitutes that had their throats cut and their midsections mutilated – he really didn’t like hookers.
WHAT YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Besides having some of the coolest killer-names out there (“Whitechapel Murderer” and “Leather Apron” are his other two), Jack the Ripper mutilated the bodies of his victims with surgeon-like precision, leading most of the theories about the killer’s identity in the direction of him being a doctor or a butcher. Over 2,000 people were interviewed, 300 were investigated, and 80 were detained in the search for the killer, but nobody was ever convicted.
WHY YOU’LL SEE HIM IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: “Jack” may actually have been “Jill”. According to an article on Jack the Ripper on history.com, the fifth victim, Mary Kelly, was seen walking around hours after she had been killed. The investigator suggested that maybe this was the killer escaping wearing Mary’s clothes. Then theories came up that she was either a midwife or abortionist and this gave her access and knowledge to perform the killings in the manner that they were done. It also makes sense that this could be a scorned woman whose husband loved hookers, so she was on a mission to kill every single one.
#2 – ED GEIN
WHAT HE’S FAMOUS FOR: Ed Gein was a farmer in Plainfield, Wisconsin. He loved his mother even though she would beat him when he tried to make friends and was always disappointed in him. He loved that bitch so much, that after she died he missed her dearly and began digging up female bodies from the nearby graveyard in order to make skin-masks so he could look like a woman…this should sound familiar…
WHAT YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Even though he killed two people, Ed was more of a body-snatcher. Besides making female masks, he turned his house into a skin-joint of sorts. Amongst other things in his place that were people-based, his decor included items such as:
- Human skull-bowls
- Human skin chair seats
- Belt made from human nipples
- Skulls on top of his bedposts
- Pair of lips on a drawstring for his window shades
- Lamp made of skin
Although I find the choice theme a little drab, you have to admit, Gein likes what he likes.
WHY YOU’LL SEE HIM IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: If you like horror-movies, chances are that you’ll have to give some thanks to Ol’ Ed. Here are some famous movies and characters that he was the inspiration for:
- Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) in Silence of the Lambs
- Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- American Horror Story: Asylum
Not into horror movies? What about hard rock?
- “Dead Skin Mask” by Slayer
- “Nothing to Gein” by Mudvayne
Not into hard rock? What about musicals?
- Ed Gein: The Musical
…I shit you not, the dude has his own musical.
#1 – THE ZODIAC
WHAT HE’S FAMOUS FOR: The Zodiac has 5 confirmed murders in northern California in the late 1960’s, although he claimed 37 in letters and ciphers to the SFPD. He shot couples that were at “make-out point” areas, stabbed a couple on the shore of Lake Berryessa in broad daylight while wearing and executioner’s mask and shot a cab driver in the head in the middle of a San Francisco intersection, walked away, then mailed a piece of the dead man’s shirt to the police department just to rub their nose in it.
He sent ciphers to local newspapers of which 2 of the 3 haven’t been solved, you can try it here if you wish. He said would reveal his identity, told police he was going to “pick off kiddies as they come bouncing out” in relation to kids coming off school busses, and called the police to report a murder he just committed while he was on a pay phone only a few blocks from the police station. Shortly after his spree that lasted under two years, he wrote a letter saying he would stop writing, and he did…forever.
WHAT YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: The Zodiac was unique in one way – he stopped. For a guy that mocked police over and over and gave the impression that he wanted to be caught, he just said goodbye and then disappeared. Now here’s the funky stuff – The Zodiac was apparently a master-cipher-maker…especially since 2 of his 3 haven’t been solved in 40 years. He apparently grew frustrated that nobody could figure them out so he sent a hint in one of his letters stating, “The Mt. Diablo code concerns Radians + # inches along the radians.”
In 1981, Gareth Penn discovered that a certain radian angle when put over a certain map highlighted the locations of two of the Zodiac attacks, which would lead one to believe that Zodiac had some master plan and is an incredible genius…there’s just one problem:
How on Earth can this dude be so smart and spell like a monkey? I’ll tell you…
He was either two different people (one writing and one killing), or he was so smart, he misspelled words just to throw you off on just how smart he actually was/is. Which is like Lindsay Lohan showing up with non-alcoholic beer but still full-Lohan.
WHY YOU’LL SEE HIM IN A NEW LIGHT: The Zodiac, which is probably the most compelling unsolved killer case of the 20th century, was investigated by none other than Dirty Harry. Clint Eastwood’s character was inspired by Detective Dave Toschi, the lead investigator in the Zodiac case. So without the Zodiac, we couldn’t make anyone’s day, punk.