From H. H. Holmes' murder hotel to Madame LaLaurie's house of horrors, these nine lairs of notorious serial killers were the scene of some of the most brutal crimes in history.
Though the gruesome murders perpetrated by serial killers can send shivers down the spines of even the most hardened true crime fans, the horror is only worsened when those murders are preceded by terrifying acts of torture.
And even among this subset of killers who torment their victims to prolong their suffering, there are those especially sadistic predators who build their own torture chambers in order to inflict maximum pain on their helpless prey.
These are the nine most disturbing dungeons that serial killers used to torture their victims.
Leonard Lake And Charles Ng’s Death Ranch
In the mid-1980s, Leonard Lake, a porn-obsessed paranoid schizophrenic, and Charles Ng, a kleptomaniacal Marine discharge, met through a shared interest in a survivalist magazine. From there, the two would discover other common interests: rape, torture, and murder.
Ng moved into Lake’s cabin on a secluded ranch at the foot of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Leonard Lake’s paranoia had been gradually increasing, and he soon came to believe that the world was facing an inevitable and impending nuclear holocaust.
He constructed a fallout bunker — which would eventually serve as a torture chamber for the people he and Ng kidnapped and murdered.
The two men held their male and female victims in the small cinderblock bunker, supplying them with nothing more than a bucket and some toilet paper, according to ABC News. Lake and Ng also lined the bunker with a one-way mirror so that they could watch their captives within.
They would then torture and rape their prisoners, recording each assault on tape. They often forced their male captives to watch as they sexually assaulted their wives.
Among their identified victims were a couple who lived nearby named Harvey and Deborah Dubs. The sexual assault Lake and Ng forced on Deborah was so violent that she did not survive it.
The men also took children to their bunker and twice kidnapped and murdered families of three, including their neighbors Lonnie Bond, Brenda O’Connor, and their one-year-old son, as reported by Crime and Investigation.
Their sadistic streak only came to an end when Charles Ng was caught shoplifting in San Francisco in 1985. Lake tried to smooth things over with the clerk who caught Ng, but by then the police had arrived.
They questioned Lake because of his suspicious behavior, and he sealed his fate when he showed them a driver’s license that bore no resemblance to him. They then discovered he was driving a stolen car belonging to a man named Paul Cosner — one of Lake and Ng’s victims.
After arresting the two men, police uncovered the horrible truth that awaited them at the bunker.
Lake committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule before he could be charged, and Ng was sentenced to death by lethal injection and remains on death row.