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

Published October 13, 2016
Updated January 29, 2019
Published October 13, 2016
Updated January 29, 2019

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

H H Holmes Famous 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 stories of famous serial killers brings surprising results.

Sometimes, it's a hero — a smart detective or an especially clever victim — that brings the monster down. It was a victim who brought down Jeffrey Dahmer, one of history's most famous serial killers. 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 false 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, 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 these famous serial killers met their ends are wild — sometimes hopeful, sometimes heartbreaking, usually disturbing, and always interesting.


After this look at famous serial killers, read about Marcel Pétiot, one of the most despicable serial killers to ever live. Then, have a look at some quotes from serial killers that will leave you deeply disturbed.

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