These killers performed murders you’d think could only happen in horror movies.
Norman Bates (from Psycho), Leatherface, (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Buffalo Bill (from Silence of the Lambs) are three of the most iconic fictional horror characters of all time—and they’re all loosely based on one man: Ed Gein. Also known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Gein collected women’s bodies through grave-robbing and murder from around 1945 to 1957, when he was finally caught. He used the women’s remains to decorate his isolated Wisconsin farm and to make various items of clothing. Gein passed away in 1984 in a mental institution. Read how this man dealt with the discovery that one of his relatives was a murderer.
One of the most infamous ringleaders in history, Charles Manson used psychopathic manipulation to gain his cult followers in the 1960s. Not only did he murder people on his own, but he convinced his deepest admirers to commit the same brutal acts he did, resulting in some of the most notorious murders of celebrities and entertainment industry heads, including director Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, as well as coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Manson and his cronies were sentenced to death, but California abolished the death penalty afterward; they’ve spent their lives in prison instead. Use this test to figure out if someone is a psychopath.
Ted Bundy is one of those names that is practically synonymous with “serial killer” and “psychopath.” He was known to be very sly and charming, which was the shiny veneer he used to lure his many victims. He killed at least 30 people across the United States, but it took years for the authorities to catch him, because no one was able to believe such an “upstanding” young man could do such horrible things. He is most famous for his necrophiliac tendencies, and his own lawyer described him as a “heartless evil.”