Nightmares come true

There have been approximately 2,625 serial killers to date in the U.S.

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There have been approximately 2,625 serial killers to date in the U.S.

Kaden Fossum, Staff Writer

     In honor of Halloween, people usually get into the spirit by watching horror movies. Most viewers get peace of mind by the fact that scary movies are “fake” and “all made up just to scare you,” but have they ever contemplated the fact that what if there are real-life people just as evil and thirsty for blood as the mass murderers we see on the big screen? 

     According to HuffPost, there have been approximately 2,625 serial killers to date in the U.S., but what makes certain killers stand out from the rest? Is it their inhumane motives? Or the scary thought that they enjoy it? When you think of serial killers, a couple may come to mind, but there are far more worse and unpleasant cases than those you may know. 

John Wayne Gacy (The Killer Clown)

     Before John Wayne Gacy was identified as one of the most terrifying killers in the U.S., many people saw him as a friendly man. Gacy dressed up as a clown named Pogo and would go to parties around his neighborhood, entertaining young children. Gacy was in prison before for sodomizing two young boys, and when he was released, younger boys were his main targets. It started in 1975 when a teenage boy who worked for Gacy disappeared. Just two years later, a 15-year-old boy went to the police claiming he had been kidnapped and raped by Gacy. After Gacy’s arrest, 33 victims were discovered buried under his house. Gacy was sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.

Harold Shipman (Doctor Death)  

     Harold Shipman, who is nicknamed Doctor Death, is believed to have killed over 218 people between 1975 and 1998. Shipman was a general practitioner, killing most of his victims by injecting them with lethal doses of painkillers. 80 percent of his victims were elderly women, and investigators think he killed closer to 250 people, rather than the alleged 218. Shipman was finally caught forging the will of Kathleen Grundy, attempting to defraud her estate of $400,000. Shipman was later sentenced to 15 life sentences, and shortly after was found dead in his jail cell after he committed suicide. 

Jeffery Dahmer (Milwaukee Cannibal) 

Jeffrey Dahmer was one of many American serial killers from the ’70s to the ’90s.

Most have heard the name Jeffrey Dahmer as he is most known for eating some of his victims. Dahmer killed 17 men between 1978 and 1991. He sought out only African American men and carefully planned it out. According to, he would pick his victims based on who was on the “fringes of society.”  This was so it would not be as noticeable when one of his victims disappeared. Dahmer’s murderous spree ended when two policemen picked up Tracy Edwards who was in handcuffs, who claimed Dahmer had drugged him. Police went to Dahmer’s apartment to get the key for the handcuffs, but they found more than they expected. When one of the policemen was in Dahmer’s apartment, he noticed polaroids of dismembered bodies laying around. Further searches of the apartment revealed a head in the refrigerator and three more in the freezer.  They also found preserved skulls, jars containing genitalia of his victims and more polaroid pictures. While in prison Dahmer was killed by a fellow inmate Christopher Scarver on Nov. 28, 1994, just three years after his arrest.