From our taste in television and movies to our sick fascination with learning every mundane fact about their lives, it’s clear that Americans are captivated by murderous madmen. Are we obsessed with figuring out their motives because their thoughts and actions are so foreign from our own … or do we really have more in common than we’d care to admit?
The most frightening serial killers hid in plain sight, masquerading as regular people while straight-up murdering people in their spare time. And the scariest part of all? A few of these psychopaths never got caught. Maybe they got bored of killing. Maybe they died. Or maybe they’re just waiting around for the next perfect opportunity to kill again.
Better close the blinds and deadbolt the door, because it’s time to remember the most terrifying serial killers in American history.
15. Son of Sam
David Berkowitz, aka the .44 Caliber Killer, aka the Son of Sam, spent the summer of 1976 wreaking havoc on New York City. Not only did he kill six people in cold blood and wound seven others, but he also sent taunting letters to the police and the papers promising more bloodshed and violence. His motive for killing? He said he received orders from a demon-possessed Labrador named Harvey.
Berkowitz was eventually captured in 1977, 11 days after his last murder, and confessed to all his crimes. He was sentenced to six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences and is still in prison today.
Next: This killer exhibited psychopathic tendencies from an early age.