American serial killers come in all shapes and sizes and all races and colors. Most serial killers are men, there are very few serial killers that are women. Most of them seem to have had a dysfunctional family setting and were abused as children emotionally, sexually or verbally.
- Coral Eugene Watts – also known by his nickname Coral,was an American serial killer dubbed “The Sunday Morning Slasher”. Coral Watts is now suspected to have killed more than 100 women, which would make him the most prolific serial killer in American history. He obtained immunity for a dozen murders as a result of a plea bargain with prosecutors in 1982; at one point it appeared that he could be released in 2006. He died of prostate cancer while serving two sentences of life without parole in a Michigan prison
- Ted Bundy – Bundy was an American serial killer active between 1974 and 1978. He escaped twice from county jails before his final apprehension in February 1978. After more than a decade of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed to over 30 murders, although the actual total of victims remains unknown. Estimates range from 26 to over 100, the general estimate being 35. Typically, Bundy would bludgeon his victims, then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and necrophilia. Bundy was executed by electric chair for his last murder by the state of Florida in January 1989.
- John Wayne Gacy – was an American serial killer also known as the Killer Clown who committed the rape and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Twenty-six of Gacy’s victims were buried in the crawlspace of his home, three others elsewhere on his property and four victims were discarded in a nearby river. Gacy became known as the “Killer Clown” due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children’s parties where he would dress as “Pogo the Clown,” a character he devised himself. Gacy was executed by lethal injection May 9, 1994.
- Jeffrey Dahmer – was an American serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys – many of whom were of African or Asian descent between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders were particularly gruesome, involving rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.
- Gary Ridgway – known as the Green River Killer, is an American serial killer. Ridgway murdered numerous women in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, earning his nickname when the first five victims were found in the Green River. He strangled them, mostly with his arm, but he would also use ligatures. After strangling the women, he would dump their bodies throughout forested and overgrown areas in King County. As part of a plea bargain wherein he agreed to disclose the whereabouts of still “missing” women, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.