Serial killers are gruesome individuals who thrive on the fear and pain of others. What can possibly motivate someone into killing one person, let alone dozens? What factors led to these awful crimes? Who are these people? They could be anybody from a trusted doctor to a stranger walking down the street. To help you understand these horrendous crimes and get in the mind of these murderers, we bring forward the most notorious serial killers from England.
Jack the Ripper
Number of victims: Unknown, historically listed as 5
One of the most famous England serial killers is known as Jack the Ripper. He is most famously known for stalking poor women and prostitutes and killing them. His area of terror localized around the Whitechapel district in London in 1888. He was notorious for cutting prostitutes’ throats and hacking their bodies until they were barely recognizable. He was eventually detained by the authorities after an anonymous letter declared the act and dubbed his own name “Jack the Ripper.” However, to this day, it’s still unclear whether or not the act of the slaying could be done by one mere man.
Number of victims: 400
Officially named the ‘Angel Maker,' Amelia Dyer is known for being the killer being murdering 400 babies during the 19th century in Britain. Amelia preyed on mothers who couldn’t afford to keep their babies and offered to give them a “better life.” Instead, she pocketed the pay and strangled babies to death with dressmaking tape and dumped the remains in the River Thames. Unfortunately, the Angel Maker participated in this horrific act for over 30 years until she was discovered and hung for her actions.
Number of victims: At least 13
Peter Sutcliffe was known as the Yorkshire Ripper between 1975 and 1980, due to his acts of murdering women. Acting on the “voice of God,” Sutcliffe would hit his victim with a hammer, bring her to a private area, rape her, and eventually kill her. Upon finishing, he would rearrange clothing on their bodies, especially their shoes, and cover them with his coat. When caught, Sutcliffe confessed, but eventually retracted his confession due to his case of paranoid schizophrenia. However, he was charged on all counts of murder due to his crimes.
Fred and Rosemary West
Number of victims: at least 12
Rosemary and Fred West were they perfect match. They spent 20 years torturing, raping, and murdering upwards of 12 people. Most of these crimes took place in their very own home. Fred was already a murderer before he met Rose, but his influence was so strong that it led Rose to follow in his footsteps. Eventually, police discovered a video of Fred raping his own daughter and launched a full investigation. They discovered the remains of Fred’s daughter, whom Rose had killed, buried in their garden. Fred hanged himself before trial and Rosemary is still serving a life sentence.
Number of victims: more than 250
Nicknamed Dr. Death, Dr. Harold Shipman is responsible for the deaths of as many as 250 of his patients. In 2000, he was only found guilty of 15 murders, but it is believed that the real number is much higher. His killings took place from the mid-1970s to 1998. Shipman targeted elderly women and would administer lethal doses of diamorphine to them. This drug, commonly known as heroin, was used to help cancer patients manage their pain. Shipman’s actions were so heinous that they caused the British government to reform certain pieces of their health care system.
Number of victims: 15
It was an average day in 1983 London. Plumbers were heading to the apartment building of Dennis Nilsen. They had received complaints that all the drains in the building were not functioning properly. When the plumbers got to work, they soon realized that this was no average clog; the pipes were full of human remains. The police were called and traced to backup to Nilsen’s apartment. They had smelled the scent of rotting flesh and arrested him. When asked how many people he had murdered, he responded 15 or 16. Nilsen began his killing spree in 1978 victimizing only homeless gay men. He would lure these men into his home, strangle them to death, and kept their bodies in his apartment. Currently, Dennis Nilsen is serving a life sentence in prison.
Number of victims: 5
The Suffolk Strangler was at large from October 2006 to December of the same year. This killer had the whole country on watch as he committed his mysterious murders. The Suffolk Strangler was responsible for the deaths of five prostitutes. The case baffled police, though, as none of the women had been victim to any sort of sexual assault. They were all strangled. Quickly police had narrowed down their search to a construction worker named Steven Wright. His trial received a lot of attention, and he was sentenced to serve multiple life sentences.
Mary Ann Cotton
Number of victims: 21
Mary Ann Cotton was perhaps the first woman to join the line of England serial killers responsible for the deaths of up to 21 people. She is thought that she murdered three of her four husbands for the insurance money. Cotton may have also killed 11 of her 13 children, too. Her weapon of choice was poison. She would use arsenic to slowly poison her victims causing their health to decline rapidly until they eventually die. She was convicted of the murder of her stepson and was hanged on March 24, 1873.
These serial killers England are quite possibly among the worst humans to have lived in England. And hopefully, killers like these won’t pass you on the street tomorrow or the day after.