How 33 Of History’s Most Twisted Serial Killers Finally Met Their End

Published October 13, 2016
Updated November 13, 2018

Some got off easy, some escaped capture — most didn't. Meet these 33 famous serial killers and discover how their reigns of terror came to an end.

H H Holmes Notorious Serial Killer
Earle Nelson Famous Serial Killers
Alexander Pichushkin
John Wayne Gacy
How 33 Of History’s Most Twisted Serial Killers Finally Met Their End
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If cop shows and forensic dramas have taught us one thing, it's that serial killers are a breed apart — a different kind of human being. They're the monsters that hide in the shadows, the cunning, diabolical predators of otherwise peaceful times. So what does it take to bring down a monster? A look at the ends of famous serial killers garners surprising results.

Sometimes, it's a hero — a smart detective or an especially clever victim. It was a victim who brought down Jeffrey Dahmer. Tracy Edwards, having been lured back to Dahmer's house and handcuffed, pretended to befriend the man he knew was going to eat him and used Dahmer's sense of security to flee the house.

A talented FBI profiler was responsible for the arrest of Robert Hansen, the "Butcher Baker" of Alaska, who hunted his victims through the woods with a knife and a gun. Special Agent Roy Hazelwood told his colleagues to look for an experienced big game hunter with low self-esteem and a stutter — and led them right to Hansen's door.

Other times, no amount of courage or smarts saves the day — it's just sheer dumb luck. That was the case with Randy Kraft, one of the most famous serial killers who had been a suspect but was released for lack of evidence. He was finally caught when he was pulled over for drunk driving — with a dead man in his passenger seat.

Then there was Larry Eyler, a hot-tempered house painter who was serving a life sentence for the murder of 15-year-old Daniel Bridges. It was only after he died in prison that his lawyer released a list of 17 other names he'd compiled: his other, unknown victims who had been buried in graves that were never found.

The stories of how famous serial killers met their ends are wild — sometimes hopeful, sometimes heartbreaking, usually disturbing, and always interesting.


Next, read about on Marcel Pétiot and H.H. Holmes, two of the most despicable serial killers to ever live. Then, discover which American killing fields are home to the most corpses.

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