Real-Life Murderers Whose MO Will Chill You To The Bone

It’s much worse when it’s all real

The criminal world is a dark and scary place to explore, but it’s still interesting to get into the minds of the most evil people on the planet. Each one has their own modus operandi, each one leaves their own particular trail and each one has their own signature. And in the centuries of criminal activity, some have notoriously stood out above the rest. 

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Aileen Wournos

You might know her from Monster starring Charlize Theron, but the real life of convicted murderer Aileen Wournos was worse than the film—if you can imagine that. Throughout her sentencing, she pleaded self-defense, explaining how those seven men she killed raped or tried to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. She shot them all at point-blank range, shooting a number of bullets into their bodies. 

Reports on her claim that her activities were consistent with the psychopathology model of women who kill and was likewise considered to have a psychopathic personality. Considering her childhood, it’s not hard to see why. Wournos’ father was a convicted sex offender, out of the picture before she was even born and hung himself in his prison cell when she was 13. And by that time, Wournos was already trading sexual favors for cigarettes and other treats for two years. 

Ahmad Suradji

Considered a dakun (or sorcerer) in his village in Indonesia, Ahmad Suradji had access to women seeking his help. But when he was linked to the murder of 15-year-old Sri Kemala Dewi, Ahmad slowly committed to 42 other murders. This lead to a massive excavation process as these girls were buried in a sugarcane field.

Afterwards, Ahmad told his story: When he was younger, his father convinced him that he had to drink the saliva of 70 dead young women in order to become a mystic healer. So that’s exactly what he did. When girls came to his aid, he would bury them waist deep in the sugarcane field, strangle them and proceed to drink their saliva. 

Arthur Shawcross

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Probably the most despicable man in recent history, Arthur Shawcross, once he was in custody, explained in detail all the murders that he committed (or at least, was found guilty of). Committed for rape, murder and cannibalism, Shawcross explained that he was possessed by his mother, who would stick a broomstick up his bum when he was a child, and Ariemes, a thirteenth-century cannibal. 

But don’t for one second think he had discriminated when choosing his victims. He himself admitted that he quickly became obsessed with sex, with his partners including men and women, as well as animals. 

Gary Ridgeway 

Also known as the Green River killer, Gary Ridgeway has the most number of confirmed kills in American history. He was named so because he often dumped his victim’s near the wooded areas around the Green River, as well as other sites within South King County. 

Some of the bodies were posed and often nude, and his victims were usually prostitutes or runaways he had picked up along the streets. He would earn their trust by showing these girls pictures of his son, which would usually result in them getting inside his car. 

HH Holmes

Dubbed American’s first serial killer, HH Holmes installed a torture chamber in his Chicago home in the late 1880s. There, he killed 9 known victims, but a certain number of disappearances during the time are also linked to him (though never confirmed). 

The torture chamber has also been not-so-endearingly called the Murder Castle. 

Pedro Rodrigues Filho

While his morality might be arguable as he killed criminals, Pedro Rodrogues Filho's list of victims goes up well to 70 people—10 of which he killed before he hit 18 years old. His first kill happened when he was just 14, the victim being his town’s vice-mayor. The man had fired Filho’s father for mistakenly thinking he had stolen food from the school. Filho then went on to kill the actual thief. 

Filho’s next crime spree was triggered by the murder of his girlfriend. He tracked several members of the gang responsible, tortured them and killed them. 

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Chilling, right? Sometimes, no matter how deep you get into their crimes and pasts, it’s still hard to understand their actions. 

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Words Adie Pieraz

Art Alex Lara

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