Top 10 Serial Killers That Were NEVER CAUGHT

Script written by Laura Keating.

It’s scary to think there are active serial killers out there right now. In history, there are unidentified serial killers everyone knows about, the Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer. But there are also less famous serial killers that haven’t been caught, like Charlie Chop-Off, the West Mesa Bone Collector and the Servant Girl Annihilator. WatchMojo counts down ten of the most dangerous serial killers that were never identified.

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Script written by Laura Keating.

Top 10 Serial Killers That Were NEVER CAUGHT


Make sure to lock your doors and windows. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting our picks for the Top 10 Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught.

Caution in advance, this content might be disturbing to some viewers. For this chilling list, we’re looking at the maniacs that not only got away with their grisly deeds, but who to this day have never been successfully identified.

#10: The West Mesa Bone Collector
(2001-05)

On February 2, 2009, the bodies of multiple women were found buried together. They were mostly prostitutes, and had all gone missing between 2001 and 2005. The gruesome discovery was made by a woman on the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who noticed a human bone while walking her dog. The investigation and excavation ensued and eleven bodies, and one fetus were uncovered, bringing police to believe the work to be that of a serial killer. While there have been very few leads, investigators suspect that the killings might be linked to the yearly state fair, which draws large crowds, and prostitutes to the area.

#9: The Atlanta Ripper
(1911)

In 1911, the Atlanta Ripper began their killing streak. By the year’s end, anywhere from fifteen to twenty-one women’s deaths were connected to the murderer – or murderers. The victims of the Ripper were all dispatched the same way: their throats deeply slit. Each of the women was black and in their twenties. It wasn’t until the sixth murder that police began to consider the possibility of a serial killer. Some speculate that the lack of a lead, as well as racial prejudice of the time, led to the delay of the investigations, and their ultimately being dismissed. While several men were arrested, no charges were ever brought to court, and the case remains unsolved.

#8: Jack the Stripper [aka Hammersmith Nudes Murderer]
(1964-65)

This murderer appeared and disappeared from the streets of London in the mid-1960s. This maniac earned the moniker “stripper” by virtue of his habit of undressing his victims before dumping them. The victims – and two other possible victims – were all between the ages of twenty-one and thirty, and frequently bore similar paint fleck marks, which was thought to point to where the murderer worked. However, despite evidence found, no arrests were made. John Du Rose, Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, had identified one Mungo Ireland as the most probable culprit. Unfortunately, around the time a possible link was made to Ireland, he killed himself via carbon monoxide poisoning. The truth of his guilt or innocence died with him.

#7: The Phantom Killer
(1946)

The Texarkana Moonlight Murders have spawned several urban legends and films. But in 1946, for the residents of the twin-cities of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas, it was all too real. The first attack came against Jimmy Hollis and his girlfriend Mary Larey, who had parked their car on a secluded stretch of road known as “Lovers’ Lane.” Sound familiar? Both survived, though Hollis sustained skull injuries and Larey was assaulted. About a month later, another couple wasn’t so lucky. Three weeks later, two teens were shot and killed. After that, a married couple was attacked, but only the husband died. Hollis and Larey were the best lead for the Killer’s appearance, stating he wore a white hood, but when he stopped, so did investigations.

#6: The Servant Girl Annihilator
(1884-85)

Between 1884 and 1885, the people of Austin, Texas, were reeling in shock from a seemingly endless string of brutal murders. Each murder took place while the victims were in the so-called safety of their own beds. The Servant Girl Annihilator’s name was devised by writer O. Henry in a letter penned to a friend, remarking “Town is fearfully dull, except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively in the dull hours of the night…” That’s one way to discuss an axe-murderer. The murders ended suddenly on Christmas Eve, 1885. Some believe they only stopped as he had boarded ship to begin his reign of terror elsewhere…

#5: Oakland County Child Killer [aka The Babysitter]
(1976-77)

The loss of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Sadly, for four families in Oakland County, Michigan, that nightmare came true. Over thirteen months, four children were kidnapped, and murdered. The deaths resulted in the largest murder investigation in US history up to that time. Several witnesses came forward, but provided no concrete leads. One witness claimed to have seen one of the boys talk to a man in a blue AMC Gremlin, prompting investigators to inquire after every Gremlin owner in the county. Further leads have included everything from pedophile rings to satanic rituals for the reason behind the abductions. Answers about the killer, or killers, remain elusive.

#4: Charlie Chop-Off
(1972-74)

This vicious killer was known for targeting African-American boys exclusively. He earned his ghoulish moniker from the brutal injuries he would inflict upon his victims. One of Charlie’s victims did, however, survive his attack, and in 1974 police apprehended a suspect, Erno Soto. Caught in the act of kidnapping a Puerto Rican boy, Soto was brought in for questioning. The surviving boy said he thought he looked like his attacker, but couldn’t be sure. Despite confessing to one of the murders, the Manhattan State Hospital – a psychiatric institution at which Soto was a patient – claimed Soto couldn’t be guilty, but did say it was possible he could have slipped out on their watch.

#3: The Long Island Serial Killer [aka The Craigslist Ripper]
(1996; 2009-13)

This killer has been at it awhile. In 2010, a police dog in training located the first body. It wasn’t long before investigators found more in the area, alerting them to the possibility of a serial killer. As the area was probed further, bits and pieces of bodies were found up and down Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County, NY. All of the victims, disposed of over a twenty-year period, were associated with the sex trade, several of them soliciting services over Craigslist. Almost nothing is known about this killer, except that they are morbidly prolific. The investigation is ongoing.

#2: Jack the Ripper
(1888)

One of the most notorious cases in history, this unidentified serial killer sent the Whitechapel district of London into a panic in the late Victorian era, after a series of ghastly murders were uncovered. It’s hard to think of another killer who has inspired as much lore, research, or theories over identity. In part because of the extreme brutality of the killings, and the taunts the killer sent the frustrated police, his name has taken on an almost fabled aspect. The most famous tease came in the form of the “From Hell” letter, which was sent with half a kidney of one of the victims – he claimed to have eaten the other half.

Before we identify our most notorious entry, here are a few dishonorable mentions:

The Cleveland Torso Murderer [aka Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run]
(1930s)

The Axeman of New Orleans
(1918-19)

The Stoneman
(1989)

#1: The Zodiac Killer
(1960s-1970s)

Undoubtedly the most elusive killer in American history, the Zodiac Killer is like something straight out of a Hollywood nightmare. Also one to pen letters to the police, he did so by way of puzzles and complex cryptograms, boasting about his feats and demanding that his letters be published – on page one – of the newspapers, or else the body count would rise. This killer would hunt his victims, usually young couples in secluded areas, before carrying out his work. Similarities in method and physical description have led some to postulate that the Zodiac and Phantom Killer may be the same. Regardless, the Zodiac has left a grisly legacy all their own.
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