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Scarikah's avatar

Who's your favorite serial killer?

Asked by Scarikah (427points) October 11th, 2011

Fictional or not.
Mine is Sweeney Todd.
That movie makes me so happy. (Is that weird?)

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66 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Hmm. Maybe this question will help to answer your first one, hey? Not criticizing; it’s a great question. I doubt if we’ve seen its like before on Fluther.

I guess I like Hannibal Lecter. I like the implicit promise that he gave to Clarice Starling that he wasn’t going to use his considerable powers to kill her: “The world is a more interesting place with you in it, Clarice.” That and his parting line, “I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

Scarikah's avatar

I assure you that it will not help me answer my first question. Everyone I know loves that movie, so you’d think it would just give me more to talk about with them. :D

I do love Hannibal though. In fact, I should be receiving that movie in the mail any day now.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I could second Sweeney Todd aka Benjamin Barker; The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Then maybe Hannibal Lectner, The Joker of Batman Begins, then Buffalo Bill.

Ayesha's avatar

Hannibal Lecter baby!!

Scooby's avatar

Sweeney Todd here too but portrayed by Ray Winstone for realism… :-/

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Ed Gein. I also have a special fascination with female serial killers.

ucme's avatar

Jack the Ripper for his “work” in the Whitechapel murders.

Buttonstc's avatar

Hands down it’s Dexter ! A seriel killer with a conscience. Who woulda thunk it, huh?

When I first read this Q, I found it kind of off-putting because I was thinking along the lines of real-life guys like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and the like.

But fictional ones are a different case.

In a non fiction context they are ALL sociopaths without conscience or remorse. Hard to have a fave out of that bunch.

But the fictional Dex is truly a unique creation.

Ayesha's avatar

@Buttonstc I can’t believe I didn’t think of Dexter!!!! I so agree!!

Scarikah's avatar

I’ve never seen Dexter. I’ve heard it’s good. But..I did hear that from a bald Mormon, so I don’t know.. (I joke. About not knowing because he was a bald Mormon. Not the fact that he was a bald Mormon. I love that guy.)

flutherother's avatar

They are each fascinating in their own ways but I think Richard Kuklinsky is the most terrifying.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

The Night Stalker because he was kinda hot.

*Yes, I know he was a sadistic sick bastard… but he was a hot sadistic sick bastard.

Ayesha's avatar

@Scarikah Start watching! It’s beyond amazing! I’m a huge fan, as you can tell :)

Buttonstc's avatar


Just two episodes in and it’s looking to be a really fantastic season. Hard to top John Lithgow as Trinity (he is such a talented actor. From the goofball on Third Rock to Trinity. What a stretch and both totally believable) but Tom Hanks’ son paired with Olmos is going to be quite a match.

I’m betting on this being the best season ever.

Scarikah's avatar

@Ayesha Yes, I can tell. A lot. :D

Ayesha's avatar

@Buttonstc Well said! I couldn’t agree more my friend. Every season seems like it tops the previous one. Amazing.

Scarikah's avatar

My favorite show is Law & Order: SVU. Although I don’t like any of the bad guys on there. I cannot like rapists. Fictional or not. Can’t do it.

lloydbird's avatar

Right now, I’m wondering if anyone who has a ”..favorite serial killer..” deserves to encounter one – to their own disadvantage.
If any of you cannot see what is wrong here..then perhaps considering answering a question like, Who is your favorite child rapist? might add some perspective!

Sick sick sick.

beccagolling's avatar

Most of the killers from the Godchild manga. Such a beautiful manga. ♥ And no that is not weird, I feel the same way about the murders in the GodChild series. I have a love for dark/morbid things. I don’t care if people call me weird, its what I like. Like this question! ♥

lloydbird's avatar

@Scarikah Not “Angry…”.
Shocked, disappointed with some outlooks, disturbed by such casual glorification of dreadful deeds , yes.

Scarikah's avatar

Oh, it is not their dreadful deeds that I like. Believe that. It’s everything else. Along with their weird little…reasoning… They’re strange.

Buttonstc's avatar


In case it escaped your attention, that’s PRECISELY why I made the distinction between non-fiction vs. FICTIONAL.

There is a HUGE difference. Since you don’t appear to grasp that critical concept, I have a suggestion for you. Instead of wishing ill upon all who participate in this thread, why don’t you find another Q to hang out on and leave us in peace to enjoy discussing a wallopingly original season of a FICTIONAL TV series.

Dexter does not exist in real life so I am free to favorite him with impunity regardless of what harm you would choose to wish upon me or the rest of us.

As the old saying goes: “go mind your own beeswax”

PS Another favorite program of mine is Criminal Minds. Each case is based upon a real life serial killer tracked by the very real BAU (behavioral analysis unit of the FBI)

It certainly does not glorify these psychopaths but does show how the profiler do their job to track down these sick fucks. They truly are without conscience or remorse.

It’s a fascinating (if disturbing) program and I never miss an episode.

Tough tiddlywinks for you if you don’t approve or judge me for it.

Fluther allows all types of questions. Believe me, there have been worse than this. But the beauty of Fluther is that no one is forced to participate in Qs they find distasteful.

The mods are perfectly of deleting anything not within Fluther guidelines.

And last I checked, you are NOT a Mod. You don’t need to do their job for them. They are all intelligent and capable enough to do their job themselves.

GladysMensch's avatar

I’ve always been fascinated with Ed Gein; more for what he did with the bodies than the number of kills (2). It takes a special kind of crazy to upholster couches and lampshades with skin.

Scarikah's avatar

@GladysMensch What? Nuh uh! That’s so gross! Wow.

Buttonstc's avatar


Agreed. And it’s the same type of twisted mind found in Hitler’s SS honchos who apparently did the same (at least according to inmate testimony from Buchenwald.).

They also made shrunken heads and kept teeth for “souvenirs”.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Another vote for Hannibal Lecter. I have a teensy crush on him.

smilingheart1's avatar

My favourite serial killer is Karla Faye Tucker because she allowed herself to be brought to her right mind, see the truth, acknowledge the truth and repent.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@smilingheart1 Sometimes I wonder about those people though, Jeffrey Dahmer supposedly confessed before he was murdered too… Didn’t stop him from getting his skull bashed in, but I think maybe he had hoped that it might.

I confess to God… I don’t need to do that for anyone else. It doesn’t really do any good because people do not forgive and they will hold you to your sin for the rest of your life even when you do change yourself at their demands of you, they still do not forgive.

So that being said maybe that’s why the death penalty is a good thing confession optimal, but certainly no difference to a quality of life either way?

Hmmm… strange thought to consider… Thanks for the brain juice.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Mickey and Mallory. The best thing to happen to mass murder since Manson. But way cooler.

Joker94's avatar

Can’t say I have a favorite real serial killer…but as far as fictional ones go, Johnny C. from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac probably tops the list.

HungryGuy's avatar

He wasn’t exactly a serial killer, but I have to say Marquis De Sade :-p

Scarikah's avatar

@filmfann I was just telling my little sister about her yesterday! But I couldn’t remember the name. Thank you for that.

tranquilsea's avatar

@filmfann I’ve always strongly suspected that Countess Bathory was vilified because some vested interests wanted her property: which they got.

Not that women can’t do horrible things. They are just much less likely to.

snowberry's avatar

My kids and husband. Each can kill a box of cereal in an hour or less.

DominicX's avatar

Jeffrey Dahmer is interesting to me because unlike most serial killers, he didn’t have an abusive or otherwise abnormal upbringing. John Wayne Gacy, for example, was frequently beaten by his alcoholic father, Ed Gein was abused by his mother, etc. but Jeffrey Dahmer was raised “normally”. But he just seemed to be evil from birth (or before, since his mother had a difficult pregnancy and was frequently sick. It’s almost as if it indicated there was a demon inside her about be born). And despite his non-abusive parents he was killing animals at a young age. It’s just bizarre…

My favorite fictional serial killer would have to be Gerry Schnauz, from the X-files episode “Unruhe” written by Vince Gilligan. Schnauz lobotomizes his victims believing he is saving them from “howlers”, unseen demonic forces that cause people to do evil acts. And because he has the ability to psychically project images to photographs…

AmWiser's avatar

I wouldn’t say a favorite serial killer, but I was somewhat fasinated by Dennis Rader aka the BTK strangler. It took police 27 years to catch him, even though he sent letters desribing the details of the kilings to police and news outlets.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@DominicX Yes there was there was abuse only nobody admitted to it. It was speculated that his father used to drug his mother with powerful high dose narcotics to keep her “calm.” Which threw up all sorts of red flags in my cranium, I wonder what he was doing while she was out? For God knows what reasons.

That was NOT a “normal” family… They had issues.

Berserker's avatar

As far as fiction goes, my hero is Michael Myers from the Halloween series.

Then again, he’s no longer human, and he’s more of a mass murderer than a serial killer, even if his goal is to kill a specific person, or persons that might hinder his progress in killing the one goal person. Still, my answer.

For real life, Edward Gein is an interesting choice. He was totally messed up, loved comic books and was a model prisoner in prison. He’s a good example of how much one’s environment and childhood can fuck you up. Or an estimate of such. Would he have turned out like this if his mom hadn’t been a dick? Probably not, but @DominicX also points out Dahmer. (whom I know not much about)

Not really a serial killer, but I recently learned about a Canadian criminal from Québec, Roch Thériault. I learned about him early this year when he died in prison.

He was a religious cult leader who thought/or told people he was Moses’s reincarnation. He convinced some people to go live off in seclusion with him, and he did to them some of the most horrible shit I ever read. Sexual abuse with his many wives and kids, a cruel hierarchy reigning in his small community, battering up babies and kids so bad that they became mentally retarded, ’‘operating’’ on his followers by pretty much torturing them, and he killed a woman while trying to handle a difficult birth situation. Plenty of other really weird and scary shit.

However, I read a lot about this guy because I kept asking myself shit…why did these people willingly stay with this monster? They could have left anytime, he never shown any signs of restraining them, at least not physically. People often ran off, but they always came back, forgiving ’‘their lord’’ and understanding that God was working through him to teach them all a lesson.
He was apparently very charismatic and everyone loved him. But Jesus Christ, there’s some limits. No matter how much I may love someone, if he treated my kids the way this guy treated his, I’d be long gone.

Although he had a rough childhood, insanity I believe was ruled out because he was very manipulative and much too cognizant of his actions. That doesn’t mean much as far as mental disorders go, but maybe they didn’t wanna go through all the trouble and just stuck him in jail. (Québec made no real attempt to catch him when he ran away to Ontario with his groupies, who he had also abused back in that province)

This Wiki article doesn’t say much, but other stuff I read is hardcore. So yeah, I keep asking myself…those people who followed him, I mean why? How come? They let him dish out all this shit on them, and kept going back. They musta been pretty fucked up themselves, or had REALLY shitty families. When reading about this guy, this is what I wonder about the most. Those poor people. I guess he’s not a serial killer, but he is a murderer, and it is believed that he killed more people than what was reported.

digitalimpression's avatar

I’m with @Buttonstc .. Dexter!

AshLeigh's avatar

Oh so many to choose from…
The Son of Sam.
Jack The Ripper.
Jack The Sripper. (He’s real)
Gustavo Adolfo. :)
I could go on…
But I think my favorite of all time would have to be… [Drumroll]
Robert Hansen. ;) (Alaska’s own!)

Brian1946's avatar

I’m fairly sure that by “favorite serial killer”, you mean which one(s) do we think is (are) the most morbidly fascinating, not which ones do we actually like as though we would want to be friends with them or like what they did.

One of the ones that I find to be the most fascinating is Angel Resendez, the Railroad Killer.
He was able to elude capture for 2 years primarily because he stowed away and basically lived on trains. Therefore, he had no permanent address and no vehicle that was traceable to him.
It was also particularly difficult to attribute his murders to a single person because he killed in so many different cities and in different states.
Even once law enforcement determined that those murders were committed by him, he was still very hard to catch because his travel patterns were haphazard and done with very little forethought.

Another one is the Zodiac Killer, mainly because even though he struck about 40 years ago, they still don’t know who he is or if he’s even still alive.

Berserker's avatar

@Brian1946 Another one is the Zodiac Killer, mainly because even though he struck about 40 years ago, they still don’t know who he is or if he’s even still alive.

That is some disturbing shit. Imagine how many killers DON’T ever get busted…:/

Brian1946's avatar


“That is some disturbing shit. Imagine how many killers DON’T ever get busted…:/”

It sure is and here’s a list of some suspected serial murders that have yet to be solved. :-o

In July 2010, we drove through El Paso, Texas on our way to New Orleans. El Paso is just across the border from Juarez, Mexico and since I already knew that Juarez had a horribly high murder rate, there was no way we were crossing that border.

ddude1116's avatar

My favorite is by far Sweeney Todd because he’s capable of being a sympathetic character as much as a frightening one. You know enough of his past to realize his humanity, but he’s still enigmatic enough that he maintains a level of fear and intensity.

Berserker's avatar

@Brian1946 I just skimmed through it, I’ll read in detail in a bit. Such mad stories…imagine what some of those victims saw and experienced, and no one will ever know what really happened, or why. Fuckin freaky.

Ponderer983's avatar

Mine is Kevin Spacey’s character from “Seven” cause if I were to go on a killing spree, it would be in this fashion. Killing people according to teh Seven Deadly Sins is a good way to rid the world of crappy people :)

Brian1946's avatar

“Another one is the Zodiac Killer, mainly because even though he struck about 40 years ago….”

Actually, someday this month will be the 45th anniversary of the first murder allegedly committed by him:

“The notorious and very bizarre serial killer who called himself The Zodiac remains one of the world’s great unsolved cases. In Oct., 1966, a girl was viciously murdered in Riverside, California when she permitted a man to help start the car that he had intentionally disabled when she was in her school library.”

Scarikah's avatar

@Brian1946 Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Thank you.

Buttonstc's avatar


That’s exactly what Dexter does (except he doesn’t follow an arbitrary list of seven sins).

But, nonetheless it’s quite similar in that his targets are ONLY evildoers (killers, child rapists, etc) who have managed to elude justice for one reason or another.

Because he works as a blood forensics expert for the police Dept. he insists on proving beyond doubt that the target is really guilty, The Code was taught to him by his (now deceased) policeman Father who adopted him and later realized the signs of how irrevocably damaged this child truly was. So he taught him to confine his impulses to those who deserved it.

(He’s only goofed up once and killed the wrong guy. But he was a despicable person anyhow.)

Dexters term for what he does is “taking out the trash”. A nice little ironic phrase :)

The whole setup makes for an intriguing and very creative premise for an ongoing series.

King_Pariah's avatar

Ahem, Ed Gein is not considered a serial killer. You need at least three kills of a similar manner to be considered a serial killer.

But I’ll go with Pedro Lopez, the monster of the Andes, mostly because I’m intrigued as to how he was only sentenced 16 years for the deaths of 110–300+ people.

Buttonstc's avatar


That trivial a sentence really makes a mockery of the justice system.

With stupidity like that, it seems we could use a few real-life Dexters to clean up for the inadequacies of the “justice” system.

King_Pariah's avatar

he also walked away with only 14 for good behavior

Buttonstc's avatar


It’s interesting that you mentioned the “Railroad Killer” because just a few days ago (Sun. Nt.) they did a rerun of the Criminal Minds episode based upon that case.

Only a few minor details were changed for dramatic license but the essence of the case was the same and the chilling fact remains that he eluded detection for so long because his murders took place in so many different jurisdictions.

fundevogel's avatar

@Brian1946 & @Symbeline I actually think the Zodiac was a giant pussy as far as serial killers go. He came this close to being caught in San Francisco. He murdered a taxi driver in the street and a child at a birthday party saw him through the window. The cops literally passed the Zodiac on their way to the scene. After that he didn’t have the balls to risk killing any more, but he kept right on sending letters to the police trying to take credit for other people’s murders. He was all, “please pay attention to me please”. Loser.

My actual favorite serial killer is Herman Webster Mudgett, more often known by his assumed name “Dr. Holmes”. He holds some illustrious title in the annals of American crime. He’s either credited as being the first American serial killer (although that seems doubtful) or the most prolific (much more likely), Basically the dude pretended to be a pharmacist, set up shop in Chicago, and converted his extra rooms into hotel room/death traps and set up a morgue in his basement. He called it “The Castle”. His body count is unknown but he was quite busy gassing lodgers while the 1893 World’s Fair was in town. The estimates go as high as 200. He skeletonized the bodies and sold them to medical suppliers. He did a bunch of other awful things as well. It’s worth reading the crime library’s article on him.

ratboy's avatar

Count Chocula.

Brian1946's avatar


“It’s interesting that you mentioned the “Railroad Killer” because just a few days ago (Sun. Nt.) they did a rerun of the Criminal Minds episode based upon that case.”

What’s also interesting is that I watched that episode last Sunday, and it’s what inspired my choice of “On Hell” Ramirez. ;-)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t have a favourite serial killer but, if I’m honest, Charlize Theron’s portraly of Eileen Wuornos did make me feel some compassion for her.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Buttonstc I have never seen Dexter – mkaybe I should check it out!

Buttonstc's avatar

Yes you should. It’s an intriguing premise and a very well done show.

This season just started and you haven’t missed anything essential yet. And you can probably catch the 2nd episode on a rerun several times this week. Each new episode begins on Sun. Nt.

I think you’d like it. They consistently attract really good actors for feature roles. It’s just a high quality, really well done show.

(and his ongoing narrative of his inner thoughts provide a subtle dark humor that sometimes provokes a surprising laugh. It’s a welcome counterpoint in what is a pretty grim show.)

I’ve given enough summation of the basic premise so you won’t be totally out to sea with what’s going on and I think you’ll get hooked.

I watched the first episode rather skeptically thinking I most likely wouldn’t stick with it since it was based off a comic book. But I couldn’t wait for each new episode. It’s a very addicting show :)

One little note: the guy who appears occasionally out of nowhere beside him and reminds him of stuff and asks key questions is his deceased Father, Harry in his imagination. That could be a little confusing for a first timer to the show.

And several of the earlier seasons are available on DVD and rental. But each season stands alone with it’s own unique arc and major killer for him to track so you can jump in now and catch up later.

Berserker's avatar

@King_Pariah Ahem, Ed Gein is not considered a serial killer. You need at least three kills of a similar manner to be considered a serial killer.

Ah, yeah. I knew there had to be a specific number. Well, he may or may not have killed his brother…but even if he did, that might not count at all, probbaly. :/

@fundevogel Haha what? He sent letters and took credit for the murders of others? Those other killers must have been like, dude, wtf?

tranquilsea's avatar

My favourite is Clifford Robert Olsen only because the fucker is finally dead.

He was murdering children my age all around my childhood stomping grounds. My mom wanted Corrections Canada to release him and let all the parents of the kids he murdered know where and when he was going to be released and then turn a blind eye to any outcome.

fundevogel's avatar

@Symbeline They probably didn’t mind, it’s just so desperate on his part. Dude should have got a hobby.

Berserker's avatar

@fundevogel Yeah. That dude was probably denied pen pals in school. XD

That makes me think though…they probably didn’t mind. Serial killers often do what they do for reasons they deem necessary, an alternative to not having a choice, following a logic of their own, stuff like that…they probably didn’t mind the letters because they were busy just being fucked up. If that Zodiac guy just wanted attention, to go that far to do it makes him kinda special. Up until taking credit for some other killer’s nasty deeds, anyways.

Like, ever hear that riddle? Some girl is in love with some guy, so everytime she wants to see him, she kills someone. Why? Because the object of her admiration is a detective or a police officer.

Is that how that went…? I forget. But my point is, the Zodiac guy is really weird to kill for attention (if that’s what it was) when compared to other killers who have all these messed up reasons to kill.

But yeah I agree…he needed something to do lol, besides killing I mean.

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