When serial killers are apprehended, authorities and the community expect them to be charged and probably given life sentences, even death row. It is often a relief for the victims and their families when the killers are sent to prison. Serving time in prison is among the worst experiences humans can go through; apart from the restricted freedoms, the prison environment can also affect your health. But what serial killers are still alive?
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Serial killers behind bars learn how to endure. This is why infamous serial killers like Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris, also known as the toolbox killers, lived for long after their sentencing. The toolbox exterminators were convicted of murder, rape, kidnappings, and torture in 1979.
What serial killers are still alive?
Scott Lee Kimball and Charles Cullen are some of the serial killers still alive. When serial killers are caught, it's almost expected that their lives will end. So it's remarkable to hear about serial killers that are still alive. Here is a list of the most infamous serial killers and where they are confined.
1. Scott Lee Kimball
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- Date of birth: 21 September 1966
- Place of birth: Boulder, Colorado, United States
- No. of victims: 4+
- Crime Span: 2002 – 2004
55-year-old Scott Lee Kimball is serving a 70-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2009. The serial killer was also a conman and fraudster. His forgery skills enabled him to run a good business of buying and selling organic beef. Kimball was arrested for forgery and fraud and, after being released, worked as an FBI informant.
It was during this period that Kimball murdered his victims. He confessed to killing at least four people, two of them being the girlfriends of the Englewood inmates whom he befriended after his release. The other victims were his uncle and stepdaughter.
2. Dennis Rader BTK
- Date of birth: 9 March 1945
- Place of birth: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States
- No. of victims: 10
- Crime span: 1974 – 1991
Dennis Rader is another infamous serial killer known as BTK, the BTK Strangler, or the BTK Killer. The initials BTK stand for "bind, torture, kill, a title he gave himself. Is BTK still alive? Yes. He is incarcerated.
He killed ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and sent taunting letters to police and newspapers describing the details of his crimes. BTK was convicted in 2005 and is serving ten consecutive life terms.
3. Charles Cullen
- Date of birth: 22 February 1960
- Place of birth: West Orange, New Jersey, United States
- No. of victims: 400
- Crime span: 1988
When Charles Cullen was first apprehended, Charles Edmund Cullen confessed to killing 240 patients during his career as a nurse in New Jersey. However, this number changed after it was established that the nurse may have killed more.
He committed his first murder at St. Barnabas hospital. On 11 June 1988, Cullen administered a lethal overdose of intravenous medication to a patient. Even after leaving St. Barnard, Cullen continued killing other patients in the hospitals he took jobs in. The last known murder by Cullen is reported to be in 2003.
4. David Berkowitz
- Date of birth: 1 June 1953
- Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States
- No. of victims: 6
- Crime span: 1976 – 1977
David Richard Berkowitz is one of the renowned modern-day serial killers still alive. The killer, also known as the Son of Sam and Caliber Killer, murdered six people and wounded seven others by July 1977.
After the killing sprees, Berkowitz eluded authorities and went on to write letters that mocked the police. In addition, he highlighted how he was set to commit more crimes in the letters. On 10 August 1977, Berkowitz was eventually indicted for eight shootings. He is serving six consecutive life sentences.
5. Gary Ridgway
- Date of birth: 18 February 1949
- Place of birth: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
- No. of victims: 80
- Crime span: 1982-1998
Gary Leon Ridgway is also known as the Green River Killer. He is one of the most famous serial killers. The 73-year-old serial killer mainly murdered sex workers and women in vulnerable situations.
Gary got his Green River Killer alias because his first victims were found in Green River. By the time he was arrested, he had murdered about 80 people. Ridgway was sentenced to 48 life sentences with no possibility of parole.
6. Kristen Gilbert
- Date of birth: 13 November 1967
- Place of birth: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
- No. of victims: 4+
- Crime span: 1995-1996
The serial killer Kristen Heather Gilbert is a former nurse convicted of four murders. She was additionally charged with two attempted murders of patients admitted to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Kristen killed her victims by inducing cardiac arrest in patients by injecting their intravenous therapy bags with massive doses of epinephrine. She was sentenced to four consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years.
7. Wayne Williams
- Date of birth: 27 May 1958
- Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
- No. of victims: 30
- Crime span: 1979 – 1981
Wayne Williams, also known as the Atlanta Monster, Atlanta Boogeyman, or the Atlanta Child killer, is among the worst serial killers alive. Though he was convicted for two murders, the man is believed to have killed about 30 victims.
The murders that sent him to jail are the 1981 killing of two men in Atlanta, Georgia. Most of his victims are believed to be children. He was never tried for the other murders and is serving life imprisonment for the two Atlanta murders.
8. Joseph James DeAngelo
- Date of birth: 8 November 1945
- Place of birth: Bath, New York, United States
- No. of victims: 13+
- Crime span: 1974 – 1986
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. is also known as Visalia Ransacker, Creek Bed Killer, East Area Rapist, or the Original Night Stalker. He is a former policeman. The serial killer also committed other crimes like rape, burglary, and robbery.
DeAngelo was apprehended in 2018 and incarcerated in 2020. He was sentenced to life in prison. Joseph DeAngelo Jr. is among the most recent famous murderers.
9. Rosemary West
- Date of birth: 29 November 1953
- Place of birth: Northam, United Kingdom
- No. of victims: 10
- Crime span: 1973-1987
Rosemary Pauline West is a serial killer convicted of killing about ten women. She tortured her victims before ending their lives. She committed most of these crimes with her husband, Fred West.
One of her victims was her 8-year-old stepdaughter, Charmaine Rose. Her husband was apprehended in 1994. And while awaiting conviction, Fred took his life. Rose is among the most notorious female serial killers still alive but serving life imprisonment.
10. Beverley Allitt
- Date of birth: 4 October 1968
- Place of birth: Grantham, United Kingdom
- No. of victims: 4+
- Crime span: February 1991-April 1991
The serial child killer is also known as The Angel of Death. Beverley Gail Allitt was convicted of murdering four children, attempting to murder three other children, and causing severe bodily harm to an additional six.
The English serial killer was apprehended in 1991 and given 13 life sentences. She, however, lost her mind while in prison and was sent to Rampton Hospital to be held there indefinitely. In addition, Allitt suffers from some mental illness that causes her to injure others.
- Who is the cruellest serial killer? Dr Harold Shipman, with 218 probable murders and possibly as many as 250. After conviction in 2000, Shipman was sentenced to life in prison. He hanged himself while in his cell in 2004.
- Are there active serial killers anymore? There are always serial exterminators lurking and getting caught by authorities. It is reported that around 25 - 50 active serial exterminators lurked on the streets in America at one time.
- How did Jeffrey Dahmer die? The notorious Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow convict at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin.
- Who is the oldest serial killer? The name of the oldest killer is not yet in the public domain. However, Ray and Faye Copeland are some of the oldest ones in the USA.
What serial killers are still alive? Scott Lee Kimball, Dennis Rader BTK, and Charles Cullen are some of the killers alive. Most serial exterminators are believed to have murdered more victims than the number they are convicted of. Some cases lack strong evidence, while in others, prosecutors do not take the circumstantial evidence as enough.
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