One must take the bad with the good, and just as society breeds good people, so does it also breed some bad people. Some of the worst people in society are those that harm others, whether it be by stealing, lying or even physically harming others. Some people, for reasons we may not understand or even know, decide to take it upon themselves to end another’s life; while some decide to end multiple person’s lives. These people become known to society as serial killers; but, not all of them catch the attention of people outside of the region where they commit their crimes, let alone make national headlines. Here are the top ten most underrated American serial killers whose crimes, through heinous in nature, were not widely publicized.
List of Top 10 Underrated American Serial Killers ever
10. Lydia Sherman
Dubbed one of the worst female serial killers in America’s history, Lydia Sherman gave an all new meaning to the term ‘black widow’ being applied to women. In 1860, unhappy with her marriage and family, Sherman poisoned her husband and children. She then married a rich old farmer who also mysteriously died after eating something Sherman had fixed. Lastly, she murdered yet another husband, and his two children, earning her the infamous title, Queen Poisoner.
9. Andrew Kehoe
One of America’s earliest domestic terrorists, Andrew Kehoe was responsible for the deaths of forty seven people, including himself. After Kehoe began to go mad with paranoia, he stockpiled explosives in the basement of a school, and then after several months, he detonated the explosives, killing teachers and students. Later he drove his explosive filled truck to the bomb site and detonated yet another bunch of explosives, killing himself and eight of the rescuers searching for survivors of the first attack.
8. Louis Wagner
Murder is an awful enough crime in and of itself, but when the murderer is someone known to the victim, it makes the crime that much worse. In New Hampshire in 1873, Louis Wagner knew that acquaintances of his would be out on a fishing trip and, taking advantage of this knowledge, he broke into the home of the fisherman, killed two of the women who lived there, robbed them of their possessions and then fled in the night. A third woman was able to hide herself and informed authorities of the night’s events. Wagner was hanged two years later.
7. John Robinson
They don’t wear signs; you may think you know a person but you never really do. You never really see what goes on behind closed doors. That was the case of John Robinson, a married father of four who secretly used classified ads to attract women that he would then rape and murder. His reign of terror lasted for sixteen years until someone discovered dead bodies contained in large oil drums located on his property. Aside from murder and rape, Robinson was also charged with fraud.
6. Arthur Shawcross
It’s bad enough when someone murders once, but when said murderer is released early from prison after being convicted of murdering a child, and then uses that opportunity to go on yet another killing spree, this time killing not one but eleven more people; that is when you know the justice system has made a grave error. Arthur Shawcross murdered eleven people over the course of two years after he was released from prison, and was only caught because police decided to be proactive and stake out one of Shawcross’s dumping grounds.
5. Bobby Joe Long
No one has ever quite been able to explain why a serial killer does what he does; sometimes it stems from being a victim themselves, sometimes it may be that they are wired differently, sometimes it may be that they have suffered so that they are unaware that what they are doing is wrong. In the case of Bobby Joe Long, some have theorized that the multiple severe traumas he suffered as a child, as well as the overprotectiveness and shockingly close relationship he had with his mother, may have contributed to his actions. Bobby Joe killed at least nine women after violently raping them in the Tampa, FL area, was charged with raping another forty one victims, and suspected of many more.
4. Carl Panzram
Sometimes it is all to clear why a person turns out the way he does, as it is no surprise that a man who has been violently and sexually assaulted and beaten both in and out of prison would turn out to be a serial rapist and murderer. Beginning with the murder of some sailors and the subsequent rape and murder of two young boys in 1920, Panzram exacted his revenge on unsuspecting victims, all the while believing that he would have been better off if he had never been born, as his victims certainly would have.
3. Gerard Schaeffer
If there is anything worse than being a family member being a murderer, than it must be when the very people who are sworn to protect you instead become your worst nightmare. In 1973, ex policeman Gerard Schaeffer was suspected of mutilating at least thirty two women. Even though he was found with souvenirs suspected of belonging to multiple women, he was only convicted of murdering two.
2. Larry Eyler
Usually, when serial killers commit their crimes, they have a certain type of person they take as their victim; girls, boys, brunettes, blondes, there is usually a pattern when it comes to a killers comfort zone. That is not the case with Larry Eyler, who became know as the highway killer after some of his twenty one victims were discovered abandoned along highways. Eyler murdered men and women with no discernable similarities and therefore no pattern to track, which is why it took someone witnessing Eyler dumping body parts for authorities to catch him.
1. Peter Sutcliffe
People say you are lucky to have survived if you make it through a horrible ordeal that should have killed you but didn’t. Sometimes people feel lucky to be alive, but sometimes they do not, as was the case of the seven victims of Peter Sutcliffe who happened to survive his attacks of them. Such was their pain and suffering that they believed that the thirteen women whom Sutcliffe did murder were the ones who got off lucky.
These above are the Top 10 Underrated American Serial Killers ever until 2017. Murder is a disturbingly horrible crime, with multiple homicides ranging among the worst. Just because these killers weren’t recognized nationally doesn’t mean that they will not live in infamy to those whose lives they touched and harmed.