Our nation has had a less than illustrious history when it comes to the phenomenon of serial killers. Although these individuals are not exclusively American, as countries all over the world have had to deal with the havoc they wreak, we have unfortunately had a long and morbid fascination with people who take a cold and calculating amount of time to take the life of several people, stealing them from their families.
From the falsely charming enigma that was Ted Bundy to the equally baffling crimes of the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer, these men tried to satiate their twisted desires in service of some abnormal psychological gratification.
The FBI estimates that there are between twenty-five and fifty serial killers operating throughout the U.S. at any given time. If there are fifty, then each one is responsible for an average of three murders per year.
Between 1976 and 1979, Robert Ressler helped to establish the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, drawing up psychological profiles of violent offenders and organizing interviews with thirty-six incarcerated serial killers to better understand their murderous pathology and motives in the hopes of catching future predators.
However, despite the FBI’s best efforts, many of these killers still stalk our streets today and have evaded capture, in some cases, for decades. We can only hope and pray that advances in DNA profiling, like the techniques that on April 24th, 2018, unmasked 74 year old Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer, who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 to 1986.
Here we look at those individuals who have managed to keep their distance from the long arm of the law.