According to Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Next Door, 1 in 25 Americans is a sociopath who has no conscience. These are people who could cut your throat from ear to ear because they don’t like your haircut and then go out for dinner and dancing before drifting off to a good night’s sleep. The good news is that the vast majority of these sociopaths aren’t inclined to be violent. In fact, many of them have even gone on to enjoy long, successful careers in Congress (sadly, I’m not joking about that).
Unfortunately, this is not always the case — particularly when a child who already has those inclinations also endures horrific abuse or a serious mental illness. When you put together an inability to feel guilt with a perverse desire to inflict physical suffering, you have a lethal killing machine that is all the more dangerous because he often looks just like everyone else. Remember what neighbors and friends always seem to say about serial killers and mass murderers: “He might have been a little strange, but he was quiet and kept to himself. I never thought he’d do anything like this.”
That’s probably just what the victims of these killers thought as they wandered into the grasp of these butchers like flies caught in the web of a cold, remorseless spider. The serial killers you’re about to read about don’t necessarily have the highest body counts, but their bizarre and sadistic behavior makes them stand out even in the ranks of America’s worst murderers. (Note: What you’re about to read is genuinely disturbing and not for the faint of heart. Please don’t say that I didn’t warn you).
7. Ed Kemper
Number of Victims: 10
Fate: Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole
To get an idea of how lethal Ed Kemper is, keep in mind that he’s 6’9″ and 300 pounds. He has an IQ of 130 and has been diagnosed as a violent schizophrenic. How violent? At 13, Kemper murdered his own grandmother because he “just wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma“ and then he killed his grandfather because he was afraid of what his reaction would be after he discovered the murder.
Kemper was released from psychiatric care at 21, moved in with his mother, and began killing hitchhikers and engaging in necrophilia with their corpses after fights with his mother. After six murders, Kemper beat his own mother to death with a claw hammer, decapitated her, had sex with her head and then used it as a dart board. For good measure, he invited his mother’s best friend over to the house and killed her, too. Afterwards, Kemper called the police and turned himself in. Despite requesting the death penalty, which was apparently a childhood fantasy, Kemper was sentenced to life in prison.