Pedro Alonzo Lopez, The ‘Monster of the Andes’
Serial killers gain their notoriety in several ways. They can gain notoriety by the bizarre or brutal methods they use to single out and kill their victims, or by the sheer number of killings they carry out.
What drives these serial killers to carry out such heinous crimes? Some believe they are natural born killers. Others believe that criminal psychology and criminal profiling gives us the ability to put together some kind of a Serial Killer Profile.
There have always been famous serial killers on the loose out there… and there probably always will be. Now that’s a very frightening thought!
10. Wayne Williams – Body count: 2-31
Thought to be responsible for the infamous “Atlanta Child Murders” that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, between the years of 1979 and 1981, Williams was actually convicted of the murder of two adult men (29 year old Jimmy Payne and 27 year old Nathaniel Carter). It was after his arrest and subsequent conviction that local authorities were able to apparently solve the majority of the 29 child murders that took place in the area. He still protests his innocence to this day.
9. Dean Corll – Body count: 27
Earning the nickname of “The Candy Man” when his crimes were uncovered (due to him running his mother’s small candy company), Corll was responsible for what would become known as the “Houston Mass Murders” which took place in Houston, Texas between the years of 1970 and 1973. Along with two accomplices (Elmer Wayne Henley and David Brooks), Corll would abduct and torture young boys that were lured to his apartment, then murdering and burying them in the surrounding rural areas. Corll was shot and killed by Henley following a heated argument at Corll’s home.
8. John Wayne Gacy – Body count: 33
Also known as the “Killer Clown” due to the fact that Gacy would throw parties at which he would don a clown suit and make-up, acting under the guise of “Pogo the Clown”. Gacy was convicted of the rape and murder of some 33 young men during the years of 1972 and 1978, most of which he buried underneath his own home. He was executed in 1994, by lethal injection. Gacy managed to shock everyone when his crimes were uncovered, as he was a popular political and local figure at the time, living a seemingly normal life. Supposedly, his last words were “kiss my ass”. The photo of Gacy here is of him with First Lady Rosalynn Carter, which proved to be somewhat embarrassing for the Secret Service when his crimes were uncovered.
7. Gary Ridgeway – Body count: Convicted of 48, but admitted somewhere around 90 killings.
Ridgeway would later become known as the “Green River Killer” (due to his propensity for dumping bodies in the Green River in Washington) for his killing spree during the 1980s which would result in him becoming one of the most prolific serial murderers in American history. He would abduct runaways or prostitutes and murder them after sexually assaulting them. Ridgeway was convicted in 2001 for murders that he had committed 20 years previously and this was down to a breakthrough in DNA evidence linking him to his victims. Ridgeway would later go on to say that murdering young women was his “career”.
6. Moses Sithole – Body count: 38 or so murders, 40 rapes.
South Africa’s most infamous serial killer and perpetrator of what were known as the “ABC Murders” due to the fact that started, continued and finished in towns named Atteridgeville, Boksburg and Cleveland. He would lead his victims out into deserted fields under false pretences, where he would then overpower, rape and murder them. After his capture in 1995 and then conviction in 1997, he was sentenced to 2,410 years, with the possibility of parole in 930 years. In the year 2000, it was reported that Sithole had contracted AIDS whilst in prison.
5. Gerald Stano – Body count: 41
An American, starting around the late 1960s to early 1970s and the continuing on for as many as 7-8 years, Stano picked up a number of hitch-hikers and young women, murdering them via shooting, stabbing or strangulation. Apprehended in 1980, he was sentenced to life in prison until his execution by the electric chair in Florida, 1998.
4. Andrei Chikatilo – Body count: 53
A notorious Ukrainian serial murderer, as well as being a chronic bed-wetter suffering from impotence, Chikatilo earned himself such titles as “The Ripper of Rostov”, “The Rostov Ripper” and the “Butcher of Rostov”, after the area in which the murders were committed. A sexual deviant, Chikatilo was only able to achieve orgasm by stabbing and slashing his victims, rather than outwardly raping them. Active from the late 1970s, all the way through to the very early 1990s, he was apprehended and interrogated by police and sentenced to death, a sentence which was carried out in 1994 by a gunshot to the head. He was 57 at the time.
3. Bruno Ludke – Body count: 85
His regime spanned 15 years, starting in 1928, Ludke was caught near the end of World War II by Nazi police, after they allegedly discovered him committing necrophilia on the corpse of one of his recently-deceased victims. He subsequently confessed to a number of crimes and was declared insane, being sent to a hospital in Vienna where he was subjected to medical experiments which resulted in his death by lethal injection in 1944. Even after his sterilization due to having been previously caught molesting a young woman, he continued to assault and then murder a number of other women, often by stabbing and strangulation.
2. Henry Lee Lucas – Body count: Somewhere in the region of 4-213
Originally confessing to thousands of murders with his accomplice, Ottis Toole, police then subsequently attributed roughly 213 murder cases to his name (although only 4 were ever solidly proven to have been committed by him, one of which included his own abusive mother), thanks to the information they garnered from Lucas. He was apprehended in 1983 and was then sentenced to death, but bizarrely enough, his sentence was commuted to life in prison by the then-Governor George W. Bush. Out of 153 death penalty cases to be reviewed, Bush decided that this was the only case he’d intervene on. Many people believe that Lucas had simply been toying with the police, testing them, maybe hoping to embarrass them somehow, just to see how far he could go. Lucas died of natural causes in 2001, aged 64, taking the true number of how many crimes he committed to the grave with him.
1. Pedro Alonso Lopez – Body count: 300+
By far one of the most prolific serial killers of all time, the “Monster of the Andes” butchered enough people to fill a small town. After killing around 100 tribal women in Peru in the 1970s, he was apprehended by tribal forces that were just about ready to execute him when they were convinced by an American missionary that was staying with them at the time to take him to the police force instead. Unfortunately, the police then just let him go, after which Lopez travelled to Ecuador, where he proceeded to kill about 3-4 girls a week, claiming that girls in Ecuador were “more gentle and trusting, more innocent”. This carried on until he was caught in 1980, but police were still unsure as to his guilt, but a flash flood uncovered a mass grave that had hidden many of his victims, which then led to his arrest. However, the Ecuador government then released him in 1998, deporting him to Columbia. Lopez allegedly said that he was being released for “good behavior”.