37 Creepy Stories Of Serial Killers That Have Stuck With People Over The Years

Someone on Reddit asked, “Which real life serial killer frightened/disturbed you the most?” and the question received over 11,000 chilling comments. These are the most disturbing stories of serial killers that have stuck with people over the years.

The Railway Killer

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“The Railway Killer in the late 90’s. He rode trains throughout North America and many of his victims were in Texas, where I lived as a teenager. We had railroad tracks just behind our backyard and we frequently saw people riding in open/empty cars. When it became apparent a serial killer was riding on trains in Texas, my parents got the house alarm fixed and then monitored, and my dad slept with a gun near his bed.” — Bibber_Song

“The Railway Killer was Ángel Maturino Reséndiz.

I lived within a 5 minute walk of the main railway line that he used in Southwest Houston. I remember when he killed that lady in West U, not too far away. Whenever I’d hear the train passing through (it’s a major line), I’d get a little chill.” — bullshitfree

“My cousin and I were working a summer job together as teenagers at his dad’s machine shop in Houston. We were walking home from work one day and passed over some train tracks at a busy intersection. A man walked past us down the tracks and we all did the little head nod greeting and kept on our way. A few days later I was watching the evening news and saw that ‘The Railroad Killer’ had been caught. It was the same guy we saw on the tracks. I called my cousin and told him to turn on the news. He started freaking out and his parents wouldn’t believe that we saw him until I confirmed it.

I’m glad we saw him at a busy intersection in the afternoon and not anywhere else.” — crash11b

Richard Chase, The Vampire Killer

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“Richard Chase. Dude thought he was a vampire and that the government vaporized his blood. The solution? Kill people (and rape some post mortem), and drink the blood. This one time he was almost caught so he made himself a baby milkshake on the way.” — Nosewitz_

“He’s pretty high on my list because he took an unlocked door as an invitation to enter. I always lock my doors at night because of him (and I was born after he died).” — FaceofBeaux

Robert Hansen, The Alaskan Serial Killer

Robert Hansen

“Robert Hansen. Champion hunter in Alaska who would kidnap sex workers, fly them into the wilderness, and then hunt them for sport.” — i-am-a-yam5

“He was also a baker (hence the media nickname Butcher baker) who had a wife And two kids and was an active member of the community. What is scary about him to me is he was an average Alaskan, no one would think it weird if you went Missing several times a year to go fishing and hunting, it’s the culture here. He was active for 12 years and killed at least 17 women.” — Krisy2lovegood

The Golden State Killer

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“East Area Rapist, who went on to become the Golden State Killer and we now know as Joseph James Deangelo.

This guy would stalk his victims for weeks leading upto attacks, along with many other houses,while he was working as a police officer. When he attacked he was relentless and would stay in the house for hours messing with his victims. When cornered he would kill without a second thought.” — ReallyLongElbows

“I think the craziest part to me about the GSK is that he would break into homes and leave shoestrings in hidden places in the house so he could quickly retrieve them to tie victims up when he came back for the attack. Imagine being one of those victims and slowly realizing not only the situation you were currently in, but also that this isn’t the first time this masked man has been in your home.” — robinhood_glitch

“Victims would wait hours blindfolded thinking he’s gone but he’s still in the room.” — StormySleep

“He would also, when breaking into the house of a couple, bind the man, force him to lie down and place plates and bowls on his back while he raped the woman. This way if the man tried to get up he would be alerted. Imagine having to watch and hear your wife/ girlfriend being raped while you can’t do anything about it. Shows how sick this guy was to be so prepared.” — communist-empress

“I used to serve tables in Auburn CA (where he used to be a police officer). In 2014, I served him. Well actually I took over for another, female server, because he was giving her the creeps. When I went to drop off his food, he had written on a napkin, which was turned outward on the edge of the table so I could clearly read it, “I know how to scalp you”.

Obviously that’s why I remembered him, and what he looked like. For years he was just a creepy old man, but when he was first arrested and his pictures were all over the news, I recognized him immediately.

He was a sadist so he was obviously just trying to get a reaction out of me. I’m glad I didn’t give him one, I just ignored it. The craziest and scariest part to me, is that even with that note, I did not think too much of it. I was inches away from a man who had raped and murdered dozens of people, and I had no idea. I normally consider myself very socially aware, and yet even with the overwhelming obvious evidence, I didn’t think this man was anything more than a creep. Serial killers are something everyone talks about, but are so rare the average person doesn’t worry about being randomly murdered. Which is I’m sure how most victims of this man felt, unsuspecting and safe… until it was too late. That has truly terrified me since realizing who he was. It could be anybody.” — dooglek

Bad cop in Australia

“My dad was a cop in South Australia in the 80’s and 90’s and he told me a story about one of the guys on the SA Police Force who did similar – except his was that he’d get the information from their ID at traffic stops, find out if they were single/married etc and then go rape them if/when he thought they’d be alone. Took about 2 years to figure it out and finally some rookie noticed the pattern of traffic stops to rapes. Not sure if it ever made the papers much and I totally forget what I was told happened to the cop in the end.” — FuzzyRoseHat

The Toolbox Killers

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“Toolbox Killers. The transcript of the tape of Shirley Ledford’s torture was one of the most terrifying things I’ve read. Some sick fucks.” — Escobarhippo

“Bittaker and Norris. There’s some footage on YouTube of the local station covering the trial but were not allowed in the courtroom, had to stay in the hallway. Apparently one of the tapes was played in open court and there are shots of various people coming out in varying degrees of distress just from listening.

Makes me very pleased that those two are dead.” — deleted

“I’ve heard the FBI uses those tapes to desensitize agents or to give them an idea of the fucked up shit they might see. Those transcripts are chilling.” — Rallings

“The Toolbox Killers cousins Lawrence Bitaker and Ray Norris are different from the Toybox ‘Killer’ David Parker Ray though both have infamous recordings that were part of their criminal trials.

Bitaker and Norris recorded themselves torturing a live victim. Shirley Lynette Ledford was a 16 year old waitress who was hitchhiking home from her job, a practice not uncommon in 1979. She was horrifically brutalized and raped over the course of two hours by the end of which she was pleading to be killed. The tape detailing her abuse has been used by the FBI for decades to train and desensitize their agents to sexually motivated crimes and murders.

David Parker Ray was never actually covicted of any murders though he and his accomplices are strongly implicated in several. He did kidnap, sexually abuse, and torture at least two women before being caught after one victim escaped. The recording associated with this case was a tape Ray made of himself going into extremely graphic detail as to what he planned to subject his captive to including rape, sodomy, torture, forced drugging, and bestiality. The prerecorded diatribe was to be played for each new victim as they awoke alone, naked, and strapped to a gynaecological chair specifically converted into a tortue implement.

Thankfully neither actual recordings can be found online in their entirety, though transcriptions are readily avaliable. The strongest possible of warnings to anyone who seeks out these transcripts. They are graphic to the absolute extreme. To me they are both life alteringly shocking and vile.” — triggerfish_twist

Fred and Rose West

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“I just read about Fred and Rose West, a married couple in the UK who collectively were among the most prolific serial killers in modern UK history. It is a grim tale of rape and incest and prostitution and brutal murders and dismemberment of family members and random strangers, some of whom they buried in the garden behind their house. It’s a fascinating yet horrific story” — VictorBlimpmuscle

“Look to their childhoods and you can see where their extreme sexual deviancies came from. Both their families were incestuous and physically abusive to the maximum. Rose was sexually abused by her father and her father only allowed her to marry Frank when Frank approved of his occasional “use” of Rose. Frank himself was sexually abused by his mother and was encouraged by his father to sexually abuse all the farm animals and his sisters and his mother.

Not to make anybody sympathetic for these freaks but holy shit they had bad childhoods.

There’s like a trifecta of trauma that so many serial killers seem to have in common. Sexual abuse as children, violence as children, brain injuries.” — SVCD_GUY6

The Freeway Killer

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“William Bonin aka The Freeway Killer killed my childhood friend in 1980. He was 16. I was 15 at the time and that is too young an age to wrap your head around having a friend a victim of a serial killer. It changed me.

I am 55 years old now and still when I think about it it breaks my heart. His body was found in such a horrific manner. When you are 15 years old you just can’t fathom. But then life dishes some hard lessons and the realization of it is manageable. Just barely tho. I was able to hear the news of Bonin execution by radio and breathed a sigh of relief although I will never understand how Bonin found recruits to help in his killings. It’s a sad story. Thank you for your reply.” — jexypop2

The Nightstalker

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“The Nightstalker, Richard Ramirez.

Did some sick shit. Lived in Los Angeles, a dad and son team caught him in broad daylight.

He gives me nightmares.” — S3RG10

“My mom said it was the hottest summer yet in LA, and she couldn’t even open the windows at night, because that’s how he caught his victims.

My uncle was a police officer (actually, he was a detective with the sheriff’s office), and was transferring someone to the prison, or something like that when Nightstalker was caught. He said that, when it was reported that the guy was caught, the prisoners cheered, because most prisoners, though often being depraved people, hate those who abuse and kill women and children.” — MoonChild02

“My mom lived five minutes down the street from one of his victims in Mission Viejo before he was caught. She said she remembers how his presence in CA made everyone so scared they slept with windows shut even in the summer heat, and my mom had to call her husband(at the time) every day before he left work to make sure she knew when he’d be home by.” — spacebitchxxx

“I covered murder and rape trials as a reporter, saw some shit and followed so many serial killer cases before. This case was the only one to give me full on NIGHTMARES, the kind where you wake up heart racing, afraid of the dark kind of shit.” — bbeachbbaby

Israel Keyes

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“Israel Keyes, rapist, serial killer, necrophiliac. He was raised in a militant Fundamentalist Christian household, joined the military, then came back to the US and killed at least 11 people all over the country. He went to extraordinary lengths to not be caught by choosing victims at random, killing far from his home. He would hide “kill kits” and return years later when he was ready to kill someone in that area.” — bittyitty

“It’s terrifying how he killed a woman in Alaska, went on vacation with his family to some Caribbean island for a few days. Flew back to Alaska. Took the poor womans body and sewed her eyes opened and had her corpse pose with a newspaper that was a few days old to throw off law enforcement into thinking she was a run away. Dismembered her. He then used her credit card in different states to show she was on the move. But that was what got him caught.” — WeenisPeiner

“The scariest quote from him in True Crime Bullshit was when a detective asked him how long it took him to make his way to one of his victims once he made it into their house and he said “about 5 seconds”. This motherfucker didn’t creep silently to your room to terrorize you like the golden state killer, he essentially ran there. Imagine being sound asleep and waking up to footsteps tearing through your house towards you. Absolutely chilling.” — JBRawls

“Yeah, what always chilled me about this guy was, he was an average dude who wanted no fame or recognition, he truly was just killing for enjoyment like making vacations out of it. It made me wonder how many people are like that out there, who haven’t been caught? Israel Keyes only got caught because he got careless at the end.” — binglebelle

“Mr. Cruel”

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“Mr Cruel (Unsolved). He is an Australian serial rapist who abducted and sexually assaulted three girls and is the prime suspect of the abduction and murder of another young girl. After sexually assaulting his victims he bathed them carefully to get rid of evidence, one victim described it as “like a mother washing a baby”. In one case, he took a second set of clothes from the girl’s home to dress her before he let her go. This case makes me feel so uneasy.” — i___may


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“BTK. Worked code enforcement so plenty of access to homes, prominent church member, family man, depraved murderer.” — everjenny

“He was sort of a doddering fuckwit in his day to day. Just somebody’s dad, who was visibly odd but inoffensive. Not unpleasant but not bright.

But behind the scenes he was an extremely dangerous man who would hide in a family’s home for hours before sneaking out to bind, torture, and sloppily kill all of them.” — friendlygaywalrus

“Saw an interview with one of the prosecutors, said the scariest thing about Rader was ‘When you look at him and talk with him after seeing what I’ve seen, you realize the Dennis Rader you’re talking to is not the real Dennis Rader'” — deleted

“I remember reading an article about a woman he was supposed to kill. As in, he scoped her out, planned the kill, swans by, broke into her house, and waited for her to walk through the door.

She had a few too many drinks at a friend’s house or something and ended up staying there. He left her a note.

That’s the kind of shit that keeps you looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.” — ACaffeinatedWandress

Dean Corll

Dean Corll

“Dean Corll. I almost puked when reading about the methods of torture he used on little boys. He was such an asshole that his teenage accomplice was the one that killed him, which revealed his 28+ murders to the public. There is a haunting photo of an unidentified victim that was found in his accomplices property years after they got busted. Nobody has any clue who the kid is but the image of distress on his face and the toolbox full of torture tools next to him have forever been burned into my mind.” — mightydouchebro

“One of the saddest stories is one of the boys he picked up was 14 years old and on his way home from the gas station. He was saving up bottle caps for recycling money to take a girl to the movie and he never made it home. Imagine how high on life that kid was. He must’ve worked so hard to get the money together to take a pretty girl he probably had a crush on for a long time to the movies. He must’ve been so happy on the walk home. But then he ended up dying a slow and painful death. Shit makes me tear up

The boy’s name was James Stanton Dreymala. He was the very last boy that Corrl killed.” — anothershitposter2

“Dean Corll is the the serial killer that sticks out the most for me. What I find particularly horrifying, besides the photo and his methods of torture, is that so many young boys & men went missing from a particular neighborhood in Houston, and the police didn’t think anything of it. From what I’ve read and heard regarding him, it was a combination of it being the 1970s, and that since the neighborhood was poor/working class, these were kids whose disappearances weren’t high priority for law enforcement.” — Potstirrer_Podcast

Gary Ridgway

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“Not sure if it’s been said yet but I’m going with Gary Ridgway, or the Green River Killer. Dude killed between 50 and 70 women (usually teen runaways or sex workers) by picking them up in his car, smooth talking them, showing them pictures of his son to gain trust, having sex with them and then strangling them with his bare hands and dumping them in the forest near Green River (just outside of Seattle). Normal looking mid 30’s family man who claimed murdering young women was his career and bragged about having the most confirmed kills of any American serial killer.” — onemangang15

David Russell Williams

“David Russell Williams was a local serial killer my family knew, he seemed really nice and never gave off that vibe” — orrcannibis