It’s not just serial killers’ actions that are downright terrifying; the things they’ve said or written are sometimes just as creepy. Take these murderers, for example, all of whom have gone on record to either explain their motives, express their lack of remorse or attempt to deliberately confuse the authorities. Their weird words will send shivers down your spine.
20. Carl Panzram
“In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry.” Serial killer Carl Panzram, who claimed to have killed 21 people during the 1920s, wrote these chillingly remorseless words from death row at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
19. Jeffrey Dahmer
“My consuming lust was to experience their bodies. I viewed them as objects, as strangers… It’s hard for me to believe that a human being could have done what I’ve done.” This was how Jeffrey Dahmer – who raped, killed and dismembered 17 boys and men, mainly during the 1980s – explained his motives to police. In November 1994, Dahmer – the so-called Milwaukee Cannibal – was bludgeoned to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver at Wisconsin’s Columbia Correctional Institution, where both men were serving life stretches.
18. Albert Fish
“I always had a desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt.” So said the “Gray Man” child killer Albert Fish – whose murder and mutilation spree took place in the 1920s and 1930s – during a confession to a psychiatric examiner in court. Fish, who was jailed in March 1935, was subsequently executed at New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility in January 1936.
17. Zodiac Killer
“I LIKE KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH FUN IT IS MORE FUN THAN KILLING WILD GAME IN THE FORREST BECAUSE MAN IS THE MOST DANGEROUE ANAMAL OF ALL.” This creepy capitalized excerpt is courtesy of the so-called Zodiac Killer, a still-unidentified murderer who terrified northern California during the 1960s and 1970s, claiming the lives of at least five victims. His words were subsequently deciphered from a cryptogram he sent to a local newspaper.
16. Edmund Kemper
After shooting dead his grandmother at her kitchen table in August 1964, the teenage Edmund Kemper then phoned the police to tell them what he’d done. When he was later questioned about his motives, he replied that he simply “wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma.” He had also murdered his grandfather, apparently to spare his grief.
15. Jane Toppan
Serial killer Jane Toppan, who in 1901 confessed to murdering 31 people by poisoning them, once said that it was her ambition “to have killed more people – helpless people – than any other man or woman who ever lived.” After being found not guilty by reason of insanity, former nurse Toppan spent the rest of her life at the Taunton Insane Hospital in Massachusetts.
14. Charles Manson
“Maybe I should have killed four, five hundred people. Then I would have felt better. Then I would have felt like I really offered society something.” These are the words of the notorious Charles Manson – spoken to NBC in 1987 – whose Manson Family cult was responsible for the murders of nine people during the summer of 1969. He is currently serving a life sentence at California’s Corcoran State Prison.
13. Jeffrey Dahmer
“The killing was a means to an end… That’s why I tried to create living zombies with uric acid in the drill [to the head], but it never worked… I just wanted to have the person under my complete control, not having to consider their wishes, being able to keep them there as long as I wanted.” Another super-creepy quote from Jeffrey Dahmer, taken from a 1994 interview with NBC Dateline’s Stone Phillips.
12. Peter Kürten
“Tell me – after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.” Sexually motivated murderer Peter Kürten – who became aroused at the sight of blood – took at least nine lives in Düsseldorf, Germany, between 1913 and 1929. These are the words he uttered to Dr. Karl Berg – who later wrote a book about the killer – shortly before Kürten’s guillotine execution in 1931.
11. Carl Panzram
The second quote from Carl Panzram, again taken from one of his letters, is arguably more disturbing than the first. He wrote, “Those I have harmed were all either weaklings either mentaly or phisicaly. Those who were strong in either mind or body I first lied to and led into a trap where they were either asleep or drunk or helpless in some way. I allways had all the best of it.”
10. John Wayne Gacy
“You know… clowns can get away with murder.” These are the words of “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy, who uttered them to suspicious detectives during a meal in December 1978. The surveillance eventually got to Gacy, who later confessed to killing between 25 and 30 men during the 1970s. In May 1994, he was finally executed by lethal injection.
9. Herbert Mullin
“I saw the light over the confessional and the voice said, That’s the person to kill.” Herbert Mullin spoke these words while recounting the events of November 2, 1972, when he stabbed Father Henri Tomei to death during a confessional at St. Mary’s Church in Los Gatos, California. Mullin, who murdered a total of 13 people and was later sentenced to life, believed his crimes prevented earthquakes.
8. David Berkowitz
“I was literally singing to myself on my way home, after the killing. The tension, the desire to kill a woman had built up in such explosive proportions that when I finally pulled the trigger, all the pressures, all the tensions, all the hatred, had just vanished, dissipated, but only for a short time.” This was how David Berkowitz explained that his satisfaction with murder was only temporary, which is perhaps what makes this quote from the man who shot dead six people in New York in the 1970s so unsettling.
7. John Wayne Gacy
“The only thing they can get me for is running a funeral parlor without a license.” This quote from “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy tells you all you need to know about the whereabouts of his tens of victims. Plus, the fact that he could joke about the murders makes his words all the more disturbing.
6. H. H. Holmes
“I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing — I was born with the ‘Evil One’ standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.” It seems that H. H. Holmes – a man who may have killed up to 200 people at a purpose-built hotel dubbed “Murder Castle” in Chicago, Illinois, during the 1890s – didn’t mince his words. He was hanged in May 1896.
5. Dennis Rader
“When this monster entered my brain, I will never know, but it is here to stay. How does one cure himself? I can’t stop it, the monster goes on, and hurts me as well as society. Maybe you can stop him. I can’t.” Dennis Rader – known also as the BTK Killer, which stands for “bind, torture, kill” – murdered ten people from the 1970s to the 1990s in Sedgwick County, Kansas. He’s currently at the state’s El Dorado Correctional Facility, where he’s serving ten life sentences.
4. Edmund Kemper
“When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things: one part of me wants to take her home, be real nice and treat her right; the other part wonders what her head would look like on a stick.” This quote from grandma-killer Edmund Kemper, who ended up murdering nine women during the 1960s and 1970s, is as creepy as they come. Kemper has been in prison ever since being convicted of eight murders in November 1973.
3. Edmund Kemper
Sadly, Edmund Kemper made more than one creepy statement. In fact, he once said that killing was “more or less making a doll out of a human being… and carrying out my fantasies with a doll, a living human doll… Whipping their heads off, their body sitting there. That’d get me off.” After all, Kemper didn’t just kill his victims; he beheaded them, too. It’s little surprise, then, that he was refused parole in 2007 and 2012 and that he’s resigned to spending the rest of his life behind bars.
2. Ted Bundy
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!” Necrophile Ted Bundy, who admitted killing 30 women across the United States during the 1970s, was a particularly nasty piece of work. In fact, he may have actually murdered at least six more women, with one of his defense attorneys later referring to him as “the very definition of heartless evil.” He was executed in Florida in January 1989.
1. Albert DeSalvo
“It wasn’t as dark and scary as it sounds. I had a lot of fun… killing somebody’s a funny experience.” Albert DeSalvo, also known as the “Boston Strangler,” sexually assaulted and killed 13 women – one as young as 19, another as old as 85 – in the Massachusetts city during the early 1960s. The murderer was himself subsequently murdered in prison in 1973, and to this day no one knows who did it.