Author: Noel Murphy

So they asked me to write an article for this; the first edition of our college blog. Now I can’t write about human interest because I’ve no interest in humanity…..but serial killers??! That I can do. So please enjoy my top 5.


The Zodiac Killer


So we go back to a time of peace and love and “Hell no! We won’t go”. The Vietnam war in full swing. In the home of “flower power” that is the great state of California four women and 3 men are killed over a period of  3 months

The victims are shot and stabbed but this is not the interesting part of this story. The interesting part is a series of letters that were written to papers in the area claiming to be from the Zodiac in which the author claimed that he/she killed 36 other victims along with a cryptic code to help authorities identify him/her.

On October 27, 1970, Chronicle reporter Paul Avery (who had been covering the Zodiac case) received a Halloween signed with a letter ‘Z’ and the Zodiac’s cross-circle symbol. Handwritten on the card was the note “Peek-a-boo, you are doomed.”

Nobody really knows how many people the Zodiac killed or his identity to this day. After his killing spree, he seemed to go into retirement.

Arthur Leigh Allen was a potential suspect based on circumstantial evidence. Allen had been interviewed by police from the early days of the Zodiac investigations and was the subject of several search warrants over a 20 year period. Nothing was ever proven.


Ted Bundy 

The darling of American society. This polite well-spoken wealthy handsome man is alleged to of killed at least 30 women over a four year period in the 1970’s. The true victim count remains unknown, and could be much higher.

Bundy was regarded by many of his young female victims as handsome and charismatic, traits that he exploited to win their trust. He typically approached them in public places, feigning injury or disability, or impersonating an authority figure, before overpowering and assaulting them at more secluded locations.

Again. Not the interesting part, this former law student, and friend of many Washington politicians who baffled authorities for years was finally caught after a random speed stop. The police found a mask, rope, guns and a hatchet near the house of his latest victim. When asked if he’d committed the crime, he simply smiled at the officer and said “prove it”. He was remanded into custody and escaped TWICE after gaining the confidence of his jailers. He was finally found on the opposite end of the country after killing 3 more women. When he finally went to trial, he represented himself. He did it with such charm, charisma and skill that the judge when passing the death sentence said ”You’d have made a good lawyer. I’d have loved to have you practice in front of me. But you went the wrong way, partner”

After becoming a sex symbol in prison, with journalists constantly doing interviews and a number of appeals, Bundy fried in 1989.


Jack the Ripper

So it’s ye olde Victorian London, 1888 to be precise. Out of the fog and mist of London town 5 “ladies of the night” are found( one of them an Irish girl named Mary Jane Kelly) horribly mutilated with their reproductive organs surgically removed. The city goes into a panic. Women walk the streets in fear and never alone. The eel pie industry is in shambles

Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer. The From Hell” letter received by George Lusk of the white chapel “Vigilance society” came with half of a preserved human kidney, purportedly taken from one of the victims. You have all seen the films. Cockney girls going around saying “you ain’t the ripper are you, only me sister thinks it’s the Prince of Wales” Butchers, slaughterers, surgeons, and physicians were suspected because of the manner of the mutilations. But the truth is nobody really knows the true identity of the killer, or if indeed the murders were linked.

One thing is for sure. Hollywood has made a fortune from it all.


Jeffery Dahmer


The “Milwaukee Cannibal”. The man himself. This guy was unbelievable. committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia,cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts—he literally tried to eat the evidence.

On July 22, 1991, Dahmer approached three men with an offer of $100 to accompany him to his apartment to pose for nude photographs, drink beer, and simply keep him company.One of the trio, 32-year-old Tracy Edwards, agreed to accompany him to his apartment. Upon entering Dahmer’s apartment, Edwards noted a foul odour and several boxes of hydrochloric acid on the floor, which Dahmer claimed to use for cleaning bricks. Dhamer then tried to handcuff his victim, who escaped and alerted the police, who then discovered the grisly remains of 4 of Dahmer’s victims including the head of one simmering slowly in a pot on the stove, presumably with some cabbage and spuds

On July 25, 1991, Dahmer was charged with four counts of murder. By August 22, he would be charged with a further 11 murders committed in the state of Wisconsin.

He was tried and found guilty, sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

In November 1994 Dahmer was killed by his cellmate. After lunch of course.




Nannie Doss

My favourite “The giggling granny”. Nannie Doss was a serial killer who earned the monikers “The Giggling Nanny,” “The Giggling Granny,” and “The Jolly Black Widow” after going on a killing spree that began in the 1920s and ended in 1954. Doss killed her first husband Charley Braggs, and his 3 children because they interrupted her alone time with her books

Her second husband Frank Harrelson lasted 4 years before going missing and never found. Doss inherited all his estate. Her third and fourth  husbands suffered a similar faith as did eventually her mother, her sister, her grandson and her sister in law, whom she killed for cleaning during her favourite radio programme. Doss was spared the electric chair due to her gender and later died an old lady in prison. Moral of the story?! NEVER COME BETWEEN A WOMEN AND THEIR STORIES.

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