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Serial Killers Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 1:55 PM EDT, Sat May 17, 2014
Law enforcement officers meet in San Francisco in 1969 to compare notes on the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have killed five people in 1968 and 1969. The killer gained notoriety by writing several letters to police boasting of the slayings. He claimed to have killed as many as 37 people and has never been caught. Law enforcement officers meet in San Francisco in 1969 to compare notes on the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have killed five people in 1968 and 1969. The killer gained notoriety by writing several letters to police boasting of the slayings. He claimed to have killed as many as 37 people and has never been caught.
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(CNN) -- Here's a selected list of people convicted of being serial killers and a short list of famous, unsolved serial killings.

David Berkowitz, aka Son of Sam
Killed six people and wounded seven others in New York City between 1976 and 1977.

Most of the victims were young women or couples in cars on secluded streets.

Claimed a demon spoke to him through a neighbor's dog.

Called himself the "Son of Sam" in letters he wrote to newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin.

He once worked as an auxiliary policeman in the Bronx.

He confessed to the murders in 1977 and is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences.

Ted Bundy
Raped and killed at least 16 young women in the early to mid-1970s.

Convicted of three Florida slayings, including that of a 12-year-old girl.

Later confessed to killing more than 30 women and girls.

Was a Boy Scout and then a law student.

He escaped from jail in Colorado twice while on trial for murder. He headed to Florida, where he was eventually caught and tried for three other murders.

Would lure young women to his car, and then beat them to death.

During his nationally televised trial in Florida, he represented himself.

He was executed January 24, 1989 after a long legal battle to keep him alive. A crowd of several hundred gathered outside the prison where he was executed, and they cheered at the news of his death.

Blood stored as part of his case file was entered into the FBI's DNA database with hopes of linking Bundy to cold cases from as early as 1961.

Angelo Buono Jr. and Kenneth A. Bianchi, aka the Hillside Stranglers
Murdered nine women in California between 1977 and 1978.

Buono and Bianchi were cousins.

The victims were sexually assaulted and sometimes tortured. Their naked bodies were left by the side of various roads in the hills of southern California.

A suspect in a rape and strangulation case in Washington state, Bianchi implicated his cousin in the California cases. Bianchi pled guilty to five murders.

Buono was convicted of killing all nine victims. He died in September 21, 2002, at Calipatria State Prison in California.

Bianchi is serving five life terms in prison.

Juan Corona
Murdered 25 farm laborers in California in 1971.

Most of the victims had been stabbed to death and then buried in orchards. Some were never identified.

Corona had worked as a labor contractor, providing farm laborers to orchards and farms.

In 1973, Corona was convicted and was sentenced to serve 25 consecutive life sentences.

Jeffrey Dahmer
Killed 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 in the Milwaukee area.

Dahmer had sex with the corpses of his victims, kept body parts of others, and ate the body parts of some.

Sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms. He was killed in prison November 28, 1994.

John Wayne Gacy
Killed 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978.

Many of his victims were drifters or runaways. Police suspected Gacy might have killed more than were discovered.

Most of the victims were buried in a crawl space beneath Gacy's house in suburban Chicago.

Before he was arrested, he had been active in the Democratic Party and had dressed as a clown to entertain children at parties.

While on death row, he took up painting. His paintings of clowns sold for between $200 and $20,000 dollars.

He was executed May 10, 1994.

Ed Gein
Killed at least two women in the 1950s in a small town in Wisconsin.

Dug up the corpses of several other women in the local cemetery to use their skin and body parts to make clothing and household objects.

Inspired multiple movies, including "Psycho," "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and "The Silence of the Lambs."

Died July 26, 1984, at the age of 77, in Central State Hospital in Wautoma, Wisconsin.

Randy Steven Kraft
Murdered dozens of young men between 1972 and 1983.

Prosecutors linked him to 45 murders, but a "death list" created by Kraft claimed 61 killings. It is believed he killed up to 65 though.

Kraft picked up hitchhikers, gave them drugs and alcohol, sexually assaulted them, then mutilated and strangled them.

On May 14, 1983, Kraft was arrested by California Highway Patrol, who stopped him for weaving across a lane on the interstate. The CHP found a dead Marine in the front seat of Kraft's car.

Convicted in 1989 and sentenced to death.

Derrick Todd Lee
Accused of raping and killing six women in or around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, between September 2001 and March 2003.

Police say all six murders are linked by DNA evidence.

Arrested in Atlanta on May 27, 2003.

He was indicted on June 25, 2003, for the May 2002 murder of Charlotte Murray Pace.

He had a record for being a stalker and a peeping tom.

His victims are believed to include Gina Wilson Green, Charlotte Murray Pace, Pam Kinamore, Trineisha Dene Colomb, Geralyn DeSoto, and Carrie Lynn Yoder.

2004 - Convicted and sentenced to death.

Henry Lee Lucas
Killed several people between 1975 and 1983.

Confessed to 600 murders but later recanted and claimed he had killed only three people.

The exact number of murders he committed may never be known.

Convicted of murdering his mother in 1960 and served 15 years.

Convicted of nine murders in 1985.

Lost an eye in childhood in a fight.

He was the only inmate ever spared from execution by then Texas Governor George W. Bush.

Bush claimed doubts about Lucas's guilt in the case for which he was to be executed.

Died in prison on March 11, 2001.

Charles Ng and Leonard Lake
Killed 11 people in northern California between 1984 and 1985.

Tortured, killed, and buried the victims in their hideaway in Wilseyville, California.

Arrested for shoplifting in San Francisco. Police found bullets and a silencer in their car.

Lake killed himself with a cyanide pill at a police station.

Ng fled to Canada but was captured and extradited to the U.S. He was later found guilty of 11 murders in 1999 and sentenced to death.

Robert Pickton
2002 - Pickton is charged with 26 counts of murder after police found the bodies of young women on his Port Coquitman, British Columbia, pig farm.

His trial centered on six victims.

December 2007 - Is sentenced to six concurrent life sentences with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Richard Ramirez, aka the Night Stalker
Killed 13 people in southern California in 1984 and 1985.

A self-proclaimed devil worshipper, from El Paso, Texas.

Found his victims in quiet neighborhoods near freeways, and entered victims' houses through unlocked windows and doors.

After he was tied to the case through fingerprints, his photo was released. Citizens in East Los Angeles captured him.

Convicted of 13 murders and sentenced to death in 1989.

June 7, 2013 - Dies at age 53 of natural causes.

Dennis Rader, aka the BTK Strangler
Wichita, Kansas serial killer active from 1977 through 1991, killing 10 people.

Named himself BTK - "bind, torture, kill"

Contacted the media taking responsibility for several murders and sent a poem about woman he waited to kill, but she didn't come home.

February 2005 - Is arrested on eight counts of first degree-murder and two other homicide charges.

July 2005 - Changes his plea from not guilty and waives his right to a jury trial and pleads guilty to all 10 counts of murder.

August 2005 - Sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms with the possibility of parole after at least 40 years.

Angel Maturino Resendez, aka Rafael Resendez Ramirez, aka the Railway Killer or Boxcar Killer
Committed at least nine murders in Texas, Illinois, and Kentucky between 1997 and 1999. Some reports indicate he confessed to 11 murders.

Robbed and killed his victims by railroad tracks, then would hop rail cars to escape.

Resendez, a drifter from Mexico, was in the custody of the border patrol but was let go. He killed four more people after being let go.

Convicted in the assault and murder of a female victim in Texas. Sentenced to death in 1999.

June 27, 2006 - Resendez is executed.

Gary Leon Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer
Killed at least 48 women in the Seattle-Tacoma area, between 1982 and 1998.

Ridgway targeted runaways and prostitutes.

The first victims turned up near the banks of the Green River south of Seattle. The remains of dozens of women turned up near Pacific Northwest ravines, rivers, airports and freeways in the 1980s. Investigators officially listed 49 women as probable victims of the Green River Killer.

He was arrested in 2001, after DNA linked him to three victims.

Confessed to 42 of the 49 listed killings, plus six not on the list.

Ridgway's pleas to 48 counts give him more convictions -- though not necessarily more slayings -- than any other serial killer in U.S. history.

Sentenced to 48 life sentences and fined $10,000 for each victim in 2004.

February 18, 2011 - Ridgway pleads guilty to a 49th murder as part of his plea deal to avoid receiving the death penalty.

Joel David Rifkin
Killed 17 women in New York City between 1991 and 1993.

All of the victims were prostitutes.

Was stopped by police for driving without a license plate. Police found a body in his pickup truck.

Convicted in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison.

Danny Rolling
Killed four women and one man in Gainesville, Florida, over four days in August 1990. Also is responsible for a 1991 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In Gainesville, all five victims were students, and four were students at the University of Florida.

Rolling raped, tortured, and mutilated some of his victims, decapitating one.

Rolling was arrested for armed robbery in Ocala, Florida and a triple-homicide in Shreveport. Evidence, including DNA, later linked Rolling to all murders.

Pled guilty to the murders on the first day of his trial in 1991.

October 25, 2006 - Rolling is executed.

Anthony Sowell
Police find the decomposing and buried bodies of 10 women and the skull of one, at 12205 Imperial Ave., the Cleveland, Ohio, home of ex-Marine, Anthony Sowell, between October 27 - November 3, 2009.

The women were strangled to death from 2007 through 2009.

July 22, 2011 - Sowell is found guilty on 82 of the 83 counts against him and acquitted of one - aggravated robbery of the surviving victim Gladys Wade.

August 12, 2011 - A judge upholds the jury's recommendation for the death penalty.

Chester Dewayne Turner
Charged with murdering 10 women and one unborn fetus in south and downtown Los Angeles over an 11-year period between 1987 and 1998.

Was identified as a suspect in 2002 after a DNA test was taken upon his rape conviction.

The DNA test also led to the release of a man who had been convicted of three of the murders.

July 2, 2007 - Turner is sentenced to death for the murders.

February 1, 2011 - Turner is charged with four more murders, linked to him by DNA.

Wayne Williams
Killed at least two men in the Atlanta area between 1979 and 1981.

Police believed he might have been responsible for more than 20 other deaths in the Atlanta area.

Was a music promoter and freelance TV cameraman at the time.

Several of the bodies were found in the Chattahoochee River.

Williams became a suspect after police saw him on a bridge they had been staking out.

Williams was linked to several victims by fibers and hairs found in house. He was linked to other victims by witnesses.

Some of the victims' parents did not believe Williams was guilty. Others thought the Ku Klux Klan might have been behind the killings.

Was convicted and sentenced to two life terms in 1982.

Williams maintains his innocence, and his appeals for a re-trial have been rejected.

Aileen Wuornos
Killed seven men in 1989 and 1990 in Florida. The body of the seventh was never found.

Lured her male victims by posing as a prostitute or a traveler in distress.

Claimed to be a prostitute working freeway exits and back roads of Florida.

A drug addict and alcoholic, she stole to support herself.

Has been the subject of three movies, an opera, and several books.

Voluntarily ended her appeals, saying she wanted to end a life of violence.

Executed on October 9, 2002.

Robert Lee Yates, Jr.
Killed 15 people between 1975 and 1998 in the Spokane, Washington, area.

Most of his victims were prostitutes or drug addicts.

Killed most of the victims in his van.

Buried one victim in the flowerbed by his house.

2000 - Confessed in a plea agreement to 13 of the killings and was sentenced to life in prison.

Was tried and convicted for the other two killings, and was sentenced to death.

Unsolved Cases:

Boston Strangler
11 women were raped and strangled in Boston between 1962 and 1964.

Alberto DeSalvo confessed to the 11 Boston Strangler killings, plus two additional murders but was never convicted of them. He later died in prison.

F. Lee Bailey was DeSalvo's lawyer.

Some critics charge DeSalvo got some of the details he confessed from news reports or police.

One book argues that the Boston Strangler was actually six different killers.

Jack the Ripper
From August to November 1888, five prostitutes were killed in London.

A knife had been used to slash their throats and cut their bodies.

A letter sent to the police was signed "From Hell."

The case continues to inspire movies and books.

The Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac Killer is believed to have killed 5 people in northern California in 1968 and 1969.

Has never been caught.

The killer wrote several letters to the police, boasting of the murders. Some of the letters contained swatches of bloody clothing to verify the killer's claims. He/she claimed to have killed as many as 37 people.

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