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Worst Serial Killers (Sickest, Most Evil, Highest Kill Count)

Worst Serial Killers

If you’ve read any number of lists of the “worst serial killers” then you’ve probably seen the same names crop up many times over. These lists are dominated by the killers who managed to embed themselves in the public conscious thanks to the brutality of their actions, as well as their seemingly “every man” appearance and, in some cases, the period in which they killed.

These names include clown killer John Wayne Gacy; necrophile Jeffry Dahmer; charmer Ted Bundy; and Victorian slasher Jack the Ripper. But these murderers killed in the dozens and there are serial killers out there with hundreds of victims to their name. These are the ones we will concentrate on here.

This list of worst serial killers focuses on numbers, but it also focuses on brutality and those who murdered for seditious pleasure and not financial gain. So, that’s why you won’t final Dr Death Harold Shipman and baby killer Amelia Elizabeth Dyer. There were killers—and in some case still are killers—that are much worse.

8. The Green River Killer – Gary Ridgway

The only entry for the US on this list of the worst serial killers, Gary Ridgway is definitely deserving of his place on this list. He is not the most well known US serial killer, but with a victim count of 49 and a suspected count of 90+, he really is one of the worst serial killers this country and this world has seen. And as you can see from our Highest Murder Rate in the US guide, hey have had their fair share.

Ridgway, who was sentenced to life without parole, targeted sex workers in Seattle, with many of his crimes going unnoticed.

  • Years Active: 1982 to 2000
  • Proven Victim Count: 49
  • Potential Victim Count: 90+
  • Country: United States

7. Citizen O – Anatoly Onoprienko

Citizen O, also known as The Beast of Ukraine, killed 9 people in Ukraine in 1989 and then added to that number in 1995. In the interim years he was traveling through Europe. It’s a logical conclusion to suggest that he killed during his years of traveling, considering just how active he was before and after.

However, he was only ever convicted for the murders he committed in his home country, crimes for which he eventually received a life sentence (after a death sentence was commuted). Easily one of the most evil Russian serial killers ever.

  • Years Active: 1989 to 1996
  • Proven Victim Count: 52
  • Potential Victim Count: 52+ killed
  • Country: USSR and Ukraine

6. The Red Ripper – Andrei Chikatilo

One of the most disturbing things about The Red Ripper is that a different man was convicted and executed for his first murder. After seeing that, he must have thought he was invincible and could get away with murder. In fact, for over a decade that’s exactly what he did.

He murdered 53 women and children and eventually faced execution in 1994.

  • Years Active: 1978 to 1990
  • Proven Victim Count: 53
  • Potential Victim Count: 56
  • Country: USSR

5. Monster Killer – Yang Xinhai

Serial Killers with Most Victims

Known as the Monster Killer, Yang Xinhai was active for just three years at the turn of the new millennium, but in that time he became China’s and Asia’s most prolific serial killer. He is deserving of his place on any list of the world’s worst serial killers because of his brutality as well as the number of victims.

He would break into his victim’s homes at night and butcher them with all kinds of tools, including axes, shovels and more. He was sentenced to death and then promptly executed in 2004.

  • Years Active: 2000 to 2003
  • Proven Victim Count: 67
  • Potential Victim Count: 67
  • Country: China

4 -Pedro Rodrigues Filho

There is a trend for this list of the worst serial killers—you might think that a list of the worst serial killers like this would be dominated by murderers from North America, but it’s South America that seems to have produced the most evil killers in history.

This Brazilian was active for several decades and claimed to have taken the lives of more than 100 victims in that time. Because there is a maximum sentence of 30 years in Brazil, he served his time and was then released. He may still be out there.

  • Years Active: 1967 to 2003
  • Proven Victim Count: 71
  • Potential Victim Count: 100+
  • Country: Brazil

3. Daniel Camargo

  • Years Active: 1974 to 1986
  • Proven Victim Count: 72 Proven
  • Potential Victim Count: 180+
  • Country: Colombia and Ecuador

Serial Killers Highest Victim Count

Camargo likely killed hundreds of young girls, but he confessed to killing 72. He was active throughout the 70s and 80s and when he was arrested he ended up in the same prison as the number 2 on this list.

Unlike the number 2 and number 1 on this list, Camargo is deceased, having passed away in prison. And it’s just as well, because the first time he was arrested and detained he managed to escape, killing many more young girls before they caught him again.

2. Monster of the Andes: Pedro Lopez

  • Years Active: 1969 to 1979
  • Proven Victim Count: 110 Proven
  • Potential Victim Count: 300+
  • Country: Colombia, Peru and Ecuador

Lopez is one of the sickest, most evil men to ever walk the earth. He targeted children, the most vulnerable in society, and he chose his victims from poor families in poverty stricken regions of South America.

The scariest thing about Lopez is that he is still out there. He was arrested and imprisoned for his crimes, but he was released in 1998. This is a man who is known to have killed several, thought to have killed more than a hundred, and suspected to have killed many hundreds. Yet he still walks the streets and his whereabouts are listed as “unknown”.

1. The Beast – Luis Garavito

Garavito had a similar MO to Lopez. He was active a couple decades later, but he also targeted young kids from poor streets. The regions in which he operated had an epidemic of missing children, with so many going missing that some thought there was a large gang of child traffickers operating in the region.

But it was all down to the man who become known as Le Bestia, “The Beast”. He is the world’s worst living serial killer and potentially history’s biggest monster. Columbia is another South American country that has a maximum jail term and he was scheduled for release in 2021, but due to some changes and specifications in this law, his sentence should actually be closer to 80 years.

As a result, this serial killer will likely never taste freedom again, which is just as well.

  • Years Active: 1969 to 1979
  • Proven Victim Count: 110 Proven, 300+ Suggested
  • Potential Victim Count: 300+
  • Country: Colombia, Peru and Ecuador