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Top 10 Most Horrific Serial Killers in History


Walls have ears. Doors have eyes.

Trees have voices. Beasts tell lies.

Beware the rain. Beware the snow.

Beware the man you think you know.

— Catherine Fisher

Human life is one of the most exquisite treasures of the world. Taking it apart might be the most heinous and brutal act of a human. Think of a human committing this horrific act more than once. Yes, simply saying, that’s serial killing.

Unlawful murders are serious offenses and such acts of violence should be greatly discouraged. This article does not intend to glorify such treacherous acts or harm the emotions of victims’ families. This is just an attempt to remind the deep dark layers of a civic society.

These are the worst 10 people who are remembered for committing the most treacherous sin multiple times and terrifying society with their cruel violent acts.


Number of Victims: less than 100
A Brazilian serial killer, sentenced for murdering 71 people while he claims to have killed over 100 people. Most of his victims were inmates and revenge was his main motive. The brutal murder of his innocent pregnant wife triggered him to torture and mercilessly slaughter several people. Pedro was convicted to 128 years in jail, although the maximum length of a jail sentence in Brazil is 30 years.
Current status: Released since 2018

Hermann Webster

Hermann Webster

9. Hermann Webstar (USA)

Number of Victims: almost 150
Also known as ‘H.H Holmes', Hermann was believed to have lured over 150 women to his Chicago ‘castle’. This Warren of secret passengers was fully equipped for torturing, murdering, and dissecting his victims and disposing of their bodies in furnaces or an acid bath. Arrested in 1894 and found guilty of the murder of an ex-partner, he confessed to killing 27 but may have killed up to 150 occasions. Hermann was regarded as America's first mass murderer and was hanged on 7 May 1896.
Current status: Hanged

8. Hu Wanlin (China)

Number of Victims: 196
Posing as a doctor specializing in ancient Chinese medicine, Hu Wanlin was sentenced on 1 October 2000 to 15 years of imprisonment for three deaths. But, authorities believe that Hu's ‘treatment’ involved herbal preparations containing a high dose of sodium sulphate, a poison substance, which led to the death of an estimated 20 in Taiyuan, 146 in Shanxi, and 30 in Shanqui. His conviction has resulted in an official system of medical licensing across China. In 2014 after an early release, the state media reported that Hu was again responsible for a death.
Current status: Unknown

Gilles De Rais

Gilles De Rais

7. Gilles De Rais (France)

Number of Victims: above 200
A fabulously wealthy French aristocrat, Gilles, committed murders as sacrifices during black magic rituals. His victims here mostly children. Charged with a catalogue of crimes that included ‘the conjunction of demons', he was tried, tortured, and found guilty. He was strangled and his body burnt at Nantes on 25 October 1440.
Current status: Died

6. Henry Lee Lucas (USA)

Number of Victims: above 200
Lucas admitted involvement in about 600 murders, with a 213 proven rate, many committed with his partner in crime Ottis Toole but later recanted his confessions. He died due to a heart attack in prison, in 2001.
Current dtatus: Died

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Luis Garavito


5. Luis Alfredo Garavito (Colombia)

Number of Victims: above 200
Garavito confessed in 1999 to a spate of murders. Though found guilty of murdering 138 young boys, the number of his victims could exceed 200. The total sentences add up to 1,835 years of imprisonment, but due to Colombian law, he may serve less than 30 years.
Current status: Imprisoned

4. Dr. Harold Shipman (UK)

Number of Victims: 250
In January 2000, a Manchester doctor Shipman was found guilty of the murder of 15 women patients; the official enquiry into his crimes put the figure at 218, with a probable number of victims around 250. The Shipman case, and a series of recommendations of the Shipman inquiry report led to changes to standard medical procedures in the U.K. Shipman hanged himself in his prison cell on 13 January 2004.
Current status: Died

Pedro Alonso

Pedro Alonso

3. Pedro Alonso Lopez (Colombia)

Number of victims: about 300
Captured in 1980, Lopez, nicknamed the ‘Monster of the Andes', led police to 53 graves but confessed to killing at least 300 in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. He was a pedophile and was declared insane. However, after serving 14 years of imprisonment he was released by the Ecuadorian Government on ‘good behavior'. But, later in 2002, Interpol issued an advisory notice for his re-arrest for a fresh murder. Since 2002, his whereabouts are unknown.

Current Status: Wanted

2. Countess Erszebet Bathory (Hungary)

Number of victims: almost 650
In the period up to 1610 in Hungary, Bathory known as ‘Countess Dracula' was alleged to have murdered between 300 and 650 girls in the belief that drinking their blood would prevent her from aging. She was eventually arrested in 1611 and found guilty. Many insist that Bram Stroker's ‘Dracula’ was inspired by this tale. She died on 21 August 1614, walled up in her castle.
Current Status: Died



1. Behram (India)

Number of victims: 931
Behram, the most prolific serial killer, was the leader of the Thugee cult in India, which is reckoned to be responsible for the deaths of up to two million people. At his trial, Behram was found guilty of personally committing 931 murders between 1790 and 1830, mostly by ritual strangulation with the cult's traditional cloth known as ruhmal. He was executed by hanging in 1840.

The murders by bandits, those carried out by terrorist groups, political and military atrocities, and gangland slayings are excluded. The above article mentions only individual murders. The number of victims signifies a suspected and interpreted figure from available data and may not be exact figures. Corrections are welcome!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Govind Panicker

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