Since 1900, there have been 778 documented victims of serial killers in Florida. In the ten-year period during the 1980's, the state recorded 247 serial murders making Florida the third most dangerous state in the United States.
The odds are that you've heard of these killers but probably didn't know they were from Florida. Be sure to check out our true crime shop when you're done!
Aileen Wuornos is probably one of the most controversial women serial killers from the US. She was sentenced to death for the shootings of seven men which she claims to have done in self defense.
Also known as Susan Lynn Blahovec, Sandra Kretsch, Cammie Marsh Greene, Lori Kristine Grody, and Lee Blahovec, Wuornos claimed that she was raped by her victims while she worked as a prostitute.
Throughout the 70's and 80's and before graduating to murder, she had been arrested on several accounts of violence, theft, assault and battery. The 2003 movie Monster starring Charlize Theron as Aileen is a biographical drama about her life.
Bobby Joe Long
Bobby Joe Long sexually assaulted, abducted, and killed over ten women in his career. As of 2017, he remains on death row in the state of Florida. His other monikers include the Classified Ad Rapist and the Adman Rapist.
Notorious for disposing of the bodies in unusual poses, Long is considered to be a serial killer with a prominent modus operandi. He confessed to derive sadistic pleasure in rape and murder.
Long released his last victim after raping her for twenty-six hours. Her information led to his arrest in 1984. You can read more about him here.
No doubt you've heard of Ted Bundy, killer of over thirty people—but did you know that he escaped capture twice, both times in 1977? By the time he was recaptured in 1978, he faced three death sentences and was sent to the electric chair.
Besides being a prolific serial killer, Bundy was a necrophile who would sometimes spend hours to groom and perform sexual acts with his victim's corpses. He kept the heads of 12 of his victims as momentos.
Gary Ray Bowles
Gary Ray Bowles, also known as the I-95 Killer, murdered six people in the year of 1994. He is currently fifty-five years of age and is convicted of sexual assault, murder, and the unarmed robbery of twenty-five people in total.
Bowles had an abusive childhood, was homeless, and earned money working as a prostitute. His biological father died from Black Lung Disease from working as a coal miner, and his mother remarried several times.
The second stepfather was a violent alcoholic and abused both him, his mother and brother before he fought back. His killings spanned over three states: Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. His profile is listed here.
Otherwise known as the Gainsville Ripper, Danny Rolling killed eight people across the states of Florida and Lousiana. He was apprehended in 1991 and executed in 2006 at the age of 52 by lethal injection.
Before his triple homicide and attempted murder of his father, he raped and killed five students in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1990. He mutilated and posed the bodies, sometimes using mirrors. Most of the victims were Caucasian, petite in body shape, and brunettes with brown eyes.
Rolling was arrested several times during his teenage years for robberies and voyeurism. Despite his emotionally abusive upbringing, Rolling worked as a waiter and attempted to hold a steady job.
In a trial that took place approximately four years after the murders, Rolling admitted that he wanted to be as famous as Ted Bundy. His story was the inspiration for the Scream movie franchise, I'd say he got close.
Oscar Ray Bolin Jr.
Another remarkable serial killer, Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., aka Bolin the Butcher, was convicted of stabbing and beating three Florida women and sentenced to death twice.
While in county jail, Bolin Jr. managed to get married to a socially prominent woman named Rosalie Martinez in 1996. More details about Martinez can be found here. Every verdict in his cases concluded in several reversals and new trials. Eventually, they all ended in conviction for murder due to an anonymous tip that was later revealed to be his half-brother, Philip Brolin.
Philip was a key witness who testified against him, describing the scene of a brutal sexual assault and murder. On the eve of his execution, Bolin Jr. told the media, “My punishment's over. They can't hurt me no more.”
Ottis Toole was an arsonist and cannibal as well as a serial killer of more than six people. He died at age forty-nine from cirrhosis of the liver during his imprisonment in Florida State Prison.
Toole had an abusive mother whom he claimed would force him to dress in women's clothing while she called him “Susan.” His maternal grandmother called him the “Devil's Child,” probably due to his epilepsy and sexual orientation.
His first arrest was at the age of seventeen for loitering. Growing up to be a drifter, panhandler, and prostitute, Toole received numerous accusations for crimes he may or may not have committed. He developed a sexual relationship with Henry Lee Lucas, aka The Highway Stalker, and was an accomplice to various crimes. Here's more information about Toole, who died in 1996.