Top 10 Most DISTURBING Serial Killer Nicknames

Script written by George Pacheco.

Some of the most evil serial killers the world has ever seen have also had some of the scariest serial killer nicknames. From Ted Bundy as “The Lady Killer” to Dennis Rader’s BTK (or Bind, Torture, Killer) Killer to Rodney Alcala’s Dating Game Killer, these are some of the most infamous murderer nicknames. WatchMojo counts down ten of the serial killers with the creepiest nicknames.

Special thanks to our users MikeMJPMUNCH and Shawn Mark for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Serial%20Killer%20Nicknames

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Script written by George Pacheco.

Top 10 Most Disturbing Serial Killer Nicknames


These were the names behind the crimes. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Disturbing Serial Killer Nicknames.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the nicknames of accused or convicted serial killers that captured the morbid imaginations of the world at large. We’ll be taking into account both self-appointed nicknames, as well as monikers given to these killers by the press, the police or their victims. They may be memorable for all the wrong reasons, yet their infamy lives on.

#10: The Hillside Stranglers
Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono

The disturbing roots of this nickname are simple to understand, as bodies of strangled female victims were found dumped along L.A.’s Hollywood Hills during the late 1970s. Initially, the nickname was the singular “Hillside Strangler,” as the press didn’t know there was more than one sicko at work. But when police revealed that cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono were working together in their crimes, the nickname became what we know today. The brutality of the killings, coupled with the fear and trepidation The Stranglers instilled in the California community, make these serial killers some of the decade’s most infamous.

#9: The Son of Sam
David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz gained international infamy when he claimed that his neighbor Sam’s “demonic” dog Harvey was speaking to him, commanding that he commit coldblooded murder. These are the origins of Berkowitz’ metamorphosis into the Son of Sam, who was also known as The .44 Caliber Killer– his murder weapon of choice when attacking couples parked in cars. The Satanic implications behind Berkowitz’s nickname held New York City in a grip of fear during 1976 and ‘77. His legacy continues to be felt today, as the “Son of Sam Laws” exist to prevent killers from financially profiting from their crimes.

#8: The Lady Killer
Ted Bundy

By all accounts, Ted Bundy was a handsome young man, yet beneath the surface lurked the soul of one of America’s most infamous serial killers. Bundy was nicknamed “The Lady Killer,” both because of his proclivity to kill women and the way his looks lulled them into a false sense of security. Bundy would usually meet his victims in a public place and use some sort of ruse to lure them somewhere with more privacy. Before he was finally caught for good, Bundy’s smooth – and sometimes not-so-smooth – ways resulted in dozens of deaths. The exact number isn’t known.

#7: The Dating Game Killer
Rodney Alcala

The next criminal on our list could’ve very easily been known by a completely different name, were it not for one fateful T.V. appearance. Back in 1978, Rodney Alcala somehow appeared on “The Dating Game,” despite having an arrest record detailing sexual misconduct. He won a date with bachelorette, Cheryl Bradshaw, but she found him too creepy to actually go out with. Since it turns out Alcala had already begun his serial killer career, eventually killing at least seven people, it’s good Bradshaw trusted her senses. Alcala’s murder victims don’t have a “Dating Game” connection, but the nickname is too good not to use.

#6: The BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) Killer
Dennis Rader

The origins behind Dennis Rader’s moniker, The BTK Killer, are unfortunately very simple and self-explanatory. It was written in the taunting letters Rader wrote to the media and police after his brutal crimes, and was reflected in Rader’s horrific methods of madness. Bind, Torture Kill was the killer’s calling card, as Rader left a bloody trail of death throughout the Kansas area. Most of his victims were strangled or otherwise suffocated, with one victim, Kathryn Bright, sustaining almost a dozen stab wounds. Indeed, the BTK killer’s moniker is one of the most troubling on this list, as it brings to mind the true horror of Rader’s crimes.

#5: The Night Stalker
Richard Ramirez

AC/DC’s “Night Prowler” or the cult TV movie “The Night Stalker” could probably both claim credit for Richard Ramirez’s nickname – if they wanted to. The epithet came about from his series of late night home invasions that plagued the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980s. The Night Stalker claimed he had Satanic leanings, and so broke into his victims’ homes with a variety of weapons and murderous intent. This, combined with Ramirez’s brazen personality and heavy metal musical taste, made him a nighttime predator without remorse.

#4: The Acid Bath Murderer
John George Haigh

John George Haigh was under the mistaken assumption that he couldn’t be convicted of a crime if no remains were to surface. So, as a result, the man who would become known as The Acid Bath Murderer did exactly that: he disposed of his victims in sulphuric acid, as a means of hiding his crimes. Haigh often forged his victims’ signatures on important legal documents or otherwise earned a pretty penny from them, in the process earning himself a tidy profit. Despite Haigh’s beliefs to the contrary, he was eventually convicted and executed for his crimes in 1949.

#3: The Florida Sex Beast
Gerard John Schaefer

Gerard John Schaefer, a.k.a. The Florida Sex Beast, used his position as a police officer to abduct, assault and murder at least two women during the early 70s– and may have been responsible for dozens more. Schaefer was dubbed the Sex Beast by reporters, perhaps because of the nature of his crimes or because he eventually was revealed to have had a long sado-masochistic streak. He also claimed in interviews to have taken many more lives over the years than just the two for which he was convicted. This led to the origins of Schaefer’s Sex Beast moniker, which encapsulated the man’s unrepentant behavior towards any young woman unfortunate enough to cross his path.

#2: Dr. Death
Dr. Harold Shipman

There’s poor bedside manner, and then there’s Harold Shipman. The physician was nicknamed “Dr. Death,” due to the alarmingly high mortality rate among his patients. This was no accident, of course. It was later revealed that Shipman had been intentionally poisoning his patients with high amounts of diamorphine, and then claiming a different cause of death on a false certificate. Shipman also forged the will of at least one patient, hoping to defraud the family. He was convicted of killing 15, but the count may actually exceed 200. We may be raised to respect and trust our family physicians, but in the case of Harold Shipman, Dr. Death abused that trust in the worst possible way.

Before we reveal our most infamous killer nickname, here are a few dishonorable mentions.
- The Big Eared Midget
Cayetano Santos Godino

- The Milwaukee Cannibal
Jeffrey Dahmer

- The Toolbox Killers
Lawrence Bittaker & Roy Norris

#1: Jack the Ripper
Identity Unknown

His name evokes images of top hats, foggy London streets and gleaming blades in the darkness. He’s the mysterious killer known as Jack the Ripper, and he terrorized the Whitechapel district during the late 1800s. Jack’s name originates largely from the brutality with which his crimes were committed. Not only were his victims stabbed to death with shocking viciousness, but often internal organs were removed, giving rise to the theory that the killer had some sort of surgical knowledge. The cruelty and violence associated with the Jack the Ripper moniker, and the mystery surrounding it, makes it the most disturbing serial killer moniker of all time.
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